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, 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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cheap, Dates, Family, fun

Cheap, Fun Dates Anyone Can Do

  1. Geocaching
  2. Penny Wishes: get a roll of pennies and go to a nearby lake/river/pond/fountain. Take turns throwing pennies into the water. With every penny, name a life goal or wish.
  3. Cook a new food together
  4. Bake cookies and take them to neighbors or family
  5. “Camping”: Set out sleeping bags on your floor. Roast marshmallows over the stove and make s’mores. Tell scary stories. Sing camp songs. Play nature sounds in the back ground.
  6. Really build a campfire and roast hot dogs
  7. Be tourists in your hometown
  8. Find the best climbing trees
  9. Attempt to make a movie
  10. Mock photo shoot
  11. Movie night, complete with popcorn
  12. Find a DIY project to improve his/her/your home and do together
  13. Visit the local farmer’s market
  14. Visit nearby family, especially elderly members.
  15. Do a memory session and record the two of you talking about how you met, dates you went on, your first kiss, etc.
  16. Take a series of photos containing a pair of shoes that document a day in the life of an invisible man
  17. Go sledding
  18. Build a snowman
  19. Have a snowball fight
  20. Build an igloo
  21. Make homemade pasta
  22. Do family history together
  23. Go on a run
  24. Play tennis
  25. Go rock climbing
  26. Go swimming
  27. Go hiking
  28. Feed ducks at a park
  29. Go to a hay/corn maze
  30. Visit an animal shelter
  31. Go to a local college or high school ball game
  32. Tour a local factory
  33. Go to an art or history museum (watch for discount or free days)
  34. Have your date try teach you how to do something they love
  35. Try to teach your date how to do something you love
  36. Paint Twister
  37. Go bowling
  38. Go miniature golfing
  39. Go to a “cheap seats” theater
  40. Go fishing
  41. Leave inspirational sidewalk chalk messages for passerbys
  42. Write a story together
  43. Try a new skill neither of you have
  44. Go for a bike ride
  45. Break out your old journals and share excerpts
  46. Go through old family photos
  47. Play hide and seek in a grocery store
  48. Go on a walk
  49. Watch a sunset from somewhere high up
  50. Watch a sunrise, then make breakfast together
  51. Go to a drive in movie
  52. Build the most epic blanket fort
  53. Make homemade donuts
  54. Have a paper airplane contest
  55. Get ice cream and just TALK
  56. Visit a bookstore or library. Read children’s books. Leave notes in your favorite novels
  57. Have some sort of movie/TV show marathon
  58. Read a book out loud together
  59. Go to a haunted house
  60. Find out where in your town they hold swing dancing nights and go

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bucket list, Cache Valley, cheap, Dates, Easy, exercise, Family

Cache Valley Bucket List: Wind Caves

Where: Logan Canyon, just past 3rd Dam

When: Anytime the canyon isn’t in snow! Saturday mornings tend to draw lots of people, especially if the weather is nice.

Description: 3.8 miles round trip, and it climbs almost 1000 feet on the way up. The hike up takes about an hour, but the hike back down the mountain goes about twice as quick.

You will sweat on this hike. You will become short of breath, but it is very doable (we saw plenty of families with small children). And the view from the top is beautiful!

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bucket list, Cache Valley, Dates, Desserts, Family, ice cream

Cache Valley Bucket List: Clean the Sink at Angie’s

Where: Angie’s on Main Street in Logan

Cost: 12.99

I will confess, I have done this three times now. It’s ice cream, my favorite thing!

You go in to Angie’s. They’ll seat you and give you menus, but you just tell them you’re cleaning the sink and they understand.

The sink comes with lots of vanilla ice cream, two bananas, tons of whipped cream, and a cherry on top. You also get to choose three additional toppings. My favorite combination is chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, and oreos.

The sink can take anywhere from 2 to 6 people to finish it. I guess if you’re really ambitious you could finish it yourself! 😉 I’ve done it with 4 people, 5 people, and 6 people, and finished it every time, as well as felt stuffed every time.

This is one of those classic “you have to do this if you live in Logan” kind of things.

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animals, bucket list, Cache Valley, cheap, Dates, Family, fun

Cache Valley Bucket List: Feed the Ducks at First Dam

Call me a child, but this is one of my very favorite things to do.

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First Dam, or Canyon Entrance Park, is the first of three dams on the Logan River as it winds through Logan Canyon. It’s an extremely popular spot for families, groups of friends, and fisherman, especially on sunny days, Canoes and kayaks frequent the surface of the water and picnics dot the grassy banks. My favorite part, though, are the ducks.

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A wide variety of waterfowl populate First Dam and they are always eager for a snack. Bring lots of old bread crusts and watch every bird in the area flock to you, honking and quacking to win your affection and your bread.

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Tyler and I have done this a handful of times now and started naming the birds we recognize every time. Tiny is a little bitty female mallard. Mohawk is a black and white duck who has a unique spray of untidy feathers sticking up on top of his head. Pigeon is the pretty dappled grey duck with the green beak. Fatty is probably our favorite – she’s the only one who will consistently eat out of your hand, and consequently she’s a lot bigger than the rest of the ducks.

I would highly recommend taking even just a half hour to stroll first dam and feed the ducks.