mount snowier.

mount rainier drive
While in Seattle, we drove two hours south to spend the day hiking the Paradise/Skyline loop at Mt. Rainier. Only, when we got there at 10am, the whole trail was literally in the clouds and partially snow-covered. And since we were not wearing winter parkas and snow pants (being that it was early June and sunny back on non-volcanic ground), we weren’t prepared. So, the ranger suggested we go back down to lower altitude and try the ​hike to Comet Falls.
mount rainier hike
The trail starts at a smaller waterfall called Christine Falls and follows alongside the creek, with other small drops all the way up to the 300-foot Comet Falls, and then continues on. This made for a really picturesque, but slightly confusing, hike. We were planning to turn back at Comet Falls, but since some of us (okay, me) have no conception of what 300 feet looks like, we stopped at the wrong waterfall. I guess the fact that we had to rappel down to the lookout should have been a big clue that we weren’t at the real landmark, but rationality flies when you’re having fun.
christine falls rainier bridge christine falls mount rainier comet falls rainier trail comet falls rainbow mount rainier
By the time we got back to the trailhead, the clouds had cleared and it was warm enough to walk sans mukluks, so we went back up to Paradise and hiked the loop to Glacier Vista. We got dangerously close to about ten marmots (aka lazy mountain beavers), which was really exciting the first ten times.
kissing marmots mount rainiermount rainier paradise loop skipping skyline trail mount rainier glacier marmot rainier panorama point mount rainier mount rainier glacier vista panorama point skyline trail
Snow and fog aside, a day with friends, marmots, and less-than-300-foot waterfalls is a pretty great day to me.
mount rainier drive in

girls’ trip: emerald city.

​In June, I went to Seattle for five days with three of my best friends from high school. We spent the first day exploring the city and I loved every minute of it. At Pike’s Place, we marveled at the flower stands with the most beautiful (and cheap!) bouquets, sampled Rainier cherries at the fruit stands (and re-sampled, and re-sampled, until the sample guy started to recognize us), and posed next to the famous gum wall. At a little hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint in Post Alley, we ate some tossed salads and scrambled eggs…just kidding…I think we split some tacos (c’monnnn did no one else binge-watch Frasier on Netflix? #seattlejokes…).
post alley blue sign pike place market flower bouquets post alley gum wall post alley gum wall kids post alley teal sign
We stopped by the Reserve Roastery (aka the trendiest Starbucks in the world) where I learned that carbonated mint cold brew does not taste as good as it sounds. Then, we headed over to Chihuly Garden and Glass, an amazing gallery of glass sculptures next to the Space Needle (which is a lot smaller in real life, much like the Wizard).
chihuly garden and glass blue garden sculptures chihuly garden and glass atrium yellow ball sculpturespace needle seattle from chihuly garden and glass
Our friend lives in Seattle and has an unreal rooftop view of the city and waterfront, which we took in before dinner at Serious Pie (which is supposed to be the best pizza in Seattle, but the Chicagoans weren’t too impressed). The views, though? Pretty impressive.
seattle rooftop space needle view 1 seattle ocean view seattle port and city view

spring reading list.

The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins

Two months late (at least I’m consistent), here’s what I read March – May.

The Girl on the Train: I picked this up because I ran out of Gillian Flynn books to read. People say this is similar to Gone Girl, and they’re very right. As an added perk, since I usually read on the Metra, for a while I was the girl on the train reading The Girl on the Train.

Favorite quote: “…the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them…”

Eleanor & Park: Rainbow Rowell really captures what it feels like to be in high school. The characters aren’t typical YA novel protagonists, which was probably the best part of the story.

Favorite quote: “Nothing before you counts.”

Americanah: This is a really beautifully woven novel. It’s an immigration story told non-linearly over time and across Nigerian and American settings as the protagonist moves several times, attends various school, works different jobs, and falls in and out of relationships. I love that she’s basically a different person in each chapter of her life, because aren’t we all?

Favorite quote:  “The man standing closest to her was eating an ice cream cone; she had always found it a little irresponsible, the eating of ice cream cones by grown-up American men, especially the eating of ice cream cones by grown-up American men in public.”

Quiet: Susan Cain’s is one of my all-time favorite TED talks. In school, we’re taught to be outgoing and outspoken as if there’s a single, correct personality type. The corporate world puts so much emphasis on extroversion, but half of us are introverts. And I love how this book describes it: introversion isn’t synonymous with shyness; it’s about how you recharge. If your idea of a relaxing evening is socializing with friends, you’re an extrovert, but if you refresh with alone time, you’re an introvert. Even if you fall into the louder camp, Quiet is still an incredibly interesting read.

Favorite quote: “The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk.”

Past reading lists: winter, fall, and summer


Some pictures from a quick trip to visit my best friend and her kitty in Indianapolis. It was a weekend full of (the best) donuts, an embarrassing cat stroller, ice cream, a sculpture garden, lemonades, shopping, burritos, sunshine and looove.

general american donut cat stroller scratchtruck indy funky bones indy 100 acres indy canal walk indy indianapolis leo

feelin 22.

I’m really behind on posting, so here are some pictures from my birthday food tour, which included sushi, ice cream, crepes, coffee, and cake. Thanks for a memorable night and a totally worth-it stomachache, Max!