Whistler weekend and gearing up for upcoming seasons

Last weekend, a handful of friends and I headed up to Whistler to enjoy the snow and beautifully laid out runs on the mountains. I’ve only ever been to Whistler one other time (back in 2012) and was so excited to revisit the beautifully laid out the runs and gorgeous scenery.

Back in 2012, my visit was right after a night of snowfall, so there were nothing but amazing pillows of snow to catch my falls. This would have been amazing if I had stayed on green runs, but a friend accidentally led us down a black diamond with moguls… let’s just say I ate a lot of snow that first time and hoped to not repeat history on the second trip.

Snowboarding gear for women going to Whistler - Helly Hansen
outfit details:
Powderqueen jacket: c/o Helly Hansen (exact)
neck cowl: Helly Hansen (similar)
snow pants: Burton (old)
snowboarding boots: Salomon (old)
snowboard: K2 (old)

Fast forward to 2017 and the mountains are still as beautiful as ever! With the sun shining and only doing green runs (for real this time… haha), I thought we were set up for a pain-free day. Sadly, with no fresh snowfall the night before, the ice pellets were not as forgiving. Despite practicing my S-turns after making it a goal to learn how to carve instead of always leafing down the hills (don’t judge!), I still left with a bruised bottom. Snowboarding is something that I really want to learn to excel at, especially since it’s one of the few sports that all my friends and I can enjoy together during the winter.

Whistler green runs
Helly Hansen W Powder Queen jacket review
With just over a month left in the snowboarding/skiing season this year, this is one of the best times to gear up for the future snow seasons to come! I first bought all of my gear in 2012. The jacket, snow pants, boots, board, and helmet were all purchased during a mid-season sale. Sadly, I also managed to outgrow some of it in the last 5 years. In the last couple weeks, I’ve scored some great deals at the Helly Hansen outlet store in Burlington, WA. I bought myself a new neck cowl for $10 (regularly $20), a new pair of baselayer pants for $20 (regularly $40), after being really impressed by the quality and performance of the HH base layers I got to try earlier this season.

Helly Hansen skiing and snowboarding gear
With a jacket being one of the most important pieces of equipment, I’ve rounded up a handful of Helly Hansen jackets that are going to keep you warm on the slopes (linked below). If you’re local to Washington, you’ll be able to find these HH beauties locally here:

REI – Crystal Jacket is currently 51% off! (here)- 222 Yale Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Burlington Outlets – 314 Fashion Way, Burlington, WA 98233

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Winter playground

As much as I complain about being too cold in the winter, this season is the first time in years that I’ve been really excited about snow!

About 4 years ago (maybe even 5 years, at this point), I bought a bunch of snowboarding gear with the intention to go regularly. Since all of my friends are fearless snow bunnies who can shred runs like no other, I figured I would tag along with them for every trip out to the mountains in hopes of improving my own riding abilities. (Note: I had zero skill to start when I first committed to buying a board. I had been snowboarding once or twice before going all in.) Needless to say, after a couple trips to Mt. Baker and Steven’s Pass, feeling pretty defeated because I couldn’t pick up the coordination skills as quickly as I had hoped, my snowboard sat in the closet for the next couple years collecting dust.

Everything changed in December of 2016! After spending the Spring/Summer goofing around on my fiance’s skateboard, plus my fiance deciding to buy his own snowboarding equipment, we’ve found ourselves on a mountain almost every other weekend for the last two months.

Snoqualmie Summit - snowboarding in Washington
Snoqualmie snowboarding (more…)
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Iceland trip recap: Gearing up to hit the road

Before the rest of the Iceland trip gets recapped, I wanted to share a bit of the background of how this trip came to be and how we all prepped for it. Every year, two of my closest friends from college and I will meet up somewhere for a week-long trip. This is something we’ve done together for years and are really comfortable traveling with one another (this is pretty key since vacation buddies are usually people that you’re going to be around for almost 24/7 while home away from home). On our most recent adventure, our comfort levels were tested because we really couldn’t get away from each other because this is where we spent our time together for the whole trip…

iceland-campervan

Yep! We did an Iceland campervan trip!

As we talked through our options for our goals to drive around the perimeter of the island, a campervan made the most sense. None of us are particularly outdoorsy, so pitching a tent at the end of every night didn’t seem like the best route for us. We also figured taking a bus from city to city and then trying to scramble to find accommodations (especially in the smaller towns) would put too many time pressures on our day-to-day activities, so campervan it was!

In terms of packing, we all agreed early on to not bring any suitcases. We were each limited to one backpack (this one was a popular bag among the group) that had to fit a week’s worth of clothes and toiletries, including a sleeping bag, for the trip.

For me, visiting Iceland has been on my bucket list as a trip focused around photographing the out-of-this-world landscape that is so unfamiliar to someone who grew up in North America. My priorities for packing had camera gear at the top of the list, toiletries to survive and not smell gross while stuck in a van for a week, and cute outfits at the very bottom. I pretty much dressed in my best “hobo chic” outfits, beanie and combat boots every day, and rotated through all my leggings and dress pant yoga pants.

I’m super excited to start sharing photos from the trip as I edit them over the next few weeks. To put this trip into perspective, my friends and I collectively had 17 cameras in the van with us. 10 of them were disposables cameras (mainly purchased out of nostalgia, but now I’m fascinated to see what we captured), 3 DSLRs, and 4 phones.

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Unplugging in Iceland 

iceland glacier lagoons 
If you’re into chilly scenery and beanie weather, follow along on Instagram this week! A few friends and I rented a camper van and are driving around the perimeter of Iceland, exploring some of the most breathtaking spots! (I’m also being a bit of a brat and trying to get up to no good whenever there’s opportunity for it… Like pretending to steal the boat above haha)

It’ll be a bit quiet here on the blog until I’m back in Seattle, but I’ll be posting on IG as often as this spotty 2G network will allow for it!

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Aloha from Hawaii

Happy Monday!! It’s been exactly a week since landing in Maui island and let’s just say that the past 7 days have been nothing like a vacation. I’m currently here on a work trip and every day has proven itself to be quite the adventure. If you’re following me on Instagram, you might’ve already seen some of these. Here’s what’s been going on in the background!

wailea-makena-snorkeling

Day 1 was an interesting one. I flew in with one of my coworkers and we met with the rest of our group on the island. That night, we learned that the next week would be filled with a handful of adventure activities. Over our first dinner as a group, I was asked questions like, “What kind of sports are you into? Have you ever jumped out of a plane? How do you feel about free diving?” which I was slightly confused by. When talking about our past-time sporting choices, I mentioned enjoying kayaking, which lead to the question, “Kayaking in rapids?” and I’m just like… no. Turns out I’m the least sporty of the group!

Long story short, I immediately regretted all the carb-loading and inconsistent exercising since the Christmas holidays after learning about all the activities we would be participating in over the next week. Don’t get me wrong– I am SO excited to have this opportunity and get to join in on this project, but at the same time I wish I could have prepped a bit better physically. My body is not used to a full morning of snorkeling followed by an afternoon of hiking. In any case, it has been awesome so far and I am loving every minute of being here! Aside from the daily hustle of confirming itineraries, getting work done at each location, and then packing up and quickly moving to the next, getting to know 2 other people – who essentially started off as strangers – as well as I have in the last few days has been so much fun! You get to know a lot about a person when traveling in a car together for 12+ hours a day. Who would’ve thought? ;)

maui

Top left: Drive up to Haleakalā Crater. The view from 10,000ft elevation is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before! After dropping the guys off, I had a couple hours to myself before picking them up for our afternoon adventures. I ended up makinga handful of stops on the drive down and admiring the view of the pillow-like clouds from above. Seriously, how cool is that view? I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say I’ve looked at clouds from the top-down when not in a plane.

Top right: Going to take a moment to give a big shout out to the delicious food here! On this particular day, we stopped by a fish house for lunch. I had a spinach salad, topped with salmon, honey, papaya seed dressing, and roasted macadamia nuts. Just looking at this photo again is making me drool…

Bottom left: We drove to the south end of the island to spend the day at Big Beach. Apparently Taylor Swift was here on the same day we were (!!!) but we didn’t see her. I was probably too busy getting washed up in the waves (no joke). This is the day I lost my snorkeling mask and breathing tube thanks to the super harsh waves. This is also the same day my coworkers coined the term “sand-druff” to describe the state of my hair. Getting swept up to shore, literally, results in a ton of sand in the hair. This is one lesson I wish I didn’t have to learn the hard way!

Bottom right: Perched on the side of a cliff at Pe’ahi to watch some extremely talented people surf the biggest breaks on the north shore of the island. It was absolutely incredible!! I don’t even know how else to put this experience in words. Between the view of the clear blue waters, the perched viewing point, and the surfing talent, it’s so hard to pinpoint a favourite part of this whole experience.

classpass-a

Sadly, this adventure is about to end in a few hours and it’ll be back to reality before we know it!
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