June 27-July 2, 2017

3 weeks overdue, but here I am to write about my sister and I's wonderful trip to the west coast to visit our older sister! This was the first time in a quite awhile that I got to travel with my sister, Katlynn, and what an adventure it was.

Of course, all the excitement rushed to us once we started driving to the airport. We flew out from O'Hare to Salt Lake City where we almost missed our flight.

Funny story here. We get to Salt Lake with 2 hours until out flight to Medford. We get some dinner and then after we eat, Katlynn wants to take handstand pictures for National Handstand Day (picture down below). So here we are in the middle of the airport taking photos of her doing handstands with the planes and mountains as the backdrop. Over the intercom we hear them call someone's name, which was not Teah or Katlynn, but had the last name Rushing. I say, "Is that us?" and Katlynn says, "No, they didn't say either of our names." Now, Rushing isn't that common of a last name so although we pondered on the thought for a second we decided to ignore it because they didn't say either of our first names. Mid handstand her phone starts ringing and I go pick it up...it's a call from Salt Lake City. She answers and they basically say, "Hi, is this Katlynn? We've been trying to hold the gate open for you as long as we can but you have two minutes to get here or we'll have to close it." She hangs up the phone, tells me we have 2 minutes to get to the gate, which is at the end of the terminal, and starts sprinting. This whole time we're at the airport we are laughing at people we see run through the airport. We are now those girls running and not laughing now, haha. Literally, gasping for dear life, we made it on the plane to our exit row seats (hollllla!) Next stop, Medford, OR.

We land in Medford around 9PM Oregon time and head to baggage claim where our sister, Shawn, was picking us up. We haven't seen her in 2 years so it was fun and exciting to finally see her after so long. Once we get out luggage, we have to drive an 1 1/2 to Klamath Falls, where she lives. We wanted to talk on the way home but we were both so exhausted from traveling that we fell asleep on her, sorry Shawn!

Shawn and her husband, Al, had planned an overnight trip to the Oregon Coast, which was beautiful, and a big activity that I wanted to do while out in Oregon was to go see the Redwood Trees. On our way over to the coast, we made a pit stop at the Redwood Forest. Now, these trees are MASSIVE. I couldn't believe how big and round they were. Don't believe me? See for yourself. Of course these photos don't do there size justice.

Up next: driving to the coast. Although the coast was pretty chilly and a little cloudy, nothing beats a hotel room next to the ocean. It was kind of a long drive so once we got to the beachside hotel, we ordered pizza, ate, and then hit the mattresses and those ocean waves put us right to sleep. 2 hours pass and we are ready to walk. It was very, very peaceful. We even saw a sea lion!

The next morning we explored the town of Brookings, OR. Small beach town with lots of pretty hideaway beaches. We did some exploring on those, found rocks to climb and saw some beautiful views.

After exploring Brookings and the coast, we headed back home to Klamath Falls. We made a pitstop for lunch in Medford where we ate at this burger place called Jaspers Cafe. But not a typical burger joint. They had all types of hamburger including, elk, lamb, kangaroo, and many other animals. It was quite tasty!

Throughout the week we spent a lot of time with our sister, her hubby, a few of there friends, and the horses in their backyard. I was completely obsessed with these horses who Katlynn so generously named, Kirk and Bruce. They were sweeties. I ate breakfast with them almost every morning and we fed them horse treats and apples daily.

One afternoon, we went to Oregon Tech so Shawn could work on a personal project so Katlynn and I got to hike the mountain at the school. And not even kidding, 10 minutes after we started, we were completely out of breath. I honestly don't know how we made it to the top. It was a struggle but worth the view. Being the photographer that I am, I took lots of photos, some polaroids, and self-timer portraits (gotta love self timer). Once we hit "flat" ground, we headed straight to the sprinklers to get that mist and boy did that feel amazing.

The next evening, we attended a water aerobics class. Katlynn and I had always watched a water aerobics class when we were lifeguards but actually doing it was surprisingly difficult. We got a nice little workout in before we ate our weight in the second most amazing Chinese food I've ever had.

Our last day in Oregon consisted of kayaking with the most beautiful view! 2 hours of kayaking is no joke. Our arms were like jello. Some of the time was spent taking photos (because how could I not?) but most of the time was spent looking around and enjoying the perfect weather. Also, I was kind of obsessed with taking water ripple photos.

Sadly, our last day approached and we spend the morning hiking. This was a different kind of hiking, the kind of hiking where you go off the trail. To be honest, it was just ok....haha! We had to move branches and leaves out of our way while walking on steep hills. Our legs and arms were all cut up and bitten by mosquitos. Let's just say I'm a stick to the trail kind of hiker. We did find the biggest pine cones I have ever seen though, those were pretty cool.

In the afternoon, we headed back to Medford so we could catch our flight back home. Of course, had to save a west coast staple for our last meal, In-N-Out. However, I was very disappointed in this In-N-Out. It was Katlynn's first time having it, my second, and I had been raving to her about how good it was. We got our food and it was just not great compared to my first time having it in L.A. So hopefully the next time she tries it, its as amazing as I keep saying it is.

Now, our way back home felt like an eternity. Our first red-eye flight. Never again will I take a red-eye. It was too exhausting and screwed up my sleeping schedule. Luckily this time we had a 4 hour layover in San Fran before heading to O'Hare so we didn't have to sprint to the gate!

Overall, we had a great time and will definitely be visiting as soon as possible. I already miss the views and the mountains. The west coast IS the best coast! To see more of my photos, including ones from Oregon, pleae visit my Flickr account!