Recent Wanderings

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We’ve been keeping busy here, and I just wanted to craft a quick post to chronicle our wilderness and city exploring– Cliff Notes/Sparknotes/Wikipedia style.

Weekend to Vancouver– we camped at Deception Pass State Park and then headed up to Vancouver for the day. We got detained at the border, it poured all weekend, and we dined on Tim Hortons. It was a great trip!

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Sunsets on the Sound– it’s been windy and cold, so we always bring our handy thermos of hot chocolate (plus a little extra, as evidenced by the flask in Chris’s pocket).

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Lake Talapus “Snowshoe”– probably the dampest hike we’ve ever done (not an exaggeration). We attempted to snowshoe, and it rained the entire time. Bonus: it took over a week for all our gear to dry out. Makes for a great story, though!

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Mount Washington Hike– we ran out of daylight to make it to the top, but we did get to experience snow, so it was worth it.

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Rattlesnake Ledge Hike– by far the busiest hike we’ve done, but the views were worth it (maybe. Jury is still out).

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Double Feature Hike– we trekked to Big Four Ice Caves, and tackled Robe Canyon (one of our favorites) again.

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That’s it for now, but there are bound to be more exploring posts hitting the wire at some point (no guarantee when, though).

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Warning: Lots of Pictures Ahead

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It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted, and the thought of actually blogging on various trips, hikes, and life events is pretty overwhelming. So, as a pretty selfish way to update, I’m throwing all the recent happenings into one big, picture-filled, Gunnink saturated post. Prepare yourself.

As part of our 25th year bucket list, we went swimming in the Puget Sound. This may not sound all that exciting, but considering the Sound never really warms up past 55 degrees, it was a challenge for us!

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We camped at Mount Rainier for a weekend in August as well. Unfortunately, we hit the park at a peak time and had a tough time finding a place to camp. We got lucky with the site we found, but vowed we wouldn’t travel back to the park anytime in August again!

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We spent a whole day hiking in the park and tackled the Burroughs Mountain trail, which was the one I wanted to do last year, but it was still iced over. Thankfully, we went late enough in the season that we could climb without the crampons! The wildflowers were also in their peak, so we really had some incredible views.

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One of the last weekend before we moved, we took a rather spontaneous road trip to the peninsula. I always had this crazy idea of watching the sunrise from Olympic National Park, and so we made it happen! We took a 1am ferry and drove until about 4, slept in the park for an hour and a half, and then woke up to catch the start of the day. While we were exhausted when we got home, I would say that the views were totally worth it!

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Just in case you were ever curious what a Washington ferry looks like at 1:30am, look no further! Let me put your mind to rest:

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Glad I could curb your curiously.

Did I mentioned we moved this summer as well? Well, we did. We were insanely blessed to find an apartment that is perfect for us with a great location and a MUCH shorter commute for me. It only took about 4 days to get the new place livable. Not bad!

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To celebrate the move, we made one last trip to our favorite Mexican restaurant up north. I’m going to miss those tequila saturated margaritas!

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Our second weekend in our new place, we headed out to get some camping and hiking in. We haven’t spent much time in the Central Cascades since we lived father north and always ventured into the Northern Cascades (it just makes sense). So, we headed down to the I-90 corridor and satisfied our outdoor craving.

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You have to get creative when you forget to pack plates!

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The next morning, we headed out on a great dual-lake hike. Just a life lesson for everyone: make sure you TRIPLE check the distance of a hike before you head out. Especially when the discrepancy is 2 miles. Ouch.

On a lighter note, we hiked up to a great lake, went swimming, dried our clothes on the warm rocks, and ate lunch. It was a glorious afternoon.

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Whew. Thanks for hanging in there with me, and sorry for the blogging lapse. I’m not even going to pretend that I’ll be any more faithful in the next few months, but I’ll try. Really hard.

First Seattle Fourth

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Last year, we headed to Michigan for the 4th of July, so we were excited to experience our first 4th here.

We kicked off the day with a hike to Pinnacle Lake. But, before we could get there, we got caught up in a small parade. Quite literally caught in a parade in our car. We honked through the whole route and lots of people yelled at us and thanked us for joining in the fun. Oh, rural Washington.

On a related note, the hike was pretty wonderful. Besides the horrendous bugs, the view and the actual adventure was awesome. We were the only people on the trail, which is rare in the summer, so we enjoyed the solitude. There was also a fair amount of snow throughout the hike, and I’ve never thrown a snowball on the 4th of July. Mission accomplished.

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Chris packed the hammock, and we lunched at the lake before heading back down.

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After a quick stop at home, we headed to Seattle to have an all-American bbq with some friends. The food was awesome, and the weather was perfect to sit outside and enjoy the day. We then headed downtown to an office building to watch the fireworks. The views of downtown at night were incredible (as seen through my grainy phone pictures):

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In the picture, you can see Lake Union (on the right side) and all the boats lined up to watch the show:

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Overall, it was a successful first 4th of July here. We sure missed celebrating with family though!

A Summer of Exploring

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This summer has been pretty eventful for us so far. We’ve spent a number of weekends hiking, camping, and backpacking because the weather has been so nice. Since I’m slacking on the blog posting, I decided to combine a number of our weekend adventures into one post. Enjoy the beautiful scenery– we did!

A shorty day ‘hike’ to Robe Canyon:

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Backpacking in North Cascades National Park:

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Day hike to Lake 22:

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Backpacking with friends in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest:

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More posts about our summer of local adventuring coming soon!

A Catch-Up Post

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This blog has slipped through the cracks in the past couple months, so I thought I would do a general post about some the recent Gunnink happenings/sights.

Throwback Date: Mac n’ cheese, hot dogs, footie pajamas, Mario Cart on the Super Nintendo, Beauty and the Beast, and the Happy Highways Game

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Happy hour on the Sound: A great sunset, low tide, cheese, crackers, and wine

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Hike through the Cascade snow:

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Limoncello making:

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An incredible sunrise over the Cascades:

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Visit to Michigan: St Patty’s celebration and a sleepover party with the cutest niece

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Our first home-cooked Easter dinner:

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Bonfire at the beach:

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Mount Vernon Tulip Festival:

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Lake Serene hike:

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Needless to say, we’ve been busy loving on the Pacific Northwest and all its glory. You know you want to come visit.

Snowy Day Adventures

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One of the hardest things about living here (for us cold weather people) is the lack of snow during the winter. Since we’ve been missing the snow and cold pretty regularly, we have headed to the mountains to get our fill throughout the past few months. We’ve gone hiking, snow shoeing, and exploring just to spend more time in the winter wonderland.

Here’s a sampling of the beauty we’ve experienced lately:

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Our First Oyster Slurp

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So it’s been a while. I keep meaning to get back into the blogging world, but other things keep getting in the way. So here’s a throwback post for you:

We had received a gift card to an oyster house in downtown Seattle for our wedding. Seeing as though our wedding was about a year and a half ago, we decided it was high time to use it. One (rather rainy) Friday night, we headed downtown to try our very first oysters.

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The list of all their fresh oyster offerings was amazing! Since it was our first slurping experience, we got two complementary ones to try. As you can tell, we were rather excited about it all.

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They were…. interesting. Bottom line: I don’t think we’ll be having raw oysters again anytime soon. But, our main enterees were wonderful! Chris got the halibut and I got cedar planked salmon. Hands down the best salmon I’ve ever had. Needless to say, we’ll be back for more!

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After dinner, we walked the piers for a bit before the rain moved back in. I guess we were trying to walk off some of those delicious calories!

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It was a great date, and a wonderful (super late!) wedding celebration.

Eating Around the World- Nepal

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Since we went on the cruise, and ate actual, authentic, Mexican and Belizean food, we considered that our ‘country cooking’ experience for the month.

So, for the month of January, Chris and I tackled the country of….

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Nepal!

For Christmas, my dad gave us an awesome cookbook that offers recipes from around the world, including Nepal. So, we gave the new book a whirl.

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We chose a veggie curry recipe since we, ironically, had all the ingredients in the apartment. If you lived with us, you know what a rare event that is. This recipe was meant to be!

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And, since our apartment often feels like we live in Nepal, we bundled up and prepared for a night in.

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While the curry was simmering, I ran to the library and picked up a few appropriate movies to watch.

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Did I mention we also set up our tent in the living room like we were at Everest base camp? Well, we did.

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Overall, Nepal Night was a success and we will probably revisit that recipe at some point (without the tent, music, or movies).

Christmas Cruise

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For Christmas, Chris and I headed down to the sunny south for some R&R with the Gunnink side of the family. We were so very excited to soak up some warmth and sun for almost a week, and we were not disappointed by the weather! The ship left from Fort Lauderdale and headed down to Belize City and Cozumel. Needless to say, we had a fantastic time. In typical Elizabeth fashion, I took almost 300 pictures so I can’t share them all with you, but here’s a link you can see a handful of the best ones.

It was my first time in a tropical climate for Christmas, and it was a bizarre experience. We were in Cozumel for the actual day, and we spent the day snorkeling with stingrays,

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eating authentic Mexican food,

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soaking in the beautiful water,

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enjoying the tropical ‘Christmas decorations,’

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and bartering down street vendors.

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Like I said, not a typical Christmas day!

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We had a fantastic trip, and often long to be back on the boat soaking up the sun. It was definitely a rough transition coming back home to our cold apartment!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

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After the Thanksgiving festivities were over, I got on a plane and headed to Michigan for a week. Well, technically it was a long layover on my way to Virginia for a friend’s wedding. Regardless, I spent a week with some of the people I love the most:

family,

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my niece and nephew (who are family but deserved their own section because they’re so darn cute),

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and friends.

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I then hopped on another plane and headed down to Williamsburg, VA. I was able to stay with my great aunt Dorothy for a couple days before heading to Richmond. It was so wonderful to see her and tour Colonial Williamsburg around Christmastime. Even though the weather was less than stellar, we had a great time admiring the handmade wreaths.

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I then jumped a train and went to Richmond to meet my dear friend Joy who was getting married. Joy came out to visit us last summer, so we saw each other on both coasts (literally!) within five months. So good. Also, the train ride was fantastic and in case you ever find yourself in Richmond, make sure to check out their train station. It’s seriously beautiful.

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From the moment I got off the train, the wedding festivities were off and running. We started with the bachelorette party which involved bowling and an ugly dress competition which was won by yours truly. The bride donned a second-hand wedding dress and still whopped us all in bowling. Pathetic.

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From there, we headed to the Winterham Plantation. The bridal party stayed at the plantation where the wedding and reception would be. It was a gorgeous venue and and a great group of people to spend the weekend with.

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The actual wedding day went off without a hitch, and the weather was unusually warm (I couldn’t remember the last time I felt 60 degrees!). It was great to have the wedding and reception in the same place as we stayed– it saved on so much hassle. Joy was a breathtaking beauty in her mom’s dress and the dance party was seriously rocking.

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Dear, dear friends from Third Eldersveld were reunited. It made my heart so very happy.

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I wish I could explain how great this couple is, but there are no words. If you want to read more about their storybook engagement, make sure to check out Joy’s full account of the day.

The next morning, I (finally!) got on a plane and headed home. It was an awesome, whirlwind two weeks.

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So, what did I learn from all these crazy travels? Two things: firstly, the flight from Atlanta to Seattle is terribly long. I strongly advise against it. Secondly, fly Alaskan Airlines when you can. The snacks are infinitely better than other airlines.

Just something to take into consideration for your next travels. You’re welcome.