Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pacific North Wonderland: Day One in Seattle

We left Orcas Island on the ferry at 8 am on Friday morning. I love riding on a ferry! I'm sure it would get old if I had to do it all the time, but it was so fun on our trip.
On our way from Anacortes to Seattle we made a random antique mall stop. Look at that scary spider! It was close to Halloween, but that guy looked permanent.
Greeted by this pretty lady.
There were lots of cool toys, and what looked like someone's Humpty Dumpty collection. The owner showed me this amazing scrapbook that belonged to a mountain climbing club in the 20's. It was full of HUGE  gorgeous mountain climbing photos. He wanted a pretty penny for it, but I'm so glad he pulled it out for me!
Here is what I bought! What a perfect souvenir! 
We made it into Seattle and to an all vegan Thai buffet. Travis was INTO IT.
We parked downtown and walked about Pike Place Market for a little bit.
I could not get over the flowers! Big beautiful bouquets for like, 10 bucks! I wish I could have brought some home. The dahlias!
I wasn't really sure what to expect. It was kind of a multilevel mall full of restaurants and food stores and all kinds of shops. To be honest I wasn't super into it...
Until we found this store with hundreds of sets of vintage salt and pepper shakers! Heaven! I could have looked for an hour but she was closing up soon. We bought a cute pair of rabbit shakers.
Mmmmm we also got one of these giant vegan snickerdoodle cookies. Yum! And we bought some hot pear cider.
We found an old style photobooth in a cute store called Orange Dracula. It was full of Rocky Horror merchandise! I bought these cute patches there. I went a little patch crazy on our trip. I think I have enough for three jackets now!
We walked past the famous gum wall, so we had to stop. I hadn't planned on visiting because it really grosses me out! It smells so fruity in the alley. Yuck!
We found out they actually took all the gum down and cleaned it for the first time shortly after we left. Ugh it was so gross!! It kind of makes me want to gag, looking at this again.
We were feeling touristy so we went up in the big ferris wheel thing on the waterfront. It was pretty cool, and we were like "oh look at the space needle!!" 1,000 times.
And tried to take photos pointing at it.
Such a cutie.
The view was really beautiful. I would recommend it on a nice day! It would probably be terrible in the summer though if it was crowded. We had the car to ourselves and were able to switch sides to see the city or the water.
Of course we had to go to vegan haven and buy a bunch of treats. Proceeds here got to a pig sanctuary!
Then we walked across the street to Vegan Pizza Pi!
We got a stuffed crust pizza! I haven't had one in years! We also got pineapple, mushrooms and vegan pepperoni. Pizza is always a good choice.
After eating we stopped by the Archie McPhee store, but that needs its own post! We headed to a Sundance Theater to see Meet the Patels. The theater was so fancy! It was 21 and up, had a full (nice) menu and cocktails! I had a margarita. They had these nice little tables in between the seats too. It was pricey ($32 for two tickets, OMG) but it was fun. The movie was good too.
It was a wonderful first day in Seattle! After the movie we headed back to the yurt (I'll show you that soon!) and crashed.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

If you have been reading my blog for any number of years you might have been wondering where the traditional posts about my Christmas decorations are. Well, I didn't decorate this year. I've been in a bit of a funk and just didn't get to it. Thankfully I still made time for the pugs to see Santa. Look at them! Poor Priscilla, the Dalmatian didn't know how to hold her. A lady doesn't usually like her whole pink belly showing in her holiday photo.
Thankfully Travis has my back always and put up the aluminum tree and found our stockings. I have a few new decorations that I bought at the flea market last month, so I put those up too. Now that it is Christmas Eve I'm missing all the sparkle and kitsch, but ah well. Next year! Here are the most recent additions to my collection:
Just yesterday I wrapped all our gifts. Both our families are doing secret Santa this year, which is nice. It made my shopping list so much shorter! I bought three presents for our nephew though. It is too fun! // Early in the month we took the pugs to see Satan Claus at Hail, our local oddities shop. I love it!
My bff Crystal got me in our friend secret Santa and wrapped my gifts in a Weezer poster! Perfect! She got me such good things! Some Rilakkuma pens, a vintage Spock cling thing, a sequined pineapple patch, and a pug calendar that is all photos of old pugs! Fellow pug friends, look at it! So cute. // My cousin hosted a cookie making party last weekend. My grandmother had never decorated a cookie in her life! How crazy. I had a lot of fun and brought home a lot of cookies to eat.
Travis and I are both home for Christmas Eve. I used to be sad that our families don't get together for it anymore, but it is fun to celebrate by ourselves. I made tons of Christmas cookies (four kinds!) and decorated them while Travis made tamales for the first time! We just ate them and they were really good! I think we'll be adopting that tradition! We also had some Christmas cocktails and now we're watching the Muppet Christmas Carol. It has been a wonderful night.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday! If you need me, I'll be scrolling through the vintage christmas tag on my blog, pretending it is all up in my house this year!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Pacific North Wonderland Day Six: I Saw a Whale!

On our last full day on Orcas Island the main plan for the day was to go whale watching. We talked about it a lot. Is it too expensive? Is it too late in the season? Would it be worth it? We decided to go for it. And I'm so glad we did!
Our boat left at one, so before that we went on a hike in Moran State Park. We took the short trail to see Cascade Falls.
It was beautiful!
Had to commemorate with a selfie. This the sweater I bought in Portland! It has been so warm since we got back, I haven't gotten to wear it again!
Look at that tiny pine cone!
It was such a beautiful day, and we were already in the park, so we decided drive up to Mt. Constitution again and attempt to see the view. And it looked like THIS.
We were laughing so hard! It looked like we were on the end of the world! I told Travis "Look like you are seeing something amazing!" Hahahaha, even though we couldn't see anything I'm glad we went up there.
Then it was time for whale watching! We went with Outer Island Excursions on one of their last excursions of the season.
The boat went up into international waters and around Canada. It was GORGEOUS! Even without the whales, it would have been wonderful. We zipped past lots of islands, saw seals, and maybe I cried when we saw the tiny dorsal fin of a harbor dolphin way in the distance.
There had been a pod siting about an hour out. At first everyone was excited and riding on the front of the boat. It was COLD though, and windy so by the end almost everyone was inside. Except Travis, up on the bow in his shorts.
This guy had the biggest zoom lens! I was jealous! This was moments before we saw the whales...
These photos aren't super impressive but it was INCREDIBLE to see these animals in the wild. We saw a pod of seven whales, including a baby that was only a few months old! It was so tiny! We followed along with them for almost an hour. I took something like 300 photos of them, almost all of them look  like this, but further away. Ha! See the mist coming out of his blowhole?
When we first saw them they were feeding on something, then we saw them in a hunting pattern. It was just amazing, and I couldn't take my eyes off of them! The crew of our boat was amazing too. There was a naturalist on board who answered questions and was so excited about the local wild life.
There were a few other boats nearby, and it was cool to hear the crews talking about which pod we were seeing. They could identify them with just their markings. Which seemed crazy to me, they look so similar and you can only see them for a few seconds at a time!
Here is me, moments after seeing a whale! Ah! So happy! Definitely cried.
Here is the inside of the boat. You sat on big bench seats. The guy in front of us kept opening his window to take photos out of it, so cold!
This island had seals all around it! You can kind of see them, the little dots down there at the water line. We saw two get in a slap fight. So cute.
As we were getting off the boat the naturalist said that this would be a perfect night to watch the sunset from Mt. Constitution. We were a little skeptical, but decided to give it one last try!

We stopped at this mountain lake. I wish it had been warm enough to swim! We saw lots of geese here, and someone was walking a cute little poodle.
I love exploring with Travis. He is always up to pull over whenever I want, even if it is just so I can peek over the edge of a dock.
We stopped at our favorite lookout again. It's looking good...maybe we'll be able to see from the top! And guess what, we saw ANOTHER half white deer! This one was a baby (kinda).

And here is Travis scaling the mountain, trying to get some closer pics for me.
Look at that golden light! We stayed on that tiny trail, but it was a pretty steep slope!
Success! It was clear and we could see so far! It was breathtaking! Here is Travis at the top of the observation tower on top of the mountain.
Just amazing. Totally worth the three drives we made up there.
Remembered to take a photo together, even if we are both making kind of weird faces.
We stayed up top until it started to get dark, then went back to our little cabin to catch one last beach sunset. We had a beach fire, then went inside and Travis made us spaghetti with this super delicious locally made pasta. It was such a good day!

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