Three whole glorious months on the road. I can hardly hold my head up as I write this, but despite how exhausted I am, I cannot calm the excitement I feel. Excited for all of the things I have experienced, excited to get back home, excited that I actually WANT to come back home. Excited for how awesome this wedding season is going to be. Life is so good.
We crammed three awesome cities into this very short week. Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. I am definitely less inspired when visiting cities, looking back I have very few pictures from Portland and most of Seattle consisted of zoo animals, but none the less it was awesome to explore these places. I feel like once you spend time in a few large cities (NYC being one of my favorite places on the planet) that there isn’t much else that can surprise or impress you.
My dad is recently engaged and while visiting Vancouver we stayed with my soon to be step-mom’s parents Jenny + Leo. It is never ideal or easy when families separate. Even as an adult I struggle with these circumstances but I can say that I have been incredibly blessed in how my family tree has grown over the past several years. Not to mention how comforting it is to see both of your parents incredibly happy.
As of last year all of my grandparents have passed. Staying with Jenny + Leo was really special and I soaked in every moment. Sleeping on the pull-out couch in the very small but cozy retirement apartment, having Jenny feed Vlad’s bottomless appetite, walking at senior citizen pace through the busy city, visiting every single park in a twelve mile radius, having someone buy me chocolate and fix a rip in my coat. It was further encouragement to welcome this new addition to my family. I was sad to leave them, but grateful for the one-on-one time and am already looking forward to having them back in Michigan for the wedding later this year.
We really were not ready to leave the forest when we did. The entire time driving further north up the coast, we were debating on how we were going to close out the trip. We considered heading back down to the Grand Canyon, staying north through the mountains in Montana, meeting friends and snowboarding in Colorado. Even when you have months to travel and explore it still doesn’t feel like enough. Ultimately, we had to head back to northern California and spend more time in the Redwoods.
Week Thirteen starts with our backpacking trip back through the magical forest. This post is so late because I just crawled out of the wilderness. I haven't showered in four days, and I just inhaled more Burger King in the last five minutes than I have in the last ten years. Every part of my body hurts. Except for my heart, my heart is really, REALLY happy.