Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Recounting Pasts

This month is exciting as I embark on my fifth year in Seattle.  It just seems like yesterday that I was giving notice and packing my car to drive the 2500 miles across country to embark on a new adventure.  I was wide-eyed and ready for anything, hoping the move would be a brilliant one, not one filled with regret, homesickness, and angst.  To my luck and happiness my life in Seattle has proved to be more than I ever had hoped for.  

Why Seattle?  Good question, I had never been here before making the move.  Heck, my interview was via the phone and I could have been making the biggest mistake of my life.  I was leaving a wonderful family and friend network to go out on my own and start from stratch in some reguard.  Maybe it is because I’m on the cusp of the Generation X and Y and incorporate the best and worst of those so called classifications.  It’s truly hard to pin point an exact why.

I’m not sure I will ever truly understand myself in that regard, but because of my transition, I’ve become so much more aware of myself.  Likelyhood that I would have had more self awareness and know ‘myself’ would have happened anyways with the reaching of my late twenties and boarding the thrity’s train.   However, I was able to expidite the process with my ‘compltely on my own’ (in some ways, but still knowing I had support of loved ones) status.

Shortly after the “big move” I started writing emails friends and family on how I was getting along out here and what new sights I was taking in.  I though I would turn back the clock for you and share a email I had sent around this time in 2009.  Here is my trip down memory lane.

February 10, 2009
So, as the daily grind seems to happen everyday (amazing, I know), I’ve found my time on the weekends more relaxing to “veg” out.  It helps the pocket book, but not my exploratory schedule. My goal is to have at least two weekend-day adventures a month.  I will like to share my most current even though it was short, but as most, not any less breath taking.  I guess I need to practice my breathing techniques if I keep taking in all of the beautiful sights.  
After a late start on Sunday, I decided to just get in my car and drive.  Now I head south everyday so I thought; “self, why don’t we go north?”  An afternoon drive north, what’s not to like about that?   Well, not really knowing what to do, I remember that Anacortes is where you catch the Ferry to Orcus Island.  Now I don’t know about you, but I would like to know what the other option is than cuss-ing?  I know, I know bad joke.
Anyhoo, I got off the I-5 and headed west to the town, not really knowing if I would go to the San Juan Islands or just see where the ferry takes off from.  After arriving at the docks at 2:30pm and seeing the price ($23.50 one way) I decided that for a short trip that would not last long, I was better off waiting for another time, when I could enjoy a whole day of Island hopping. 
So, I made a 180 and headed back through town, just to check it out.  Anacortes was very quaint and cute, but not really anything to do.  I was kinda ready to throw in the towel and head back to Everett to rent a movie or something.  However, lo and behold, I saw a sign for Deception Pass State Park.  Remembering Stacy told me that Deception Pass was a place that I needed to visit; I took a right and decided to check it out. 
I was not the only one that stopped to take in the bridge and walk over the beautiful pass; actually about 20,000 vehicles cross it daily.  Deception Pass connects the Main land to Whidbey Island and it serves as another entrance to the Puget Sound.  I enjoyed the walk across the bridge and took in some amazing views that were not deceptive at all.
The water was a greenish blue that flowed quickly under the bridge.  The bridge that stood 180 feet over the water, gave way to view the shores on the bottom and the vast forest surrounding the water.  Although much wildlife is said to be in the area, I only saw a seagull and a couple from Arizona.  Now, I was good and did not feed the couple any of the biscotti that I had recently picked up at Starbucks to go with my tea.  You must always heed the warnings when dealing with the wild. 
Here is the History Lesson for the Day: The name “Deception Pass " derived from Captain Vancouver's realization that what he had mistaken for a peninsula was actually an island. He named that island "Whidbey" in honor of his assistant, Joseph Whidbey, who was at his side when Vancouver realized the mistake. The captain named the inlet at which he was anchored "Deception Pass" to commemorate the error. (Information taken from the Washington State Parks website). 


Friday, January 11, 2013

Free Fallin’

by Liz


Yes, if the first thing that came to mind is Tom Petty’s 1989 song you’re right.  Why? You ask.   Well, I recently had a conversation with a co-worker that took me on a journey down memory lane where the song Free Fallin' was sort of a theme for me.   Twelve and a half years ago,  a motley crew of four including myself jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.  What a thrill!  It was the summer after graduating high school and I was itching to experience the extreme.  Success! 

A caravan headed a little south of Grand Rapids, MI to Hastings where the event was going to take place on a beautiful end of summer day.  Parents in tow to watch and then head down for a visit in North Carolina, I was happy to be able to share that day with them.  One of my favorite memories of the day happened after I was strapped in and my shoe needed to be tied.  I was lucky to have my amazing Dad tie my shoe for me.  What a Daddy thing to do for his little girl that was about the free fall from 3,000+ feet in the air falling at 120 mph.  The Tandem style jump was perfect!  A exhilarating free fall of a minute or so, it actually does not feel like you’re falling.  Just windy, very very windy!

The parachute pops open lofts you down over the picturesque farmland like the feather flitting and floating in Forest Gump.   This amazing feeling and view last for about 5 minutes as the ground is getting bigger and bigger by the second.  Landing was light and as smooth as one would hope for.  My head swam as I tried to relive that over and over again, adrenaline pumping through my veins.  That thrill and day will be with me forever and I am ever so glad to have taken the leap. 

Now, I don’t consider myself an adrenaline junkie.  I do enjoy the extreme and have had some amazing experiences in my life including white water rafting and rappelling.  I’m never shy around a good amusement park ride and I’m also willing to try almost anything once.  I do know that I will definitely be up for another skydiving session anytime.  Name the time and place and I’ll be there!  Big thanks to the co-worker for helping me relive such a wonderful adventure. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Book 2013, Chapter 1, page 4

By Liz

An open letter for a new year and a new blog!  As you may have noticed the direction of the Rider Chronicles has turned out to be different than Jamie and I had set out for it to be.  That's life, eh!  You plan on one thing and due to circumstances in and out of your control, growing up, and evolving things change.  What does this mean for the Rider Chronicles? 

Well, that's kinda up in the air.  A few changes for sure, Jamie is going to break from the blog world.  No worries, I'm still going to see if I can get her to contribute every now and then if a situation and story arises that would be perfect for y'all to explore.  I have not told her this yet, but I'll work on her... *wink, wink* 

Other changes include a lack of "riding" per say.  I know, I know!  Shame on me :O)  What happens if I'm not 'riding' as much, but still call this blog Rider Chronicles?  Good question!  I think that I'll keep the name, just change some of the 'branding' and topics.  Let's look at this as a way of sharing adventures... In a way, that's what it's been all along.  So, I'll share adventures of the heart, mind, body, and soul.   I would love for any guest blogger to share their adventures too!  Currently I'm waiting for the travel extraordinaire Jeremy to write a post on a recent trip to Japan.   *nudge, nudge*

As the Rider Chronicles finds it way in the next weeks and months I appreciate your patience and readership.  It means so much to me to be able to share adventures!  During this past week my dear friend Courtney posted a quote on Facebook on New Years Eve.  I'm going to take this quote to jump start the New Year and Rider Chronicles 2.0.