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Bucket List: Pre-DC

May 22, 2010

I’ve spent the last few weeks continually organizing, packing and downsizing my belongings into two large suitcases (58 and 48 lbs), a small carry-on suitcase, and my adidas backpack that is about ready to break my back. In the midst of the packing, my mom and I had to organize and downsize our list of things we were planning to do in Central Oregon (that could easily take a couple years) into just one week. Thus we formed the unofficial Pre-DC Bucket List of several things we had to do before I left for the grand adventure out east.

I became familiar with this term ‘bucket list’ only a couple years ago from the 2007 film “The Bucket List” starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. I decided to do a quick google search of the term just for a little background (since that is what a college graduation does, right? or maybe just a nerd…) and the trustworthy urban dictionary had a few definitions. I will share, since they are semi-comical given my context:

  1. A really bad movie where a lot of money was wasted on unnecessary CG work that is unconvincing and you can tell the actors were in front of green screens during most of the shoot.
  2. A list of things you think you might need to accomplish because you feel your own mortality closing the door on you.
  3. You feel insecure about your life and therefore make a list of things to get busy on.
  4. A list of “hotties” and other strangers that you always had your eye on and you most now go conquer.

In regards to these definitions:

  1. I really liked the movie. How can you not like a movie with Morgan Freeman? A story of friendship through trials leading to embracing dreams–I eat that stuff up! Yes, even the ones with poor special effects.
  2. I am 22; therefore, I still think I am invincible, right? So I am completely unaware of my own mortality. Yet as my mom and I became more and more sentimental about the things we needed to experience together before my trek across the country, it may have seemed to my brother and others near by as if someone was going to die. Yet my bucket list had nothing to do with mortality.
  3. As for being insecure about life…this is probably the definition that best describes my bucket list. Since I will be leaving for an undefined amount of time, our insecurity mixed with a whole lot of sentimental led formed the foundation of our list.
  4. I do have to comment on this one…any of you reading this who know me…well, you know this isn’t me!

Now that we have sufficient Bucket List background, we’ll move onto the actual purpose of this blog: to reminisce and share all the fun little random things I got to do these last couple weeks while I sit in airports on my way to DC.


Yes indeed I got to bake! I had only been home for four days and we had already made one blackberry cobbler, and two strawberry rhubarb pies (yum…!). Quickly followed by a rhubarb cake for Angie’s birthday. For mom’s Birthday/Mother’s Day Jess and I created a dark chocolate flourless chocolate cake, covered in ganache, chocolate covered strawberries and homemade whipped cream. For lovers of intensely rich desserts, this is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

I also had the opportunity to make spinach artichoke dip, baguettes, stuffed mushrooms, (mom made the stuffed jalapenos), dark chocolate no bake cookies and as pictured below cake truffles. If I had eaten every cake truffle I made since January, let’s just say we’d be looking at a different Emily. Below we have carrot cake, confetti, chocolate peanut butter and lemon. Sweet enough to satisfy, small enough to not feel guilty (thank you, marketing class.)
While I could go on and on about the sweets baked, or amazing food cooked, I don’t want to look to incredibly “food obsessed,” instead I’ll move onto all the restaurants we visited instead :)

Papa Andres

Recently my mom had “the best” sandwich from this cute pizza shop in Sisters, OR and it was apparently good enough to make the bucket list. Neither of us can have cheese, so our panini was atypical, but still delicious. This was not a usual mother-daughter lunch, instead we were informally joined by the owner and cook. We chatted about the oil spills, our cheese-less panini’s, and how often lyrics are sung incorrectly in popular songs. For example: Benny and the Jets: “electric boots” sung as “electric boobs” (thank you, 27 Dresses for pointing that one out). Or “there’s a bad moon on the rise” sung as “there’s a bathroom on the right.” Ha. It was a true small town experience, definitely bucket list worthy.


Almost equivalent to baking/eating in importance is the need to hike. I guess they go hand in hand, in order to eat the baked goods there must be some form of exercise, so why not experience the incredible outdoors while trying to increase your heart rate? And unexpected, increased heart rate definitely occurred on this not-so-sissy of a hike. This was the hardest list to downsize, since my mom and a few of my adopted moms going hiking regularly, they have ben composing a list of places that I was going to hike with them in the next year. Thus the year of hikes was reduced to one truly magnificent hike: Alder Springs. Along with Tamolich Pool, Whychus Falls, and Smith Rocks (I’m a true Central Oregonian), this is one of top favorite places to hike. We hiked down to where the Whychus Creek runs into the Deschutes River experiencing desert, forest, canyons, ridges, and an oasis–truly beautiful. In order to attempt to keep this from becoming a record blog in length I’ll just provide a few pictures :)


I love Costco! It’s not just their samples, the large boxes of cereal, or their chocolate frozen yogurt–it’s everything. I love walking through Costco, I don’t even have to buy anything in order to enjoy it. So clearly Costco with the family for a slice of combo pizza and chocolate frozen yogurt to share definitely made the list and was well worth the trip into Bend. Yay Costco! So glad it is a nation-wide store.

Jody’s Drive In

For those of you familiar with Redmond, I don’t even think I need to explain why Jody’s would be on the bucket list. For those of you unfamiliar, two words: french fries. Jody’s is this tiny little burger place just off of Highland with the most delicious burgers and fries. My last Monday night my mom, dad, brother, and I all met at Jody’s for dinner. Unfortunately it started raining and the only available seating is outside. My mom is convinced that Jody’s food needs to be consumed immediately in order to be fully enjoyed. Therefore each of us abandoned our separate car and sat in the parking lot in the Subaru to chow down. Feeling a tad bit silly about eating with my family in our car in a parking lot was overshadowed by the delicious food ( I’m not sure that it is an adequate adjective). Yum!

Sister’s Theater

If we’re going to go out to a movie in Central Oregon, driving the extra 10 miles to Sisters is worth it. Sister’s Theater is quaint, cute and a favorite for my mom and I. They use chalkboards to title their movies above each theater door. Any establishment that uses chalkboards automatically gains points in my book and add popcorn to the mix, it’ll climb toward the top of my bucket list. During my last week my mom and I went to Sister’s Theater to see Letter’s to Juliet. After enduring ultimate guy movies like “Law Abiding Citizen,” this chick flick satisfied the need for simply sweet, and somewhat cheesy romance. The evening was filled with Italian scenery, frequent laughter, and a few tears. And checked right off the bucket list.

Nancy P’s Bakery

When I worked for Bank of the Cascades two summers ago my co-workers were frequently referencing favorite bakeries and restaurants. I knew that before I left for DC I needed to try some of these favorites from the area I spend 22 years of my life. Unfortunately I should have been writing down all these places, because I could not remember more than two. (Short-term memory loss at 22? Pathetic? I know..) My last Friday before heading out to DC, my aunt, uncle and cousin were visiting and I knew I wanted some type of chocolate baked good for dessert and I wouldn’t have time to bake it myself. My sister suggested a bakery off Newport, but could not remember the name. As we pulled into the parking lot and I surprisingly looked up to see the sign from the highly acclaimed bakery (at least by my coworkers): Nancy P’s. And oh-my-goodness, it was wonderful!! We didn’t take anything home for dessert that night, but my mom, aunt and I shared a carrot cupcake and chocolate puddle. Incredible. Absolutely incredible. And an unexpected addition to my bucket list. I look forward to my own bakery–soon, soon!

Hanging out with family, friends and more family

Time spent with friends and family was key to my bucket list and I feel as if it was well accomplished. I got to spend time with a few my closest friends, although I wish I would have had more time. My mom, dad, and I were able to enjoy coffee every morning. Sister, brother, and I were able to just chill at Pizza Mondo and Starbucks for a few hours. Visited the grandparents, although I always wish I would visit more. I got to feed people, watch movies, and enjoy time together. My final days in Redmond I was able to be with some extended family as well, and was given my first real purse! (I know…I’m growing up!) In all I believe my Pre-DC bucket list was an enjoyable, success.

As I’ve been writing this blog I’ve slowly been deleting specifics from my bucket list. There were so many fun, simple and random activities and experiences I was able to have in the last two weeks. One thing I’ve learned about myself in the last two days has been that when an overachieving student meets the real world things get kind of crazy. So a simple blog entry about my last two weeks should have really been a separate blog entry per day. Letting myself think about ways to talk about all my fun little activities throughout two weeks could easily turn into a forty page essay with photos and all. But it wouldn’t be perfectly polished for another month and I would have a zillion more ideas for my next blogs–in other words I think I’ve learned my lesson. Short, sweet, simple DAILY blogs from now on (I hope).


From → Living

One Comment
  1. em, i am so loving your blog! drew told me briefly about this "list"… it looks like you guys had a blast. i'm glad you got to fit so much in while you were home. :) it was so great to see you and catch up a bit! i look forward to seeing all of your experiences evolve. your apartment & desk at work is SO CUTE. i hope to have a cute apartment / desk at work someday. :) you'll be in my prayers! don't worry — i'd probably be crying A LOT more if i had just moved cross-country! you're strong, girly! :)- danielle.

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