Emerald Bay State Park
Travel

Little River Roundtable | Spring 2015

Woah! Time flies when you’re having fun (or your life is really busy, either way!) Let me tell you about some cool things that I did this Spring (shh, I know we’re in Summer now. I’m definitely behind on writing!):

PAX East 2015

PAX East 2015

This past March 2015, I attended PAX East for the first time! And by attended, I don’t just mean as a con-goer, I actually worked for the convention as an Enforcer! It was an incredible experience – a lot of hard work, but totally worth every second! I definitely lost my voice by the end of the weekend, and my feet were incredibly sore, but I had made tons of new friends, helped make the convention fun for thousands of people, and got to try out a bunch of awesome new games.

For those who may not know, PAX East (in Boston) is part of the PAX family of gaming festivals (four of which happen in Seattle, Boston, San Antonio, and Melbourne every year). PAX stands for Penny Arcade Expo, and the conventions were created byJerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, the minds behind Penny Arcade the online comic (and community). PAX is all about celebrating a love of gaming – be it video games, tabletop, arcade, and more!

I ended up working for Merch Booth, which means I spent three morning shifts over the course of the three days of the convention selling Penny Arcade merchandise (including the infamous Penny Arcade pins, which is an intense situation lemme tell ya! People go hard for those pins!).  The time went by super quickly, and it was a lot of fun to make so many people happy! After our shifts, we were able to enjoy the convention ourselves, and my friends and I had a great time perusing the expo hall (where we tried out new games like Nintendo’s Splatoon, and watched Halo 5 and Overwatch), playing pick-up games with random people in the tabletop hall, and attending awesome panels such as the Cards Against Humanity one. I can’t wait for PAX East 2016 – and my friends and I have also decided to try and make it to PAX Prime 2016, which is the main convention in Seattle!

Honeymooning in South Lake Tahoe

Heavenly Mountain ResortLast October (10/18/14, to be precise), I married my favorite person – Jack Kelly! Our wedding was an absolutely blast, we couldn’t have asked for better weather or a better crowd of party-goers! We did not, however, take our honeymoon right after our wedding, as many newlyweds typically do. Our reasoning behind the wait was very practical – Jack’s a middle school teacher, and he did not feel good about taking a week off from work right in the middle of the school year (who can blame him??). With the Christmas season being a particularly expensive and busy time to travel, we decided to wait until Spring Break 2015 – it ended up working really well for saving money for the trip and arranging our ideal travel plans!

Heavenly Mountain Resort

I’ve never been much of a beach resort person, and both Jack and I are very active people. We wanted to go on a honeymoon that would make us both really happy, keep us busy, and allow us to visit somewhere we’d never been before. We decided on snowboarding in South Lake Tahoe, California and boy did we make a good choice! Neither of us had been snowboarding out West before, so we were really excited. After spending a fun action-packed day in lovely San Francisco with a good friend of ours from high school, we rented a car and drove out to South Lake Tahoe (making an important stop in Muir Woods on the way, to see some of the tallest trees in the world!). Despite the precarious drought situation in California (that is, sadly, very much still an issue), we ended up getting enormously lucky – it snowed 10 inches the second day we were at Lake Tahoe. Because of that, we got to experience the famous West Coast powder, and it was by far the best snowboarding EVER. Our mountains on the East Coast really can’t compare…! We primarily snowboarded at Heavenly Mountain resort, and it was amazing.

South Lake Tahoe

On our last day, it was a tad too warm to snowboard so we went hiking instead. We hiked all up and around the Emerald Bay State Park (pictured in full as the cover photo for this post), and it was incredibly beautiful. One week was definitely not long enough to see all of Lake Tahoe, though – I hope we can go back someday and do some more snowboarding and exploring!

 

Musical Spring: Madeon, Passion Pit, and more!

Finally, this Spring ended with some concerts!

Madeon Adventure Tour

First was the rising star and musical genius Madeon. Singer, songwriter, DJ, producer, musician – you name it, this kid can do it! At only 21, he is already world famous, working with well-known artists such as Lady Gaga and Passion Pit, and becoming more and more popular. My brother and I saw him as part of his Adventure Tour, which highlighted the music from his first full album, which came out March 30th of this year. Madeon was an absolute treat to see live – his energy was intense and unwavering, he never once stopped moving. Every song transition was exciting, the light show breathtaking. And his music is SO fun and easy to dance to – a wonderful blend of styles, mainly within EDM. You can hear his influences – Daft Punk, for one, but my favorite song of his is actually the collaboration he did with Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos.

Speaking of Passion Pit, we saw them this Spring too! They were a part of Radio 104.5‘s “Birthday Show”, which Jack and my brother and I have attended two years in a row now. If you couldn’t already tell, Passion Pit is by far one of my favorite bands (honestly, they are probably in second place behind Wilco, my all-time favorite), and it’s all because of Michael Angelakos. He is truly an inspiration – not just as a musician, but as a human being. For anyone who has struggled with a mental health illness, Michael’s music and journey is absolutely worth looking into. Over the years, he has worked hard to recover from a really dark place, and has been a spokesperson for mental health awareness ever since. I highly encourage you to check out this interview, if you’re interested in learning more.

This Spring brought not just concerts, but a lot of new music in general into my life – new releases from longtime favorite artists (such as One Ok Rock, Chance the Rapper, and The Decemberists), as well as music I was only just discovering for the first time, such as the band MisterWives . What have you been listening to? Share with me in the comments if you feel like it – I love music and I am always looking for more of it!

And that’s a wrap…for now…we’re halfway through Summer, so I have a feeling I’ll be writing another one of these roundtable posts before I know it! It’s a goal of mine to write more frequently for this blog, so here’s to many more ramblings to come!

(P.S. Who else is totally psyched about our U.S. World Champions!!? Well done, ladies!!)

 

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