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.
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.
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.
The photo above says it all.
You’re amazing, Seattle!
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.
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??
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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!).
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…
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…
After going back and forth for months over honeymoon destinations (indecision runs rampant in these here parts), John and I have finally decided on the Pacific Northwest. As two people who want nothing less than humid weather and scuba diving and nothing more than colorful leaves and cozy cabins in our lives, we knew our post-wedding vacation had to be somewhere a little unusual. So, the PNW it is! We are both so excited to visit the Portland + Seattle areas on our first trip as a married couple. But let’s be real. I’m mostly excited to leave my shorts + tank tops at home and wear some real Fall attire. In FALL. #socalproblems
PNW locals + vacationers…any recommendations for us? We will love you forever for your ideas! xo
Yesterday was one of those days that reaffirmed I am meant for this unconventional freelance lifestyle.
My good friends Jaymee + Janelle joined me in the Arts District of downtown LA for an awesome photography workshop led by Jessie Webster (who lives in THIS amazing Silver Lake house!) and Kim Genevieve. It was a Q+A format session, which quite honestly, is my favorite kind of all. I know how cameras work…what I REALLY love learning about is how amazing photographers MAKE them work, you know? So inspiring.
Once the workshop wrapped up, Jaymee, Janelle, and I headed over to Poketo (heaven) and then had coffee+ flatbread at Eat Drink Americano. (I also may or may not have had a lovely conversation with a random passerby regarding the way he made iced coffee whilst in prison. No big.)
It was so nice to be able to go on a downtown adventure with my best gals on a random Monday afternoon. The three of us are pretty much spread out in opposite directions across Los Angeles, but when events like this pop up, no amount of rush hour traffic will keep us apart.
It has long since been a dream of mine to live in Pasadena.
I’ve always felt a certain kinship with that beautiful city that I just don’t feel with most LA towns. Sure, the summers are nearly 4 million degrees. And maybe they get hit with the same lovely Santa Ana winds that I grew up with in Simi (ugh). And maybe, just maybe, it’s a tad bit pricey to live there. SO WHAT! I am in love with Pasadena and I don’t care who knows it! (insert Elf reference here).
Since John works in one of the umm, finer? (g h e t t o) parts of Los Angeles, we knew our search for a place close (but not too close) to his office had to be on the outskirts of town. Imagine my sheer joy when after a quick Google mapping, I realized that his workplace is less than ten miles away from my DREAM CITY. Booyah! Instantly I was envisioning the way I would decorate our new home. I was fantasizing about Sunday morning walks to Colorado Blvd for brunch. I was torn between which local coffee shop I would get some work done at first. This is was happening! We were moving there ASAP, as far as I was concerned.
Needless to say, our search turned out to be tougher than we anticipated…and we’re not even in the market to buy! (How anyone can lock down – much less afford! – a house in California these days is a feat that I just cannot wrap my brain around). We viewed many properties and fell in love with nearly all of them. We applied as fast as we could and were always beaten out by other eager renters. We continued to get our hopes up over + over again. There may have even been a few tears involved (not of the John variety). We reluctantly extended our search beyond the Pasadena borders and I felt so bummed about it that I took a self-imposed Craigslist sabbatical.
But then, in a moment of weakness / genius, I decided to revisit the listings to see what was new and it turned out to be my best decision yet. I booked the first appointment available to see a beautiful apartment in person and in turn, landed us a Pasadena address. We get the keys six days before our wedding…! The timing could not be better or worse (depending on how you want to look at it), but just like the heat, the winds, and high costs, I am blissfully ignorant. Pasadena, here we come!
For two people that are far more accustomed to being behind the camera than in front of it, posing for our engagement photos was an interesting + rewarding experience. Even though I couldn’t help but wonder what in the WORLD my face looked like at any given moment (“Does this half smile look like a smirk?” “Are my falsies still on?” “Could we look anymore awkward?” Ha!), our amazing photographer was a total pro and put us at ease instantly. And then when I saw the quick photo (above) that Katie snapped with my iPhone, all my worries were put to rest. My falsies were in place, my dress was cooperating, and my smile was genuine. Phew! More photos to come :)