Life is great in the Pacific Northwest!
2018 was a jam-packed year! If I could sum it up in a few words: mountains, Seattle, hiking, friends, photography, travel in the PNW, Switzerland, and so many photos of our fur-kids.
January started off with a 1500-mile move from Salt Lake City to Seattle with a lot of help from my parents. We both settled into our new jobs respectively, Technical Animator and Sales Account Executive for hotels. In an effort to explore our new surroundings, we also embarked on a 52 Hike Challenge, one hike per week.
I also chopped 10.5 Inches off my hair for Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths.
We also attended Hannah & Jay’s wedding in Leavenworth, Washington and Sherri visited from Florida.
In February, we hosted a few more visitors, Brighton’s mom & sister, which allowed us to play tourist in Seattle. We also found tenants to rent our Salt Lake City house which was a relief.
The following month we got a somewhat-unexpected visit from my sister, Katie. We hiked, tried Sunday Public Sail, the Duck Tour, and explored downtown Seattle some more.
On a warm, sunny spring day, we went down to Ballard Farmer’s Market to feel like real Seattleites. I got some delicious cider and other local goodies. After I felt a little less overwhelmed from our big move, I also took my first family shoot since moving from Utah.
To kick off April, we celebrated our second wedding anniversary with a short trip to Portland where we visited the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, discovered my love for Poplandia gourmet popcorn, and visited Latourell Falls. When we returned, we also went to a fancy schmancy dinner on the Seattle waterfront at AQUA by El Gaucho.
We also found our new “home” coffee shop on the Eastside of Seattle, which eventually opened a second location closer to home later in the year.
Continuing my love for tulip festivals, we checked out the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival!
Honestly, April defined “April showers bring May flowers” in its seemingly constant drizzle (worse than March). I spent a lot of time reading indoors and getting a healthy dose of rain on our hikes.
At the end of the month, both Rachel & Brandon and Demi visited on the same weekend! We played more tourist, expanding my knowledge of what Seattle has to offer, and even got a hike in to Rattlesnake Ledge (always a favorite for visitors).
The following month, I had the pleasure of seeing my old college roomie, Hillary and her brand-new husband Jonathan, in Seattle and also treating them to a honeymoon shoot. We also flew Katie back from Florida to pet/house sit for us while we went on vacation. She wrote her dissertation in peace in her overcast dream-city and we got to see her before heading out to Europe.
Which leads me to the fact that we finally cashed in our free flights to the ultimate European mountain destination—Switzerland! This was our long-delayed “honeymoon”! We spent a little over a week gallivanting around the country complete with almost dying while paragliding, experiencing scenic gondola rides, and a bucket-list-worthy to the Matterhorn. PS: Can I go back?
With summer in full swing by the time we returned from Switzerland, we continued to adventure around the Pacific Northwest with a few more visitors. Erica visited us and we drove around Seattle and up to North Cascades National Park. I finally got to see Diablo Lake!
I also had some downtime scheduled due to a quick dental procedure which went very well. Finally, it was Brighton’s big 3-0! We celebrated by going to one of the local gastropubs in Issaquah.
For the long holiday weekend, Kelli drove up from Salt Lake and we were reunited in adventures! We visited the Seattle Japanese Gardens, toured Bellevue, and drove to the Olympic Peninsula for Olympic National Park and Cape Flattery. The weather was great and the long day was worth the drive! Kelli and I also went to Dua Lipa’s concert in Seattle for a GNO.
Our side-hustle photography business went into its third year! We drove down to Ashland, Oregon for our first wedding. We shoot most weekends for families, couples, and newborns.
With my work crew, we visited Treehouse Point featured in Treehouse Masters. Bucket list item: Stay in one!
August was a little rough with the seemingly never-ending wildfires and heat without an air-conditioned house. Someone explain to me why not every building has A/C?!
When the smoke cleared, we resumed hiking as much as we could between my photo sessions.
At the end of summer, we enjoyed a visit from Michele, Somer, Chase & Leo and a trip to a funky town called Bend, Oregon and Crater Lake National Park for Labor Day.
Thanks to the magic of the internet and 23&Me, Brighton connected with his father’s side of the family, and discovered 4 additional half-siblings and chatted with his dad for the first time. We look forward to meeting them in person soon!
In October, I visited Utah for two weeks while working for a sister-hotel.
As winter creeped up, we celebrated my birthday (on Thanksgiving) in Banff, Canada to visit the beautiful Canadian Rockies in the winter. It was epic!
We also decided to refocus on doing keto(ish) again.
- Hike 43/52: Weeks Falls
- Hike 44/52: Tradition Lake Loop
- Hike 45/52: High Rock Lookout
- Hike 46/52: Johnston Canyon
- Hike 47/52: Tunnel Mountain
- Hike 48/52: Peyto Lake/Bow Summit Snowshoe
- Hike 49/52: Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk
We kicked December off with a quick trip to Portland. There were donuts, books, and a creepy stone house involved. Sounds very Portland, right?
After what has seemed like an eternity, we also made the trip home to Florida for a week for Christmas with my family. I hit up my Florida favorites— Bento, Red Mesa Mercado, Beach Drive, downtown St. Pete, walking on the beach, etc. with my friends back home for a relaxing vacation.
- Hike 50/52: Stone House (Witch’s Castle)
- Hike 51/52: Cedar Butte
- Hike 52/52: Walsingham Park, Florida
Looking into 2019
We are looking forward to our second year in the PNW as we develop more roots here. I have a feeling that 2019 will be filled with new and exciting adventures!