Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

San Francisco / Kauai – Photo tease

June 2, 2009

So I really want to get back to posting, but it’s been difficult with my work (OK, and non-work) schedule – both before and after this most recent trip.  Soon, I want to go back and do some full posts to share photos, info, and links, and answer important questions like:  Why Kauai 6 weeks after Maui?  Do I ever work?  Am I broke?  (Answers:  Once-in-a-lifetime family trip, Yes – too much, and Probably.)

In the meantime, a few pictures!  Way more to come. 

The Mint (in the Castro, San Francisco – Must.  Go.  Here.  Had a blast!):


Indulging my obsession with trying to take cool pictures from the plane (this one was, in fact, pretty cool – sunset over the Pacific on the flight to Kauai):

Uploads 3-4-09 076

Short, sunny hike on the way up to the Waimea Canyon in Kauai (picture is of my sister, Emily):

Uploads 3-4-09 103_color 

Spinner Dolphins (!):

Uploads 3-4-09 230

I could continue posting “favorite pictures” for hours.  There are many. 

Instead, I’m going to head to bed for my 7:30 AM MEETING START TIME – I know!  Inhumane.


Orange inspiration

April 26, 2009

I have color on the brain today, and I’m still anxiously awaiting my orange CB2 script lamp.  I was playing around with my travel photos and made a collage of the accent color I’m obsessing over for my second bedroom:  A perfect bright blood-orange.  




There’s my future script lamp right in the middle, surrounded by some of my photos from all over.

(clockwise from top left):  Me in Portland.  A Canadian post box outside of Vancouver.  The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Driving across the Golden Gate in San Francisco.  Flowers in Maui.  Sunset at Lumahai Beach on Kauai.  Parsons in NYC.  Whistler in the Summer. 


One of the reasons I love to travel…

April 17, 2009



…is that even when I’m stuck at home sick on my couch, there’s always something like this to remember. 

(And something even better to look forward to – even if I don’t know what that is yet!)


Photo: My sandy feet in Maui, just a short week ago

Road Trip 2007 Flashback #2

April 1, 2009

I’m continuing a few posts about my “moving road trip” to Seattle over Labor Day Weekend 2007.  The first one is here, and as always, I’m progressing a little more slowly than I thought. 

(I had been really wanting to bookmark these pictures for myself, so I decided to do this now – right as my brother’s moving to Seattle.  He actually arrived last Thursday, so of course that’s been keeping me busy!)

Leaving South Dakota / entering Wyoming

(Where the scenery got REALLY good)

img_0388One more from Badlands National Park

img_0413Mount Rushmore looks way smaller in person…

mtrushmore_close…because most pictures you see are close up like this one.

deadwoodSDDeadwood, South Dakota (you know, like Vegas, only…a cute town in South Dakota.  This picture pretty much shows it to you.  Kevin Costner made $20 off of us, thanks to each of us losing $10 at his casino.)

WYskyWyoming.  This photo is not photoshopped….and it was taken through the WINDSHIELD! 

Impossible not to be happy driving through this scenery.  It kind of makes you want to blast music and sing…which we definitely did!

Road Trip 2007 Flashback #1

March 26, 2009

So this week I decided I was going to take the opportunity to recap some memories from my cross-country road trip to Seattle, because my brother is currently making the same trip. 

But before I even had time to do another post, I found out that he is arriving tonight!?  Apparently our approaches differ when it comes to the cross-country road trip. 

My brother and uncle seem to be taking the very male “power through it” approach – they left yesterday early afternoon and drove in shifts through the night.  I’m sure they’re also calculating their gas mileage and discussing whether they’re making good time along the way.  And eating beef jerky…or something. 

My road trip with my mom, on the other hand, included things like books on tape, “the license plate game”, leisurely dinners, and every national park and tourist attraction within even remote distance of I-90 on the way out here…and lots of Diet Coke.  (And I would have taken another week if I could have!) 

Verbatim text exchange with my mom today:
   Bob and Jack are 100 miles west of billings mt.
Me:   they have gone a long way!!!
Mom: Yes they’re serious about arriving for the beer festival 🙂

(There is a beer festival at the Seattle Center on Saturday.  I vaguely remembered hearing about it, but my brother and uncle found it on their own, and they are pumped.)

On that note – I give you the touristy kitsch of central South Dakota: 


Mitchell Corn Palace (South Dakota) – It’s more like a gymnasium covered in corn husks.  You cannot make this stuff up.


Yes, that sign says population three hundred and ninety.


A tiny roadside “strip mall”


Wall Drug.  I don’t think I can even accurately explain this place…not so much a drugstore but a cheesy, touristy empire.

After we passed through the touristy stuff, we started getting into the true west and the mountains.  I’ll post more of that pretty soon, though probably after my brother arrives….

but here’s a preview with another picture from Badlands National Park (that’s my mom in the middle):



Closed the shop, sold the house, bought a ticket to the West Coast

March 25, 2009

Per his facebook status (and a text from my mom), I now have OFFICIAL confirmation that my brother is on his way to Seattle. 

Thinking about him packing up the car and heading west has me reminiscing about my drive over Labor Day weekend 2007, when my job transferred me from Cincinnati to Seattle.  I picked up my mom in Chicago and off we went for a 6-day, 2000-ish mile road trip that stands in my mind as one of my all-time favorite experiences.

I felt so many things at the time, but especially excitement.  Moving brings so many mixed emotions – the unknown, the sadness of leaving people and familiarity behind – but also the overwhelming possibilites held by someplace new.  Because Seattle was about as far away as I could get within the US (and because I barely knew anyone there), the whole thing felt pretty significant to me – and a few days on the road was a great way to take it all in.

Sure enough, this move has already meant a lot in my life, and I’m sure I don’t even know the half of it yet…. 

(Also, I can’t remember another time in my life when I was able to spend so much time one-on-one with my mom.  With three siblings, it just doesn’t usually work that way!)

So – this week, while Jack is on his way, it only feels right to post a few flashbacks to 2007!  Let the reminiscing begin…


(Badlands National Park, South Dakota)

I’ve always loved this picture because it captures the feeling of being the only car on the open road (which was the case at certain points of the trip).  Even though it’s some random car in the picture, it actually does look like my car!

Portland, one month later

March 24, 2009

I’m working on catching myself up here….a few highlights from my weekend in Portland in late February:

Our drive down was (nearly) this clear and sunny:



Stayed at the Westin in downtown Portland (I wanted to stay at The Nines but didn’t win that one).   Points scored for a free beer tasting in the lobby (below) which happened to be going on while we were checking in.


(from …my camera’s on the fritz so I didn’t get as many of my own photos as I’d like.)

After going to a sports bar around the corner (can’t recall the name), we cabbed it to the Rose Garden for the Trailblazers game.

Vantage point from my seat:


Apparently the Blazers are a hot ticket in Portland, so the game was sold out. and we had to scalp.

(I, of course, am always interested to see and critique the dance team…which I annoyingly do at every professional sporting event.  I can’t help it.  Too many years dancing and coaching.)

I did make it to Powell’s (per my stated plan going in to the weekend). 


It’s very easy to get a little lost there.  From the rare book room:


Look at the date on this – 1788 – and the price – $1200! 

Pearl District window shopping:


The Northwest District (specifically, a couple blocks of bars on NW 21st Avenue)  was the site of a pub crawl of sorts:  Gypsy (karaoke was going on, but we didn’t sing.  Bummer!), North 45, and a third one. 

Sunday Brunch at Mother’s – I loved this place….it may be worthy of a separate post.mothers

Biggest missed opportunity: Sales-tax-free shopping.  I need to go back to Portland for just this sort of trip.  Portland has so many fantastic boutiques, independent designers, home shops, and that sort of thing, and yet my purchases were limited to a coffee table book at Powell’s and a Christmas ornament (something I buy on every trip). 

On my list for next time:  Lots of (tax-free) shopping, Japanese Gardens, the Columbia River Gorge/Multnomah Falls, and probably some wineries and/or breweries.  Not that Portland wasn’t an amazing city for exactly what we did – walking around, eating, and drinking.  It’s so walkable and quirky.

I need to go back to this city.

Upcoming Travel: Portland, Oregon

February 18, 2009

A conversation today regarding my upcoming Portland trip: 
A:  What do you guys want to do during the day on Saturday? 
Me:  The number one place I want to go this weekend is Powell’s.  You know…the bookstore. 
S:  (laughs)  A bookstore?  That’s the #1 thing you want to do in Portland…?
Me:  It’s an entire city block of books.  It’s like a landmark.
S:  Whatever, Trep.
Me:  I guarantee it’s on a “Top 10 Things You Must Do In Portland” list somewhere.
B:  (Googling)  Here it is…#8 on this list. 
Me:  Thank you. 


Powell’s   Wiki

Yes, I am actually going to Portland this weekend, though I haven’t even unpacked from Whistler yet.  I feel like I’m on a permanent tour of the Pacific Northwest these days (not a bad thing). 

On that note – I really need to do my taxes.

Last minute dash (Whistler Edition)

February 13, 2009

The night before a trip usually becomes a screeching-halt collision.  I tend to come up with 10 things I need to do “before” packing, and then end up really just sitting on my couch with my laptop. 

Last night, I accomplished the following tasks that had nothing to do with packing for my trip:

  • Watched 2/3 of Juno (I fell asleep towards the end, as it was after 1 AM)
  • Watched the screen test special features of Juno
  • Decided it was time to do a first run at clearing out one of my storage cabinets in my office (I only got about half of it cleared out)
  • Caught up on my Reader
  • Swiffer-dusted every surface in my apartment

As a result, I only got about 5 hours of sleep and I’ve been running around packing and trying to finish work this morning.  Of course, now that I’ve finished most of that, I now have some time to sit and wait for my friends to arrive so we can finish loading the car and get on the road!  (If I could have planned it better…I definitely would have funneled this extra 30 minutes towards sleep!)

Even with the craziness and the effort it takes to get out – it is always, always worth it!  I’ll be back on Monday with pictures (and probably two very tired legs).

Whistler Lodging Update!

February 7, 2009

There was a moment yesterday when I thought for sure that the Whistler trip was dead. 

As of yesterday morning, there was still no lodging booked.  I had heard some rumors that the hotels are sold out, prices have skyrocketed, it’s too late…(even though the entire ski industry seems to be pretty slow this year, judging from the number of last-minute email offers I’m getting). 

But, as things do, it all worked itself out yesterday afternoon.  I randomly tried the phone number to one more rental, thinking it might be our last hope, and it ended up working out pretty perfectly.  I have to scan/email some paperwork tomorrow, but once that is done, we’re set to stay here:



We’re renting a townhouse in the Montebello development of Whistler that houses 8 people.  We got a great deal compared to usual Presidents’ Weekend rates (it works out to just over $80/night/person after deposit), and the place is in a great location close to the main Whistler Village and walkable to ski lifts.  I found this place listed on Vacation Rentals By Owner, which linked to the owner’s separate travel website.
View Larger Map

We leave on Friday, February 13th (yes, that is in one week!), ski Saturday and Sunday, and drive back to Seattle on Monday. 

(For the record, I don’t recommend waiting this long to book a ski place for a holiday weekend.  I’m pretty sure this is the last rental in a good location to be found there, so luck was on our side.)

Bring on the snow and the hot tub!  I can’t wait.