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Destination: Czech Republic

So, the next adventure started for us in Prague, Czech Republic on Thursday night, May 17th.  We had a pretty no-fuss subway ride to our Airbnb on the other side of the river and were greeted by the host who let us in, showed us our room, and provided us with a few details and recommendations about the area.  We again struck gold with this Airbnb selection; super clean, modern and with everything we needed in a modest space and close to transportation and the city.  We could easily get to where we needed to by Prague’s convenient tram system and it was a nice location to be just far enough away for it to be quieter than the hubbub of the main party and tourist areas.

Since we arrived pretty late, we quickly changed and settled on one of our host’s recommendations for dinner nearby.  We walked just around the corner to a pretty spacious restaurant for dinner.  We were again presented with massive portions of food, this one being pretty delicious.  I tried their version of goulash with bread dumplings and Bryan had the ham shank that was super tender and flavorful and I stole a few bites of.  The prices were again super cheap and the beer was a notch above Poland’s.  Leaving stuffed again we headed back home for a good nights sleep.

Friday morning we were wanting to catch the free walking tour and rode the tram straight to the main part of Prague.  We wandered the cute narrow cobblestone streets that looked like something out of Disneyland or Harry Potter and got some cappuccinos and a blueberry cake at a little cafe that we enjoyed outside.  Shortly thereafter our tour began and we had a redheaded native Minnesotan who had been living in Prague for 7 years leading our way.  She was the most animated of our tour guides and did a great job providing us with the history of the city but also was able to capture the nature of its people.  The tour went by pretty quick and we were already enthralled with Prague’s beautiful and ancient buildings.

We ended near the river so we walked along that awhile and strolled across the famous Charles Bridge.  On the other side of the river we found a restaurant with water views to get some lunch.  The food here was mediocre at best and certainly pricier than elsewhere in the city so we were paying mostly for the views, and the narrow stairway to get down to the restaurant itself.  After lunch we decided to walk up and explore the nearby and expansive Petrin Park.  The path we selected went up and up and up.  We were offered with some great views of the city from the top and enjoyed exploring the paths, the woods, and finally their copy of an Eiffel Tower.  We decided to ride the funicular down the park, as our metro pass covered it, and at the bottom we were now close to our hotel.

Friday night we cleaned up and changed for a nice dinner out at the local Four Seasons, via mystery shopping.  The restaurant was called CottoCrudo and was Czech and Italian.  We had a super cozy booth and a very accommodating waiter at our disposal the whole night.  We settled into a lengthy multi-course dinner and drinks along with their phenomenal bread basket and housemade focaccia.  Everything was delicious and service was as expected at a Four Seasons.

We left feeling full and happy and walked a short distance to the Prague Beer Museum.  It’s not an actual museum of beer but more just a beer hall with a wide variety of beers on tap.  Bryan enjoyed a few beers here while I greatly enjoyed the live band playing.  We stayed until the band wrapped up, around midnight, before catching the tram home for the night.

Saturday we had little to no plans but set off first for our host’s recommendation to visit the weekly Farmer’s Market, just a short walk across the river from our place.  This was a great experience.  I got to take in all of the food, drink and craft vendors as well as some local music.  After strolling our selections I decided on a mushroom goulash filled with local foraged mushrooms and an iced coffee and Bryan chose a beer and a great sandwich.  We enjoyed these with our legs hanging off the pier along the river.

After finishing this we decided to visit the nearby (less known) castle of the city; the Vysehard Castle.  It was no less impressive to us and the views offered were both beautiful and quiet.  We walked around the complex before finding another festival/market happening inside the castle grounds and stumbled upon the cutest baby pants ever.  We had to purchase these for baby before continuing on.  We visited the basilica in the castle before making our way back down.  We took the tram home to nap and change.

Early evening we took the tram back to the main square of Prague and headed to T-Anker, which is a rooftop patio offering more views of the city, from within the city.  Bryan got a beer and we enjoyed the sun and the views until rain clouds actually started to roll in.  We paid and left and waited out the rain before walking the short distance to the famous Nase Maso butcher shop; known for their beef tartare and burgers.  We split a burger here, knowing we’d be eating more elsewhere.  I wish I could have had the tartare though because it looked amazing.  We continued the crawl by taking the tram back to our side of the river and getting dinner at another basement cellar restaurant.  We split some great ribs and other dishes before moving on.  We took another tram back towards the Charles Bridge on the hunt for the famous chimney cakes.  We got two chimney cakes, one with berries and cream and the other with chocolate sauce and soft serve ice cream.  Both were amazing, hot and fresh, and best enjoyed with a late night walk on the Charles Bridge.  Fewer people and the stunning lights of the city late at night.  We took one last tram ride home for the night.

Our last day in Prague came and we had to check out of the Airbnb by 10 am and also had scheduled the Prague Castle tour starting at 10 am.  We were advised by our host that we could leave our luggage at the train station so we made our way there, bought tickets for our train to Vienna, stored our luggage in a locker and then set out on foot to the meeting point for our Castle Tour.  The Castle Tour was another three hours and was informative and interesting but we probably could have just explored the castle on our own.

It was another beautiful day so after the tour ended we grabbed a good lunch near the river and then headed to the island in the river to rent a paddle boat for an hour.  I thoroughly enjoyed the paddle boat, the sun, the views of the buildings and bridges on the river, and all the other people out paddle boating around.  Sadly, once our boat ride was over it was time to make our way to the train.  We got our luggage and boarded the 4:50 pm train headed to Vienna.  This train was about 3.5 hours and again led us through pretty countryside and allowed me to read and take a quick catnap.

Gorgeous shot Bryan got crossing the Danube on the train as we were entering Vienna

With a slight delay of the train we arrived in Vienna just after 9 pm and were moving on to the third leg of the trip…pretty sure it was going to be hard to top Prague.

Chelsea

 

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Destination: Poland

So our wild and crazy two week Central/Eastern European vacation has come to an end, sadly.  I’m honestly a little shocked at how much we saw and did in two weeks time and how appreciative I am to have been able to do this trip with Bryan and to have felt as good as I did on the trip despite being 26-28 weeks pregnant.  So on to what we really did and saw on this trip, starting with our first stop:  Poland.

We left on Mother’s Day, after getting a filling dim sum brunch with Polly and Ryuhei before our 9 hour flight to London.  We flew Norwegian Airlines to London Gatwick airport with a delay of 1.5 hours.  After a long flight that was supposedly “overnight”, we landed in London at 9 am with our connecting flight to Krakow leaving at 9:30 am.  Panic mode sets in and we realize, upon deboarding, that our next flight is located in the other terminal.  Across the airport we go, sprinting the entire way and getting to our gate at just about 9:30 am.  However, relief sets in when we see that passengers are still waiting to board and the gentleman at the gate politely lets us still board the plane.  Hallelujah!  This was really our first and only near miss of the trip.  Our spirits and mood are light at this point but there was no time to stop and get drinks or food during our layover.  The next 2.5 hour flight to Krakow was not the most comfortable.

Beautiful leaving Washington on the Boeing 787.

 

We arrive in Krakow around 2 pm their time, roughly 5 am Seattle time, with very little sleep on the planes.  We walk roughly 15 minutes through the quaint boulevard pathways of the old Krakow moat to our first Airbnb of the trip, a super cute apartment, very close to the main square, with everything we needed for our stay.  Check in was a breeze and after sitting and resting for a bit we managed to get up the energy to walk and explore.  We walked through Old Town, getting a coffee at a cafe and then the biggest bowl of borscht ($2) from a self-serve eatery to eat in the sun.  We made our way to the river and walked along the river just west of the city to our booked Eataway dinner experience with Marta, Eataway’s founder, at her house with what ended up being about 10 other Americans (all retired and all travelling together on a tour).

This Eataway experience was fun and very inspirational to me…I would love to do this in Seattle.  Marta first got us started with a round of Krakow’s very own vodka shots and a strawberry compote drink for me before starting to show us how she makes her pierogi dough.  She had Bryan help her roll out the dough and then we sat to eat our first course.  We started with a nice twist on potato salad with some mackeral in it and then some more borscht soup with salted cucumber.  We then started to assemble pierogis with meat filling and with a cottage cheese filling.  We made a bunch of pierogis before Marta cooked them and then got to sample our own creations.  The beef pierogis were boiled while the cheese pierogis were pan fried, both topped with bacon and onions and sour cream.  Both were exceptional.  We then got to try bigos, which I loved, which is a sauerkraut, venison and sausage stew-like dish.  And we finished the night with Polish cheesecake with strawberries that was light and delicious.  Bryan and I headed home to crash after such a long day.

We woke up Tuesday feeling a bit more refreshed and were set on making our first free walking tour of the trip which was to begin at 10 am.  We found some breakfast at a cute restaurant where we got some coffees and a selection of Krakow’s bagels with various toppings.  These large bagels (resembling Turkish bagels to me) were literally sold all over town.  These were great and fueled us for our few-hours walk.  We had a great native tour guide who delved into Krakow’s history and showed us important buildings in Old Town before finishing at the Wawel Castle.  This was the most impressive castle to me on the trip.  We wrapped up this tour, paid a visit to the Castle’s cathedral before making our way on foot to the Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz, for another tour.

We were both very interested in the Jewish tour but this ended up being a disappointment.  We were surprised to find that literally no Jewish people really reside there anymore.  In a huge way, this was a bit depressing.  That, and the fact that it was really starting to rain, we decided to skirt out a little early and headed to get some more soup (at the same place as the day before) for a snack before heading back to the apartment for a nap.  Tuesday night we had reservations at one of the most popular restaurants in Krakow, one of the oldest cellar restaurants providing live folk music on some nights.  We had the funniest little two-top table next to a functional waterwheel and koi pond.  The music was pleasant throughout the night and we shared the two person meat platter that was so large we had to take some home with us (which ended up  being a great late night snack the next night).  It was a fun night out and we picked up a couple paczki’s (something I hadn’t even seen since leaving Michigan) for dessert later on, when our stomachs could fit them.

Our last full day in Krakow started….late.  Neither of us set an alarm and naturally both woke up after noon!  Apparently we needed it!  We had planned on going to the salt mines, a short bus ride from Krakow, and still could have despite the late awakening, but after walking around Old Town for some time and selecting a restaurant, we each were brought out the most massive two-course lunch that after the previous night’s huge dinner, literally put us over the edge.  It was still insanely cheap, and delicious, but made us both pretty slow and lazy for the rest of the afternoon.  We decided we could just use a long walk instead to burn some of it off and digest and headed back towards the river after visiting the gorgeous St. Mary’s Cathedral in Old Town.

A walk along the chain bridge.

We walked south along the river, eventually hitting the Chain Bridge and the other side of the Jewish Quarter that we skipped on the previous day’s free tour.  We stopped at a little bar across the bridge for Bryan to get a beer and to rest our legs.  We weren’t there long when an American women stopped us because she saw Arcteryx jackets and heard English and struck up a long and interesting conversation with us.  She had been teaching Chemistry at an International school for the past two years but was shortly packing up and heading to South Korea to another teaching position.  It was interesting to get her take on Krakow and Poland from actually living there, after moving from the mountains in Colorado.  It definitely provided insight to some things we wouldn’t have gotten from just our own three days spent in the city.  After talking with her we headed back towards our apartment, getting an ice cream cone (that was delicious) on the way.  We took some more naps and had intentions of going for a dessert crawl in lieu of dinner after such a big lunch but struck out with things already closed for the night.  We had a late night to bed and were leaving early the next morning for Auschwitz en-route to Prague.

We woke early Wednesday morning to quickly pack our things and walk to the bus station in Krakow.  We got there with time to spare for the 8:05 am bus to Oswiecim (home to Auschwitz) and got some delicious cappuccinos and pastries to eat on the way.  The bus to Auschwitz was about 1.5 hours and we arrived in essentially a downpour.  We checked our luggage into their luggage hold for our visit and went through a security line to enter.  We were entering without tour guides, so our visit was free but the tickets had to be booked weeks prior as they only allow a certain number of visitors into the site each day.

It continued to rain throughout our visit and we spent about 2.5 hours reading and absorbing every sign throughout the concentration camp.  I was shocked at how much we could see and how we could enter essentially every building, including the main extermination building.  It was a somber visit but one that I would highly recommend to anyone.  We had a deadline to catch our train to Katowice to make our train to Prague and when we realized how much time we had spent at Auschwitz 1, we realized that we unfortunately didn’t have enough time to ride to Auschwitz 2 (or Birkenau) to see the rest.  This was a huge bummer but in all honesty the weather had really picked up and I was soaked and chilled and not really enjoying the whole experience.  This is something I would like to go back to see…whenever that might be.

Bryan always found it funny about the pregnant women’s picture for priority seating on trains and buses.

With this decision we had plenty of time to make the train to Katowice, which was about a 50 minute ride, then had time to get something to eat before hopping on the next transport to Prague.  About five hours later, the rain had stopped, we had crossed into Czech Republic, and the terrain was pretty beautiful.  The train ride was also pretty comfortable.  We arrived into the Prague train station just after 7:30 pm with directions to our next Airbnb and the beginning of our second city.

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Filler Weeks

These two weeks between trips have been filler weeks but filled with things to do, both at work, socially, and at home.  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since being back from San Diego and getting ready for Europe.  Fortunately, we had all our accommodations and flights booked for Europe already and I had already researched a lot about things to do, so that stuff was pretty much out of the way.  The focus was definitely catching up with work and preparing for the work that would be missed over two weeks of vacation…whether we want to work or not.

But aside from work, there was a lot of social things going on.  We wanted to see the latest musical that Valerie is playing in at the Village Theater in Everett and needed to do so before we left.  We saw the original musical, String, Friday night after getting a great Italian dinner marina-side with their family in Everett before the show.  Bryan had a little different format of a men’s group this week; not at church but at one of the guys house, complete with margaritas in celebration of Cinco De Mayo.  We had our usual church service one weekend and two FareStart nights.  We enjoyed a crazy rich and filling meal for the May Sunday Feast at Tavolata with some of our FareStart friends.  This month featured a full heritage pig and the menu was stellar!

To work off some of this splurging that has carried over from the last vacation and is leading us right into the next vacation, Bryan has really put an emphasis on exercise; getting in a few runs, a few rows and a few weightlifting  sessions at home.  I have managed to get to my cycling class a few times as well.  I’m thinking that I will continue ClassPass for this month and maybe (MAYBE) June, before suspending my membership until a few months after baby is born.  I’ve been trying to keep my walking up because it is good for me, the weather is nice, and want to keep my feet and legs in shape to thoroughly enjoy Europe.  However, this walking speed is certainly a touch slower these days.

I’ve managed lots of sleep and just really still feel like a much more relaxed human being post-San Diego.  We are trying to limit TV time to after 9 pm (or 8 pm if we had a long day at work) and so far this week was a success.  I managed to finish reading a book for leisure for the first time in a long time.  I thoroughly enjoyed Give a Girl a Knife and would recommend it to anyone, particularly anyone from the Midwest.  It was a book right up my alley and literally I felt like I was reading about myself at some points (minus being a chef)!  We also really enjoyed the movie The Post and LOVED The Greatest Showman.  And I have more hobbies set and ready to go to enjoy in my immobile state post-Europe.

And to round out the two weeks we visited a daycare center (and got on their waiting list) and had our monthly doctor’s appointment for May.  Still nothing really to report from the doctor.  Growth and heartbeat seem to be on target.  And Bryan felt the baby kick for the first time while we were in San Diego and has felt it a few more times since so that has been pretty exciting!  Belly is now starting to pop but I think the thing that fascinates us both the most is the popping out of the belly button.  I don’t know why but that little change seems so weird to me.

Baby bump before travels….although it is growing by the day.

We fly to Europe on Sunday!  I’m sure we will be posting pics and will be able to use texts, calls and data internationally, thanks to T-Mobile, but probably will not be posting until after our return.

Chelsea

 

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Garage Remodel and Organization

I don’t have before pictures of the garage but for anyone that had ever seen our garage you wouldn’t recognize today.  I wanted to feature what an amazing job Bryan has done organizing what is actually a very spacious garage to store all of our fun toys.

Bryan bought a ski rack and has hung our skis against the wall…

Ski rack

He bought a bike rack for two bikes and has hung these against the wall…

Bike rack

He bought a few large shelving units that are very sturdy.  One is to organize our camping and hiking gear…

Camping gear
Hung bags

The other shelving unit is to store our miscellaneous household items like paper toiletries, picnic supplies, vases and random housewares and Christmas stuff…

Misc stuff

We are utilizing the existing workstation for all tools…

Looking into the garage. Look at the floor!
Other misc household stuff

 

It is literally too good to be true in my opinion.  We might actually have to store Scoot Scoot in here for the next year of its one-year sabbatical (I’m not allowed to ride it anymore…per Bryan).

Chelsea

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San Diego Newbie

Bryan and I just returned from an absolutely wonderful, and much needed vacation to sunny San Diego for four nights and five full days.  From day 1 I was instantly more relaxed and at ease than I have been in months.  This led to what felt like a lengthy vacation and retreat from daily life.  Here is a look at how Bryan and I kept ourselves busy…or not so busy.

We had an early morning flight on Thursday morning, meaning an early morning wake up call for us, and a shortened amount of sleep prior to the trip.  But by 5:15 am we were out the door and on the way to the airport.  Our travels were smooth sailing and after a 2.5 hour flight and a 15 minutes ride to the car rental center in San Diego we were in our rental car for the weekend and setting north to Pacific Beach.  We checked into our hotel, the Beach Haven, right in the heart of PB, and were able to occupy the room early.  We set forth to explore the boardwalk and the beach shortly after noon.  After a short orientation, we found Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, which was a huge win, and scored some cheap but super delicious battered fish and shrimp tacos and enjoyed those outside in the sunshine.

After lunch we changed into beach-going clothes and made our way north for Bryan’s tour of years past.  We first drove through La Jolla, stopping at the cove to get out and see the seals on the beach and the cliffs.  We kept driving north, next to Torrey Pines.  At Torrey Pines we laid out and napped on the beach for a while before setting out on foot along the beach and then up the cliff onto the nice trails, taking in the expansive views.  This was somewhere that Bryan went a lot during his time in San Diego.  We got back to our car and Bryan showed me his old office and apartment in Del Mar before circling back south and driving to the top of Mount Soledad.  We thought about taking in the sunset but clouds were settling in and we still had a good while to wait out the sunset.

We drove back to our hotel to change for dinner and set out by foot for some place good.  We settled upon the low-key but homey Italian restaurant called Alta Marea.  The service staff was super friendly and after placing our order Bryan went to go get a bottle of wine at the local Ralph’s as the place was BYOB.  Upon arrival of our burrata and tomato salad and fresh green salad, we knew we were in for a lot of food.  The salads themselves were gigantic, but fresh and delicious and gone with a side of the fresh homemade foccacia bread basket.  Next arrived my lobster pasta and Bryan’s lamb pasta, both with homemade noodles and somehow we finished those off as well.  Literally stuffed to the gills we were brought the bill and were very pleased with the price for everything.  We set back for the hotel, somehow finding room to split the peanut butter explosion from Coldstone on the way home…because we were on vacation.

We woke up Friday morning with not much on the agenda.  We walked the boardwalk and contemplated a few breakfast spots but so full from the night before we mainly wanted a good coffee.  We found the Krazy Kat, near our hotel, for the perfect iced Americano and shared one of their Brazilian pastries that was much like a quiche but with shredded chicken.  It was a good bite to fuel the morning.  We rented beach cruisers for $10 each and set out on the boardwalk, heading south to Mission Beach, then cycling around Mission Bay, venturing out on Fiesta Island before realizing that would be too long of a ride and circling back before finding our way back to PB.  We locked up the bikes to get a giant but delicious tropical fruit and coconut smoothie to take to the beach and relax our tired legs after the 15 mile leisure ride.  Shortly thereafter we returned our bikes and changed for dinner at the hotel.

Friday night was a little impromptu.  We headed to Balboa Park but got there after much of the museums were closed.  We still enjoyed walking around the park and seeing all of the cool buildings and plants.  We realized that we were starving and set out to a burrito place that was featured and raved about on the show Man vs. Food; Lucha Libre in Mission Hills.  We ordered a surf and turf burrito and a steak and vegetable burrito to share, got a side of chips, marveled at the delicious salsas and then demolished the HUGE burritos when they arrived, sharing them both.  Probably the best burritos of my life; no rice or beans but stuffed with meat, cheese, avocado, fries (!), pico and veggies.  OMG.  We both were delighted and full upon leaving and headed to Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach to take in the sunset from there.  We managed to get a parking spot and find a fairly secluded spot to take in the sunset.  It was a gorgeous one.  We drove back to PB, parked and then walked to the Baked Bear to sample more ice cream, this time in the form of ice cream on take of a fresh baked brownie.  The ice cream was superb and we were satisfied, and once again stuffed, before heading back home for my prized sleep.

Saturday was our day to check out of the hotel in PB and check into the Ritz in Laguna Niguel.  We woke with the sun and walked to Krazy Kat again for just coffees this time.  Delicious and enjoyed for awhile in the sun on their sidewalk!  We packed and hit the road with a stop at Jamba Juice for a free breakfast, thanks to mystery shopping.  We enjoyed the breakfast sandwich, smoothie and acai bowl before driving the hour north to Laguna.  Travel was smooth and we arrived early to the hotel.  Our room wasn’t ready but we were eager to explore the hotel.  We set out to do so and marveled at the views and the fanciness of the place.  We walked down to the beach and along the beach before getting the text that our room was ready.  We checked into our ocean-view room around 1:30 pm and it was approved by both of us.  After settling in, we changed into swimsuits and headed for the pool.  Bryan ordered a margarita and we shared the hummus and pita plate while enjoying the sun and our books for awhile.

We had reserved a tennis court for 5 pm and played for about 45 minutes for the first time this year with rental rackets.  Bryan barely eeked out the win.  We cleaned up in the hotel for the night and headed to the hotel bar, 180Blu, for drinks and to watch the sunset.  I ordered a virgin coconut mojito and Bryan the tamarind margarita (not virgin) and we took in the spectacular 180 degree views and the live guitarist and singer.  This was a good start to the night.

After sunset we left the hotel and headed to Laguna Beach for dinner reservations at Driftwood Kitchen.  We had oceanside views from our table but now in the dark it was only the crashing waves that we took in.  We semi-shared the whole fried branzino with a ponzu sauce and shishito peppers and the raved-about lobster carbonara.  Both were amazing but the carbonara was really out of this world with a ton of lobster for a decent price.  After dinner we drove back to the hotel where Bryan got a manhatten from the bar to bring back to the room and we slept with the doors open to listen to the crashing waves.

Sunday morning was another sunny morning and to start it off we headed to the hotel restaurant Raya for brunch.  Again, seated with ocean views, I ordered the crab chulupa (like a benedict but on a chulupa instead of muffin) and Bryan the huevos rancheros.  Both dishes were plentiful and beautiful and gone.  I had my prenatal massage at the spa next while Bryan somehow digested enough to go for a run on the beach and follow that up with weights in the fitness room.  My massage was nice, as was using the little luxuries inside the spa for a good hour after my massage ended.  We met back up to sit and read on the veranda for some time.  Both of us were feeling super lethargic.  We decided to explore Laguna Beach some more and set out midday.  We shopped around at the cute stores and art galleries, found a candy shop, walked the beach park and then headed back to our hotel.

Sunday night included room service dinner that was absolutely a perfect way to spend our last night in Southern California.  We were delivered blankets to keep warm on our balcony and our dinner was delivered about 15 minutes before sunset went down.  Bryan enjoyed the wagyu steak special and me the miso black cod.  Beer, wine, salad and rolls to compliment.  The whole table was rolled out onto our balcony amazingly.  Dessert came in the form of ice cream and cookies later in the night and we really just enjoyed taking the whole luxury treatment in.

Monday arrived as our last day and a cloudy day in California.  I attempted the free yoga class but hated it, left for the fitness center for my own short little workout before cleaning up once more with the spa facilities.  Bryan went for another, longer, beach run himself.  We packed up and checked out at 11 am.  We found a sandwich shop nearby the hotel for fuel and then drove back south to San Diego and Balboa Park.  It was a good day to spend in a museum and decided on the Air and Space Museum.  We enjoyed the museum for some time before walking around the park again.  It was chilly and we were again surprisingly tired so we headed to another Oscar’s Mexican Seafood restaurant on the way to the airport.  Three happy hour $.99 fish tacos for each of us and I tried a cup of the steamy fish stew.  The tacos were so fresh and again delicious and the fish stew was chock full of shrimp, vegetables and octopus and warmed me up.

We didn’t have anything else to do so headed to return our car and get to the airport.  We were there three hours early and realized there was an earlier Alaska flight to Seattle that we could get on for $25 each.  We had used miles for this flight anyways so we decided to take it and had the whole back row to ourselves.  We got home two hours earlier than planned, with enough time to semi-unpack, get a snack and still get to bed at a decent hour.

This was a near-perfect vacation and one I will remember for a while.  The ultimate in R&R.

Chelsea

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San Diego Ready

Oh, I’m ready to get out of here!!!  The three-day work week went by quickly and I am ready for more sun and R&R in California.  It’s actually been pretty nice in Seattle for the past week but I just need some different scenery.  I am also very eager to get my hands on some fish tacos, walk with my sand in the toes, relax in a posh hotel and get a much needed massage (probably my biggest complaint of physical symptoms of pregnancy, aside from digestion and not drinking and the emotional and spontaneous mood swings, is that I have been experiencing back pain daily from sitting so much of the time at work).

This week flew by though with two cycle classes, an SEAW dinner meeting down near Sea-Tac on the Bertha tunnel,  church, our first time trying out Gobble dinner kits and a few long walks.  This will be a good, easy break for Bryan and I.  And I think it will reset me before a few weeks back at home before getting ready for the biggie vacation.

Chelsea

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Sun Breaks

Last weekend continued to bring showers and that oh-so-lovely Seattle spring weather but we finally may have received a long overdue break in the rain showers, cool weather and high winds.  Very hopeful but, regardless, San Diego and sun…t-minus one week.

Not looking bad!

The past weekend felt uneventful, with me pouting about the exam for the last time, but it wasn’t that uneventful.  Bryan played touch football in the rain, got brunch at Neighbor Lady, then went bowling withe the boys for David’s 30th birthday.  I did stuff around the house, rowed, then cleaned up to join a large group for Mexican dinner at La Cocina y Cantina in Capitol Hill.  We closed out the night, walking to Hula Hula, for tiki drinks and karaoke for some before heading home.  It downpoured all day long and I guess was still rather uneventful for me.  Bryan and I spent Sunday going to church, getting a delicious brunch at Rhein Haus (making me excited for Eastern European food), and then really lazying it up the rest of the afternoon and evening (we did finish taxes and booked a few accommodations for Europe).

The week has been similar to the past several.  I managed to get to cycling class on Monday.  We had our Volunteer Appreciation party at FareStart with our good friends on Tuesday.  I finally got to catch up with Marika but she had to cancel the mani-pedi appointment we had.  I still treated myself to a mani-pedi because I could use it for San Diego and I’m going to treat myself as much as I can before baby arrives (although I hope to not let that completely go out the window once baby is here).  I made it to another girls night (after skipping last week) for some gentle yoga stretching.  We had a sold-out night at FareStart with Ethan Stowell and Holland America in the house and salmon on the menu.

And now we have one more weekend ahead of us with another birthday party before leaving on a jet plane to San Diego.

Chelsea