I know it's early but...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I know it might be a little early to start planning... but I'm doing it anyways! And for those that know me well [or even at all] know that I tend to get overly excited about things... :)

We have 34 days until our Chicago trip and here's what it's looking like so far:

Thursday: Arrival! Deep Dish Pizzas at Giordanos! There is one near the airport Luke's parents are going to take us to after we grab all our bags and leave the airport. Then home to Luke's parents house in Indiana.

Friday: This is the day where Luke and I are going to wander around Chicago! We have a full day booked of riding around on the train, going on a boat tour of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, going to this super crazy, scary glass box 103 stories in the sky and Millennium Park.

Saturday: We will be visiting the friendly confines for a Cubbies game! Thanks to some wonderful people [my counterpart at the Cubs] we [Luke, his mom, his dad and myself] get to venture down to the field for some photos and tour around the ballpark! This day is going to be so much fun - I am already craving an Old Style and a Chicago Dog!

Sunday: We are off to Six Flags Great America. This will be my first time riding scary roller coasters - I'm beyond excited! Part of Six Flags also includes Hurricane Harbor, an awesome water park... Cross your fingers for good weather!

Monday: Boating on Lake Michigan!

So, it hardly sounds like a vacation because we are busy the entire time - But I can't wait!

Coming in September!

Friday, July 23, 2010

I can't wait for THIS! Kate Spade [my fav!] has a new perfume, Twirl, debuting in September.

...introducing a sneak peek at twirl by kate spade new york...

we've infused our celebratory new fragrance with a dash of joie de vivre- perfect for colorful days and cocktail soirees.

captivating day-to-night fragrance pink watermelon mingles with blackberry and red currant enhanced with a heart of fresh flowers including orange blossom, star jasmine, tiare flower and sweet magnolia finished with luminous musks and a touch of french macaron (straight from the patisserie, of course)...

Sounds delish!

Portland tops the list again

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Portland is on the Top 10 of so many lists (breakfast joints, budget travel, best beers, friendliest people, town people want to move to, physically fit residents, etc...). Portland is such a great little town, sometimes I forget how unique this place is.

I came across this article today that lists Portland as the #1 place in the world for Street Food! When I lived in Portland there were a good handful of food carts but it's nothing like it is today. There are everywhere & all over the city. Here is a link to the Food Cart website!

Happy Eating!
Enjoy! :)

Best boyfriend ever? Yes!

Luke surprised me at work with my most favorite flowers in the world!

Happy National Macaroni Day

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

That's right! It's National Macaroni Day. Check out this website for other food holidays throughout the year...

In honor of this day I think I am going to make my most favorite Mac 'n' Cheese tonight [thanks to the Barefoot Contessa for such a wonderful recipe!] She [Ina Garten] is one of my favorite chefs [along with Bobby Flay, Giada DeLaurentiis and Guy Fieri of course].

Happy Mac 'n' Cheese, everyone!

Countdown to Chi-Town

Thursday, July 8, 2010

exactly 0 years, 1 months and 25 days.

exactly 56 days.

approximately 1,344 hours.

approximately 80,640 minutes.

approximately 4,838,400 seconds.

Excited much? YES!

Luke and I are taking a trip to Chicago and Indiana! He was born and raised in Indiana and started his career in Chicago before moving out to Portland 5 years ago. This September, we're going to visit his family [and the city]! I love having a trip to look forward to! After we got back from San Francisco I started getting excited about Chicago.

Since I wont be able to live out my dream of moving every 5 years or so to a new city [it's just not that realistic...] Luke promised that we can go to AT LEAST one new place a year and explore! That makes me feel a little better :)

[some places that are next on my list after Chicago are: Kansas City (my dear friend Katie lives here), Hawaii (duh!), Charleston, SC (this places just looks awesome), ok so I haven't got that far on the vacation dreaming yet... But I'm sure I'll think of some other new places that I'll want to visit!]

I left my heart in San Francisco...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thursday night
I left work and made my way down to Portland!. We left super late [or was it super early?] to drive down to San Francisco! I packed a lot of snacks [club crackers, easy cheese, veggie chips, gardetto mix, beef jerky, energy bars, Gatorade and gum] Wow - that's a lot of food!

Friday [drive]
Luke drove the entire length of Oregon [I took an hour nap sometime during this part]. I switched over and started driving in California [while Luke took a one hour nap, too!]. When we were about 100 miles from SF I decided that I NEEDED more sleep - so we pulled over and slept for a few hours at a rest stop. After the hot sun woke us up, we finished our drive into the city, arriving at approx. 11:30am!

Friday [we're there!]
We arrived in San Francisco starving, so I took Luke to In N-Out at Fisherman's Wharf [did I mention this is Luke's FIRST In N-Out experience??]. We proceed to find our parking garage and then get a quick [and scary] ride to our hotel. After we check into our smallest [but super cute] hotel room ever - we're out to explore San Francisco via the MUNI. We ventured over to Alamo Square to see the Painted Ladies and walked up to Haight-Ashbury to see some hippies and to the Golden Gate Park. The Golden Gate park is so HUGE that we were only able to see a fraction of it before our feet were killing us! As we were leaving the park to catch a bus back to Union Square we stumbled across a really cute restaurant [p.s. SF is FULL of the best restaurants... every time I saw one I liked, the next was looked even better - I lost count of all the places I wanted to try!] We looked at their menu [most are posted outside] grabbed one to take with us and went back to the hotel. We noticed they had a location in another area that we wanted to check out [Marina Dist.] so we took showers - got dressed up - then hoped back on the MUNI to the Marina Dist.

OK - so this place was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. We started out with the shrimp civiche a glass of wine (me) and a beer (luke). I got coconut shrimp (with chili sauce & rice with pineapple salsa). Luke got a mahi mahi rice bowl (with asparagus, mushrooms, bok choy and pineapple salsa). It was so yummy and so reasonably priced. I was already making plans to come back to this place. It was just so fresh and delicious. I think Portland or Seattle needs this place! ;)

It's now time to head back to our hotel (via a quick drink at the Union Square Sports Grill). Day 1 = Success! :)

We tried to grab breakfast, but failed because the line was too long :( Instead, we drove up to Twin Peaks for a quick city view, dropped off a package for my mom's relative that lives nearby in the Noe Valley then hoped on the 280 down to Santa Cruz for some beach and boardwalk time! As we were driving down 280 we saw an exit for Palo Alto and decided to go wander around the Stanford campus [it's beautiful by the way...] and then drove to downtown Palo Alto for a quick lunch at Pizza My Heart. After successfully getting ourselves lost, we found our way back to the interstate and down to Santa Cruz.

We get back to San Francisco - get ready to go out - then take the BART to the Mission District to meet my friend Matt at the Velvet Cantina. It's cool to see Matt because the last time I saw him was 4 years ago! After a few pitchers of [very yummy] watermelon margaritas and [even more yummy] food - we head over to the Make Out Room [which sucks] then venture over to East West in the Marina for a late night dance party! After our bus failed us [guess it's not that reliable at 2am] we hailed a cab and had the most "adventurous" cab ride back to the hotel! We were going about 40-50mph up and down hills and around corners. If we were really drunk we would've been so sick! Thank goodness we both survived!

This day was so much fun! Great sights, great food, great company :) Day 2 = SUCCESS! :)

This is our last day in the city [whomp whomp]. We wake up and attempt to catch breakfast [another fail] Every morning the lines are just too ridiculously long and we don't want to waste or limited time in lines. We eventually wander downtown and catch the streetcar to Fisherman's Wharf/Ghirardelli Square and find some souvenirs. We make a quick uphill walk to Lombard Street [aka Crooked Street] then head back down the wharf to Pier 39 to catch a bay cruise of the bay. We were looking forward to this cruise - but it turned out to be awful bay weather [wild winds and freezing salt water]. The cruise had amazing views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge - we snapped some great photos then headed back to the Pier for some fish and shrimp tacos [yummmm!]

This day was a little more chilly than the other days so we go back to the hotel and change [I take a quick and much needed nap] then we're back on the MUNI to Fisherman's Wharf/Ghirardelli Square to get some ice cream and watch the fireworks. Apparently everyone else in San Francisco had this same idea... There were TONS of people which made for a rough time trying to get out of there. Our only option ended up being a long, hilly walk back to the hotel. Don't even get us started on the bus/cab situation! We arrive back at the hotel [via the footmobile] about 2-3 hours after the fireworks had ended and all we want to do is pass out.

Day 3 = This city is wearing us out!

This is the day that we drive home :( We stopped at Little Skillet - but of course it was closed. Breakfast had officially failed us every single day this trip! We walked over to AT&T Park to get a few photos [too bad they were outta town] then drove over the foggy Golden Gate Bridge back to the NW... Vacation is over :(

What a fun trip, huh?! I look forward to the next time we go back to San Francisco [might fly instead of drive because it's soooo easy to get around there without a car!]. Next time we wont have to do all of the tourist attractions and we can focus more on local attractions. AND try all the wonderful restaurants we saw all over the city!