Entries Tagged as 'adventures'

bachelorette weekend in lake arrowhead.

Posted on: Monday, February 10, 2014

Ann-Marie's Bachelorette Party in Lake Arrowhead | Ann-Marie Loves

When it came down to my bachelorette party, my bridesmaids nailed it. I gave these girls very little information about what I wanted my bach party to be like (aside from avoiding Vegas at all costs), and somehow they totally read my mind. It was the perfect October weekend, filled with good friends, good conversation, and good food + drinks in Lake Arrowhead.

Ann-Marie's Bachelorette Party in Lake Arrowhead | Ann-Marie Loves
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Ann-Marie's Bachelorette Party in Lake Arrowhead | Ann-Marie Loves
Ann-Marie's Bachelorette Party in Lake Arrowhead | Ann-Marie Loves

We spent most of our time hanging out at our awesome cabin (plotting ways on how we could steal the furniture!) and occasionally ventured out to the main part of town for excellent meals and countless photo-ops. (One thing’s for sure: I put together a solid group of camera-wielding b-maids!).

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Ann-Marie's Bachelorette Party in Lake Arrowhead | Ann-Marie Loves
Ann-Marie's Bachelorette Party in Lake Arrowhead | Ann-Marie Loves
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Ann-Marie's Bachelorette Party in Lake Arrowhead | Ann-Marie Loves

It was beyond better than anything I could have ever planned myself! And rest assured, there was plenty of booze and possibly a blow-up doll named Brad at this party to round out the bachelorette experience (;

P.S. My bridesmaids Jaymee and Janelle wrote about our fun weekend too!

take me to the water.

Posted on: Monday, January 6, 2014

Santa Barbara | via Ann-Marie Loves

These past few crazy weeks, I became completely fixated on getting myself to the ocean. I wasn’t overly concerned about which beach I ended up at or if I even put my toes in the sand. All I needed was to be in close proximity. I wanted to smell the air, feel the breeze, and soak in those negative ions.

So on Saturday, John and I decided to venture up north to Santa Barbara where we spent the first part of the day at the zoo (we both hadn’t been in years!) and then the second half wandering around State Street, stopping for some pho and major Anthro sales. It was perfect. Not only did it do wonders for my own mood but it helped to get our relationship back on the right track. Whenever we feel disconnected as a couple, we go on a day trip. Without fail, we always head back home feeling reconnected and happy to be in each other’s company.

Maybe one of these days, heading back home will mean heading back to our beach house. It can be in Santa Barbara or San Diego…I’m not picky! ;)

honeymoon | portland, oregon.

Posted on: Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon

I enjoyed each and every leg of our honeymoon tour for a variety of reasons, but there was just something about Portland that made me feel like I could stay forever. I still can’t quite put my finger on what it was, but man, I was in love. John and I actually had two visits to Portland. When we took the train from Washington to Oregon, we stopped in town for the best dinner of the whole trip at Tasty N Sons before driving out to Astoria. Sunshine cocktails and Southern-style food. We’re down.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon

So when we came back to stay for the last part of our trip, we were pumped. We couldn’t wait to explore this amazing town that had piqued our interests a few days prior!

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon

Even though Portland was my favorite city, it also happened to be the city in which I took the least amount of pics. Too busy enjoying myself to be concerned with photo ops, apparently.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon

One thing I LOVED about Portland was how stereotypically Portland it was, in the very best way possible. John and I get a huge kick out of Portlandia, but always assumed the show must be a comically exaggerated version of what the city is really like. However, after spending a few days there, I am here to report: THEY SPEAK THE TRUTH. Oh, it was too good.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon

There were two particular conversations we overheard in which we shot each other the “is this real life SLASH are we on candid camera?!” look. During the first conversation in a boutique, a very concerned customer was inquiring about whether a particular item was made locally. The employee’s response? “It was created in California, but the artist used the quills from a Portland porcupine to construct it, so yes, it’s local.” #crisisaverted

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon

During the second encounter (at one of our very favorite restaurants), a patron interrogated his server about the type of water filter the establishment uses and where the water comes from for several minutes. The funny thing was that the server didn’t miss a beat. He even invited the customer back to the kitchen to see the filter for himself! Oh man you guys, these conversations truly made our trip worthwhile.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon

A few rounds in the photobooth at the Ace followed by drinks and appetizers at Clyde Common for the ultimate hipster experience.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon

Powell’s Books. One of my all-time favorite places. John and I could have stayed for days if our schedules allowed for it. I had quite a handful of books that I wanted to take with me, but given my severe lack of suitcase real estate, I only walked away with Garden Anywhere. Very apropos though, no?

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon

I’ve never seen such a colorful array of leaves before, much less in one place! Unbelievably beautiful.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon

I’d like to think that Los Angeles as a whole is forward-thinking when it comes to being eco-friendly, but my hometown has nothing (and I mean nothing) on Portland. The push for biking over driving, the mandatory recycling, the composting at restaurants…I was in awe. I love a city that does their part to preserve and make the most of their natural resources. But even if the green scene isn’t winning you over, Portland has bridges, rivers, and incredibly talented + thoughtful people. I mean…

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Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon

And then there’s the shopping. Where do I even begin? Ink + Peat, Alder + Co, Lark Press, Pistils Nursery…the list goes on and on. I left each store feeling inspired and invigorated as a result of the amazing visual merchandising, the unique product selections, and the warm and friendly staff. And isn’t that how a shopping experience is supposed to be? Well done, Portland. You will forever have my business.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Portland, Oregon

Yeah, we dig ya, Portland.

honeymoon | astoria, oregon.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon

When John and I were planning out the various stops on our Pacific Northwest tour, we purposely tried to alternate the busier cities (Seattle + Portland) with the slower-paced locations (Alderbrook + Astoria). That way, we could go, go, go and see as much of of the big cities as possible, and then catch up on sleep and explore at a slower pace on our next stops. It worked perfectly.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon

We reached Astoria by way of train from Seattle to Portland (including dinner at Tasty n Sons!), and then picked up a rental car and drove out to the coast. It ended up tacking a few extra hours onto our journey, but being able to see so much of Washington and Oregon from the comfort of the train was well worth the extra mileage.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon

Kindergarten Cop, anyone?

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon

The view of the Columbia River from The Goonies’ house.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon

I love a town that preserves and celebrates their buildings’ original character and Astoria fits that bill perfectly. Vintage charm on every single corner.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon

Even though we had a rental car for this leg of the trip, we were able to do most of our exploring on foot. We walked up and down, back and forth, and schlepped many a handful of antique finds to our hotel. Let me just say that the antiquing here blew my mind. I was in home decor shopping heaven.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon

The view from our adorably cozy room at Hotel Elliott.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon

One thing I hadn’t realized about this part of Oregon was how the Columbia River acts as a major (albeit, highly dangerous) passageway for cargo ships. For some reason this piece of information completely fascinated me and I found myself studying up on how giant vessels from all over the world travel through Astoria on a daily basis. So cool to watch!

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon

Amazing lattes and ambience at Astoria Coffeehouse + Bistro on our last day in town.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Astoria, Oregon

Perhaps the best part about staying in a small town was that I felt like we able to see everything we wanted to see in the two days we were there. In every other place, I felt like there was still so much to left to explore and experience, but here? It was just enough time. And it was perfect.

Next (and final) stop: Portland!

honeymoon | bainbridge island, washington.

Posted on: Friday, December 13, 2013

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Bainbridge Island, Washington

One of the big things we were told we absolutely must do while in Washington was take a ferry. It didn’t matter where to, just so long as we could check the ferry experience off our list. Since we were staying in downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island it was!

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Bainbridge Island, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Bainbridge Island, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Bainbridge Island, Washington

Right off the bat, we were completely fascinated by the whole experience. So many of our fellow travelers either worked in Bainbridge or Seattle and this was their “commute!” WHAT. I would give up my car in an instant if it meant I could board one of these giant boats everyday. John and I braved the cold air and spent a good chunk of the 35 minute trip to Bainbridge out on the deck. It was unbelievably beautiful and made even better when the captain pointed out a pod of orcas in the distance. And then! As if our journey could get any more Discovery Channel, we saw eagles. EAGLES! People, these are things you just don’t experience in Southern California. There may have been a celebratory high five involved.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Bainbridge Island, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Bainbridge Island, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Bainbridge Island, Washington

Once we arrived at Bainbridge Island, we walked over to the downtown area and explored the town on foot. We did a little window shopping (scoring this black and white rug!) and then stopped in to Hitchcock for happy hour drinks and appetizers. (Let me just say that never in my life have I been in such hot pursuit of happy hours as I was on our h-moon!) As with every other place on our PNW tour, the food was incredible. I can’t remember what we ordered, but I’m sure it involved plenty of seafood and plenty of cheese – ha!

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Bainbridge Island, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Bainbridge Island, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Bainbridge Island, Washington

We caught a nighttime ferry back to Seattle and it made for a breathtaking view of the city all lit up. I think there may have been yet another celebratory high five. What an amazing day.

honeymoon | seattle, washington.

Posted on: Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington

After leaving Alderbrook and sharing a taquito at Taco Time (one of our guiltiest pleasures from our Utah days), John and I dropped our rental car off at Sea-Tac and boarded the light rail bound for downtown Seattle. Since my mom’s side of the family hails from Washington, it was awesome to be able to see all the places she has been talking about for years and create my own special memories with my new husband in such a beautiful place. Plus, it actually rains in Seattle (understatement?), which is a HUGE novelty to us native Southern Californians. We could not have looked like bigger tourists in our puffy snow jackets and beanies if we tried.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington

Once we got off the light rail, we walked several blocks along the water until we reached our amazing second hotel, The Edgewater. It was recommended by my good friend Sarah (who was there just a week prior!) and we could not have been happier with our accommodations. Since we were staying in the off-season, we were upgraded to a BEAUTIFUL waterfront room (see photo above!) that was made for honeymoons, I swear. One of my very favorite moments from the trip was arriving at our hotel, ditching our big jackets, and finding a cozy spot in the lounge for happy hour cocktails and appetizers. Since The Edgewater literally sits right on the water, we were able to watch the sunset dip into Puget Sound through the floor-to-ceiling windows and revel in each other’s company. It was a small moment, but so definitive of our time together on this trip.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington

The next two days we hit the ground running. Since we didn’t have a car, we walked everywhere, which limited how much we could actually do, but made the trip a little bit more of an adventure (and a little bit more of an incentive to indulge at dinner!). It’s amazing how much more you see and experience when you travel by foot! Thanks to our long list of recs, we hit up Macrina Bakery, Pike Place Market, Bainbridge Island (post on that tomorrow!), the Space Needle, the Ace Hotel, the Seattle Great Wheel, and a handful of other amazing stops. Next time I want to stay more centrally-located to the heart of town so we can see even more than this short leg of our honeymoon allotted for.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Seattle, Washington

The photo above says it all.

You’re amazing, Seattle!

honeymoon | olympia, washington.

Posted on: Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Olympia, Washington

While we were staying in Alderbrook, we realized we had forgotten something important in the midst of our last-minute wedding night packing frenzy, so we had to find the nearest Target (not that I need a reason to track down a Target). The closest store was about 30 miles away in the town of Olympia and it ended up making for a fun unexpected detour.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Olympia, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Olympia, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Olympia, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Olympia, Washington

From the moment we pulled into town, I knew we were in for a real treat, of the scenic and cultural variety. Not only does Olympia sit at the southern end of Puget Sound (making for INCREDIBLE views), but it’s also the capital of Washington. So, being the eager tourists that we are, we made our way to Capitol building for photos and a chilly walk around the grounds. Can you believe that Fall foliage??

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Olympia, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Olympia, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Olympia, Washington
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Olympia, Washington

On our way back to Alderbrook, we made a few stops at the local thrift stores (obviously) and a coffee run to the best-designed little coffee shack I’ve ever seen, Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. I even had to buy a bag of beans with my latte because they came with LETTERPRESSED LABELS.

Say no more, Washington. I’m yours forever.

honeymoon | alderbrook resort.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I have to say that planning our honeymoon was made a MILLION times easier by all of your generous comments and emails about PNW recs, so thank you! We stayed in four different hotels in four different cities (visiting a handful of other places in between) and each was incredible in it’s own way.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One

The Alderbrook Resort in Union, Washington was our first destination and one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. We stayed in a luxurious waterfront room and loved swinging the balcony door open every morning to breathe in the fresh mountain air and watch the fog slowly pass over the Hood Canal. I mean, it could not have been a more perfect location for our first hotel if we tried. After months of wedding planning / moving / working nonstop, we so needed a good place to veg, order all the seafood dishes from the room service menu, and sleep for fourteen hours a night. (These are the real things you do on a honeymoon, people. Don’t be fooled by the rumors.)

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One

Since we flew into Seattle the morning after our wedding, we rented a car for this leg of the trip and it only added to the adventure. When I wasn’t passed out in the front seat (getting married is exhausting!), John and I both loved seeing as much of Washington in the Fall as we possibly could. Then when we arrived at the resort and got one look at our room, we could hardly believe it was finally happening! After a quick nap, we bundled up and headed down to walk along the dock and marvel at the glassy water filled with mussels. Given our off-season timing, it definitely felt like we had the entire place to ourselves. Kind of amazing.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One

As if the million dollar views weren’t enough, the food was BEYOND. My favorite meal (as usual) was breakfast. One morning I ordered Belgian waffles with creme fraiche and I am craving it as I type this very sentence. Absolutely everything that we ate at the resort was spectacular. I cannot recommend it enough.

Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One
Ann-Marie Loves | Pacific Northwest Honeymoon | Washington Part One
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Even though it was our first destination and we had three more exciting places lined up, I was reluctant to say goodbye. All of the memories that I took from this place are ones I will treasure forever. Until next time, Alderbrook!

honeymoon treasures.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ann-Marie Loves | Honeymoon Thrift Finds

Just a handful of our many finds!

Honeymoons really are the best. There’s something about the whole experience that makes you feel like you’ve been handed a giant get out of jail free card. All of a sudden, money is no object, calories are just arbitrary numbers, and 1pm is a perfectly acceptable time of day to imbibe, because HEY! We’re on our honeymoon!

Ann-Marie Loves | Honeymoon Thrift Finds

Dog bookends from Astoria, Oregon.

When we weren’t eating or drinking (or heck, even when we were), John and I thrifted + antiqued all across the PNW and made out like bandits. So many amazing finds at such great prices, we could hardly control ourselves. In fact, we didn’t control ourselves. We may or may not have had to make three separate trips to various post offices to send boxes of treasures back home. But we were totally fine with it. When in Rome (or…Portland), right?

Ann-Marie Loves | Honeymoon Thrift Finds

Norwegian wall hanging from Astoria, Oregon.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the very best kind of souvenir (aside from a memory card full of photos!) is the kind that can be used and admired in your own home. I love that so many of the things we use on a daily basis were found during our honeymoon travels. I mean, you can’t really put a price on that kind of memorabilia (wait, yes you can…$15 per flat rate box – HA!).

Ann-Marie Loves | Honeymoon Thrift Finds

Black rug from Bainbridge Island, Washington.

I’d say this is only the beginning of many thrift-filled vacations to come! Better stock up on extra suitcases now…

life is chaos.

Posted on: Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ann-Marie Loves | #ammlovesjohn on Instagram

Photos from our wedding hashtag (so ridic, I know) #ammlovesjohn on Instagram

LIFE. IS. CHAOS. <— That’s the only way to sum up my life as of late.

But really, it’s the best kind of chaos. Crafting, choosing music, spending extra time with family + friends, trying to get rid of everything I own, crossing items off my seemingly never-ending to-do list…it feels good. Of course, I’m stressed to the max about running out of time and not accomplishing everything I want to accomplish, but as John so wisely reminded me the other day, we somehow, someway, always made it through finals in art school. Finals that involved giant projects, high stakes, and major rewards once the final critiques were over and school was dismissed for another semester. So really,  a wedding is nothing more than a “final.” Albeit, a BIG final. With lots of gold fringe.

My goal is to finish the majority of our DIY projects this week so that Friday night can be spent shopping for honeymoon clothes (yay!) and catching up with my mom, outside of the all-consuming wedding realm. I’ll let you know how it goes…

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