Summer Glamping

Hey pudding pops!

All I can say is thank God Bryan and I purchased THIS last summer:


Since it’s first appearance last 4th of July, our two-man island of fun has srsly been our BFF. The three musketeers, we are. And when the hot Portland sun is pouring through the windows in our AC-less apartment all I wanna do is cannonballs all. day. long.


A few weekends ago, Bryan and I packed up the Jeep and headed east for a little overnighter in the desert. After striking out at THREE different campsites, we finally nabbed one on the river at Peach Beach, which sounds like a cocktail.


We sprang out of the car, inflated the RR (River Run), dumped a six-bomb of BLLs and a river drink for moi in the COOLER and set sail. I also applied m’trusty 70 SPF because my mamma didn’t raise no fool. We floated until lunch time and then I had the PB&J Bry so lovingly made for me with potato chips. We went through almost an entire gallon of water too. I always talk about our dranks, but we DO drink tons of H20 as well.

After the afternoon session we had covered all relevant topics; how we want to parent our offspring someday, which is truly the best of the 3 Ninjas series and obviously we played last meal.




At Peach Beach no campfires were allowed (SONOFA) so our dinner was puuurty sad. We boiled water for hot dogs and then roasted mallows for s’mores over the tiny flame of the Jet Boil. It was a little pathetic but it worked.


Then we watched about an hour of Wolf of Wall Street (told you it was glamping) in the tent and fell asleep. The next day we headed home to get some errands done but decided to head back the very next weekend. Can you tell we had fun?

The next weekend, we headed the same direction but decided to make it a day trip. And this time, we weren’t lazy bums. We ended up doing a 6 mile hike along the Deschutes River and I LOVVVVED it (yes it was totally flat). We hiked up a bit and then back to our car along the old railroad trail which was beautiful but long.



We got back and immediately got RR in the water. A ranger explained to us that we were free to float along a stretch of the river all the way to the Columbia if we wanted. Things started out innocently enough until I suggested we paddle over and take a little tributary (that’s what I was calling it, but, LIKE I KNOW what a tributary is). As soon as we paddled over, poor RR was going through rapids, skidding over huge river rocks and Bryan and I were swirling around out of control. Things only got worse as we made our way down – it was so narrow, rocky and full of rapids that we were totally freaked. I was getting shoved into trees and foliage full of gross spider webs. I was screaming and being dramatic per usual.

Then Bryan was a prince. He got OUT of RR and pulled us back against the rapids. He was literally IN the water, pulling hard against the rocks and he basically ruined his swim trunks in the process. When we finally got back to the calm water, I made us do 25 tick checks and cleaned all the debris off RR. I had a few sips of wine from my wine cube and everything was all better. We ended up tying ourselves to a rock and spending the day lounging in the waist-deep water and catching some rays. Another eventful day out on the riv!


Wrong way, genius

Also, what is more surprising: That football season starts in just WEEKS or that I actually care?


Our First Portland Hike

Hey hey hey!


Last weekend, as a treat for Bryan completing the CFA exam, I decided to grace him with my presence on the hiking trail.

You see, while living in Jackson Hole, I lured Bryan into my clutches by pretending that I was somewhat of a hard-core hiking lady. Of course this couldn’t be further from the truth, but months of running had given my body the aptitude to take on 10 mile + hikes and thousands of feet in elevation gain. So, I would ho-hum along the hiking trail, impressing him with my ugly-but-cool hiking pants and alleged excitement of yet 75 more switchbacks.

Since then, things have somewhat changed.

While I do enjoy the out-of-doors and the odd camping trip, the boy is mine (as Brandy and Monica might say). I no longer have to work for his affection, and thus – I let my freak flag fly.


I wear whatever I feel suits me best when I hike. Be it a sparkly VS hoodie circa 2006 or knee socks with shorts. Within the first 15 or so minutes, at least 2-4 complaints have escaped my mouth and probably another couple requests for the water bottle, granola bar, etc. I am needy. I talk too much. I get mad. But I’m also a darn good time.

Bryan and I decided to do a loop around Multanomah Falls, the largest waterfall in Oregon. We started out on a paved black-top and I must have made the comment, “Oh, I just love that this is paved!” about a million times. It was steep, but at least it wasn’t all rocky and full of tree roots.

The hike was full of twists and turns, bridges over bubbling brooks and mini waterfalls. It was DEFINITE unicorn territory.


As the pavement slowly faded into earth, so did my motivation. My muscles were tired, the muggy air made my whole body sticky and I knew we weren’t even halfway done. Bryan told me we had gained about 1,200 feet and for that, I was grateful.


Just before we reached our destination towards the top, I realized that my sentiments towards hiking, mirror the stages of grief.

1. Shock and denial – The initial shock of going uphill is never good. I’ll often ask myself, “I don’t remember signing up for this!”

2. Pain and Guilt –   The pain has set in. I’m hurting and I want to stop and devour all the m&ms out of the trail mix. But I don’t. I keep going because I will feel bad if I poop out now.

3. Anger and Bargaining – Then I just get MAD. Real mad. I see Bryan easily handling the steepness and I just wanna throw my water bottle at his head. Why is he putting me through this? Then I’ll try to barter, “Hey, if you go down and get the car now, I’ll make cookies for you tonight!”.

4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness – After the anger has subsided, I’m just sad. Why is this hike so hard for me, yet so easy for all these other people? A tear might escape my eye. Bryan is now a good 15 paces ahead of me. “He doesn’t even care”, I think.

5. The Upward Turn – This is usually when we reach the top, or whatever destination we have been going towards. I know we are now going downhill and so I smile.

6. Reconstruction and Working Through – I’ve now told Bryan that I hate this hike, I hate these trees. I’m recovering from my tantrum and as the sweat dries up, so does my anger.

7. Acceptance and Hope – I’ve done it. It is over and I am better because of it. This is where I get really chatty, lovey-dovey and want to stop for little breaks to snap pics, hold hands and breathe in the moment.



You see? It totally applies. Which brings me to my next idea, which is – hikes that ONLY go downhill. Yes please.


Spray Park Hike

Helllllo lovelies!

Today I am here to introduce you to my newly discovered hiking essential – wine. Hiking with wine (wiking?) is actually fairly simple and involves the following essential elements:

  • a hiking trail
  • wine

It all started with an innocent Christmas present which Bryan bestowed unto his Dad – “a fully chauffeured and personally-guided hike with views of Mt. Rainier and  gourmet picnic lunch”. I figured wine would play a part in the lunch, as neither Bryan nor I are strangers to consuming beer, wine and the like whilst climbing up a mountain – and well, it did.

Our Sunday began as so many do, with Starbucks and plenty of excited chatter about the day’s events. We reached the overflowing parking lot at Mowich Lake around 10:30 am and laced up our shoes. Half a can of bug spray later, we were ready to embark. Oh, and I carried Bryan’s smaller Dakine backpack which smelled heavily of boy and made me feel SO core.

photo (12)

Bry and his Dad stayed close and far ahead as Mary and I lagged behind. But whatevs, we totally caught up on our wedding talk so all was well. Per usual, Bry’s description of the hike as “an easy 3.5 miles with only 1,500 feet of elevation gain” seemed ludicrous as I puffed my way up-hill, trudging switch back after switch back. Thanks alot BRYAN.


We then learned that there was a BEAR on the trail. A bear.


Holly Coleman’s Biggest Fear

This photo is from National Geographic. Not the actual bear on the trail, but you get the idea.

I began to flip out when it dawned on me how everyone else seemed so relaxed about the idea that a behemoth, 250 lb. flesh-ripping beast was in our midst. One guy actually took pictures of it from mere yards away!

If living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming taught me anything it was to drink whiskey fear bears. People carry sprays, wear bells and even blast music to prevent the inevitable nightmare of surprising a bear, or worse, bears in the wilderness. But here in Washington, people were actually hoping to see it and maybe, horror of horrors to PET it.

I realize black bears are not as aggressive or as large as grizzlies (which are native to Jackson Hole) but, come on. They are still wild animals – have we learned nothing from Grizzly Man??


Other than the fact that his beanie was a bad choice?

After a few more twists and turns, I was elated at the sight of Bryan setting his backpack down and unloading our lunch. Yay!

We had turkey, pesto and provolone sandwiches on delicious ciabbatta rolls, Tim’s Cascade potato chips and dun-dun-dun-DAAAHH – Wines. 2 bottles 🙂 These are the times where I truly appreciate my crazy mountain climbing fiance who carried our jackets, water bottles, lunch and 2 bottles of wine in his pack.

image (1)

The weather took a slight turn for the worse, clouding the magnificent view of Mt. Rainer but ’twas no bother. Our glasses of wine kept us warm and happy.

image (2)

We parked ourselves atop a warm rock (yes, it was warm), happily ate our lunches and each drank 2-3 glasses of wine. And then…things got fun. Not only were we doing my favorite part of any hike (the way down) but I had a nice bod-buzz to stay loose and entertained.

We happened upon this beautiful waterfall and stood, amazed.

photo (14)

photo (13)The way out was a breeze! Before I knew it, we were back in the car and I was fighting the urge to snooze. Then I discovered that I had about 3 mosquito bites on each shoulder #FAIL so I tried to discreetly scratch them so that Bry wouldn’t scold me.

I alllways itch my bug bites. Can’t help it.

After we bid my soon-to-be in-laws adieu we made the healthy decision to order a large cheese pizza from Frankies and I bought a liter of Diet Coke. Ajsa!hsdb* I know it’s bad.

Another successful adventure in the Pac N-Dub.

Go me.

A Very Rainier Weekend


Spending more than 48 hours in the great out-of-doors makes me feel like yodeling.

As I sit down to type this post of epic proportions, I have to wonder how it went by so darn fast. It seems like yesterday we were at QFC, filling our cart with Bud Light Limes and Hebrew Nats. Perhaps that’s where I should start, n’est pas?

Firewood, beer, hot dogs and bug spray. These are just a few of the supplies Bry and I snagged on Friday in preparation for our first official camping trip in Washington since our September move further west! Bry had mapped out our Saturday schedule which looked a little something like this:

  • 4:00 am – Wake up
  • 4:30 am – Drive to camping ground at White River
  • 7:00 am – Arrive to camp-spot
  • 9:00 am – Begin day hike to Sunrise
  • 1:00 pm – Lunch break at Sunrise Visitor Center
  • 2:00 pm – Hike Wonderland Trail back to camp spot
  • 3:30 pm – Arrive camp spot

The 4 am wake up was just wonderful. Brought me right back to my days working at the Starbucks in the Davenport Hotel. I used to sleep in my uniform.

I rolled myself into the Jeep and surrounded myself with pillows and blankets while Bryan hit the 24-hour Starbucks in Kirkland for a venti misto. I awoke as Bryan pulled into the campsite at White River and marveled at well, the White River. It really is white. Very LOTRish.



We finagled our camping spot and Bry Jet-Boiled me up a VIA to combat the low temps. I slapped my face a few times (Harry from Dumb & Dumber style) and completed a set of 25 jumping jacks to wake up my lethargic stems. Then, we hit the tray-tray.


The spot


It started off with a gradual incline and after only 15 minutes I inquired as to the length of our excurion. We thought we were in for a 10 mile day which sounded about as good as a soggy ham sammy on a hot day. I got the majority of my complaints out within the first hour of the hike…’my legs hurt’, ‘so how far is it again?’, ‘I wish we could just switch bodies so you knew how I feel’…


I spoke of the heaps of work I had in front of me – preparing for Megan’s bachelorette party the coming weekend by making a cake, shopping for my LBD (the theme), securing a lunch reservation and buying a gift. OH – not to mention cleaning our entire apartment. No sweat, Nat. It’ll all come together. So, I pulled up my already-above-the-bellybutton gray hiking pants from REI and pressed on.



The trail evened out, got steeper, evened out, got steeper. We had traveled 3 miles on our way to Glacier Basin, when Bry decided to bag the idea and just head on up to Sunrise. So, we did an about-face and half a mile later were back at the fork to hike the 5 miles up to Sunrise. I pulled my hair back, made my pants into shorts and got all gangsta.


Most beautiful girl in the world.

Every time I told myself “This sucks – I want to be at home cleaning out my tub – organizing my sh*t –  watching makeup tutorials  – eating Pirate’s Booty t”, I just had to take a step back, quite literally. Here I was, on this absolutely gorgeous trail with hardly any other people, taking in views of Rainier in all her majesty, eating trail mix and spending time with my favorite person in the world.

Bryan and Natalie Jackson Hole.

I look like a wet dog.


We reached the top of Sunrise and I was elated at the view, beautiful surroundings and the fact that the uphill portion of the day was DONE.


Ohhh the white socks.


Although trekking up the mountain was behind us, it turns out the dangers were not.  We approached a snow field and as we drew nearer, I was realized it was looking a little steep. Bry grabbed my hand and said, “I’ll go first and we’ll go nice and slow.” TWSS. Oh – and might I add that I was wearing flimsy cross-trainers from Fred Meyer? Balls.


As we crossed the sloping snow field, I looked down to my right and realized that one false step could result in sliding quite quickly down the embankment of snow into a pool of jagged rocks at the bottom. I surmised that falling down the mountain may not result in instant death, rather a most frightening fall. Reaching the other side safely, I realized what I had just done and decided it was a good time to cry a little. So I did…


We hiked a bit further, played the “last meal” game and wouldn’t you know it? Hit yet another snow field! This one was quite a bit longer than the first. We held hands, steadied ourselves again the snowy mountain and after a 2 minute sloooow trek, had reached the other side.


Yeah, we didn’t.

After our snow field excursions, my mood was quickly lifted at the sight of mountain goats. You heard me. There were mommas and babies and well, it was pretty cool.


It wasn’t long after the goats, that we had reached the visitors center! We sat at a picnic table, gobbled down our turkey + swiss sandwiches and Tim’s Cascade chips and then inquired inside as to the quickest way down.

We made our way back down the mile long road to get back to the trail head and then took the famous wonderland trail back to camp. Glancing at the map at the visitor’s center, it looked like a somewhat straight shot back down – we figured no more then a couple of miles. We learned it was about 3.5 after hitting a trail marker a good chunk into it, but obviously we were on our way DOWN so everything was peachy.

We reached camp around 3:30 pm and after changing out of our dirty clothes and applying some Pink Chiffon body spray (or was that just me?) we settled into our camp chairs with PBRs and sore legs. ‘Murica.


Yes, we put up that American flag.


No clue how Bry got this pic!

I read my Brides magazine and sipped a vodka + soda outta the Nalgene while Bryan set up our new tent from Targs. We really glamped it up this time by bringing along our air mattress.



As the sun fell slowly behind the mountains and the sound of the White River hummed peacefully in our ears, it made me blissfully aware of the reason why I do indeed enjoy putting myself through all this. The grueling accents uphill, the bugs, the snow fields, the unexpected. It is frustrating and annoying, yet also fun. I have to get in my obligatory 15 minutes or so of complaints, tell myself there is about a million other things I should be doing – but at the end of the day, I am always glad I did it.







We made our dinner of Hebrew Nationals and potato chips, polished off a couple more beers and satisfied our sweet teeths with Rainbow Chips Deluxe.


Man and Firewood


Then we hit the air (?) in our respective sleeping bags, mine the -30 degree mummy bag which kept me wonderfully cozy and helped coax me in to a deep, scrumptious slumber within seconds.

Sunday morning I woke up to Bry asking me if I wanted to go on a “nature walk”. I think he was trying to disguise the word “hike” as best he could. I gave me a “heeell to the nah” and promptly turned over for a 45  minute snooze while Bryan eked in his last moments in “neature”.

I emerged from the comfort of our tent at the promise of a steaming cup of VIA and after once glimpse in the car window, realized I literally looked like I belonged in the wilderness. Then we packed up and hit the road early, only stopping in Enumclaw for a Starbucks and restroom break.



After 2 quick showers, re-packing the cooler with MORE beer and a tub of Boursin – we ventured off to the marina to take out the Nash’s boat.


Fueling up

We picked up our chummies Kyle, Melissa and their little one in Kirkland and spent over 3 wonderful hours hanging on the boat, watching little M experience her first boat ride and catch up.



Little M was SO adorable.


The day was absolutely gorgeous and Mt. Rainier was clear as crystal. I was battling a little fatigue after our 14-mile Saturday, but the great company and beautiful scenery made it just perfect.

After boating, we hit Chipotle (our new obsession) and went home to collapse after our busy weekend in the out-of-doors. I can’t believe how far I have come! Camping, hiking, being dirty – check, check, check!

Oh – and my biggest accomplishment, peeing outside 🙂 but hold your applause, because coming up is sister Megan’s bachelorette party. You know you’re excited.

Don’t miss a cupcake, unicorn or vodka drink – follow me on Bloglovin’!

Back in the Saddle

G’Day Gents!



How have I not used this title before?  Anyways, the point is Bryan and I have commenced this beautiful Seattle spring with our very first hike-o-the-season!! Extra punctuation is pertinent here, no?

Last Saturday, we began our morning per usual, with Bry springing out of bed much sooner than I, while badgering me with periodic updates as to the time.  Once I was up, I was given about 30 seconds to do what takes most around 20 minutes.  When Mr.Nash is promised a day in the mountains, his attention span is shorter than Miley’s hair.

Out the door by 7:30 and to Starbucks for his & hers mistos by 8, we were doing great.  Our destination? Tiger Mountain. Where neither of had been, nor knew what to expect.  I was “bajigady” to say the least.  Since moving from Jackson, the biggest hill I have climbed are the escalators at Nordstrom, mmmkay? The drive was beautiful and the company, cute.

Upon arrival, we were astonished to find way more cars than we had anticipated.  I guess we’re not in Jackson anymore.  As we made our way to the trailhead, Bryan pointed out that, true-to-form I didn’t look “the part”.  I kindly reminded him that, of course I didn’t look the part.  I’m not burning $100 on a pair of actual hiking pants at REI when my beat-up Abercrombie capris (circa 2005) will do.  Or succumbing to a top from Lulu when I’ve got a perfectly good hot pink hoodie from Victoria’s Secret with rhinestones.  I’ve got furniture to buy and makeup to save for.  My old running shoes are good as new as soon as I pop some orthodics in.


Hood Utilizer


The trail started off nice and mellow and then gradually got steeper.  I’ve always been a fan of trails that have ebbs and flows, ups and downs, much like life (philosophical) and Tiger Mountain pleased. Even in my “20 minutes on the treadmill” shape, I was feelin’ mighty strong.  And wouldn’t you know it, we smoked past every single person!  Not that I care :). At one point, I looked at Bryan and said breathlessly, “We still got it!”.  A high-5 ensued and maybe a chest bump. It’s real.



Of course any hike is not complete without a healthy dose of good ol’ fashioned drama.  This time it came in the form of a tiny critter which I openly loathe: a garter snake.  I must give them a nod of approval for their color scheme (black & white) but otherwise my feelings closely parallel what I feel for Spencer & Heidi Pratt.  Just complete and total hatred. Too strong a word??






Classic G.Danielson Pose


Ahh..Vitamin D

We thought the hike was around 4 miles round-trip but it turned out to be about 6.  Probably 6.5 if you add the walk to the car.  It took us around  2 hours car-to-car and I was pretty tired on the way home.  That is, until Bryan snuck in my old Dixie Chicks CD and once again I was ‘ready to run’.  See what I did there?

The rest of the day was spent painting my nails pastel pink, deep conditioning my hair and watching a Lifetime movie while Bryan studied.


Then we basked in the sun on the patio for the remainder of the 65 degree day and drank 1 2 pitchers of margs.  I pulled my laptop outside and made a station on Pandora comprised of Carly Rae Jepson (for Bry of course), Mumford & Sons, Lucky Dube and Taylor Swift.



A perfect day.

Summer Lovin

Hey y’all!

As you may or may not know, Bryan and I leave for Seattle in less than two weeks! Subsequent questions:

Do you guys have jobs?

Not yet, but neither of us are worried about it.

Do you have an apartment/place to live?

We figure it might be best to be employed before getting into a lease. Call us crazy. In the meantime, Bryan’s parents live in Redmond and are graciously offering their home if need be.

What section of Seattle do you plan to live in?

Bryan and I are aiming to keep our commutes to work as small as possible. Therefore, we plan on looking close to our places of employment. However, Queen Anne and West Seattle both seem attractive at this point.

So there you have it! I am overjoyed to start this new chapter of life. I’ll be close to my family again, hopefully continuing a career that makes me happy and of course I’ll have m’shops. Although I will of course miss Jackson Hole, I am taking the best part about it with me – Bryan :).

Enough of this sappiness…onto some adventures in the mountains! Yeehaw!!

In early May, Bryan and I made a bucket list of things we had to do this summer before our big move. I’ve tried my best to capture some of these memories on my camera, but as usual I found myself getting too caught up in the moment to remember to take a picture #mybad.

Here are some summer mems.

Hike to Lake Solitude


We Made It!

Bryan has taken a few trips up the Grand this summer and most memorably, with his boss Joe, Jeremy and Jeremy’s cousin Sam.

Ascending the Grand

Bryan and Joe on the Summit of the Grand Teton – Elev. 13,770

Reminiscing at Dornans – Joe “Gah! Look at the Grand!”

Pizza at Leek’s in GTNP.


Hike up Mt.Si in Seattle.


Glowing Hard.

Such a Good Pic

Hike around String Lake.

Dinner at The Bird after floating with Jeremy and Lorie.

After work swim in Phelp’s Lake

Bryan is the Tiny Dot Standing on the Rock

It’s true, this summer has been totally fab. And although I am looking forward to Nordstrom, seeing my family and of course Red Robin – I will miss the simplicity of Jackson. I will miss the fact that how much you love to ski/hike/cycle etc. is valued over what you look like and the clothes you wear. That being genuine, friendly and caring is more impressive to people than owning an expensive car or having a high-power career. These are the virtues I will carry with me from Jackson Hole. I’m hopeful that no matter how much pressure I feel to look a certain way or earn a certain amount, I’ll have the virtues I’ve learned and can rise above it all.

Farewell, JH. I’ll miss ya.

A Summery Spring

Hey pop tarts!

Even though today is Wednesday, I couldn’t resist writing a post about this past weekend and the cray-cray weather we had up in hurr. True, I’ve lived here a measly two years but from what I can gather, a typical spring day in Jackson Hole usually consists of drab, muddy, semi-cold weather. Sure, we’ll get the occasional 65 degree day where everyone busts out in stark whiteness while ski goggle tans begin to fade, but that is a rarity. Such days are cherished.

Well folks, this past weekend broke the mold. Saturday and Sunday were both in the 70’s! My Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil basically stood at attention.

I woke up Saturday morning and it was gorgeous. Most Saturdays are spent laying in bed with a book for half an hour or so in hopes that Bryan will whip up his delicious pancakes, but not this morning. I sprang out of bed, made myself a bowl of oats and sat on our patio in the DIRECT sun while reading. While Bryan studied (he’s up to about 6-8 hours a day WITH a full-time job) I went to the gym and tried to burn off the ENTIRE humungous plate of pad thai I had hoovered down the night before.

After that it was time for a much needed study break for Bryan. One of our favorite mini-hikes in town is High School Butte. Getting the name because of it’s close proximity to Jackson Hole High School, HS Butte is a quick and easy way to sneak in a small work out while still getting outside. I sound like I’m promoting a new workout. I am not.

I decided to don my new Teva hiking shoes in hopes of breaking them in before Bryan drags takes me on some longer hikes this summer.

At least they have a little pink on them.

Top of High School Butte

On our way down we decided to take a walk on the levy to stretch our legs, skip some rocks, you know – shake things up a bit. After all, it’s neature!

Cowering in Bryan's Shadow

That night we Q’d up some salmon, which was outta this world and then hit the sack.

Sunday we trekked up HS Butte once more, only this day was a little more on the windy side.

Comb Over!

First Wildflowers of Spring!

Then we set out on the inner park road (in Grand Teton National Park) on bike with our pals Josh and Katie. Since I don’t own a bicycle (yet) I borrowed one from Katie.  The bike seat needed a small adjustment to accommodate all 6 feet of me and we didn’t have the right tools to make said adjustment. I felt like the giant kid who was trying to ride her little sister’s trike and her knees hit the handle bars. Ha! It wasn’t that bad at all, in fact the bike was a very smooth ride.

We brought along some drinks and made our way to Jenny Lake, which was so incredibly pretty. So pretty in fact, that I forgot to snap a picture. After we got back home, Bryan made burgers and fries while the 4 of us watched The Office on Netflix. Oh Dwight, how I adore you.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was also a beautiful day and we decided to go up the Butte yet again. Only this time, we followed our mini-hike immediately with beers enjoyed al fresco at Cutty’s.

Bud Light + Lime Wedge = Makeshift BLL

Omg, I am sooo Jackson-y.