Posted: September 15th, 2012 | Author: Sarah | Filed under: travel | Tags: seattle, travel | No Comments »
Somehow our trip to Seattle just creeped up on us! We’re heading up today. I am really, really excited, and honestly not even minding that I’m about to turn 30 (well, maybe a little bit). I’ve got my Hunter boots ready, though it looks like sun the whole time we’ll be in town. We didn’t really make plans this time, just looking forward to wandering around the city and hopefully not looking like tourists (especially on Saturday). I do really want to make a trip to Mt. Rainier to see Paradise, which looks gorgeous! As usual, I am most looking forward to the food. If you have any good restaurant tips, or any Seattle tips really, we’d love to hear ‘em.
Photos: Liam Bahneman / NPS
Posted: September 4th, 2012 | Author: Sarah | Filed under: home, LA, travel | Tags: birthday, fall, september, travel | No Comments »
Hotel near Loch Ness
Happy September, my friends. I haven’t been posting much this Summer because I have been keeping busy with other ‘happenings.’ For starters, we took a two week trip in June to Scotland & Ireland, followed by another week in Virginia for the Fourth of July. It was stupendous. We miss the UK already. I especially miss the sheep and cows. Julian posted plenty of photos of our travels on his photo blog. We also had the pleasure of hosting my 15 year old sister for a week in July, and my 12 year old brother for a week in August. Other than that, we sat by our pool a lot, drank out of coconuts, made pancakes on the weekend, I grew more addicted to Pilates, and I gave into Julian’s pleading and finally watched Star Wars. All in all it has been a fun summer, albeit a bit too quick. However, my favorite season is rapidly approaching, so I’m in good spirits.
I’m always excited to see Fall, for the usual reasons – a change in weather, a change in scenery, a change in wardrobe. I like the coziness of the season and looking forward to the upcoming holidays. This year is extra special because I’m turning 30 in just a few short weeks… ok, a couple short weeks. But I’m trying to stretch out my 20s as long as I can, you see! Why is turning 30 such a massive ordeal? It’s not that I feel particularly old. Or even look particularly old, so I’m told (and I hope it is true). I’m happier than I ever was in my 20s, so why does everyone make such a big deal about 30? I’m doing myself a favor and viewing it as a new beginning… a fresh decade!
I’m pretty excited about celebrating as well, because this year we’ll be celebrating in Seattle, a place I’ve always wanted to visit but never have. I’ve never even been to the Pacific Northwest, or Northern California beyond San Francisco. We thought about making the coastal drive, but quickly decided that we’d get more pleasure out of spending days wandering the city rather than sitting in our car. If anyone has an recommendations for restaurants or parts of town to check out, I welcome them!
I’ll also try to make an effort to update more often, but no promises.
my new Irish bovine friends
Posted: May 4th, 2012 | Author: Sarah | Filed under: life, school, travel | Tags: life, school, summer, travel | 1 Comment »
Hello? Anyone still reading? I don’t blame you if not. I am so not going to apologize for not posting these past few months though, because hey – life happens, and some things are more important than blogging, yaknow?
I am staring down the last few weeks of the semester, with my eyes happily set on the summer ahead. It’s been a verrrryyyy busy semester, 17 credits worth of madness full of chemistry, animal science, and medical terminology. But I still love my classes & have even managed to keep up my grades (though I may get out with a B in at least one class). If school weren’t enough, I also managed to plan (and fly home for!) my Mom’s 50th birthday party, my sister’s bridal shower, and my sister’s bachelorette party – all super fun, memorable events that I hope everyone enjoyed as much as I did!
This summer will definitely be a welcome break, but we’ve already got a few exciting plans in the works. First of all, my sister is getting married Memorial Day weekend in VA which I’m so excited for. Then a couple weeks after finals, we are heading to Scotland to hang with my grandparents, and then spend a week in Ireland. It will be J’s first time in Scotland and both of our first time in Ireland! If anyone has any suggestions on places to go or things to see, we are all ears. We’re flying into Edinburgh, then traveling up north to Inverness for several days, and then we have a week open in Ireland until we fly out of Dublin. So exciting! We are flying back into DC to spend Fourth of July with my family and then we’re back to LA. A couple weeks after that, my little (soon-to-be-15-yrs-old-omg) sister will be joining us for a week. That brings us to the end of July and so far we have no plans for August! Who knows, maybe we’ll actually stay put and do nothing for a month?
Until then it is just business as usual around here, studying & enjoying the Spring weekends. Julian’s got a big birthday coming up, actually – 25! He’s pledged his birthday to charity: water and asked all his friends & family to donate to clean water projects instead of giving him a present. So far he’s already halfway to his goal!! I’m so proud of him. I love reading all the sweet comments from his fans, too.
Trying not to get too weepy over the fact that I’ll be 30 the same year my husband is 25 but hey, that’s what you get marrying a younger man. And I think 30 won’t be as bad as I think.
Posted: June 16th, 2011 | Author: Sarah | Filed under: travel | Tags: chicago, travel | 1 Comment »
We’re back from Chicago and it feels so good! We were greeted at LAX with June gloom, but after all the wacky Chicago weather, I didn’t even notice. We had our share of sunny days, but we also had 98 degree humid weather, thunderstorms, windy 60 degree days that called for coats, and everything in between. The beauty of the city makes up for the weather though – we had so much fun just walking around and taking it all in. The curbside flower gardens and tree-lined streets were my favorite part. We met up with some friends, went down to visit some family in central IL, rode bikes along Lake Michigan, saw a show at The Second City, visited with the cats & dogs at the Anti-Cruelty Society, ate wayyyy too much pizza (& Garrett popcorn), and much more. It was the perfect trip!
Posted: June 7th, 2011 | Author: Sarah | Filed under: travel | Tags: chicago, travel | 1 Comment »
We’re about to hop on one of Virgin America’s first flights to Chicago, off to spend a week exploring, hanging with friends, and visiting family. I haven’t been to the Windy City since I was a kid (my Grandparents used to live in Elmhurst), so I’m pretty excited to visit as an adult and really take it in. It’s supposed to rain (because it wouldn’t be a Smith Vacation if it didn’t rain), but at least it’ll be thunderstorms – which I do love and also haven’t seen in ages! Praying for just a day or so of sunshine though…
Photo: Pulsar Wallpapers
Posted: May 18th, 2011 | Author: Sarah | Filed under: family, life, travel | Tags: family, hawaii, travel | 3 Comments »
I’m in one of those unavoidable phases where you want to update, but don’t, because you feel like you have too much to update about, and procrastinating seems like the easier option. That, and I’ve been busy since we got back from Hawaii! Two of my brothers came into town that weekend, one of whom is staying with us for over a week. It’s so rare that I get to spend this much time with my family, that I tend to block everything else out and just focus on that. I’m sure you’d do the same!
- Hawaii was, beautiful. Relaxing. Very rainy. But all in all, amazing! Especially because Julian managed to lose his wedding ring in the ocean. Miraculously, a snorkeler found it. Can you believe it??
- There is nothing cuter than grateful, over-cuddly, purry cats after you come home from a trip.
- Julian’s birthday is coming up very soon (tomorrow) and I’m so excited to be able to celebrate with him! Last year we were in Berlin for his work, and the year before that he was in Nashville without me. Any fans of him that are reading this – be sure to wish him a Happy Birthday tomorrow!
- You have to read Unbroken, the memoir/biography about Louis Zamperini. I read it on vacation, and it’s earned a spot in my top 5 fave books of all-time. Even Julian, who does not read, is reading it and loving it!
- I’m in the process of ‘cleaning out’ certain areas my life to make room for a new venture. More to come about that…
- And randomly, have any of you ever had orange plums? We just got a big bunch of them from a local farm and they are absolutely delicious. They taste just like purple plums, but they have this gorgeous citrus color, just like the inside of a plum!
Posted: May 5th, 2011 | Author: Sarah | Filed under: travel | Tags: anniversary, hawaii, kauai, travel | No Comments »
See ya in a week, Los Angeles! This afternoon J Monster and I are taking off to Kauai, Hawaii for a week of fun in the sun and meeeega relaxing (oh yes, and celebrating our first wedding anniversary!). We’re kind of looking at it as a second honeymoon, since our first was very cold, foreign, and museum-y!
Things will be a bit quiet around here until we’re back… in the meantime, aloha!
Photo: Annie’s Condo Kauai
Posted: May 4th, 2011 | Author: Sarah | Filed under: life, travel | Tags: life, packing, travel | No Comments »
doing load after load of laundry. buying extra cat food. getting sunscreen. mailing mother’s day cards. dropping off/picking up library books. getting haircuts. picking up paychecks. searching for and buying swim trunks, shorts, hats, flip flops, sandals, etcetera. shopping for mother’s day gifts. shipping said mother’s day gifts. hauling out suitcases. buying vitamins. squeezing in lightening fast meals. notifying the bank of our travels. arranging for the car to be moved. writing notes to the cat sitter. calling to confirm our flight. downloading apps for the plane. doing the rest of the dishes. PACKING.
Oof. Is this how everyone’s day-before-vacation is? Because it always seems to be mine. From the minute we woke up, signed all nine of our Mother’s Day cards, and split a granola bar whilst dashing out the door to begin the errand running, J and I have been going a million miles a minute to get everything done in preparation for leaving our home in LA for a week in paradise. It will be worth it, it will be worth it, it will be worth it…
Did I mention it was about 350 degrees in LA today? BECAUSE IT WAS. And no, we do not have air conditioning. My poor cats! Is it wrong to leave the fan running while we’re out of town? I know it will waste a lot of energy, but I am worried about them being trapped in a hot house with no one to leave the windows open at night and let all the cool air in. I think I’m gonna have to do it.
Onto more packing… xo
Posted: May 3rd, 2011 | Author: Sarah | Filed under: nature, travel | Tags: hawaii, helicopter, kauai, travel | 5 Comments »
It’s been kind of surreal counting down the days til our first trip to Hawaii. It almost doesn’t feel real. But, I just submitted a booking request for a helicopter ride around Kauai (which is quite expensive it turns out, but according to several of our friends it is a “must-do”), and after taking a look at some of the pictures, I am just dyiiing with anticipation to get there already and start exploring & relaxing! I also really want to go on a boat of some sort – maybe a kayak!
Have you been to Kauai?? What was your favorite part? Where are the best spots to eat, beach, hike, etc?
Photo: Ken H. on Yelp
Posted: March 5th, 2011 | Author: Sarah | Filed under: life, travel | Tags: big bear, snowboarding, travel | 1 Comment »
We had succcch a great little mini-vacay in Big Bear. We went at just the right time – it had just snowed 24″ a couple days before we got there, but the roads were clear enough that we didn’t need snow chains. The weather was perfect – mid 40s during the day, low 20s at night. Plus, we went during the week, when lines for the lifts are non-existent, there is no traffic, and the hotel is quiet.
We stayed right on the lake, and the views were absolutely breathtaking. There is nothing in the world like fresh, crisp mountain air! I really enjoyed looking out over the frozen lake (which was unfrozen by the time we left) at the snow-covered hills, but I could tell it was an even more beautiful sight in the summertime when all the boats are out and about.
Snowboarding was an event – we took a beginner’s lesson which helped a lot, but my memory kicked in somewhere around the 1-hr mark and I was able to pick back up where I left off two years ago when I last hit the slopes. We fell. A lot. But we enjoyed it! So much in fact, we went two days in a row – despite being extremely sore.
We also went tubing at Alpine Slide – which, I’ll be honest, wasn’t quite as awesome as I had hoped. Don’t get me wrong, it was so much fun sliding down the hills on the tubes, but I wanted something a little more extreme. I wanted to get thrown off my tube. I wanted my head to be spinning when I stood up. Instead, we were tubing alongside 5 yr olds. But we’ll take what we can get! And we did get some really adorable pictures.
Another highlight of the trip was eating. One look at Yelp and you can tell Big Bear isn’t exactly a culinary hot spot, but we managed to find a few local restaurants that had decent food, good wine, and friendly waiters. Our favorite spots were the Peppercorn Grille, Sweet Basil Bistro (the lobster lasagna was insane and the handmade mini-donuts with 3 different dipping sauces were TO DIE FOR), and the local greasy-spoon breakfast joint, Grizzly Manor Cafe. I can’t imagine any of these places would garner a solid 4 or 5 star Yelp standing in LA, but they were perfect for our trip.
All in all, a super relaxing little getaway. The perfect amount of time – we were just barely able to hit all the restaurants we wanted to, went into all the cute little store, chatted with the shop owners, and snowboarded until we were too sore to move. It took us less than 3.5 hours to get there (& home), and we felt lightyears away from the madness. We will be back!