Finally.

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Its embarrassing how long it has been since I have written an entry. Life has been more than full of unusual craziness.

Winter break, when it was planned out, sounded like an amazing adventure….and it started out that way. Shane and I finished up our last shifts (for the season) at work, packed our bags, and joined with my father and my sister, Erin, for an adventure to Denver. The first pass went well, not an unusual amount of snow and the truck did just fine. We got to bend, picked up the last of the luggage, and headed off for our long journey. From that moment on, the weather was a crazy mixture of low teens temperatures, mixed with daytime and nighttime fog, icy and slushy roads, and just about everything to give a girl like me a heart attack. We made it to Boise that night, unpacked our things from the bed of the truck during the freezing rain, and slept a few comforting hours. We got up the next day and did it all over again until finally reaching Grand Junction, CO. Total hours driving approx 19, total hours expected about 13.

The next day we were expected to drive to Denver. I was excited about it because it had been years since I had been there and Shane had never seen it. It is definitely a potential place I would want to live. The drive over was normal for winter… about 5/6 hours. We were stopped for about 45 minutes waiting for the tunnel, but it went fairly smoothly. We got to Denver around dinner time, wandered around 16th street mall for awhile, and met up with my mother. The night was calm, opened presents drank tea, got lost in a prickly field and almost stopped by a cop with Erin and Shane, the usual.

The next day we visited Boulder, and I may have fell in love. Its a lot of what I am looking for in a city, parks, hiking outdoors, culture, near but not in a big city, and perfect snowy winters mixed with perfect sunny summers. But after this moment of the trip, it all went down hill. I got sick about halfway through the day and had to spend the next three days choking back pepto just to drive back home to Bend. Not to mention there was an accident in the tunnel we had to take to get back from Denver, so instead, we had to take the treacherous (i am not exaggerating with that word), 2 narrow lane, plunging cliff, loveland highway to get back. Approximate drive time 9-10 hours, expected drive time 5. We got back to Bend on the night of the 23rd, moments before my 21st, and I decided I had to go out. The night went fairly well and I saw at least 30 people from high school.

The next day, all over again, the sickness. Now lets just get this all out of the way… I spent the next three weeks in gastro pain; i went through every possibility. Was I lactose intolerant? did i catch a bug? was it from traveling? what gives? So finally when I got back to school I took advantage of our very inexpensive health services and was told I have Gerd. Yep I have an old man disease, GastroEsphogealRefluxDisease. I took the prescription for a couple weeks, felt much better, then about a week later I find myself back at the health center (mind you I am NOT a doctor person, my pulse was over 100  both times!). The doctor looked at my bloodshot eye, felt my swollen glands, and told me she thinks I have adenovirus. Adenovirus, upon further research, is most common in children under 10. Wow, I have a child’s immunity and an old man’s stomach. Sweet jesus I love what college does to a person.

But all that aside, Shane and I got to spend Christmas and my birthday together for the first time since we have been dating. We didn’t do anything extraordinary, but I was just so happy to wake up and see his tangled mess of hair lying next to me on Christmas morning. To my surprise, my dad and sister had gotten him presents too. The whole day just felt right.

Shane and I returned a few days after Christmas to leave again for Seattle. First ride on the train, and I am in love. We spent 4 nights in Seattle and had a blast. Our hostel was great (www.cityhostelseattle.com), every room was painted by a different artist, there was a hot tub out back, free breakfast in the morning, and kitchens on every floor. One morning, we walked down (only about 5 blocks) to Pike Street Market and got fresh scallops, shrimp, pasta, garlic, and veggies, and then went to the Macrina Cafe and got a loaf of Sourdough and made a delicious dinner, it paired quite well with our homebrew Frenchie’s First IPA by Heavy Head Brewers (aka Shane’s logo).

Shane and I also joked this trip that now we just had to ride a boat and we would have taken all forms of transportation this year, so… we did. We hopped on a ferry one of the beautiful sunny blue skied days and floated to the other side of the Sound to see Shane’s mom. It took about 35 minutes to get to Bremerton, then we took a little tiny boat (about 25 passenger) to Port Orchard about 5 minutes away. It was really interesting to see all the commuters coming home from work and all the young kids riding over to look for some night life. We did a lot of the touristy stuff too: Underground tour (highly recommend), Aquarium (recommend), Experience Music Project (dont recommend for price, just look at the cool architecture), Space Needle (didn’t pay just looked), and the Monorail (don’t recommend, short and expensive). It was really nice to be out completely on our own and to have no agenda.

Currently, Shane and I are both taking 16 credits and working our asses off. The sun has been out and beautiful though, and there are already signs of spring. I renewed my garden plot membership and am excited to get back to work on it soon. My garlic is already waking up from it winter slumber. The urban farm is also producing brussel sprouts and brassicas like crazy. Cant wait to get back in that dirt.

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About Megan French

I am a dreamer. I am a hopeful soul that thinks one day we could come together to support each other in a community; support one another's services, hard-work, products, and knowledge. I hope that one day we can be global and local thinkers; supporting each other economically through local interactions and supporting the world globally by respecting other cultures and learning from them. Through local thought and community relationships we can clean up our world environments, power figures, and idea about what is most important in our lives. It all begins with knowledge and understand about how to get back to the basics: cooking, sewing, foraging, preserving, scouting... DIY for life and for the future of our society.

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