Summer 2016 Bucket List

It’s the official FIRST DAY OF SUMMER 2016!

What a joy my last month and a half have been back at home.

This year, my personal goal is to be more intentional every single day. Since starting college at Loyola Chicago, it seems to me that time has been flying by so fast! I’m especially reminded of this when I’m home and I drive by my old High School.

Last Summer, I felt as though I didn’t get to do all the things I wanted to because of work, or time, or this or that. Instead of letting that happen again, I created a bucket list of the things I want to accomplish during my Summer.

None of these “must do items” are hard to accomplish for me. Everything is very local and budget-friendly! Some items are as simple as trying a new restaurant, others are a hike or just a visit to mundane shopping destinations.

Nonetheless, this is my fortified Summer “must do” list.

 Summer 2016 in Portland Bucket List

  1. Create a reading list 
  2. Have Brunch at Salty’s 
  3. Hike: Opal Pool
  4. Hood River day trip with stops at Doppio Coffeeshop, Mike’s, and Full Sail Brewery 
  5. Willamette Jetboat tour √
  6. Finish START my Scrap Book
  7. Print new photos from study abroad and Loyola   √
  8. Hike: Munra Point
  9. Watch a sunset from the Skidmore Bluffs
  10. See the movie “Nerve”  √
  11. Tree-to-Tree Adventure park
  12. Antiquing at Stars with my Mom  √
  13. Oaks Park for old times sake 
  14. Try every Ice Cream shop in Portland 
  15. Eat at Apizza Scholls 
  16. Eat at Pine State Biscuits  √
  17. Do a hike on the Washington side
  18. Visit Leach Botanical Garden (the Portland Secret Garden)
  19. Go to the Drive-in on 99W
  20. Go to Salishan with the family  √
  21. Be able to run 5 miles without stopping

I hope that by sharing my Bucket List you may be inspired to go out and do some fun adventurous things this Summer! Don’t let time pass by before you get to do, see, experience the things you want to.

Life is too damn short.

Thanks for reading,


*Update: 12/22 complete as of 8/7/16


My start at Oregon Summer musings

PDX Post 1

Long time no write….I know, I know. The time since I’ve been stateside has just flown by (over a month since I’ve been home)! I have been living life happily and healthfully since Italy, but I still cannot fathom that it’s over.

My best friend Cassi (who studied in Prague) said it best when she said it feels like living in Europe was a dream. I wonder…was I ever even living in a wonderful and wild country like Italy? I am so lucky to say that I was.

Summer has been sweet. I am working three jobs that randomly landed in my lap. I am doing organizational management and office work at a massage therapy office, a law firm, and privately at individual client’s homes (tell your friends)!

Seriously I am in a strange place between thriving and feeling like I’m drowning. I love being busy and I do not do well with excessive down time. BUT, I also get caught up in the waves sometimes and I find that extremely unhealthy.

This Summer, I am a morning person. I am a runner. I am hard working. 
I am fun & wild & young. 

I am feeling the most "Cassie" I have ever felt.

Today is a gloomy and quiet day. I am happy to have finally found time to writr post because this is a way I can express myself and document my adventures.

I was especially motivated to finish my first Summer post after an amazing day yesterday. I got to hike with new friends and old, go on an awesome flight with my 2 best friends and boyfriend, and I finished the night off with Pub food and GOT with other friends. It was a social and delightful day.

When reconnecting  over Queen Anne sandwiches at the McMenamins near PSU, my friends and I got really inspirational and hilarious. My friend Shannon is so incredibly poised and intriguing (plus… I am hoping she’ll start a podcast). Her creativity inspired me to get back into my writing post-study abroad.

My friend Victoria is so tech savvy its intimidating. I’ve known her since we were tots and she’s so so cool! It was so nice getting to see her happy and flourishing. She does what she wants and does it so damn well. These girls rock & give me joy.

My best friend Cassi, who you’ve met on the blog before, joined us at dinner and for our GOT screening as well (even though she isn’t a fan). I don’t think I could do just 1 sentence on what she and my other close friends mean to me. Maybe I’ll do a blog post just for her on January 14th!


I am so thankful for all I have been given & the people who have supported me unquestionably….

My beloved Roman friends, those who welcomed me with open arms in Chicago, and my friends and family from Lake Oswego….

How can I show you my love and gratitude?

Note* this post is all over the place-but it is titled 
"Summer musings"


Cheers to more fun & adventure.


Travelling to and getting around Lake Como 

This post is focused on getting to Lake Como from Milano Centrale Station because that is my experience! I hope anyone doing the same finds this post helpful.


Milan to Bellano

If you’re wondering how to get to breathtakingly beautiful Lake Como from Milan, there are a lot of ways! But for Cassi and I, we decided to choose a town with easy travel options. We settled on the small lakefront town of Bellano.

Getting to Bellano is very easy!

All you need to do is buy a €15 round trip ticket from Milano Centrale to Bellano Tartavalle. You can do so by going to Trenord’s website and typing in the required credentials. From here, all you have to do is board the train and off you go on the adventure of a lifetime.

Luckily, the Bellano train station is centrally located and it will not be difficult to find your airbnb or hotel from there. I always recommend downloading the google maps app and then “downloading” the map of the city you’re going to. What this means is that you can have the map of your desired town to access offline. And for the most part, the GPS is accurate so you can follow yourself and get around easily.

I would also like to note that this same train stops in Varenna (one of the 3 most famous cities on this part of the lake). But, I have a bias toward Bellano-it is so quant and delightful!

Alright so you’re in Bellano (or Varenna or Belaggio or Menaggio), now what?

If you want to travel from place to place, it is very easy to do so via the intercity ferry. This ferry goes between Varenna, Bellano, Belaggio, and Menaggio. I recommend buying the day pass (it is valid from start to finish in your port city for 24 hours). The day pass was 15 euros. Cassi and I researched the times up and down to make sure we had time to hit all the stops. It actually was quite easy! We ended up being able to go to all of the cities in one day and we had a blast!

You can access the Navigation Laghi website here:

Some things to note: the times are rather accurate on the time schedule and the ferries truly do only stop for the alluded time (usually only a couple of minutes). The times in red are the “jet boat” that costs an extra 1.50 euro per trip. Also, the hardest city to coordinate is Menaggio as it stops there less often. Make sure to plan ahead for traveling on the ferry because if you miss it, you may or may not be completely screwed.

Ciao & thanks for reading!