Life Lately | Hiking Opal Creek

With the weather feeling very spring-y and warm lately, my good friend Heather and I planned to spend this last Sunday out in nature. We researched a couple new hiking spots and chose to drive south toward Salem. We found a great article about a hike east of Salem and up in the mountain called Opal Creek and decided to explore the trail.

The Opal Creek trail is an out and back with an optional loop to add a few miles.  We chose to travel down the path for about 2.5 miles before turning back and took our time to enjoy all the green.  It was a beautiful day and slightly overcast which really allowed for all the varieties of green to show off a bit.  

It was the perfect way to spend a spring Sunday in Oregon.

Life Lately | Vacation in Palm Springs

A few months ago I took a look at my calendar and realized that once the end of April hit I wouldn't have a break with work and travel (for work) until mid-June.  I love my job and I'm looking forward to all the fun travel and events I have coming up, but the idea of no real vacation until July just did not fly with me.  So I looked up some flight prices for April dates, confirmed with my aunt that the timing worked on her end, and booked a ticket to fly down to SoCal for a weeks break.

At the time it seemed like completely random dates that happened to be affordable, but the Universe has a wonderful way with timing and my vacation ended up being the exact thing I needed at the exact moment necessary.

As a true introvert I need time to myself (no talking, no interaction) to recharge my batteries.  Time in nature, time with a book and time with my camera is the best way for me to refill my energy bucket. My aunt started a new position with a local organization (she gets paid to play with puppies as the Foster Program Director at a local animal rescue) so she's had to work during the week days I've been here. The mix of time to myself and time catching up with her (and celebrating her newly diagnosed remission!!) has been perfect.

The sunshine, pool time, desert scenery and puppy snuggles during the days have been wonderful. I'm now on day 7 of my vacation and am heading home tonight with a very real smile on my face. I'm ready to get back to the office tomorrow and catch up on all that I've missed with energy and excitement, and that feels oh so good.

Easter on the Oregon Coast

Originally I was going to travel north to my aunt and uncle's house in Kelso, Washington for the holiday.  At the last minute, due to a few schedule changes and a time crunch for my cousin and her family, I decided against going, telling them all I'd see them in a couple of weeks.  I love time with my family, but sometimes the added pressure of it being a holiday puts everyone a bit on edge, and it makes me uncomfortable.

This past week has been really, really tough for me with a lot of emotional things going on at work and a few strained relationships, so the idea of being uncomfortable and around stress just did not sound appealing.  I felt badly for canceling with my family, but I'm proud of myself for making a choice to take care of me.

I jumped in the car and decided to head west, toward the coast. Before today it had been a couple months since I was last on the coast, and I was way overdue for a visit. I headed to Tillamook first, and then swung north and hugged the coastline on the 101 up to Cannon Beach.  I listened to music, had the windows rolled down, drank coffee and stopped the car anytime that felt right to snap a few photos.

It was amazing, and just what my soul needed.