Seattle Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! We just got back from a wonderful weekend in Seattle, and we’re already excited about finding another time to head back up there. As great as San Francisco is, the prices here keep going up and up and the city seems more crowded than ever. Seattle, on the other hand, seems a lot more affordable and has tons of fun stuff going on without the intense competition for getting an apartment/restaurant reservations/tickets/cabs etc. We also had three perfectly sunny days there, and we’re starting to suspect that Seattle’s whole “rainy reputation” is just a ploy to keep the Californians from moving there in droves.

Here are some of the highlights from our weekend:

  • Absolutely everyone we asked told us to stay in Capitol Hill. We went the B&B route and stayed at Mozart Guest House right next to Volunteer Park. B&B’s aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the owner Tina was a fantastic host and her breakfasts were a delicious start to each day.
  • If you’re into live sports, Seattle is a great city for you. We went to a Seattle Sounders* game on Friday, a University of Washington game on Saturday, and an Oakland A’s – ahem, I mean Seattle Mariners – game on Sunday. All of the stadiums looked great, were clean, and easy to get to. We loved wandering around the beautiful U of W campus, too.
  • Coffee, coffee everywhere! We only wished that the weather was a bit cooler so we would’ve craved it more.
  • The Fremont neighborhood is definitely worth the visit. We started our tour at the Fremont Troll then headed west to check out the Sunday market and funky shops.
  • I wouldn’t exactly call us a “Farmers’ market couple,” but the Sunday Market in Ballard was adorable. So much gorgeous produce, lots of good brunch places (without massive lines!!!) all around, and cute dogs everywhere.
  • The typical touristy stuff was great, too. The jaw-dropping Chihuly Garden and Glass took our breaths away, and the view from the top of the Space Needle was also worth the wait. Exploring Pike Place Market (AKA SF’s Ferry Building on steroids) was also a lot of fun, but we unfortunately didn’t have the appetite at the time to try any of the delicious-looking food. Travel-fail!
  • When we actually did have appetites, we very much enjoyed our meals at Scratch, Honey Hole, Local 360, and Poquitos.
  • We took an Uber to Alki Beach in West Seattle, then took a water taxi back to Pier 50. Would’ve been even better if we took the water taxi both ways, then we could’ve rented bicycles by Seacrest Dock instead of walking.

Below are a few pics from the trip.

photo 1 (58)      photo 2 (60)

photo 2 (58)      sounders

photo 2 (62)

University of Washington

photo 2 (61)      photo 2 (59)

photo 4 (47)

Chihuly glass

photo 4 (45)      photo 5 (36)

Safeco Field - Go A's!

Safeco Field – Go A’s!

A big thanks to my sister Nicole and my friends Alice, Cicely, Matt, and Maritza for all of the great Seattle recommendations. Hopefully we’ll be able to plan another trip up there this winter, so we can find out if the bad weather is just a myth after all.

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* The Seattle Sounders soccer match was one of the biggest highlights of the whole weekend. Their fans are insane, the pregame excitement was palpable, and they even have their own choreographed marching band, the Seattle Soundwave. The March to the Match is one of the coolest sports traditions that I’ve ever seen.

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Believe it or not, we’re approaching mid-September already! I’m definitely not complaining though. Fall has always been my favorite season for many reasons. It evokes memories of back-to-school shopping, college football is in full swing (go blue!), and it’s the best time of year weather-wise in San Francisco (thank you, Indian Summer!). Fall is also a great time of year to plan vacations because prices general dip once the school year begins. Just make sure that any travel deals you find aren’t too good to be true (ahem, hurricane season).

Last year our fall was packed with trips to Big Sur, Portland, Phoenix, Ann Arbor, and Fort Worth, and it looks like our schedule is filling up quickly again. We have plans to visit Seattle, Chicago, Morocco, and Newport Beach in the near future, as well a big trip in December that I’m hesitant to even mention for fear of jinxing it. More on that later.

Clockwise from top left: Seattle, Marrakech, Chicago, Newport Harbor

Clockwise from top left: Seattle, Marrakech, Chicago, Newport Harbor

In the meantime, I’m starting to work on planning our Morocco trip in October and welcome any recommendations for Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains, and Essaouira. If you have any travel tips, please send them my way!

Real Honeymoon: Bali

We’re back this week with a very awesome honeymoon in Bali! Jeanne and Kevin were lucky enough to get invited to a destination wedding in Bali earlier this year, so they decided to piggyback their honeymoon onto that. Instead of staying at a resort, a friend recommended that they rent a villa instead which they loved. (I wish I had thought of that for my own honeymoon)! Read all about their amazing trip and helpful Bali recommendations below:

When and where did you honeymoon? 

Bali, May 2014.

bali honeymoon

How long was your trip? 

Two weeks.

bali honeymoon

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination? 

One of my husband’s best friends was getting married in Bali and my husband was a groomsman, so we decided to go to the wedding and turn the rest of the time into our honeymoon!

Bali honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

The absolute natural beauty of Bali. It’s really incredible; very tropical with amazing wild life. Monkeys everywhere!  The beaches are so different depending on where you go. Some are filled with coral and some are just white sand and clear water.  But no matter what, it’s stunning!

bali

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

I don’t think I would change anything about our trip, but it is a very LONG trip to get to Bali. It was a total of 32 hours of travel to get there and a few more hours to get back. It’s exhausting, and I probably should have gotten a prescription sleep-aid to help with the time difference!

bali

How much planning did you do in advance? 

We did a LOT of planning but had the help of my husband’s friend who has vacationed a lot in Bali as they live in Singapore. Most of the research that we did was on where to stay, but the great part about Bali is that once you get there, it is pretty inexpensive. There are several large resorts on the main island, but we chose to stay in a private “villa,” which is just a fancy name for someone’s house that they rent out.

There are tons of options if you go the villa route; you can rent enormous ones for a big group to stay, or do what we did and rented a private 2 bedroom villa for ourselves. We stayed in the villa for eight nights on the main island.

The villa was great! It was mostly open-air except for the bedroom that had A/C. We had a private pool, cook, driver, and maid… all for a little over $100 USD/night!  So if you want to cut costs on a Bali vacation, where you stay really has a lot to do with it. If you stay at a resort, the cost per night is just like the average US hotel room, and it was just more private and romantic for us in the Villa.

We did a ton of stuff while on the main Island of Bali. Aside from the wedding, of course, we did a lot of sightseeing and was able to hit a few beach clubs at the recommendation of Kevin’s friend.

bali2

Here is a list of a few places we went to including restaurants:

  • We stayed at Villa Lumba in Seminyak, owned by a really nice couple.
  • We visited Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple– known for the monkeys and the amazing sunset!
  • Finn’s Beach Club– this was an AMAZING beach club, by far one of my favorite parts about this vacation- cannot beat this!
  • PotatoHead Beach Club– another amazing beach club!
  • Wedding was at Villa Phalosa– absolutely incredible villa, blew me away and a PERFECT spot for a wedding…most amazing wedding I’ve ever been to
  • Naughty Nuri’s– very casual restaurant in Seminyak, known for meat! we went here the first night we were in Bali and visited with the bride/groom and the rest of their close friends- pretty good!
  • Villa Kaira– this was the villa that most of the family of the bride and groom stayed at, very very beautiful and perfect for a group to rent together.
  • Vue Beach Club at LV8 Resort– we hung out here the day after the wedding and had food and used the pool area, gorgeous! only 5.00 to use the pool and food was inexpensive! incredible view of the ocean.

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