Pacific Northwest, Here We Come

Ebey's Landing Coupeville Whidbey Island

It’s been over six years since I made this announcement that we were moving back to the San Francisco Bay Area from Seattle. Now, after much daydreaming and planning, it’s official: Jonathan and I are headed back to the Pacific Northwest at the end of this month with the intention of settling in and staying for the long haul.

Turns out: absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

Christmas in Monterey

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We had plans to visit Jonathan’s family in Santa Barbara/Carpinteria for Christmas this year, but with the Thomas Fire (the largest in California’s history) only just getting under control and ash still raining down over two counties, we made the decision to relocate our holiday celebration to somewhere new.

In an effort to replicate the typical sunny, crisp-ocean air Christmas that Santa Barbara typically provides, we picked Monterey and rented a house for his parents and us to share — just a short walk to the aquarium and Cannery Row…

A Wet Weekend on Whidbey Island

Penn Cove Coupeville Whidbey Island WA

Last weekend, Jonathan and I took our first post-baby trip together up to Whidbey Island for some much-needed R&R and to visit my best friend Jessie and her husband, Joe, who just had a baby girl. (Margot, and she is perfect!)

We’ve both taken trips since Fay was born, but sadly not together. Jonathan has been on several business trips, and we both separately went to Seattle for long weekends in September to celebrate my sister and her fiancé’s bachelor(ette) parties, but this was our first chance to spend time just the two of us without a baby monitor wedged between our pillows. And it was HEAVEN.

As is typical of me, I tend to be so engrossed in what’s happening that I forget to take pictures (I didn’t get a single one of myself at all — not even a selfie!). But I managed a few snapshots here and there, if you’re interested…

Greenbank Getaway

Greenbank Whidbey Island WA Beach Fort

Officially enjoying my gap-week between my old job and new, hunkering down with Jessie at her home in Greenbank on Whidbey Island for the next five days.

Wine, dogs, boat rides, pie, and afternoon naps are basically all that’s on my mind for now.

Have a good week, everyone! x

(Photo taken by me of a favorite secret spot)

The Real To-Do: Seattle, WA

Seattle Skyline 2008

I’ve been missing Seattle immensely as of late, especially my little apartment near Volunteer Park and having innumerable restaurants/bars/activities seemingly right out my door. In the three years I called Seattle “home,” I set out to devour all of the food, cocktails, hikes, and sights I could manage on a very (very) tight budget.

My friend Jessica is moving up there this week and our discussions leading up to her move made me yearn for the city I left nearly two years ago. So much has changed (new restaurants and bars, especially!), but much has stayed the same, too.

I arrived in Seattle with a clear vision of what this city and its surroundings would hold for my early-20’s existence. I grew up outside of San Francisco (arguably one of the best cities in the world), so my standards were high, and when you’re poor like I was, a lot can be said about a city that has places to go and things to do that don’t cost an arm and a leg. (Seattle has some of the best Happy Hour deals out there.)

In that respect, Seattle really can’t be beat…

Outing: The Huntington Library Desert Garden

Huntington Library Cactus Garden 01

For the first time since I left college almost five years ago, I’m living within 30 minutes to an hour (with Los Angeles traffic, it’s a crap shoot) from my sister and numerous friends. This gives me incentive to leave my one-square-mile of comfort, and explore, explore, explore.

There are endless things to do down here, and so much I don’t know about the area. I’ve resolved — along with Jonathan, Kim, and our friend Shannon — to see more of it.

The four of us started last Saturday with a trip to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, and while there are umpteen reasons to spend the day there, the main reason I wanted to go was to see the Desert Garden

Outing: Long Beach Antique Market

Jonathan and I went to the Long Beach Antique Market this past month to see if we could find an item or two for the new apartment and I was in pretty things heaven.

We got up at 6:30 a.m. and headed out shortly after. This antique market happens once per month (3rd Sunday) and takes up 20 full acres of a parking lot adjacent to the Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. There is a fee to get in, though the cost is higher the earlier you arrive, since some of the incredible pieces likely get swooped up by serious buyers as soon as the gates open.

How beautiful are the handmade/vintage Persian rugs in the above photo? There were literally piles of them, and the prices were actually surprisingly reasonable. We almost walked away with this one but didn’t want to spend all our dough so early in the day.

In addition to loads of rugs, there was, well, everything else you could imagine. Here are some photos of some of the cool stuff we found, if you’d like to see…

Pollock Pines: 4 Girls, 2 Ukuleles, 1 Lake

Pollack Pines Girls Weekend Trees

Last weekend I had a wonderful (and necessary) girls getaway in Pollock Pines, CA — about halfway between my home in Livermore and South Lake Tahoe, surrounded by woods and lakes — with a couple friends.

I didn’t take any pictures of the delicious food Cassie prepared, or the whiskey sours I made, or the heavenly hot tub, or our nail-painting session during a laugh-filled screening of Julie & Julia but I did manage to bust out my camera during a silly and boozy trek to nearby Jenkinson Lake…

An Event-Filled Las Vegas Thanksgiving

Minus5 Ice Bar Las Vegas Cocktails

A few days ago I returned from my very first trip to Las Vegas where we celebrated Thanksgiving with Jonathan’s mother and stepfather. It was so much fun and exhausting. Is Vegas always so tiring? (Jonathan, a seasoned Las Vegas pro, says “YES.”) Though, it could also have had something to do with the 28-hours in the car we spent to get there and back!

I committed a good portion of the trip to playing with the settings on my new DSLR camera — a Canon EOS Rebel T3i. Nothing particularly fancy if you’re into cameras, but given a past dependency on my Android phone’s Vignette app, this is a significant upgrade.

The vast majority of pictures I snapped were a blurry mess, but a few didn’t turn out half bad! Here’s a little peak…