Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday 10: Places to Travel in USA

Technically it's still Tuesday, so I'm linkin' up!


10 Places to Travel (in the U.S.)

I decided to narrow it down to U.S. places because I could make a list of about 1000 places I'd like to visit.  Narrowing it down to just 10 seems a little difficult.  Therefore, 10 U.S. places :)

All pictures courtesy of the link that is attached to them

1. Yosemite National Park

2. Zion National Park

3. Grand Teton National Park

4. New York City

5. Big Island, Hawai'i

6. Mt. St. Helens (isn't it sad that I've lived in the state of Washington and have NEVER visited Mt. St. Helens?!)

7. Virgin Islands

8. Cape Cod

9. Grand Canyon

10. Yellowstone National Park

Where do you want to travel?

Backpacking: Ancient Lakes, WA

One of the things my husband and I love to do together is to go backpacking.  I have yet to blog about this. Sad huh?

As a kick-off to backpacking season (okay, maybe a month after backpacking season started), I've decided to blog about our first backpacking trip that we took together.  This is the first trip we took alone actually.  We took one with family before this one.

It was spring break at school and we wanted to do something fun and exciting.  It wasn't quite backpacking season, but we actually ended up finding a nice backpacking trail close to us (on the east side of the mountains).

Ancient Lakes near Quincy, WA
March 25 - 26, 2009

We packed all of our gear (I'll talk about our gear some day in the near future) and put the trail head in the GPS.

We thought this trip was going to be a good backpacking trip, but it actually ended up being 2 miles to the camping areas and the entire trail was flat. Still a good winter backpacking trip in a way.
Left: our campsite!    Right: Campsite footwear - true Washingtonians!

Anyways, we hiked for 2 miles and got to the lakes and wandered around looking for the ultimate campsite. 
Since it was still technically winter time there was only one other camper there so the choices were pretty endless.
View from the campsite

We stayed for 2 days and 1 night altogether, but I think we could have been totally fine doing just a simple day trip.

The area was beautiful but there is only about one days worth of hiking and exploring to be done (which we took full advantage of, exploring the ridges around the lakes for hours) before we ran out of things to do.  

Unfortunately since the lakes are so easy to get to there is a bit of pollution and graffiti scattered around the lakes.  Seriously?!

There were beautiful waterfalls in the area and although it is a beautiful area (especially in the spring time I hear), it is/was a one-time trip for us.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Our Wedding [6]: Reception, part 2

Welcome back to our wedding series!  Please read part 1part 2part 3,  part 4and part 5 if you haven't yet.

<---- Part 6: The Reception [2] ---->
Click to enlarge any picture

The plan for our cake was to have Nick's grandmother bake it for us.  She did Nick's parents' wedding cake and when I mentioned that it would be really cool to have her make ours, she joyfully accepted!

She lives in the Portland area and unfortunately she wasn't able to come up sooner to make the cake here and there was no way a cake would make the drive from Portland to Yakima (about a 3 1/2 hour drive).  So instead she found an awesome bakery in town (Essencia Bakery) and ordered our dream cake!  The bottom layer was dark chocolate cake with raspberry filling and the top layer was vanilla/coconut cake with strawberries as the filling.  The bottom layer was awesome and we will be eating the top layer in just one week!

The Band
The band was amazing.  We hired a band that our friends put together in college.  They're called Afro Panda and they are an electronic band with extremely talented musicians.

 Matt on keyboard/keytar, Nathan on drums, and Isaac on bass.  My husband even got out his sax and played a tune with them!

I would highly recommend checking out their website and listening to some tunes.  They are awesome!

Our first dance was to a beautiful Count Basie tune - Li'l DarlinClick the link to hear it on youtube.


After our first dance I had my father-daughter dance.  I love my dad.  We danced to the tune Unforgettable by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole.

After those two we had the band do their own original tunes.  
We had so much fun dancing at our reception.  We even had a dancing line at one point, a can-can, and just an overall fun time!  I'll just sum it up by posting a few pictures of the dancing.

The Garter and the Bouquet
Of course we had the typical garter and bouquet toss.  I don't really have to explain this, but I'll just show you in pictures!

The Getaway
We wanted something fun to do for our getaway.  I've seen sparklers done, but it's also kind of scary.  It was evening time as well and bubbles wouldn't really be seen.  We ended up thinking of a great idea for having everyone through those pop-its on the ground as we walk to our car.

So Nick and I got a little more comfortable (I changed) and we went out to our car.  It was so much fun!  We actually ended up kind of running because it was actually a little scary having all those pops at your feet (someone lined the walkway with a bunch of those pop-its for us to step on!)

Nick's groomsmen decorated our car (and bikes) for us and we drove off to our hotel for the night!

We actually ended up forgetting our stuff in my mom's car so we drove back about 20 min. later to pick it up.  Oops!