30 August 2011

Seattle, Part 2: Friends and "Fam"

It took me a week and a half (thanks to Mother Nature's one-two punch to the East Coast), but here is part two of our Seattle trip!

We went to Seattle because one of my very best childhood friends, Maitha, got married (more on the beautiful wedding later)! It was so cool to have a group of our middle and high school friends all together again after moving different places (well, okay, I didn't move away... but most of the rest of them have). The wedding was held in the groom's hometown so we got to meet a bunch of Andreas' friends and a lot of his family as well. We spent an entire week in Seattle and when we left we felt like we had a new family and some great new great friends. We all had so much fun together that it was hard to say goodbye!

Part three, the beautiful wedding, is coming!

29 August 2011

Irene, You Crazy.

Hey, Mother Nature. You got some beef with the East Coast?

Well, I kinda love you but you made it hard to do this week.
First an earthquake and then a hurricane?
I shouldn't complain. We didn't get hurt and our families are safe.
And now we have pre-made water bottles thanks to me filling every single one we own. 
And cookies from my mother-in-law.
And chile verde from my pop.

Some were not so lucky though.
My heart goes out to those who Irene hit hard.

Photo of Irene vacating the area and leaving a gorgeous day in her wake on Sunday.

23 August 2011

Earthquake in VA

We're fine, home safe, and only my shampoo and our waffle iron suffered from the quake.

As earthquakes go, this didn't cause major damage. I've seen a lot of humor, joking, and mocking - which I understand and have laughed at - but I've also seen some fear. Some people had flashbacks to 9/11 today. I know it's true in D.C. and I'm sure it's true of NYC as well. Most people around here aren't accustomed to earthquakes but we do know that we're in our nation's capital and it's always a potential target for terrorism. When things shake around here, most people's first reaction isn't "earthquake" but rather "bomb." I think not knowing initially what was shaking the ground made people extra freaked out. At first I was offended by people mocking us East Coasters - between the uncertainty and not being able to get in touch with family for over an hour I felt like I was going a little crazy. In the end, I think the humor helped me get over it. RIP waffle iron.

One scary bit of info about the earthquake still remains though: After the disaster in Japan a few months ago, Jason and I did a little research about Lake Anna's nuclear power plant since we spend a lot of time down there each year. We learned that it's the 7th most at-risk nuclear power plant for earthquake damage in the US (out of 100+ plants) and was only built to withstand a magnitude of 5.9 – 6.1. Today's earthquake was a 5.8 and the epicenter was a mere few miles from the plant. That's a little too close for comfort if you ask me. Maybe we should work on fixing the plants so they're a little more earthquake-ready? Yeah?

    19 August 2011

    Seattle, Part 1: The Touristy Bits

    First thing's first: Seattle was COLD. It was our first time in Seattle and while we expected rain and gray skies we didn't expect it to be so cold in mid-July! Secretly, we loved it (we can't wait for fall/winter). And we can't complain because it was hot as heck in DC while we were gone.

    Our trip started with an overbooked motel nightmare, but luckily it was all uphill from there. The next morning we started fresh (possibly with bags under our eyes) and picked up our swanky Chevy Aveo (we missed our Subaru so. freaking. much. on this trip) before making our way to my dad's suggestion of Top Pot Doughnuts. Since I got my sweet tooth and my belly fat genes from my father, we of course made a stop there and got four doughnuts to share. Let me tell you: four doughnuts at Dunkin' does not equal four doughnuts at Top Pop. We didn't even get close to finishing them, but they were hands down the best doughnuts either of us had ever eaten.

    Then we were off to the ferry to get over to Bainbridge Island to see the bride and groom, Maitha and Andreas! The ferry gave us great views of the Seattle skyline.

    From then on, there was never a dull moment. We were always on the move. On the ferry to Seattle for errands, food, bars, fun. Riding the monorail, seeing the Space Needle, meeting up with old high school friends, hitting the Pike Place Market, walking around the city. And finally, back on Bainbridge for wedding festivities. Here are the semi-touristy stops we made along the way...

    Pretty sunset along the harbor

    Riding the monorail to get to a food festival (that's the bride looking crazy in the back)

    Pike Place Market

    Mr. Needle

    The original Starbucks and a delicious sandwich joint called Salumi

    The locks

    Back to the market to get some crab and goodies for the road on our way out of town

    And that's all she wrote for touristy bits of Seattle we saw.
    Two more posts to come from Seattle:
    hanging out with friends and the lovely wedding.
    ...but of course that's still only the beginning of our trip!

    11 August 2011

    A Giant Trip!

    There has been reason for our radio silence and it was because we took a 2.5 week vacation! And the other two weeks we've been missing? Well, we were home but I was intimidated by the amount of photos I want to share!

    Two of my very best friends got married two weeks apart - the first in Seattle and the second in LA. Jason and I decided it would be more fun to spend the time in between on vacation on the west coast rather than fly out there and back twice. Boy are we glad we made that choice. By the time we finished our trip we had driven nearly the entire west coast, almost all of which we took the Pacific Coast Highway. And going from North to South? That was an accidental convenience because it meant that we drove on the correct side of the road - the one closest to the water - so that it was easier to pull over and see things while driving.

    In the next few days (or weeks, more likely) I'll chronicle our trip which included visits to Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Portland, Redwood National Parks, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, LA, and lots of little towns in between. We even had our very first camping experience (it was fun!).

    Coming soon.... Seattle and Maitha's Wedding!