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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A magical week in the Pacific Northwest

Last week in celebration of Ryan's new job as the University Photographer for the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the move here we took a trip to the Pacific northwest. We started in Seattle where we spent the morning exploring and doing touristy things (Pike's Place Market, coffee, gum wall, etc.) and then headed straight for Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest. We camped at Baker Lake, aka the most beautiful place I've ever been. 



Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest


Every day was an adventure and the locals helped us find the hidden gems including a natural hot springs, suspension bridge and some beautiful drives. Both days it rained but we were in such awe of the beauty around us that we barely noticed. Even when our camping stove set on fire and potentially could have exploded we barely blinked before we foraged for dry wood to build a fire. The morning before we left we took a plunge into the icy glacier lake.



Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest


Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest


Ryan in Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest


Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest


Ryan tending to the fire at our campsite on Baker Lake.


Our morning view from our campground on Baker Lake.


Our morning view from our campground on Baker Lake. Most of the boats left before sunrise fishing for Sockeye.

Suspension Bridge along the Baker River Trail.


Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest


We hit the road again towards Vancouver. Despite living a few hours from the Canadian border most of my life, I had never been. We smelled like campfire and all of our clothes were damp so we welcomed a hotel bed and shower. I had no idea what to expect in Vancouver and everything exceeded my expectations. Vancouver was larger and more bustling than I had imagined. It had a unique cylindrical skyline nestled in the mountains. We explored downtown and Stanley Park on foot before we headed back towards Seattle.



Vancouver, BC.


Gum wall, Seattle.


Downtown Vancouver, BC.


Downtown Vancouver, BC.


Downtown Vancouver, BC.


On our way back we followed advice to take an alternate route to the highway called the Chuckanut Drive. It was a scenic drive that looks out over Chuckanut Bay and the San Juan Islands. We stopped at a few lookouts on the map (including a place that only sells espresso and hot dogs) and took our time at a Zen Garden, and a hike at Teddy Bear Cove. We were met with a surprise at the end of our drive where we stopped at a berry farm/bakery that made homemade Strawberry Shortcake! It was by far the best I've tried.

The best strawberry shortcake.



Ryan in the Zen Garden.
Ryan looking out at Chuckanut Bay.

By the time we were on our way back to Seattle we were floating. We ended our trip with pizza and beer with friends in Georgetown (I think we forgot to take any photos...oops!) and a late night coffee to keep us awake until our red eye flight.

Here is a map of our route:





Washington stole our hearts...we may have to make this an annual trip.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Nebraska Tornados

It's been a crazy couple weeks of weather in Nebraska and Iowa. Photos from Pilger, Omaha, and western Iowa. Lives were lost. Several homes and towns were damaged and people are looking towards rebuilding. In Pilger, residents held a worship service on the foundation where the church once stood. Hopefully, mother nature will cool it for a while.



Jacob Brown stares through a window in his home during cleanup on June 4, 2014 in Oakland, IA. The house suffered severe damage to the windows, siding and roof as a result of hail and high winds.


Pastor Terry Makelin walks in front of the alter before he leads a church service at the site of the St. John's Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 22, 2014 in Pilger, Ne. Pilger was hit by a tornado that killed two people and caused widespread damage.


Hymnals are recovered from the church and used to participate in a church service at the site of the St. John's Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 22, 2014 in Pilger, Ne. Pilger was hit by a tornado that killed two people and caused widespread damage.


Pastor Terry Makelin, right, leads a church service at the site of the St. John's Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 22, 2014 in Pilger, Ne. Pilger was hit by a tornado that killed two people and caused widespread damage.


 Liz Raabe becomes emotional as she participates in a church service at the site of the St. John's Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 22, 2014 in Pilger, Ne. Pilger was hit by a tornado that killed two people and caused widespread damage.


Debra Wolverton, center, in red, receives communion from Pastor Terry Makelin as they participate in a church service at the site of the St. John's Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 22, 2014 in Pilger, Ne. Pilger was hit by a tornado that killed two people and caused widespread damage.
Storm clouds pass over Omaha near 132nd St. and Dodge St. around 5p.m. on June 3, 2014 in Omaha. Severe weather and flooding is forecasted for Omaha the rest of the evening



Tim Maly looks into the foundation of his home that was destroyed on Sunday, June 22, 2014 in Pilger, Ne. Pilger was hit by a tornado that killed two people and caused widespread damage.


Terry Green, left, watches her home of twenty years get demolished on Sunday, June 22, 2014 in Pilger, Ne. Pilger was hit by a tornado that killed two people and caused widespread damage.


Taylor Buderus, 7, right, pulls her grandmother, Linda Hewitt, left,  through the yard as they clean up debris on Sunday, June 22, 2014 in Pilger, Ne. Pilger was hit by a tornado that killed two people and caused widespread damage.


Volunteers clean up debris on Sunday, June 22, 2014 in Pilger, Ne. Pilger was hit by a tornado that killed two people and caused widespread damage.


Bark was ripped off the trees after the storm in Chautauqua Park on June 4, 2014 in Oakland, IA. The town suffered severe damage as a result of high winds.


Angel Saucedo, right, with her son Gabriel Saucedo, Jena Dillon with her son Christopher Dillon, and Kara Saucedo with her son Jayden Warrior, left, push their strollers past a fallen tree in Chautauqua Park on June 4, 2014 in Oakland, IA. The town suffered severe damage as a result of high winds.


A tractor lifts tree branches as Walt Eickholt, left, cleans debris from a yard on June 4, 2014 in Oakland, IA. The town suffered severe damage as a result of high winds.


Taylor Buderus, 7, right, kisses her grandmother, Linda Hewitt, left, ID tag as she ties her shoe on Sunday, June 22, 2014 in Pilger, Ne. Pilger was hit by a tornado that killed two people and caused widespread damage.


Jacob Brown peers out the barn window in his home during cleanup on June 4, 2014 in Oakland, IA. The house suffered severe damage to the windows, siding and roof as a result of hail and high winds. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

College World Series 2014

I just finished up a week of baseball bootcamp with four days of double headers at the College World Series. The elite eight college baseball teams descend upon Omaha and rally for a national championship title. After two losses, they pack their bags and end their season. Emotion is high, the stands are filled and besides the heat and the exhaustion it was actually pretty fun.



UC Irvine's Kris Paulino (24) celebrates with his teammates in the dugout after scoring a run against Vanderbilt in the bottom of the second inning of game 6 during the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 16, 2014.


UC Irvine's Grant Palmer (27), right, slides into home plate to score ahead of the tag from Vanderbilt catcher Jason Delay (5) in the bottom of the second inning of game 6 during the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 16, 2014.


Dusk settles over TD Ameritrade Park as Virginia plays against TCU in game 8 of the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, June 17, 2014.



TCU fan Sarah Scheideman of Fort Worth, Texas, cheers for the Horned Frogs as they play against Virginia in game 8 during the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, June 17, 2014.



Debbie Lehmann of Giddings, Texas and her Longhorn necklace pictured during of the first game of the College World Series. Texas played UC Irvine during the first game College World Series on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.



Virginia's Brandon Downes (10) warms up during the second inning of the Virginia vs. Ole Miss game at College World Series. Virginia played Ole Miss during the fourth game at the College World Series on Saturday, June 15, 2014 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.



Before the TCU against Virginia game at the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, June 17, 2014.


Ole Miss' Aaron Greenwood (44), right, scores the go-ahead run off a single hit by John Gatlin (36) to win against Texas Tech in the bottom of the ninth inning of game 7 at the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, June 17, 2014.


Texas Tech players react to their loss to Ole Miss after losing their second game at the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, June 17, 2014.


  Laurel Withee, left, of Papillion and and Trevor Bohat, right, of Wahoo, Neb. watch Texas practice for the College World Series on Friday, June 13, 2014 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.





Fans mill through the main gate to TD Ameritrade Park during game 8 of the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, June 17, 2014.



Charlie Saal, left, Griffin Bahren, center, and Libby Saal, right, of Omaha show their best game face on concourse the during Virginia against TCU during the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, June 17, 2014.



Texas against Louisville in the - inning of game 5 during the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 16, 2014.



UC Irvine celebrates in the dugout after scoring a run against Vanderbilt in the bottom of the second inning of game 6 during the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 16, 2014.


Virginia plays Ole Miss during the sixth inning at College World Series. Virginia played Ole Miss during the fourth game at the College World Series on Saturday, June 15, 2014 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.