Friday, August 31, 2012

Seattle

The last day of our honeymoon adventure was spent exploring Seattle.  To be honest, by this point we were starting run out of steam and as we drug our sore, tired feet all over we wistfully talked of cudding in bed with Lucy and Linus.  We didn't let it stop us from seeing the places we wanted to see, though.  

One of the first stops on our list was the brand new ferris wheel that had just opened the week before--2nd largest in the US, 3rd largest in the world.  I had already been on the London Eye (1st largest) and the 2nd largest is just down the road in Myrtle Beach (this was news to me), so you best believe I was going to be on that bad boy.  Dan only slightly complained about the 45 minute wait (he should have been there for the hours I waited for the London Eye).  


We then spent the afternoon exploring the waterfront area, Pike Place Fish Market and the gum wall.  We also may have spent a good 20 minutes staring at a fountain with a little boy reaching his hands up that a lady swore up and down to us was going to switch to the father doing the same thing any. minute. now.  She was sooo sure about it we waited for awhile (and a few others joined us) afraid to take our eyes off of it for FOMO (fear of missing out for those of you who don't know about Scott Disick).  After awhile I began to doubt her story and asked her how she knew such a thing was about to happen.  "Well, I just happened to see it switch when I first walked up here so it must happen every 10-20 minutes or so".  A quick google search confirmed it happens once an hour.  It's called Father and Son fountain in Olympic Park, fyi, but I wouldn't stand there for an hour to see it change...


Our last big activity of the day was the Bill Speidel's Underground tour-a super touristy activity, but interesting story nonetheless.  I most definitely went home with the book as well (banned by the Seattle Public Schools and once the most stolen book from the library).  Fun fact (that I actually learned prior to the tour when 4th grade at my school was doing their inventions unit): Sir Thomas Crapper invented the flushing toilet, thus adding the word "crap" to the English language.  What I didn't learn until this trip was the many problems Seattle had that centered around some major plumbing issues, eventually leading them to have to build a new city on top of the current city.  That original town is now Seattle's underground and part of it is open for tours.  Our tour guide moonlighted as an Elvis impersonator and we absolutely loved him and were hooked on the story of Seattle's underground history.  Turns out prostitution played a major role in funding the city's education as well.  I'm going back there in February and fully intend to do the Prohibition version of the tour. 

We know we didn't do the traditional, relaxing honeymoon but at least once a day we said to each other "I'm so glad we did this".  It was a blast and I'm so glad we shared such an amazing trip together.  We're thinking we should complete yearly road trips.  






Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grouse Mountain

How sad is it we've been home from our honeymoon for almost 2 months and I'm still working on the recap? 

We spent our last day in Canada at Grouse Mountain, about 20 minutes from Vancouver.  To get to the top you can either do the Grouse Grind (a grueling hike we did not do...) or take the Sky Ride up.  Once there we enjoyed the breathtaking views, ziplines, a lumberjack show, wind turbine, a bird show and wildlife. 

We started with the ziplines, which was an item from my 30 before 30 list we decided to tackle during the trip.  Everyone had told me beforehand it wasn't scary but I had a hard time picturing how that could be possible.  Standing in line waiting for the sky ride to take us up the family behind us was talking about their ziplining plans when the father saw the sign advertising ziplining "soar over 1200 meters above the ground at speeds up to 80 km/hour" and turned to his sons saying "wait a minute-you didn't mention all of that!"  Dan and I both agreed it was a major highlight of the trip and before we even left Vancouver he was googling for places to zipline close to home.  



After the thrill of the ziplines we headed to the Eye of the Wind, a working wind turbine with an observation deck to enjoy even more spectacular views before catching the lumberjack show.  The show was definitely a scripted tourist type show, but they were very entertaining and the skills they showed off were amazing.  We were especially impressed by the race to the top of the tall posts-I found myself holding my breath for fear of them falling off!  One guy came all the way down in under 2 seconds and I at first thought he'd legit fallen down it he was moving so fast.  



If you're ever in the Vancouver area I highly, highly recommend a trip to Grouse Mountain--and plan to be there all day, there's so much to do. 

On the way back we passed the Capilano Suspension bridge and when the bus driver asked if anyone wanted to hop off we on a whim took him up on the offer, and I'm glad we did.  The main attraction of course was the suspension bridge but there were also other bridges to explore and cliff walks that were amazing.  Walking across the suspension bridge was definitely an experience-especially since so many other people were on it at the same time so it was swaying like crazy.  Dan had a really tough time and would not let go of the ropes (with both hands!).  I, on the other hand, wanted to cross it over and over again.  



I have to say Vancouver is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been and we are so glad we chose it as our main destination.  We went to bed every night with the sliding glass door open unable to take our eyes off of the lights over the mountains and water saying to each other "wow" over and over again.  


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Harvey's & Vancouver Zoo

I'm back from the beach but already packed to leave for the next beach trip as soon as I finish this post. At this rate I'll never finish the honeymoon recap!

Wednesday morning after donuts from Tim Horton's we set off on a little bit of a misguided adventure...
We're huge How I Met Your Mother Fans and get a lot of laughs out of all the Canadian jokes made at Robin's expense.  One of our favorites is when Robin talks about collecting Harvey's trays, which of course no one has heard of before. 

"You're cruising down the Trans-Canada highway and you get a hunger on between Milverton and WaWa, where you gonna strap on a feed bag, huh? Harvey's-over 12,000 served!"

Naturally, we got it in our heads we absolutely had to find a Harvey's.  There was one Dan assured me was really close by...we'd just walk 20 minutes, take a train, then walk about 10 blocks.  
Sure, sign me up. 
After walking for about 30 minutes down a 5 lane road we stopped at a hotel and asked how close we were...they told us there was no Harvey's.  
We walked another 20 minutes and asked a girl at a bus stop, who said yes there's a Harvey's but she wouldn't walk there, it's a long ways...  
So, of course we kept going and walked another 20 minutes or so before we finally found it inside a Home Depot.  
Crazy or committed? 
I guess I should mention Harvey's is a fast food restaurant that sells burgers...not unlike McDonald's...


After lunch we took a cab back into Vancouver to head to the Vancouver Zoo, which I think I'd say tops the list of zoos I've been to.  They featured animals local to the area so it was really neat to see animals we'd never seen before.  For example, the dolphins were pacific white-sided dolphins and they are amazingly fast.  The dolphin, sea lion and beluga shows were the highlight of the zoo, and of course I always love to see the penguins.  


After enjoying the zoo for awhile we headed to meet our group for the beluga whale experience we'd signed up for.  This was one of the coolest things I've ever done.  Along with another couple we got an in depth lesson on beluga including a tour through the kitchen and veterinary areas to see how they do the training, feeding and medical care within the zoo.  Then, we suited up in boots and life jackets and headed out to be a part of one of the beluga shows.  We accompanied a trainer who let us get up close and personal with one of the belugas, Quila.  She is the first beluga to be born into captivity (we watched the video of her birth too!) and has therefore spent her whole life around trainers and seems to love the attention.  We got to feel what her skin is like (cold! and very soft and cushy) and do some training with her.  To end the experience we chose whether we wanted her to splash us with her tail or spit water on us.  Dan and I went for the water spit, but the other couple chose the tail splash.  I wish I had their picture, it was an extremely forceful and impressive splash.  Check out how wet they are in the group picture! Keep in mind this is cold cold water and it's about 50 degrees outside. 





Other activities of the day included exploring the waterfront (including the Olympic torch from the 2010 games and the huge pixelated whale), running upon some of the Terra cotta Warriors hidden throughout Vancouver and having a birthday dinner with my cousin's wife, Jill.  




Up next...Grouse Mountain/ziplining!










Friday, August 3, 2012

Still making our way north...

Greeting from the OBX!
I had planned to keep up the honeymoon recaps throughout the week but wireless issues kept me away until a very chatty guy came and fixed it for us yesterday. 

Monday we got an early start to explore the University of Oregon campus while we were in Eugene.  It was a really neat town and pretty campus, and it just so happened the Olympic trials for track were going on, making us even more psyched for the Olympics to start. 


After grabbing t-shirts from the campus store (standard) we made our way to Portland for lunch.  We didn't do too much exploring in Portland, just walked around downtown for a little while to stretch our legs.  Across the street from where we ate lunch (one of the best meals I've had but I can't remember the name of the place) there was a donut shop called Voodoo Doughnut with a line up and down the street.  We asked our waiter what was so special about them and it turns out it's famous for bizarre types of donuts like maple bacon and Nyquil glazed (though I think the health dept. shut that one down).  If we'd had more time we might have been tempted to wait in line to try them out but our waiter said it wouldn't have been worth it so we settled for a picture. 


We made it to Seattle late afternoon Monday and were greeted at our hotel by some free champagne.  Score.
After a quick shower we set out to walk around downtown.  Dan really wanted to go to the Museum of Legends and Lore that he'd seen on one of the many History Channel shows he watches, but even though we went during their business hours noone was there.  He left a voicemail but we never heard back from them.  Since it was getting late we decided to just walk around and make a list of the things we wanted to do when we came back through later in the week before having dinner at Elliott's Oyster House.  The food was absolutely delicious and the view of the water was even better.  Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures.

Tuesday we got up super early to catch our 7:30 train to Vancouver.  The actual ride was beautiful, with most of the railway right on the water.  We made it to Vancouver by lunch so we were able to check into our hotel, gasp at the awesome view from our balcony, and head out to walk around.  We spent the afternoon just wandering the streets before showering and catching a train to the baseball stadium to see my cousin in action as coach.  I love going to baseball games and really enjoyed the in-between innings entertainment.  They did a sushi race at one point the crowd got really into between Miss BC Roll, Kappa Maki and Chef Wasabi.  Although he loses every race Chef Wasabi was a fan favorite and they were handing out Chef Wasabi bobbleheads.  My favorite enterainment though was the choreographed dance the guys that sweep the infield did.  They have a different one for every game and that night's song was Footloose. 


The Canadians came away with the win and it was cool to see Clayton in action.  I got a kick out of all the little kids asking for his autograph after the game.


After the game we went got a suggestion for a place to meet to have a drink and get to spend some time with Clayton and Jill and taste some new beers.  Clayton and Dan both tried out  what is supposedly the "world's best beer", Delierium Tremors.  They both agreed it wasn't the best they'd ever had, but with the 12+% alcohol content that seemed to be common with all the beers they had after 2 a piece we all woke up with unexpected headaches the next morning.

Up next play time with a beluga whale!! 




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