December 30, 2019

2019: Year in Review, First Annual

January 3

We started off the year with a surprise family activty organized by my mom at iFly, indoor sky diving. Since my shoulders are delicate I opted out but everyone else soared over a giant fan trying to control their flight.


January 6

First ski of the season at Crystal Mountain.


February 8

There was a snow storm headed to Seattle on the afternoon we were flying to San Francisco so we moved our flight to the morning to miss the snow. To our my luck, I got to meet Gaby from What's Gaby Cooking at the airport!



February 8 - 10

Taylor and I joined Zoe to celebrate her 30th birthday with a trip to San Francisco and an indulgent day of wine tasting in Napa. 


March 15 - 17

I was in the grocery store when Marc texted me the first week of March and asked if I wanted to go to Paris for the weekend. I couldn't reply back fast enough... yes! Last minute Marc was asked to attend a work conference in Paris and I joined him after for four tourist packed days of exploring. It was Marc's first trip to Europe.



March 23 - April 1

Laura joined me on an UnCruise to Costa Rica & Panama. We sailed for a week on the Safari Voyager getting sunburns and snorkel mask lines while searching for toucans and our next drink. It always feels luxurious to be a guest onboard.


May 25 - 27

Marc and I kicked off summer with a weekend in Roche Harbor. It was raining the first day so I finally got my first pair of Xtra Tuffs. I hardly took them off all weekend. We ate oysters under umbrellas at Westcott Bay, tasted cider at a local spot, went kayaking, and on our last night we met up with Annie and Skyler for dinner and a beach bonfire. 


May 31

Zoe and I started a few summer weekends with kayaking Lake Union on Friday evenings. It ended with dinner or the epic night I learned I don't know the words to Baby Got Back while karaoking. 


June 2-3

Marc and I met friends out on the coast. I fell in love with Lake Crescent Lodge followed by skipping rocks at Ruby Beach.


June 18

Marc and I bought a house and got the keys! Demo started the next day and we rebuilt the inside of the house over the next three months.




June 21 - 23

We went to New York for a long weekend with Art and Ivy to visit Brian and Laura. We checked out the Flat Iron building, Grand Central Station, Time Square, Central Park, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, and went to see a show at the Comedy Cellar. I have never laughed so hard, it was a highlight of the weekend.


June 28 - 30

I flew down to San Fransisco to hang out with Kim and Rebecca. We road tripped along the California 1, enjoyed Alameda and a day at the pool.


July 5 - 13

Marc and I road tripped to Banff, Canada for a bucket list vacation. We hiked to the tea house above Lake Louise, joined the crowds at Peyto Lake and Moraine Lake and prepared to fight off grizzlies with a three night hike to Mount Assinboine. On the way home we broke up the 13 hour drive with a night in Kelowna. We went wine tasting at Quail's Gate and had dinner at Joey's with a lake view.


July 26 - 28

Asian Beer Night spent the weekend at Gavin's cabin on Lake Wenatchee.


August 3

Kim and Ian visited Seattle many times throughout the year. During the summer we hiked to Rachel Lake and cooled off with an alpine lake swim... brrrr.


September 23

Marc and I celebrated three years together and officially moved in to our house!


October 15

We adopted Kiwi (2.5 months) and Pretzel (3.5 months).


October 31

We had a pun Halloween as an Iron Chef and Chicken Cord on Blue.


November 26 - December 1

Thanksgiving was celebrated in Houston with the McPhail family and a visit to see Norma.


December 7

Dad's birthday and the day we got a wild Christmas tree off I-90 that was 12 feet tall. It took over our living room but it was glorious and the best $10 we've spent.

January 2, 2019

Australia: Christmas in Sydney

Hello red bikini's and beach Santa. We spent four tourist and beach packed days in Sydney over Christmas. Marc and I checked in to the Marriott near Circular Quay which was fantastic. One of the small perks of not backpacking for months and being on vacation... hotels! The luxury. Is it weird that I haven't backpacked in years but I still appreciate a hotel room?





​Beaches

​The other four guys we were traveling with stayed in Bondi so naturally we spent many days there while they attempted to surf and we all got sunburned day-after-day. Although Marc and I seemed to train across town to Bondi daily we did manage to check out a few of the neighborhood beaches, Camp Cove at Wastons Bay and Manly. Wastons Bay was a highlight. I can't believe I didn't go there in 2009. After having ice cream at Camp Cove and going for a swim, we took the ferry back to Circular Quay. The ferry goes right by the Sydney Opera House... what a view!






The Rocks

I was looking forward to revisiting the Ken Done exhibit. It did not disappoint. This time I picked up a poster which I can't wait to have framed. The old neighborhood has so much character with brink lined alleys filled with shops, great restaurants and Sydney's oldest bar. Also, the Kelsey Montague mural is worth stumbling upon.



Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk

What an excellent way to spend Christmas day. We bused to Coogee, got breakfast and walked along the coast to celebrate Christmas in the southern hemisphere. The beaches along the coast were packed with Santa Clause hats and red bikinis.



January 1, 2019

Australia: Cairns "Cans"

We wrapped up 2018 with a 17 day trip to Australia. A friend's wedding brought us half way around the world for a bachelor party, Christmas, and the Greek wedding.  I was excited to back in Sydney but what made it special was to be there with Marc.

We started out strong with the bachelor party. No, that was not a typo, I joined 12 guys for fives days in Cairns. Along with every person ever, the Great Barrier Reef was also on my bucket list. So needless to say I was star-y eyed booking our flights. I also had a mental breakdown because flying to Australia over Christmas is the most expensive ticket I have ever purchased. Ever.

Great Barrier Reef 

Through Visit Cairns we booked a snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef with an intro to scuba diving. The Sunkist held 30+ passengers max which was much smaller then the 80+ passenger catamarans. Since our group was half the passenger count it was like having a private boat trip (if you ignored the other 17 people). The scuba dive was a great perk but it was more for the experience of diving the Great Barrier Reef. I actually saw more fish snorkeling over the reef. The crew on board were amazing, very chill and they let us come and go as we pleased until lunch was ready or it was time to head back to the mainland.

A reason to go back: Fitz Roy Island. The island was beautiful and I want to spend the day floating in the turquoise water and lounging on the white sand beach.

Babinda Boulders

I wouldn't recommend meeting a stranger on the street and getting into his Land Cruiser to drive an hour outside of town at one million miles kilometers per hour, but it did make for one of the best days. The Babinda Boulders was the perfect day adventure, especially since we had a fearless local showing us everything to do that was technically off limits. I know this because we ducked under a handful of "no swimming" / "dangerous" signs.

Gilligan's

Originally Marc and I were going to stay in one of the eight bed dorm rooms with the bachelor party. Best last minute discussion ever. To. Not. Stay. In. The. Dorm. Rooms. Eight guys sharing one bathroom and being dudes, I'll keep that a mystery. Marc and I stayed at the Pacific Hotel two blocks away. Great location, easy to get to Gilligan's for day and night activities, working air conditioning, a view, and it was quite. It was unbelievably hot in Cairns in December so air conditioning was a non-negotiable. However, we quickly became locals at, The Lillipad Cafe, the one restaurant without air conditioning. The portions were huge and we had a lot of mouths to feed.


 






May 16, 2016

Iceland: Reykjavik, See You Later


We wrapped up our inside jokes with dinner and drinks at Snaps and a trip to the Blue Lagoon before we all flew home. See you later Iceland!



May 14, 2016

East Iceland: Sneafellsness Peninsula



Sneafellsness Peninsula was very cold. We tried to go camping but the campgrounds were closed due to the bathroom pipes being frozen. Ya, not tourist season for a reason. We ended up in an Airbnb in Grundarfjörður near Kirkjufell Mountain. 

We spent the next couple of days exploring the peninsula. We found Hotel Budir (black church) and we decided to hike along the coast to Arnarstapi. From the trail sign it didn't sound like that long of a hike - we were hoping to be in Arnarstapi by the afternoon for tea and cake (I mean, I was traveling with the Scottish). Well, we got lost or the trail ended somewhere in the swamp flats. That is up for debate. We were getting desperate to make it to Arnarstapi before the coffee shop closed so we trudge along, in defeat, to the road to hitch hike the rest of the way. Car, after car, after truck, after car drove past us and no one, no one (!!) offered to pick us up, so we became a road block and a very nice couple gave us a lift. I think we overwhelmed them with our thankfulness and relief for finally getting a ride. Sometimes, you just really need cake. 



One of the days, we ate at Sjávarpakkhúsið which was the cutest restaurant, in a cute town with great food. Later we found Grindavík Lighthouse. Wow, that is orange. And we wrapped up our tour of East Iceland at Laugar I Saelingsdal hot spring for a night of camping and cards.