decompression mode….

We went to Sonoma.

We saw.  We conquered.  I plan to blog about it in full detail soon… I took entirely way too many pictures (is there such a thing?) and I’m semi-depressed it’s over.

Fear not.

We will return, hopefully sooner rather than later.

What a dream trip!

xo

 

 

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it’s a little damp out there

Is this what it feels like to live in Seattle?  Everyday, it never fails, rain coming down.  Drizzling, dreary, gray.  Cold, windy, blustering.  The only things I want to do are as follows, in no particular order:

-read

-drink hot apple cinnamon tea

-watch movies (specifically Game of Thrones and Dexter

-bake banana bread (been on my list of To-Do’s for 1/2 a year now)

-wear flip flops with every outfit, business, casual or otherwise

-go to the gym and sweat next to all the other fanatics avoiding an outdoor workout

-plan a future trip, any future trip, specially to a location bordering the ocean with plants such as these

-attempt to be productive & become defeated as it turns to nonproductiveness because no one else is

-get ready to go out somewhere just to realize my mane of hair will frizz and my makeup will run

-dream of living somewhere the sun never shines and swiftly slap myself in the face

-encourage my Yorkie to take a bathroom break while getting soaked

-change my pants every time I come inside as the cuffs are wet

-lay on the ground and pretend to meditate

-wake up with high hopes of sunshine

-go back to sleep

-keep sleeping

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Counting down the hours to Tuesday… our next adventure awaits.

Couples trip in Sonoma, CA!

xo,

 

Listening to

Sipping on

 

 

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all my ladies

A syncing of photos from the iPhone to the Air reminded me I had a story I wanted to post.  Over Christmas holiday, I was reunited with my five close girlfriends from high school.  Most of them attend our annual girl’s trip.  We had a 2-hour time span where our schedules would overlap and we could spend some time connecting.  It was decided, a midweek brunch at The Kenwood.  Fresh snow had fallen and we stomped our way into this beautifully-decorated dining spot.

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Plaid wall paper, horse hooks for your coat and mismatched framed art with vintage lamps.

In true Minnesotan form, we wore “your-car-might-get-stuck-in-the-snow-and-you-have-to-walk” boots of all kinds.  A staple in any Midwestern girl’s wardrobe.

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The great part about this group is, we can be literally ANYWHERE and fully appreciate the time we spend together.  We will laugh on the side of the street in Vancouver.  Bundle up in white bathrobes and be morally supportive of the tallest girl singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” to a half-empty room on a cruise ship.  Enjoy a day drinking shopping spree in downtown Chicago.  We can be anywhere, at any time, and enjoy every moment of it.

In true fashion, brunch was spectacular.  We dined on a handful of delicious plates, I had an Omelette Florentine and we all toasted to friendship and forward momentum.

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And what happens after we dine + cheers?  We laugh and pass around Carla’s beautiful wedding ring (does AJ know this is a tradition?) as we talk about the future and everything we are looking forward to.

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These ladies make me whole again.  Cheers to a new year and another year of being blessed with these girlfriends.

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Carla (Florida), Molls (Minn), Meg (Colorado), Rach (Georgia), Kates (Arizona), and me

So incredibly happy,

xo

Listening to.

Sipping on.

Dreaming about.

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first kiss video

Have you seen it yet?  Of course you have.  All over every social media platform is this beautiful piece called, First Kiss.

After watching it three times once I had to do a little more research.  It got millions of views in just a day, right now it sits at 16,207,600 after being posted yesterday afternoon.  It’s a simple piece of strangers gathered together and their only task is to kiss the person in front of them.  Today, clothing line, wren, announced it was their video to showcase their Fall 2014 line.  Wren’s creative director, Melissa Coker is genius!  And the song playing in it?  It’s called “We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow” by Soko – guess how many copies were sold on iTunes today?…. apparently one million.  One million songs sold in one day.  Incredible!

I don’t know why, but I just love this video.

These are strangers, kissing, and it is so real to me.  It’s heart-warming.

xo,

a romantic

Sipping on.

Dreaming about.

Looking forward to.

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this life (and NYC) is incredible

I’m surprised how long I’ve waited to write another post.  Other creative outlets have consumed me and made me whole… alas, here I am, back to blogging and so excited to share updates on my life.  Let’s talk about NYC for a minute.  Holy incredible! What a beautiful place!  We spent a nonstop 72 hours of pure adventure, chasing the subway, laughing until we cried, spending romantic moments under the stars on the streets of Chinatown… I’m so incredibly blessed to be able to take opportunities to travel, and even more blessedly in love with the man I adventure with.  Brett is such a rockstar traveler… he is spot on and undeniably smart – figuring out subway schedules, booking, planning… someday he may even become as good a planner as me…

Here are a few of my favorite images – I’ll describe them in a singular sentence.

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Fresh off a 6am American Airlines flight and feeling like a pair of travel ninjas.  Yes, he shaved his head (yes, it’s growing back quickly!)

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A brief pause at Starbucks.. we felt it was appropriate considering the locals had one gripped in their right hand at all times. #caramelmacchiato

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Walking around at night is a whirlwind, people everywhere & buildings as tall as the stars.

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Enough said.

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95% of the time we walked the streets, everywhere, these boots aren’t half as comfortable as my purple New Balance kicks.

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Eyeing the rest of his Australian Meat Pie - what a foodie paradise at Chelsea Market.

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The entire underground subway system was amazing, efficient, and the only way we’d travel.

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SuperDry is a brand we love – smack dab in the middle of Times Square it sits. #shoppingspree

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Love him.

NYC was our first adventure using airbnb – which absolutely rocks my socks off.  We stayed in a Chelsea highrise apartment and shared the space with a woman from France, a couple from England and a younger gal from Vancouver.  We had our own bedroom, shared everything else – what a perfect central spot to be able to affordably stay while in and out at all hours.  The host is a middle aged man : extremely personable and ended up buying us drinks at a little place he DJ’s… The Crooked Knife.  NYC, we’ll be back, many times!

Next post – I’ve launched a creative business that makes me wish I had written down all the witty remarks I made in college.

Blessed,

xo

High five to Amacci for proving himself worthy with this song. (more about him later)

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comin’ at ya New York!

Surprised him with a trip to NYC for a little SuperDry shopping.  Can’t get enough.  We are insanely excited about running all over that city and making memories.

I love traveling with this man.  I love seeing the world!  We LIVE for adventure. No one’s going to stop us.

Not even a nonthreatening, judgmental occupant.

LOVE,

the goddess

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Blessed by this boy

A lot has happened in the last year.  Emotionally, physically, mentally.  Those of you privy to a certain Facebook rant may question my dating decisions but let me shed light on that with the simple sentence of : perhaps I blew things a tad out of proportion. The way I phrased what took place most likely misconstrued what really took place and that’s all you actually need to know.  More importantly, I’m in a very, very good place.  I’m extremely happy and feeling just about on top of the world that anyone could feel at the age of twenty-six.

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This man here is my boyfriend.  A man I love and feel so incredibly blessed to have in my life.  I’ve never laughed harder, I’ve never dreamed bigger, than I do with him.  Our conversations go to the deepest, most intense level, and then 10 feet deeper.  He has depth, he has soul, and he treats me right.
I highly recommend you be happy I’m on a fabulous roller-coaster adventure flying at a most amazing speed and I only stop for potty breaks (of which there are many).
To all the doubters, remember, I was one myself.  I recommend you don’t doubt, as love and doubt have never been on speaking terms.
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He wraps the tips of my fingers when they’re damaged.
He cooks me eggs to take on the road when I work at god-forsaken early hours.
He knows exactly how I like my Jersey Mike’s (#9, Mike’s Way on Parmesan bread).
He synced the bluetooth in my new car.
He replaced my brakes yesterday.

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He’s insanely smart and questions everything.  He pushes me to do better, to be a better person.  He doesn’t always let me get my way and I appreciate that.  I’m so blessed to have this man in my life.  I’m so blessed to love and be loved.  Life is richer this way.

Go love someone,
xo
You can thank me for showing you this later.
*
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Heading home

Our last morning in Vancouver!  We showered and scrambled to get all of our clothes into our suitcases.  All that Lululemon took up some extra space we weren’t expecting.  Some Sitting on the Lid to Zip took place.  Finally, we were off.  Wheeling our heavy rollers down the streets of Vancouver once more.  It’s nice the train station wasn’t more than a quarter mile from home base.
We boarded and snuggled into our seats.  Part of the trip was giggling, the other part was playing our card game.  It felt like Harry Potter… the train taking us through the green forests of Canada thru the US border.  I hope’d there’d be a candy cart like in the movie series… but no luck.  We found our way to the food car and grabbed breakfast : bagels and coffee
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For whatever reason, I didn’t take a ton of pictures on the train. I did however, capture a First World Problem moment when Carla got a phone call from Bloomingdale’s requesting a payment for her La Mer bill.  (love you!)
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I didn’t take pics when we arrived in Seattle because I was too busy hugging my best girlfriends.  We departed the train and those with flights leaving caught the tram from downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac International Airport.  Kates and I had the latest flights out so we spent the afternoon downtown.
First things first, I must explain that we had quite a bit of booze leftover from the weekend.  In fact, peek at Kate’s bag… a little grab bag of everything… ergo, when in Rome.
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We had sparkling water to mix and decided to make a few roadies.  Don’t mind the fact that I did it behind closed doors.  In the handicapped bathroom stall.  At the train station.  #winning
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Downtown Seattle was bustling with activity.  We had a taste testing (i.e. hydrating) stop at DRY Soda whose headquarters are in Seattle.
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There had been a shooting a couple hours early – in typical Em & Kate fashion, we gawked and tried to get murder-scene photos.  This was about as good as it got – I wonder if Time Magazine would want to purchase it… after all, there is an iconic Starbucks logo in view.
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We found a tiny paper store on a corner called de Medici Ming – french for who knows what.
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We weren’t supposed to take pictures, but of course I took one. A wall of wrapping paper, unique cards… we both got a journal and chatted with the little old lady who hand wrote our receipts.
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We watched some music acts at Pike’s Place and sent a SnapChat to the ladies at the airport.  Filling them in on our adventures thus far.
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We grabbed sandwiches and seaweed wrapped rice rolls from Michou before we headed back in the direction of the tram.

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One more selife to complete the adventure.  The last two standing.  Waiting on the tram platform to take us to SeaTac.

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I’m going to miss Vancouver, Seattle, and all of the adventures we had.  Each girl’s trip weekend brings new conversation, memory making, and new culinary discoveries.  I’ll miss observing the mess that is E Hastings Street from a somewhat-safe distance.  Observing the chaos life brings when you dabble in heavy drug use.  This is as close as I will ever get to a drug overdose or anything even remotely along those lines.

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I’m going to miss getting coffee-to-go and dancing in the streets.  Giggling and taking the sights in.  Dayshopping in Gastown and sampling pastries at Nelson the Seagull.  Dining at The Lamplighter and watching coked-out Canadians holler inappropriate commentary at the top of their lungs only semi-fearing for our lives.

Vancouver, it’s been real.
Seattle, you’re beautiful
Until next girl’s trip, two-thousand and fourteen…
xo
Adding to wish list.
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Good Morning Sunday!

We slept like queens.  A deep restless sleep that only broke when the sun started to shine through the curtains.  We didn’t have much of a plan for Sunday besides enjoying our last full day in Vancouver.  A massage, food, and laughing.  That’s about as far as we got with our planning our day, typical girl’s trip.

A little research showed that a mile or so away was a great coffee shop, so we headed in that direction.  Wanting to stretch out our legs a little and get some fresh air, we decided to walk.  It was a bit brisk and somewhat overcast.

Near our apartment, there was quite a bit of construction we had to dodge and weave under.

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I felt like we were a traveling artist group.  For two seconds.  And then realized we don’t sing well… and that dream crumbled – remembering last year in Chicago screaming to Lady Gaga at the top of our lungs… #earmuffs

The cute coffee shop we headed to is called 49th Parallel and we entered it with our stomach’s grumbling.

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They share space with Lucky’s Doughnuts – and why wouldn’t that be the case?  Good coffee and good doughnuts belong within whispering distance of one another.

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The branding catches my eye within seconds and we don’t leave the shop without a few tshirts, mugs and other 49th Parallel swag.

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We  picked a few doughnuts to share- it was hard to choose – I wanted one of everything!  We found a circle booth and spent the morning laughing, gossiping, and reliving past memories.  Sipping on our iced lattes, hot coffee, and chai teas.

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What a glorious time.  I cherish spending these types of moments with my ladies.  It doesn’t matter how much time we spend apart, when we get together for girl’s trip – it’s like we never parted!

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After a few hours at the 49th Parallel, we figured it was time to give up our prime seating to some of the other patrons waiting to nestle in for a few hours.  We began walking on the overcast Vancouver streets towards a spot for brunch.  Believe it or not, we had spent a few hours at the coffee shop.  We walked to our apartment, changed clothes, and headed in the direction of a spot we wanted to explore for brunch.  When Miss Molly’s in the group, we WILL be finding a brunch spot on Sunday.  She’s a brunch-hunting queen!

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This took place at a small, but incredibly busy restaurant called Fable.  This is one of your traditional fable to table hot spots (which I LOVE!) – whose marketing and design is also one for the record books.

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Talk about not judging a book by it’s cover.  That seems to be all I do.  A menu, a price sheet, art on the wall… it gets me every time!

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Inside Fable it was packed to the brim with patrons.  An entire wall was a chalkboard filled with doodles and designs.  There were backlit images of farm life.

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The light overhead was designed with pitchforks (hello, farm life!)

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And you know what we did at Fable?  While we sipped on our brunch beverages (mimosas and caesar’s [i.e. bloody mary])?  While we enjoyed a Sunday morning with wholesome individuals eating farm-fresh food?  We brought out Cards Against Humanity.  Right there in front of everyone.  The risqué game of unbelievable combinations and inappropriate words.  Nothing phases us!

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My favorite combination of the afternoon?  This one right here:

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(sorry for being scandalous, G-ma!)

I ordered the Farmer’s Muffin [salad, rosti, sausage, scrambled eggs, cheddar and tomato jam].  Divine and delicious.

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After Fable we started our trek towards the direction of a beach.  We didn’t have a lot planned, but knew we wanted to see some water, some mountains, lay in the sun, and get massages at some point.  The sun was shining and we were toasty warm.  Towards the beach we headed, and found our own little spot in the sand to curl up and sun-worship for a few moments.

 

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Halfway through our lounging.  We had to split up – half had massages at one time, the other half later on.  Meg & Moll took the first appointments.  Carla, Kates and I giggled on the beach for another half hour.

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We weren’t sure how long it would take to get to the spa we booked appointments at – so we gathered our tennis shoes and walked back to the main road to hail a taxi.  It drove the three of us to a little downtown shopping spot where Pink Lime Salon & Spa was located.

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It didn’t take as long as we thought – and now had 45 minutes to kill before our massages were scheduled.  We meandered down the strip of restaurants and bars, searching for a little watering hole to grab a drink at.  The Distillery looked inviting, and we sidled up to the bar for a quick one.

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I don’t remember all that much about my cocktail besides the fact that it was strong and served in a tin cup which I thought that was neat-o.  Our bartender was dressed from the prohibition error and held a conversation well while we picked his brains about life, love and the pursuit of happiness.  As you can see, we had the place to our selves and as always, enjoyed our time there.

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Our time was up and we headed to Pink Lime.  It seemed the spa had their panties in a bundle because they didn’t seem to have much organization.  We had three massage appointments and two masseuses available.  Unless Vancouver-masseuses had some magical technique where they could massage two people at once, it just didn’t add up.  Carla decided to sit this one out and headed to explore the other shops with Meg and Molls while Kates and I got some knots loosened.

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As you can see, the plush robes were nice.  I enjoyed them.  Kates and I hung out in the waiting lounge until the rooms were ready.  Our masseuses walked up and introduced themselves and led us both into the same room.  There were two tables there and candles lit.  Cue the romantic spa music.  When the masseuses instructed us to unrobe before they left the room to let us do so… we lost it.  #giggles  Apparently we’re getting a couple’s massage.  We shrugged and said, “whatever!” as we threw off our robes and hung them up behind the door.  Best friends for about 16 years… a little nakedness doesn’t throw us off.

Sixty minutes later, we gathered our clothes and settled our bill at the front desk.  The other girls were found noshing at a restaurant down the way.  They settled their tab and left.  We jumped on the underground subway in hopes we were heading in the direction of our apartment.  Only slightly turned around, we ended up walking quite aways.  Now the time is about 7:00pm and we are, surprise surprise, hungry.

That little spot located near our home base, Tap & Barrel, seemed as good a place as any to grab one last little dining experience.

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The sun was setting, the mood was positive.  We played another round of CAH while we sat on the rooftop and the day slowly turned to night.

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Our walk home  along the boardwalk of Olympic Village was gorgeous.  And humbling. We’ll miss this spot and all of our memories of Vancouver.
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Ciao,

xo

 

Listening to.

Dreaming of.

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Rise and shine Saturday!

We woke up at the crack of dawn (read: 5:20am) because our apartment we rented out this weekend is a small marathon-distance to the start of the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon (oops!)

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On account of the fact that I didn’t have an arm band (and none of the other girls did) – we all went iPhone-less.  It made for a more focused and intimate experience.  On our walk to the start line we found a coffee shop.  And then the second stop brought us to a Starbucks to get espresso shots and use the restroom one more time (if you know what I mean…).  The entire convention area was filled with runners in the most beautiful of attire.  All Lululemon.  It was chilly, we jumped around to keep warmed up and made jokes about people taking it too seriously… until that morning Molly wasn’t even going to run with us!  I’m so glad all 5 got on the bandwagon.  Threw on some teal crops and some running shoes, downed an espresso shot and took the bull by the horns!
The starting gun went off and into the Vancouver city-life we went.  Tons of people cheering.  Over bridges, up hills into neighborhoods.  A good couple miles were spent running along a cement wall that bordered an inlet of the ocean.  What an unbelievably beautiful run!  We laughed and enjoyed ourselves.  There’s one image of us floating around during the race – mid-run, that someone else took… and I’d rather it stay hidden on account of the fact that we all look drained and depleted of happiness – which wasn’t true!  It was just taken at an unfortunate moment….!
At the finish line, we received a whole bunch of swag goodies.  Some of these items went right up on eBay for the diehard fanatics… SkullCandy EarBuds ($21), a wooden finishers medal ($18), a canvas SeaWheeze tote ($23).

 

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We munched on post-run treats like baby quiche, a warm waffle, and fresh fruit.  Drank some coconut water and stretched out our calves.  The slow walk back to the apartment took place on E. Hastings Street (you know the one…) – so thankfully, we kept our shoes tied and securely on our feet, for fear of stepping on a syringe.
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We showered before we took naps… well, some of us did.  Others just fell right onto the sofa and were fast asleep before it was their turn.  #sweatycushions

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We celebrated with Strongbow Cider and dark chocolate.  Some of us wore compression socks because it’s a guilty pleasure after a long run.  These are from Pro Compression in hot pink and yellow (get on their email list, typically they have 40% off and free shipping on a certain style each month!)

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It’s an interesting thing to be spending a period of time in someone else’s home.  The owner is a doctor and travels all over the world, he might even be a professor.  The bookshelves near the master bed where we all piled in to play games and giggle looked something like this the whole weekend…

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And his freezer looked similar to this…. the beverage of champions.

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We napped, played games, had some drinks and giggled the rest of the afternoon away.  Towards evening, we decided to dress up and head out for the night.  My hair was something similar to The Princess Bride, up and off my neck, braided and wrapped in a loop.

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An elevator shot of the group gives you an idea of how cool my friends are… wannabe Spice Girls anyone??
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We found a little French dining hotspot on OpenTable called Tableau Bar & Bistro.  The menus were beautiful (I’m a font lover), and we ordered drinks all around followed by a small party foul of spillage on the menu.  We cheers to our beautiful day and a great evening of laughter and friends.

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The appetizer we started with was some special avocado asparagus egg roll thing – divine.  I ordered the Pappardelle & Mushroom Pastra – also divine.
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For dessert we decided to walk our fullness off towards the gelato spot I remembered from last year’s SeaWheeze.  We passed the Fairmont and had a moment of silence once more (that’s what you would do, right mama??)

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Bella Gelateria always has a line out front.  We’re 20 people back from the front door and it’s moving ssllooowwwwwwwww…. but that’s okay!  A good 40 minutes later, we’re in the front door, placing our orders with mouthes watering.  This gorgeous gentleman didn’t speak much English, and that’s okay… all I needed him to do was scoop the Salted Chocolate Gelato onto that cone and give me a smirk to make my lady parts quiver.

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To die for.  Unbelievably delicious.  And expensive, but well worth it.  We cheers’ed (again) to a beautiful run in a beautiful city.  Our walk back to the apartment was met with a skyline to suit the Gods.

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Until tomorrow,
xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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