Photo Diary: Labor Day Weekend

wow, sorry for the hiatus. to be fair though I have had a really awesome labor day weekend camping with friends and then catching the last day of Bumbershoot at the Seattle Center.

Lake Roosevelt, WA


our campsite ended up being about two hours further than I thought it would be (whoops). we drove 6 hours up to northeastern Washington to camp on the northern shore of Lake Roosevelt; the lake is almost 130 miles long so that’s probably where the extra two damn hours came from. needless to say, by the time we finally found it we were all sick and tiered of being in the car. if we had gone about 20 more miles we could have visited Canada! or at least looked across the boarder at Canada, only one or two of us actually had a passport. the lake wasn’t swimmable which was a real bummer. it was gorgeous but there were warnings for swimmer’s itch (there are no showers at the campground) and there were bugs hugging the shore of the lake that I was not particularly eager to swim with. however we stopped at sun lakes on the way back (I’ve been there on a previous camping trip and it’s a fun place to swim). otherwise the group site we stayed in was large and nice and we had a bit of privacy from the rest of the camp sites. the campground was well kept and clean, but also peaceful and quiet. the lake has a boat launch. if you ever get a chance to stay at the Evans campground I would go 🙂

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Blog Post Edit: I decided to go back and add in some photos that my friend Julie took from our camping trip. a bit of scenery from our campsite and our lovely boys kicking back and getting along (probably talking about video games or computers but we love them anyway).


Bumbershoot Music Festival

bumbershoot was a lot of fun too, although not everyone in our group had that much fun (we had a Russian guest with us). ryan really loves Alt-J so we got into Key Arena to see them. I was very impressed by their performance, they sound amazing live. the greatest disappointment was MGMT though, their performance was terrible and many people left early. including ryan and I when we decided we didn’t want to stick out another 40min. the sound mixing was bad and the drums drowned out everyone including the singer; you couldn’t hear a word he said even on the one song he played that I knew (I didn’t even stick around for him to play my favorite songs, that’s how bad it was). some other bands saved the day though, including a new band we found called the Kopecky Family Band (they’re not actually related…) and one of my favorite bands, The Joy Formidable! I also liked listening to Delta Rae at the Starbucks Stage. the joy formidable put on a great show though, despite having some sort of equipment malfunction after their second song. the female lead is an adorable welsh blond who shreds on the guitar, it was amazing!

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I had such an amazing weekend with my boyfriend and friends, it was great! I actually learned a lot about my friends this weekend, and I feel closer to some people now than I did before. it was the sort of weekend that could very well stand as my end of summer finale as we all start thinking about going back to school and as the weather begins to get cold again. I don’t want it to end, but this has been one of the best summers ever and is probably the first summer that didn’t feel like it went top fast and which I don’t feel like I wasted (although I would love to get me some more summer, don’t get me wrong!). i’m moving into my townhouse this Saturday, and just signed away most of my savings for it (tear, sliding down my cheek) and my Seattle academic life will resume again. I may try to fit some more events in before school starts, but for the most part summer is over now. its been real.

Note: I didn’t get a picture of the joy formidable so I borrowed this one.




Weekend Getaway: Great Views in Washington

this last weekend was one of the best weekends of the summer! (it’s going head to head with the camping trip I went on over the fourth of july weekend). this is one of the weekends that makes me have a great appreciation for Washington and the beauty of the pacific northwest! and I got to spend the whole weekend with my amazing boyfriend, so its a given that it was great! he took me to Deception Pass and Whidbey Island on Saturday (we sang in the car haha) and on Sunday we threw a surprise homecoming party for my friend Julie at Golden Gardens Park.

Deception Pass


the bridge across deception pass provides an amazing view of the ocean! or maybe it’s still the Puget Sound? bottom line is that the horizon is nothing but water. and it is beautiful!! we went and had lunch at a picnic area in the actual park, where I got eyed for a while by a really suspicious looking seagull (why are they such creepers?). I loved the trip because I felt like I was let into a special little corner of Ryan’s world, and I just followed him wherever he wanted to take me. i’d probably follow him anywhere.

Whidbey Island

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Ryan took me up this giant sand dune (which was an adventure, let me tell you) and we got to look out across Useless Bay and see the beautiful pink sunset. it was breathtaking, a small piece of time where your life takes a pause and just lives in the moment. a moment of quiet impact. Fort Casey has a pretty lighthouse sitting on a hill. small, but picturesque. we brought our bikes in case there was time to ride but the day started slipping away from us a bit faster than we anticipated.

Golden Gardens Park, Seattle

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Ryan and I went earlier in the say on Sunday to save a fire pit at a beach in seattle that I’ve never been to (my beach of choice is usually Alki). good thing we got there when we did because out of the 7 or 8 fire pits there were only 2 left! I can see myself coming to this beach a lot more often. as always, beach sunsets are always beautiful and it was a great time to introduce my boyfriend into my circle of friends (all went well!) and to reconnect with some friends I haven’t seen in a while. Julie was super surprised and at first came up to us thinking what a coincidence that you guys are here too! silly girl. she just came back from getting her yoga teaching certificate from a school in costa rica! we were all super jealous looking at all her amazing pictures.


as always, my awesome photographer friend Mariya took some great pictures from the beach so go over and see the rest of those!

all in all, this was an amazing weekend for me with amazing people and I have never been so excited to be where I am with the people i’m with. while our relationship is not always ideal and at times rocky, this is one of those times when I can honestly say Washington, I love you.



Hiking to Annette Lake


here is a story that most everyone has heard before, because most everyone has those friends. the friends who aren’t the best at planning. the friends who leave everything to the last minute. and we all have that friend who had something come up last minute and couldn’t make it. and because that friend was giving a ride to another friend they aren’t going either. and because the group has suddenly become small another person isn’t going and wants to call the whole thing off. and the two remaining eager beavers who still would like to go try to talk their flaky friends into still coming but eventually resign themselves to failure: two just won’t work. and just like that the trip you have been planning and talking about for over a week falls apart. like a soft pull at the end of a string which so easily unravels your whole plan. we all have those friends. including me, but this time? it wasn’t happening!

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us three remaining diehards formulated our final plan at about half past midnight, vowing to still partake in our planned hike. and it was a fun way to spend my Saturday. we chose to hike to Annette Lake in Snoqualmie Pass. the hike was 7.5 miles roundtrip with over a mile and a half of dreaded switchbacks (I hate them with a passion). but once the switchbacks ended and we got up to the top of the ridge the thick trees finally gave way to some spectacular views! this area and the north bend area have some of the best views, Washington truly is a beautiful and amazing place to hike if you ever get a chance!


~~ my friend Mariya (in the picture above) should have some more pictures from the hike up on her own blog soon, so keep an eye out for those! ~~

the lake was crystal clear and a brilliant turquoise color! the only major downside were the bugs that greeted us and then descended on us in giant clouds. I will definitely feel the soreness tomorrow but all in all it was a great workout, especially considering I gave up on my usual workouts as soon as school got out and my summer vacation hit (which I feel guilty about, naturally). I also got to spend some time with my new guy friend (we actually went and saw The Heat which ended up being one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time, including the time I saw This is the End. I hated that dumb movie, and lots of the time I laughed just because the guy I was with laughed) and am pleased to announce that despite my initial doubts I am beginning to really, truly enjoy myself with him and feel like i’m enjoying myself with and feeling appreciated by a guy for the first time in what seems like a long time (but which really has only been about 8 months since I felt like my ex boyfriend didn’t care much for me anymore).

and while i’m not eager to get up and go to work tomorrow (work will be really awkward since the a lot of people seem to have gotten themselves in trouble with the boss and i’m being brought in to replace some people and be a good example which means i’m getting a bit of resentment), i’ll have most of the rest of the week off to hopefully get some sleep back and rest up and relax. summer is half way over everyone! start getting in your last-minute summer plans. ready. set. GO!



Lost in the Woods


so yesterday Sam and I went to the dog park in Puyallup like we have a zillion times before. there being no one actually at the dog park (understandable for a 2:00 on a Tuesday) so we decided to walk through the trails around the park. I have been through these trails dozens of times before in the last few years. I’ve walked through there with friends, I’ve gone running through the trails for cross country, and I’ve gone through there with my sisters. eventually all trails lead back to one of the parking lots or out into one of the open, populated portions of the park. the trails aren’t too long and there aren’t that many of them. right?

wrong. turns out, there is actually a very expansive trail system back there, one I can’t believe I have never found or traveled down before. you see, normally you never actually get very far from the sights and noises of civilization. you’re likely to see a backyard and a house beyond the tree line, hear the noises of cars somewhere beyond your sight. you’ll see and hear some other people and dogs usually. but blindly following my happy and adventurous 1 year old Australian Shepherd through steep and increasingly narrow trails seems to have taken me into a whole new little world. a whole section of the forest that I never knew was there. and it was quiet. no other people. no cars. no other dogs. I saw nothing but trees and greenery. no clearings, no houses. when we had finally walked for about 45min we heard a loud creek. we walked down to it and Sam, hot and tired like me, splashed through it and then laid down in the cold clear water. lucky dog. unfortunately my shoes also got wet in the creek. now if this had turned into a survival situation, I would have been screwed pretty early on. wet feet will cause blisters and soreness, no bueno.


we continued on a bit past the creek but the small winding paths that Sam took us down started to become questionable as to their validity as a trail. so I made the judgment call to turn around and try to come back the way we came. while some of the branches had me a bit confused, luckily it was Sam the Aussie to the rescue with his super sniffer!! speaking of which, we also came across a clear plastic tuber ware container along the way which kind of seemed like it might have been a geocache. it was at the top of a short but steep hill, at the base of a tree. I opened it up and there were some random things like a smooth black rock, a monkey rubber stamp, a pen and a tiny notepad, among other random trinkets. I opened the notepad and it seemed to be a log of all the people who had come past that spot. there were names and the dates they were there. they last one was from 7/21. so I decided that Sam and I should leave our mark as well. when I left the last entry was from 7/23: “Kayla and Sam the Aussie were here.”

alas, the trail widened and turned to gravel and we knew we were heading back to the main park. even saw some people finally. it was a fun little adventure for Sam and I, who always waited for me if he went too far ahead. good boy!! but I won’t lie, it was a lot of fun. there were so many places where trails branched off, and I would love to go back with Sam and walk around back there some more! but this time, I will bring some food and water and be more prepared for a bit of a longer hike!

anyone else been on any fun hikes? or have a fun story of being lost? I want to hear it!
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Happy Trails

whew, how about that 4th of july? above are pictures from the annual firework show at Emerald Downs. i got called in to work as an usher which isn’t always the funnest (note: the red squiggly line that popped up just told me that “funnest” isn’t actually a word…) and made for a long day, plus the traffic leaving the track was a nightmare but in an effort to look on the bright side, I got to enjoy a free firework show! and it was pretty good, even though the rough of the grandstand cut off the high flying explosives.

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the 4th of july itself was spent hanging out at my grandma’s house in spanaway. but I would say the highlight of the weekend was camping! two friends and I made a 3.5 drive over to eastern washington. or more like 4 hour drive because there was some confusion and miscommunication about where the campground actually was so we drove to the wrong end of the lake. if you’ve ever been to eastern Washington you know that the lakes are long (sometimes miles long) and skinny. so we wasted about 50 minutes, wasted lots of gas and exchanged several frustrating phone calls before we finally arrived at the right place. we drove far enough past it to almost be at the grand coulee dam, we should have just gone the two extra miles and seen it before turning back! while I would never actually want to live in eastern washington (there’s not actually much there, just lots of dusty little one gas station towns), it does have a quiet, rustic beauty to it that would make me love to have a summer home there, right on a pretty lake.

BANKS LAKE dry falls
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i do have a story to walk away with, though! about 15-20min away is a lake called Deep Lake, which has provides the pastime of cliff jumping for those adventurous to trek up and jump off of one of about three different cliffs and brave enough to ignore morbid warning signs saying “warning: people have been injured and died jumping off the cliffs.” doesn’t sound like a big deal at all, right? just like when we were little and rough housing with family members, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. we all know that guy who teeters over the edge, staring over the edge down into the water trying to muster the courage to actually jump. watching people braver than him go on an jump. encouraging him, egging him on, daring him. that guy who has the devil and the angel sitting on his shoulders, one begging not to do it and the other prodding “do it, do it!” so after almost 40min of such deliberation, the young man in a quick and unexpected burst of courage (none of us were ready for it when he actually jumped) went for it! he leapt over the edge of the cliff (about 20ft), hurtling his body forward in an attempt to perform a front flip that he has never performed before. already this is a recipe for disaster. not quite getting his body fully rotated, the guy belly flops, smacking the water surface which is almost as hard as concrete. he comes up a bit slowly and before i know it, a girl is shouting “seizure, seizure! somebody help him!” several guys are instantly in the water, hurtling off the cliff to help him. if you’ve ever been in a scary situation, it always seems unreal at first. you’re not sure if the person is actually serious or not. he ended up being alright and was walking, but his head clearly was drumming and his chest was bright red. needless to say, the close call was a bit of a buzz kill, and only one more person jumped before everyone decided to pack it up and leave (the sun was going to go down soon anyway).

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while the camping trip did turn out to be a bit more of a couples thing than we anticipated (which took a toll on my morale at some points given my own sad personal life), us three bachelorettes managed to make our own fun. using the blow up mattresses to float out onto the lake and lay lazily under the sun as we floated on the water and let waves rock us occasionally was probably my favorite part, i definitely recommend it. unless you get an opportunity to ride in a boat or jet ski, then ride those so you don’t get stuck gazing at them with jealousy! i was offered room to stay another night but my two friends had to get home and i wasn’t keen on being the fifth wheel in the campsite. so we packed up our stuff on Saturday evening and trekked back home, exiting past a sign that bids you “happy trails” as you leave. we stopped to look at the dry falls before we left, it really is an amazing site. pictures didn’t really do us justice, they just don’t capture the depth. but i’m glad i saw it, right before sundown. passing through the area, i now have an idea of what the grand canyon might look like and am eager to see it someday!

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how did everyone else spend their weekend? any scary stories to share like the cliff jumping incident?

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