Chicago Part Two

As stated before, we didn’t get much sightseeing done while visiting Chicago. We were busy cracking bad jokes, playing volleyball (poorly), and eating lots of Chicago food (YUMMM). However, we did catch a few sights while there, and oh what sights they were.

Millenium Park is awesome! I highly recommend a stop by if you are in town. It was hot, and super crowded, but a very well designed space, with great installation art everywhere.

DSCN0518

DSCN0526

The Bean. Seriously cool underneath.

DSCN0531

DSCN0534

DSCN0536

We managed to get a group shot in the bean…. with a few others included.

bean family

Popped down to look at the lake. It looks like an ocean.

Speaking of oceans, what did one ocean say to the other?

Nothing, it just waved.

I heard that the other day, it made me giggle.

DSCN0538

DSCN0540

By the way, I found my new calling. Professional supersize Jenga player. That’s a thing right?10559681_10154377108765462_6839543082134599419_n

Until next time.

signature

Reunion, Chicago style

I’d never been to Chicago. I’d never really been anywhere in the mid-west, or middle earth as I like to refer to it. To be honest, I’ve always liked to stick to the coasts in the U.S.. While I still hold that West Coast=Best Coast, Chicago was Lovely. T and I are already planning a visit back to do some more exploring of Chicago and its great surrounding areas.

First things first though, I love my extended family, many of which live in the surrounding areas of Chicago. They very graciously hosted us for a multi day reunion extravaganza. I only see my extended family on my dad’s side every three years or so, and it is a hoot when we all get together. This post is for them.

DSCN0478

Most days we gathered outside, eating, playing volleyball, playing in the grass with the kiddos, and chatting. Perfect summer days.

DSCN0490

The kid’s kept us all entertained, and gave me a good workout chasing after them.

DSCN0507

DSCN0513

My Uncle’s sweet cup for the weekend. We are classy folks. End of Story.
DSCN0508

Kiddie pools, not just for kiddies.
family pool

O asked to be painted as fire….

DSCN0551

We young adults managed to sneak away for an evening out. Whiskey shots all around! Proving we are definitely family.family bar

DSCN0563

I miss all these dear faces greatly and I’m counting down the days/years until I see them again.

signature

White Walls

I adore a good museum. The stark blank walls and empty floors just waiting for art to fill them, the hushed conversations of observers trying to pay their respect to masters long gone, the more chaotic confused discussions surrounding the modern and contemporary works, the strokes of pencil on paper of art students trying to capture the genius, and I find such peace in these surroundings.

On my recent hop over to NYC, I popped into the big three, The Guggenheim, The MoMA, and the MET. I liked them all for varying reasons, and i’m sure i’ll be back to visit them again someday.

The Guggenheim. Hands down some of the coolest architecture, both inside and out.

Guggenheim

Guggenheim

Sorry, no photos past this point here.

Guggenheim

The MoMA. Probably my favorite of the three.MoMA

I”m not sure how I feel about this “modern art” thing?

MoMA Entry

Oh wait, yes I do… and I’m EXCITED!!

MoMA Entry

So is L. She was a fine arts major in college after all.

Friend with Camera MoMA

White Walls.

MoMA

MoMA

MoMA Art

Observing the observers, observing Starry Night. Not going to lie. Some times I like to watch people look at art. It’s almost as good as the paintings themselves. I love the large groups of people gathering around these super famous paintings, simply because they’ve heard of them. They want to say they’ve seen it in person. We find comfort in what we recognize I suppose.

MoMA Van Gogh Starry Night Observers

Don’t worry, I weaseled my way to the front of this group and took a long hard look at Starry Night myself.

MoMA scuptures

Monet.

MoMA Monet

Picture in Picture. Observing observers again. That’s not creepy right?

DSCN0319

In case you can’t read that, it reads “Perfect Door, Perfect Odor, Perfect Rodo”.

MoMA

The MET. Stairway to greatness.MET Stairway

MET Gallery

One of Monet’s Cathedral paintings. Beautiful, though I admit I like the two hanging side by side in the Smithsonian a bit better. Monet Cathedral

MET ceilings MET Sculptures
I’m feeling very arty now. Perhaps I’ll break out my paints tonight… Perhaps.


signature

#NYC Besties

I just returned from the lovely and chaotic week in NYC! My dear friend K moved out there last summer to pursue a job in publishing. She landed a new/amazing job a couple of weeks ago, so L and I flew out not only to celebrate that, but L’s 27th birthday as well. It was a week well spent with good food, good friends, museums, and shopping. I adore visiting New York, I don’t think I’d ever want to live there, but it is a fantastic place to holiday! I’ve already started planning my  fall shopping pilgrimage to New York next fall.

Get ready for several days of photos crammed into one post.

The view from Brooklyn.

DSCN0288

We only got lost a few times. Google maps is a lifesaver!

DSCN0279

We went treasure hunting in Williamsburg. There were some excellent pieces, I don’t think any of the furniture was going to fit in my checked bags though, so I passed.

IMG_2484

L and I popped over to the Highline on Easter sunday. Other than the fact that it was a bit crowded, I LOVE what they have done with the space.

DSCN0281

DSCN0282

DSCN0283

If you get parched on the Highline, don’t worry, there are a few food/coffee vendors dispersed throughout.

IMG_2482

IMG_2478

Now this looks pretty simple, but if you are in need of a reasonably priced and delicious breakfast, pop into Jack’s Wife Freda. Eggs and Soldiers were my jam. It was so good, L and I went two days in a row. I am a bit distraught though as I think I was at this restaurant on one of the same days one of my favorite bloggers was, but different times. She took much better food photos, so take a gander at

http://www.thelondoner.me/2014/04/new-york-blog.html

IMG_2487

Made the obligatory swing through Mood fabrics. I could certainly have filled up a whole suitcase full of those fabrics.

IMG_2496

Maysville. Delicious whiskey bar (Shhhh, I drank wine). Enough said.

IMG_2495

Steppin out on L’s birthday!

IMG_2513

IMG_2514

Baohaus was amazing!!! Go.

IMG_2524

#NYCBesties quickly became our theme after seeing this written on the wall of Baohaus.

IMG_2523

Fish Bao. It doesn’t look like much, but packs a real punch.

IMG_2520

First bites.

IMG_2519

That was good.

IMG_2518
IMG_2509

DSCN0328

Best money I ever spent on cookies.

DSCN0330

Last night in Brooklyn wandering though Brooklyn Bridge park, ice cream in hand.

IMG_2549

My favorite purchase of the trip!

IMG_2551
IMG_2471

Stay tuned for another NYC post. Happy Monday!

signature

It’s Springtime….. In L.A.

I went to L.A. on business last week. One day of meetings, one day of shopping for work. Yes, I get to shop for work some days and it is way more exhausting than I ever thought it would be when I started this job. Anyways, it was a glorious couple of days in L.A. before the rain hit. I even got to wear a sundress, and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite looks I saw out and about.

IMG_2340

I loved this little shift from Madewell. Clean lines and a beautiful bright blue embroidery, this may need to become a part of my wardrobe this summer.

IMG_2351

Top Shop. High waisted jeans and crop tops are back ladies…. I’m game!

IMG_2363

Menswear styled beautifully by Barney’s New York. I loved how these were styled. I don’t think these will ever work for the Seattle guy, but they were interesting.

IMG_2373

I’m a sucker for a classic men’s suit, and Saks Fifth Avenue had some real gems.

I wish I had more time/money to get some good spring  wardrobe staples while I was there. Alas, I’ll be better prepared next time. Fortunately i’m off to NYC next month and will shop for spring whilst there. I’m really looking forward to some of the big spring trends and colors this year including pastels and crop tops. What are your favorites?

signature

Disneyland Shenanigans

I’m sitting in my living room, curled up in a blanket with a cup of tea, and there is a torrential downpour going on outside. In light of the beautiful weather, I thought take a meander through my trip photos. Feel like taking a wander?

We really lucked out with weather the week we were in Anaheim, sunny and 80 all week, which is just about as hot as I like it. After settling into our room, we meandered down to Downtown Disney for the Seahawks game at ESPN zone. Totally not my scene, but since T gave up almost an entire week of sports watching to accompany me to The Happiest Place on Earth, I figured the least I could do was rally my team spirit for the evening.  It actually turned out being pretty fun, with a great mix if Seahawks and 49ers fans. T and I got a giant booth to ourselves, to really spread out in front of the 16 foot screen 😉

IMG_1773

I like my space, clearly 😉

photo 2 (1)

Disneyland was all decked out for Halloween, and I was literally buzzing with excitement by the time T and I reached the gate the next morning.

IMG_1781

I am 5 years old at heart!

IMG_1802

T insisted on the purple tea cup to match his huskies shirt…. I think he is 5 at heart too.

IMG_1804

California Adventure was where we spent most of day two and four of our trip, and Cars Land is seriously like walking into the movie.

IMG_1817 IMG_1815

We may or may not have ridden this 6 times……

IMG_1813

I love the old hollywood style of the streets and buildings.

IMG_1811 photo 1 (1)

Seriously, look how cute this is.

photo 4 (1)

They had a Mater and Lightning McQueen that drove around and “posed” for pictures.

photo 1 IMG_1842 photo 2 IMG_1838

Flo’s was probably my favorite all lit up at night.

IMG_1840

I love carousels!

photo 4 IMG_1844

Did you know they have a wine bar in California Adventure? A perfect respite from the chaos of the parks.

IMG_1850 IMG_1846

I’m already planning my next Disney trip. Disney World for my 30th in a few years. Who’s with me?

signature

Camping???

Alas, the end of summer has been a busy one. Excellent, but busy. I have returned from what was a very summery vacation in California to a rainy Seattle. I have packed away my summer sandals and shorts, and spent the weekend hibernating in my tiny apartment, only venturing into the rain for groceries and coffee. As I settle into my favorite season, I thought I’d do one or two more posts on what i’ve been up to the last month, starting with my family camping trip about a month ago.

Now I am no camper, unlike the rest of my family, and had to borrow camping gear from everyone. It worked out pleasantly though, and I enjoyed hanging out with everyone, despite that fact that it required sleeping on the ground. My sister assured me that camping as an adult would be much more enjoyable, as now I could drink wine. While I don’t think I will be regularly seeking out opportunities to camp, with my plastic mug of wine in hand ;), I did have a super fun time.

Hidden Lake. An excellently short hike for little kiddo legs.

IMG_1694 IMG_1687

Mum and I clearly had a lovely time, and I’m sure that she will love that I put this particular picture on the blog. What can I say though, I love a good funny face photo!

DSCN0496

Someone left this little gem behind. Sad that they left it, but I felt like it only added to the relaxed atmosphere of the lake.

IMG_1690

Sweet little E is still getting used to me. Clearly I don’t see her often enough and must remedy that. I think she was also worried I was going to steal her slice of pizza out of her hands.

IMG_1689

Can you tell we are sisters?

DSCN0514

All lovely weirdos in our own unique ways!

DSCN0516

We managed to get one photo of the whole crew! One goofy, but lovable bunch!

DSCN0573

Up next…. How much I love Disneyland! Otherwise known as what I did with a few days in California!

signature

Home Again

Every once in awhile, it’s just nice to go home. I try to make it over the mountains to my parents once every few months, to get out of the city and really relax. Now normally I spend this time lying around, visiting with my parents, sister, and nephews, reading, and eating home cooked meals, but his time, I tried to make it a bit more adventurous.

I love that I can still find new things to do around my home town! Provided, it is a tourist driven town, so surrounding areas are always trying to come up with new draws for the people, so it’s most likely easier for me to find new things around Leavenworth WA, than other areas of the same size. Either way, I had a lovely weekend at home with my dear family!

First stop, Crazy Larry’s Berries, for some good ole fashioned blueberry picking. My mom usually goes every summer to pick enough to freeze and last her through the winter. I usually steal a few of these bags of goodness, but since I was home this year, I figured I would go along and pick my own. We made this a lovely little group outing by bringing along my Dad, and my sweet little 5 year old nephew.

IMG_1562

The little nephew was thrilled that they had a spiderman bucket  for him to use. Each childs bucket holds 1 lb and he filled two all by himself!

IMG_1563

Proper lessons in blueberry picking from Grammy!

IMG_1566 IMG_1567 IMG_1568 IMG_1570 IMG_1571

We picked about 30 lbs of berries. I only took about 5 home, so I may need to snag a few bags out of my mom’s freezer when I run out (wink wink ;)).

IMG_1574

The berries are so deliciously plump and sweet. I had to stop myself from eating just as many as I picked!

IMG_1575

IMG_1576

We also tried out a new winery just down the road from my parents house, Plain Cellars. They are just getting the place up and running, as it has only been open for about a month, but it was well worth a visit. One of the owners was working the tasting room, and was perfectly happy to give my parents and I a plethora of info on the winery and the wines we would be tasting. I love when people are passionate about what they do, and this gent was so happy to have us and share his love of wine.

http://www.plaincellars.com/index.html

IMG_1577

My parents, still happy to share each others company :).

IMG_1579

I totally get my sass and sarcasm from them, and boy am I the happier for it!

IMG_1580 IMG_1584

My mum insisted on getting a photo of me…. in all my too much sun, allergy glory. Oh well, at least there was wine!

IMG_1585

There is even a faithful/friendly watch dog to keep the customers in line.

IMG_1586

I came away with a bottle of the Petit Sirah and the Eclipse blend. They were definitely my favorites, though I was pleasantly surprised by the riesling, which is shocking as I have never found a riesling that I am willing to drink before. It’s good to know that there is a place for good wine, so close to home.

IMG_1588

All in all, a lovely weekend home! Hopefully i’ll find something new and lovely around Leavenworth next time i’m home as well.

signature

Until We Meet Again Hong Kong

All in all, I had a great time in Hong Kong! I hope that someday I have another opportunity to visit again. One of my favorite little sites that I saw there was the Wong Tai Sin Temple. Bits and pieces have been in construction since 1921, so it’s a bit of old mixed with new. I went on a sunday morning and it was already pretty busy with folk taking pictures and lighting incense. While I would have been thrilled to meander around the temple without the distraction of other visitors, I loved that actual worshippers still use the site regularly.

100_3699

Before you enter the actual temple, there are lots of stalls to buy incense and offerings. I loved that everything was red, gold, and teal!

100_3700 100_3704 100_3707

I LOVED the beautiful Chinese lanterns!

100_3711

Apparently, many of the worshippers take in tubes of sticks and as they are kneeling they shake the tubes until one stick falls out. These sticks are each numbered differently. After one falls out, they take it to one of the many nearby stalls of tellers, to have their fortunes told.

100_3715

Why are we so boring with architecture in the U.S.? Look how beautiful these color combos are!!!

100_3717 100_3730

I went by myself that day, so I have lots of lovely (not so lovely) self portraits.

100_3731

Behind the main area of worship, there was a lovely garden with a koi pond and pagoda. It was a little bit quieter than the main temple, and I enjoyed sitting and watching the koi and turtles happily swim around the pond.

100_3735 100_3737

These boots were made for walkin! These babies took me all around Hong Kong.

100_3738 100_3743

I leave you with a few final photos from Hong Kong, that didn’t quite make it into any other posts.

Can you believe this is their scaffolding, all made out of bamboo? Let’s just say, I would have been afraid of climbing it, but clearly its working for them.

100_3698

I had the pleasure of several delicious meals of dim sum. This little treat definitely had the cutest presentation. Just a yummy steamed bun with an egg yolk inside, all dressed up like a hedgehog.

IMG_1408

And finally… Green Tea Kit Kats! I miss them already. I brought my sister some back, and it has taken every ounce of willpower I have not to gobble them up before they get to her!

IMG_1470

signature

Workin’ It…. China Style

Ever wondered what a large scale textiles mill looks like…. me too. Since I was in Hong Kong and China for work, I thought I’d do one work related post. I know it’s a probably a little boring for some people, but as a lover of textiles, and working in the industry, I found it totally fascinating doing factory tours in my companies factories.

I know textile mills/sewing mills get a bad rap, what with all the fires in Bangladesh factories and accusations of child labor, but i’m so proud of the fact that I work for a company that gives their employees with dignity, respect, livable wages, and great working conditions.

The entrances to the showrooms in our corporate offices are like the starship enterprise. I’m not going to lie, I couldn’t find the door. If someone hadn’t come out of the door that is the entrance, I think I might have stood in the hall awkwardly for 30 minutes, and then given up.

100_3672 100_3674

I finally got to meet some of my team in China. I’ve been e-mailing them for a year or two now, and it was like meeting long lost friends! I swear, they are so hospitable in China and they really want to make sure you have a good time. Mission accomplished.

100_3753

This photo doesn’t even begin to encompass how huge one of our buildings is.

IMG_1434

I could have spent days in this fabric library. Alas, I only had an hour to spare. Armed with a price gun type mechanism, I scanned so many fabrics for swatches it was ridiculous….. what can I say though, they were so pretty!

IMG_1438

The spinning mils tend to have fabric bits flying about, so all guests and employees have to wear protective gear. I looked pretty cool…. (aka pretty sweaty and nerdy).

IMG_1444 IMG_1447 IMG_1455

After a long day of touring factory spaces, a great meal was necessary. Seriously though, the food was amazing at this restaurant but the english translations were cracking me up. I ate the “mom braised eggplants” and they were delicious.

IMG_1439 IMG_1440 IMG_1441

After supper, I kicked off my shoes for a massage! Now I had heard about how cheap these massages were in China($20 USD for two hours), but nobody told me how gloriously relaxing they were. Seriously amazing and worth a 12 hour flight just for this.

100_3750 100_3749 100_3746 100_3748

On my way back to HK, I made a trek into Starbucks for some green tea lemonade. Unfortunately I couldn’t resist the green tea roll. Now normally I don’t go for the Starbucks snacks in the U.S., but I would eat this again! U.S. Starbucks take note…. your treats are better in China.

IMG_1465

signature