Got it for the lo-lo(cal)

The Boulder Farmers’ Market is a magical getaway (from Whole Foods), and this weekend there was an added escape just a couple blocks away: Firefly Handmade Market

If you couldn’t make it to Pearl Street this weekend, come back track with me! Click on the links to follow to support some local Boulder indie artisans.

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Happy Sunday,

Caroline

Read my last post here!

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Second Homes

They’re a funny thing, second homes. Especially when you’re a college student and your living arrangements (most likely) change from year to year. There’s a quote I often stumble upon, “Home is not a place, it’s a feeling.”

I have to both agree and disagree with this statement. Home is most certainly a feeling. When I go camping, the campsite & tiny tent become my idea of “home” when I say, “let’s head home” after a long day. Growing up, on family vacations, “home” became whatever hotel or vacation rental we were residing in for the extent of the trip.

Home is not only a feeling, but it’s the people. More on that in a bit.

Home is, also, a place. My home base, forever and ever, will be in Maryland. Specifically, a big brick house with a green oasis in the back and two furry friends that we welcomed in to our human family. From the airport near the city, take the highway, then an exit, and from there, you’ll be on the back roads for a bit, and then you turn onto my street. Perched upon a grassy hill is the home where I grew up. The kitchen is no longer the one that I grew up in, with ’90s wallpaper and children’s scribble underneath the island.


The memories, though, they’re the same. And the people, despite the fact that we come and go, we’re still the same. Taller people, yes, and my brothers look more like men now, so I can no longer wrap my arms over their shoulders in family pictures anymore, but we share so much in our similar life stories.

We ate the same dinners, watched the same cartoons, chose our dog together, jumped in the pool together, ran through the spazzy flower sprinkler together. It’s the people that I created these feelings of home and these memories of home with that created my first “home.”

And now, in Boulder, Colorado, my second home, and the best I could have ever imagined, it’s still the people. It’s my field hockey teammates, my Alpha Phi sisters, my yoga teacher training omies, the girls in my dorm, and all of my very best friends. Without them, it would have just been me, in an unfamiliar town with mountains towering above me, unsure and anxious. My new “home”, but not yet a warm and welcoming and loving one. Not until the memories were made and the adventures were had.


The memories I created my freshman year in Boulder allowed for me to feel at home. A different feeling than the one from my Maryland home, but the feeling of home was present nonetheless.  The people that I shared these memories with are why I’m so thrilled and overwhelmed with joy at the thought of flying back into Denver in a few short days.


I’m not alone in this feeling, as so many students my age are gearing up for another year of college, and some are headed out to begin as freshmen. And if you’re a freshman, no matter how far you’re going from your first home base, I promise you, second homes are just as magical, if you let them in.

It’s a terrifying thought, really. How can you let go of the town where you grew up? How can you leave all this behind?

You aren’t leaving anything behind. Your hometown is a piece of who you are, it shaped you and brought you to where you are today. Bring your hometown with you, hold it close on the nights when you feel unsure or lonely, which is all totally normal. Give your new home a chance. Meet new people, share your stories of your friends from home with your new friends, try new things, step outside your comfort zone.

And, above all else, call your mom. My second home lacks a huge piece of my heart, my wonderfully forgiving & understanding & loving mother. A simple phone call can be the biggest fix for home-sickness.


There’s a balance, from what I experienced, in finding how to handle your OG home & your second home. Once you’ve found it, though, it’s incredible. I can’t exactly give you step-by-step instructions on finding this balance. That’s entirely up to you, and sometimes it takes time.

{Personally, it took listening to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac and “Travelin Soldier” or “Cowboy Take Me Away” by Dixie Chicks non-stop for a month or so. (I like to call these ‘The Kitchen Songs’ due to the overwhelming presence they had in our kitchen come dinner time while my brothers & I were growing up) (My mom likes to sing while she cooks) (And just to sing in general) }

In the end of it all, there’s nothing better than  having two places, both spectacularly beautiful in their own ways, filled with the best people in the world, always welcoming you home.


Here’s to second homes, here’s to my Maryland home, and here’s to all the homes to come.

Happy living,

Caroline

{If you’re now feeling an overwhelming urge to listen to Dixie Chicks, here ya go: Landslide}

 

Alaska: Adventures on the Kenai

Weeeee this summer is flying by! In less than a month I’ll be heading back to Boulder, which is hard to believe. For today’s post, I thought it would be fun to update you all on my biggest trip from this summer!

My dad and I went on a lovely little (okay, not so little) trip to Alaska a few weeks ago, and I documented it with my iPhone and some notes each day. Below you can follow along as I recap our adventure!

Day 1: We were picked up from hotel at 6 AM (which was easy, we were still on East Coast time, so it felt like 10 AM) by our tour group. The whole trip was planned and executed by Alaska Adventures, and it went flawlessly! From the hotel, we drove to a train station. We had 4 hour train ride from Anchorage to Seward, and despite the rain, it was beautiful. From Seward, we had a 45 minute boat ride to Fox Island. Fox Island was the most remote place I’ve ever been to. The island has no electricity, and it can only be reached by boat.

Afternoon activity: sea kayaking (for about 2.5 hours) We saw bald eagles, fish, and the scenery looked like it could have been the Game of Thrones set. (GOT finale was also that weekend, so I had Westeros on the brain)

Day 2: We took 5 hour boat trip out to sea. Not pleasant (for me). If you knew me as a kid, you’ll remember my unbearable motion sickness, so boats are not my favorite place to be. Despite the rocky waters, it was still incredible to see puffins, orca whales, and so much more marine life up close. We also saw a glacier and went through a lot of ice (the Captain referred to “the T word” and told us not to worry). The glacier was incredible, I don’t have any words to describe it, but I do have a picture!

Afternoon activity: Mini-hike (about 2 hours) to get our land legs back.

Day 3: We went on an 8 mile hike to Exit Glacier and were forced to stop when the snow made it impossible to continue on. Lots and lots of wildlife on this excursion!

Day 4: We biked 25 miles from Seward to Hope. Thankfully, I had bought bike shorts, so it was actually a great experience. Hope is an old town, and a very, very small one. We stopped by a historic house and museum before heading into the main area of town, and an 8 year old gave us an awesome tour of the land.

Day 5: We went for a 3 hour hike, spent mainly in solitude, crossed the largest creek by hand tram, hiked a bit more and then ate lunch before a 6 mile bike ride. That 6 mile leisurely bike ride turned into 12 because our group wanted more exercise, but getting to see the views again was worth it.

Day 6: We wrapped up the week with a quick 8 mile bike ride, then headed off to Anchorage to catch our flight back to Seattle.

Part of what made this trip so special was our guides and the people in our group. They came from all over the world, and were some of the most kind, welcoming, and fun loving humans I’ve ever met. Austin Adventures did amazing with the whole thing, even accounting for my (mainly raw) vegan lifestyle, and I’m so beyond grateful for that.

Overall, Alaska was an incredible trip and I’ll always treasure these adventures. I feel most myself when I’m out in nature, mainly when I’m hiking, and I can’t wait to get back to CO to explore more of the peaks out West.

I hope you enjoyed the recap and the pictures!

Happy adventuring,

Caroline