Category Archives: Travel

why I might never leave the Oregon Coast

…or why going to Portland for FitBloggin’ was the best decision ever.

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I’ve been lucky to be able to travel my fair share, but never made it to this corner of the United States. And I probably wouldn’t have if FitBloggin’ wasn’t moved to Portland for 2013. And looking back I was uncertain if I’d be able to make the trip, I’m incredibly grateful for making the commitment to attending, presenting and opening myself up to another conference experience. (more on this next week)

But then the idea to make it an epic vacation happened. Having Hans fly out the last day of the conference. Searching homeaway.com until I found a vacation rental called Heart of the Hill, owned by the incredibly helpful Ron and his wife Kate. We rented one of the studio-type offerings (one big room with bedroom, living room and kitchen in one; with a full bath) that boasted an epic oceanside view. The boast was well-earned as we watched Fourth of July beach fireworks from the rental’s porch last night.

While staying in Oceanside – a sleepy, out of the way beach community – we did our best to hit up as many towns as possible: Netarts (a quiet beach and closest grocery option), Tillamook (some of the best hiking, cheese and ice cream), Cannon Beach (our favorite beaching location), Astoria (the Goodies house!), Pacific City (one happening place to be for Fourth of July) and Lincoln City (not as… ahem, expected).

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But as expected, Hans and I loosened up. We took each day as it came to us. We welcomed each opportunity for adventure – a new hiking path, a new restaurant, a new road to drive, a new local resident to meet. Being less organized and more flexible was the best planning we could do to prepare for this trip. And in that lack of planning (and very limited cell phone service) we have found peace in this quite, unassuming place called the Oregon Coast.

I’m hoping to take that way of being back to Cleveland with me.  Less stressing about planning out every moment of life. More embracing it as it’s presented to us. It’s the best (and most useful souvenir) I could bring home.

(sort of) wordless wednesday: PDX and the Oregon Coast

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at the Mark Spencer Hotel

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Sunday night dinner at The Original

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happy hour on the 30th floor at Portland City Grill

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sights around PDX on my birthday morning

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touring the wineries in Washington County

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sun salutations on the beach in Oceanside

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a study of Hans on the beach

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 eating all the dairy in Tillamook

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how we drove to Astoria to basically eat dinner, visit the Goonies house and cross the border into Washington

More on Friday. Until then, connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

#NASASocial at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

As pulled by random.org, congrats to comment #14 AKA Carolyn Fertig (@carolyn87 on Twitter) for winning my MedWish Band Aid Bash giveaway!  Your tweet earlier last week paid off! Please email me at poiseinparma (at) gmail (dot) com to claim your prize.

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We already had a trip planned to our nation’s capitol when the team at NASA announced that NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (@NASAGoddard) would host its first NASA Social. I registered both Hans and myself up with notes of “we already have flights and hotels booked – pick us please!”  Luckily, my pleading worked and we were both selected.

After the NASA Glenn’s NASA Tweetup in March 2012 (recaps here and here), and its NASA Social in August 2012 (recap here), we sort of knew what we were in for at “A Blooming Partnership: Behind the Scenes of JAXA & NASA Missions” NASA Social on Friday, April 12 in Greenbelt, Maryland. They always start with an early wake up call.

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Thanks to a very kind fellow NASA Social attendee – Brandi at @kosame06 - we made it to NASA Goddard Visitor’s Center to be able to check out their NASA Gift Shop before the tour began.

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Our morning was spent learning more about the earth sciences with NASA & JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) scientists and engineers.

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Twitter followers were encouraged to ask questions with the hashtag #AskNASA virtually while in-person participants from the audiences also got in on the fun.

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Post-presentations, we were bused off to see a demonstration of the NASA Goddard Hyperwall

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This is about the time of the day where I really was kicking myself for not going into the earth sciences.

After a quick lunch break, we broke into four groups for tours of the Goddard facilities:

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Holding a meteorite in the Astrobiology laboratory. Surprisingly heavier than it looks. I almost dropped it. Seriously.

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Checking out the building of the James Webb Space Telescope in the world’s largest cleanroom.

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In the acoustics room at the GPM testing facilities.

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Half moon in front of Goddard’s moon tree. (Because my tree pose looked silly.)

LONG STORY SHORT: It was another fabulous NASA Social day where their staffers shared so much knowledge and so much excitement for their work. We ran in to old faces from previous tweet ups, met fabulous new people attending their first Social and got to visit another one of NASA’s facilities. Two down for me, several more to go… Hans is ahead of me on this one, but I’m a head of him on our journey to make it to all the Major League Baseball stadiums!

Want to attend a NASA Social? Keep an eye out on their Twitter feed – @NASASocial – or visit the NASA website. There may be a meet up coming to a facility near you!

Check out all my pictures from this NASA Social at NASA Goddard Space Station over at the PIP Facebook pageAnd give it a “LIKE” if you haven’t already!

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

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