Beth's Tips #3: Travel
I'm a natural nester and homebody. I know, it's odd for someone who only sleeps in her own bed about 6 months per year. But to be completely honest, if left to my own accord, I would get in a daily routine, stick to it and be as happy as a clam. However, being a professional climber takes me all over the country and all over the world. I've found that if I can have a few of the creature comforts of my 'homebody routine' that my travel is a lot easier. For me, two things always take the top spots: the local NPR station, and Whole Foods. I realize I just completely exposed my California roots, but it's true, as soon as I get in the rental car I scan the channels for an NPR station. As soon as Terry Gross' or Melissa Block's soothing voice flanks the airwaves, a natural calm rests over me. And my next chore is to google maps the closest Whole Foods. And if there isn't a Whole Foods nearby, my bag is stocked with 'Beth friendly' foods bought at my local Whole Foods.
I recently went up to a Marmot event in Leavenworth, Washington with a bunch of REI'sters. For those of you who haven't been to the actual town of Leavenworth, it's a trip. Apparently, a while back, the town was on the brink of going under. To save the town and create a tourism mecca, they turned the town into a small bavarian village in easter Washington. It seems a little silly to me, to create a theme park out of a town, but it actually brought the town back to life and adds a certain character to it. But if you are like me, the mountains and the community is enough to draw you in. Huge snow capped mountains with gorgeous green and forested hills jut right out of the village. And the best part is that the hills are littered with granite outcroppings, which means the climbing is abundant.
About 50 REI employees and friends and family came to the 2 day event to climb, hike, bike, and have fun. They were an amazing bunch of people and super fun to spend a few days with. When I arrived on Monday evening, all the tents were spoken for, so I gussied up the back of my rental car and went back in time 15 years to when I roadtripped out of the back of my Honda Civic. I know for a medical fact that I have not grown at all, but I remembered the back seat of the car being a lot bigger back then. Much to my pleasant surprise, I slept like a baby both nights.
It was very hard to me to hold myself back when we all went out bouldering. The granite was great quality and all the bouldering looked very fun. I managed to mostly behave myself, which I am sure my doctor would be proud of me for. We had people that were veteran climbers in the group all the way to people who had never climbed before. Bouldering definitely lends itself to being accommodating for all types of climbers and a big group.
After the event, I had a half day in Seattle before I left for home. So naturally, I went with a Kim, a first time climber and great person that I met at the event, to two of Seattle vegan bakeries! It was such a treat! The first stop was Wheatless in Seattle. Everything the carry there is gluten free and then most of the options are also vegan, perfect! I had just finished climbing at Vertical World for an hour, so my appetite was extremely high, which isn't the brightest maneuver when I enter a bakery. I already have hardly any resistance to sugar, but when i am actually hungry, there's no telling what will happen. But, since we had two stops, I tried to be good. I had the chocolate mint brownie, and Kim had the fruit crumble. They were incredible, outstanding, fabulous, yum yum yum. (As you can tell my excitement is still high several days later:)
Next up was the Flying Apron Bakery. I think it is slightly more well known, it even has it's own cookbook, and is in a very cute part of Freemont. I still had the taste of chocolatey mint in my mouth when we walked in to the amazing spread of baked goods. I decided to treat myself to two desserts because it was our last stop. I got the pecan sticky bun and the russian tea cookie, and Kim got the thumbprint cookie. They were amazing as well. I definitely overdid the sugar intake, but how often am I in Seattle, right?
I had a fabulous time at the REI event and at the vegan bakeries and look forward to more baked goods and climbing soon!