Showing posts about Travel

Getting to know Eastside spots

September 25, 2020

This past month was eventful, filled with many weekend adventures to places near our apartment in Redmond. It’s been so enjoyable to get outside and explore new areas around us—safely, of course!

Even with the pandemic (and a week of wildfire smoke which kept us indoors), I’ve been able to grab delicious takeout, visit parks, and see a waterfall!

Living in the Bicycle Capital of the Northwest! Redmond has extensive trail systems that are perfect for bike rides. One day soon I’ll get a bike of my own!

I’m continually amazed at all the natural beauty here in the PNW, and I feel like I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. There is a lot to take in coming from the Midwest, from mountains in the distance during scenic drives, to lush forests and tall trees, and even really bright sun (an unexpected kind of thing!) Crows are cawing in the morning at our apartment, which gives off spooky fall vibes, too.

I’m excited to experience the changing seasons in our new city with the onset of October. Plus, once the pandemic is through (whenever that time may come), it will be wonderful to live those joys here in Seattle. We are truly grateful to be healthy and safe right now, and we hope you are, too!

Below are some highlights from September:

Marymoor Park

This park is fantastic. When we first went, we only explored the main connector trail, which has plenty of room for people to walk, bike, or jog. But as we quickly found out, there’s so much more to see! The park is 640 acres and even includes a sprawling off-leash dog park.

One of my favorite parts is the conservation area with boardwalks along the marsh. It meets up with Lake Sammamish’s shores, and the scenery is beautiful, changing from almost pastoral-looking views to a lake with wide-open skies.

Marymoor Park already feels like a treasured part of our city, and as it’s within a 5-minute drive from our apartment, we can’t wait to return.

Did I mention there’s a windmill? It’s non-functioning, but still provides excellent photos on sunny days.
Alex for scale!
This gate is very pleasing to me.
Walking past the dog park to get onto the boardwalk.

Kerry Park

Kerry Park overlooks downtown Seattle, and it was pretty surreal to see on our first visit! Unfortunately, it was quite crowded even with COVID, so we didn’t spend a lot of time here. But it would be a lovely spot for picnics in the summer, I’m sure!

Juanita Bay Park

Juanita Bay Park is a great urban wildlife habitat area. There are many trails and boardwalks, and walking here, it just feels so lush and surrounded by nature! We saw some turtles on a log, pleasant birds, and a gorgeous weeping tree, too!

Moss is everywhere in the Pacific Northwest—it’s incredibly colorful and dazzling to look at!
Spot the turtle!
This tree was made for spring picnics.

Rocky’s Empanadas

This takeout place within walking distance of us is so good. Everything from the packaging to the actual food is like a work of art!

Evans Creek Preserve

Evans Creek Preserve is another large park right close to home, with meadows, wetlands, and a hillside forest. I love the soothing sound of the creek, too!

Snoqualmie Falls

This was our most recent getaway outside the apartment, and it did not disappoint! Snoqualmie Falls was spectacular, and I’m sure it’s even more beautiful once the trees have formed their peak fall colors! You could even feel the mist walking along the paths. We spent a short time in the town itself, and it seemed lovely, too.

Walking the forested Redmond Watershed Preserve

August 28, 2020

We’ve been getting out a bit after work and on weekends to explore parks in our neighborhood. This was our first time in the Redmond Watershed Preserve, and it was a great nature getaway close to home!

The preserve is densely-packed with many trails and woods, and even the occasional horseback rider. We didn’t explore all the paths, but the scenery was quiet and not too busy—a wonderful place for a quick, easy afternoon walk.

Exploring the Bellevue Botanical Garden

August 27, 2020

While my dad was here helping us unload the truck, we took a visit to the Bellevue Botanical Garden in the morning. It was the perfect weather to spend walking around the gardens—not too hot, humid, or sunny!

And since it was a weekday, there weren’t any crowds, either, which was wonderful.

I really enjoyed looking at the many kinds of flowers, trees, and plants. I was amazed at the sheer diversity of everything! From grasses and floral displays to a traditional Japanese garden, there was a lot to discover. It was an overall soothing and tranquil time!

We took lots of photos, too. I took a break after to enjoy an iced chai tea from their Copper Kettle Coffee Bar—probably the best-tasting chai I’ve tried!

We eyed this neat moth/butterfly that looks like part of the flora!

We made it!

August 20, 2020

Alex and I are officially moved in to our apartment in Redmond, WA! The trip went incredibly smoothly, and thanks to the help of our dads, the move-in process was quick and painless (despite a near-100° day this past Sunday.)

Unpacking also began earlier this week. Our apartment is really starting to feel like home!

We’ve even done some exploring—trying a delightful dumpling restaurant nearby for takeout, meeting one of my cousins in the area for a socially-distanced walk in the spacious Marymoor Park, and visiting the Bellevue Botanical Garden with my dad (more photos to come in a later post.)

We’re still getting settled with our new jobs this week, but here’s a long overdue batch of photos from the final days of our journey out West:

I was so excited to capture a shot of these sunflower fields in SD! It was overcast and gusty that morning, but the weather on our road trip was pretty much perfect (not too hot!)
Watch out for rattlesnakes! (Spotted at a rest stop in Montana.)
The view from our hotel window in Spokane, WA. The hotel was nearly brand new and provided us with much-needed rest and relaxation.
On the last leg of the trip, we stopped at another scenic overlook of the Columbia River. It was a breeze to get home from here.
Let the unpacking begin!

Across the Great Plains

August 13, 2020

Driving through Minnesota and half of South Dakota was both tiring and awe-inspiring at the same time. The scenery gradually changed from typical Midwest (plentiful exits, trees, curves along the highway) to flat, straight roads with bare surroundings except for fields.

Getting into the edge of Minnesota, interstate exits started becoming further apart, along with houses, farms, and pretty much everything. Occasionally, wind turbines dotted the land, but it was nearly all fields for miles.

At this point, Alex and I were already exhausted from driving, but we felt the Great Plains’ magnificence when we started to look around and wonder about it. The vastness of the plains was in every direction and hundreds of miles ahead of and behind us. For me, this short journey was unlike anything I’d ever experienced on the road. (At times, driving along this interstate felt like another world entirely! Especially when contrasted with, say, the traffic and large highway systems around Chicago.)

That’s not to say there weren’t moments of pure scenic joy. We crossed the Missouri River, which had an eye-opening overlook onto the distant hills and water. And a patch of the interstate in SD was packed with beautiful fields of sunflowers, the most I have ever seen in one place!

Tomorrow is looking to be around 10 hours of driving, so that will be another long day! But then, we’ll reach Montana. We’re slowly getting closer to Washington!

On the road

August 12, 2020

Today we started our move out to the West Coast! We’re currently settled in at a cabin in Wisconsin, and the first day of travel went well.

Driving through the Midwest has been surprisingly enjoyable—though it is flat out here, the endless fields and wide open skies are pleasant and serene. Right now I’m excited for the mountains and hills once we reach further west.

Tomorrow, we’ll be making our way toward South Dakota. I suspect the scenery will remain mostly flat and empty! In the meantime, enjoy some photos from our adventures today: