Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Seattle: Part 2

Monday, Monday, Monday. It was a busy, fun, fast day.

Like I said, a major part of this (and really, let's be honest any) vacation is the food. So with the help of Yelp, as well as recommendations from friends and family, we had a good list of places we wanted to visit and more importantly eat at. Our first stop of the day was "The Crumpet Shop" in Pike's Market, which was also just a few blocks away from where we were staying. So we grabbed some umbrellas from the hotel lobby and were on our way. We heard of this place from my brother and his wife who went to Seattle last year. They highly recommended it, but I was iffy. What is a crumpet and how could they possible be very good? Well, the Yelp reviews sided with them, and we thought we might as well give it a shot. This place may be my favorite place we ate at on this trip... though I am not sure because we ate a lot of good food. Crumpets are like soft, sweet English Muffins with air bubbles in them. Stick some sweet or savory toppings on top and it is simply delectable. They far exceeded my expectations.
 Our "get crumpt" look (or if you have no idea what I am talking about... get crunk)

After indulging in English delicacies we headed to the market for some shopping. It was different from what I was expecting, but I am not even sure what I was expecting exactly. We got to see some fish being flung, thanks to the Japanese tour group there. We tasted some local food and again ate our way through the market and round about area. And we saw the real 1st Starbucks, but were not willing to wait in line to go in. And it was the actual first Starbucks not the fake 1st Starbucks we saw the night before... though that was much funnier.

Another favorite, which is a must go in my opinion if you ever find yourself in Seattle is Beecher's. Hands down the best mac' n cheese! We went there twice. We watched them separate the curds and whey, and tried fresh curds (which couldn't sound more disgusting btw), but wasn't too bad in reality.

What was truly disgusting was the gum wall in an alley right near the market. I wasn't expecting to be as grossed out by it as I was. It smelled like, well, a lot of gum and it truly made my stomach turn. We quickly added our own gum to the wall and took a photo to prove it, and left that nasty space. I don't know why I feel the need to be part of every disgusting or weird tradition but I do. Part of my disease known as FOMO... you know, Fear of Missing Out. It also might be from my mom who made us spit into rivers, lakes and oceans in order to become "one with them". I did this into the Canadian part of the Pacific from our boat on our cruise, but think I became one with Wes, Ryan and Taryn thanks to the wind. Whoops. I made up for it at Stanley Park where I successful spit into the bay.

And this was all done before about noon. I'll finish our day in a later post.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Finally: Seattle (part 1)

I think I was most excited for this part of our vacation because I've been wanting to go to Seattle for so long.

One of the most fun parts of this vacation like I mentioned before was being there with friends. So the 2.5 hour road trip from Vancouver to Seattle was not a nuisance but part of the adventure. We took a few detours on our route so as to get in as much scenic beauty as possible. A drive down the coast was in order and was stupendous. As was the long round about way which took us through a funny little town where they grew tulips and daffodils in HUGE fields! It was breathtakingly beautiful. Plus unlike the Carlsbad flowers you didn't have to pay $15 to see them. Ryan saved us some time on the trip going across the border using the Nexus line, which didn't make us popular with the other drivers. To be fair, they should really label their lanes better.

Some scenic photos for your viewing pleasure.

We made it to Seattle around 8ish (I think), checked into our hotel (which was such a cool place right across from Pike's Market) and walked to a highly yelp-rated (again hipstery) restaurant for dinner. Our walk home took us through a cloud/mist of weed, which I then decided in that quantity is worse smelling than almost anything else. It was outside of a concert venue and seriously it reminded me of what hell must be like. Please let's not make weed legal in California because if I ever have to walk through a cloud of that smell again, I may die. No really, it was that bad!

We ended the night at one of my favorite places... Kerry Park. Not really a park as much as a grassy knoll, which gives you the best view of the city! We also lucked out with the weather for the most part. Chilly, but good enough, with just misty mist, no rain.

We had 1 full day to spend in Seattle (Monday) and a short list of things we really wanted to do. So we woke up early and got to it. Let's be honest, most of what was on our list were places to eat, and we so tackled that list.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

2nd Leg: Time in Canadia, eh

After the wonderment that was the cruise, we hit our first city/country stop. Vancouver. As in Canada. We weren't there long, but we did enjoy the beauty of that city. It was truly picturesque and we were so lucky to be there the week the cherry blossoms were in bloom all over! We got there and first went to church. We enjoyed driving around and seeing a lot of the city on our way to the building. After church we found Chinatown, which we basically drove through, and showed old ladies doing ti-che (I am 99% sure I spelled that wrong) in the square how we (Taryn and Ryan) could count to ten in Chinese.... apparently very wrong too. Then we found a yummy breakfast spot at a very "hipstery" joint. But, it was gooooood. Oh, and did I  mention we may also be Canadian movie stars now. Look for our cameo on the show "Dead People." They were filming on the street we were standing on while trying to figure out where to eat. The people filming came up to us and said (obviously trying to hint at us to beat it) that "Unless we wanted to be in a show, we should probably not be there." What kind of way is that to convince someone to move? The passive Canadian way apparently. Yes, I'll be a star on your new TV show. So no, we didn't leave right away.

We got out of the cruise terminal and were so excited to see this beautiful city. It was very welcoming and exciting. Until the boys left Taryn and I (and all our luggage) in order to get the rental car and then Taryn and I became the belle of the ball to all the nearby homeless men. One in particular was very chatty. He wanted us to guess his age and when we kindly declined, he offered to guess ours.  I am apparently 31, and Taryn 27. I have a lot of wisdom in my eyes according to him. I think what he saw was "avoidance" or maybe the desire to run as fast and far away from him as possible. Luckily no one asked for money. Just wanted to chat, eh.

In Chinatown we walked through the Japanese gardens. It was random, and probably a little over-hyped, but it was also very pretty for a funny little garden in the middle of the city.

This was taken right after Ryan and Taryn freaked out the little old Chinese lady trying to impress her with their knowledge of the Chinese numbering system. But maybe she was more freaked out at our dead on impression of this dragon.

We were both discovered and discovered good food in the "Gastown" district in Vancouver. It was a neat little area, and I am glad we found it.

After breakfast we went to Stanley Park, which I think is best explained as the Central Park of Canada. Okay, I don't know if that's true but it was a neat, large, Ocean view park. There was a little lighthouse there, totem poles, and acres of lush land with walking and biking trails. Because it was pretty chilly and rainy, we drove the park rather than biking it as originally planned. But, we stopped, got out and walked a few areas and really enjoyed it. Like I said, Vancouver was a beautiful, well kept city and all of us really enjoyed it.

Wes is good at getting panoramic photos of places we visit. Here we are at Stanley park.
Like I said, I was loving these cherry blossom trees everywhere. I want them all over my front yard.
 And the totem area.
 Ryan loved all the nature and was very verbal about it to. We all loved exploring though and there was a lot to see.
 This photo is one of my favorites... on our way out of the city we drove past this random square with statues. It's purpose was the remind us all to be happy, find joy, and laughter in life. (You may need to zoom to see it better.) It worked!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Cruise

If you haven't cruised you are missing out. All you can eat food. Lots of lounging, napping, movie watching, sitting in the spa, ridiculous picture taking, and if you are smart (like us) you enjoy lots of board games and shuffle board too. Plus fun random "impractical jokers" times. Embarrassment for the sake of making friends laugh is a good time. Yes, this leg of the journey was all about relaxation. And it was wonderful. We were on the boat from Thursday early afternoon until very early Sunday morning. On the boat we saw whales spouting (disappointed not to see any whales jumping), Wes got both hit on and flipped off by a very VERY drunk young lady whom we will call "Bing-Bong". Ryan and Taryn won the newly wed game. And both Wes and Ryan participated in the ping pong tournament and basketball shooting competition. I lost a very competitive game of scattergories which did not go off well. However nothing could overshadow the fact that I could have all the soda and fancy virgin drinks I wanted. Life couldn't be much better than sitting in a lounge being serenaded by a pianist, whilst playing Ticket to Ride and enjoying a Miami Vice with the best of friends I say.
Here we are antsy to start our vacation!
On the deck just before leaving beautiful L.A.
And our loooooong hallway. Can you tell we were pretty excited?!
We introduced Ryan and Taryn to shuffleboard and then they kicked our butts at it every. single. game. 
 The photographer was neither thrilled not amused at our pose. And did not hide her disdain either. She said as we were posed, "You guys are going to pay $25 for that?!" I should have said heck no, but it's definitely worth sneaking a phone photo of. We were so rebellious and snuck pictures of the pictures, which is a no-no.
Our door all decorated for my birthday.
We happened upon a paper airplane flying contest. So you know the saying, when life gives you paper make an airplane. Wed did. And it went almost straight down. How embarrassing.
Enjoying a snack one day overlooking the ocean.
Enjoying cheesecake bites one day. I should have gotten a picture of the pizza we ate daily in one of the side restaurants... it was delish.
Birthday meal and dessert.
Wes and his competition in the ping pong tournament. This guy beat him.
Just another dinner.
In which we ate snails.
And afterward got our Miami Vice on.
And laughed at Ryan and Taryn playing the newlywed game. I am so happy they were chosen.
Yes... the whole weekend was truly a blast!!!
But it was only the beginning!