Lake Twenty Two Hike

You guys summer in Washington is amazing. Like beyond my wildest dreams. Prettier than I could have imagined. It’s one thing to see pictures of beautiful places and a whole other thing to actually be there in person. And you know pictures can never fully do justice.

A few months ago we did this hike with our friends and we were only able to see up to the snow line because of all the fog. We had no idea we were missing SO much of the mountains. This time we went it was sunny and so clear.

One of our good friends Ryan from Chicago, came to visit us in early June (his first time in Seattle!) and we took him on this hike.

Here we are in front of the lake. And while this picture is nice, it really bothers me that people take pictures of our feet and the rock in front of us and not the majestic mountains behind us.


It’s just so pretty. The greenery, the clear water, the sunshine, the snow all in June! Just everything.


Greenland or Washington? 🙂



Can you tell how happy we were? IMG_6715.JPG


And this is just one of the many, many gorgeous hikes in Washington.We are fully taking advantage of living here and loving every minute.


Twin Lakes Hike, Orcas Island

*Just wanted to let you guys know this is going to be a really long post with a bunch of pictures. Can’t say I didn’t warn ya. 😉

Yesterday I blogged about the first part of our day in town on Orcas Island.IMG_5116

After breakfast we headed to Moran State Park to see Mount Constitution and do a little hike.

Back in 2012 Dave and I took a road trip to Seattle and went here. I thought it would be fun to recreate one of the pictures we took. I brought the same sweater and purse, but I forgot to ask Dave to bring the same shirt.


We took our jumping pic, off the rock wall but I didn’t jump as well as Dave did. He told me the trick is to bring your knees up, I’ll have to remember that. untitled-20


You can walk up the tower and it offers an awesome 360 degree view.





We went on a 3 mile hike to Twin Lakes. The mix and trees and sunlight was so pretty and peaceful. untitled-27



We had a little picnic on this tree at the twin lakes. We brought cookies, coconut almonds, dried mangos, and water.



We are pretty fond of each other 😉



One of the things I really love about hiking in Washington is the moss on the ground and  on the trees.


Our pinterest inspired feet pic tradition, showing off the moss.


After we finished the hike, Mount Baker came out from the clouds and was in full view. I can’t believe how much snow is up there right now!untitled-40

We went back into town, ate dinner, and got ice cream because that’s what everyone does after doing hikes, right? 🙂


And lastly I wanted to share two more pics of the inside of the converted barn.



We’ve been pretty busy lately so taking this relaxing weekend away was so wonderful and really recharged us and was the best way to celebrate our anniversary.

Linking up today with:

Totally-terrific-Tuesday-Link-Party-finalTuesday Talk Button

Hiking Mount Si, Washington

A few Saturday mornings ago, we went hiking on with our friend Hayes and his dog Boda. And on the way Boda was leaning on Dave’s shoulder while he was driving, it was so sweet. afKUxoZP16s23Gdr8cjnz0pbZIBIN0BpzjmjMC2rAw3G7Ej4P-xwBIwy8ZInX1RJlSdMFYXaF3Wduwq98ItcodzHAG47q-CXLVxHRnLho55aufIVLibZOfhKJE30VgBbcVkVhaaqOzWJ5HBfkboABlVdDoDBi7Z1iMIE-x6oBjgW6tNhkmvG8zub4opUjboHTlpAMYilJt_3_zr99AzdhDRwkZCoBKghn3oM

We have heard about Mount Si and have wanted to hike it for a little while. There are a few trails you can take and we started on the Little Si Trail.


Dave and Hayes have a lot in common and share similar interests. They even unknowingly bought the same backpack. 🙂


We did an 8 mile hike. The longest hike I’ve ever done. We hiked Saturday and I was still sore on Monday. It took us 4 1/2 hours from start to finish. We started at 10:30am and finished at 3pm. It rained on and off and snowed a little too.


The way up was pretty steep at parts. It was a great leg workout. I’ve been a FitBit user since Thanksgiving and this day was the most steps I’ve gotten in a day, 23,842! And since I work in an office, most days I struggle just to get 10,000 steps in, to put things in perspective. I’m sure lots of you get more than 10,000 steps a day but me, not so much. I’m happy when I meet that goal. rRnx3TcLeyn9XWGfy4NXILidYB_tClU4VxbFgok8QKK6qetsw9HTqzIimn0peIHem1VxFh9rNGoRXAiI01iQdDl6IIcVJK5OsZ-V9rqsxMsZ-l0UQxbuKkYzn2E9zoGF0ogHM4OZbr00IulVFJmk7HN9GRkHaAabQxEXGFJihyLbcdaBXPAicBpFfeAnUUIWGsZ7_5VZAeUT5HoHRr8LkhWW8C2o8WN8edzs

It was a little foggy closer to the top but still so pretty.



Right when we go to the top, it started snowing, it was a little chilly but so fun. I actually miss the snow a little being a Seattle-ite now vs a Chicagoan.




On the way down, we started chatting with this guy. We ended up taking the wrong route back down the mountain so that guy offered us a ride back to the other parking lot where our car was. It was so nice of him. And it is the first time I’ve ‘hitchhiked’ or gotten a ride from someone I barely know. Good thing it turned out a-ok. 🙂



It was a really nice, semi-challenging hike. It’s definitely a good one to train on. We had a great time and are going to try and hike most Saturday mornings/weekends. After our hike we also got crepes at the Euro Cafe in North Bend. I think I’ve talked about it before, and it was delicious!

There is truly so much to do and see in and around Seattle and we are so excited to hike and explore more. I’d love your suggestions for PNW hikes and places not to miss.

Happy Thursday friends!

Linking up today with Natalie and Annie:  thoughts-for-thursday

Hiking in North Bend, Washington

You guys. I am so behind in blogging world that I don’t even know where to start! So much has happened in the last few weeks and I need to slowly recap everything and ease back into blogging land. I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA and not up to date.

I really appreciate that you girls are still reading and commenting. I also want to thank the blogging ladies who have filled in for me while I’ve been gone! You girls are the best!! (Ailee, Astleigh,  EmilyJessicaKatieKelley,  LaurenMattieMegan, Molly, and Rachel)

One of the main reasons I haven’t blogged is because we haven’t had internet in our new place until yesterday. We’ve been in Seattle for 10 days now and are settling in. We’ve met up with friends, gone hiking, got library cards, found some new restaurant faves, and have been unpacking like crazy.

Since I’m a little overwhelmed at where to start I’ll start with the hike Dave, Gretchen and I did yesterday. We were planning to do the Middle Forks hike in North Bend, but the road was closed for construction. So we did some on the spot research and decided on the Twin Falls Hike, which is in North Bend as well.

It was beautiful and sunny out and a perfect day for a hike.


We parked at the Homestead Valley Trailhead and purchased the annual discovery pass for $30 which allows access to all the state parks in Washington which is awesome. And the daily pass is $10 so it’s totally worth it. statepark


mini fall

Leading up to the Twin Falls waterfall, along the hike you get little glimpses of the falls at different points. Coming from California where they are going through a drought, it was nice to see a raging waterfall.


There are part of the hike that have stairs which is nice for when the leaves are wet and a little slippery. It’s a great workout and parts of the hike have great incline. stairs


I mentioned in a past post but in case you missed it, Gretchen is my friend from 7th grade. She is one of my oldest friends who I still keep in touch with. We moved to Seattle within two weeks of each other and it’s been so fun to explore and hike with her. Growing up in Illinois did not look like it does in Washington, so it’s fun to appreciate the beautiful landscape with her. gretch

This Twin Falls waterfall is the end of the 3.5 mile loop.

twin falls

I just love the moss on the trees up here, it’s so pretty!


We finished our hike around 11:30 and went into town and ate crepes. 🙂


I got sweet crepes with berries and whip cream and Gretchen and Dave both got the chicken, spinach and feta cheese crepes. They were all very light and delicious and not overly filling.



Since Gretchen and I are job hunting and Dave is off of work until next week, it’s fun to get out during the day and enjoy the beautifulness that is the state of Washington. There is so much to see and do and we are so excited to explore more and have more days like this.

Friday Favorites: Bachelorette, Hiking, & Vacations

Another week has gone by and we’re officially about to be in August! Having lived in California for the last 2 years, I am seriously missing the fall weather and change of seasons and getting to wear boots! But with our impending move to Seattle this fall, I’m getting really excited! We still have a few months but I’m eagerly anticipating it.

What fun things are you all up to this weekend? Can’t wait to catch up with you all in the link ups!THE NEW YOUCall me a sucker, but I love these two together. I hope they will make it and be one of the Bachelor franchise success stories. Look how happy they are. I love love and am rooting for these lovebirds.


And I love that Jimmy Kimmel made them promise to marry each other or at least be together a year or pay him $1,000. 🙂

the-new-you1On Tuesday of this week, I was featured on my friend Molly’s blog Colors of Life about my love of hiking. (Thanks again for asking me Molly!)

Here is one of my favorite photos from a hike Dave and I did last July in Zion in the Narrows. I’ll blog about that hike this upcoming Thursday.

julie-hiking3THE NEW YOU(2)One of my favorite weekends so far this year happened in mid July when we went back home to Chicago for an extended weekend. It involved ice cream, a wedding, a half marathon, an architecture boat tour with my parents and a BBQ with a few of our closest friends.

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-13THE NEW YOU(3)This week US Weekly posted an article with pictures of the cast of Full House and their instagrams. It’s getting me so excited for Fuller House next year on Netflix! Bring it on. It was such a staple growing up in my house and I’m excited so much of the original cast is coming back. I can’t wait to see how they do it!jsfhfive10On Tuesday the team at Lauren Conrad came up with a list of their Top 10 Vacation Destinations. I am a lover of travel and am always interested to hear where other people enjoy going on their vacations. It makes me want to create a list of my own!


Friday has become the day of the link ups. Here are the wonderful women I’m linking up with each week:

 A Little Bit of Everything BlogGrace and Love Blog, and Momfessionals


Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I loved this book. I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to know more after it ended. I wanted to know where she went next, how she transitioned back into real life in Portland and what lasting impact it had on her. (I know there are lots of interviews she has done since she completed the trail, and I have yet to see the movie starring Reese Witherspoon because I wanted to wait until I was finished with the book.) But those were my initial thoughts after I finished reading it.

As a woman one of my main concerns would be safety on the trail especially being by herself. So I was really interested to see how she dealt with that and how she told herself she wasn’t scared.


I really enjoyed hearing about the camaraderie she felt among the fellow hikers she met on the trail. She said they motivated her and lifted her spirits when she was feeling down or exhausted. It also must have felt nice to commiserate about the trials and tribulations of the hike.  For a while she was the only woman on the trail but later met other women. I felt a real sense of women empowerment and thinking how strong and courageous she and the other women were hiking this trail and taking on such a huge undertaking.

It made me really happy to see the kindness of strangers while she was on and off the trail. People gave her rides when she hitchhiked, offer to feed her and let her shower at their houses, and a free place to stay behind stores. It made me believe in the goodness of people. I, myself, would be quite nervous to trust people but it’s nice to see there were still good people while she was out there. (She hiked the trail in 1994 at the age of 26.) But there is one incident she talks about in the book that would have made me really nervous.

Being on the trail she was able to work through issues that she had been carrying around with her for years. Before she started the trail she had lost her mother to cancer at 45 years old, her family fell apart in the wake of her mother’s death, and her marriage ended. In the long hours and days she traversed the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) she had a lot of time to think about all those lingering issues and learned to make peace with them.

It shows real dedication and character that she hiked the 1,100 plus miles in the summer, mostly alone, when the easy thing to do would have been to quit and go back to her old life.  


One of my favorite things about her journey was that she was not an expert hiker to begin with. She had only done short hikes before. Not that this is something I would want to do, but it at least gives me and other hikers hope that they could do it. They just have to have to will power and desire to do it. I’m also super impressed that she and other hikers took on the PCT 20 years ago when hiking wasn’t yet that popular. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about reading it.

Travel Thursdays: Mount Evans, Colorado

Two summers ago my boyfriend and I went to Colorado with his parents to visit their family in Denver. Whenever we go to Colorado we always love to go hiking. That year we went on a hike in Mount Evans in Colorado which is the highest paved road in North America. Mount Evans is one of the 54 mountain peaks over 14,000 feet in Colorado and the closest fourteener (as they are called) to Denver. image_1-1


This is his parents on the way down from our hike. image_1-3



This was our view at the top of our hike, a beautiful pristine mini lake. image_1-2