Seattle Day 1| June 14 2017

The Seattle Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden is an extremely beautiful and peaceful place. I feel like it’s a little overlooked. It’s not in the City Centre, and it’s definitely not an extremely touristy place (part of the appeal!)

In it’s late spring/early summer stages, everything is incredibly green and many of the trees and bushes are still blooming beautifully. I can’t imagine how gorgeous it would be in the autumn,  with all those trees on fire!

I would highly recommend checking this place out, should you ever find yourself in Seattle. You can do a guided tour, or just grab a brochure and go. On some days you can even see a tea ceremony.

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Alki Beach

Alki Beach is across the bridge in West Seattle, which in itself is a really charming place. It’s a rocky beach that looks out  on Elliot Bay. It’s a great little place to people watch, and watch the ferries go back and forth.

I am told that in the colder months, you can even see seals and sea lions. Plus, there’s a lot of really cute restaurants running along the street behind the beach. It’s also a great place to collect shells and cool rocks!

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Lake of the Ozarks pt. 2

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“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep rolling under the stars.”

– Jack Karoac

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I honestly didn’t think I would like this place as much as I did. I ended up really enjoying my time in Lake Ozark, Missouri. I actually really would like to come back, but maybe just in less cold weather. It was like returning to winter, and the son refused to show his face. Which normally I would love, but I would have liked to see more greenery and the sun glimmering on the water. But all in all, it was a great trip. I enjoyed a couple of chilly walks to the docks, a brief (very brief) hike in the state park, and just staring at the lake (which is way bigger than I thought.)

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Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

If you live in the Oklahoma area, the Wichita Mountains are a great place to get out and explore. I was feeling slightly claustrophobic, stuck in my bubble and missing travel. It was so so great to see new views, and mountains again. There are plenty of hiking trails and mountains to pick from, but I went up Elk Mountain.

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20161021_132105   The climb wasn’t that bad. It started out really easy and then got a little more difficult toward the summit. But it is an Oklahoma mountain, not a Colorado or Germany mountain. Also, watch out for all the cacti. And rattlesnakes. (I kid you not, I was centimeters from stepping on a 5 ft long rattlesnake and it was very assertive in expressing it’s unhappiness towards me. I don’t want to say I almost died, but one could make a case for that.)

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If you have no desire to hike, there’s still plenty of wildlife to see and enjoy. Tons of cute little groundhogs, huge longhorns and buffalo (bison?). Since it is a wildlife refuge, the animals are pretty much allowed to roam free. Longhorns and buffalo cross the road in front of cars. The thing I was the most exited about was seeing a buffalo. The whole time, I never saw one buffalo and I was leaving slightly disappointed about that. But then, as the exit fast approached, a buffalo (bison?) crossed the road right in front of me. I like to think it was a bonding moment between us.

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