Adventures With Bethany

This week I was so happy to have my best friend Bethany visit from Thailand. We met in elementary school in Arizona and became close friends. After she relocated to Thailand and I relocated to California, we stayed in touch and proved that no amount of time or distance can keep us apart. Last summer, I had an amazing experience visiting her in Thailand. This summer, I got to return the favour and show her around northern California!

Here are some highlights of our week.

Tuesday 6/21 : Kayaking on Lake Natoma.
We kayaked to a small island in the lake, then swam to shore and back. Unfortunately, we forgot our sandals on the island and, once we got back to the Willow Creek Recreation Area put-in, we realized that we had no shoes! Even so, we had a great time. We also spent some time shopping at the Galleria mall.

Wednesday 6/22 : Hiking and rock jumping.
We hiked to an exquisite hidden waterfall and swimming hole on the American Canyon Creek trail near Greenwood, California. Aside from the mosquitoes eating me alive, it was an excellent time swimming and rock jumping.

Thursday 6/23: Whitewater rafting on the Middle Fork of the American River.
I went with Bethany along with my brother and two of his friends, and I was the official adult supervision! This was my fourth rafting trip with the Mariah Wilderness Expeditions company, and our guide was extremely experienced and an entertaining conversationalist. I wish I could have gotten photos, but I decided not to take along my phone because I didn't want to get it The rapids were exciting, and we were able to swim in some of the calmer areas. I love spending days on the river!
Brad and his friends after rafting
Friday 6/24: Just-for-fun photoshoot
We decided to have fun taking pictures in some scenic areas of Old Folsom near the powerhouse and Sutter Street. We did hair and makeup and had fun laughing at our awkward/silly selves. We also got some nice pictures in the process! 

Saturday 6/25: San Francisco day trip and 18th birthday celebration
I decided to create a separate post for more details about our day in San Francisco! Afterward, I had a wonderful 18th birthday party which involved making custom pizzas and playing card games. 

Sunday 6/26: Church and Beekeeping
We attended church in the morning, and then harvested honey from my family's beehives. We spent the evening watching silly YouTube videos and harmonizing to karaoke tracks. 

Monday 6/27: Bike ride, packing, and other shenanigans
We spent the morning biking around the Folsom trails, and then packed for her to leave! It made me think back to just a year ago when we biked together when I first arrived in Thailand!

Biking in Chiang Mai, summer 2015
I am so lucky to have a friend like Bethany. She is loyal, faithful, spontaneous, adventurous, and beautiful inside and out. Now, as she attends college in the U.S. and I go to Abu Dhabi, we will be on opposite sides of the world yet again. But I think our friendship is already stronger than any geographical distance, and I'm sure we'll meet again soon!