Wednesday, June 19, 2013

California Adventure – Part 1: Seattle

This June, AJ and I had the opportunity to take our first trip together since before Kai was born so we decided to go big and do 2 weeks in California! We planned a jam-packed trip that would let us see nearly everything Cali has to offer - the road trip of a lifetime.

This is my calendar for the trip and a folder of documents,
passes and maps. I also used the iPhone app TripDeck that held
confirmation numbers, addresses and an agenda.

If status updates on Facebook just aren't enough for you, get ready for a comprehensive, 5-part view into our trip. You'll feel like you were there.


We left right from work on Thursday, dropped Kai off at Grandma & Grandpa's and continued to our hotel in Buffalo. We managed to find the wrong Red Roof Inn at first, but eventually made it and tried to sleep despite our excitement.

An early flight got us to Seattle by late morning to spend a few days with my brother, his wife and his new baby. After some snuggles with baby Oliver, Brett took us around town to see some sites – the Freemont Bridge Troll, Gasworks Park, Kerry View Park and Golden Gardens Beach.

My adorable nephew Oliver

The Freemont Bridge Troll

Kerry View Park – this would be Fraser's view

Brother and sister at the beach

Brett also took us to Chocolati, a little cafe, for chocolate frappuccinos and then we enjoyed some bottomless fries at Red Robin for dinner before calling it a night.

The next day we headed downtown to Pike Place Market where AJ got to enjoy some famous clam chowder.

Pike Place Market

I keep seeing this place in marketing and corporate culture
videos – these guys do a lot of shouting and throw their
fish across the market, it's pretty fun.

The famous gum wall. And before you throw up, I chewed
that piece of gum myself, stuck it to the wall and very carefully
stuck my tongue out.

The view from the giant Ferris Wheel

AJ was excited for the original Starbucks

We did a quick stop by the Space Needle for a few pics, but didn't go up and then picked up an incredible BBQ dinner from this little restaurant – pulled pork, beef brisket and amazing deep fried mac & cheese balls. *drool*

Space Needle
On our last day, we visited my brother's church, Mars Hill. These guys have 5 campuses in Seattle alone. Before we left, Brett insisted we try the best ice cream he's ever had at Molly Moon's. I have to say, it didn't disappoint. I had vegan coconut, which so doesn't sound like me, but it was delish.

Ice cream at Molly Moon's

We said goodbye in the afternoon, with lots more trip to go. It was so great to see Brett and Gretyl and finally get to meet Oliver in person!

Our flight had a stop in Phoenix just in time for dinner. We ate at a little Mexican restaurant called Blanco Tacos & Tequila with fantastic food, especially for an airport. Even cooler, they had family-style seating – one long table and you sit beside some random people. We ended up with a girl about our age from Idaho who works as a veterinarian but wishes she could be a marine biologist. We had a good conversation and she suggested we visit her alma mater in Santa Cruz to climb this huge tree, at which AJ's ears perked up. We did go there, but you'll get that story later.

We flew into San Diego at about 10pm Pacific time and drove straight up to Mission Viejo, about an hour and a half away to stay with our friends Shoubert and Paula.

Continue to Part 2: Orange County and LA.


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