Last weekend I caught a ride with my mom, Larry, and bro Joe over to Spokane to visit some family. My brother Isaac lives there but just joined the Marines and is in boot camp, so we stayed with his wife and two kids. The little ones are two and five years old and super sweet. We had fun playing dolls, building lego towers, baking cupcakes, and watching movies. We even braved the 20 degree air and went on a carousel ride.
I also finally had the chance to visit my cousin Ally who just had a baby! She and her husband Chris live in Idaho, just outside Coeur D'Alene. Baby Beckett is already 3 months old, and I'm so happy I got to meet the little guy before he got any bigger. Their family seems to be doing great- Ally is as beautiful and well-adjusted as ever, Beckett is smiley and adorable, and Chris is stoked to be a hands-on dad and still whip up an amazing dinner- chicken breast baked in goat cheese with a basil-balsamic reduction. While the new parents put baby to bed, I enjoyed the lack of such responsibility by soaking in their hot tub, sipping wine as snow was falling around me. There was already a dusted layer on the ground, their first snow of the year. In the morning I awoke to fresh coffee and pumpkin pancakes. Then Ally and Chris gave me a tour of Coeur D'Alene, including the beautiful but cold view of the lake from the boardwalk, and more coffee at a bustling coffee shop. I had to try the "bowl of soul", a mocha made with Mexican chocolate, copious amounts of cinnamon, and homemade whipped cream, making a convert of even this strict americano drinker.
I'm a writer and editor in Seattle. I started this blog in 2008 to chronicle my travels in Latin America, and continued writing through jaunts in Europe and Asia.
Now I'm back where I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and can't stop hiking to fire lookouts in the Cascade Mountains. My guidebook, Hiking Washington's Fire Lookouts, will be published by Mountaineers Books in May 2018.