Monthly Archives: August 2013

Lululemon is queen

20130811-075931.jpgMirror shot of the whole fam! Our plan of attack was to wake up super early and get to the race expo. Expo includes packet pickup, race chip registration, and the showcase store where exclusive Lululemon clothes only for the Seawheeze are sold.

I knew it was going to be a good day because the first thing Carley told me was that I had Disney Princess hair.

We woke at 5am, throw on some workout clothes (duh!) and head towards the Vancouver Convention Center. A quick coffee stop along the way ensured a clearheaded shopping conscious. Ha! Chai lattes and iced Americans. Cheers to early morning experiences!

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We thought we were being proactive in rising before the sun – everyone else had the same thought process. We arrived at the convention center and joined the end of the line. We people watched, laughed, and drank our coffees. 20130811-080149.jpg

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As rounded the center, there was a giant orca whale statue and some Lululemon marketing telling us to “get our hair did”. I love it. This company and their marketing, their fabulous fabric yoga pants, the bright colors, obsessed.

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Inside the center is a beautiful big circus tent where packet pickup takes place.

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We line up for the expo store area and are in within minutes. The race expo store is filled with the exclusive Seawheeze clothing only found at the race store. It’s a clothing feeding frenzy and there are hangers with $42 tank tops flying left and right. We can’t get our hands on enough stuff… and there’s a 15 item limit per person. At one point, we have to pull up a spot in the corner and play the “do I need this?” Game. Which helps, but we still leave with quite a bit of loot.

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In case you are curious, this right here is what $1,700 will get you at Lululemon.

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When we walk to and from our apartment to the expo, we never trust any splatters, avoiding all liquids and questionable things laying on the sidewalk. E Hastings Street is a circus, filled with characters.

The rest of the expo was filled with getting free hairstyles, henna tattoos, and a local chiropractic clinic gave us all pre-race massages. Divine.

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We got bands with our race number and name on them in lieu of race bibs – so much cooler!!

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We got fresh mango Popsicles and shot a mantra pic they displayed on the wall of runner mantras.

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We signed our names on a large Seawheeze banner to hopefully be hung in the hall of fame somewhere.

Hard cider was calling our name, so we headed back to the apartment and lounged. Carley took it upon herself to slyly rearrange all of the art hung on the walls.

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The master bedroom is huge and the bed holds us all. So we played  Cards Against Humanity.

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Love, lounging and laughing.

For lunch we went to a little spot in Gastown called the Lamplighter Pub.

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All of the food served on wooden cutting boards, cool!

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We spent the rest of the evening drinking hard cider and toasting to our half marathon adventure in the morning.

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Our sunset view looked like this…

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See you bright and early!
xo

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hello, Vancouver!

Good mornnnnnnnnning, Vietnam!!!!!!!!! I mean, Vancouver! What an early morning. This apartment has many rooms and 90% of them are lined with windows that show off our spectacular view on the 16th floor of this building.

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We look over the ocean inlet of the Science World and BC Place, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Both monuments light up like Christmas trees at night – beautiful!

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We found that the large mirrors in the foyer turn out to be great group photo tools. And we all know I love photos.

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We searched for a solid breakfast joint and we absolutely found it. Well, it took a little bit of adventure on E Hastings Street. Slightly nerve-racking, more about that later.

Breakfast takes place at a coffee + waffle spot called Cafe Medina. It’s a spot where there’s a wait, always, and well worth it. There’s fresh waffles in the entryway window. We ordered coffees (lavender latte for me) and enjoyed the fresh air out front while we waited. Foam heart etched into mine. #lucky

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Half hour wait and then we’re in! The place seemed to have 15-20 tables and every single plate brought out from the kitchen looked fabulous. We perused the menu and decided on cocktails to start. It doesn’t matter that it’s 10am when you order your first cocktail when you’re on vacation. Moll had a Moroccan Mimosa while the rest of us ordered Medina Lemonades: sparkling water, lavender, gin and mint.

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You could order a single homemade waffle and unique topping. We ordered the waffle + white chocolate pistachio rosewater. And another waffle + fig orange marmalade. The rosewater pistachio was stupid good. Like, are you kidding? What is this stuff? Heaven??

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For an entree, Kate’s and I split the Saumon Fume: open faced ciabatta sandwich- fried egg, smoked salmon, caper cream cheese, sliced avocado, arugula, peppadew and artichoke salad. Yum.

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The rest of the afternoon, we wandered round Gastown and peeked in different boutiques. One called Meadow. Cute little gifts and baby things. This mug called my name – the quote speaks true to my life – always on the go.

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And there was a small white shelf of little stuffed handmade animals. I knew my mama woulda bought them all, cause she’s cute like that. They made me want a child immediately. JUST FOR A SEC

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We grabbed java at Smart Mouth Cafe – cute presentation and the creamiest chai teas.

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Different boutiques had necklaces, pictures, glassware, throw pillows. Everything was lit with shadows and modern lines. I found a horse print I wanted to buy my mama but thought $1,500 was a tad pricey. Sorry mama…

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A clothing boutique had a circular book stack for their dressing room. Really?? What a cool touch!

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After we thoroughly explored Gastown, we kept hiking and out front of Nelson the Seagull I realized I had to pee right NOW! In exchange for a bathroom visit, I bought a chocolate croissant.

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Apparently on Wednesdays they have free yoga in the middle of their cafe and afterwards, everyone has a big family dinner. How awesome? They make their own bread and the emptied tables looked as though the patrons had been there for hours and talked about the deepest of secrets together. What a great spot.

We jumped to a highly recommended place called Rodney’s for bloody Mary’s. I mean, Caesars… they use clamato juice and therefore their bloodies are called something different. We spent a good two hours there, quizzing the oyster boys and enjoying ourselves at the bar. Our bartender, Joel, even shredded fresh horseradish for us – divine!

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Megan made it so we paid and left. We hiked back to the apartment, and lounged for awhile at home. Dinner took place around 9:30pm at Tap & Barrel.

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Love these girls. And I love our memories.

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Tomorrow is Friday. A new day in ‘Couve
Xo

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a slower pace in Seattle

Molly landed next. Then Katie. And the three of us jumped on the Light Link Rail and rode the tram all the way to International District/Chinatown. The Amtrak station is located there and would hold our bags for a measly $4 while we explored downtown Seattle. The weather is stunning, sun shines and a cool breeze blows.

The first order of business was a drink. And soon. We asked a passerby where a good local watering hole is located and they recommended FX McRorys around the corner. We hightailed it there and found a spot at a high top. The bar was insanely impressive. I tried to take a pano but there was just too much. Any liquor you could ever want, in every flavor and infusion. There was a ladder to reach the top shelf bottles. A round of Long Islands were in order and truly appreciated.

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We anxiously awaited Carley’s arrival and when she showed up, we were that much closer to a full crew. Giggles, drinks, and a few too-garlicky apps were consumed before we blew that pop stand. There may have been a desperate q-tip session in there prior to departure. Sometimes it’s a seriously necessary action, even when smack dab in the middle of a Seattle bar.

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Off we went, walking blocks and blocks to Pikes Place Market. Fresh flowers, produce, and amazing pastries everywhere! We were on stimulation overload and slightly tipsy.

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There was a little ice cream place called Shy Giant Frozen Yogurt. The flavors were ridiculous. I settled for Honey Lavender and Pistachio. Both if which were divine. Totally worth the $6 price tag.

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A spot I stopped last year for cherries was still there, although no cherries this year. He did have some sort of plum grape hybrid that tasted a bit like coconut and greatness.

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We shopped more, people watched even more, and surprise surprise, ended up at Von’s Gustrobistro for mimosas and my randomly chosen vodka martini.

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Megan was due to get in any minute now. As we were paying our tab, she called and told us the airline lost her luggage. That is the worst case scenario for the situation we had since timing was crucial. She ended up spending the night in Seattle with some friends and waited for her luggage. In the morning she’ll jump on the bus and meet us in Couve’.

The time was getting closer to train departure so we headed towards Kings Street Station. Due to the fact we’ve all been traveling nonstop, we grabbed a little caffeine pick me up at Zeitgeist Coffee. Cutest condiment bar ever.

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The Amtrak Station was packed. The train was sold out. Not a seat left. We were late to the party (surprised?) and very near the back of the line. We waited our turn and by the time we got on the train, there was no chance in hell we would find four seats together. We split up and hoped to rearrange once the dust settled.

Half hour into the journey of a 4.25 hour train trek, we finagled seats near each other. We munched on farmers market finds, tried to sit comfortably, and giggled for a large part of our journey. Sometimes louder than our train car mates were happy with. Towards hour 3.5, I was so tired my eyes wouldn’t stay open. So while Molly and I tried to snooze, K and C were the responsible ones. They filled out (and forged) our Declaration Forms and signatures. (thanks mamas!)

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Arrival into Vancouver was as disorganized as ever, luggage stacked outside the train cars, wheelchairs everywhere, people moving like a giant mass towards border patrol and the special people with the stamps that make our passports look more like scrapbooks. We made it through, no strip searches this time. Our apartment was a five-minute walk from the station.

A property manager let us in, at midnight, and showed us up to our apartment on the 16 floor. Walking like zombies, we peeked at the rooms, divvied up the bedrooms and called it a night. The dark sky didn’t show us much of the view but there were shadows, and a cool breeze, and you could hear water, so we were optimistic….

Goodnight from ‘Couve!
xo

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Scottsdale : Monday

We slept in as long as we could before we had to get rolling.  Carley was the first flight out and we wanted to catch breakfast at Arcadia Farms first.  This sweet cafe is right out of Little House on the Prairie.  Wood floor, red doors, cute art on the wall.  It felt like going to a grandma’s house who knew how to interior decorate properly.

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photo 1-1In typical best friend’s fashion, we each ordered a Kir Royal to toast our remarkably great weekend.  While we recapped and perused the menu, our waitress dropped off a small plate of mini scones to nibble on.

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This was one of those spots where anything you ordered off the menu would be amazing.  I debated between the Fresh Berry Crepes and the Breakfast Panini.  The panini won: scrambled egg with rosemary ham and smoked mozzarella on a baguette.

photo 3-3Next, we had to hustle to make Carley’s departure time… never a dull moment!  Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is a city in itself, tons of terminals, north side, south side, ramps and overpasses.  Katie is a ninja navigating that space!

After dropping Carley off, we decided against our better judgment to a little hiking on Camelback Mountain in the 115 degree heat.  Plenty of water, working cell phones, crazy sports bra straps and sunglasses – we set off.  It got hotter and hotter as we climbed and pretty soon we made the executive decision that we were sweating faster than we could replenish with water, and that a descent was the best option.

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The rest of my afternoon, I dipped in the pool and packed up all of my things.  We stopped off at Sprinkles to pick up some goodies for the folks at home and I found my way to my gate.

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More than one time this weekend – Carley and I promised we would be back again next year for another long weekend in the hot box.  There’s nothing like 4 days with your best friends to really refocus on what’s important in life.  Friendships, memories, laughter, and not taking ourselves too seriously.

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Until next time AZ,

xo

 

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Scottsdale: Sunday

*life happened before I wrote the rest of this trips blog posts – back on the bandwagon now!

 

Wake up with a little boob sweat?  Sure!  Good morning Scottsdale!  We made an executive decision to skip working out today and instead, totally enjoy each other’s company and humor.  The morning started out with brunch at The Herb Box in Old Town Scottsdale.  The interior was terrific – I almost had the girl’s cause a commotion so I could pull that old-school bike off the wall and ride to 26th and Cactus.  The end goal to our Sunday morning : plan couple’s trip 2014 and get elevated.  Successful? Absolutely!

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Our server informed us there was bottomless mimosas available, to which we all agreed upon.  Pineapple, mango, pomegranate, orange and grapefruit.  Did he recommend trying them all?  Maybe even trying them all twice?  Yes, he did.  And yes, we did.  Between sipping delicious glasses of champagne and planning the first annual couple’s trip, we played this game we call Pretend We’re Fabulous Like Carley.  How do you play?  It’s simple.  Grab the sparkly diamond off of your best girlfriend’s ring finger and wear it while holding your mimosa.  Every girl’s trip, we all gotta try it on, daydream for two seconds that it’s ours, and then give it back.  Thanks for being such a good sport, Carla!

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To supplement the mimosas we shared three dishes.  One I cannot remember for the life of me, the other two were fantastic.  One the Bourbon-Ginger Peach Brioche French Toast and the other the Chilaquiles Verde.  Interested in salivating over their descriptions?  Read here.

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We spent about 3 hours planning, drinking, munching on some brunch, planning some more, laughing, taking pictures, and then drinking 3 more mimosas each.  We didn’t want to overstay our welcome…. ha!  So the next group activity was decided upon… pedicures at AZ Tips and Toes!

On the way we stopped at Sprinkles off Camelback Road and then had not one but THREE dance parties in the car.  The most memorable being the rock out to “Thrift Shop”.  After all that dancing, I may have fallen asleep in the backseat for one second…

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AZ Tips and Toes was the cleanest, nicest nail salon I’ve seen.  Totally bright, plenty of color options, and comfy seats to consume a Sprinkles Cupcake in, or lounge and fall slightly asleep in your mimosa-enduced stupor.

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The rest of the day we spent in the pool.  Avoiding any opportunity to stand for more than 5 seconds outside of the pool in the 118 degree weather.  We swam, we laughed, we continued what we do best : enjoying each other’s company.  Dinner was decided on the first day of vacation… none other than the infamous In’N’Out Burger.

photo 5-2The little dude that took our order was, hands down, the most precious little ethnic, Russian, Serbian, whatever country he hailed from.  For someone that works at a fast food joint and deals with drunk, high punks on the regular – he was too nice!  We wanted to stand next to him all night while he took orders just to make sure people were treating him right.

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Full on the best burger, fries and shake EVER created… the evening commenced with Cards Against Humanity and more laughter than I could handle.

 

laughter is the best medicine,

xo

 

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