The Addition

Unexpectedly along this twisted winding path we call life, certain things become utterly unmistakable. We so clearly and distinctly mark the importance of this moment, while forever defining it’s meaning.

Recently, this has happened for me. On December 10, 2014 I drove south to Seattle to bring Hamilton to his new home, I became a Mom (dogs count as children, right?). Hamilton is a french bulldog puppy, who at the time was 11 weeks old. I will go ahead and state the obvious, he is ridiculously cute and lovable; however I strongly misjudged how this love-ability might alter my heart and my mind.


I have never been so overwhelmed with joy, I literally thought my heart was going to burst. Now, just a little background…I always had dogs in or around the house growing up, yet none of them were really mine. The canine companion closest to my heart was my childhood shar-pei, Brutis who sadly passed when I was eight years old. I have wanted a dog, specifically a french bulldog for going on 5 years and have been extremely patient waiting for the “right time”. I am undoubtedly convinced there is no “right time” for things like dogs, or children. There simply isn’t. This life is so full of commitments, opportunities and extracurriculars that we have to intentionally carve out a spot for a dog or a child if it is important to us. That’s the real choice, how important am I going to make this? Is this a priority?

Amidst all of the craziness that 2015 will bring: college graduation, MCAT, medical school applications, anesthesia OR shadowing, gnarly ADV trips, COBDR, and other randomness…I decided NOW this was important to me. I was ready to pull the trigger, so I did.

As I shut the truck door, and sat Hamilton on the seat beside me everything around me faded to black. Nothing else in the world mattered except this tiny, perfect little guy who Adam and I were going to raise and love. I might have cried. Just a little. Like, maybe one tear. Surely, a tear of joy.

As the day progressed, Hamilton became more and more attached to me and I felt like I was watching a bond form before my eyes. Okay, I know this sounds super serious and dramatic…BUT IT WAS! I never would have imagined the impact this new addition to our family would have, on myself and my man. Adam and I are both so in love with Hamilton, and I thought I would introduce him to the world formally.

A few updates:
Hamilton loves to chew, especially toes…socked toes that is.
Hamilton likes classical music, and helping Mom study.
Hamilton snores occasionally, but is a really good sleeper. Mom and Dad like that!
Hamilton is almost potty trained, we’re really proud of his progress.
Hamilton loves people, and ALL DOGS. He think’s everyone is his friend.
Hamilton’s favorite toy is Gator Man, second in line is his Teddy.
Hamilton loved his first Christmas, especially his crinkly Santy and Nylabones from Tamara.

Hamilton is awesome.
The End.

Westland Distilling Peated Whiskey

Westland Distilling Peated


Nose starts with a smoldering campfire and a touch of honey.  Taste is light smoke, sweet almost honey taste and a touch nutty, almond like.  Over time, the taste moves into earthy herbs and spices and leather. Peat, iodine and smoke are on the finish.  A very good Washington Whiskey, my favorite from Westland.  I was comparing it to Lagavulin 16, a very different much peatier, smokier version that still has by heart.  This is a good local staple to have on hand.



December Weekend: Whisky Tasting and Hiking

Ashley with the future addition to the family, Hamilton.  He was terrified we will see how he does on Thursday.  (We are not buying him at Petsmart, just a convenient meeting place.  Calm down PETA.)IMG_2330

Since Morgan ditched me this weekend it was a weekend solo with the girls.  At least I convinced them to go Whisky tastingIMG_2351

Sea Urchin at the market, acting like tourists.IMG_2333


Whisky tasting at Westland Distilling in SODO.  Go if you haven’t been and are in Seattle, one of the few places putting out a peated product thats good.IMG_2341



Vladimir Lenin in FremontIMG_2349

Skee Ball at King’s in Ballard IMG_2350

Big Four Ice Caves on Mountain Loop HighwayIMG_2408





Thanksgiving 2014

We decided to do a low key Thanksgiving at home this year.  The menu was Ribeye, Mashed Potatoes and Green bean casserole.

Ashley donning the stunner shades to cut onions, not really sure this helps…


Green beans coming out of the oven looking perfect.

Final product, looking better than turkey in my book.  Now to watch the SEA/SF game.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

36 Hours on the Oregon Coast

36 Hrs. on the Oregon Coast from Adam Barhan on Vimeo.

As the dreary forecast continued to improve Ashley and I decided to head down to Newport Oregon to try Rogue Brutal IPA from the source.  We headed out of Everett, WA around 8 and blasted down I-5 to Longview, WA.

Pre ride coffee at Silver Cup Coffee


Longview WA


After escaping the windy slab (I-5) we traveled through Longview, WA, crossed the Columbia River and scooted down Apiary Rd. which was surprisingly well traveled. Be cautious of logging trucks crossing lanes, but enjoy the twists and turns on this damp scenic drive. Hungry and ready for some sun we then took Hwy 6 SW through the Tillamook State Forest, which was a scenic 2 lane highway leading into the farmlands of Tillamook.

Lunch at Tillamook Cheese factory, was not quite what we expected.  Tillamook is the Disneyland of cheese places apparently…I guess we were expecting something less commercial and more crafty.  Oh well, scratch that one off the list! If you do stumble into the factory, do not order the mac’n cheese, YUK! It was very reminiscent of elementary school cafeteria tasteless goop, oh well.
Tillamook Cheese

We had a beer after lunch at Pelican brewing in Tillamook before we headed out to the cape.  We later found the Pacific City location, and in retrospect would recommend skipping the Tillamook taproom and enjoying a brew on the beach in Pacific City.
Pelican Brewing

Cape Meares beach; a very cool small town out on the cape with gorgeous sandy shores.  We intended to do the 3 cape tour but the road from Meares south was closed at the time.  We did find a Tsunami emergency route that looked quite fun, and as expected Ashley tried her best to convince me we could bypass the gate. Ultimately we refrained since the lock and key usually indicates a potential trespassing charge.
Cape Lookout State Park

Cape Lookout; you can see the gorgeous spit that went on for miles, just beautiful!
Cape Lookout State Park

Another small beach town, Neskowin. Looked like a great place to stay on another trip!
Sunset on the OR Coast

We continued south on 101 arrived in Newport around 6pm, and checked into the hotel at Nye Beach. We decided to head to Rogue for dinner and drinks, hoping to meet some locals and swap stories. Rogue definitely surpassed our expectations, with a very eclectic little bar reminding you how small a large craft brewery can feel.
Rogue Brewing
Rogue Brewing
Rogue Brewing

The view of Nye Beach from the hotel.  The shore looks close but 5,300 stairs later your feet finally hit the sand, it was a gorgeous morning and we enjoyed coffee listening to the waves. We would definitely recommend staying near this beach, not too crowded (especially in November) with lots of room for activities.
View from the Hotel

Along Newport Bay it’s impossible to miss the loud bark of Sea Lions soaking up the sun on the rocks. They are relentless in their cries, whether they cry for food or just for fun no one knows but you definitely can’t miss it!
Newport, OR

Refueled with a quick breakfast at The Cofee House along the bay. Fresh pour over coffee and omelets before the quest back north.
Coffee at the Coffee House

As one of the winter weather systems was moving in, coastal winds picked up speed making a beautiful sight from this lookout. Ashley almost got blown off of her bike departing the parking lot here, but amidst the harsh winds we proceeded north on 101.
Oswald West State Park

After a few hours of battling the gale force winds we arrived in Astoria, making a quick stop at Fort George Brewery for lunch and a chance to warm up before blasting home.
Lunch at Fort George Brewing


After crossing the bridge in Astoria we continued north on 101 to South Bend and onto Olympia where we jumped on I-5 for the last leg home. All in all, we had a great trip but faced some challenges on the way back towards Seattle. As we mentioned above, the winds were a bit daunting…and by a bit daunting we mean 70mph gusts along with near freezing temperatures. After this trip, we both agreed some Gerbing heated gear moves up on our priority list if we want to continue riding during these cooler months. We will definitely be visiting the OR coast again soon, it was more beautiful than we even imagined! Lots of exploring left to do there, and hopefully some dirt tracks next trip. Until next time, ride on bitches!