dil·i·gence:careful and persistent work or effort

Proverbs 13: 4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Seattle sweet Seattle

Oh yes, I think I do love the sweet town of Seattle.  Two of my favorite things in life are coffee and water, and Seattle has plenty of each.

Every morning in Seattle started something like this.
And, of course, there were several more cups of coffee throughout each day, but I never once had anything to drink from this place:
Who wants Starbucks coffee when you can have a cup of joe from a local shop?

I wanted to explore the city a bit, and K and I decided to do so from the water.  This was a great way for me to be outside and in/around the water that is all around Seattle, and also to feel like I was doing the touristy stuff.  We found a little shop called Agua Verde where we could rent kayaks. 
Amazingly, the weather was perfect.  Puffy white clouds in the sky and temps in the upper 60s.  From the kayak shop, we headed around a bend to catch a glimpse of the skyline.
From there, we headed in the opposite direction, setting our sights on the Washington Park Arboretum

In order to get there from Lake Washington, where we started, we had to paddle our way through the cut.  The Montlake Cut, as far as I am concerned, is one of the most terrifying things a fair weather kayaker could ever want to attempt.  Basically, you have to paddle your heart out and compete with cruise liners, yachts and other extremely large water craft to pass through a 100 foot wide stretch.  Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but still.  It was scary.  Considering that kayaks are "at the bottom of the food chain" according to the guy at the rental shop, you're feeling kinda vulnerable as you get thrashed around in the wake of the large ships zooming by.  That being said, the cut does afford some unique graffiti viewing.

But, the trip through the cut is totally worth it, because the arboretum is gorgeous.  We paddled all around the park where we saw some fab plant and animal life.


All in all, it was super relaxing and a great way to spend much of a perfect Seattle summer day.

We originally thought we'd enjoy the water for maybe an hour or so, so by the time we finished our 3 hour tour, we were starved!  Lucky for us, the paddle company was also a cafe.  Next up:  fried cod tacos.
From there, we hit the market.
We got there a bit late, and some of the merchants were already starting to close up, but there was still plenty to see and do.

And, I was able to pick up some souvenirs.  Nothing like waiting 'til the last day of a 9 day vacay for that, huh?

So, when it was all said and done, it was a whirlwind trip out to Seattle and a whirlwind couple days in Seattle, but it was totally worth it.  Until next time, "City of Flowers"... 
Signing off,


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 6: Idaho to Seattle, Washington

Wahoo!  Day 6!!  It was a quick 5 hour drive from Coeur d'Alene to Seattle, despite some nasty, wet weather through the pass and a bear of a rush hour. Entering the state of Washington was surreal.
The drive was again full of lovely scenery including an amazing trip right through the heart of the Cascade Mountains via the Snoqualmie Pass.  I feel like we had traveled over and through and around plenty of mountain ranges during our trip across the country, but this one was by far the most dramatic.  The pass was very narrow and steep, and to either side were rocky cliffs with waterfalls.
 The Columbia River was also a sight to behold.
 But, there were also parts of Washington state that were flat and went on forever and were bordered by fields of these yellow flowers.
And, there were some serious windmill farms.

So, after 6 days, 13 states and 3,000 miles, K and I finished the journey from Columbia, Maryland to Seattle, Washington.  It was a silly, fun, memorable, tiring, unforgettable trip.  I am not quite ready to drive across the country anytime again soon, but I am thankful that K allowed me to join him on this adventure.  :)



Day 5: Sheridan, WY to Coeur D'Alene, ID

Day 5 took us from Sheridan, WY to Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.  Because we knew some great things were waiting for us in Idaho, we got up early (for us) and were on the road by 8 o'clock.  We spent most of the 10 hour drive in Montana, which was possibly the most beautiful state of the entire 3,000 mile journey.  Everywhere you looked was breathtaking scenery.  Sadly, the only picture we captured in the entire state was this: 
When we passed the state Montana state line into Idaho, there may have been a happy dance or two.  Not only were we one state closer to the finish line, but we also gained an hour which meant one extra hour to relax in our state de'jour.

Coeur D'Alene is an adorable little town on a huge lake. 
Our evening and night there was simply lovely.  We started with a little bit of window shopping and exploring the town and quickly discovered a great little lakeside bar where we relaxed and watched the sunset over a icy beverage.

From there we scoped out the dining options and decided on a fabulous wine bar and restaurant called The Wine Cellar.  To say the flank steaks were delicious would be an understatement, so I'll just leave it at this:  if you find yourself hungry here, stop in and tell Cammi that Emily & K sent you. 

After dinner, we ventured back up the main street where we stumbled upon a bar with karaoke which was good for more than a few laughs.
But, the best part of the night by far was going to sleep knowing that tomorrow, this crazy Cannonball run would be over!



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 4: Sioux Falls to Sheridan, WY

After such a fun evening in Sioux Falls with Kali last night, this morning came way too soon.  But, not as soon as you might expect since we didn’t get on the road until 10.  Not a big deal- it was only one of the longest driving days and the day with probably the most things on the to-do list.  Oopsie.  Anyway, our first stop was the Corn Palace.  We had been practically brainwashed by every South Dakotan who crossed our paths about the importance of visiting this amazing building decorated with corn, so we obediently took the advertised exit and winded through the city of Mitchell, SD to hit the tourist attraction. 

I don’t know the story behind this whole “palace”, but basically it’s a convention center type building that is decorated on the outside with corn, and the decorations are changed annually.  I think K & I are in agreement that the Corn Palace most definitely does not fall into the Must See category.  At least, not for us.  But, we came, we saw, and we used their bathrooms, so I guess all was not lost.

Next up:  the Bad Lands.  We opted to drive the 35 mile loop through the national park, and we stopped at most of the strategically placed overlooks.  I don’t really know how I could ever do anywhere near justice to what we saw in the Bad Lands via a blog post.  So, I’m not even going to try.  I will say that as we approached the park, a wicked storm was brewing on the horizon.  During the hour or so we were there, the storm rolled in, bringing some heavy rain, winds and lightening, and then rolled back out leaving a gorgeous afternoon in its wake.  So, without further ado, I present to you:  The Bad Lands, a photo diary.

We couldn’t help but be drawn in by yet another tourist trap on our way back to I90 from the Bad Lands:  Wall Drug.  For you east coasters, think South of the Border.  The billboards started somewhere around the Missouri River and advertised 5 cent coffee and homemade donuts (among other things).  So, after a quick (and magically deliciously) break, the caffeine and sugar high kicked in and we were back on the open road.

This was about where we had to start making the tough decisions.  Because of our late night in SD and our lazy morning, we were on track to arrive at our destination at about 10pm.  And, that was without any additional South Dakota stops.  We considered blowing off our loose itinerary but ultimately decided against taking the time to stop at Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument, and instead decided to buckle down and get to Sheridan, WY before calling it quits for the day.

And, so, about 12 hours after leaving Sioux Falls this morning, K & I arrived at our hotel in Sheridan, WY a little tired and a little cranky (me), but very happy to have only 16 hours of driving between us and Seattle and two days in which to finish it.



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sioux Falls

Hi, this is "K", and I am guest blogging, which is also called glogging.

I'm here to tell you about Sioux Falls, SD.  But first, I will tell you that our nifty little soft-sided cooler is not waterproof.  It holds ice cold ice.  And when that ice cold ice becomes ice cold water, the water runs out the bottom onto Emily's luggage.  Sorry Emily.

So back to Sioux Falls...this is a charming little town, full of restaurants, bars, quirky shops, etc.  A nice collection of sculptures line the street we're staying on (Phillips).  I don't know if they were created by local artists or what, but they're all pretty unique, and we took a bunch of pictures of them.  Such as...

Lady with a kite.

Child riding a pig.

Some dudes in cool suits.

Bear hug. (Bear on left.)

Lucky bird experience. (Bird on right.)

Hey batta batta batta batta sa-wing batta.

Bad news bear.

And we had a great dinner, and we had fun hanging out with Kali, and then my glog post ended because it was too late at night to really come up with any more details.  Oh, the crab cakes were surprisingly good here.

Thank you.  This has been a glog post laboriously written by K, and completely unedited, checked for accuracy, or read by anyone.