Monday, June 30, 2014

An Aimless Drive and an Outdoor Art Gallery in Polcenigo / Caneva

This is the first full weekend Will has had off since we got back from our vacation so we knew we had to get out of the house and do something...anything. According to the Saturday weather forecast, we had until 1600 when the thunderstorms would (supposedly) start rolling in. PS...they lied. We totally could have done a full-day trip. But that's okay, we still got to do something cool.

Friuli Venezia Giulia

First we went to Polcenigo. We wanted to explore the castle and the park, but they had a market in the piazza and I just wasn't in the mood to deal with parking and lots of people. So I told Will to just drive. We took some random turns, enjoying the Italian charm of each town we came to. Eventually we ended up back on the Mountain Highway and decided to head back to base for lunch. A pretty river caught my eye as we were driving and we took the next turn to see if we could find the walking path I had spotted. We got really lucky and found a park with a parking lot right there at the end of the road.

Friuli Venezia Giulia

We saw the Humus Park signs and assumed it was the park name and just followed the arrows. We stayed along the path and got some gorgeous views of the water. I assumed we were just going to the end of the paved path, but Will kept going. We came across an abandoned building with metal walkways built into it. I refused to leave solid ground, but Will was brave and took pictures for me from the inside.

Humus Park
Humus Park
Humus Park
Humus Park
Humus Park
Humus Park
Humus Park
Humus Park

After we crossed a small bridge I figured we'd turn around, but Will thought the path would make a big loop and we'd end up back where we started. And he was right, we would have popped out right next to our car...if the bridge leading to the parking lot wasn't blocked off. We thought maybe there would be another bridge farther down so we kept along the path. Will carried me through the muddy parts since I was wearing the worst choice of footwear for the muddy trails.

Humus Park
Humus Park
Humus Park
Humus Park
This is where the path kind of stopped...but we kept going.

Turns out the path just kind of ends. There's an overgrown path that probably does connect with the other bridge farther down the river, but it was overgrown with thorny bushes and mud. Will carried me on his back for a little while before we gave up and turned around.

So remember those Humus Park signs we were following? We finally realized that it was for an outdoor art installation. It was a collaboration of artists from around the world using nature to create art along the riverbank. So cool! Turns out Humus Park was the name of the project and there are two locations altogether. We're tempted to find the other park to check out those pieces. There were some really awesome sculptures that we really enjoyed.

Humus Park
Humus Park
Humus Park
Humus Park
Humus Park

Pretty cool, right? Some of them we didn't notice until we saw the signs. I didn't notice the crown (toward the top of the post) until Will pointed it out. There are pictures of the building process on Facebook, it looks like a lot of work. Well worth it in my opinion.



Friday, June 27, 2014

My Most Marketable Skill

Looking back on my post-college job hunt I can easily pinpoint my most marketable skill: adaptability. I didn't prepare my resume for after college (I rarely worked and when I did, it was in retail positions) and I didn't earn an job-friendly degree (English/Writing). But even if I had done everything right, I still had the misfortune of graduating at a time when the unemployment rate was discouragingly high.

My original plan was to get a job at a publishing company and work my way up. But those positions were nearly impossible to find and most people with my aspirations were going back to school to earn their Masters. I had no choice but to adapt my goals and skills to fit the job market. In the end I found a position at a hospital; not what I studied for, but it was an amazing opportunity to learn more skills and earn a living.

If you need help building your adaptability skills, find ways to work on group projects. Look for situations in which you need to cooperate with other's ideas and opinions to help you to beef up your skills in adaptability and teamwork. It may put you out of your comfort zone, but the skills you acquire will be beneficial.

Even though the unemployment rate has decreased since my graduation, I still think adaptability is an important weapon to have both while applying for jobs and when you do find a job. Employers love having an employee who is willing and able to handle any task. Best of luck, Class of 2014! And congratulations!



This post was written as a part of the “Most Marketable Skill” Campaign hosted by Webucator. They are currently offering a free self-paced Microsoft 2013 course for those who are interested in boosting their marketable skills.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Oregon Road Trip: The Wallowas

Have you checked out the 7 Wonders of Oregon campaign yet? It'll make you want to book a ticket to Oregon immediately. After visiting The Wallowas, I've seen all 7 for myself and I can say with confidence that they all really truly deserve their place on the list. These places are just as gorgeous in real life as they seem in pictures...in fact, they're more gorgeous in real life. In fact, you should also check out the #TravelOregon on Instagram. I check back often for my Oregon fix.

When we first checked into our hotel I was feeling like crap from my cold, it was gloomy and foggy out, and we arrived before the tourist season so almost everything was closed. I figured the whole visit was going to be a disaster.

The Wallowas
The Wallowas
The Wallowas

As it turns out, tourist season is overrated. Our entire visit was peaceful and intimate. The weather was...well...you can see for yourself. Amazing! The main reason we went to that particular area of the Wallowas was to ride the tram. But we arrived too early; it wasn't open for the season yet. The view would have been incredible, the sun was out and the skies were clear. Instead we walked around Wallowa Lake State Park...which we had all to ourselves. How many ways or times can I say, "It was gorgeous!"

The Wallowas
The Wallowas
The Wallowas
The Wallowas
The Wallowas

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ruined Weekend

Between Will's work schedule this week and the schedule he was on last week...we got screwed out of a weekend. We had plans to do a day trip or two that got scrapped. I was in a terrible mood because of it. We have yet to have a weekend since we got back from The States. First it was weekend duty, then it was on-call for weekend duty, and then it was a shift change that essentially took away Saturday morning and Sunday evening. At this rate, I'll never get my birthday trip. We'll try again next weekend, but I've adopted a pessimistic approach and I'm pretty much counting on it being ruined again.

couch shopping

Anyway, we went couch shopping on Saturday. We found a couple of love seats that would fit in our little living room, but we weren't 100% sure it would fit through our door. It was really close and we didn't want to risk it. So we walked away empty handed. Will has his heart set on a love seat, but I'm trying to sell him on the idea of two easy chairs instead.

bowling alley

After shopping, we decided to swing by the grill at the bowling alley since Will hadn't eaten yet. We ran into our friends and ended up sitting and chatting for hours. I love spontaneous double dates!

Spaghetti House

Will had to work on one of his troop's EPR (Enlisted Performance Report) so I did some chores and relaxed while he wrote it up. Just as I was debating about either watching a movie or passing out, we got a call from our friends. We met up with them for dinner and the Germany v Ghana game was on. That was such a hard-fought game on both sides. Do you see the size of the guys' mugs? I couldn't lift it with one hand. It was a chore to drink out of. The guys felt like men though.

So even though our weekend plans got ruined, we still managed to have a little fun.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Currently

At this very moment I'm currently...

Amazed by this gorgeous view. I'm not really a morning person, but I love being on a sleep schedule that allows me to catch the gorgeous sunrises.

skyporn
skyporn

DYING to watch the last two episodes of Orange is the New Black. But it's something Will and I watch together so I have to wait for him to get home from work or wake up before I get to watch it. Sucks. I'm a big fan of binge watching my shows.

Feeling old. I turned 28 on the 17th. My mom was 28 when she had me. Whoa.

Feeling too young. I'm ready for lots of babies in our lives, but I'm suddenly feeling too young to have one.

Planning our weekend. Will wasn't able to do anything with me for my birthday on the actual day because they've got a crazy busy work week at the squadron. Our original plan was to celebrate last weekend, but he was on alert so it ruined our travel plans. Instead we watched Italy play their World Cup opener with some friends at a bar. This weekend I'm determined to get my birthday trip. But just in case he's on alert again, I'm planning two day trips instead of a weekend getaway at Lake Garda. We'll save that for another time.

Italy World Cup

Monday, June 16, 2014

Oregon Road Trip: Leaf Fossil Trail

This was our final stop at the Painted Hills. I think there were more trails, but we were losing light and I was sick so I didn't have the energy for anymore. It really amazed me that the scenery on this trail (again) changed. The fenced off area housed fossils and fossil fragments. (I think) I saw more fossils here than I did at Clarno.

Painted Hills
Painted Hills
Painted Hills

And we saw more painted hills in the distance. These were more of a golden/green/brown color. They looked really pretty in the sunlight. The clouds were starting to roll in, so I'm glad we got a little sun spots here and there in our view.

Painted Hills
Painted Hills
Painted Hills

We almost passed right by the Painted Hills sign without getting a picture with it. Luckily I said something in time for Will to stop so Mama and I could run back for a quick picture session. I had a mouth full of food and my jumping picture was an epic fail, but that's okay...I got my pictures!

Painted Hills
Painted Hills

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Oregon Road Trip: Painted Cove Nature Trail

Painted Hills
Painted Hills
Painted Hills

On the Painted Cove Nature Trail we got to see the Painted Hills up close. A boardwalk went right through and around the protected hills. There were lots of signs asking visitors to please stay on the trail. I was surprised, and a little amused, to read each sign. Instead of the same "STAY OFF" message, each had a different approach.

Painted Hills
Painted Hills
Painted Hills

I wondered what the hills were made up of since they're always changing. It was fascinating to see the different textures that make up the whole. Some parts looked like melted clay, some parts looked like hardened clumps of dirt. From afar the red sections reminded me of the red dirt from Hawaii.

Painted Hills
Painted Hills
Painted Hills
Painted Hills

When going through the hills, it felt like we were on a different planet. But when it opened out to a view of the lake in the distance and green trees and grass, it felt like Earth again. I loved the contrast of the two landscapes nestled right up next to each other. I kept thinking, "Is this real life? This is amazing!"