TRAVEL, weekend

Seattle Trip Recap: Days 2 & 3

Happy Thursday! The long awaited day 2 and day 3 post is finally here (just kidding. I doubt anyone was waiting impatiently for this haha). But nonetheless, it’s here!

Day 2 started out with coffee and bagels at Kaladi Brothers Coffee. We woke up pretty early and decided we should grab a bite to eat before our hike at Mount Rainier (more details on the “hike” later). The coffee was great and the coffee shop was really nice. There were tons of tables to sit at and dogs so it was great!

We grabbed our rental car at Enterprise and hit the road. Mount Rainier is about 2 hours from Seattle. It doesn’t look like it would take that long, but driving up the winding mountain takes a bit. We had no intentions of doing a serious hike. We didn’t even have any hiking gear or a winter coat with us. We just wanted to do something outdoorsy, and we have gone to a National Park for our anniversary every year, so we couldn’t stop on this trip!

Anyway, we drove up the mountain and eventually made it to the classic National Park sign. We figured that there would be a visitors area or something like that, so we kept going. We drove about 3 minutes further and it was snowing much more. We were surprised that the car was clearing the snow piled up in the center of the lane, and just as we said that, we got stuck. We tried reversing. We tried digging the snow out under car. We weren’t exactly sure what to do.

Luckily, a truck pulled up behind us (our heroes)! Two people walked out (shout out to Peter and Destiny! She also took a lovely picture of Connor and I) and said Peter saw us going up and wondered if we were going to get stuck. Obviously, we looked like silly tourists. He wasn’t able to tow us out, but he knew that there were some “Jeepers” down the mountain a bit who could. We then went down the road a bit to talk to them. It was perfect because they had been towing people out that morning, so they weren’t shocked. They were kind enough to tow us out. It took a few minutes of digging to attach the tow strap (shout out to Connor for that– I just cheered him on and took pictures of him haha), but eventually they were able to tow us back a little. And by a little, I mean a few feet. We were barely stuck. Then they guided us down a bit and we were on our way!

We were so lucky to meet such kind people who were willing to help. It seems like they were used to these types of situations which was nice. They also let us know that the touristy area that we were looking for was in a totally different place. Basically, the moral of the story is that we are going to do more research on where exactly to drive to, and we are going to visit in the summer to avoid snow!

After our adventure at Mount Rainier, we drove back to Capitol Hill. We went straight to dinner since we hadn’t eaten since the bagels. We decided on HoneyHole Sandwiches. It was a sandwich place right next to our Airbnb. The host recommended it. We got a drink (much deserved) and some yummy sandwiches. They really hit the spot. Then we decided ice cream was necessary too, so we went to Molly Moon’s. I really don’t remember what flavor we got, but I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them. Plus you can try them too!

We planned to go out for drinks, or at least to explore more, but fell right asleep once we got back to our Airbnb.

The next morning we got up super early. We packed up our stuff and got ready to leave our Airbnb. We got an Uber to Moore Coffee. I just had to go again. Plus, I wanted to try the original location. We got lattes and they were even more adorable that the matcha I got before. Connor’s has a cute octopus on it, and mine had a bear. I was so happy because I really wanted a bear. You can’t really request the animal (I tried of course) because it depends on the consistency of the coffee/milk.

After coffee, we wandered to Pike Place Market. We needed to kill some time before meeting up with our friends, Chris and Erica. We walked around a bit and then met up with them. Prior to meeting up, I met an adorable corgi named Bella. She was so cute and had spots like a cow.

We caught up with our friends and then got breakfast at Both Ways Cafe. It was a bit of a drive, but it was worth it. They all got biscuits and gravy, and I got an omelet. We all loved our food! After breakfast, they dropped us off near the light rail. Connor and I grabbed a last minute treat as if we weren’t already stuffed, and then hopped on the train to the airport.

I will spare you all the details from our travel back to Chicago because our trip wasn’t quite as fun at the end. Basically, we ended up sleeping in the Minneapolis airport because there wasn’t room to land in Chicago. It wasn’t the best night of sleep (literally didn’t sleep) but it was sort of fun in a way! I will definitely remember it forever.

Overall, We had the BEST time in Seattle and we can’t wait to go back. We are planning to go back when it’s warmer so we can hit all 3 National Parks near Seattle. I really want to go to Olympic, so hopefully we can go there!

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TRAVEL, weekend

Seattle Trip Recap: Day 1

As promised, I am sitting on the train to work writing this post. I think I will split it up into 2 or 3 posts so it’s not super long!

As some of you know, Connor and I went to Seattle, Washington this past weekend. We flew out Friday morning (way too early haha), explored Seattle for 3 days, and flew back late Sunday night (ended up being Monday morning)!

After reaching Seattle on Friday morning, we hopped on the sound rail which goes downtown from the airport. The ticket for a one-way ride is 3 dollars, which isn’t too bad! It took about 30 minutes to get downtown, so I’d say it’s the best way to get there, and a great way to avoid traffic.

We decided to get off at the “West Lake” stop. This stop put us right by Pike Place Market, which was definitely on the list of things we wanted to do. We decided to head to the market, since we couldn’t check into our Airbnb until 3pm. We figured we would do most of our exploring for the day in our backpacks anyway!

Pike Place was super crowded and only got more crowded as the day went on until it closed. We walked through to get an idea of the food options and different vendors. We were really hungry, so we got some little donuts to hold us over from Daily Dozen Doughnuts. They were really yummy. We got a few different flavors to share/try. We also visited the Gum Wall. It was cool to see in real life, but also a little gross as you could imagine haha.

After our “pre-breakfast” we went to Pike Place Chowder. The line for this place was winding down the road. I felt like we were waiting to get into an exclusive event, when we were really just waiting for chowder. Connor got a sampler of a few different chowders and I got the vegan option (coconut & lime). It was so yummy!

I grabbed a matcha latte at the most adorable coffee shop called Moore Coffee. I wish they had one in Chicago because it was amazing. They do latte art in the shape of animals and my matcha had a perfect cat on it! I was really impressed.

We decided to walk everywhere because it was SO nice out. I was shocked that it was so sunny. We really lucked out with the weather. We walked along the water and through the Olympic Sculpture Park. Then we headed toward the Space Needle which was a highlight of the trip. Tickets were about 32 dollars each, but they were so worth it! The line wasn’t too long and the elevator ride up was super fast. Once we were at the top, we walked around, took some photos, and enjoyed the view. I loved that there wasn’t a time limit at the top. We could have stayed up there until 10pm if we wanted, so that’s really cool!

We considered a couple museums by the Space Needle, but we weren’t sure if we really wanted to go to them. We may go next time. I have heard good things about them, so if you are ever in Seattle, they may be worth checking out (The Chihuly Glass Museum and MoPOP). I think you can buy a whole package for all three (including the Space Needle) at a discount too!

We walked around a bunch after the Space Needle. We ended up at “The Sphere” which is part of the Amazon headquarters. Basically they are giant glass domes filled with plants, meeting space, etc. They looked really cool and I would have loved to go in. I am pretty sure there are tours, but we were really worn out, so we were excited to get to our Airbnb to rest up for a bit.

Before checking into our Airbnb, we did stop by MooBar which is a bubble tea shop I follow on Instagram. I initially found them because they had corgi cups for the bubble tea, but those were gone well before we even got to Seattle. The shop was super cute and I love that they had reusable cups for the bubble tea!

We got an Uber to Capitol Hill where we were staying. Our Airbnb was in a perfect location by a bunch of restaurants, shops, and bars. We got settled and then went to the Great Wheel! It was a nice, clear night so I wanted to go on it while we had the chance. It was 14 dollars per person which is a bit pricey. I think 5-10 dollars would be a better price. We did get to go around 4 times instead of 3 which was nice. The view was really nice though, so I’d recommend at least going on it if it’s your first time in Seattle.

We were super hungry by the time we got off the Great Wheel. We grabbed a mac & cheese from Beecher’s Cheese. It was so yummy and I’m glad we ended up trying it. We ended the night with moscow mules at Rachel’s Ginger Beer. I heard a lot of good things about this place, so I really wanted to go. Plus, I love moscow mules. We both got “make your own mules.” I chose vodka with guava ginger beer and Connor went with tequila and pineapple ginger beer!

By the end of the day we were exhausted. We woke up super early that morning, so we figured we could call it a night! I will share more later this week on the rest of our trip!

goals, LIFE, TRAVEL

2019 Goals Update

I made a list of goals at the beginning of 2019. I shared it on my blog, on Instagram, and made my list my background on my phone. I am really inspired to meet my goals this year, so I thought updates every few months would be a fun way to measure progress, but also see where I am lacking! Here is my 3 month update! (See below for the background I have on my phone. I like to see my goals everyday).

1. Blog consistently: This has been ok so far. I tried setting up a more formal schedule. This works and doesn’t work for me. Some weeks I am not as inspired to write. Others I have something I could post everyday. I may try a bit more planning and even scheduling more posts out since that is something I don’t do often.

2. Visit New York City: I have a flight booked and I am so excited! I will be sure to do a recap of this trip after it happens. You will have to stay tuned for that! Also, leave any recommendations in the comments.

3. Start a podcast: I would say I am only a little further into this goal than I was when I made it. I have been trying to gauge what I want to talk about and what I want the overall theme of the podcast to be. I am thinking I want to have a bunch of guests or I want it to be more travel oriented. We will see! If you have any topic suggestions, let me know.

4. Travel to 3 new places. So far I have only been to one new place this year: Arizona. I cannot wait to go back sometime. Connor and I have a trip coming up that will be another new place for me! As well as the trip to New York City. I am definitely setting myself up to exceed this goal.

5. Learn to cook: I have mentioned this is a couple of posts. I had a week where I was cooking something new everyday. I made fancy ramen, experimented with different types of pasta dishes, and made vegan tacos. Lately, I feel like Connor and I have been so busy with work or we are out of town, so it hasn’t been my priority. I think we are going to try to cook something new this week though! It really is fun to try cooking new things. I always feel so proud of myself after since I have never been a super great cook.

FOOD, TRAVEL, weekend

Weekend Trip to Detroit

Happy Monday! Changing things up this week with a Monday post. Honestly, I was so tired yesterday when we got home from Detroit, so I knew this post would have to wait a day or two. Anyway, Connor and I ventured to Detroit, Michigan on Saturday morning. We got kind of a late start, but we had a hotel for that night, so it wasn’t a big deal. The drive to Detroit from Chicago is around 4 hours, so it wasn’t too long for a weekend trip!

We arrived in Detroit late afternoon. We drove around the city to get an overview of the downtown and some surrounding areas. We grabbed a coffee at Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company. I got a matcha and Connor got a Five Spice Latte. Both were yummy, and it seemed like a really nice coffee shop to work at or do homework. It was a decent size shop with a bunch of seating.

We stopped by our hotel (The Trumbell and Porter Hotel) to check in, and then headed to lunch. We decided on SLOWS BAR BQ. I am not typically a BBQ person, but we heard good things about it. There ended up being a vegetarian BBQ sandwich, so that was awesome. I love being able to try new things! I forget the name of Connor’s sandwich, but the bartender recommended it!

After SLOWS, we headed to the river walk. It was such a pretty day out. It was sunny out and relatively warm, so we knew we needed to enjoy the outdoors. We walked along the river down to the carousel and turned back. We saw so many dogs (shout out to Brandy the Newfoundland) and enjoyed the view of Canada across the river.

After our walk, we drove around a bit more to decide what to do next. We opted to head back to our hotel and Uber to get a couple of drinks. A friend recommended The Sugar House for cocktails, and it ended up being awesome. We each tried a couple of drinks, and then went to a late dinner. Since it was like 10pm (we had a super late lunch), we went to Johnny Noodle King to end our day. Of course, I was craving ramen, so that is how we ended up there. It really wasn’t that good, but it was the best option available. They did have a lot of choices on the menu, which I appreciated!

On Sunday, we made a couple stops on our way out of Detroit. First, we got brunch at The Dime Store. The wait was about 30 minutes, but I didn’t mind it. There were so many people waiting so I assumed that was a good sign. We got a perfect seat by the window which I loved– I had a great view of the neon sign (haha). I got the avocado/tomato breakfast sandwich with brussel sprouts. Connor got the corned beef hash. We both loved our meals, especially the brussel sprouts.

After breakfast, we drove about 20 minutes from downtown to The Detroit Cookie Company. This place was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to Detroit. I saw it on Instagram and it looked so cute. I was happy to see it was just as adorable in real life. The cookie selection was awesome– so many fun flavors. We got cookies with ingredients like peanut butter, coffee, toffee, cotton candy, raspberry, and more. The actual shop was so cute and decorated perfectly. I loved the mural outside too! And finally, the people who worked there were so kind!

*The girl working asked why we were in Detroit and how we liked it. We told her we had a really nice time and were surprised by how much there was to do. She also brought up how so many people have misconceptions about Detroit, and that more people should visit and give it a chance. I loved that because you really don’t know what a city is like until you visit. Places can change so much in 5 years, even just one!

The Detroit Cookie Company was our last stop. After I took lots of photos of the shop, we headed home. Connor and I are excited to go back in the summer or fall to experience more of what Detroit has to offer.

Have you been to Detroit? If so, what were your favorite things to do there? What other cities should Connor and I visit?

LIFE

Answering My Questions

I am following up my last post where I asked you questions with my own answers to my questions.

1. What are some of your hobbies?

Blogging and traveling. I feel like my hobbies are always changing, but these are two that I will hopefully always continue to do!

2. How long have you been blogging or reading blogs?

I have been blogging for almost 4 years. I have been reading them for about 5! I don’t even know how I got into blogging. I think I randomly decided to start one, but I’m so happy I did!

3. If you could only eat one thing everyday, what would it be?

I would say blueberries or rice with cottage cheese if I am eating at home, or ramen if I have to eat at a restaurant.

4. Favorite vacation spot?

I would say I like Miami the best for vacation. The weather is great, the drinks/food are delicious, and there are fun places to adventure to. I also feel like beaches are the ultimate vacation spot because I always associate beach vacations with relaxation.

5. Dream vacation spot?

Australia or Argentina. I feel like Australia is somewhere I would want to live. I watch so many people on YouTube who live in Australia and it looks awesome. Argentina has been at the top of my list since high school. We talked about it in Spanish class a lot, and that sparked my interest. Hopefully I will get to visit these places someday soon!

6. What is one thing that always makes you happy?

Podcasts– you are probably tired of hearing me go on about podcasts, but they have had such a positive impact on my life.

7. What is your go-to coffee/tea order?

I have a few different ones depending on where I go, but a matcha latte is my usual order! If I’m craving a coffee, I love to get a caramel latte with almond milk.

8. What is your biggest goal right now?

Starting a podcast is my biggest goal right now. I have a mic and ideas, I just need to get all the technical aspects figured out.

9. What motivates you the most?

Being happy and feeling proud of myself.

10. What is your favorite way to relax?

A yummy meal with Connor, my favorite face mask, and a TV show!

11. If you could move anywhere, where would you move?

I would move to Arizona or Utah. I would love to move out West to explore that part of the country more. I feel like nature is something I miss a lot because I live in a big city, so being out West would bring me closer to so many cool places!

12. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

This isn’t necessarily advice, but it’s something my science teacher told me in 7th grade. She told me the world was my oyster. I like to remember that I can do anything I set my mind to. Nothing is impossible and set backs should never keep me from chasing my dreams or reaching my goals. I feel like there are so many other pieces of advice and encouragement that I have received over the years. Maybe I will do a post on that some time!

FAVORITES, LIFE

Questions For You!!

I was thinking about this post while I was making a bagel for Connor today. I thought about how I always talk about my thoughts, my weekend, etc. in my blog posts. I would love to learn more about all of you, so I thought it would be fun to put some questions together for you to answer in the comments, or even in your own post!

1. What are some of your hobbies?

2. How long have you been blogging or reading blogs?

3. If you could only eat one thing everyday, what would it be?

4. Favorite vacation spot?

5. Dream vacation spot?

6. What is one thing that always makes you happy?

7. What is your go-to coffee/tea order?

8. What is your biggest goal right now?

9. What motivates you the most?

10. What is your favorite way to relax?

11. If you could move anywhere, where would you move?

12. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Feel free to answer all of the questions or some of the questions! I will share my answers in my next post.

Thanks for following along with all of my random posts– blogging is one of my favorite things that I do each week. I look forward to posting and reading all of your posts. I hope you all have the best day!

TRAVEL

Planning Summer Trips

Summer is when my job is the busiest, but I want to continue traveling and taking weekend road trips. Since it is freezing out and always snowing, I am thinking about the various trips I want to take. Connor and I look up flights every day or every few days, so we can plan ahead.

I imagine most of our travels this summer will be close enough for us to drive and will involve outdoor activities. We have put a lot of trip ideas on hold waiting for warmer weather. I don’t think either of us want to go hiking in the snow or freezing temperatures, so we opted to wait on those trips.

Here’s a brief list of places we are going/considering for some long weekends:

1. Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan

2. The Indiana Dunes

3. Garden of the Gods State Park in Illinois

4. New York City

5. Seattle, Washington

6. South Dakota

7. Denver, Colorado

8. Isle Royale National Park in Michigan

9. Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota

10. Indianapolis, Indiana to see family of course!

Not sure which we will end of venturing to, but most are a short drive from Chicago, so hopefully those will happen! Where is one place you want to visit this summer?