Posted in all posts, summer adventures

an exploration in friend crushes – s.a.9

friend crushes: you may not be familiar with the term, but we’ve all had one. maybe it’s that person who only spends time with your ‘squad’ every once in awhile, who you wish would hang out with you a little more. maybe it’s someone from class who you partner with for partner discussions, but don’t have a good excuse to hang out with outside of class. maybe it’s some random stranger with really good hair, who you look at and think, ‘i would totally be friends with them, they seem cool’. i think we’ve all been there at some point.

that’s how gea and I felt about our next adventure guests, emma and alec. unlike past adventure guests, whom have been in band for the past couple of years with us and whom we have spent time with in the past, emma and alec are just Really Cool People who we wanted to hang out with a little more.

emma and i became friends in our drawing class sophomore year, and have had humanities together this year. gea became friends with alec during ap environmental studies this year, and i know him from being in math classes with him. since they’re twins, it’s like two friend crushes for the price of one.

now, i’m not actually much of a fan of friend crushes. they are problematic to me for two reasons:

  1. in my experience, in order to have any sort of crush on someone (friend crush or otherwise), to a certain extent you have to think of them in the abstract, apart from the reality of their human-ness. basically, crushes are kind of dehumanizing.
  2. anxiety. this anxiety is contingent on the dehumanizing part: you think this person is/these people are really cool, and become overly conscious of your own shortcomings, forgetting that the really cool people also are flawed because they are real humans, and are quite possibly as scared of you as you are of them (new friends are like spiders in this way).

not that friend crushes are all bad. the friendship between gea and i bloomed out of a mutual friend crush (though we didn’t figure that out until after the fact). despite the fact that gea and I are made of pure fear on a pretty regular basis, we figured that summer adventures would be the perfect opportunity to kick our fears/life generally in the face, and hang out with the really cool people who we are slightly afraid of.

so that’s what we did! we messaged emma and alec over facebook (most of the time when we were already hanging out, so there’s a good chance that they also think that we spend all of our time together). thanks to the pure fear that comes with friend crushes, we said some things that made us wonder whether or not they would develop a mutual fear or would hate us, like randomly messaging emma, telling her to make alec be friends with us so that we could kidnap them for adventures. you know, that sort of Normal Stuff.

eventually we got a hike at silver falls all planned out, and initially thought alec wasn’t going because he didn’t contribute to the group message, but he went! we got the full twin adventure experience.

the ride to and from the hike was kind of long, as was the hike itself (5 or 6 miles, i think? i know it took a while), and i’ve already rambled quite a bit about friend crushes, so i will try to concisely capture the hiking adventure in a series of bullet points: reasons to be made of pure fear, reasons not to be made of pure fear, and reasons to be optimistic.


  • when we got to their door to pick them up and it took them a bit to answer, gea kept trying to leave and i only kept her on the doorstep because i was afraid to face them alone
  • once they answered the door, there was a good bit of loud anxiety sounds on gea’s part, which alec and I were already used to, but emma was not expecting. it was not a fun first impression to make
  • there were some loud noises on my part as well: I was turned around in the car to talk to them, saw some cows out of alec’s window, then instinctively yelled “COWS!!” in their faces
  • we had a hard time navigating, and eventually had to get directions from emma, which gave them a good excuse to do some backseat driving
  • during the drive we couldn’t sufficiently make conversation on our own, so had to use our adventure buddy questionnaire
  • once we arrived, we went to a cafe to have our picnic before hiking, and i mentioned once eating an apple whole (core and all), which emma apparently hates passionately
  • i brought everyone water bottles and brought a bunch of little crystal light packets, and i was afraid that i would be the only one to use them. by the time i was halfway through my lemonade, no one had so much as opened their water
  • both gea and i unconsciously overcompensated for our insecurities. gea was once told that she breathes heavily/weird, so during the hike she would sometimes make noise because she would become conscious of her breathing, then not be able to breathe naturally. i have a deep fear of seeming like i can’t keep up, so my brain compensated by giving me too much energy, so every time there was an off path or side adventure, i would go to it (like climbing giant tree roots or claiming a small cave opening as my home)
  • gea and i very much have our own language and we have spent so much time together that we often unintentionally make references that others don’t understand, then inadequately explain our references. there’s nothing that alienates a new person like a bunch of inside jokes they don’t understand
  • the hike was really long and we sweat?? like a lot??


  • when we got into the car, i was instantly able to bond with them by admiring the tape ‘x’ (from the x files) on one of the windows in their home. it was emma’s room, but alec put it there, so i gave them 50/50 credit
  • gea and i made loud noises, but alec sometimes makes noises that genuinely sound like a goat, so we were not the only ones
  • even though we had a hard time navigating, it was a really good bonding experience because we were all lost in hell together
sideways again. goodness gracious
  • the adventure buddy questionnaire is great because it does a really good job creating fun conversations, and they seemed to like it. also we can add emma to the waterbending group, and alec to the airbending group (good choice my man). gea may still be alone in the earthbending group 😦
  • at our picnic, we all had tippy chairs (the kind that don’t have even legs, so you can tip them back and forth) except for emma, and all automatically tipped back in forth in them. once, when the conversation lulled, the only noise was me, gea, and alec tipping back and forth in our chairs
  • once we had our picnic we talked, like, a lot. like normal human beings. it was nice
  • after we had finished eating, everyone else made their bevs. emma and gea had raspberry lemonade, and alec had cherry pomegranate. plus my watermelon was a big hit!!
  • when gea made noise, oftentimes we would make noise back. and my side adventures were fun, and often made for a good laugh (while climbing the tree roots, I lost my footing and slipped through dirt all the way back to where they were standing without falling on my butt)
  • even though the interactions between gea and i may appear strange on the outside, emma and alec are twins and squabbled like siblings do. emma wanted alec to hold her padlock for her because it was jangling against her keys in her bag, then tried to hook it on the hole in his shirt and ended up ripping his shirt. we could make as many bizarre references as we wanted, and we couldn’t beat destroying your twin’s shirt
  • the hike was just as long for them and they were probably sweating?? like a lot??


  • they spoke in the same dialect of weird that we did: strange noises and assigning genders to things that are clearly genderless (often: -pointing at moss- “feel how soft he is!!”)
  • they were probably as afraid of us as we were of them: whenever alec would say something, after the fact he would say “anyway” to divert attention away from himself
  • they played in the water with us
gea plays with her hand-friend in the fountain
  • emma said that we should visit her at work, which is not something that you say to people that you hate
  • they have never had a dog, and i have a great big adorable cuddly dog, which gives us an in for our next adventure
  • we shared a love of good memes. there is no greater bond than a mutual love of great memes
  • we often stopped to just stand and stare at the falls, and i have a lot of respect for people who will just stand around with me


  • we got to adore a smol child together, who told emma that she liked emma’s flowers (emma was wearing a sweater with flowers on it), and that she liked my stripeys (i was wearing a striped sweater)
  • each and every one of us identified with “depression era jewel”
Posted in all posts, summer adventures

“personal growing pains”-s.a.#8

life is a series of adventures (i believe gandhi said that). naturally, some adventures will be mind-opening and will change the way you see the world, some will make you smile with their sweet simplicity, and others will force you to face some unexpected discomfort. my dear friend and i began this summer journey with the intent of meeting new people and expanding our horizons, and perhaps in our zeal, overlooked the reality that not every adventure will be easy-breezy fun.

we began the day with optimism. at different times throughout the morning, Paige and i went to the band room at our high school, Paige to bring home an oboe and me to practice marimba, and both walked away with positivity. at noon we went to Safeway to get gas and walk around the store, picking up some cookies for our later adventure. our hair was poofed to perfection, our lips painted with spunk.

nothing can go wrong when you have $5 cookies. 

our adventure plans today included taking the now graduated percussionists, who we’ve never hung out with outside of school, our buddies Connor, Logan, and David, to a bowling alley. They are three large-built, extroverted, phallus-joke-making, great guys, with good hearts and humor. they are great reminders that a person does not have to be deep and existential to be a decent human.


the three of them are close friends, with a communication style as unique as that of your favorite lump children. on the surface, the group of us had a grand ole time. we ate cookies, had gutterball streaks, and accidentally set off a car alarm. i got a snazzy pair of children’s bowling shoes. Paige even found another cat friend.



sometimes life appears to give us all the tools we need to make of it what we desire. this outing seemed to have all the components of a fun adventure: bros, bowling, and sweets. we laughed a lot, but maybe more from nerves and discomfort than actual humor. my friend and i drove home in silence, overstimulated and unexpectedly down-hearted. Paige was understandably uncomfortable; trying to mesh as lump children in a group of rowdy boys preparing for college is a tall order to fill. i felt self-conscious while bowling, like an awkward, gangling little kid stumbling around these guys, remembering what a social stretch it was to connect socially in percussion. we attempted to remain positive, “lobsters only grow bigger shells when the old ones becomes too uncomfortable, we must be growing, right?” its a good thing to tell one’s self, but sometimes there’s no denying that some occasions are uncomfortable, and there are some situations that just don’t feel right, and that’s no one’s fault.

throughout my life, my faith has waned in many things: religion, family, modern medicine, the education system, and even the concept of lasting relationships. however there are some things that i have to choose to believe and maintain faith in:

1. the healing power of music

2. my lump child companion, and that we will support and try to understand one another through whatever mental or social trials we face

3. that going through and putting one’s self through trying and challenging situations will promote growth and make me a more whole person, even if that growth does not show up immediately and even if i question its value when it initially renders my friend and i despondent.

not every adventure will be a walk in the park (literally, we didn’t go to a park this time), that’s simply not possible. but i believe in me, i believe in Paige, and i believe that we will absorb this experience and make of it something more whole.

Posted in all posts, summer adventures

summer adventure #6

today marked the first day my lump associate and i adventured with another person. our first guest was our buddy Jackson, a percussionist with a child-like sense of wonder who has taken on the role of my stepson, with Paige being his gramma (it’s all very logical). the setting of our adventure was McMinnville, Oregon, a small town 30 miles from Salem where I had the pleasure of calling home from ages 6-9. it’s an adorable little town, with family owned bookstores and ice cream shops, a quaint little library, and many beautiful parks, all in walking proximity of each other.

my son and his gram gram

as in life, adventures are about the journey, not the destination. It was a sunny, clear day out, and, since we drove the back roads, we got to appreciate the many vineyards and farms that lie in between the cities of the Willamette Valley. Paige was on photo duty while I reluctantly kept my eyes on the road.

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i have to say, she did a superb job.

IMG_4338IMG_4356 (1)

IMG_4350when we reached our destination and found the main street to begin our on-foot adventures, we started left and discovered a park with a giant wooden play structure. I instantly recognized it from my childhood, and was stunned at how small it was now, and how close it was to the main street. That was probably my biggest take away from this adventure, this place that was integral to my childhood is now so small, but at least nothing really changed. and now i get to share it with some really great people.

we wandered into what i will call the dragon park, due to the dragon painted on the play structure. Jackson sprang into action and became an actual child, and tried to keep up with him as he raced around the play structure. eventually paige went to grab some water and Jackson went to the facilities. naturally, i took this as a perfect opportunity to climb a tree.

i am not entirely sure how i got up there

like father like son, Jackson followed me up:

photocred to gram-gram

upon returning to the ground, we chased our way through the greenery and slopes to another nearby park, where my son showed me up and climbed so high in a tree he accidentally got tree dust in my eyes. but it was okay. because we are family. it was family tree dust.

finally worn out, the three of us walked down main street in search of the best ice cream parlor in town, Serendipity Ice Cream. along the way, we stopped at the McMinnville Public Library, the most cherished location of my time in the town. it was small and quaint, and they added new sidewalk art:

featuring Paige’s dank converse

eventually we found the ice cream shop, where we made small talk with a delightful young man who served Paige and I ice cream cones and made Jackson a picturesque milkshake. we ate outside, enjoying the sleepy, warm summer day.

he was a lot happier than he looks, i promise

to our surprise, Jackson invited us over after our day on to watch Zootopia, an absolutely adorable movie which we watched with his younger siblings. His little brother Monty curled up to my knee and his sister Angel took a liking to Paige. it’s always fascinating to watch sibling interactions, which include a lot of yelling. after Jackson painstakingly sent his siblings away, Paige and I could no longer contain our inner children and used the giant beanbags to destroy the boy who invited us into his home. This Jackson’s house traditional is referred to as “bird dinner,” where we use the beanbags to dogpile on one another. it is very intellectual as you can imagine.

when Paige and I finally headed home, we spotted two cats, which Paige promptly befriended:

the expert in action

the entire ride home, Paige and I could not comprehend what an amazing time we had. our first adventure with a person, and it went so well, large in part to the whimsy and kindness of our great friend Jackson. summer adventures as a means to get to know people better is off to a great start. and god knows we have plenty more to come.

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kitten kaboodle – s.a.5

when you think about us two lump children, you could view us as having one of two relationships: attached at the hip, or having healthy boundaries but being close enough that our behaviors transcend those boundaries.

for example, my neighbor Daniel is in the same grade and goes to the same school as us, and has the same private teacher, Rob, as Gea does. yesterday when Gea was practicing marimba at school, Daniel was there too, because he was about to start his lesson with Rob. in conversation, Daniel commented to her, “you go over to Paige’s a lot”. apparently, every time he looks out his window, her car is in my driveway. and 10 minutes later he’ll glance out again, and her car is still there.

there’s a good chance that he thinks she now lives here.

on the other hand, yesterday we proved that we can be comfortable going out and adventuring on our own, because I went to a drive in with four friends and had no contact with Gea and we both had a good time on our own. because we have our own lives and healthy boundaries. despite the lack of contact though, we still managed to sync up our sleep schedules (which has never happened before): I got home and went to bed after midnight, and she went to bed at midnight, and we both woke up around 10:30 the next morning. so say what you will about us, but our friendship transcends the ordinary.

anywho, after both waking up at the same time we both got ready for today’s adventure: training to volunteer at kitten kaboodle, a branch of the willamette humane society that operates at the salem center mall during kitten season. we always seem to find ourselves running late for whs things, because this time we decided to get gas at safeway (where we met an eager young man who seemed to be a fellow lump child) and on the way back, traffic was awful. luckily, we drove alongside a beautiful dog to cheer us up.

he was so beautiful
they’re in love

when we did arrive, it turned out that all was well because the training lady was also running late. by the time she got there, we had acclimated to that corner of the mall and were comfortably, silently cohabitating with the other volunteers. and that’s how most of the training went: silently (from us at least. our trainer was very sweet and obviously had to make noise to train us). internally, of course, there was the screaming of combined excitement and nervousness.

we had a lot of information thrown at us in those two hours, and there were no kitten breaks (no kittens at all, actually. turns out the kittens don’t live there when the store isn’t open), so when it finished we went to baskin robbins for some brain-rehabilitating ice cream. as is usual with us, we wandered aimlessly outside while we ate our ice cream: me with the mini sample spoon I got, and her with her mouth. gea’s eating methods should have been solid, but the ice cream stopped being so in the hot sun, so it became a race against time for gea to finish her cone.

it almost started to feel like we, too, were melting in the heat. it wasn’t the hottest day, but we were speed walking and had worn pants in order to align with a dress code that didn’t end up being relevant for training, so found ourselves sweating up a storm. despite the miserable damp feeling, we had a really nice time. we actually discussed it: it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, or if you’re doing something that is not traditionally fun (like overheating), it will still be enjoyable with a good friend. so let’s all raise a melted cone to kittens and friendship.

some heroes dont wear capes– they wear elmo eyes


Posted in all posts, summer adventures

summer adventure #4- early morning fits of rage

the time was 8:30 in the morning. paige had been awake from bee sting pain since 7:30; i had yet to fall asleep. i texted my lump compadre telling her of my familial frustrations and plans to go grocery shopping, and was surprised at her immediate response. who was crazy enough to be up this early? the answer is both of us. and we took this as a sign from the universe that it was time for a spontaneous adventure: getting donuts and going grocery shopping.


 appropriately dressed as yuppie lesbians in our early 30s, we stood in front of a gorgeous display of donuts, blocking other patrons from the product as we gaped.eventually we made our selections and ate in the cafe area:


he was flaky

conversation ranged from rage at our past friends, past selves, future selves, the patriarchy, and admiringly giggling at the morning coffee meeting of half a dozen old ladies at the table next to ours. there was also a tasteful retelling of the musical, Cabaret, with the fingers of my right hand as the Cabaret patrons and my left index finger as the Nazi. it is unknown whether the old ladies appreciated this.

during our first time grocery shopping as a couple (i pushed the cart, paige monitored the list; we were a dream team), we picked up razors (its leg day, bitches), cotton balls, almond milk, chocolate milk, and apple juice. the gift section  was home to many fuzzy stuffed animals, the lady on the overhead speaker was not kidding on why we needed to stop by.

it was a short outing, but highly productive, and a prime beginning to any  day.

Posted in all posts, summer adventures

logistics day – s. a. 3


after my week-long vacation in Redmond interrupted our summer adventures, we met for logistics day, to finally start planning summer adventures and get them on the calendar. it was the first time I had seen Gea in a little over a week, and was surprised by how it felt like ages since I’d seen her, and simultaneously like no time at all had passed. this strange experience was heightened of course by the fact that Gea was wearing an adorable dress that I had never seen before, and that day for the first time (probably in her life) someone told her that she looked summer-y. naturally, I just exited my house and yelled “you look cute!”, which she repeated back to me but louder. to get a proper feel for how this interaction typically goes, make your hands into birds, have one tell the other that they look cute, then have the other respond by opening your hand just more than is reasonable and yell it back.

we do a lot of bird-hand demonstrations here.

anywho, upon discovering that my mother had given me a great harvest gift card for this very occasion, Gea decided that we should do logistics at the gov cup. a note: there is no great harvest at or near gov cup. this cause-and-effect decision is a pretty good indicator of how the rest of our decision-making went.

we had a difficult time navigating, as is typical, but we finally made it and it was worth it. gov cup is the cute sort of coffee shop that has rickety old stairs and rickety old chairs and art all over the walls. we ordered italians sodas, peach for me and cherry for Gea, and I promptly dropped my debit card on the floor, starting the new trend in which you throw your form of payment on the ground before paying. it’s hip. trust me.

we got our italian sodas (which were fantastic. I know you were wondering), and headed up the rickety old stairs to start planning things out. Gea brought her nice planner and pens and lists, and I brought nothing. which worked out fine, because we had a hard time focusing enough to create too many plans.


we did manage to get some dates down, and spike our anxiety by creating 8 or 9 new group messages with various people. a couple of whom sounded like they hated us, and one of whom was actually the wrong number. it was good fun.

we also figured out that both of our mothers have decided to adopt the other–my mom said that we could invite Gea on our college visiting road trip, and Gea’s mom said that they could invite me on a camping trip. which was equal parts exciting and terrifying for me, because I’ve never been camping. but hey, adventure!!

one of our group messages included our good buddy Jack, who was just getting off of work, so we went to kidnap him. we passed his house, had to go back, then knocked on his door, only to have him come out of his garage door instead of the front door. personally, I am inclined to believe that his house is like Gea’s, and the front door is broken. we had some fun with the whole broken-front-door thing when we ordered pizza and we had to meet Sterling in the garage.

the fun thing about the spontaneous segments of our adventures is that we can never decide where to go, so ended up choosing a park (not that I’m complaining. parks are good adventure locations). specifically, we went to riverfront park, the one with the carousel. I spent the entire time complaining about how it was triggering memories of awkward group dates I’d been on with my older sister (our parents always start you off on group dates before you can move on to normal dating, so Cassidy would just bring her siblings along as a group). I then proceeded to step on a bee, stinger side up. it was not my best moment.

obviously, Gea and Jack became intimately familiar with my complaining voice, but make no mistake, riverfront was not a bust. we had a good time walking around with our shoes off (none of us wore socks), and found ourselves sitting on the walking bridge, watching the people below play in the toxic water.

a brief catalog of people observed:

  • the fisherman: a guy in a blue t shirt, standing waist deep in the water, fishing. he was observed after he had caught a fish, and he was smacking his pole against the water. he was stumbling through the river, just wapping his fish against the surface. we later realized that it was not a fish, just a deceptive lure. it was still pretty funny.
  • the lovers: two ducks who swam around and eventually were fed bread crumbs by the posers (see next two). gea kept calling them dinosaurs, because they could swim and walk on land. not actually people, but worth it for the birb love.
  • poser #1: some dude with his group of friends who had nunchucks. i hated him.
  • poser #2: maybe a college-age kid, maybe a middle schooler, couldn’t tell. overgrown hair, beanie too big for his head, teenage mutant ninja turtle shirt, shorts too big for him and going past his knees, and slippers. kept taking the nunchucks from poser #1, but didn’t seem to know how to use them.
  • algae kid: my personal favorite. a kid in a red shirt swimming around the river, picking up wads of algae with clear glee. he was seen swimming in it (on his back, paddling backwards with his hands covered in swaths of algae), cackling.

we also saw a lot of dogs while sitting and observing. we didn’t pet any. it was sad.

funnily enough, as we were walking through riverfront, we saw some dogs. I then realized that they were attached to the same lady as had served us at gov cup. it’s an interesting thinking point: how many people’s paths are ours intertwined with on a daily basis, and we don’t even know it? one saturday before school got out, we were out on the town, and that evening ended up picking up Olivia and calling Tate to see if he wanted to party. as it turns out, Tate and his girlfriend Heather had actually seen us that day wandering downtown, because they were on a date downtown at the same time. if we hadn’t called them to see if they wanted to party at roth’s, we would never have known.

we ended logistics day with pizza, because we realized that we had generally done a poor job of nourishing ourselves that day. time flies when you’re making fun of posers, so we didn’t realize that we went to Straight from NY Pizza approximately 15 minutes before they closed. Gea and I got our usual two-slices-and-a-soda deal, each with one piece and sharing a root beer, while Jack (the reasonable person) got the same deal for himself and forced us to let him pay. Gea then forced money on him, while I looked on and felt guilty for not having any cash to shove down anyone’s throats.

we found more guilt when we realized that we were the awful people who come in to a restaurant right before it closes, so we skedaddled, then couldn’t navigate our way out of the parking lot. we dropped Jack off at home, who it turns out had left the money Gea forced on him in her car. Gea then took me home, where we completely forgot to take the only picture that we had originally planned to take: the leg picture.

see, we realized that neither one of us had shaved since I left or vacation, so we were going to take a hairy legs picture but never did. it’s probably better, for your sake, that we forgot. I think it’s poetic though, that on our day of planning, we planned to take that picture but forgot because we were too busy having fun. hopefully, that’s an indicator of how future adventures will go. we may be a bit of a mess, but we’re having a great time.

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summer adventure #2: hero orientation

super hero origins vary from tragically-orphaned billionaires to moody teenagers with spider bites; ours, however takes place on the traffic-jammed, torn-apart Kuebler Road, racing against the clock to make a 5:30 volunteer orientation at the Willamette Humane Society. upon arrival we were greeted by a disgruntled, yelping dog while being warned to step away. luckily, this was not an indicator of the evening’s success. taking our seats among a diverse group of hopeful candidates,  we watched an animal-filled presentation delivered by an enthusiastically awkward animal lover (undoubtedly a fellow lump child), and learned of the multitude of volunteer opportunities. Paige, being a pacer as well as a dog-lover, found the position of a life time as a dog-walker, and I discovered Cat Hospitality, a position be-fitting of my nervous cleaning habits as well as a desire for cuddling. On the tour of the facilities, we learned all the miraculous methods used for the saving of countless animal lives, as well as the animals themselves. we signed up for interviews before heading back on Kuebler.

the drive home contained ecstatic chatter bouncing between being massively excited and terribly afraid, as swirled up as the sky above us. we were a step closer to hero-hood! Also, completely  overwhelmed with positivity and terror! so much so that when we pulled into Paige’s driveway, we remained there until half of Paige’s family showed up. hilarity ensued, a butterfly euthanization was performed, family conversation (+ Gea) took place, and the night concluded with me returning after initial goodbyes due to forgetting literally everything I had with me.

whether or not entering the introductory phase of the volunteer process equates to superhero-dom is debatable, particularly due to being lump children who advised the death of a butterfly within the hour of signing onto animal-care work. however, the good we plan to put into our community will definitely (hopefully?) outweigh the calamity that will inevitably come with it.




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“i’m so glad i’m not the only one!” – s.a.1

disclaimer: this post is multiple days late because paige promised to do it and she is a procrastinating fool.

summer adventures officially began on wednesday, june 15, at approx 3 pm. technically it was the last day of school, but we’ll call it the first day of summer because we’re optimists here. I think it’s fitting that, after Gea arrived to pick me up, we took about ten minutes to set plans that we never ended up seeing through.



initially, we decided to go to a new starbucks and a new park, so we could check them off of our starbucks + park tour of Salem (we plan to visit each park and each starbucks at least once). we never actually made it to starbucks, but we did get to a (non-new) park. after we went to lancaster mall, target, coldstone, the WWII memorial, and the Capitol, that is. you could say that we took the scenic route.

initially, we though that lancaster mall had a starbucks, so we went there and wandered aimlessly until we realized that we were wandering aimlessly. but no worries! we didn’t go there for naught: we got to make fun of some father’s day ads and marvel at the realization that all of the crafting ladies in advertisements display the same cheery smiles and dead eyes as I do in group pictures.


we eventually realized our folly, and decided to look elsewhere. we were positive that some target somewhere in salem has a starbucks in it, so went to the target across the street. it’s a bummer that we were too distractable to find out whether or not there was starbucks in the target we were in.

instead, we tried on all of the hats (which went great with gea’s hair buns) and all of the sunglasses and bought popcorn. the popcorn at target is top notch stuff, except that we kept dropping it so it got to the point where my purse was overflowing with all of the buttered popcorn we had dropped and I think the lining of my purse is 70% grease now. anyway. we dropped most of it while sitting cross legged in the candle aisle, talking about life and smelling all the smells. we also met a gea-impersonator (picture above) and her true love (picture below)


we kept looking for a trash can, then getting distracted with gea’s dinosaur lovers. it wasn’t until we left target that we actually got around to throwing away the popcorn in my purse. obviously, we never got starbucks. though that’s alright, because we got something better: ice cream!!

as we exited target, I pointed out the coldstone nearby and gea commented that it had been years since she had had coldstone so I had a “treat yo self” moment (technically I treated both of our selves #worthit). it was nice because the ice cream was good and we chatted with the lady serving us, which is usually incredibly intimidating. but for that one day, the universe blessed us with the power of small talk. she told us about how she had worked there on and off for years, and whenever she didnt work there she would always grow to miss it. working at coldstone isn’t necessarily a glamorous job, but it must be fun and rewarding. the more we thought about it, the more we realized that working in an ice cream shop is the dream. I believe she told us, “I basically get paid to play with ice cream”. what a career.

better than being blessed by small talk, though, is eating the ice cream and talking to someone who is more you than you are. we probably spent a couple hours sitting at coldstone, talkin about our pasts and lookin at birbs and letting our cones soak in the remnants of ice cream that we were too full to finish and listening to the oldies playing in the background. in my opinion, there’s nothing more healing than good talks with a side of Billy Joel.

and of course, there was a lot of “i’m so glad i’m not the only one!”. the more we talk, the more strange parallels we discover in our lives and our behaviors and our brains.



eventually we realized how long we had been sitting there (customers had come and gone, and everyone’s shifts who had been working when we arrived had ended, so it was a new slew of workers who had no idea how long we had been there). we decided to just leave, and ended up driving aimlessly… again.


not to say that driving aimlessly isn’t nice. it definitely is. we found ourselves near downtown, and I looked up and saw the golden man and suggested going to the Capitol. we realized that it would be closed by the time we got there, but decided to go anyway. in fact, we got there by watching for the gold man in the sky instead of getting directions or using a GPS, which is impressive for two of the most directionally challenged people you could ever meet. well, impressive if you ignore the number of times we circled the completely empty block, trying to park.




we made it eventually. it always has surprised me that I’ve lived in salem my whole life, but I know hardly anything about it. last time I was inside the capitol, I was in the fourth grade, singing in a choir concert. when we went on wednesday, I was surprised about how little I knew. there were so many more umbrella trees than anticipated.


and metal animals.



and beautiful trees.


and beautiful tree stumps.


point being, we live in the same city as the capitol building but were still surprised at its beauty. go figure.

which brings me to the final destination in our first adventure: fircrest park. we, on the way to my house, took a detour to the same park as we had exactly three weeks before, when we had realized the next level of our friendship. unknowingly, we had gone back to where it all began on our three week anniversary. three weeks later, it looked no different. unfortunately, the mosquito situation was also the same, so after we went on the spinny things and I got dizzy and we sat down for me to get un-dizzy, I started getting eaten up by mosquitos.

so we retreated to go sit in the car, and I can’t say that I feel bad for laughing at the top of our lungs with the windows rolled down, probably irritating the entire neighborhood. because it was an adventure, and every once in a while it’s nice to live life without worries. sometimes it’s nice to make plans, then destroy them completely and play it by ear, and accidentally celebrate your three-week anniversary. so while we never made it to starbucks, I can’t call our first summer adventure anything but a success.

Posted in summer adventures

“when you have a chance…”-summer pre-venture

today, our second-to-last day of school, was a day of progress and (relative) spontaneity. we took our seats at a table in the bottom floor of the Salem Public Library to “study” and “figure out how to blog.” along the way we investigated a fake plant, people watched, facebook stalked, and discovered the wonder of speaking in dependent clauses (*sets phone down* “when you have a chance,…” *complete silence*). after bitter in-fighting in the comments section and eventually swapping laptops, we successfully figured out how to crop and post a single picture, as well as get the blog up and running.the pre-venture ended with the taking of the first picture to document our summer journey.

let the adventures begin.