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.

bucket list, Cache Valley, campfire, Camping, cheap, Dates, Family, fun, Summer

Cache Valley Bucket List: Bonfire at Second Dam

Where: Logan Canyon, Second Dam

When: Late spring, summer, early fall

Cost: Free

Is there anything that says summer more than a campfire? Campfires are always some of my summer highlights. I’ve done fires at second dam a number of times, and it’s always enjoyable. Roast hot dogs and marshmallows, enjoy tinfoil dinners, bring a guitar to sing songs, and tell stories with friends and family for an enjoyable evening.

Pros:

  • No cost
  • Fires on the edge of the water
  • Picnic tables available

Cons:

  • No camping
  • Fire pits close together, and you might have noisy neighbors

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Beef, Camping, Potatoes, Summer, Tinfoil Dinner

We Love Camping!

I have always loved to go camping. We went camping as a family quite often growing up, and I was relieved to find  when I married Tyler, that he was the same. We went camping together for the first time and had a blast! As I thought about what we should do for dinner (I’m not a big fan of hot dogs), my mind immediately went to tinfoil dinners.

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Tinfoil dinners were the special dinners we always had when we went on big camping trips. What’s extra great about them (besides being delicious) is that it’s easy for everyone to personalize their own with sauces, spices, and veggies.

Lay out a nice, large, cookie-sheet sized piece of tinfoil, and start constructing! Try to keep your ingredients as close to the center as possible. I always put the meat and potatoes down first.

Staple ingredients are:

  • Hamburger or chicken
  • Potatoes, sliced
  • Carrots, sliced
  • Diced/julienne onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • A sauce of some kind: tomato soup, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, BBQ (mix and match as desired)

From there on out, you pick! We enjoy adding corn, peppers, and squash for extra veggies. Some good spices are garlic, season salt, and cayenne pepper for those who like it hot. Ketchup, ranch, cheese, and hot sauce are other things I’ve tried and enjoyed. Wrap securely in tinfoil.

Now it’s time to go camping! You may want to transport your dinners in a cooler if it’s going to be a bit before you eat.

Get your fire built up nice and hot. Once some good logs have burned to be charred through, you can start cooking. Find a toasty spot to place your dinner, surrounded by coals (be careful…we use a long pair of tongs to handle our dinners). And then you wait.

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Meals can take up to and hour to cook, depending on their size, but we check ours around 40 minutes. If you precook your meat, potatoes, and carrots, cook time will go much faster, as your food only needs to heat up.

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You’ll know they’re done when the meat is cooked thoroughly and the potatoes and carrots are soft.

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