I love WordPress – but my lifestyle is morphing… follow me at http://www.openspacecollective.com for future adventures…
time flies. it absolutely does. apparently we have been married for 6 months already. WHAT?! i haven’t even taken the time to recap our WEDDING, must less everything incredible that’s happened since then.
we’ve been to Mexico, we’ve been to Hawaii. we’ve scuba dived in the ocean. we’ve ridden bikes down a volcano on an island. we’ve worked out and laughed and cried and learned more about communication. so much about communication, that is something we will always work towards succeeding at. each day I feel like we get better. we are both independent, strong-willed individuals and we can butt heads when we’re passionate. but that’s made for the best conversations, ever. the long hours / bottles of wine / candles-burning-conversation that i hope every couple gets to have.
we’ve charted out a good chunk of the next couple years and surprisingly find ourselves living in my parents basement for a little bit of time while we’re in limbo. we have the world at our fingertips and I feel like we’re about to take off.
no one told me it was going to be this good. and if they did? I wouldn’t have believed them.
Brett, you are my favorite adventurer, my teammate… I am incredibly head over heels for you boy.
all my love,
all images by Ash & James Photography
legit this day happened August 16, 2015, but a TON has happened since then anddddddd here we are. I need to wrap up this last day so I can move on to everything else that I’ve been meaning to blog about. 2016, you WILL be the year I get my blogging on track. on the regular. as often as I can / want / feel the need to.
VANCOUVER, our Saturday was race day, run around, explore & finish up with a wicked float tank experience. The next morning, we slept in a little, but not too much knowing this was our last day in ‘Couve.
We woke and decided an impromptu photo shoot on the sweet roof of our airbnb was in order. Somewhat coordinated tops and an hour later playing with the Camera Remote app on our Apple Watch’s produced these gems.
He snagged me this simple triangle necklace at Pike’s Place back in Seattle. Love it.
the watch doesn’t fit well under the sleeves of this Lulu top when the thumbholes are in use… #priorities
We headed to 49th Parallel for a morning experience. I remember coming here the last few times I’ve been in town for the Lululemon Seawheeze weekend. It’s all sorts of fantastic espresso and Lucky’s Doughnuts. On the weekends is insane. Lines out the door for this joint. Wish there was one in Minnesota!
Any establishment with a line like that deserves to be experienced. A garage-style door lifts up where we were sitting, fresh air when the weather wants to cooperate.
Cool vibe and amazing peanut butter and jelly doughnuts like this one with the peanut crunchies.
baby espresso / wild mane / wake me up
I purchase a large latte cup & saucer for a souvenir. There’s something about this blueish-teal that strikes me as necessary.
We walk around the city and explore the sights. We have a photo shoot with the new cup and saucer. For nothing more than to kill time on a lazy Sunday afternoon in Vancouver. Reapplying more Peppermint Halo from Saje – an amazing essential oil + therapeutic shop in downtown Vancouver.
For lunch, we put our name on the list & wait another 45 minutes for a table at Medina Cafe. Now our favorite place for lunch on this side of the planet. Gold goblets of fresh water and all.
We had the Avocado Toast (duh), Saumon Fumé and a few of their signature Liege-Style Waffles [White Chocolate Pistachio Rosewater + Salted Caramel].
Everything about this spot was to die for. The bathroom had dimly lit displays nestled into the walls… their matchbox takeaways are square and the exact logo of their sign out front [obsessed, I took 3].
We slowly sauntered our way out of here and set out to explore more of the city. This was our last day, so we really wanted to take it all in!
When more directions are needed, we sit outside one of the many Starbucks available to us on every street corner (thanks!).
We explore the art installations scattered throughout town. Old world, modern, metal & sky-high. The sun is shining and we are traveling all over this town. New sights, fresh air, this is the mantra of a “feeling like a million bucks” pair of Midwesterners.
We got some Vegan Pudding & Co. from a tiny shop that took up all of 3feetwide street space between storefronts. Be jammin’ out to your music and you might totally pass it by. Shame. Keep your eyes open for these gems!
I cannot remember what flavor we selected but I’ll bet all my Lululemon Vinyasa Scarves that it was the Coconut Milk & Sugar one.
It was some sort of custardy-flany-syrupy-goodness dish and I wouldn’t hesitate to get another if given the chance. #seawheeze2016
We get back to the airbnb to have a FaceTime chat about our upcoming wedding with The Adventures Of videography team. A few hours of creative discussion and we are feeling very excited about our upcoming wedding video (to be delivered next week!).
We head to Granville Island Public Market via the public bus and walk the aisles, look at art, have some snacks, talk on the river… pet the local dogs waiting for their humans.
Who knows how much time passed. We switch back to nice clothing and head to a date night. We wanted a special spot, good food, awesome service, cool location… Yelp led us to Seasons in the Park.
The directions had us on a public transit bus for quite a while, headed somewhere into the suburban surrounding downtown Vancouver. We got off in a large public park. We hiked the sidewalks down, around, for what seemed like forever. We took pictures + took our sweet time, happily enjoying a beautifully warm evening.
We hiked a small, Mount Kilimanjaro-sized mountain to get to the restaurant. Breaking a small sweat and feeling the burn in our quads.
This was the first of 53 hills we climbed 🙂
Seasons on the Park has a view of all downtown Vancouver. We were seated at a huge glass window. As the sun set on the incredible view, you couldn’t help but feel like you were on another planet, looking at another colony, from a land far, far away. Gorgeous + galactic!
After dinner (fantastic, not a clue what we ate… but damn was it good!) We splurged and got espressos. This happens rarely… who are we kidding, we’ve never gotten them before. It seemed like a perfect idea for a day that has been one for the record books.
Vancouver: until next time, you gorgeous city!
Listening to this song because I heard it on Peaky Blinders [watch it!]
last year was such a blast at the Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon, we decided to do it again. This morning we got on a Southwest flight to first Denver and then Seattle. Southwest lets you stream Apple Music over wifi, for free. Flying In the clouds with access to every song out there, what’s not to love?
We watched Interstellar and munched on Barbara Peanut Butter Puffins cereal. #happybaby
Always traveling with a Lululemon Infinity Scarf, and our Bose noise-canceling. Best headphones I’ve ever bought.
We stopped at a cute, new spot on Jackson Street, called Intrigue Chocolate Co.
A dapper, bearded young fellow was behind the counter. He asked if we had time for a tasting (they do those at chocolate shops?!), to which we happily obliged. The dark chocolate truffles were infused with Basil and Peppercorn, among other things, he poured us each a glass of chamomile tea to cleanse our palate. All were delicious, and we grabbed a few for the road.
We went to michou for a late lunch, incredible sandwiches and salads. We settled on the Sierra turkey and a handful of dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice). Excellent, so fabulous, we wanted a bite of everything!
On our way back to the train station, we stopped at Storyville Coffee for an iced brew latte. That 4:45am rise-time is catching up to us.
I love, love, LOVE adventures with this man. He makes my heart smile. We are just getting started, and I cannot wait to leave a billion footprints all over this earth.
I’m enjoying a watermelon honey stick from Pike’s Place Market while Brett plays DJ as the sun is setting out the train window.
Feeling incredibly blessed,
There is something I would like to make mandatory, for all human beings. A required hour of reading everyday. Everyone has to do it. Read in some form, a book, an audiobook, a comic book, I don’t care! That way, I can read these amazing books I cannot find time to dive into.
This morning, I started a new one. “The Book of Strange New Things” by Michel Faber.
Eight pages in and I want to cancel whatever’s on my schedule for the next 24 hours, just so I can read it straight through. I. Love. Books. My teacher in grade school thought I would be an introvert with no friends when they saw me reading on the playground @ recess. Little did they know, I preferred to fall into a novel, to get immersed in another world. There would be time for friends, and kissing boys, and getting scraped up later on.
Priorities people, priorities.
It’s good to get lost in another world sometimes.
P.S. Yes, I rent books from the library. I can’t justify spending $25 on a book. Unless if I love it and want my kids to read it one day… then I will be the first in line at Barnes and Noble, clutching the life out of those pages.
P.P.S. Little fact : I memorized my library card number at the age of nine so I could reserve books online more efficiently, I still know it to this day. #proud
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:
-drink hot apple cinnamon tea
-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
Counting down the hours to Tuesday… our next adventure awaits.
Couples trip in Sonoma, CA!
One more selife to complete the adventure. The last two standing. Waiting on the tram platform to take us to SeaTac.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The branding catches my eye within seconds and we don’t leave the shop without a few tshirts, mugs and other 49th Parallel swag.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
The light overhead was designed with pitchforks (hello, farm life!)
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!
My favorite combination of the afternoon? This one right here:
(sorry for being scandalous, G-ma!)
I ordered the Farmer’s Muffin [salad, rosti, sausage, scrambled eggs, cheddar and tomato jam]. Divine and delicious.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Good morning sweat box! We woke up and got our daily caffeine fix at Village Coffe Roastery. Dirty Iced Chais and a pistachio muffin. Both of which we’d all vouch for. There was a small shelf for the locals to store their coffee mugs (kinda like beer mugs being kept in lockers in beer halls of Germany). Cool location, great coffee, definitely gave us some energy! Next up : SPIN! One of the first times I visited Scottsdale – Kates exposed me to this exercise phenomenon called Spin. But down here, they do it WAY differently than I’ve been used to. The room is black, blacklights, concert-volume mixed pop music, and everyone is 110% balls to the wall. You leave dripping with sweat, feeling like you just scaled a mountain and conquered world peace after 60-minutes. We took spin at the Madison Improvement Club. It’s a swanky spin/yoga boutique with a modern health cafe on the inside. You even have the option to preorder your food before your class so it’s ready and waiting for you to inhale afterwards. Yesterday was Orange Theory and today was Spin… let’s just say our thighs and quads were on FIRE. Like literally on fire. The music was excellent, the instructor faced us and called people out over the eardrum blasting noise to “sprint! sprint! spring!” At the end of the class, on a normal, non-Hell temperature day, they open up the front wall to a gorgeous view of Camelback Mountain. We were thankful they kept the doors closed this time around. Our refueling took place at a great place in Old Town Scottsdale called Chop Shop. Are you getting the theme of a Scottsdale visit? Workout, REALLY hard, and eat at REALLY awesome restaurants! Cardio, fuel. Spin, brunch. It’s a cycle (ha!) and we love it! At Chop Shop I had the Zen Bowl: scrambled eggs, spinach, mushrooms, onions, white cheddar and brown rice. Ah-may-zing. We dined outside under the misters and gradually live was returned to our legs.
After refueling, we ran a few errands. Katie dropped her iPhone and completely shattered the screen. Is this a sign she’s on it too much? 😉
It was time for a dip in the pool. Two hours of pool to be exact. After we cooled down, we showered, made a few drinks for the road and headed to Fashion Square Mall to get the heck out of the heat. The drinks were not, in fact, for the road but instead for a little adventurous shopping. We had a few dressing room dance parties, and enjoyed the latest in POS checkout technology. #nerd
Something that lights my heart on fire when I’m with these girls is we always make friends where we go. One stop at Fashion Square was to LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. The moment we walked in, we were greeted by a young man who inquired what brought us in. He told us about himself, how he’s a ballet dancer, and recommended tons of products to us! I told him I really wanted to get a great facial mask and also something to tame down my insane long locks in this heat. He recommended, and I purchased, Mask of Magnaminty and Sea Spray for my hair. The whole place is well done with a beautiful font and the way they display their products. The masks look like they’re displayed at a salad bar on ice. The large wedges of soaps reminded me of the enormous wheels of Gouda cheese in Amsterdam. I fell in love with Lush today after I read their We Believe statement.
After we exhausted all that Fashion Square had, we drove to Scottsdale Quarter to continue our night. A stop at the Apple Store allowed us to get Kate’s a new iPhone and also allowed a little time for Carley to change the backgrounds of multiple devices to showcase a really hot picture of Hugh Jackman.
I always get the Chicken Chopped Salad. There’s something about the way the manchego cheese, marcona almonds and jicama mixes together that it takes me to my happy place every time. We split the Vegetable Crudités starter – it was like a wonderful garden on ice with fabulous dipping sauces. Really cool presentation – we were impressed.
Katie is friends with a manager and she brought us these delicious honeydew melon vodka cocktails (which we of course, cheers’ed). The back end of the restaurant near the outdoor restroom held this garden, sink washing station that caught my eye in the setting sun. Love True Food, always have, always will.
The end of the evening brought us to a 3-story Restoration Hardware, because let’s be honest, you know there’s going to be some good stuff in there. I only fell in love with 75% of the store. Carley tried out many chairs and we decided this one most resembles her walk-on role in Game of Thrones and thus she had to buy it ($15,000 later….).
As we walked up the flight of stairs, I marveled at these hanging chandeliers inside of bird cages, hung by thick shipyard rope. I need a big house, with tall ceilings, so I can properly hang them. #wishfulthinking
We made friends with the gentleman that greeted us at the entrance, named Brian. He took us on the Grande’ Tour of the store and priced out different couches we laid on. We, of course, knew at this time they were out of our price range but we laughed and he enjoyed chatting with us. He looked up prices on his iPad and we walked through all the different rooms, quickly falling in love with every duvet and medieval spoon we found. We bid Brian a good evening, bought a few little trinkets, and made a swift stop at It’Sugar candy shop for some pineapple gummi bears and chocolate covered oreos.
The evening ended with another hilarious round of Cards Against Humanity.
Loving this adventure,
Tonight I took a super late flight to Scottsdale for the weekend. Time for a little R&R with some close girlfriends. I’ve been out there many times and always come back feeling refreshed, renewed, with my core body temperature slightly out of sync in the red zone. I have miles on Delta (more on that later) and booked a flight to the tune of 25,000 miles + $7.50 in taxes.
Knowing I paid the ticket taxes with my Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, means I have one free checked bag. I decided to pack more than enough into a larger than necessary bag. A girl likes to have options, 3 swimsuits for 4 days? I think so! I found my seat in the back of the plane and smiled to myself as I set eyes on my seat mates. Both younger girls wearing yoga pants. With a thankful sigh of relief, I scooted into my window seat. Nine times out of ten, I have someone pushing 3 bills and reeking of cheap beer sitting next to me. Flying takes on a whole new adventurous tone when you aren’t sure if the dude next to you is either going to try to hit on you or throw up in your lap. Not pleasant. I enjoyed not having a sweaty, hairy thigh pushed up against my personal leg space. I enjoyed the camaraderie of using Apple products with competent, smart, healthy girls doing the same next to me. Call me crazy, but that never happens and I was thankful. As I was sitting in me seat, I watched my luggage roll up the conveyor belt underneath me into the plane. That’s always a good sign. The journey is off to a good start.
Katie picks me up from the airport where I’m instantly sweating on the sidewalk. This is going to be a test of strength and effort to not literally melt while I’m here. No one likes a puddle! We drive back to her apartment in Scottsdale and I haul my 44-lb luggage into the room I’ll be staying in while I’m here. The AC is a blessing and I have a feeling we’ll be spending quite a bit of time near the pool. Go for a run, jump in the pool. Lunch date, then jump in the pool.
This morning we woke up and had iced coffee + Rumchata – a true start to vacation. Cheers to a hot, sweaty, adventurous-weekend!
Life is good!
Listening to this.
Current temperature in Scottsdale at 7:55 AM : 86 F