AND about six weeks later...I'm baaaack!! Now, I am OFFICIALLY a COLLEGE GRADUATE!! As in, I have a bachelor of arts in English from Montana State University! Sounds so official. Somehow I survived my last class, despite an unfortunate professor, with flying colors, and even learned something and managed to have some fun! I did learn that it's definitely true: just because you speak a language doesn't mean you can teach it! Sure got me thinkin' about my possible career teaching English as a second language.
After a successful finish, I went off to Washington state for a fabulous, well-deserved vacation! It was truly incredible. One day, my boyfriend and I made a long trip to Victoria, Canada on Vancouver Island, and it was one of the best days of my life!! A little dramatic, but it still feels that way almost a month later. I flew over with my friend Hannah, who was visiting her boyfriend working for NAV-C in Seattle, and it was GREAT flying with someone!! I usually fly alone or with my dad, who mostly zones out to his music or sleeps, and isn't exactly as entertained or full of interesting gossip as my old friend Hannah T :).
Unfortunately before I left, I found out that I had a kidney infection--oodles and oodles of fun--so the first day or two was a little calmer than we had planned. But on Saturday, my boyfriend's dad had his 50th birthday party, and we wandered around Olympia, and spent Sunday with his family and just resting.Mooonndddaaaaay it was off to oh CANADAAAA! Victoria was incredible, so beautiful, I loved it so much I'm considering going to graduate school there!
But before we even got there, an old dream of mine came true--we saw some orca whales on the ferry ride across the sound! I was so happy I literally cried.
Perfect beginning to a perfect day.
We landed, wandered around the little area, avoided the rain, and had a delectable English tea, complete with a silver tray!
After our delicious tea, we took a long bus ride up the island to visit...the Butchart Gardens!! They were incredible and I almost broke my camera taking pictures of practically every flower. Here are some of my favorites!! :) Also, just click on the photo for a larger view--especially the flower ones, as you can see every drop of rain! Not even rain could deter from these Gardens.
The rest of the day--including the drive back to Olympia through the Olympic National Park, which was surprisingly rural--was also so fun!!
So was the rest of the trip! We hung out on the Sound, and in Seattle visiting Hannah and her boyfriend, and our friends Lindsay, Gordon, Casey, Chris Sjoberg, and we even ran into my brother, who was visiting the area for a wedding. We also went to the BEACH, my main true love, and had Thai food and sushi and just a wonderful wonderful time!
It was the best vacation, completely worth the wait. Here a few more pictures:
Nowadays, I'm working at the Chronicle,studying for the GRE--October 1st!--and being a slave at the law office, and I just recently got hired for Express Professionals, a temp agency. I'm planning my trip to Thailand like a fiend, unlike Peru, I might actually be prepared, complete with the perfect, thoroughly researched travel sandals and my own mini-pharmacy. My shots are up-to-date, my travel book is dog-eared, my lists are made and keep getting longer...I am an expert planner.
I'm also beginning to apply to GRAD SCHOOOOooooL! I still have applied to both AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, and I have a few leads on journalism jobs, so I have a million options and a million choices.
School started for pretty much everyone I know this week, which got me thinking about my future. Grad school is very exciting right now--I'm looking at the University of Victoria, Portland State, University of South Carolina, Missoula, Trinity College Dublin, and a gazillion more. Grad schools are intense!!!!!
BUT REALLY, this blog is about my exploration of the world and life, which is continuing in OCTOBER!! I'm so excited! The first few weeks, our friend in the Peace Corps, Liz, has time off, so we're landing and heading to the beach.
To prepare, my dad and I are taking long-awaited scuba lessons right here in Bozeman! So hopefully I'll get a chance to do that at one of the best places in the world for it...if I pass the class, that is!
I'm also looking at options for when I return. I'm still considering teaching English abroad, although I love writing more every day. Also, next summer, I'm looking at GeoVisions, a way to teach conversational English to a family in exchange for room and board. Always looking to the future and planning...
I hope all of you, my many many avid readers, are having a wonderful August! Happy SEPTEMBER, tomorrow! Eek