Portland Tour Guide

After graduation I was able to go home to Portland for a few days with three of my friends. It was fun to do things that I normally do not do when I go home. There is so much to do there that we had to pick and choose the top activities. On the long drive down from Helena we made a schedule of events. This was completely my idea because I am too organized not to do it. I also wanted to make sure that they had a good time!

The first stop and most important stop was the Nike Company Store. Thankfully, my wonderful mother was able to get each of them a pass to get into the store. It is a very overwhelming experience because you honestly want to buy everything! After getting all new athletic wardrobes, I showed them the Nike World Headquarters. Brooke and Brigid had been before but Macala wanted to see it too! When we were done walking around the campus we headed for the MAX train to get a simple ride into downtown. We shopped for awhile and then had dinner at Sauce Box. It was AMAZING! I would recommend going to eat there for happy hour because they have great food for a great price. I also recommend getting the brussels sprouts! I take that back…you have to get them!

The next day we headed to the beach. I decided to take them to Cannon Beach because it would not have as many people as Seaside and has a cute little town. This was Brigid’s first time seeing the ocean! We first walked around the town and then got all the gear for the beach. Ry dog came along and had a blast! We packed a lunch and sat on the beach for a few hours. When we started to get hungry for dinner we made our way back to the little town and ate at Driftwood. We planned to do a bonfire on the beach after dinner but some did not want to stay so we went back to my house and sat by the fire on the deck.

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Time was flying by and we were already at Friday. We went down to the Woodburn Outlet Mall to do a quick shopping trip before heading to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. Unfortunately, we were too late for the season and there were no tulips to be found. Brigid is a photographer (Brigid Bradshaw Photography) so she was looking forward to taking photos of the tulips. There was a cute little garden of other flowers so we took some photos in there and then headed back to Portland. That night we went to Top Golf. It is the new fun thing to do in Portland so it was a must! My parents, brother and his wife came also. This was so much fun. We were not very good, some worse than others, but we still had a great time.

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The last day we had in Portland was another full day! We started by going to the Saturday Market on the waterfront downtown. We were on a time crunch though because we had a late start to the day. After the Saturday market we drove out to a couple wineries south of Portland with my parents. They recently joined a wine club and were excited to bring us there. This was a more relaxing day and a great way to end the trip.

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Sunday morning we met up with Hannah and Sandy for breakfast before making our long trek back to Montana. We attempted to stop and hike in the Gorge as we left but with my distraction and trails closed we did not get much of a hike in. We did stop and see Multnomah Falls though!

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Overall it was really fun to have my friends come home with me for a little and see what my life is like at home! I would love to go back and visit with them again because there is still so much to see and do.

Graduate of Carroll College

With a crazy end to the semester and the opportunity to take time to visit Portland, I am just now getting around to posting about graduation!

I graduated on May 13th from Carroll College in Helena, Montana. My family and friends surrounded me on this special day to help celebrate reaching this milestone in life. Without each one of their support over the past 15 years of school I would not have had such a successful college career.

I struggled in school all my life and it was not until college that everything started falling into place. While it was still not easy and I was not a star student, I was happy with the way it all turned out.

With my Communications and Public Relations degrees I was able to secure an incredible job with CWG Architects. I am very excited to now be a Marketing Director of a very hard working and talented company.

Through this position I will be able to learn more about the marketing world, as well as learn more about myself. This has been a big jump but I am fully ready to take on what is to come. I know that it will not all be easy but nothing ever is!

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Spicy California Shrimp Stack

It has been awhile since I have posted but I finally tried out a new dinner tonight (found online). I have been wanting to make this for a very long time now and decided today was the day!

I will start out by saying this was the easiest dinner I have ever made. The part that took the longest was cooking the rice but I made sure to start that before I went to the store to get some other ingredients.

Let me tell you what I did! First, I obviously cooked the rice. Once the rice was made I added the rice vinegar and salt to make it sticky and then spread it out to cool down. I had already cut up all the veggies and shrimp that was going inside. I used cucumber, avocado and shrimp. I then got a 1 cup measuring cup and first put in the cucumber, then avocado, then shrimp, and then packed in as much rice as I could. I made sure I used a spoon and squished it down as much as possible. Once that was done I flipped it over on a plate carefully. I topped the sushi stack with a mayo/sriracha sauce, green onion and sesame seeds. The recipe calls for furikake but I could not find any here in Helena so I will have to get some when I am in Portland. Hey, mom maybe you could send some my way 😉

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Wow, it looks so perfect. I took pictures because I wanted to show everyone! Then after the excitement was over and it was time to eat I stared at it. How do you eat it? I tried to cut it into little sections to eat but eventually just mixed it all together and added soy sauce.

I would recommend this any day! It tastes so good and is very filling. It can last you a few lunches and dinners which is always a plus to me!

Let me know if you try it! I would love to hear what you think.

Here is the link.

Thanks!

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Creamy Mushroom Gnocchi

I have been wanting to make gnocchi for awhile now but I haven’t had the chance until last night! It was a lot more work than I originally thought. Luckily there were three of us making it together so we could do it faster.

We made the gnocchi from scratch which was just boiling  four potatoes, mashing it up, then adding an egg and 1.5 cups of flour. You then roll it out in small strips and cut them into little pieces. To make them pretty you could roll them on a fork to put lines in them but we did not do that. You then boil the gnocchi until they float in the water and remove them.

Once we made the gnocchi, we cooked some mushrooms and garlic. Then removed those and added chicken broth, heavy cream, and flour. You let that thicken a little and then add the gnocchi, mushrooms and garlic. At the very end, you add the parmesan.

While it looked nothing like the pictures, it tasted really good! When I make it again I am going to fry the gnocchi to make it more crispy and less mushy. I am also going to try adding more vegetables than just mushrooms.

I would definitely recommend making it! It’s not that hard it just takes more time than expected.

Good Luck!

Year of Traveling

One year, ten states!

Looking back on the past year it has been crazy how lucky I was to be able to travel to so many places. While some may not be as exciting as others, they still count!

To start out, last spring break was able to go visit my best friend in New York. Kelsey goes to Marist College in Poughkeepsie (yes, I had to Google how to spell that). We spent some time hanging out in Poughkeepsie and then spent the weekend exploring New York City. With the help of Meg Schwartz we were able to stay the night at her place while she was out of town. Kelsey and I walked for miles trying to see as much as we could. My favorite thing to see was by far the 9/11 memorial. We spent hours walking through everything. It was truly eye opening to see the faces of those who were lost, the smashed firetrucks, the lonely pair of glasses someone lost, the notes of those who were stuck on floor 55, the list can go on. I had been wanting to see that memorial for awhile now, along with everything else New York has to offer. This trip was a start of a year I will never forget.

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Travel destination number two was Alaska! My grandparents so kindly took us on a cruise to Alaska to celebrate their 60th Anniversary…wow! Throughout the cruise we stopped in Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, and Victoria BC. At each stop we got off the boat and toured as much as we could in the time that we had. While on the boat we pretty much ate food and drank. We had two dress up nights which we spent celebrating the anniversary and my grandpas 80th birthday. The highlight of the trip for me was being able to spend time with family that I only get to see a couple times a year. I wish I could have seen more whales but I have found out that I am bad luck because everyone would see them when I was not around! I could go on and on about this trip but I have so much more to talk about!

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Destination number three was South Carolina! I was very lucky to get the chance to go to Justin’s Basic Training Graduation. He was stationed at Fort Jackson where he spent his summer at a not so fun summer camp! Let me tell you…I could not stand the heat and humidity there for two days, I cannot imagine being there all summer. The first day we could not see him yet so we spent the day at the waterpark on the Fort. The next day was family day…aka best day ever! Finally after a big entrance and speeches we were able to go down and find him. It was honestly so weird haha. He had lost like 30lbs and you could tell he was so nervous to do anything wrong. We were not able to leave the Fort that day so we spent it roaming around, trying to stay in air conditioned areas (we spent a lot of time in the car because of the AC and John was sleeping). The next day was graduation and that same day he was able to go home. With some last minute flight changes I was able to meet up with him in Atlanta and fly the rest of the way home with him. It was a long and tough summer but I am so proud of him for how positive and strong he was the whole way through it.

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Destination number four was Wyoming! Brigid had to go to Jackson Hole to shoot a wedding so I decided to go along for the ride and help her out (Go check out Brigid Bradshaw Photography). The wedding took place right outside of Grand Teton National Park. It was beautiful! We had great weather throughout the day with some light showers in the evening. I actually did not see Jackson Hole until the final morning because it was either dark or extremely foggy. I look forward to going back and spending more time there again. I would love to camp in the park in the future…maybe a summer bucket list idea?

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Destination number five was Hawaii! My family was suppose to go to Cancun but with the Zika virus we rerouted the trip to Maui. This was a really fun trip. Although it rained every morning, it cleared off mid day and was beautiful. I would say that I had two favorite days. The first being the first day because we went to a beach that had huge waves. It was so fun to dive under them and come up on the other side. The second day was one of our last days that we spent on Big Beach. This was such a nice day and a great way to end the trip. We also spent time doing the road to Hana which was very cool. We did a muddy hike to a waterfall where I got eaten alive by mosquitos…that was not so fun. We finished the road to Hana pulled over watching the sunset and drinking some Maui beer.

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Destination six…Florida! This spring break I was able to go Disney World and Universal Studios. While it was very busy, it was so fun to see all the different parks. There is so much to do there we did not have enough time to do it all. The first day we went to Magic Kingdom, second day to Animal Kingdom, third day to Hollywood Studios, fourth day to Universal Studios and last day at Epcot. I will admit my feet were in pain and legs hurt but it was well worth it. I would love to go back and experience more because we only skimmed the surface of things to do. My favorite park as Universal Studios because they had Harry Potter and the biggest roller coasters!

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Destinations seven, eight, nine and ten are not as exciting. Those would include Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. I spend a lot of time going back and forth from Helena to home and by doing so I stay in Idaho and Washington a lot. Justin’s brother lives in Coeur d’Alene so we tend to stop there and see him for a break because it is about half way from Helena and Yakima. Justin’s family lives in Yakima so I usually go through Yakima when heading back to Portland to spend some time with them. I was able to go home for a week in May, 4th of July, Fall break, and Christmas break. I am looking forward to being able to go home for a little (or awhile) after graduation depending on where life takes me.

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Those are the big events from my past year! I hope my traveling will continue more and I will get to see places that I never thought I would.

 

 

 

First Half Marathon

Here we go! This is my first real post so bare with me. Yesterday, I ran my first half marathon with a couple of friends (Jess and Brigid). It was the Snow Joke Half Marathon around Seeley Lake, Montana. I heard about it from Jess a few weeks ago and made my mind right then that I would do it. To be honest, one of the main reasons I wanted to do it was because it was free for Carroll students but that was not the only reason! I thought of this as a great opportunity to attempt my first half without being worried about wasting money if it went badly. This was also a chance for me to get back into the routine of racing and setting goals for myself. I ended my collegiate running career just about a year ago so this was the perfect time to start up again. I had my time off running and now is my chance to get back into it before it is too late.

So with having not run very much (or at all) prior to hearing about the race, I started running every day. Starting too much too soon I realized I could not just jump straight into 30 miles a week so I took some days off to give my body some rest. I tried my hardest to train as much as I could in a short time period. The Monday before the race Jess and I ran 8 miles to get a longer run in before the race. After finishing those 8 miles I did not know how I was ever going to be able to run 5+ more after that! Thinking positively I changed my mindset and told myself that I could do it.

The Friday before the race Brigid and I went to her cabin near Ovando, Montana. Sitting back into the hillside her cabin was the perfect getaway to relax before the race. We spent the night before watching movies and trying our hardest not to think about running 13+ miles the next day. When the alarms went off at 8am Saturday morning it still had not set in that we were running. We made breakfast, got our gear ready to go and then headed for Seeley Lake. Getting there just before the start we ran to get our bibs and go potty. Luckily we found Jess at the starting line because with at least 500 runners we thought for sure we would never find her.

 

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Brigid’s cabin

 

The gun went off and so were we! We made sure we started our watches when we crossed the start line so we had a more exact time. The first 6 miles were on the highway with the snow coming straight into our faces. It was so cold and I learned my lesson fast that I was not wearing enough clothing. With a high of 26 for the day, it was definitely not that *warm* when we were running! There was an aid station at about mile 4.5 where Brigid and Jess attempted a potty break but with only one porta potty it was taking too long so they decided to try the next aid station. At mile 6 we turned left on a dirt road that was covered in ice and snow. While using yak tracks would have helped we were fine without them. At this point, it was not as cold because the trees stopped the wind. Still going steady averaging about 8:45 pace we hit the second aid station at mile 7.5 where a potty break was a must for Brigid and Jess. After a little wait, we were back on the road! Around mile 10 was when it started getting tough for me. Mentally I was doing great but my hips and hamstrings were starting to hurt. With the encouragement of Brigid, I just kept chugging along. Brigid was good about thinking of it as just starting over! At this point, Jess decided to slow down a bit but she was still right behind us. Mile 11 came and now we just had a short 2 miles to go. It was “just a warm up,” said Brigid. The last mile was never ending. It was one long straight line that you could see and it seemed to not be getting any shorter. We made the turn back on the highway and nope not over yet! Still, a half mile to go on another long never ending road. This part was mentally tough. We just wanted it to be over! Luckily the final right turn was the finish line and we came in (on our watches) at 1 hour and 56 minutes. Making our goal of under 2 hours!

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We did not wait long to take pictures and then rush to the car to get warm. Once we were bundled up in warm clothes we made our way to our free beer at the Filling Station…we had been waiting for this moment since the race started! Thinking the beer would be a great celebration we soon realized it was a great way to help us fall asleep after an exhausting 2 hours of running. I safely drove Brigid and I back to her cabin and then we immediately took naps.

Overall, it was a great experience and while it was not easy, I would definitely say there will be more half marathons, marathons, and ultra marathons in my future.

Thanks for reading this long drawn out story of my first half marathon and my first blog post!

About Me

Hello, my name is Megan and I am a Senior at Carroll College in Helena, Montana. I am originally from Portland, Oregon but have made my journey to Montana for school. I am a communications and public relations major with a minor in social media and concentration in marketing. For my social media class a couple years ago we were encouraged to create a blog to use throughout the class and beyond. I originally started a blog about organizing rooms of a house but I decided I need more hands on experience to have a successful blog in that field. I hope to pursue an organizational blog in the future when I get my own place. In the mean time, I am going to blog about the different adventures that I take on my free time. I have been in Montana for about 3.5 years and I have not taken advantage of the Big Sky country around me. It is my goal with the time I have left here to experience as much as I can and go to as many new places as I can.

I hope you enjoy!

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