#AdventureswithKaren: Episode 3

I've been on a long hiatus from posting about my adventures, but don't think for a second that it is because I have had nothing to post about. In fact, I've visited quite a few amazing destinations since the last episode of #AdventureswithKaren:

St. Paul, MN:
While there wasn't too much fun to be had in St. Paul, I did end up finding a beautiful jogging path along the Mississippi River on Harriet Island.

A little reading in Rice Park
View of the Mississippi River from the Wabash Bridge
View of Harriet Island 
Jogging path on Harriet Island
St. Paul Central Library 
View of the Mississippi River 
I also took a very interesting viniyoga class at River Garden Yoga Center. I've always known that viniyoga is a very gentle style of yoga, but I was NOT expecting to take class with 10 other 50 year old women. I think I broke a heavier sweat walking to the studio than I did taking the class. It was a "restorative" practice to say the least.

Winnipeg, MB:
Next stop on the travel list was Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. I had high hopes for The Forks, Winnipeg, which is deemed as "one of the loveliest public spaces in Winnipeg". And perhaps this statement is true. But relative to the other public spaces I've been to it was a huge let down. The retail vendors sold generic goods like personalized mugs and Canadian flags. The saving grace to this blase tourist attraction was the Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company stand, from which I bought a whole wheat cinnamon roll. I sat outside with that, a tasty cup of coffee, and my kindle for about two hours of rest and relaxation in the sun:



Also quite delicious is the vegan restaurant, Boon Burger Cafe. They offer an assortment of vegan burgers with a variety of different flavor profiles from Asian to all-American. I got the Bombay Talkie Burger and a side salad:
Boon Burger
9PM and the sun is still setting
Close by is the Red River, along which there is a nice jogging path. I wouldn't recommend it during the winter or spring season because the path gets a bit too muddy.

Calgary, AB
Our next Canadian stop was Calgary:

Definitely worth a visit is Prince's Island Park, which is about 15 minutes north of the downtown area. It's a lush green public park with plenty of walking trails and open green space for a picnic or a game of ultimate frisbee. Surrounding the park is the Elbow River which, like the Red River in Winnipeg, is lined with a nice jogging path. 

Celebrating Kevin's birthday, Calgary style
Giant Karen in a mini cart
A little reminder from the Hot Shop Yoga studio
Additionally, even though I haven't been as adamant about finding local yoga spots in each city, there was a yoga studio so close to our hotel in Winnipeg that I decided to give it a try. I'm not a big fan of hot yoga, mainly because I get so fatigued by the heat that I can't perform at my full physical capacity. But the Hot Shop was a stone's throw away and had a $20 unlimited classes promotion. I went to 3 different classes, all of which affirmed my belief that extreme heated yoga just isn't for me.

Seattle, WA:
One of my best friends is moving to Seattle, WA in August so I was excited to get a chance to explore the city and see what all the hype is about. The first evening there my friend Tamina and I visited Plum Vegan Bistro in Capital Hill. The food was very tasty and appropriately priced:
Broccoli from Plum Vegan Bistro
The next day I met up with fellow Bruin alumnus and Theta member, Kit Curtius. We met up at Victrola Coffee and chatted about what we've each been up to since graduation. Two years my senior, Kit has been living in Seattle for the past few years. She elaborated on how young, artistic, yet laid back Seattle is:

Future mathematics PhD Kit Curtius and me
After that much needed morning pick-me-up, I headed to the infamous Pike Place Market. I visited the grotesquely fascinating gum wall and snagged a refreshing ginger beer from Rachel's Ginger Beers. I even picked up a fresh poppy and peony flower for our bus:
The infamous sticky gum wall

View from the hotel





I really enjoyed being in Seattle and wished I had more time to explore the city. Good thing gal pal Kally will be moving here soon; I'll definitely be visiting quite often!

Los Angeles, CA:
We thankfully had a short pitstop in LA where I met up with the real-life versions of my travel friends. I was also in town long enough to attend my friend Sarah's going away party. It was rejuvenating and grounding to spend time with my buddies after traveling for so long:

Sydney, Kally, Brian, and Elizabeth in real life

Good by Sarah!

My next leg of travels has already begun so check back soon for new posts on my explorations!