activities, adventure, Family, fun, Seattle, Summer, travel, Uncategorized, Washington, zoo

Seattle, Washington

Two weeks ago today, right now, I was on top of the Space Needle in Seattle. I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks!

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Tyler and I took our 1 year anniversary/Tyler’s graduation trip to the Pacific Northwest. We left the day after his graduation and one day before our anniversary. We were gone for 9 days. It was a BLAST. We started in Seattle.

We arrived to Seattle Sunday night, May 8, to our little “Cabin in the City” we found via Airbnb, which I’m just going to pitch for right now. Use Airbnb on your trips, guys. Our little rental was a cabin behind someone’s home, and it was so cute and cozy and the renters were so nice and helpful.

The next day, May 9, was our first anniversary!!!!! I can’t hardly believe we’ve been married a year! Then again, I also can’t believe it’s only been a year. Regardless, it’s been the best year 🙂

We breakfasted at Beth’s Cafe, as featured on Man v. Food for their ENORMOUS omelettes. It was delicious. They serve mounding plates of food and bottomless hash browns…need I say more?!

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Our first day in Seattle was our “Animal Day.” We hit up the Woodland Park Zoo first, which we enjoyed not only for some unique and/or endangered animals (ocelots, red pandas, golden lion tamarins, etc), but also I loved the vegetation they used to plan the park! We spent 3 and 1/2 hours exploring the park before heading over to the waterfront to give the Seattle Aquarium a visit.

The Seattle Aquarium is a little small, but very cool! Mine personal favorite part was the harbor seals. We got there around 2 in time to see the keepers feed them and they had the seals do some tricks. We also had a lot of fun with the touch pools, the underwater dome, and the jellyfish ring.

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We ended our day at Pike’s Place Market. Can’t do a Seattle trip and not give Pike’s Place a visit! Because it was our anniversary, Tyler bought me one of those big, lovely bouquets of flowers. So pretty.

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We also found this most delicious bakery called Piroshky Piroshky, and couldn’t ignore the mouthwatering smells and line of people pouring out the door. I think I could’ve eaten every single thing they were selling. (Pro Tip: in the afternoons, I think around 4, they have “happy hour” where all their pastries go on sale for 3 dollars each!).

All in all, despite our difficulty navigating the completely nonsensical streets of Seattle, it was a great first day (and a great anniversary 🙂 )

Our second day was (mostly) centered around the Space Needle. We started with the EMP Center (Experience Music Project), which Tyler really wanted to go to but I wasn’t too enthused about. Except it turned out to be really cool! Easily the best part was the three “genre” exhibits: sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Each exhibit was uniquely designed to fit the theme. For example, the sci-fi exhibit felt like we were on a spaceship and the fantasy one featured castle-like and forest features. We had a ton of fun exploring everything and, of course, jamming on the instruments on the top floor in one of the recording rooms.

Next we visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. Absolutely beautiful! Also, definitely talk to the curators standing around! Tyler asked one of them a question and we learned A LOT about the exhibits because of it. But really, the glass is just stunning, and my pictures do it no justice.

And then, of course, we paid the top of the Space Needle a visit. It was an (unseasonably) beautiful day, which is perfect for being atop the Needle. You could see Mt. Ranier!

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I thought it was a great idea, too, that they had binoculars and telescopes up top as well.

Our last Seattle venture was to tour University of Washington’s campus. I have a friend who is a student there, so it was REALLY fun to see her and she gave us a tour of campus and escorted us to THE pizza place for thin crust pizza lovers, Mod Pizza. My pizza had ricotta cheese and asparagus (among other things) on it, and I felt very fancy (haha).

UW’s big draw (at least for the geeks among us, like me) is what they call their “Harry Potter Study Room,” which is a GIANT hall that literally looks like the Great Hall. I mean, how cool is this?!

And thus concludes our Seattle trip! But not the end of our week-long trip. Oh no. We visited my old hometown of Tumwater/Tenino near Olympia, and then Ocean Shores. Then Olympic National Forest. And then Portland.

activities, adventure, animals, Dates, Family, Uncategorized, Utah

Living Planet Aquarium

For the last weekend before school started again, Tyler and I wanted to do something fun and exciting and adventurous! We actually debated an epic-ly short road trip to Disneyland, but our practicality won out (stupid practicality).

Instead, we made a much shorter trip to Draper, Utah to visit the fairly new Living Planet Aquarium, and we had a WHALE of a time! (cue bad aquatic puns).

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Photo Credit: Deseret News

Admission is 14.95 for students (17.95 regular price), which I thought was reasonable.

We started first with the “Journey to South America” exhibit, which was a giant multi-level jungle-y room full of free-flying birds! It was so warm and humid, my camera lens kept fogging up. We got to see the parrot and the macaw up really close. The toucans were caged in, and they were LOUD. There was also a “river” running through the bottom with lots of different fish and turtles. Featured along the walls in their glass habitats were bugs, reptiles, and amphibians. And everyone wanted a turn walking across the rope bridge.

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Next, we headed for the “Antarctic Adventure.” The star of that, of course. were the penguins. There were windows to view them both above and below. The below window curved inward to the tank, so that you *almost* felt immersed in the water with the penguins. I honestly could have spent quite a long time there.

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“Discover Utah” was our third stop. As could be expected, this exhibit featured wildlife native to Utah, including otters, scorpions, snakes, frogs, ducks, fish, and the like. The otter habitat had a little glass box you could pop your head into. It was really good the day we went because two of the otters were sleeping right up against that glass.

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The final exhibit was “Ocean Explorer.” Featuring touch pools and a shark tunnel, this one, I would guess, is a favorite. Sea urchins, harmless rays, starfish, and other small aquatic animals were available for “petting.” I will say that the tunnel was very cool. It wasn’t particularly large, but it was cool to watch the sharks, fish, rays, and sea turtles (they had sea turtles!) swim all around you. Lots of people just sat in this tunnel, and I did too for a bit.

We spent a little over 2 hours exploring the aquarium, and I probably could have stayed longer, though I’m pretty sure 2 hours was perfect for Tyler.

All in all, a very pretty, interesting, and exciting aquarium. For an animal lover  like myself, it was pretty great.

A new exhibit, “Expedition Asia,” is expected to be added sometime this year, and I will for sure be returning to check it out!

activities, adventure, bucket list, Cache Valley, Dates, microadventures, travel

Microadventures

A couple weeks ago, Tyler and I were making the long drive home from Boise, ID to Logan, UT. Tyler says that this four hour stretch of road is “the worst drive ever.”

“Nothing changes,” he said. “We go over a hill, and then it’s like we’re still in the same place.”

So, because he had to drive this horribly dull road, I let him listen to whatever he wanted. So he could stay awake.

We listened to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on audio book for a while, but eventually he needed a change. Tyler is big into podcasts, so that’s what we listened to next. At the time, he was in the middle of a series called “The Art of Manliness,” which, I’ll admit, wasn’t high on my list of what I wanted.

However, the particular episode we listened to on that long, monotonous drive was titled “Microadventures,” and I was intrigued through the whole thing.

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The idea of microadventures is to find a small kind of adventure near you that you can take a weekend or a day or even an evening to “get away.” Things like hikes or one-night camping trips or exploring your city.

I loved it. I frequently suffer from the travel bug but, considering I’m working and going to school and nearly always busy (and poor), I can’t indulge it by flying to Europe or taking a cross-country road trip.I can, however, take a few hours to explore the world immediately around me. It may not be super exotic , but it helps to soothe my vagabond fantasies.

Another important aspect of microadventures is the removal of yourself from technology. How can you expect to take a vacation, however small, if you remain attached to your email or Facebook ? In a world where we are in constant contact with internet and distracted by Netflix and Twitter and apps on our phones, it is important to totally break from that, and microadventures allow for the perfect opportunity.

So go out! Find an adventure near you. It doesn’t have to be elaborate.

For a list of microadventures in Cache Valley, click here.

For a list of microadventures to do with your significant other, click here.

Other microadventures, click here.

activities, bucket list, Cache Valley, cheap, Dates, Family, hiking

Crimson Trail

Where: Logan Canyon, Spring Hollow Campground

When: Anytime the canyon isn’t in snow! Saturday mornings tend to draw lots of people, especially if the weather is nice. Fall is a particularly nice time to hike and see Logan’s autumn colors.

Description: 3 miles one way, then about a mile loop back on the Riverside Nature Trail to Spring Hollow. The trail climbs 1000 feet to the top of Logan Canyon’s China Wall.

This hike is a little harder than the Wind Caves. Be sure to take along water bottles and maybe some granola bars. Small children not recommended, but younger kids should be just fine.

This is my FAVORITE hike. The views are spectacular! Be sure to have a camera on hand so you can take some epic picture.

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activities, adventure, bucket list, Cache Valley, Camping, cheap, Dates, Family, Logan, travel, Utah

Cache Valley Bucket List

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I always thought I’d be a Utah girl. I never wanted to stay in Washington, where I grew up, or Idaho, where my family moved when I was a senior in high school. I had my sights on escaping to Utah for college. Of course, I thought I was going to Provo to attend BYU. To make a long story short, that didn’t happen, and I ended up attending USU in Logan.

I’ve been living in Logan, UT for two years now and I love it here! It’s such a beautiful place. I love the four distinct seasons, all the trees, the mountains, and the charm of a college town. I don’t know if I’ll stick around permanently, but with a year and a half of school left, I know I’ll be here for a couple more years to finish.

Dwelling on these next couple years to come, I feel like I’m not living Logan’s full potential. I’ve lived in Logan for two years and I haven’t even visited, like, 80 percent of the shops on Main Street. I haven’t been camping or canoeing. I’ve never even attended a USU football game *gasp*.

After he gets off work in the evenings, my husband and I often try to come up with things to do, and we’re slowly coming to realize there is so much to do in this lovely area! So I decided to make a list, a Cache Valley Bucket list, and attempt all of these things over the next year. Every time I try something, I’ll post about it. I’m excited to begin the adventure of exploring Logan!

*Note: a couple of items aren’t technically Cache Valley, but I included them anyway, because they were near and popular 🙂

Cache Valley Bucket List

  1. Tour Aggie Ice Cream
  2. Clean the Sink at Angie’s
  3. Logan Aquatic Center
  4. Browse the shops on Main Street
  5. USU football game
  6. USU basketball game
  7. Breakfast at Herm’s Inn
  8. Sled Old Main Hill
  9. Feed the Ducks at First Dam
  10. Hike the Wind Caves
  11. Take epic pictures hiking Crimson Trail
  12. Rock climb
  13. Canoe/Kayak/Float Logan River
  14. Bear Lake day trip
  15. Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art on USU campus
  16. USU Museum of Anthropology
  17. Camp anywhere!
  18. Bonfire at Second Dam
  19. Corn Maze (Little Bear Bottoms or American West Heritage Center)
  20. Baby Animal Days
  21. Pumpkin Walk
  22. Logan Tabernacle tour and Family History Center
  23. Willow Park Zoo
  24. Summerfest Art’s Faire
  25. Drive Logan Canyon in the fall
  26. Jardine Juniper Tree hike
  27. Hike Logan Mountain
  28. Follow the May Swenson Poetry Path
  29. Attend an event in the Ellen Eccles Theater
  30. Attend the Pickleville Playhouse
  31. Attend a USU production
  32. Eccles Ice Center
  33. Country Swing Dancing
  34. Crystal Hot Springs
  35. Any one of Logan’s numerous 5ks or 10ks
  36. Bluebird Candy Factory and Restaurant
  37. River trail/Stokes Nature Center
  38. Become a True Aggie 😉
  39. Gosner’s Factory
  40. USU 3rd of July firework show
  41. Attempt a 36″ pizza at Firehouse Pizzeria
  42. Pepperidge Farm Factory
  43. Fried ice cream at Cafe Sabor in the old train station
  44. Hike the Wellsvilles
  45. Fish in the Logan River
  46. Logan Holiday Gift Show
  47. Logan Institute Choir Christmas/End of school year concert
  48. Gardener’s Market
  49. Participate in Relay for Life held in USU’s fieldhouse
  50. Jump in First Dam…at night…

Thanks to: The Dancing Cow blog, Cache Valley Visitors Bureau, and Nothing to Do in Logan for ideas. Check them out!