Bright Lights Big City

The real thing about “going out” of town when you live in North Pole, is that you get to go back into civilization. You know, places that have Target, a drug store, Starbucks… that stuff. Seriously.

We don’t even have a stand alone Starbucks. We have the weenie, dinky little ones that are in super markets. I do not want to hang out in a super market/Starbucks. It’s just not the same.

So while in Seattle, we used our one night to really hit the town. I Googled some top restaurants in the city and ended up picking High Knee Stocking Co.

Yes that picture is just of the door. Even Yelp.com only supplied this little snippet. This bar/restaurant is classified as a “Speak Easy”. So kick back into the 1920-1930s and think prohibition. Hence the “hidden” look of the bar. You have to ring the door bell to be ushered in.

They have a crazy list of cocktails.. every kind of alcohol and a lovely list of creative drinks. I tried this…

grapes & grains


The Moscow Mule
Vodka, lime, and ginger beer. Perhaps the second most deceptive drink ever invented?

and Trevor went with this beverage…

The Stork
Plymouth gin, Orange Curacao, OJ, lime, and
bitters.

We mainly went with appetizers and filled up easily on baked stuffed mushrooms, Knee High tots, and goat cheese empanadas.

We skipped out on dessert though, so that we could be late night tourists.

The Seattle Space Needle! I didn’t rock a fanny pack, nor did I have on dark socks with sandals, but man do I love being a tourist πŸ™‚ I thoroughly enjoy dorking out and getting pictures of the famed landmarks πŸ™‚

Fun fact is that if you want to go to the observation deck you can either pay $18 per person (military discount) oorrr you can go up to the restaurant, and pay a minimum of $35 dollars and then get the observation deck included.

* sorry this picture is dark, I didn’t want to bug the fellow diners πŸ™‚

My preference is to include dessert and wine in any tourist experience, so it seemed like a match made in heaven. The restaurant even rotates (slowly) so that you get a 360 degree view of the Emerald City.

After an amazing molten chocolate cake, we headed up to check out the view. It was really nice to see all the city lights and feel like we were out on an adventure.

But alas, we were still slightly lame and called it a night after the Needle. I had big dreams of going out for a late night of dancing and fun… but what can I say? My pajamas, a bed, and cuddling usually wins.

Sunday we squeezed a little more activity into the few hours we had left by heading to downtown Seattle ASAP. First up was Pike Place Market.

We dined on some donuts, which turned out to be the “wrong” donuts. They were still delicious and packed with the sugary goodness that donuts need, but the renowned ones are actually from Daylight Donuts. Fail. Oh well!

My only souvenir was from Pappardelle. I snagged some Roasted Red Pepper fettuccine, Lemon Garlic Orzo, and Basil Oregano fettuccine. Yummy. Plus they sent us home with their recipes. Bonnnuussss!

Awesome trip, fabulous time exploring, and definitely looking forward to another trip back. They had so many great restaurants, I can only hope to enjoy a few more πŸ™‚

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Left My Heart in the Emerald City

Hi friends! Did ya miss me?

Sorry I have been kind of wallowing… didn’t know what to write about, didn’t feel like anything exciting was going on… just in a funk.

So while I meander my way through “the winter is coming” blues, here’s what I’ve been up to!

Last weekend Trevor and I headed down to Seattle to catch the CU vs. Washington game. It was literally the quickest trip I’ve ever had, but I had a wonderful time.

We headed out Friday night and made it through our 3hr 30min flight to Seattle.

Trevor was taking his reading very seriously πŸ™‚

It is a killer long flight. Think about how far you can get in the Lower 48 on a 3.5hr flight. I always have to a bag full of entertainment to make the journey down south. This time I rented “Bridesmaids”, had my book, iPod, and well… I brought Trevor. Bugging him usually provides a handful of entertainment πŸ™‚ (Side Note: didn’t love Bridesmaids, it wasn’t as funny as I wanted it to be, and they tried to mesh crude humor with chick flick… kinda awk)

Upon arrival, we got into football mode.. I told Trevor to make a tough/bad ass face and he did this…

Fear is now instilled in your heart… right?

Since we arrived at 10pm, it was a quick night. We headed down town to The Tap House and had some great happy hour hors d’oeuvres. I love restaurants that have late night food deals. This place had a ridiculous amount of beers on tap, so if you’re looking for a wide selection of brews, this is the place.

We opted to stay closer to the University though, save ourselves the traffic, and just walk to the stadium. University Inn did the job. Perfect location, continental brunch included, great price, but the pillows were complete crap. So there ya go!

Our Buff pride shined on Saturday regardless of the score.

We were literally barked out of the stadium (Husky mascot and all), but we had a great time seeing a friend of Trevor’s from college ROTC and his wife. I even got to see some of my sorority sisters that were out in Seattle for the weekend. Can I just say, I love being able to see my friends all over the country and world. Makes me feel like I have friends everywhere, which is always nice πŸ™‚

From the end of game we pretty much had 12 hours remaining in our trip. I’ll be back tomorrow with the Saturday night story, and Sunday explorations!

Accomplishments

While in Colorado I have:

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Attended two football games… One win, one loss. I had a great time at both but the flight to Seattle had plenty of WSU fans. I’m very thankful they didn’t bust out their fight song. I would have gagged.

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I did some Christmas idea hunting. To make it easier in my family, we are “pinning” what we’d like for gifts on a designated Christmas board on Pinterest. This makes it a little bit easier to hunt down items. My sister and I already have my mom’s gifts knocked out… Winning!

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I got my tan on πŸ™‚ something that I didn’t get to do ALL summer! Colorado was a lovely host and served up two blissful weeks of 80 degree weather. While I didn’t darken significantly, I’ll take any UV attention as I head back to the chilly north.

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I did some cooking with my BF. You can check out the recipe and more pics over at Live and Love to Eat. Claire is off on an adventure in Europe, so I had my first opportunity to guest blog πŸ™‚

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I even got some spinning in. Check out my soaked hair. I’m hoping to get some new playlists done this week and get my legs going as winter swoops in.

I had a great time seeing my family and friends, hitting football games, happy hours, and being back in my favorite state. But it’s time to head back home…

I’m ready to see this guy…

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See ya soon Fairbanks!

Less Wordy Wednesday

My second week in Colorado has been a little bit more mellow. I’m trying to relax and absorb, rather than run around like a chicken with its head cut off. There are so many people I want to see and things I want to do, but it’s also nice to sit back and enjoy where I am…

Of course I’m living in a dreamland. Honestly.

Colorado has been in the 80s everyday with beautiful cloudless skies. That is not reality, especially considering its very nearly October. I mean it is OFFICIALLY fall…

Colorado is sending very mixed messages. A truckload of pumpkins, and yet I can still lay out at the pool.

These things just don’t go together! Not that I’m complaining.

In fact I just feel plain guilty because good ol’ North Pole is on its last legs of any warmth. And yes having temps in the 30s is considered warm. This will be proven when we all strip off our down coats when its a balmy zero degrees out. So while I lay at the pool, my guilt manifested itself in a new pair of winter boots.

It really is a good thing that we don’t have DSW in Fairbanks. I think it would be more of a detriment than a benefit.

But my snow boots will have to wait til Monday for the inaugural visit to Alaska. I’m certain that the snow is holding out for my imminent return. So until then, I have a few more friends to see… And a little visit to my alma mater to see a little football action!

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I have now been married for a year and one day.

Thank you, thank you…. I appreciate the round of applause πŸ™‚

In my infinite wisdom as a married woman I wanted to share some year one stories.

Our wedding was wonderful and perfect…

I think the only hitch that people could see was this..

We were trying to light my parents 37 year old unity candle. Things didn’t exactly go well… The wick was resistant to light and we ended up faking it πŸ™‚ As you can tell by my face I was thrilled.

Married life for us has involved a lot of traveling, at least for year one. Post wedding we headed out to St. Lucia for a Sandals honeymoon.

While I found it rather amusing to count the number of women with french manicures as we neared our destination, we quickly realized we were not the only newlyweds. The resort was beautiful, and the all you can eat/drink offerings were delicious. (Side note: if you ever go to a Sandals resort please enjoy a Dirty Banana. It’s a cocktail and its life-changing).

Sandals also did a fabulous job of treating each couple like we were the only honeymooners. While we couldn’t drop the line “We just got married” or “We’re on our honeymoon” and expect an upgrade, Sandals handed each couple nice perks that still make us feel special (i.e. massages, champagne, cheesy desserts that have “love” written in chocolate).

Plus it was actually nice to be at a resort surrounded by people who are there to solely spend time with their spouse. No kids, no drunk college kids, and everyone making googly eyes at their new bride/groom.

From the honeymoon we went over to glamorous Korea for Trevor to get back into the swing of work.

Please enjoy my husband’s creeper stache… Mustaches are apparently a “must” when you’re overseas. As a newlywed I found this both disappointing and revolting. I found this was the first instance that as a wife I was able to use sex as a weapon. Don’t be fooled, you will do it too. Lesson one learned.

From Korea, it was time to head back to the US to our new homestead. Yes, North Pole, Alaska.Not only were we newlyweds but new home-owners; which in itself is a learning experience.

Living with my husband has been comedic, frustrating, awesome, and comforting. After a year apart dating, it’s obviously an opposite side of the spectrum to live together.

I’ve learned things, like Trevor grinds his teeth in his sleep. This factor has now gifted us with the blessing of a mouth guard. I can’t tell you the sex appeal it offers. My favorite part is his retainer style lisp πŸ™‚

Shockingly I’m not without quirks and habits that Trevor had not discovered prior to marriage. For example, my jaw pops, particularly when I eat cereal. This has become one of Trevor’s pet peeves. I have received more death stares in the morning than I care to count. Honey, I apologize. Blame it on my orthodontist that insisted on making me wear rubber bands. I hated him for it too.

We’ve landscaped a yard, foster cared for a dog, met new friends, settled into a new state, and soaked up time together. It was an interesting year, that’s for sure.

I know it wasn’t the easiest year on either of us. So many things to learn, to juggle, and to compromise on, but we did well. I may have talked Trevor’s face off a few times, and he may have tuned me out on numerous occasions.

Bottom line, year one was a success. I love my husband with all my heart and am happy to move on to year two together. I know a few things lie ahead, like hosting our second Thanksgiving and a family trip to Hawaii, but I know we’ll also be handed some surprises.

Looking forward to new and exciting adventures πŸ™‚

Ruby slippers

I woke up at 4:06am today. Two bags were packed… Both meeting the requirements to be carry on.

I carefully applied my mascara so as not to scare the TSA agents. Then my lovely husband drove me to the airport before the sun was up.

Which FYI is already getting later and later…

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This may not look too abnormal to those in the Lower 48 but to Alaska residents it’s a growing reminder that our precious daylight is slipping away.

It actually has/will take me the better part of the day to even fly out of the gigantic state. I have a doozy of an itinerary…
6am-6:54 Fairbanks to Anchorage
8:00-9:30 Anchorage to Juneau
1:30-4:30 Juneau to Seattle
5:30-9:40 Seattle to Denver

Yikes huh?

So here I am killing time on my +4hr layover in Juneau.

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So I took a nap. Yes on the floor. My lovely travel pack from a UNITED flight long ago provided my neck pillow and eye cover. I looked like a dead body.

Knowing I had to be up at 4am, and would be traveling for around 15hrs today, I made a plan.

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1. Nap whenever possible. Yes my mouth hangs open on the plane and no I don’t care.

2. Always check in early and snatch up an aisle or window seat ASAP. Everybody knows middle seats are for weenies.

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3. Always bring snacks. I also packed two tortilla pb&j’s, plus my water bottle. Tiny snack packs on the flights are a joke and paying $8.50 for a bag a trail mix is bonkers. Not to mention this itty bitty airport in Juneau only has vending machines 😦

4. I have my kindle, a book, my iPod (stocked with movies and tv shows) and obviously my phone. It’ll be a long day but at least I can rotate entertainment… After-all watching toddlers torment their exhausted parents only provides so much “reality tv” to watch in the terminal.

I still have an hour to kill with apparently a delay tacking on more time… I think I’ll troll Pinterest.

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I am seriously indebted to whoever created this site πŸ™‚

Cross your fingers I make all my connections! Can’t wait for Colorado πŸ™‚

How do you survive airports? Any favorite airports with good shops or restaurants?

Let’s Get Together

I’m sorry if I have now lodged this song in your brain until the end of the week πŸ™‚ but I absolutely loved this movie when I was little. Hayley Mills kind of rocked my socks as a kid…

But on the sister end track of things I thought I’d share a tradition that my sister and I started about 4 year ago.

Elyse and I realized the difficulties that come into play as we grew older, managing time, living in different places, jobs, etc. Finding weekends or holidays that work to get quality time with family and friends gets more difficult as more life factors appear. When I was a junior in college my sister was a fresh-faced college grad starting work in DC.

We always saw each other at holidays and big family events but depending on the time she had off from work these visits could be few and far between.

Being that in our family there are only two kids, and we happen to both like each other (yay :-)) we decided to have a dedicated Sister’s Trip each year. Each year we’ve planned a 3-4 day weekend that we can meet up and enjoy exploring together.

The first inaugural trip was to Vegas…

A quick weekend in the City of Sin allowed us to shop, eat, enjoy a show, and hit the night life.

But from the city that demands you to be 21, we went the opposite way… It was time to revisit our youth…

Disney World!! We researched the crap out of how to conquer all three parks (Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom). I can tell you that hitting Disney World in your twenties, free of strollers, nap times, and big groups was a magical experience. We power walked our butts off and hit every major ride in the parks. We were Disney Champions.

And yes we also made homemade Disney shirts. My sister’s featured Belle because that’s her girl, and mine was Tinkerbell. We were epic and wore them with pride.

This last year I had the real treat of visiting the city to beat all cities. Elyse and I conquered New York…

From the sites to the shows, we packed the weekend. Book of Mormon and Anything Goes were our theater treats, and I even saw someone famous while there…

Oh Heyyyy Mr. Taye Diggs πŸ™‚ He was at Anything Goes with his mother (awww) and yes he is as good-looking in person. And yes I squealed and said “oh my god that’s Taye Diggs”… I live in Alaska, let me get excited when cool things happen to me!!

We usually plan the big Sister trips for early spring-ish and have plenty of time to dork out and research our next locale. This year we’re talking about a possible Canadian location? Or Seattle… oorrrr who knows!

Its one of my favorite traditions though. It’s just my sister and I keeping tabs on each other, having a weekend to just be sisters. Since we both enjoy restaurant treasure hunting, and exploring its a special weekend that is just about us.

Do you have any family traditions? Sibling activities that mean something to you?