Photo Walk~ 8/22/12

Because I walk the same route pretty much every day, its hard trying to find new things to take pictures of, but today I discovered all kinds of things I’d never noticed before… and yes, that is a chicken in the 2nd picture, it must have gotten out of someone’s yard.

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Friday Five~ Travel (Domestic)

In honor of the fact that I will be traveling fairly soon (okay, not until the end of October) and because I just booked my flight home, I decided to center today’s five around the destinations that I would like to visit. I am starting with some of the places in the US for now, but will also to an international 5 in a later blog. I originally thought about doing my 5 favorite places that I’ve visited, but I haven’t really traveled a lot of places yet, so there aren’t enough to make a 5 list!

Before I begin, I would like to note that I have a goal to visit all 50 states (so far I’ve only hit a few- California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona & Florida. I have technically been in Texas & New Mexico, but I was only 5 so I don’t remember and am not counting them).

So here are the top 5 US locations that I would like to visit:

1. Hawaii~ beautiful beaches, waterfalls, sun… and a new Disney resort, what’s not to love? Plus my parents lived there for a couple of years while my dad was in the army and my brother was born there.

2. New York City- Broadway, museums, Rockefeller Center, enough said!

3. Alaska- Glaciers, wilderness, rugged beauty…

4. The Grand Canyon- Awe inspiring beauty and I would love to hike it! (of course I will either need to get over my fear of reptiles of bring someone along to make sure they are nowhere to be seen).

5. Nashville- the heart of Country Music.

I could continue this list with lots more places to see, but then it really wouldn’t be a Friday Five!

Where in the US would you like to visit?

Friday 5~ Smiles

I am feeling pretty good right now, so I decided to focus my Friday 5 this week on the things that are making me smile…

1. The weather! Summer has finally arrived in Seattle and we have been having some beautiful weather. There are still the occasional days of rain and some cloudy skies in the morning, but the weather has been warm and sunny most days lately. This certainly helps to cheer me up!! Coming from Southern California, I am used to a lot more sunshine than I usually see up here, so I try to soak in the days we have sun!! Of course the milder temperatures are nice too, 80 degree weather beats 100 degree weather any day!

2. My fitness focus! I had kind of drifted away from focusing on my fitness and even after several false starts still hadn’t recaptured my momentum through June and July. But now that we are in August, I am focused and doing well with my strength routines and am working on reinvigorating my cardio as well. I am still walking to and from work every day, but really don’t count this as cardio any more since my body has adapted to it, so I am adding additional cardio into my days most of the week.

3.  Books, books and more books! Life got in the way back in June and I really didn’t read all that much, but since the start of July I have been back on track and reading like crazy. I have always been a bookworm and I LOVE books, not just reading, but the books themselves. There is something about holding a book in my hands that just makes me feel so at peace. As you have gathered from my other posts, I have wide and varied taste in books. While there are topics or plots that really don’t hold my interest, I still love all books, just for the sake that they are books. Needless to say I do not have a nook or kindle or other eReader and do all of my reading the old-fashioned way!

4. Stabilizing finances! While I am still making quite a bit less than in my last position (and even slightly less than I did while unemployed), my finances are starting to improve and things are smoothing out in such a way that I am able to afford some extras in my life again (and ensure that I eat all month rather than having 2 weeks where a dinner of popcorn was a strong possibility). Already I have been able to get a new belt and shoes for work, as well as some smaller pants. I have budgeted new walking and running shoes plus my study materials for my ACE Personal Trainer Certification into this month’s budget (in addition to the awesomeness that is reason #5 for smiling). And it feels really good to finally be in a place where I can breathe and not worry about coming up with enough money to cover the rent each month.

5. And my biggest reason to smile right now: I’m going home!!! I mentioned this briefly before, but this is a 100% reality now! I will be purchasing my plane tickets next week and will be going home in 81 days!! I will be in San Diego for about a week and will be staying with my parents and spending time with them. Plus I will be spending the weekend that I am down there with my boys… in Las Vegas! Strangely a trip to Vegas for the weekend is actually cheaper than visiting Disneyland, which was the other option. But I know that its going to be amazing, just because I get to spend time with the four people I have been missing the most for the last year and a half!! (I’ve missed my brother a lot too, but I’ve gotten to see him a few times). So now I am counting down the days and making plans (aside from Vegas, that is 100% in Jeremy’s hands a first for me because I am an obessive planner!).

What makes you smile?

Walking Views

Its Wednesday, time for my weekly photo blog from my walks. I have been told by a few people that they love these blogs, so here is this week’s installment without further ado…

Tree

This is another flowering tree, there are so many varieties that I see around town. I am trying to capture the flowering trees while they are all still in bloom. Hopefully I will be able to show you all of them this season!

Flower

I only see this particular flower in one garden on my way to work and had not seen it anywhere before. I did see it today in one of the flower stalls in Pike Place Market though, so I was pretty excited about that!

Sign

I love this sign for Greenwing Gardens and Parrot Cafe. Unfortunately they no longer exist and the sign actually is pointing to someone’s house, but I bet it would have been a really fun place!

Sky

Mother Nature decided to remind us that we are indeed still in Seattle this week, so most days the sky looked more like this, grey and overcast, rather than the beautiful blue skies we had been seeing for the past few weeks.

Random

I pass this wall of rocks everyday. It actually runs for about a block along the edge of the mall’s parking lot. I do not even want to think about what might be living in there!

Wildlife

Crows are everywhere and I see so many of them everyday! I have been having a really hard time getting good wildlife pictures because the wildlife really likes to hide! I almost got a shot of a chipmunk last week, and this week came close to getting a shot of a seal at Ballard Locks. Unfortunately, I have been getting almost all bird pictures lately! Rest assured, next week will actually feature something other than a bird!

And again, I saved the best for last…

Place

One of this week’s walks included a trip through downtown Seattle and a visit to the Space Needle. This is a shot of me (now you all know what I look like!) in front of the Needle. There was another picture that shows more of the sign, but the expression on my face makes it seem like I am not enjoying myself (and I was), so I decided to go with this one instead.

Where in Seattle would you like to see me walk next?

Photo Walk

Its Wednesday so that means its time for a photo blog of my walks for the week!

*(I am having some technical difficulties trying to get this blog written, so hopefully everything turns out ok)

Here are some highlights from this week:

Tree

There are more varieties of evergreens here than I have ever seen before (in Southern California at least).

Flowers

I love these, they are so beautiful! I have seen various colors of pink as well as white growing along my walks. These are definitely my favorite color!

Wildlife

While this guy was not the most exciting wildlife I saw while walking this week, he was one of the few I was able to get a photo of. I would have loved to have gotten a picture of the chipmunk I saw, but unfortunately the dog spooked him before I could get close enough to get a shot.

Place

Yup, 7-11! Considering there is a 7-11 on almost every street corner in America, it only makes sense that there would be one somewhere along my walking route!

Sign

Youth soccer sign ups are a sure sign summer is coming! These particular signs are posted all over the place by the elementary school I pass.

Random

I love old fences, they are so incredibly beautiful to me, I don’t know why.  And I think this one is especially beautiful along my walk to work everyday.

Sky

I saved the best photo for last this week. How can you beat that sunset? Simply amazing!

What draws your eye during your daily walks/ runs?

Adventure Monday Deluxe!

Today was an awesome day!! I have mentioned before that my roommate and I have decided to embark upon Adventure Mondays whenever we both have the day off.  Well this week our Adventure Monday actually started on Sunday and carried over for the entire day today!

First, on Sunday evening my roommate picked me up from work and we headed to Log Boom Park in Kenmore to eat a picnic dinner on the lake with her son and the dog.

They have these long piers with a bunch of different moorings that you can sit on and fish, sunbathe, relax, eat or whatever. We sat out on one of the moorings and enjoyed our dinner, then took a short walk along part of the Burke-Gilman Trail.

This morning I made pancakes for breakfast to start the day. I am really bad a cooking anything that requires flipping~ pancakes, eggs, etc~ so I was quite pleased that I was able to flip them without making a mess. After breakfast Joanna and I headed out to Discovery Park for a hike. I will tell you that the pictures just do not do justice to how beautiful this trail is!

You can see snow-covered Mt Rainier in the distance!

We hiked a total of 5 miles today which included about 500 stairs as well (ok maybe it was only 200, but it felt like 500)

We also got a sneak peak of where we were headed this evening while on our hike. You can just see the beach in the distance.

Once we finished our hike, we stopped at a fisherman’s wharf type area and had a couple of beers before heading home to get ready for our barbecue at Golden Gardens Park with some of Joanna’s friends.

There were so many sailboats on the water, it was incredibly beautiful. We were also able to look back at where we hiked way across the water behind the boats.

It was a beautiful day capped off with an utterly gorgeous sunset!!

Also of note today, Monday also means my Full Circle delivery arrived.

Today’s box included yams, peaches, onions, spinach, rhubarb (something completely new for me), bell pepper and mushrooms. I also added a loaf of sourdough bread, salad greens, raspberries, bananas, a box of pasta, a jar of peanut butter and some caramels to the order.

I also received my box from my Foodie Pen Pal, which I will be blogging about later this month and stepped on the scale to discover I am down another 2 lbs… I am less than 1 lb away from the 40lb lost mark!! So yes, today was definitely a great day!!!

 

Weekly Walking

Last week I posted pictures from my walks over the week. This is something that I definitely want to continue, mostly because its fun! It also opens my eyes and makes me appreciate the things I see every day a little bit more. I am noticing things that I never noticed before and seeing beauty in simple things. Here are my pictures from this past week…

Trees

As I mentioned last week, there are so many different varieties of trees here in Washington! I just love the shade of red on these trees, I pass several of them every day (we even have a small one growing in our backyard).

Flowers

These lovely flowers are all over in a few different colors… blues, lavender and white are the most popular ones.

Places

Last week I showed you my favorite church from my walk, this week’s place is a park. There are so many different parks in Washington, its awesome. I haven’t actually stopped in at this park yet, I just walk by every day. I think I will be coming here on my day’s off with a book and a picnic lunch in the summer though!

Wildlife

One of my walks this week was along the beach in West Seattle with a friend. I was able to catch a shot of this guy playing in the waves. This shot kind of reminds me of home even though the beaches here are very different.

Sky

Our weather has been all over the place this week. I have walked in the sunshine, wind, light rain and torrential downpours on different days. But this shot of the sky was on one of the prettiest days of the week!

Signs

This is the sign from my bus stop. I pretty much only ride the bus on the days I get off work late now, but when I do take the bus, it’s the 346!

Random

And finally a random shot. There is a gravel area along my walk that fills with puddles (large puddles) every time it rains. As you can tell from this shot, it was raining when I took this one. I have walked by on cold days in the winter and the puddles will be completely iced over in the middle of the afternoon.  At least now they disappear every few days when the sun shines!

So that’s this week’s walks in pictures!

What types of things do you see on your walks/ runs?

A Week of Walking

I have been toying with (and talking about) taking pictures of my walks to share on my blog for a while. I walk to work (almost) every day and pass some truly beautiful things along the way. I think that I was really starting to take the beauty around me for granted, so I decided to finally stop talking about it and start taking pictures!

I decided that I would take one picture on my walk to work each day plus a picture from any additional walks I take on my days off to share on my blog. I started carrying my camera with me everyday and have resisted the temptation to take a ton of pictures each day and to focus on only one. Because there are so many varied things to see, I decided that I would break things into categories and share one picture from each category every week. So each Wednesday I will be sharing the pictures from the previous week’s walk. This is because I started taking pictures on Wednesday, so it just works out!

Here are this week’s pictures:

Trees

I could seriously devote an entire month to pictures of trees, there are so many different varieties of  trees that grow here! Coming from Southern California where our tree selection is limited to say the least, I am constantly enthralled by the sheer number of trees there are here!

Flowers

Again, I could probably fill an entire week of just different pictures of tulips in a variety of colors, not to mention all of the other types of flowers growing here. Some of the flowers are in cultivated gardens, others are just randomly growing wild.  Be on the lookout for more tulip pictures in later blogs.

Places

About 2/3 of my walk to work is in a residential are, the remaining 1/3 is definitely commercial. In the residential area I pass several churches, but this one is my favorite! I love the brick structure (am really into brick houses right now too) and just love the whole are around it. Because I won’t be taking pictures of people’s houses, there will be some interesting things showing up in the “places” category in coming weeks.

Sky

The weather in Seattle can change from one extreme to another within hours (there was literally a day where there was rain, sleet, high winds, snow & sunshine in a 10 minute span). Because of the changes in weather, the sky undergoes dramatic changes throughout the day as well. I am hoping to be able to get a great sunset on one of my walks, but should at least get some interesting cloud patterns on various days.

Wildlife

Ok, so this isn’t exactly “wildlife” but it was the best I could do this week. I usually see a variety of different birds or squirrels on my walks, but this week I wasn’t able to get a picture of any of them! On Monday, we took the dog with us on Adventure Monday, so I snapped a shot of her by the water while we were walking in Gas Works Park.  I did try to get a shot of some geese, but I couldn’t get close enough for the shot.

Sign

This category evolved more to fill a 7th slot than anything else. I like to have things structured and felt I should have 7 categories since there are 7 days in the week that I usually walk. There are several interesting and unique signs along my route, so I decided to throw this category in to round things out.

Random

As the category says, this is a random shot. I see a lot of random things while walking! This shot is of the northbound I-5 freeway as I cross over it on my way to work. This is where my walk switches in my mind from residential to commercial, though there are still a couple of residential blocks left. But this is where the mood of my walk starts to shift and I am no longer relaxed but start to become more focused and my pace automatically increases. I love this particular stretch over the freeway because it feels almost powerful to be out there above the cars as they race by below, plus the wind is always high because there are no trees acting as a buffer.

So there you have it, a shot from each walk this week (and yes, the way my schedule worked out I worked 6 of the 7 days).

What are the beautiful things in your life?