National Appreciation Day

Also known as Independence Day to most.

Before I indulge you in my road trip to the country for the 4th in eastern Washington, I need to share about my big plane trip to the country near the East Coast. FIRST plane trip with the boyfriend. Bee and I had a smooth flight, stopping for just enough time to grab a bite in the airport in Detroit, MI to Elmira, NY where his best friend was waiting to drive us into their hometown, Troy, PA. I will tell you now that reminiscing about this recent trip still gets me excited. It’s not like anything crazy happened. In fact, it was simply traveling with the beau and enjoying the small town life. OH and did I mention the Mason jar themed wedding? Amazing idea.

I am appreciative of the fact that I get giddy, butterflies in my stomach and all, over the small things: stepping onto a plane….

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….watching 50/50 with Bee (when I discovered my iPod headphones suck), stepping off the plane safely, going grocery shopping at the one store in town, and the ability to hear crickets at night unlike in the city! And that’s just the first day. I enjoyed the whole trip so much my impulse to work out was nonexistent. That means something!

To respect their privacy, I won’t be posting any photos of Bee’s family. But I will say that his sister is oh-so-very cute (like to the extent where I have to fight the temptation to pinch her cheeks), brother is shy but also bold (as many 16-year-old boys seem), mama is personable and cool, and his dad and wife were extremely welcoming and possessed slightly quirky humor (mostly dad). It’s difficult not to appreciate the closeness and cool atmosphere within this family.

The wedding was at Heron Hill Winery overlooking Keuka Lake in Hammondsport, NY. Beautiful. We all appreciated the wonderful weather we had for this special day.

Wedding

In case you didn’t already know. I love reflecting on firsts. FIRST time doing a hoedown at a wedding! Very fun. I had to take gulps of my herbal tea in between dances to rest!

Bee and I got along so well the time flew by and the next thing I knew we were back in Seattle getting ready to move me to Snoqualmie.

The move was easy and smooth thanks to my mom, brother-in-law, and wonderful beau. It helped that I didn’t have any furniture except for my twin bed! I am now living in the spacious office of my sister’s big house (equipped with a nice kitchen, very important!) in Snoqualmie Ridge. Life is moving fast but good! I enjoyed my new big bed for just a few days before I was ready for our trip to Pullman, WA for the 4th of July.

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Pretty much what it looked like the majority of our drive.

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Looks like we’ve entered Cougar Town!

This is my FIRST road trip with Bee to stay with my best friend. Her parents are Cougars; we are Huskies. You can see where the problem is. Just kidding. They were awesome and my bestie was right; her mom and I can “talk to a rock” (more on this later). In the last stretch through Colfax toward her home I practiced driving Bee’s car. FIRST time driving a manual car on a road! Only stalled a couple of times…at an intersection..and again going up her gravel driveway :D.

We went to see Kamiak Butte and the view was very pretty, with vast fields we don’t see here in Seattle.

Butte I struggled to capture this as we were driving away!

Her mom made us buckwheat pizza and a large variety of toppings of our own choosing for dinner that night. I was in heaven. She called her husband’s white flour dough “white boy dough” mostly to make fun of his lack of taste for buckwheat flour. Oh Sue! She cracks me up. She is a registered dietitian and her daughter (my bestie) is a health nut, no wonder I get along so well with them! Her dad is so worldly, brothers very nice and also amusing, and again her mom is a firecracker.

That night we attended the main event held by community. Everyone from town was there. I just love it when there’s a strong camaraderie in the community! There was an old band that plays at this event every year and of course, fireworks!

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Next morning we made crepes with peaches, berries, and banana topped with Greek yogurt. Yum.

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Forgot to take a picture of Bee’s crepe. His is much prettier!

We took a nice stroll through the University District and naturally had to try out the REC center. I had to see how WSU’s gym compares to UW’s. Hate to admit it but I like WSU’s better. Even though it’s smaller it is nicer. Even played a little basketball with friend’s little brother and Bee after trying out Jacob’s ladder.

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Entrance to the REC center in the last photo.

Then we tried the cheese which was a MUST at the local creamery. SO good. Forgot to take a photo, though I have a picture of the street it’s on!

IMG_0352Bee and Bestie leading the way.

We had a nice, big salad and roasted chicken for dinner. Oh my goodness. Another tradition in their family is that they have large salads. I definitely belong in their family. At least as their adopted child.

That night bestie and I decided to bake, and then bake some more. This is what we do when we get together. Even when we lived together we were always the two in the kitchen in a house of 7 girls. We made carrot coconut macaroons and soybean chocolate chip cookies. Bee was in love with the healthy fudge she and her mom made. I got the recipe from them. 😉

We planned to head out after omelet for breakfast…but not until Sue and I talked for over an hour. My bestie wasn’t even there! She left to go babysit and I figured we would talk for a few minutes with her parents but I didn’t expect to stay for an hour and a half! I appreciate the way that we can still carry on a normal conversation (no texts, emails, tweets). I appreciate how great things are going with Bee. I appreciate my bestie being my bestie and welcoming us into her house and hometown. I appreciate the ability to experience so many FIRSTS. Lastly, I appreciate the Declaration of Independence and the associations that come with this special day: families and friends coming together for fireworks, parades, concerts, barbecues, fairs, ceremonies, I could go on for a while but you get the gist.

IMG_0370        IMG_0368Last peeks of our trip!

Honestly, we stopped at this state park because we both really needed to use the bathroom and as you saw above, there is nothing for miles on end so this was a desperate approach. We thought we might as well take advantage of our access!

*Thank you for letting me use your phone for absolutely all of the pictures in this post Bee

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