Category Archives: Uncategorized

It’s a Cottage, not a Cabin

Last I left you, we were headed out to the cottage. Lindsey mentioned that we (the Americans) kept calling it a cabin but it felt very cabin-y to me because I could see myself 1) having a great time there and 2) getting murdered there.

If someone was chasing me, I would never make it down the dark, bumpy, dirt road to leave this cottage. Long, breathless run to safety or quick death by chainsaw? I think we all know the right choice here.

We got to the cottage pretty late Friday night, so we unpacked Evan’s truck, hung out for about an hour, and pretty much called it a night.

Lindsey and Evan rented a pontoon boat for the weekend, which I was super excited about.

I love a good, leisurely boat ride to nowhere. We all got up early(ish), had a delightful breakfast at a nearby diner, and got ready for our day of pontooning. Everyone was at max leisure on the boat.

After we got back to the dock, naps were had.

And sunsets were watched.

Much of the same leisuring was done the next day. That cottage is so dang relaxing, I see why Lindsey and Evan want to spend all their time there. I will be inserting myself into future cottage weekends from now on.

We left the cottage for the condo late Sunday after a bonfire and multiple s’mores. Cely had a super early flight home and hubs and I left around noon. I’m always sad to leave because I always have so much fun when I visit. I want to move in with Lindsey and Evan and have them entertain me forever. I think Pepper was sad to see us go too.

Thanks to Lindsey and Evan for being awesome hosts. Ya’ll are welcome in Orlando any time! (You too, Cely!)


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Toronto Island and Other Toronto-y Stuff

Originally I was going to write a post about the last several stops of my work travel, but after a weekend in Toronto, my trips to Alamagordo and Clovis, New Mexico don’t seem as exciting. I did find a pretty sweet salad wagon (a salad bar in a movable, covered wagon) in Clovis, but that was as exciting as it got – unless your into hearing about my fiber consumption. So, Toronto it is.

Hubs and I arrived in Toronto around 4:00 pm to visit our friends Lindsey and Evan. Several months ago, I heard Cely was visiting Lindsey on Labor Day weekend, so I got in on that action and visited three friends for the price of one! Evan picked hubs and I up from the airport while Cely and Lindsey sat and waited for us patiently in silence having no fun whatsoever.

When we arrived at Lindsey and Evan’s condo, we were kindly greeted by her fridge.

We were all pretty hungry,  so dinner was our first line of business. We walked to a place where I had delicious cabbage rolls and perogies. I even took a picture of my food for a potential blog post but I posted it on my Instagram story and forgot to save it. I prefer Snapchat but Lindsey informed me that Snapchat is for old people and I should stop using it immediately. So Cely and Lindsey were teaching me the Instagram ways all weekend. Long story short, you can’t see my cabbage rolls.

After dinner, we went to The Lockhart – a Harry Potter themed bar.

I ordered a “Better Beer” – I guess it’s better (and not butter) because it has tequila in it. But not enough if you ask me. It was still delicious and I’ll take a roasted marshmallow any day of the week.

Lindsey and Cely got a pitcher of Better Beer, as one should. (Don’t go to the bathroom first thing if you’re ever with them at a bar, they order fast!)

Several drinks were enjoyed (responsibly) and the rest of the night consisted of us going to several other bars that were all awkward in their own way. Bad taxidermy? Sure! Guys in stylish Home Depot jackets? You betcha!  The night ended super late – around 4:00am – but a bit earlier for Cely as she has this ninja way of disappearing quickly into bed before anyone else knows what happened.

The next day, we made our way over to Toronto Island.

Hubs representing himself.

Toronto Island is BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL. We all ate meat and cheese at a picnic table with the best view of the city. It did not disappoint.

We walked around the island to check out all the sites and enjoy the perfect weather. I also finally got to try a Beaver Tail, one of the two foods that eluded me on my last trip to Toronto.

A Beaver Tail is basically an Elephant Ear (or a funnel cake – whatever you like to call it) with toppings. Hubs got hazelnut and I got vanilla icing with Oreo crumbles.

Delicious. But if I had to choose, I’d take a butter tart any day over a Beaver Tail. It’s these things I go to Toronto to discover about myself.

After the Beaver Tails, we went on the sky ride (for lack of a better name). Can you spy Lindsey and Cely behind us?

The ride took us over most of the island including the petting zoo where I found this lovely, leisuring llama.

Delightful views.

And these two jokers on the way back.

After our day at Toronto Island, we went back to Lindsey’s condo to meet up with Evan (who had to work that day) and head to the cottage. The cottage was a good time. More on that later!


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More Travel

A few people have mentioned that they thought it was weird that I was in the market for a “work husband” when my real husband actually works with me. This is true. The irony is not lost. However, I’m all about equal rights. I don’t think having a real work husband should disqualify me from having a fake one (or two) as well.

I still like my real one the best.

Anyway, I mentioned that before my Denver work trip, I was in Las Vegas. I flew there for a long weekend to visit my mom and some family friends. My mom’s birthday is in August and she was asked what she wanted for her birthday. Her answer of course: Vegas. But that trip didn’t happen until February. Still, I was not going to let that birthday wish go ungranted, so I booked my flight there so it would be sure to happen.

We could have stayed with our friends in town but my mom, being the high society lady that she is, wanted to stay at a hotel. What the birthday girl wants, the birthday girl gets. I booked two hotels. We stayed at the Cosmopolitan for the first two nights and the Palazzo for the second two. Now, I don’t want to say that the Cosmopolitan is my spirit hotel, but you can’t deny the facts.

There were rabbits everywhere I turned. It’s like they knew. Plus, it’s not even a year of the rabbit, so I’m not sure what was going on. But I liked it. I even ran into rabbits outside of the hotel.

That metal one was purchased and now has a happy home in Orlando.

As for the hotels, I didn’t like the Palazzo as well as the Cosmopolitan. Mom liked the Palazzo better, which I found surprising because I could not get her out of the bath tub at the Cosmopolitan. It had jet-propulsion like a hot tub and I’m pretty sure she took more baths than we were there days.

She asked for that picture to be taken by the way (over and over). And that’s the clean one (no pun intended).

I just didn’t feel like there was much to do at the Palazzo unless you walked over to the Venetian. So lesson learned, I’ll just stay at the Venetian next time. I tried to book it for this trip but they didn’t have the date range that I wanted. Next time!

As one does in Vegas, we spent a lot of time eating and sight seeing. Mom drank vats of Bailey’s (or maybe that’s Kahlua?)

We checked out the Michael Jackson One Cirque Du Soleil show which I really enjoyed, but thought it was more of a dance show than a cirque show. Not much cirque stuff going on in comparison to the five or so others I’ve seen. Also, it was LOUD. Like, concert loud which I was not expecting. Mom probably could have used some ear plugs for that one.

We walked from the Cosmopolitan to the Wynn (about 1.5 miles) to meet up with our friends for dinner. That mama of mine is going to be 80 this year and she’s truckin’ all over town.

Another night, just before we left for dinner, my mom decided to “check out the casino really quick and see what they have.” She came back 20 minutes later and had already won $250. I swear, I don’t know how she does it but the casinos love her. I need to channel her casino luck into a day job.

We walked around the Venetian and checked out the sights. Mom loved the Venetian (which I think is the secret reason she liked the Palazzo better).

We also visited Mandalay Bay which was bitter sweet, of course, because of the shooting that happened, but it’s also where I got married, so I have a lot of good memories of that hotel.

And that was it. The trip was short and sweet. And then it was off to Denver for another work trip.

I’ve done about three work trips since then and even though they’re for work, they always end up being a good time. It’s nice to like your co-workers! So I’ll chat about those trips next time.


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All the Riverwalks

One of the reasons that I haven’t been around these bloggy parts, besides school and life things, is I’ve been traveling a lot for work. It’s fun travel but it’s also long days. By the time I eat dinner and get back to my hotel room, I’m ready to watch an episode of Shameless (about to start season 4!) and go to bed. For the first time in a LONG time, I really like the project I’m on and my team. We actually like to hang out with each other, so we’re pretty good about having an evening of fun each trip and doing something local or seeing the sights if time permits.

Our first trip was to San Antonio. We were working 12 hour days and not getting lunch breaks, so we mainly ate at the restaurant next to our hotel every night because it was there and we were starving. It’s called 54th Street Grill and I noticed a few of them around town, so maybe a local chain? I really liked it, so I didn’t mind eating there a lot.

Anyway, when we’re traveling, there are usually four of us. Myself, Robin (who likes to avoid the camera), Greg (who likes to get in every picture), and Bulldog. Yes, that’s what we call him. It’s his Air Force call sign. I think only his wife calls him by his real name?

Anyway, since we had many trips ahead of us, it was important that I establish a “work husband.” So I made Greg and Bulldog compete for this position that they did not ask for or want. Please know this competition had rules that I made up as I went along and they did not know them ahead of time. Basically, I was looking for the person that complimented me the most and did what I wanted. Greg was leaning at the tape but then Bulldog pulled through at the end.

Bulldog would not love that I posted that picture. But that’s what he gets for being a winner. Plus, he posed for it so it’s basically fair game.

As you might have guessed, our night on the town in San Antonio was at The Alamo and the Riverwalk. That’s Greg looking at his phone and ruining my supermodel pose (minus one work husband point).

I don’t know why, but I was expecting The Alamo to be in the middle of nowhere with dust storms and tumbleweed everywhere, but it is smack in the middle of the city. We didn’t go inside because they were closing soon and we were starving, but I was still there and it counts.

After The Alamo, we walked over to the Riverwalk and got down to business.

We pretty much ate at the first place that wasn’t busy and had easy seating by the river. The restaurant was called The Original Mexican Restaurant and Bar and I’m sure it wasn’t the best The Riverwalk had to offer, but when you have three hungry people, you make sacrifices. (Bulldog stayed back at the hotel because he’d “seen the Riverwalk a million times before.” That guy cracks me up.)

During dinner, we spotted this poor crooked-necked duck, but he seemed to be the boss of all other ducks so we didn’t feel sorry for him long. That little dude didn’t let his handicap get him down and I respect a duck for that.

After dinner, we had a beer at an Irish pub, met some high-faluten horses on the side of the street, and caught The Alamo lit up at night.

It was a short and sweet night because we had to catch a morning flight home, but we all absolutely loved the Riverwalk. Please note that Robin was our DD and we are responsible adults.

Our second trip was to Denver. I was actually flying in from Las Vegas, but I’ll leave that for another post. Anyway, giant sky penis welcomed me to Denver.

As you can imagine, sky penis got me very excited for the possibility of snow. And snow I got!

Dirty, dirty curb snow.

We were actually working in Pueblo, which is about a two hour drive from Denver. One evening, Greg found a hole-in-the-wall restaurant and bar that had great reviews on Trip Advisor, so we tried it out.  Apparently in Pueblo, “the slopper” is a thing. So we made the slopper happen.

The slopper is a burger with the bottom half of the bun only, covered in green chili, and the burger toppings are put on top of the green chili. It was really good and I’d do it all over again if I had the chance.

That night, oddly, a hunchback woman came up to our table and tried to sell Robin and I a pair of jeans. She only had two pairs with her, and I guess we looked like the right fit? I have no idea. I do know that I can now say that a hunchback tried to sell me jeans in Pueblo while eating a slopper. Not everyone can say that. But…I can.

While we were there, we also discovered that Pueblo has a Riverwalk. After San Antonio, we did not have high expectations, but of course we had to check it out.

So far so good…

We had no real plans so we ate at the first place we walked by – a place called Twenty One Steak. And it was freakin’ delicious. It was on the more expensive side and was the type of place that had a la carte sides, but it was worth it.

I’ll have to say, the Pueblo Riverwalk was SUPER cute. It wasn’t very big (in comparison to SAT) but it was very charming.

Again, we were leaving in the morning so it wasn’t a late night, but we had a few drinks and Robin drove us safely home because she’s wonderful like that.

The next morning, we left extremely early to catch our morning flight. We had a two hour drive to the airport, had to return the rental car, and of course be two hours early for our flight so there was no freaking out on anyone’s part.

Greg allowed Robin and I use his legs for our comfort on the shuttle to the airport (plus 1 work husband point).

Our next trip was back to San Antonio. I was super excited to go back to the Riverwalk. We ate at The Esquire Tavern this time. I found it on Trip Advisor and it was delicious. Everyone loved it. The only difference between this trip and the last two was that our team lead, Aimee, came with us instead of Robin. She was a champ at taking over DD duties. We stopped for a giant margarita again and look who we saw! Our crooked-necked duck taking a snooze.

We also made our way around The Alamo and into The Alamo gift shop.

Again, it was an early next morning so also an early night.

Our next trip is on Monday to Sacramento. I have four more work trips until all my travel is finished for the year (I think). But then I have several other trips planned for summer and the fall, so it will be a travel kinda year. I’m looking forward to it!


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A Tale of Two Races

Oh hai there, friends.

I logged into my blog and there were eight plug-ins to update, so I guess it’s been awhile. I’ve wanted to write and I have several half written blogs, but then they dropped to the bottom of my priority list. You know how it goes. Anyway, since I’ve written last I graduated with my Masters in Instructional Design and Technology, found my first gray hair, plucked said hair, went to Vegas, stopped running completely because of some ankle issues, then kinda started running again. I guess that brings me to now. I miss running. Plus my zippers on my pants are in deep turmoil trying to do their job. So I’m starting from square one which…kinda sucks.

About a month ago I ran the Best Damn Race 10k (I dropped from the half). My training was going slowly and it was frustrating because my body was not doing what I was trying to tell it to do. My training was so mediocre that I was *really* close to backing out but the running wife offered to pick me up and then I didn’t really have an excuse. So…


I figured I could walk the whole thing if my ankles weren’t having it. Not ideal, but at least it would get me out there. And…I’m really glad I didn’t back out! It was fun racing again for the first time in two years. I was pretty certain I’d be on the course for an hour and 20 minutes so I’m really happy with my 1:08:31 finish time. It’s over 10 minutes off my PR, but considering I couldn’t run a quarter mile not so long ago, I’ll take it.

Look at that goofy smile. That’s the “thank goodness I dropped to the 10k” smile.

After the race, I hung out with Michelle and earned back my race entry in drinks. Bloody Mary’s are basically vegetables so it was also breakfast.

BDR inspired me to sign up for the Winter Park Road Race (also a 10k). WPRR happened last weekend and I ran with with my brunch and vacation sista, Keke. This one we finished in 1:15:34. It was her first 10k and her first medal! We ran the whole race together, so I’m looking forward to seeing some real stupid finish line pictures because I definitely dance-ran through it.

After I crossed the finish, Michelle found her way into my heart real fast.

I mean, if I must!

Keke and I had a great time running the race and checking out all the houses that we wished were ours on the course. I think this race even inspired Keke to sign up for her first half marathon! A runner is born, ya’ll.

Incidentally, I also want to hire Michelle to be my champagne mama after every race. Not much to ask.

My next race isn’t until January (so far away!) so I may need to look for a different half marathon that’s happening sooner. I don’t want to jinx it by putting this out there, but I’m hoping running is back in my life again for awhile.


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Some Photos of Me Not Running and then Me Complaining about Running

I don’t know how to use technology and accidentally published this post before I was done writing it. Sorry to my email subscribers that got an incoherent mess of a post. Here’s the incoherent mess I meant for you to read:

Ok, last talk about this vacation because it was a month and a half ago. Time is flying and I’m not sure I like that. Anyway, besides the port stops, we had our usual shenanigans on the ship. We leisured, we ate, we drank, wash, repeat.

We also went to see a comedy show while we were at sea that had a Russian tango opening act which 1) was a super weird combo and 2) we much preferred to the comedy. The actual comedy show was so bad that we left after 10 minutes and at least a dozen others were filing out of the theatre too. We also saw Passengers one night but that’s about all we did that didn’t involve eating and drinking. You get it, it’s a ship. So here’s a photo drop of some of the fun and we can move on.

The day we left – sunny and perfect.

What most of our days at sea looked like – relaxing with drinks while watching the ocean.

What most of our nights looked like and one of the few times that Cheyanne and Ricky decided to be seen with us.

What most of our post-dinner snacks looked like. (Keke could not handle how that pizza was placed on my plate.)

Happiness just before the sadness of the terrible comedy show.

One day I mentioned to Keke that I was bummed we didn’t have any towel animals for the first three days of the cruise. I guess our room attendant was nearby and heard me. I came back to my room later that night to find an adorable towel animal zoo!

We found a sad moose in full costume with his head in his hands which had hubs and I laughing hard, but he spotted us, quickly jumped up, and became happy moose again.

We took advantage of happy moose.

Hubs’s appetizer order of scallops. Two. minuscule. scallops. Why even serve that?

The one dress up night that I participated in before I couldn’t fit in my dress anymore.

The day Keke and I decided to be twinsies and reactions were either hard, cold staring at us like we’re idiots or people laughing and wishing they remembered to bring their camera with them from the room. Pink fluffly leg warmers = apparently crazy in Alaska.

And finally our one sunny day at sea. We sat outside for hours in the sun (at a bar, duh) watching the mountains. It was glorious and chilly!

Running. Ugh.

Over vacation plus the month following, my running stopped completely. I decided to get back into it seeing as how I have a race in 6 months, but my body was not having it. Usually, even with time off, I can run a good 3-4 miles. This time, I couldn’t run more than a quarter mile at a time without my ankles hurting so much that I had to walk. After I walked for about a minute or two, the pain would go away. I blamed this my weight gain, but I’ve gained weight before, ran, and never felt pain in my ankles. I thought maybe I just needed to ease back into it, so I ran short spurts for a few days in a row thinking my mileage would slowly increase. It didn’t. I finally decided to get the sport’s massage I’ve been putting off. I’ve had my calves raked before when I couldn’t run during training for the Chicago Marathon and it helped immensely, but it’s expensive.

I got the massage two weeks ago and it was so painful that when my massage guy was working on my feet, I was actively trying to get away from him. My feet felt bruised for at least a few days after. They felt better but just really worked over from all the knots and tight muscles. After the bruised feeling went away, I tried running again. One ankle definitely felt better but the other was still hurting so I haven’t been running since. I have appointment this Saturday for another massage and I’m not looking forward. I’m hoping the ankle problem is just tightness in my calves and feet and a few sport’s massages will work that out.

In the meantime, I joined a fancy-pantsy spin place in town called Cyclebar. I haven’t been to a spin class in over six years so I’m glad to get back to it. I’m also hoping it will help get some of my endurance back until I can run again.

Has anyone else had problems with ankle pain while running? For me, it’s not in one particular place. It’s just the circumference of my ankle feeling like I just can’t take another step without my ankle giving out.


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Last stop, Victoria, B.C.

We finally made it to the last stop on our cruise, Victoria, British Columbia.

You may notice that thing in the sky that’s been missing our whole trip. I believe the locals call it “the sun.”

We were definitely overdressed as it was 75 degrees F and sunny, but that worked out for me since I forgot to put on sunscreen. My scarf stayed on since I *hate* getting sun on my chest. No future old lady chest for this girl.

First, we walked from the port to this cute little dock area with private boat house residences and boat restaurants. Keke loves Mexican food more than most things. Below you can see her b-lining past all of us to her homeland. Unfortunately, she was unimpressed that she found the one Mexican place ever to not serve margaritas.

The boat houses were super cute but I would hate boatloads (literally) of people walking around and creeping on my house every day.

After creeping on all those boat houses (I’m not beneath doing it to someone else), we stopped for some 10:00 in the morning ice cream. I got the best birthday cake flavor ever (that flavor is usually 50/50 with me) while hubs channeled his inner Canadian with moose tracks.

Or maybe he’s just channeling his inner Lindsey who loves her moose tracks.

They also had a flavor called Tiger Tail that is orange-flavored ice cream with black licorice swirl. Gross. We did not have that but Keke (who is Canadian) insisted it’s delicious. I’ll take her word for it. Those are two of my least favorite flavors and I hope Tiger Tail stays in Canada forever.

Again, we didn’t have anything planned excursion-wise in Victoria and thought we’d just wing it once we got off the ship. Cheyanne and Ricky decided to do their own thing while Ken, Keke, hubs, and I found a whale watching tour at the dock area that we really liked and booked. We had an hour and a half before our tour so we walked from the dock area to downtown to catch the sights before our tour – like the B.C. Parliament building.

Victoria is the capitol of B.C. and is more populated than Toronto. So how about that for some trivia, aye?

We also saw boats in a harbor.

And a mirror on a wall.

Ok, so looking back on my pictures, we didn’t walk around that much. I think we were all done souvenir shopping by that point and just wanted to do something fun. I will say Victoria is really lush and pretty. There are flowers galore everywhere and one of Victoria’s main attractions is a botanical garden. But as Cheyanne said, “we’re seeing all the flowers for free by walking around. We don’t need to pay to see more flowers.”

After a short walk around the harbor and a quick beer stop, we walked back to the dock area to meet up for our excursion. Our excursion was with Eagle Wing tours. I mention their name because I thought they were great and again, we had a great tour guide. Our guide loooooved to talk and I believe he had just gotten a Marine Biology degree, so he knew his stuff and we learned a lot about marine life and Victoria that I absolutely don’t remember.

Ken’s face in the picture above makes me giggle.

The tour supplied us all with pants, coats, hats, glasses, and sunscreen. It was HOT in those jackets when we were on land but it was freakin’ freezing out on the water. Still nice. But freezing. I do love me some cold weather.

First we watched some whales. We saw one do a deep dive and followed another one for awhile that was just swimming. Not a lot of whale action but still nice to see what we did and to be out on the water. Then we made our way over to Race Rocks ecological reserve to see the poor, male sea lions that didn’t get a mate for the season.

That is the life right there. The stinky life, but the life nonetheless. Still, they are literally the losers. The entire reserve is all male because the ladies picked their hunks already and were off procreating somewhere. Maybe a nice hotel room. But these dudes have to wait for their chance again next mating season.

And finally my personal fave, we got to see Ollie the otter.

He’s hard to spot among all that kelp but holy crap if that isn’t the cutest animal in existence, I don’t know what is. He rolled around to get his belly wet and waved his little otter paws. Dawww. I love otters so much. I wanted to take him home with me. I guess Ollie has been hanging out there by himself for several years now. He’s an independent man, that one. I gotta respect that.

After our whale watching tour that turned into a sea lion and Ollie fest, we didn’t have much time left so we had to get back to the ship. Still we had a great time on the water all day. There were some really crowded whale watching boats out on the water and it was nice to be in one that held about 12 people total where everyone respected each other’s space.

So back to the ship we went for our last night where we managed to close down a bar. It was fun but a terrible idea because we had to be up early the next day to get off the ship. Keke requested Kesha for me because that is the only way you can get me to dance, and it was all downhill from there. I did have over 20k steps on my Fitbit so at least there’s that.

I have a few pictures left to share next post so we can get this vacation business over with and move on to me complaining about stuff.




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Skagway and Dyea

After our day in Juneau, we took it easy that night since we were arriving in Skagway the next morning. We didn’t have anything planned in Skagway and after our Juneau disappointment, I really wanted to find something fun to do. Instead of booking an excursion on the ship, we decided to see what they had to offer off the boat. We found a little excursion hut run by M&M Excursions. That was the same company that ran our cancelled excursion from Juneau. They already had great intial contact with us, notified us of our refunded Juneau excursion immediately, and were overall pleasant, so I felt pretty good going with them.

Our first choice excursion wasn’t available (train ride then bike ride) so we went with our second choice which was just a bike ride through the rainforest and the ghost town of Dyea (pronounced DYE-e). The timing gave us a couple hours to walk around town beforehand, so it worked out perfectly.

We also visited a lot of the local stores.

It took me more time to get that than it ever should have.

If you go on a cruise to Alaska and  Juneau and Skagway are two of your ports, I recommend waiting to buy souvenirs in Skagway. We noticed Juneau was far more expensive and had the same stuff (but less of options). We were annoyed that we bought a few things in Juneau that we found cheaper and better in Skagway.

Before leaving, I had read that Blockbuster Video was still a thing in Alaska and several stores were still thriving. I think it has something to do with spotty internet up there, but I can’t quite remember. Anyway, I was excited to visit a Blockbuster and relive my youth. Unfortunately, we did not see one but we did run across a surviving Radio Shack. The most diverse Radio Shack in the land at that. Not only did they rent videos there (and have new inventory)!

But they also sold mattresses.

(You did not read that incorrectly.)

(I’ll let that sink in for a second.)

If a Radio Shack sells mattresses in Alaska, does it make a sound?

After touristing a bit, we stopped at the Skagway Brewing Company for lunch and a drink.

I can’t remember what anyone had, but we all liked it a lot and it was later recommended to us by a local, so we felt like we made a pretty good decision in picking it.

After lunch, we met at a nearby bicycle shop for our excursion. We had a short van ride up to the excursion area and were briefed on what to do for traffic (slow down and pull to the side) and what to do for horses (slow down and pull to the side) and what to do if we saw a bear (sing loudly together, but what song to sing was not covered in the brief unfortunately). We all picked up our bikes after that and were off. I will tell you, there is nothing like getting on a mountain bike to tell you that you need to stretch your hips. Sweet mercy, who has that leg span?

We followed our guide on some pretty rough terrain. There was a lot of uneven dirt road and gravel so staying on the bike and off my face was a challenge. We stopped in a bunch of areas and our guide told us about the history of Skagway and Dyea, which was really interesting.

Long story short, back in the day Dyea and Skagway were in competition with each other because they were the closest cities to salt water ports and catered to miners and traders. On April 3, 1898, Dyea has a massive snow avalanche that killed over 70 people. This is today’s view of the landslide site and the cemetery where most of the people killed in the avalanche were buried.

The landslide gave Dyea a worldwide negative view that started to keep traders and travelers away which basically led to Dyea’s downfall and let Skagway step in as the new leader instead of sharing the trading limelight, which Skagway did not want to do. This is the last standing building in Dyea – the front facade of an old real estate business.

We continued our bike ride to what was the Dyea waterfront area during the Klondike Gold Rush. This is what it looked like in the late 1800’s.

This is what it looked like while we were there.

Still a beauty.

Finally, we made it back to our starting point – the Chilkoot Trailhead which was one of the routes to the Klondike gold fields.

The bike ride took about two hours and we all loved it and our tour guide. Our guide was super into the history of Alaska and you could not tell that he was telling these stories to people several times a day. I appreciated that. It’s always nice when people seem to enjoy their work. Also something randomly interesting to me is that the locals called the continental U.S. the “lower 48” while Hawaii calls it the “mainland.” #themoreyouknow

After our bike ride, we rode back into town and stopped at the Red Onion Saloon for drinks and a pre-windjamming snack of a giant plate of nachos.

See us in there?

The saloon used to be a brothel and the upstairs has since been turned into a brothel museum. All the servers were dressed the part, which was fun, and they had brothel tours for $10 pp.

Another long story short, back in the day when a miner came into the brothel and wanted to go upstairs with one of the girls, the miner picked the girl he wanted in an interesting way. Behind the bar, there were 10 dolls that resembled and represented the 10 girls working upstairs. The guy would choose the girl by picking the doll behind the bar. The guy would pay his money, go upstairs, and then the bartender would lay the doll on its back to show that the girl was busy. Once the guy came back downstairs, the doll was put back upright to let everyone know that girl was available again.

The museum was pretty neat and filled with a lot of original antiques from the gold rush days. Again, our tour guide was awesome and I highly recommend checking it out. The tour was only 20 minutes long and worth the $10.

I tipped our guide at the end and she insisted I put the money in her boobs, so there’s also that to look forward to.

After the Red Onion Saloon, we moseyed back to the ship and enjoyed our general shenanigans.

We also learned you could eat the little flowers from the spruce trees during our bike ride, so we tried that out.

I recommend sticking with the nachos.

And that was the end of Skagway. We loved it there and were sad to leave.

The next stop on the trip was Victoria, BC. But I’ll save that for the next post otherwise this thing will never be published. Until then!



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Alaska Things

Last time we left off, we made it to cruise day. We checked out of our hotel and Ubered over to the port to meet up with Ken and Keke so we could get some early “windjammin” in. The buffet on Royal Caribbean ships is called Windjammer, and we have henceforth made it a verb. So our inside joke since our RC cruise to Mexico is that we windjam. We invite each other to windjam if we know we’ll be eating a lot and if our pants don’t fit, we windjammed too hard. But when we are on the ship, the windjamming is strong in all of us.

Ok, got off track there. I’m glad we got to the port early, because even as a Gold member, the lines to check in were crazy. Our friends, Cheyanne and her husband Ricky, were also cruising with us, but they arrived a bit later, just in time for the computers to shut down. It took them two hours to get through the line and the ship left over an hour late because of the back up. Thank goodness we missed that. I would not have been a happy camper. This was the line when we were there and that was already poking at my newly discovered claustrophobia.

While Cheyanne and Ricky were waiting in line, Ken, Keke, hubs, and I were already eating, drinking, exploring the ship, and checking out the port views.

Our cruise was 7 nights and it stopped in Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, British Columbia. The first couple days of the cruise were at sea. I’d love to tell you that I spent my time seeing shows and being active, but we just windjammed and bar-hopped for two days straight. It was pretty gloomy and wet for half of the trip, so we used our imagination and drank champagne while taking in the “scenery.”

I did walk by the gym so that was pretty active of me. I also managed to climb the stairs instead of take the elevator for three days and ended up getting a stair badge I didn’t even know existed on my Fitbit. #fitbunnymom

Our first stop was in Juneau.

Stole the pic above straight from Cheyanne. I swear she was on the trip with us with her mom and her uncle. They all managed to allude my camera most of the trip. I do not understand how this happened as the girl loves a camera on her!

Back to Juneau. Juneau is an extremely small town and it’s Alaska’s capital. It was also the only port where we had an excursion planned. We booked a Mendenhall Glacier Trek which was an hour kayak to an ice cave that you can explore and then afterwards, you’re able to walk on top of the glacier. We were all really excited about this excursion, but…it was cancelled because the water was too choppy. Whomp, whomp. We were all really bummed.

Another tour guide tried to get us to book a helicopter ride and told us his excursion was the only one still running and all the other helicopters had been cancelled. I don’t know how he thought that was an enticing offer as I could barely see the mountains in front of my face from the ground. I was not about to pay to not see them from the sky too.

Instead, we all took a bus over to the Mendenhall Glacier because that’s what we really wanted to see. We hiked about a mile up to it and the weather cooperated for the most part.

Mendenhall Glacier is in the middle and on the right is Nugget Falls. Even in the gloom, it was still beautiful in person. I don’t think the pictures can do it justice. We spent some time getting close to the falls and taking pictures. I’m glad we had the experience, but it wasn’t what we had been looking forward to for 6 months so we were all a little meh about the day.

One thing that was really cool was seeing large chunks of blue ice floating in the water during the cruise and around the glacier.

We spent a couple hours at the glacier and falls and finally made our way back to the bus, just in time for it to start raining again. So we didn’t get lucky with our excursion but at least we did get lucky to not get caught in the rain.

Once we were back in town, we stopped at a tavern to have a drink and some dinner. I can’t remember the name of the place but it was the only tavern in town, they were insanely crowded, and had very entertaining liquor pricing.

Hubs and I split the reindeer sausage (delicious) and the crab cakes (super meh). We walked back to the shuttle to the ship afterwards because it was a little crowded in the restaurant for our taste. We were also pretty annoyed that we had to pay for the shuttle but no one ever took our ticket both ways.

So overall, Juneau is a really small town and there’s not much to do there so we didn’t love it. The whole excursion cancellation really put a damper on the area for us too because we were all *so* looking forward to seeing an ice cave and walking on a glacier, but what can you do? We made the most of our day, got back to the ship, and resumed our nightly activities of excessive drinking and windjamming.

Our next stop was Skagway which was infinitely better. More on that next post. 🙂


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Seattle Things

Two weeks ago, I returned from a nice, long, and probably my most deserved vacation. We flew out to Seattle for a couple days, then went on a 7-night Alaskan cruise with friends. Vacationing with friends is the best. Not the best on my liver or pant’s buttons, but it’s still the best.

We flew to Seattle on Wednesday and checked into this super cute boutique hotel called The Maxwell. They are part of Staypineapple hotels and have a pineapple theme (with pineapple cupcakes each night!). The room had wood floors and was super modern, clean, and comfy. I know I took several pictures of the cuteness that was our room, but for some reason they are not on my phone. Which means I must have taken it with my GoPro that was fully charged and ready to go but hadn’t been used in three years, so I think the battery died from lack of use. Of course, I didn’t realize this until I was on the cruise. I guess if you don’t use it, you really do lose it. Anyway, I have only cell phone pictures for the whole trip, and sadly none of the hotel except this one of hubs about five minutes after we entered the room.

Our good friends, Ken and Keke, flew out on the same flight as us but were staying with other friends that lived near our hotel. So they Ubered with us from the airport to the hotel so we could do some exploring before meeting up with their other friends.

We were starving for food and adult beverages after the long flight, so our first stop was a pub next to our hotel called McMenamin’s. McMenamin’s has only OK Yelp reviews but awesome food and service in our opinion. I had fish and chips, hubs had a fish sandwich with some amazing spicy tater tots, and Ken and Keke had a burger. All delicious.  Again, no pictures except for this one I got of the ceiling.

oh hai, dapper, juggling merman.

From there, we started exploring the area a bit. I’ve been to Seattle once before but it was hub’s first time, so we walked over to the Space Needle and got our tourist gold star for the day.

That day ended with a few beers at a local pub and an 8:30pm bed time because we took a nap that turned into a sleep.

The next morning, we walked to breakfast at a place called Citizen.

Man, we loved it there. We went back a second time we liked it so much. The atmosphere was chill, they were playing good music, the food was awesome. Just an all around good vibe. Hubs ordered a turkey, raspberry crepe that sounded terrible to me, but was surprisingly delicious. I ordered it the second time.

I also got a mimosa and a spiked iced coffee because when you can’t decide, you get both.

We walked around after breakfast for awhile and played Pokemon (Oh yeah. Someone out there still plays that game – and it’s me!) and did a little sight-seeing on our own. This was also the day that news broke about Chris Cornell and, as he was from Seattle, it was big news there. The local news stopped us and asked if we wanted to talk on camera about him but I was wearing no makeup and did nothing with my hair so that was not going to happen. But it was still kinda cool to be asked.

We met back up with Ken and Keke at our hotel around noon where we were waiting like special snowflakes in our special chairs. I prepared my face and hair accordingly in case someone wanted to put me on camera again. (They didn’t.)

We walked from the hotel down to Pike Place Market.

By the time we got there, we were starving and ended up eating at some place we just picked so we could all still be friends instead of what might have happened had we continued to go hungry. I can’t remember the name of the place, but it was overpriced and mediocre. I didn’t take any pictures, but I ordered a cornbread salad which literally had no lettuce. It had cornbread – with salad toppings. I guess I should have seen that one coming.

After lunch, we were ready to actually see more sights now that we were on friendly terms again. We walked over to the gum wall.

Six months earlier, all the gum was removed for some renovation of the area. So that is fresh-from-the-mouth goodness.

We also walked through the market and quickly found the baby kidnapping area.

And took my favorite picture of the whole trip in front of the fish throwing area.

That was not intentional. Hubs was taking a picture of us on the left while a stranger took the one above. I laughed so hard at that picture when I first saw it, I almost needed to run to the baby kidnapping area.

As the market was closing for the day, we found this awesome little comic shop. Ken, hubs, and I each bought a mystery box. If you’re not familiar, they are little boxes where you can get one of 12 to 15 characters, and each character has a different ratio of being able to get it. We all got exactly the character we wanted, which never happens. Seattle luck, perhaps? All I know is we were three excited, high-fiving nerds. I got the Rick and Morty mystery box and got my little Mr. Meeseeks!

After our sight-seeing, we met up with Ken and Keke’s friend Tom for a few beers at an Irish pub that was just off the main market street.

Then Ken and Keke went back to Tom’s house while hubs and I walked back over to the Space Needle to get some dinner.

I know dinner in the Space Needle is the touristy thing to do, but I did it last time I was in Seattle and quite enjoyed it. So I wanted hubs to check it out too. We both had a great time. An expensive time but a great time – with an amazing view.

By the way, our other friends that were in town could not get a reservation for dinner there. Both times I’ve been to the Space Needle for dinner, I have not had a reservation. I just ask the host for a table. The host pretends they’re crazy busy, calls someone, and magically, they have space. So if you can’t get a reservation or don’t have one, I recommend that approach.

We ordered a bottle of wine with dinner and finished it, which basically meant I was finished for the night. We walked back to the hotel (or so I’m told) and I pretty much passed out. The next day, we boarded the ship. So more travel fun in the next post!




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