Friday, April 30, 2010

Hello Seattle

A. Some may find this post to be sappy or cheesy or way too long.
B. I was having so much fun editing these photos in Lightroom, hence the excessive use of filters and effects!
C. If you'd rather read about my streak of bad luck just scroll to the'll have a good laugh guaranteed.

So I went home for a few days in-between semesters and I brought Jesse with me to show him around Seattle! I got to play tourist for a week which was fun. I was reminded how much I love this city! Jesse got some incredible HDR shots and thanks to the tri-pod we got a few decent shots of us running around town.
After an intense finals week of many late nights studying in the library (someday I'll write another post about the odd things that go on in the library past midnight) we couldn't have gotten out of Provo quicker!

Day 1 started with a Mariner's game! Baseball games bring all types of people out of the woodwork, which I love! At any given time you can look around and find at least 1 mullet, plumbers crack, or group of goobers wasted, yelling who knows what. Am I not right?

I love my parents! It was fun to just hang out with them for the night!
Day 2 began at Seward Park. We found on some website that this park was rated among the top ten for cool hikes. I had never been there so we thought we'd check it out. Well, maybe we just didn't see what the experts see, because this random parrot statue was the most interesting thing we found.
Moving on. You can't go to Seattle and NOT visit the Space Needle! After a 46 second ride we were 600+ feet in the air looking over the beautiful view.

West Seattle has become one of my favorite parts of the city.
You get one of the most incredible views of the city scape, barges coming into the shipyard, ferry boats, kayakers and scuba divers chillin in the bay.

I took Jesse up to Husky's Deli. My dad grew up nearby and frequently visited it. I guess he's passed the bug onto me cause I love to go there every time I'm home! It's a fun little European market where you can find your choice of jam, cheese, hot sauce, chocolate etc. I always go for the amazing sandwiches and ice cream...

Before I go on I have to tell you about our quest. Jesse and I have a lot in common, you know, the important things. Early on we found out that be we both love a good milkshake. This quickly became a commonality that we deemed "important" and that we would dedicate much effort and thought and time to (hopefully you pick up on the sarcasm?). But seriously. It has become our quest. We have tried shakes all over the world, and Jesse is convinced that Singapore held the title for World's Best Milkshake. I trusted his judgement and we started there- to find a milkshake that would beat Singapore.

That was a roundabout way of saying Husky's had a decent milkshake, good size, but not enough flavor. Next!
Lincoln Park in West Seattle is a must. Not necessarily the park itself but the trails that go down to the waterfront (yes, this is a tri-pod shot- call us goobers if you want).
Gotta love Washington beaches- driftwood and little pebbles. It was fun to just hang for a while and enjoy the view. Some sort of creature kept popping its head up out of the water to say hi. It was probably a sea lion or an otter... but maybe the loch ness monster?!

We headed back to the Seattle Center to hang out for a while before the Beatles Laser Show! Sooooho good.
International Fountain. We met some people here who owned a chug. Let me continue. A chug is a pug/chihuahua mix. I thought if I pet it too hard with my pinky finger I might break it. Really. I don't know about you guys but I don't consider that a "dog." Plus its eyes were looking different ways. Ew.
Day 3 began with a monorail ride to Pike's Place Market! It is such a fun experience. It reminds me so much of all of the markets I ran into in Europe. Local vendors sell all sorts of goods (jewelry, fruits and vegetables, artwork, and of course flowers). Plus you can get your fill of cheeses, Parisian baked goods, Grecian gyros and baklava, and seafood of course. You can visit the very first Starbucks, listen to the man who serenades tourists from the upright piano he rolls out every day, or....
watch nasty fish being thrown across a counter.
Thank you Ryan for not letting a fish slip through your hands that would undoubtedly result in a broken lens...
I was so happy to find one of my favorite Italian desserts- a Cannoli! Hmm.

On our way back to the monorail we noticed a cute little gelato/chocolate/espresso shop. It looked too high-class to sell milkshakes so we almost didn't go in but at the last second we thought we might as well see...good thing.

The gelato quickly caught our attention and we finally realized they did indeed sell shakes! Win. We decided on a Stracciatella milkshake. Jesse being the friendly person that he is quickly made friends with the employees and told them all about our quest. They suggested the chocolate whip cream on top and gave us an extra scoop of ice cream. Believe it or not this one gave Singapore a run for its money. The combination of rich chocolate whip cream and legit Stracciatella gelato made for a perfect combo. We were in heaven...and got a second!
So, seriously, next time you're in Seattle visit the Chocolate Box just up the street from the Public Market sign! You won't regret it! Seattle may hold the new title. We'll be back.

Day 4 started at the EMP (or the blob - it really is so ugly). I hadn't been there since 7th grade and they were exhibiting some of the best rock n' roll photography so naturally Jesse was intrigued.
I still hold the opinion that it is cool, but not a must. Moving on.
Last semester Jesse had the chance to photograph with one of Seattle's best, Chase Jarvis. His studio is right above Gasworks Park so we made a quick stop by.
Afterwards we played at the park for a while. As usual there were people flying kites, walking dogs, and rolling down the hills. Seriously. At one point we found a lone camera sitting in the grass, so naturally, we picked it up with the intent to take a few shots of ourselves so when the owner came back for it they'd have a nice surprise! Right as we were turning it on I turned around to find a middle-aged woman running at full speed towards us. She gasped and said, "Oh! You found it! Thank you so much! I was rolling down the hill and it must have fallen out of my pocket!" She had a nose ring so I guess that makes her cool enough to roll down hills too.
The Fremont area is another fun part of Seattle. It is super trendy and full of quirky shops and restaurants. Oh and there is a large troll under the bridge. Such a tourist move but Jesse had to see it! We didn't go to my favorite Vegan Cafe with the yummy gluten-free treats, but we did stop by a sweet vintage shop.
The Chocolate Box employees were nice enough to suggest another place to try a milkshake, Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream in the Wallingford neighborhood. We got there and figured it MUST be good because the line was out the door! It took us a half hour to get in. Jesse got the Theo Chocolate milkshake and deemed it "good" but not the "best." It was still a really unique place that I'd love to visit again! Some of their other flavors included: "Starburst," "Salted Caramel," "Honey Lavendar," "Rosemary Meyer Lemon," "Cardamom," and "Balsamic Strawberry" (which, by the way, tasted exactly as it sounds).
Afterwards we rushed to the piers to catch a ferry. We didn't really have a place in mind to go because a ferry ride is more about the scenic experience. In the end we decided on Bainbridge which is a quaint little island. We found a cute place to have a nice sit-down dinner before turning around and getting back on the ferry.

Day 5 was a Sunday so after church we went for a nice drive out to Snoqualmie Falls, just minutes from my home.
We hiked down to the bottom...
Jesse photographed (and got one of the coolest HDR photos of the trip- I'll post a link later)...
and concluded such a fun trip and much-needed break from PROVO!

If you made it to the end of this post I salute you! But wait! There's more!

They say that bad things come in threes. I second this statement. Apparently it was my turn for some bad luck.

It all began at the airport on our way back to Utah. Jesse and I were flying on different airlines but we planned our flights around the same time. All was going according to plan: I got on my plane, analyzed the crying baby situation and thought I'd found a decent spot with ample space between me and said children, and started to doze off as we taxi'd down the runway. The plane stops. We wait. We wait some more. The hilarious flight attendant gets on and notifies us that there is some mechanical problem and we'll be heading back to the gate for a fix. We then sat at the gate for about 45 minutes waiting for the one mechanic in charge of the entire airport to come fix the problem! Ultimately they decided to put us all on a different plane. Soooo, we all got off and back on the plane sitting next to us. About 20 minutes later we were able to take off. An hour delay is unfortunate but not horrible. Those things happen. The part that made it difficult was that I hadn't realized how many babies were on this flight, until they all started crying in unison. Why does that happen? Not only were they upset but a few were SCREAMING like I've never heard before, and they didn't stop the entire flight! Those poor moms.

Everyone was itching to get off that plane once we landed, including me! I was excited to just get home. By this point I hadn't eaten in several hours, which didn't help my crankiness! I got to the Highland area and hit a wall of traffic. A dead stop. I played the stop and go game for about 40 minutes til it finally opened up. The only thing that kept me entertained was this guy in front of me who was freaking out because a bee flew into his car. I finally made it home, threw my stuff down and ran out the door again to go to my friends bridal shower!

(Feel free to laugh a lot during this next part)
We went to CPK for dinner. I was so hungry by this point and couldn't wait to eat my Chicken Waldorf Salad...with walnuts. About 3 bites into it I swallowed one of those dang walnuts whole. It was either that or choke and make a big scene! Bad idea. I have never been in sooooo much pain from a piece of food being lodged in my throat! I knew it wasn't going to go down easy so I drank about 8 glasses of water. I felt so ridiculous complaining but I was fighting back the tears it hurt so bad! Any slight movement made my chest hurt! I contemplated going to the hospital...but decided I was tougher than that. The real problem was that I didn't want to eat anything more out of fear, so my hunger ensued. Ugh. I decided that I just needed to go home and sleep off the rest of this bad luck streak. Easier said than done.

I got back to my friends apartment complex, walked back to where my car should have been, and found it nowhere in sight. Towed. I had parked in this part of the parking lot before and hadn't had problems. Well I guess someone snitched on me this time. I thank you. Now really fighting back the tears I called Jesse who came to my rescue. He was so sweet and helped me to find humor in this whole situation.

I hope that I've had by share of bad luck to last me for a while...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

They Say It's Your Birthday!

Even with finals looming down on us, I wasn't going to let Jesse's birthday pass without a fantastic day of celebrating! It was full of all things he loves!

After a morning of studying we set out for our first adventure- hiking in the Spanish Fork Canyon. But first we made a quick stop at Sammy's for a sampling of milk shakes. (If you go don't get the Snickers- it tasted like plastic. Go for the Peanut Butter Cup or Raspberry...cause I knew you were wondering...?)

Red Ledges is more of a park but it's full of red rocks that you can hike and play around on! We went as high as we could and stopped to enjoy the view, oh and avoid the cactus? Wasn't expecting that. It feels so good to finally get outside again.

The drive alone was gorgeous too. I highly recommend driving through those canyons with the windows rolled down, blasting a little Black Eyed Peas.

Next was dinner at Jesse's favorite- Guru's. Alyssa, James, Dan and V came along which guaranteed some good laughs.

I needed time to stall while V and others got everything together for the end of the night. How did I do this? Borders Travel Section. We sat and looked through photography books.

I finally got the go ahead from V to come back to the club house in his apartment complex. I made up some lame excuse so we could end up in the club house where a bunch of his close friends had come to surprise him!

I can't believe we pulled it off because when we created the Facebook invite, he accidentally ended up on the guest list! SOMEHOW he didn't see the invite OR the e-mail notification. He also didn't pick up on anything after I sent him a text alluding to the party. Ha. I'm amazed.
Love these people. Thanks to them for helping to pull it off.
Despite the fact that we were soooo full from Guru's, there was enough sugar there to last us a month! Thank you to Monica for helping me make:
Peanut butter cookies
Oreo truffles
Funfetti cupcakes
Thin mint ice cream pie

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Number 1.

I have never won anything in my life...ever. No t-shirts at games, no stupid memorabilia some company is trying to get rid of, not even a stuffed animal at a carnival. Well, my luck has finally changed.

Two weeks ago the iOscars were hosted by the BYU Mac User's Group. The theme was "Hello, I'm a Cougar, and I'm a Ute." It was a competition to see who could come up with the most creative video (3 minutes max) using this theme and Apple's iMovie software. Jesse is an Apple Campus Rep (and part of the Mac User's Group) so he wasn't allowed to enter the competition. It wouldn't have been such a big deal...but the 1st place winner got an iPad! Ok, now it was a big deal! We found a quick solution to this dilemma...I'll enter one. Thank goodness for girlfriends. So in one afternoon we put together our masterpiece.

(If you haven't seen the Old Spice commercials, you MUST watch this video before watching ours!)

Now ours:

(For the record...I don't call him pumpkin.)

On the night of the event we thought "Cougatar" might have us beat, but it turns out people were looking for a good laugh, and WE WON!

On a completely different note, last weekend I had to say goodbye to my best friend for 18 months! She is leaving in a few weeks to serve a mission in Joao Pessoa, Brazil! As much as I'll miss her here I am so excited for her. She will be an amazing missionary and help so many people come to know our Savior. I was able to go to her farewell party and have a few last good laughs with her and other friends who came.

Good luck Steph! Love you!