what & wear : austin

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Kyle and I are taking our first multi-day no kids allowed trip together next month. It’s been soooooo long since we’ve gone somewhere new and almost three full years since we’ve spent more then one night kidless together. To say we are excited is an understatement.

When we started dreaming up a little long weekend trip, we had a few boxes to tick before deciding on a location. First, we wanted it to be generally warm. Second, a bucket list destination. And lastly, not so far away that travel would occupy all our time.

Check. Check. Check. Austin here we come.

Anyway, I always love travel recommendations so I wanted to see if anyone had some ideas for the what’s and wear’s of Austin.

WHAT should we do? Eating? Must See’s? Shopping? Coffee? Send it ALL to me!

And, obviously, I need to know what to WEAR? I’m thinking lots of walking so comfy shoes? Dresses? Joggers?

HELP!

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in whistler

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For the first time in maybe ever, I agreed to go on a cold weather vacation. Typically, I would argue that the term ‘vacation’ is used exclusively in scenarios where sun and sand are involved and ‘trips’ are weekends that include the cold white stuff. But, this weekend turned out to be a true vacation. We met our friends Bryan and Natalie in Whistler for a little out of town escape. For me, ski was more of code word for eating, shopping and ice skating but everyone else got a little time on the slopes.

The true highlight for me was the ice skating. It was a first for both myself and M and by the end, we thought we were regular Michelle Kwans out there.

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We ate, we drank, we played in the little bit of snow that was on the ground and we put that record on repeat for three days. It was perfection.

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eating portland

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Last weekend, we set out on a 24 hour journey to Portland. Our friends Bryan and Natalie moved to SouthWest Portland about a month ago and we were anxious to be their first visitors. We took off on Saturday at M’s nap time hoping for a quiet trip down I5 and walked in their front door almost exactly 3 hours later.

Let’s talk about Portland for a minute. EVERY stereotype you have heard about it is true. When I traveled for work, people used to snarl at what a liberal city Seattle was. It never failed that they would mention our tendency to be green. We recycle (like that’s bad? working on the environment here people) and they always ALWAYS commented on the rain. The thing is, if you think Seattle is too liberal, maybe NEVER go to Portland. It’s a city after my heart in some ways. It’s fairly small for a major city so a car is almost unnecessary (we got in ours once all weekend), the Willamette River runs right through the city making it easy to watch boats, wet suit sporting swimmers and we even saw a submarine , plus, it’s almost crazy relaxed. Oh, and they have good donuts.

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DSC_2312 DSC_2303DSC_2300We walked and ate our way through this town. In one short trip, we had Voodoo Doughnuts, Salt and Straw Ice Cream  and one of my favorite coffee’s ever, Stumptown. I got a small feeling for what I would be like as a New Yorker…fat. Each step I took was almost an excuse to eat more junk food. Plus, once you were already standing in front of the hour long line for donuts, it seemed like no big deal to jump right in. Never can I live in a walkable city. Apparently, I would eat my way through it.

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Enjoy!

Behind The Scenes || Burbank

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Just to prove to you that I wasn’t on this vacation alone, here are a few more shots from our trip. {Then I promise not to bombard you with sunny Cali any more} As Ky was working away at his brothers house while we played for most of the weekend, we only spent a few hours a day with him. But, for the first time in history, I was kind of glad when our hotel room wasn’t ready when arrived. It gave us a couple of hours with nothing but time to burn together and we made the best of it.

First things first, we set the map to In-n-Out Burger. But, once we pulled into the parking lot I realized it was only 11 AM. Lets be serious, an inappropriate time for fast food burgers. So after much debate in the parking lot about how disgusting we were willing to be, we decided that we appreciate slightly less greasy food before noon and passed. Big Mistake! Huge! We never ended up back at In-n-Out and I may have a shed a tear or two as our flight back to Seattle took off and I realized this. Noooooooo!

However, we were able to make a few other unhealthy food choices together as well as check out some Universal City Walk tourist goodness for effect over the next few days.

Done and Done! We are home now where it’s slightly less sunny {but promises to be starting next week} and have recovered from our weekend at fat camp {or the opposite of fat camp where I eat everything fatty}.

Enjoy! Melissa

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This past weekend, we made a super quick trip to LA to visit some family. Ky’s brother recently purchased a home that is in need of {uh-hem} some {a lot} renovations and my handy-dandy husband went down to help. As M isn’t so into chores, large tools or yard work my job was to keep her out of harms way. So, while my husband and his siblings worked, M and I made our own LA LA Land fun.

I am hoping we were both somewhat successful in our missions. The house will be amazing when it’s done and it was fun to be able to ‘help’ with their project.

My Trip ||

I spent time in Venice on Abbot Kinney visiting my favorite paper store, Urbanic, eating and well eating more. I also drug M to The Grove and we found her a little Blabla Doll as a souvenir.

Side Note: There were all these cute dolls in the store. Bunnies, little girls with tutus on and animals. My daughter picked up the only boy doll and started kissing him immediately. So, sheriff, welcome to the house!

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Ky’s Trip ||

I’m not even sure what my hard working hubby did on the roof but apparently it had something to do with words like flashing and a compressor. {No clue} These are his pictures from the photo stream we share. Exciting huh? The good news is that this Seattle kid did get a great tan from being on the roof all weekend. {woo}

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I know! I know! I got the better end of the deal on this. But hey, someone has to make sure the baby isn’t sorting through construction materials and it was easier to take her out then chase her around the house all day. So, really, this was just me being as helpful as possible {or that is what I’ll continue to tell myself}. And, we did have a little bit of time to share some meals and a little sun fun as a family. More on that tomorrow!

Enjoy! Melissa

Behind The Scenes || At the Beach

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It’s so hard to pick my favorite pictures from this trip! We took over 500 just on the DSLR and have more on our phones. But, these jumped out at me as some of my favorite beach pictures. Just a little eye candy for a Thursday morning!

|| I’m a sunshine, beach, sand and waves kind of girl. So, we arrived in Hawaii, dumped our stuff at my sisters house, changed out of our travel clothes {why is it that no matter what you do, you feel like a giant dirt ball when you get off a plane?} and headed straight to the beach to show M what it was all about. We only had about an hour to play while my sister got some work done so we just enjoyed the scenery and let M have her very first meeting with the ocean. ||

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|| I think our swim lessons paid off. The next day, M couldn’t get enough of the water. She crawled all along the shoreline making us chase her down the beach. We played our hearts out with a little sand bucket and toys and of course, applied sunscreen about a million times. ||

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|| The beach the next day could not have been more beautiful. Look at our funny little tourist setup! That UV shelter was maybe the best purchase of my life. M sat in the shade and played in the sand for hours at a time each day. Amazing right? ||

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|| I told you, any chance I can I’m heading toward the beach. We had an hour to waste one day so we decided for lunch by the water. Happy Place. ||

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|| Just look at M. She put her little feet in the sand and drove this floatie around like a car. She was laughing and talking to all the kids on the beach like, ‘yeah, look at my ride!.’ Funny, funny girl. ||

Enjoy! Melissa

Worth It

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We had the craziest Saturday.

A little background; Ky and I both went to college in a small town in eastern Washington. We met there, we fell in love there, we adore Washington State University and are raising M to share that passion. So, when Ky had some business to do over the mountains, Little M and I jumped at the chance to join him for a quick day trip to our Alma Mater. It’s such a long story of how this should-be short sweet and easy trip actually turned out, so I’m just going to break it down.

  • We spent Friday night packing a lifetime of supplies up for a one day trip. {This is called going anywhere with a baby.}
  • Our little family got up early, packed it to the airport and passed our mountain of stuff through security in enough time to grab a coffee, banana and an oatmeal.

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  • After loading our mountains of supplies onto the flight, we get cozy in our seats and as the plane went up, M went to sleep. Miracle! Amazing! And then, it all began. 20 minutes later {and half way to our destination} the pilot informs us that we have a small mechanical malfunction and will be turning around back to Seattle. WHAT? Didn’t they know, we had the golden sleeping baby ticket?
  • Back to Seattle, wake Little M, wait, reload our mountain of supplies, get cozy again with a wide awake M. Stuff her full of lunch as slowly as possible so as to take the entire flight time with this activity.
  • Arrive in small town USA to a one room airport. The rental car counter employee apparently had a busy day planned and closed 15 minutes before we arrived at NOON! Just left, went home and left us to wander to the only other rental car company and beg for a car. Luckily, he took pity on us.

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  • Again, load our mountains of supplies but this time into a car and finally {finally} head to campus where we will now have a total of 3 hours on the ground before our scheduled flight home.
  • Run around in the snow in my flats and spring coat {awesome planning me}. Show Little M where I lived in college and let all the sorority girls shower her with attention. Best part of her day by far. I even squeezed in a little time to grab some souvenirs at the school book store and show M a little bit of campus.
  • 3 whole hours later, we packed up and head back to the airport. Flight delayed. Say a little thank you to the man upstairs that we had not yet returned the rental car keys {only good luck for the day} and go get take out from our favorite pizza place as well as a coffee from our all time favorite drive through coffee place. Oh the memories this food brought back!

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  • Finally, back at the airport, load our mountains again and make it home in one piece. Phew!

Craziness I tell ya’. Just craziness. But, can I say that it was the most full circle moment to have my child in the place where I made so many memories. She crawled up the stairs I sat on with the women that are now my best friends and I got to show her the campus that shaped my relationship with her daddy. Worth it!

Totally, worth it!

Enjoy! Melissa