Automattic Grand Meetup, Whistler, BC

Where's Waldo? Credit to Donncha for the photo.

Where’s Waldo? Credit to Donncha for the photo.

What an amazing week.

I didn’t take as many photos as in past years; I blame Pokémon and soaking in the experience rather than trying to capture it. But my friends and coworkers took lots of photos and I have plenty of memories to share.

I walked a 5k, I got not just one but two tattoos, I saw coyotes and beautiful mountain scenery, and painted my own version of said scenery. The afterparty included tasty drinks and dancing. There were lots of meetings (so many meetings) and lunches and dinners and discussion, and now my head is full and I want to sleep for a week.


I did the WWWP5k!

Automattic runs/walks/hops

Where’s Waldo, #wwwp5k edition.

And it begins!

And it begins!

I’ve never been a runner. I will probably never be a runner. I tried Couch to 5K once and got about a week into the program before I decided to save my knees and walk instead.

But I’ve been doing a lot of walking lately (thanks Pokémon!), and my endurance has improved. Each year, Automattic does this world-wide WordPress 5k, and this year they’re donating to a good cause, so I figured what the heck; let’s do it!

Scenic Whistler

Scenic Whistler

I was with a small group of other walkers, and I had my trusty Pokémon to keep my mind occupied when I wasn’t chatting with my walking buddy (who was also playing Pokémon). It was chilly and rainy (45℉/7℃), but the scenery was beautiful and the company made it so much fun.

I may have found myself a new Grand Meetup tradition. 🙂


Post-5k Soggy Walkers selfie. Photo by Jen Hooks.

Post-5k Soggy Walkers selfie. Photo by Jen Hooks.


Summer adventures

The end of a season is always bittersweet. On one hand, I adore fall and all the wonderful things that come with it; on the other, it feels like summer flew by. The hottest days were relatively few and far between up here in the north, there was not nearly enough lake time, and I could have taken a few more weeks’ vacation and not felt the pull of work.

The kids are clinging, driving both their father and me nuts, so it must be time for them to go back to school. Tomorrow we’ll put them on the bus and restart the school-year routines. I feel entirely unprepared and frazzled. I may be in a bit of denial, particularly with regards to Gwen, who turns five in two days. So many mixed emotions!

September also begins a three-month-long string of events that will probably make the rest of the year fly by. There are work trips planned to British Columbia and Spain, my brother’s wedding, more home improvements, birthdays, and holidays.

It was a good summer, a solid summer. Looking back on these photos and thinking about everything we’ve done, it’s clear we made some new memories. Bring it on, autumn. We’re ready for you!


Pokémon Go-ing

Allllll the Flareons.

Allllll the Flareons.

My little summer obsession, along with 90% of the smartphone-holding world: Pokémon Go.

I must have been a bit old for the Pokémon thing when it first came around, so I came into this a novice. I had no idea what, exactly, a Pikachu was, or why I should care. I’d also never played Ingress, so the whole augmented reality thing adds a new twist.

I’m a sucker for gamifying exercise. A Fitbit kept me motivated for years, and I still wear a Surge every day. I used to play Just Dance and Wii Fit; anything to distract myself from the mindless monotony that is exercise, really.

IMG_1347I’d been in a movement rut since moving north. I lost interest in the Wii, and the treadmill got boring when I ran out of shows to binge watch on Netflix. We live in a beautiful area, but exploring beyond our one, long road means going on hikes into the deep woods, and I’m not a fan of bugs. Plus there’s always the chance you’ll encounter a moose or a bear or another large, angry animal that wants you to GTFO. Don’t get me wrong; I love nature, I just love it best when I’m indoors.

But thanks to Pokémon, my step counts and active minutes are up (my Fitbit is all, “Who are you???”), and I actually have a tan from spending so much time outside.

A TAN. Me, with the vampire complexion. I haven’t had a tan since I was a kid.

You're mine, Snorlax.

You’re mine, Snorlax.

So of course, I roped Tim and Mom into playing, too. We don’t have any Pokémon or Pokéstops within walking distance, but there are lots in town (ahh, small-town USA — you can’t walk ten feet without running into a church). The kids enjoy helping us catch monsters and evolving new ones. It’s given us something to do during monotonous trips to town for groceries and errands; the other day, we hunted down and caught a Snorlax in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I once spotted a Scyther flying around the kids’ dance school, but didn’t get to it in time.

I’ve also been exploring my surroundings, finding excuses to hang out in areas I would have ignored before; Boston’s seaport area was fun (all the Magikarps!), and the last time I went to Bangor, I walked around downtown and the UMaine campus. I plan to take a mini road trip up Route 1 to look for Pokémon soon. Northern Maine has no shortage of churches and statues, many of which are Pokéstops.

Who knows how long this will keep me interested, but I’m enjoying the extra movement and the excitement of discovering new monsters while it lasts. I doubt I’ll ever be one of those people who’s “addicted” to exercise, but if I can find a way to make it palatable and semi-regular such that I don’t feel like a total Slowpoke (see what I did there?), I’m happy.