...and we're off!

taking a year of pretirement to travel the world

on may 23, 2013, we quit our jobs and began our year of "pretirement." these are some of our adventures around the world.

exploring the west coast

we left the beautiful mountains of whistler and spent a few hours in vancouver along commercial drive, blogging and lunching and moseying around. we then drove down to seattle for our second night with our wonderful hosts alicia and ming. we went out for dinner and drinks in capitol hill and housed some pretty delicious sushi at momiji. then we washed it all down with a jello shot and pbr combo at unicorn, an awesomely kitschy, carnival-themed bar. with drinks like unicorn jizz, my little pony, and unicorn tears, the menu definitely doesn’t fail to entertain.

in the morning, i got one last run in along the waterfront before we started off for portland. when we arrived at my friend sally’s house in northeast portland, she immediately took us to amnesia, a cool craft brewery with tasty beer and a nice outdoor seating area. alex and i really liked the quirky, cozy vibe that portland had to offer. the food and beer was phenomenal; i had the best waffle cone ever, fresh off the iron at salt & straw! before our less than 24 hours was up, sally drove us by the apartment fire she put out the day before (did i mention she’s a bad-ass firefighter?!), then took us to forest park for a quick walk down one of the many lush, green trails.

from portland we headed south towards crater lake. we took a beautiful detour through umpqua national forest to avoid a thunderstorm on the main highway. even though it was a longer, curvier route, the views were absolutely beautiful. before we knew it, we were climbing higher and higher on a narrow one-lane road, then promptly treated to amazing views of the forest from high above. we eventually made it past diamond lake to crater lake, and the views just got even more picture-perfect. words can’t describe how gorgeous this place was! and to think we were standing on the edge of a giant caldera…it was simply amazing. as we began the drive towards california, we thought about camping one last time. but with the weather much cooler and the sky darkening quickly, we decided to drive a bit further and spend the night in medford, a small town just north of the california border.

the next day, we continued south and got on the 101. alex enjoyed hugging all the scenic curves, while i attempted to sleep off my motion sickness. we decided to check out the redwood national forest on our way to san francisco. when we first stepped out of the car and into the forest of ridiculously tall trees, we were immediately humbled.  there we were, walking among some of the largest, tallest, oldest trees on earth. we saw “big tree” (1500 years old and 304 feet tall!) and explored lady bird johnson grove – a quiet, serene place completely surrounded by towering, leafy giants. then it was back on the road for us. we left the redwoods behind – and with it, the last of the green scenery we’d be seeing for a long while. it was off to san francisco!

// road trip to date: 34 states, 1 federal district, 5 canadian provinces, 13,900 miles