College Collage

I had always heard the old adage, “In college, you meet the friends you have for life.” And I never quite believed it. Probably because I’ve lived a pretty transitory life myself. I know some friendships last and some don’t. That’s just life.

Now, nearly 10 years post-college, I’m facebook friends with a few of the people I knew in college, but I haven’t maintained those relationships really. However, there are a few I’m in contact with, and it just makes me happy that we can still connect.

Remember Val of the Vail adventure birthday party?

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My camera was being stupid, so this is the least blurry one I took of us. That’s Val on the left.

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It was great to be with her for the weekend. She and a friend picked me up at the airport, Starbucks in hand, and we headed up the mountain to Vail. Her husband put us up in an amazing hotel. We skiied, ate, watched a cooking show or two, and just talked and had fun. It was so reassuring to me that we can still talk and enjoy each other’s company.

Val was my roommate for 3 years; I roomed with Julie for all four years of college. She’s another friend who is still dear to me. She and her husband moved to Vancouver a few years ago, and I was dying to visit them. So we planned a quick 4 day weekend last September.

We flew in to Seattle and rented a car to drive to Vancouver, which meant we got to spend the night at my college buddy Jim’s house in Seattle. He and his wife, Kari, just bought their first house. They had fun showing it off, and I was  tickled that Jim has become quite the handyman!

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They took us out for Thai food downtown, to satisfy my foodie cravings after more than a year of living in Oklahoma! It was SO good.

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We stopped first a Pike’s Place Market, so FP could get an authentic Seattle experience.

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I took about 47 billion pictures of the flowers. I loved the vibrant colors, especially against the gray weather.

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Since Jim manages a Starbucks store, one of our stops had to be the original store in front of the market. Isn’t FP cute with a little scruff? Jim is obviously delivering a fascinating lecture on the history of Starbucks.

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It began to rain as we walked along the riverfront, so we had to stop taking pictures and duck for cover.

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After dinner we headed up to a look out spot above the city for that classic Seattle shot.

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The next morning, we topped off a great visit with amazing pancakes at a cute diner near their home, before we headed toward the Canadian border.

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We made it past the border guards, but only after a fight. Not really, but I was surprised how UN-friendly the Canadian guard we talked to was.

Julie’s husband, Jeremy, is working on his PhD, so that’s why they’re in Canada. It means Julie gets to take advantage of the awesome maternity leave though!

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This was my first time in Canada. Vancouver is a really fun city. It has a vibe like Seattle, with more glass high rises. I got to visit Tim Horton’s, which I had always heard my Canadian friends talk about. It’s kind of like a Duncan Donuts crossed with a Subway, in that they serve sandwiches, pastries and donuts.

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Mission one accomplished.

We spent an afternoon at Granville Island. The market there is amazing. What I wouldn’t give to have one of those in Oklahoma! Mission two accomplished.

Jules was about 6 months pregnant with her sweet daughter, Piper.

Julie and me

Julie’s husband is a geologist. It was pretty cool to drive up to Whistler with him, stopping along the way as he pointed out various geological things. It brought out the nerd in me, as well as memories of passing notes to Julie to alleviate the boredom Geology 201. And then she married a geologist and has to live with it all the time.

It was fall, so there wasn’t any skiing going on in Whistler, but it was a beautiful drive. I can see why they film so many movies in the area.

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We stopped near a waterfall and had a picnic lunch. Julie took a rest while the rest of us walked up a trail to get a closer view. This is actually the second waterfall we stopped at.

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The forest was ethereal. I could almost see wood nymphs flitting among the trees. The moss had magic in it, I think.

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On the way home, we pulled off along the ocean to take advantage of the golden evening light. See my flair?

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A home perched on one of these stone slopes would be incredible.

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FP experimented with a borrowed Canon Rebel.

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Julie complains about the gray skies, and we had those too, but it was truly a beautiful northwest weekend.

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It was so cool to connect with my friends again, 8 years later. It was neat to peek into their lives, meet their spouses (or at least get to know them better) and see that those same endearing qualities that made us friends are still there, even though we’re spread all over the US. It’s great to know that while some parts of life are always in flux, those friendships remain solid.

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