Monthly Archives

December 2014

From the Road

December Wrap-Up

It’s been a whirlwind of a month full of family, friends, car rides and spare bedrooms. We’ve been blessed with some amazing people in our lives and thankfully we got to see many of them before we kick off our first travel assignment.

Our month itinerary looked like this: San Francisco – St. Louis – Minneapolis – Northern Minnesota – Minneapolis – Northern Wisconsin – Appleton, WI – Milwaukee – St. Louis and now we’re on the flight back to San Francisco.

Here is a fun little map that Tyler designed to show our travels over this past month.

A little nervous and excited on what lies ahead, we are comforted in having each other on this adventure! Thanks for checking in with us, wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!

Next stop: Fresno, CA

HWY 1

California

Another update from the road… this time, it’s “officially” from the road. I’m sitting in the passenger’s seat as Kayla drives us through Iowa on our way to Minneapolis after a few days in St. Louis.

We were just getting started on our Highway 1 trip when we posted last and there have been many experiences since. We drove through the “Avenue of the Giants” and got up close and personal with the coastal redwoods, managed to keep the Jeep on the road through over a hundred miles of twists and turns along the coast, and made it safely to San Francisco to be welcomed by amazing friends and their two crazy(awesome) dogs.

Our friends graciously took us around SF and showed us some of the ins-and-outs of the city. They had us feeling like locals within the first day. Kayla even partook in eating a few raw oysters at the infamous Swan Oyster Depot. We took a little time to become “tourists” and visited the typical SF staples, while leaving a few more to hit later on.

We narrowly escaped the monsoon that brought high winds and rain to SF and we flew into St. Louis to spend some time with Kayla’s family and enjoy some R&R. Our “R&R” consisted of a Blues game, a High School performance, a show at the Fabulous Fox Theatre and even a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park. We are extremely lucky that Dede and Keith never seem to run out of things to do and places to experience in St. Louis!

The next couple of weeks will be spent with even more family and friends throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin and we’re looking forward to disconnecting, slowing down and spending some quality time with some important people before we begin the first travel assignment in early January.

Wishing everyone a Happy Holidays!

As usual, here’s some photos from the past few weeks.

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HWY 101

Traveling the 101

Well we’re officially road warriors. The past week has been a whirlwind but we have managed to load everything we need for the next four months into our car and headed south.

In order to slow down and “take it all in” we decided to spend our first couple of days in a spot that we’ve been to every year since we’ve lived in Seattle. Cannon Beach, Oregon is a place where you can relax on the beach with very few worries. A little R&R was much needed and a very good way to kick off the new adventure.

After two nights in Cannon Beach, we hit HWY 101 a little harder and headed further down the Oregon coast. Stopping often for views of rock formations, pristine beaches and even a cheese factory – we were able to get down to Bandon, OR unscathed.

Yesterday was another day of driving down the 101 and was quite a breathtaking day as well… The southern Oregon coast is a sight that will be hard to beat and our first few hours in California have brought us along some remote beaches, inside a Redwood forest and (literally) through a single Redwood tree. Our launch point this morning is Scotia, CA where we just wrapped up a night sleeping in a hotel built in the 1930’s (and likely untouched since). The goal for today is to make it to Napa Valley in time for some wine tasting.

Here are a few photos from the past few days:

Hallmark Resort at Cannon Beach

Sunset over Haystack

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Seattle

Starting a new adventure

Last night we officially walked out of our apartment here in Seattle for the last time. When we moved-in two years ago, we dubbed this place our “Honeymoon Apartment” in order to validate the fact that it was JUST a bit outside our initial budget and also way more accommodating than we could have ever imagined. A honeymoon it sure was.

We had some really great moments in that place. I learned how to cast a fly rod on the roof, we hosted some amazing friends, we survived rocked our first two years of marriage and spent countless nights lounging next to the rooftop grill quietly staring at the mountains. We both became “real grown-ups” here and we’ll always have these memories to look back on.

Neither of us expected to fall in love with Seattle as much as we have. We understood that with most of our family and friends in the middle-to-eastern side of the country, a move out west was going to take some getting used to. I for one, fully expected us to be back in Minnesota by now. We’d probably be finding a house, a black lab would be running around and we’d be well on our way to becoming the midwestern family we’ve always known.

Seattle changed us. And we like it.

We smile at every glimpse of the mountains, crave the smell of a salt-water beach, wear our raincoats like a badge of honor, drink our beer a little more bitter and even base our dining places on the proximity of the farms that supply them. The Pacific Northwest in general has continued to charm us around every corner and switchback we take.

Well, why are we leaving? (trust me, we have asked ourselves that countless times over the past year) The answer lies somewhere in the unknown… Our experience with Seattle has opened our eyes to what lies beyond what we know and has established a sense of wonder and amazement for new experiences and new places. We know that Seattle will always be here and we can always come back. However, there might never be a time in our lives where starting an excursion like this will be as accessible.

What we’re up to:

Kayla has secured a great opportunity to work as a traveling nurse, which will allow her to further develop her career in nursing while also providing us the opportunity to travel the country and explore new areas. This means that she will be experiencing new hospitals, systems and co-workers on a regular basis, based on wherever there is a need for more nurses. The typical assignment will keep us in a single location for roughly three months and located all throughout the country. It’ll be a challenge for sure, but ultimately a great way to create a well-rounded set of skills and experiences to drawn upon.

For me, I will be continuing my work as a freelance web designer. I simply need a laptop and an internet connection to do my job, so I’m assuming that I’ll know the local coffee shops and co-working offices quite well. I’ve been lucky enough to fill my weeks with a few great clients that have projects and needs that stretch well into the next year or so, so my days won’t look too different than what they do now. The only difference is that I just might be working from a beach in Hawaii at some point.

We’ve got all of our “stuff” either in a storage unit or in our car, which means that we’ve downsized our things, taken inventory of what we truly “need” and will be living our lives with the ability to pick up and move at a moment’s notice.

It’s refreshing. Almost a new-beginning of sorts. We won’t know where the next assignment will be until it’s almost a month away or even know where we’ll be living until a mere couple weeks before we’re there. Patience, trust and faith are going to be key skills that we will undoubtedly have mastered by the time we’re done traveling.

We’ve been very fortunate.

Over the past three years, we have developed some very deep relationships with amazing people that we’ll miss greatly. This is probably the toughest part about leaving Seattle. Looking back on all the people that we’ve gotten to know-and-spend a good chunk of our lives with is quite humbling. We’ve attended their weddings, visited their newborn babies, (unofficially) adopted their dogs, camped, hiked, fished, traveled and laughed with some truly incredible people and we are thankful that these relationships will continue develop no matter where we’re at.

So it’s bittersweet that we’ll be saying goodbye to Seattle in a couple of days, but we’ve become better people and our lives have been ever affected by this amazing place.