T&K’s Spring Break Pacific Northwest Road Trip Adventure 2015: Bucket List

This is my second post about this trip and we haven’t even left yet. Can you tell I absolutely can’t wait? I need a vacation bad. But also, I’m so excited about all of the different cities and national parks that we’re going to visit. Here’s my list of absolute musts for this trip, some of which we already have booked. Huzzah!

1. See a show at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

I’ve been dying to get to Ashland for ten years, ever since it was offered as a senior class trip in high school and I couldn’t go because of marching band. Sigh. That was the beginning of rehearsals interfering with my life. Anyway, T and I have talked about going a couple of different times since then, but now we’re actually making it happen! We have tickets to see Shakespeare’s Pericles, which wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it’s what’s playing and I’m too excited to care.

2. Visit the original Starbucks at Pike’s Place in Seattle and buy a tumbler.

In college, while on a choir trip through the Pacific Northwest, I bought a travel mug at the original Starbucks. I absolutely loved it and used it all the time, until somewhere in the process of moving home after graduation, I lost it. So many sads. But now I have the opportunity to replace it, and so I shall.

3. Cheer for no one at a Canucks game in Vancouver.

One night in January, T and I were at a Sharks game, watching them lose depressingly, when one of us said casually, “We should go to a hockey game in Vancouver.” That was enough to distract us from whatever travesty was happening on the ice in front of us, and we promptly hopped on our phones, found a game on one of the nights that we’ll be there, and bought tickets. It’ll be the Canucks vs. the Phoenix Coyotes in the second-to-last game of the regular season, but we’ll be proudly displaying our teal inside Rogers Arena. No one will care since the Sharks won’t be in the playoffs anyway.

4. Go for a walk through the rain forest in Olympic National Park.

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Poor drought-riddled California hasn’t seen that much green in a long, long time. I would love to take the time to enjoy some greenery and some damp weather… and maybe we can convince some of it to come home with us.

5. Take T to Powell’s Books in Portland.

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Powell’s is basically heaven on earth. This was another stop on the aforementioned college choir tour, and I could have lived in there. Obviously our time was limited because of traveling with a giant group, but I’m very much looking forward to getting lost in there for a few hours. T wasn’t with me last time (though I did bring him back a book of German fairy tales  auf Deutsch), so I can’t wait to see his face upon first walking in.

Have you ever been to any of the cities or places that I mentioned, or do you live in any of them? Any recommendations are more than welcome!

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10 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Me

1. T’s nickname for me is Toots. He’s been calling me that since we were in college. It doesn’t rhyme with Boots, which incidentally is my nickname for him.

Classic T&B on our wedding day.

Classic T&B on our wedding day.

2. My drink of choice at Starbucks is a grande soy chai latte.

3. My biggest pet peeves are sitting in traffic and when someone says that being around someone else’s baby is “good birth control.” Ugh.

4. I am probably overly emotionally attached to the Harry Potter series.

What a fun experience!

Visiting the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios by myself while in England in May.

5. In college I sang alto in choir and was on the verge of becoming a mezzo, until I graduated, moved home, and started with a new teacher who set me straight. Turns out I have notes above the staff.

6. The center diamond in my engagement ring is actually from my mom’s engagement ring. She got it removed and gave it to T while we were dating.

7. I still cry when I have to get shots.

8. I find doing laundry to be mildly enjoyable. It’s warm and smells so good when it’s done!

Clean laundry, not so clean anymore.

Nora appreciates clean laundry too.

9. My dream role is Christine in Phantom of the Opera.

10. I’ve never been stung by a bee.

What’s a surprising fact about you that most people don’t know?

Flexibility

This morning I found myself locked out of the office I work in.

Technically everyone else is on vacation, but I’ve been going in every day this week for an hour and a half or two hours, just to check the messages and email and sort the mail. I have yet to receive a key, so I’ve been relying on other people getting there before me, and it’s been fine up until today. The receptionist for the other dentist in the office wasn’t in yet, so I was out of luck.

So naturally I headed over to Starbucks to get some actual work done. By “actual” I mean the work I actually love, the work I actually want to devote my life to: music.

I grabbed a soy chai and a table and proceeded to spend 45 minutes working on translating my Zauberflöte score for my summer program in August. I then spent another 15 minutes or so watching YouTube videos of pieces that I’m currently learning.

Let me just tell you, it was GLORIOUS. It was the perfect way to start my day.

I’ve been wrestling lately with the idea of flexibility. When this school year ends, and my nannying job along with it, the implication is that I will pick up more hours at the office and eventually maybe even go full time. I know it makes sense for me to do that, for multiple reasons, but I can’t shake the feeling that if and when I do that, the flexibility that I want and need in my schedule will be gone. I’m not a person who can spend eight hours a day at a desk. Heck, I can barely even spend two hours at a desk. It drives me absolutely insane.

Worse, I would lose the opportunity for practice time throughout the day and week, with my only real options being to practice at lunch at my mom’s house (conveniently located two minutes away from the office), or to try to cram in most or all of my practicing on Fridays, my day off, which is far from ideal. I need that time carved out every single day. That’s my chance to turn off my phone and feel like I’m doing the most valuable work I can do. It’s my time.

I’m not asking to never work a “real” day job. Most of the singers I know have some sort of day job or other, and it’s obviously necessary to pay the bills. All I want is the ability to define my time and my life how I want to, instead of spending all day at my day job and thus being unable to do the very thing I’m trying to support through said day job. All I want is to feel like my daily pursuits are ultimately things that bring me one step closer to my goals and the career I desperately want to have. Is that so wrong?

Back to this morning. Eventually I returned to the office, and the other receptionist was there and let me in. I got right down to work, took care of everything that crossed my desk, and when it was all complete, I went home to practice.

Flexibility. That’s all I ask.