west coast adventures | leavenworth | seattle | WA

jana and i jetted west a few weeks ago to celebrate my 10 year high school reunion, as well as jump into all things pacific northwest.  what we found was adventure! i look back and almost cannot believe that it has been 10 years since i graduated high school.  i know, i know...not that long some of you might say.  but in retrospect, those ten years have created a vast chasm between who i was and who i have now become.

i cherish that 18yr old kid, with his overflowing cup of life's blessings and a childhood honed and fashioned amid the mighty mountains of the cascade wilderness. lifelong friends who are still dear to me. memories and defining moments that have stayed with me, despite my trek east across the plains to the great mitten state. a lot of emotion, for an emotional guy.

and i am thankful, so very thankful. for who i was and what i was given.  but also, for changes that have brought me to today, and the humbling gifts that surround me...in the eyes of my beautiful wife and children, and a community and fellowship of michiganders. its a strange place to be, on the street corner of reminiscing and reliving.  i think there was a time in my life when it would have been much harder to see the beauty in this moment..stepping into the past to see friends who started new journeys of their own 10 years ago, and knowing we can't go back.  but we know that we have been given the gift of incredible memories in an incredible place, and for that, i will be forever grateful. and forever cherish my roots in leavenworth.

washington...you, and your people are beautiful. thank you for the first 18 years of my life. i can't go back, but i can go forward with a greater appreciation for living right now, because right now...won't come again.

-npe

blog 001 - it was great fun to start off our trip with the reunion, which actually turned out pretty great! thanks to many friends helping out who still live in the valley*blog 002 blog 003 blog 004 blog 005 blog 006 - i surprised jana with a little restful getaway at a local bed and breakfast in leavenworth.  the super cool catch? the innkeepers vern and linny are dear friends back from my elementary school days with linny being my 1st grade teacher! their incredibly welcoming home with all of its charm and beautiful detail was just what we needed for a few days, not to mention some delectable breakfasts cooked up by the king of the kitchen vern* if you ever happen to be in leavenworth and want to be treated like royalty, scandinavian escape is a must stop!blog 013blog 007 blog 008 blog 012 blog 014 blog 015 blog 016 blog 017 blog 018 blog 019 blog 020 blog 021 blog 022 blog 023 blog 024 blog 025 blog 026 blog 027 blog 028 blog 029 blog 030i must say, i never tire of this bavarian village...nestled right up against the majestic beauty of the cascade mountain range. it can be said a thousand times, but it still rings true...you feel as though you have been transported right into the alps, without the change of currency* being one of the last babies to be born in the town clinic, i feel a true sense of pride surrounding this beautiful valley and the sanctuary that it offers..blog 010 blog 009 blog 011blog 031 blog 032 blog 033 blog 034 blog 035on the drive over the mountains to seattle i had high hopes of taking jana on a little excursion to a lake i thought i remembered well.  first off, two things must be said...1. my memory doesn't always serve me well, and 2. you will never find another person with a better attitude than my wife, amid dire miscalculations of effort required to finish a 'short' hike. needless to say, this was much harder than i remember...but we came, we conquered, and we couldn't feel our legs. at least we had a camera to prove we didn't die*blog 036 blog 037 blog 038 blog 039 blog 040 blog 041 blog 042 blog 043 blog 044 blog 045 blog 046 blog 047 blog 048 blog 049 blog 050 blog 051while in washington, i had the privilege to take some photos for a childhood friend of mine who just so happens to do amazing things with paper.  mariya and her husband mike live near greenlake in seattle and among other things, mariya has a business of building beauty out of the ordinary... dream like trees is pretty perfect for the bride who wants something incredibly unique for wedding floral finishings...or any floral finishings for that matter. just take a look at her work, amazing right? blog 060 blog 061 blog 062 blog 064 blog 065 blog 066 blog 067 blog 068 our last stop on the whirlwind adventure was the emerald city itself.  home of the sounders and starbucks, seattle never fails to deliver...and once again we found ourselves amid renown fresh markets and windy sailing races...and it was great! blog 069 blog 070blog 052 blog 053 blog 054 blog 055 blog 056 blog 057 blog 058 blog 059 blog 071 blog 072 blog 073 blog 074 blog 075 blog 076 blog 077 blog 078 blog 079 blog 080 blog 081 blog 082 blog 083 blog 084

Source: http://nathanpenglish.files.wordpress.com/...