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Happy Saturday & Adventures Recap

AdventuresMegan WhitsonComment

Happy Saturday loves! Or happy almost Sunday to my friends on the East coast :) How was your week? Can you BELIEVE it will be Christmas on Tuesday?! How the heck has that happened!

I just finished one of my 6-day work stretches (we have to work 3 Saturdays during this rotation)…but I really don’t mind because holy.cow.you.guys. I just love everything about my “job” - I put job in quotes because this is not technically a job. It is my 3rd rotation (out of 4) for PT school - we spend anywhere from 8-13 weeks in different physical therapy settings to gain experience and (hopefully) insight into what field of PT we would like to specialize in before graduation. So this is pretty much a job, with a lot of mentoring/supervision, but I don’t get paid yet ;) All of that to say…I am absolutely in love with inpatient rehab. I seriously wish that I could just graduate and come back to this exact location. I feel so grateful and humbled that I’ve been given this opportunity to work with some incredible people (patients and therapists).

I recently (um like 5 minutes ago) got sucked into the rabbit hole of Instagram looking at beautiful pictures of people’s recent adventures (mountains, ocean, travel, everything) and it had me reflecting on my own adventures from this past year…so I thought I’d share a few here with you guys :)

If you have suggestions for adventures to add to my 2019 Bucket List - please share! And if you’re in SLC and are in need of an adventure buddy, hit me UP yo. I promise I’m less douche-y than I sounded just then ;)

Drum circles & fire dancing on Folly…

Folly nights are my fave…and days. I miss Folly Beach and the people there SO much. Some of my best memories with Will are our Folly nights - it’s where I fell for him ;)

Folly sunrises…

Even more than Folly nights, I love Folly mornings. Sunrises on the edge of America press the reset button on my soul <3

Wedding sunsets…

The sunset at Will’s sister’s (Katie) wedding in October took my breath away. I love sunsets & I love weddings (Drinks all around! <—Name that movie). So together = happy heart :)

Beaufort sunsets… (are you seeing a theme here haha)

Hands down, the best part of living in Beaufort was being able to take in amazing sunsets every night. I lived less than a mile from a dock that had the best views so I would usually run over a few times a week to take it all in as the sun slipped down over the ocean.

Downtown Charleston bike rides…

Commute on King is hosted by Affordabike in downtown Charleston - it’s a free group (slow cruisin’) ride that happens monthly (I think). Super fun, chill and a great way to meet people :) It also ends at a brewery which is one of the best parts ;) I believe on this ride we ended up at Palmetto Brewing Company.

Crowder’s Mountain hike with my love…

Spending Saturday mornings hiking is the perfect start to the weekend. I can’t wait to start exploring southern Utah when it warms up in the spring :)

And more Folly sunsets - but this time at the pier, not the lighthouse…totally different ;)

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This particular sunset was on Valentine’s Day of this year :) Will and I did a meditation out on Folly at sunset, walked along the beach and then ate at Jack of Cups (HIGHLY recommend…it’s one of Folly’s best kept secrets). We both wore black because we are festive AF ;)

Then there was sunset out on the fishing pier at James Island County Park…also a frequented sunset spot when I’m in Charleston :)

Paris Island Triathlon (Beaufort, SC)…

This was such a fun race! And it was even better because I got to do it with several of my really good friends :) I’m hoping to do another triathlon while I am in SLC…but the hills (aka MOUNTAINS) out here scare me haha

Nahko at The Music Farm in downtown Charleston…

Somehow I managed to rally the same night as the triathlon to go see Nahko at The Music Farm in March. This was my 5th time seeing Nahko live (usually Nahko and Medicine for the People) and he continues to blow my mind and touch my heart and soul every single time. Such an incredible night.

And now…this has obviously turned into a highlights of 2018 reel AND a best sunrises/sunsets recap haha. But I dig it - so I think I’ll stop here but I’m planning to continue with a few more 2018 recap posts of adventures and fun times. It’s fun to look back and hopefully you’ll enjoy it too.

Happy weekend loves. Have a lovely, relaxing Sunday tomorrow!

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Big Love & Pura Vida <3

Colorado Day #3

Road TripMegan WhitsonComment

Hi loves. Can you guys believe that we are over halfway through December?! What the heck is happening … I want to pause time so I can slow down and savor every single moment of this season <3 Also, I have done less than half of my Christmas shopping and haven’t shipped anything back to SC yet. I should probably get on that - like yesterday.

How was your weekend? My little sister and two of our good friends were in town for a few days and it was SO nice. We had a fun few days of hiking, exploring, shopping, eating and drinking our way around SLC and Park City. They also went skiing on Sunday in Park City but I wasn’t able to join for that - it looked super fun though :)

Okay…so this has been the vacation recap that NEVER ends. Sorry guys…tis the season - literally.

Where did we leave off? Ok…last morning in Boulder! Will and I went to breakfast at South Side Walnut Cafe and it did not disappoint. There coffee was excellent and it took me forever to order because everything on the menu looked so delicious. I got the Big Dill Eggs and the Boulder Latte. Our server was super friendly and made an already amazing experience even better.

After breakfast, we headed out to Rattlesnake Gulch Trailhead in Eldorado Canyon State Park. This may have been my favorite hike that we did in Colorado. There were incredible views the entire time (not just at the top). It was the perfect intensity…I loved everything about it and so did Will. I have a feeling this is probably pretty crowded in warmer months but it was perfect for us in early November…the trail was not crowded at all. It was in the low 30’s but we definitely got warm in the sun once we were moving. I’d love to come back to Eldorado Canyon State Park and do some climbing as well - I spotted several sexy routes ;) I think you can do sport climbing and bouldering here.

Gorgeous, right?? The pictures don't even do it justice…it is truly breathtaking. After our hike, we headed up the road to Fort Collins - but of course, we stopped in Longmont to check out a brewery or two ;)

Our first stop was Wibby Brewing (suggested to us by the girl in the gift shop at Avery). Wibby is known for their American-influenced, German-style lagers. This ended up being one of my favorite breweries of the trip - cool vibe, SUPER friendly/personable staff, awesome selection of well done brews AND a shuffle board table…Will and I are big shuffle board fans ;)

Next up was Left Hand Brewing Co which we were super excited about…sadly, while the beer was awesome (which we knew it would be), the ambience of the brewery and the staff left a lot to be desired. Womp womp. The brewery was smaller than I expected and really dark inside - I am a lover the LIGHT so I wasn’t feeling the cave-vibe I got. That combined with some very bored, uninterested in patrons but super interested in their phones staff = we finished our flights and peaced out. Oh well, I still love their beer.

We headed on up the road and got settled into our Airbnb in Fort Collins which was AWESOME. We actually stayed about 15 minutes outside of downtown Fort Collins in Loveland. We rested up and played with our Airbnb owner’s adorable dog for awhile and then headed out to New Belgium. I’ve loved New Belgium’s beer for a long time so I was stoked to check out the brewery and it did not disappoint. It had all my checkmarks for a great brewery: incredible beer (obviously), funky/fun vibe and friendly and knowledgable staff. Sadly we didn’t get to take a tour (apparently they book out like 2 months in advance!).

We finished off our evening by grabbing nachos and wings at a sports pub in downtown Fort Collins to watch the Panthers game - I can’t remember the name but it was a cool little dive bar. Anyway, that wraps up day 3…hiking and breweries … our 2 favorite things ;)

I hope you have had a wonderful start to your week! Only 7 days until Christmas!!!

I’m off to bake a ridiculous amount of Christmas cookies <3

Big Love & Pura Vida

Colorado Day 2 + A New Coffee Shop

Road Trip, Brewery GuideMegan WhitsonComment

Good morning friends! Happy Saturday :) This is my first Saturday morning in SLC where there have been literally no real “plans” on the agenda and it’s been nice just having a chill morning. I want to share our 2nd day in Colorado with you but FIRST…I have to tell you guys about the cool little coffee shop I went to this morning with my friends Cindy and Ben. It’s called Alpha Coffee and it’s at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon. I had the Dawn Patrol which is their breakfast blend and it was glorious. Cindy got the Double Barrel Black Midnight Blend which I also tasted and it was so rich and luxurious. The service was excellent and the vibe was very laid-back with an awesome view of the mountains. Definitely check it out for a pre or post-ski cup of coffee. Also, give the blueberry muffins a try ;)

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Another cool aspect of Alpha Coffee is that it was co-founded by military veterans and one of its primary missions is to give back and support our troops. Each portion of every batch of coffee is shipped to deployed troops. To learn more, check out their coffee for troops page.

Alrighty…Colorado Day #2! Let’s go!

Will and I spent our morning hiking around the Flatirons and it was really solid easy-to-moderate hiking. We took the trails to the First and Second Flatirons from the Chautauqua Park trailhead. I was definitely wishing that I had my climbing shoes, chalk bag and a crash pad on my back as we hiked through some of the boulders…it looks to be some GOOD climbing and I definitely want to go back with gear.

PS - if you are reading on a tablet or phone, you can click on the pictures to see them bigger bc I don’t think they show up as well as they do in the desktop format - just FYI. At the top of the main trail that we took, there were some “couches” set up so that you could sit back and really take in the view. It was beautiful. A morning well spent for sure. I definitely would like to spend some more time out there the next time we are in Boulder.

It makes my heart happy just looking back at these pictures…the mountains always feel like home to me, no matter where I am. We took the Enchanged Mesa Trail back down and it was equally beautiful. It felt so serene and the trees just seem wise to me - I don’t know if that makes sense…but that’s what my hippie heart feels ;)

Will did manage to get a few shots of my mountain goat escapades…despite not having my climbing gear haha

I actually was able to “climb” a decent ways further up on this too…just out of camera sight ;) Like I said, I look forward to coming back and doing some actual climbing. The rocks were pristine. After our hiking, we were starving and headed into downtown Boulder looking for good beer and good food - which we 100% found at The Post Brewing Co.

I had the Townie Ale which was really good and Will had the Ski Tan. For food, Will had their fried chicken sandwich which was probably the BEST fried chicken sandwich I have ever had…and that is saying something y’all because I am from the SOUTH haha. I had the spicy chicken and potato soup with a buttermilk cheddar biscuit and it hit the spot. We both agreed that we would recommend this restaurant/brewery to anyone - huge Yelp win :)

After showers at our Airbnb, we stopped by The Boulder Recyler on our way to Avery Brewing. I was able to get a long puffy coat and some ski pants for super cheap (compared to new in-stores pricing). Its a great way to find high quality consignment outdoor gear if you are in need and in the Boulder area!

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Our evening stop was at Avery Brewing Co. and we were both HUGE fans of the beer. I have to mention that we were rather spoiled at a lot of the breweries we went to and had some of the friendliest beertenders of anywhere I have ever been…but this was not so much the case at Avery. The service was a little slow and not nearly as friendly as what we had become accustomed to in our other dining/beer-drinking experiences but it was still a great brewery stop. Avery had some of the best beer of the trip and I’m sad that it’s not sold in SC. We did talk to a very friendly girl in the merch room who gave us some great Avery beer recommendations, as well as some other brewery recommendations for us to check out the next day :) Will and I also split the cheese board and gumbo which were both excellent. The food was a little pricey but worth it.

Our last stop of the day was at Sanitas Brewing Co. where Will and I split a “night cap” flight. It was just okay. The brewing itself was a cool spot but the beer was nothing to write home about. If you're in the area and happen upon it, pop in…but I wouldn’t go out of my way to check it out. I did really like this US map of breweries that they had - I even spotted our Charleston breweries - shoutout to SC! <3

Sorry the pics a little blurry ;) And that wraps up our 2nd day in Colorado…Will and I both really enjoyed Boulder and were impressed with how friendly so many of the people we came into contact with were. Meeting kind and genuine humans is one of my favorite parts of traveling :) More recaps to come…including more delicious food, beer and hiking…shocking, right?

Have a wonderful Saturday - and good luck to your football team if they are playing! I’ll be checking in on the Tigers score on my phone while I’m at the Utes hockey game tonight! It’s my first ever hockey game so should be fun :)

Big Love & Pura Vida, y’all <3

Tuesday Things ... and hello from SLC!

Tuesday ThingsMegan WhitsonComment

Hello, hello! Long time, no see. Sorry for the extend absence! I’ve spent the past two weeks road tripping across the country with my lover, hiking and brewery hopping my way through Colorado and finally getting settled into my new home in Salt Lake City…and starting my third clinical rotation at the University of Utah Hospital (which means I am one step closer to graduation!).

It has been a wonderful, wild whirlwind and I am loving every second of it … but I’m also a wee bit exhausted so we are going to stick with Tuesday Things for now. I promise to photo edit and write my heart out soon to get more “legit” posts up for you guys.

PS - I have already fall in love with Salt Lake City and I never, ever want to leave <3

I got my first taste of snow hiking to Dog Lake in Millwood Canyon on Saturday…

I got my first taste of snow hiking to Dog Lake in Millwood Canyon on Saturday…

Now…onto Tuesday Things!

  1. I just finished up the last book in the Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas, Kingdom of Ash. I started it on our road trip and could not put it down - this series gripped me from beginning to end. Imagine Game of Thrones meets Lord of the Rings with a little bit of extra magic and romance sprinkled in…SO GOOD. Start with the first book, Throne of Glass. You will not regret it. Anyone else finished the series? :)

  2. Also, Dana (best friend & Sunday sista) lent me Girl, Wash Your Face right before I left Charlotte. I’m pretty sure this book has broken the internet with how quotable, relatable and inspiring it is. I can’t wait to start reading it!

  3. What are you making for Thanksgiving dinner?? How beautiful is this autumn bruschetta board - it would make the PERFECT starter. Jessica always makes the most beautiful AND tasty recipes :)

  4. I also rounded up a few Thanksgiving dessert ideas from my favorite bloggers…

    1. Chocolate Pecan Pie Cookie Cobbler by Juli of paleOMG … HOLY YUM y’all.

    2. This Bourbon Brule Pumpkin Pie by Jessica. I’m sorry WHAT - amazing. AND you can get all the ingredients from Aldi! Win :)

    3. This “oldie but goodie” from Julie of Peanut Butter Fingers —> Pumpkin Icebox Cake. Yesss!

    4. These Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Chip Cookies by Tina. That is a mouthful to say haha! These are definitely going on my “must make” list! White chocolate + pumpkin … glorious <3

  5. Is anyone running in a Thanksgiving day turkey trot? I think there are a few going on in SLC but I will be worked so sadly I won’t get to participate :(

  6. I recently added a few new listings to my Poshmark page…like this, Mighty Lite III Vest by Columbia and this, Alison Andrews Striped Ruffle Sleeve Shirt. I haven’t done a great job of keeping up with my “store” over the past few weeks but I’m slowly re-integrating it back into my daily life :)

  7. My Patagonia puffy has SAVED my life these past few weeks (I have it in Ikat Purple), along with this beanie by Columbia - I bought it at a cute little outdoor shop in my last mountain weekend in NC :)

  8. And for #8…my first SLC recommendation: Shades Brewery is only 5 minutes from my house and it has some absolutely glorious Belgian brews. We went to the Freeheel Fall Ball there on Saturday night and had a blast. AND I WON MY FIRST RAFFLE! It only took me 31 years haha…I won a beanie, tank top and two lift passes for Powder Mountain. I am SO PUMPED.

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That’s it for now friends. Thanks for being patient with me while I “ghosted” for awhile. I can’t wait to share my road trip/Colorado adventures with you soon … and I cannot wait to experience (and share) all that Utah has to offer!

Happy Tuesday & Pura Vida <3

Mountain Weekend Recap...

Weekend AdventuresMegan WhitsonComment

Hi friends! Happy Monday - I hope you had a wonderful, restful weekend and enjoyed some cooler weather!

I had a perfect mountain weekend up on Bald Mountain near Weaverville, NC - we were about 45 minutes outside of Asheville. The fella and I met one of our favorite “couple friends” at a gorgeous mountain house that our friend Tracy’s family graciously allowed us to enjoy for the weekend :) Matt is one of my good friends from PT school and Tracy is his wife - and significantly better half…just kidding, Matt…mostly ;) Matt and Tracy are who actually first got me interested in triathlons! We share a love of all things active, outdoor adventures and delicious food, wine and craft beer with them…essentially all of their favorite things are our favorite things too :) It makes for a fun weekend.

I’ll let the pictures mostly speak for themselves. If you are looking for a new location for a weekend mountain adventure though, I highly recommend finding a cabin or Airbnb near Weaverville, NC. Their downtown area is adorable with lots of fun, quirky shops, an amazing bakery, two breweries and a pizza shop with some to-die-for thin crust, wood-fired pizzas <3 There is awesome hiking along the AT with spectacular views. AND it is totally still feasible to take a day trip into Asheville! That is a win-win. Hopefully we’ll be back sooner than later!

Matt and I met at his parent’s house on our way up and rode the rest of the way together. Will beat us there by an hour or so and he and Tracy greeted us with a glass of wine :) Can you tell we like wine justttt a little? ;)

We all slept in a little later than initially planned on Saturday morning because we stayed up late catching up the night before. Tracy made us breakfast the next morning: hash browns, sauted greens, scrambled eggs and sliced avocado (Trader Joe’s EBTB seasoning was my contribution…bc I’m obsessed and travel with it everywhere —> super cool kid over here you guys). It was perfect fuel for our morning hike…

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Misty mountain morning views from the deck…

Misty mountain morning views from the deck…

And by hike…I mean, semi-casual 2 mile stroll through the woods. We were all still moving a little slow from staying up so late and from more than a few glasses of wine ;) Totally worth it though. This was a meandering nature trail close to the mountain house in Wolf Laurel. I would definitely like to come back to do some trail running here!

Next up: Weaverville! We decided to venture into Weaverville on Saturday afternoon after our morning hike. We walked around in some SUPER cute shops and I had to remind myself that I am (essentially) living out of my car until May so I do NOT need to buy all the super cute knick-knacks…sigh. I did buy a felt, crafted yellow bird that I’ll hang on our Christmas tree one day and some specialty popcorn - so glorious. I am a sucker for anything that I can turn into a Christmas ornament and coffee mugs when I’m traveling. So then when you are choosing a mug in the morning or when you’re decorating your Christmas tree, every piece has a story and a memory behind it :)

After strolling around and taking in downtown, we popped into the two new-to-us breweries: Zebulon Artisan Ales and Eluvium Brewing Co. They were both innovative, small batch brewing companies and I definitely recommend checking them both out if you are in the area and enjoy craft beer <3

We rounded out our afternoon with a late lunch at Blue Mountain Pizza & Brew Pub. Y’ALL. Yes, we already had a few craft beers so we were primed for some pizza but this pizza 100% delivered - no pun intended ;) Will and I split the caesar salad (romaine, shaved parmesan, herbed croutons, Caesar dressing, diced tomato & candied bacon) and the Pesto Perfection (parmesan crust, pesto sauce, grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, feta). It. was. glorious.

Will, Matt and I all tried their house craft beer as well - we all ended up getting an 8 oz. pour of the Captain Trips Ale, a 9.5% Belgian Tripel…hence, the 8 oz. pour ;) If you are in Weaverville, please check this local spot out - they have nailed the beer AND pizza game.

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Hi beautiful friend :)

Hi beautiful friend :)

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A picture of a lone slice bc I may or may not have already devoured the rest of the pizza before I remembered to take a picture…

A picture of a lone slice bc I may or may not have already devoured the rest of the pizza before I remembered to take a picture…

The rest of Saturday afternoon was devoted to another short 2 mile hike up to Bald Mountain where we burned off approximately 1 slice of pizza and half a beer for our efforts ;) Bald Mountain is part of the Appalachian Trail and we were able to take in 360’ mountain views. There is something about the mountains that just humbles and inspires me - it can make me feel so small yet so connected to this land I get to call home. Beautiful views with beautiful friends…life does not get much sweeter.

That second to last picture of the boys cracks me up…they were making fun of me and Tracy for taking a “holding hands with mountains in the distance” picture ;) Also, I love that Rocky (Tracy and Matt’s dog) joined in for the last boy’s picture.

My favorite part of the day was when we got back to the house. We sat on the back porch overlooking the Blue Ridge and took in a magnificent sunset. As the day faded into night, I was overwhelmed by the love and sweet friendship of these 3 people. We bundled up in our warmest, coziest clothes and stayed up far too late sitting on the porch, drinking yummy pumpkin beers and enjoying wonderful conversation. My heart is so full and I feel so lucky to be able to do life with these guys…and Rocky, of course ;)

This is my FAVORITE pumpkin beer :)

This is my FAVORITE pumpkin beer :)

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Sunday morning was spent in a mild state of sadness as we prepared to leave this beautiful place. I’m so happy for the time that we had though and look forward to even more adventures in the future. Matt and I rode back to his parents and watched the last half of the Panthers/Redskins game - he’s a Redskins fan and I’m a Panthers fan…sad day for me. Then it was time to get on the road back to Beaufort. The weekend was far too short but it sure was sweet.

Only 3 more weeks in the low country and then I’ll be headed out west to Salt Lake City. Send me your recommendations! Happy Monday loves. I hope you have a wonderful, joy-filled week <3