A Classic Roman Holiday for the Modern Traveler

A couple weeks back I had the amazing honor of being published on The College Tourist!  For several weeks we have been writing blog entries at work – yes, I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to call doing something I love “work”.   The boss-man submitted it to The College Tourist for me, and the next thing I knew it was up on display for their thousands of readers to see!

Since it’s on our favorite topic (Rome, of course) and co-starring our favorite person (Audrey, of course), I couldn’t resist a little humble brag and a chance to share the link.

Click here to head over to The College Tourist to read my article – Enjoy!!

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An Evening Sail on Puget Sound

As the coworkers and I were leaving the office Friday night our phones lit up with the message “Heading out sailing on the nicest boat in the fleet – be ready in two minutes?”  Generally I like a little time to plan ahead, get the perfect outfit ready, you know the drill – but with an offer like that who can resist.

(sorry in advance for filling this post with more grainy iPhone photos … going home to pick up the fancy camera was out of the question on such short notice!)

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It was the perfect night for a sail.  The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and the boat was a dream!

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 El Capitan even allowed Glenn and I to take a whirl at sailing.  Check that one off the bucket list.

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With another glorious sunset on our hands we made our way into shore, docked our total babe of a boat, and dove into some delicious deserts courtesy of our fellow sailors.  To say it’s going to be tough to head back to Indiana would be the understatement of the century.

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Seattle, you’re a stunner! 

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Adventures in Winter Park

In the last two months I am pretty sure I’ve seen more of the United States than I’ve seen in my whole life up until now.  Between the cross country road trip, weekends in the Pacific Northwest, and an amazing wedding in Colorado exploring new parts of the US has been the theme of my summer.

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For the Fourth of July weekend I was so lucky to get over to Winter Park, Colorado for the wedding of one of our oldest and dearest family friends.   Michael has been like a big brother to me so seeing him getting married was wonderful – plus we got the chance to reunite with friends we hadn’t seen in far too many years.

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Winter Park is exactly what you imagine when you think of a Colorado resort town.  In the gorgeous summer weather it was filled to the brim the the most sporty, adventurous people imaginable.  A good portion of the crowd was dressed like these guys, who were channeling Batman with the uber-intense biking gear.

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After taking the lifts up to the Lodge for lunch, we went back down the mountain to head to a neighboring town take in the July 4th fireworks.  Little did we know we’d have a much more beautiful show to watch courtesy of Mother Nature.

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 And then it was wedding time – the moment we’d all been waiting for!  Natalie was one of the most stunning brides I’ve ever seen and Michael was the wise-cracking, handsome groom we all expected him to be.  With a love story like something from a movie these two have a magical future ahead of them!

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Cheers to the loveliest couple and thank you for sharing your beautiful weekend with us! *clink clink

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So You’re Into Vampires?

Well, we all have our guilty pleasures, don’t we?  For me one of them (one of the many, I should say) is Twlight.  I am such a sucker for those silly, ridiculously awful, but somehow still amazing books and movies.  I love everything about them.  So naturally as soon as I found out I’d be calling the Pacific Northwest my home I began plotting out ways to get to all of the places from the books.

On a gorgeous Saturday morning I grabbed a coffee by the waterfront and hopped on the ferry.  On the other side my Seattle family was waiting to sacrifice their entire day to indulge my inner Twi-hard and take me to see all of the places from the films.IMG_6576

We ate a quick picnic lunch in Port Angeles, the town where Bella and the kids go to do their shopping.  It wasn’t too bad, but nothing to write home about. (Instead I’ll just write a blog.)

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Then we hit up La Push in hopes of running into Jacob and some of his shirtless werewolf friends.  No luck on the werewolf front, but the beach was gorgeous!  Just the kind of breathtakingly beautiful PNW coastline I’ve always dreamed of visiting.

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Then, drumroll, it was time to trek on to famous Forks!!  Which, as it turns out, was every bit as depressing as all the locals had warned me.  What used to be a successful logging town is now a dried up little stretch of road with a few cafes, a library, and the leftovers of the Twilight frenzy.  There are still a few shop windows with old Twilight memorabilia, but mostly they’ve all died off along with the Twilight craze as a whole.

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Feeling thoroughly depressed by the entire town of Forks, and the fact that literally none of the movie was filmed there, we hopped back in the car to head back towards Seattle.  We were absolutely starving from our vampire hunting so we pulled off at the amazing Lake Crescent Lodge to grab a bite and take in the scenery.

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Lake Crescent Lodge is like the most perfect place for a little summer weekend getaway.  We had to all but tear ourselves away from the picturesque setting – but I had one last big sight to see before hopping back on the ferry.  We drove all the way up to the top of Hurricane  Ridge to scope out one final breathtaking view before calling it a night.

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Since arriving in Seattle the workload has been wild, but with weekend escapes like this, who can complain?  It’s so surreal – I truly hope that everyone has the opportunity to one day live in a place that is so beautiful it stops you in your tracks daily.

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Edmonds for the Summer

After the long, cross country journey of a lifetime I finally settled into my home for the summer, Edmonds.  For all of those who (like me up until about a month ago) don’t know Edmonds, it’s a tiny little town right outside of Seattle.

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With incredible views of Puget Sound, the mountains, and an adorable little downtown, it is a perfectly picturesque Pacific Northwest town.

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We kicked off the summer with an evening sail around Puget Sound.  I can whole heartedly divulge, this is the best way to get to know your new coworkers and a new city – a lot better than some silly in office ice breakers!

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After the winds turned against us we made the decision to head back in – conveniently just as the sun was setting.  One of the strangest things about living here is that the sun doesn’t set until long after 9 o’clock!

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Of course everyone is quick to remind me that as wonderful as that is, the opposite (setting around 4 in winter) is quite horrible.  I guess it’s a good thing I’m just a summer resident and I can soak it up in all its glory, isn’t it?

IMG_6450Such an incredible evening is always hard to live up to, but the area has its fair share of charms and I’ve only really just begun to experience them.  More to come very, very soon.

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Coast Starlight

Is the idea of train travel not the most glamorous thing?  I’ve had my fair share of time on the tracks and come from a family of train lovers and still in my head train travel is all about retro glam.  Several weeks back I booked my ticket to take me from LA to Seattle and instantly began the daydreams of sitting in the dining car in the most fabulous clothes, eating off of the finest china, and falling in love with a Cary Grant-esque fellow (I’m holding out hope that they still exist).

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Ready to make my dreams come true I hopped on board at Union Station and said goodbye to sunny LA and my travel companions as we all went our separate ways.  The Coast Starlight rode up the coast taking in the most beautiful landscapes from Santa Barbara to San Francisco.

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A few hours in we said goodbye to the beaches and made our way into the heart of Wine Country just in time for the evening haze to roll in across the vineyards.

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Every hour or so I meandered to a new location;  from my seat, to the lounge car, to the cafe, to the dining car, and back again.  I couldn’t stay in one place for long, but that’s the perk of train travel!

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It didn’t take long for me to realize that 36 hours is a really long train ride – especially once it got dark and I no longer had the scenery to distract me.  I curled up in my rather roomy seat and zonked out, hoping to sleep as long as possible and wake up in the Pacific Northwest.

I woke up from a shockingly deep slumber many hours later to find a couple of things.  First, the sun was rising and we were preparing to cross into Oregon!  Second, I had somehow in my deep, deep sleep completely lost any concept of where my seat ended and the one next to me began.  Needless to say, my seat mate and I were much closer by morning.

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Thirty-six hours later we pulled into Seattle and and I was more than happy to go running off the train.  Not to say it wasn’t an enjoyable experience, just different than I’d imagined.  Of course, my standards may have been a smidge high;  the fancy china was plastic and instead of getting chummy with Cary Grant I woke to find myself cozied up to a 16 year old stranger.  Not quite the glam experience I anticipated, but nonetheless, you can’t beat the great American scenery you find on a ride up the west coast – next time I’ll just make sure to get a sleeper car and travel companion and it will be perfect.

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