walking downtown - 1

WALKING DOWNTOWN

we woke up to a perfectly gray + cool morning and no plans at all. no painting, no furniture to set up. although, i do still need to paint the bathroom. i told the troops to get dressed and head to the front door. we grabbed the double stroller and got walking.

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we stopped by the neighbors swing for a quick push before we headed down the hill

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don’t worry that car was parked (i know it looks like it was about to hit him)

we made it all the way to pike place. the walk there was fun, a lot of sight seeing. we stayed close to the water and had a great view the whole way. we had gyro’s for lunch. they were really good and then ellenos yogurt for dessert. both were great but the yogurt was amazing! we got the marionberry with crumble topping. so good! i’m still thinking about it. downtown was crazy busy today. weekends are especially bad and some new friends said summers are always busy in seattle. ava’s been wanting a crumpet from the crumpet shop. have you been? we love the pesto with tomato + cheddar and the vermont. but they ran out by the time we got there.

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after all was said and done we walked somewhere around 7 miles today. 7 miles!! no one really complained either. city walking is so much more fun. the time + miles pass so quickly. the hill home was killer. ivan pushed the stroller and henri + ava raced. henri was so awesome, he ran most of it. imagine sf hills. thats what we are dealing with here. we are at the top. if we stay in our neighborhood which we could very easily do and have everything we need then we have an easy walk. heading downtown is a different story. i’m still building up the nerve to take the bus. i have this strange fear of getting lost. driving + public transportation heighten it. i am always happy to walk. i think its a control issue. who knows.

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we stop at every fountain. i don’t think i’ll ever have any change lying around with these four

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construction sights are like disneyland for jack. lucky for us we hit the jackpot moving to seattle. they’re building everywhere

ivan ran out to get take out thai for a late dinner for just the two of us around 9. it was still light out which is still taking some getting used to. i’m working on getting the kids back on schedule. no fun!! jacks having terrible social anxiety. he wants to be held and if anyone besides us gets within 15 feet of him he scream and cries. how do i break this?? i’ve never dealt with any of my kids being so scared of strangers. i hope once we are settled in he does better. his world has been flipped upside down. some people from church stopped by. i can’t tell you how nice it was to have someone come by! i thought they had the wrong house initially. ha! we chatted for a while and planned a playdate. i planned another playdate with someone else from church too. the kids + i are so excited to get out and meet people.

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Foodtravelkids queen anne Seattle - 14

HEAT WAVE

this weekend its been hot! like reaaaalllly hot. i know i really can’t say that to my arizona peeps because they’ll just laugh at me. but the difference between here and there is this beautiful thing called air conditioning. here we have none. so we’ve been sweating a lot. saturday we went in search of a good beach. after trekking all over magnolia trying to find the best spot to park to get down the water and parking in the worst possible spot then hiking a half mile with 4 kids + heavy bag we decided to head to ballard. we grabbed lunch at un bien (the former owners of paseo) i got on my phone and searched for the best beaches in seattle. golden gardens seemed most promising. oh boy was it. free parking (unheard of in cali) concession stand + bathrooms + playground + volley ball nets. not to mention a short walk from parking to the beach! the kids played, ava + elle were brave enough to get in while henri + jack played in the sand. it was quite lovely. we spent most of last week furniture hunting + painting + cleaning so it was so nice to just sit. we found a pretty decent mexican food restaurant too. i can’t wait to have my dishes + pans here. we’ve all decided what we want for dinner the first week i can actually cook. tacos + spaghetti + eggs + bacon. eating out is only fun for so long.

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we went to church on sunday. the first thing i noticed is church doesn’t have air!! the doors are open the windows are open. oh its a whopping 93 + humid. in other words miserable. ivan sweat all through church. our ward is great. lots of fun people. transplant like us. most are here for amazon + gates foundation+ microsoft + boeing. so many of them told me they felt the same way as i do, initially. thinking it was temporary and they’d be home in a few years, then they fell in love with the city. some had gone to the suburbs and come back because they love the city life. its always good to hear positive things about a new place especially when you’re so unsure of it already. my anxiety is slowly starting to fade. i’m starting to get the hang of this place. my neighborhood is getting a little more comfortable. i walked to trader joe’s and back without getting lost. i’ve got a few last things to buy for the house + a lot of packages in the mail right now. ivan’s going back for the trailer in a few days. by the end of the week it should start looking like a home around here.

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jack loves checking the mail. we have two sets of steps between our house and the street. the mail box is between them so every time we head out he has to stop and check.

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this sign at the school made me laugh. i have yet to see anyone out with their pot bellied pig. in our old neighborhood this might have applied but here in the center of the city i can’t imagine.

 

i’m sure i’ve already said this, maybe 10 times. the traffic is horrifying all the time. i read it was bad but i wasn’t fully prepared. i don’t think it will be a big deal once we are settled but right now we are driving a lot. costco + furniture shopping + target. theres always traffic all the time. bridge work + accidents + traffic for no reason. a lady at church was giving me tips for around the city. like if you want to hangout downtown, park at the target. the spots are big and parking is free if you spend $20 at target. you can hang out downtown, get your target run in + free parking all at once. ill keep that in my back pocket. also theres an app for the bus. a lot of people ride it. it seems to be convenient + clean + easy. biking downtown seems impossible. we live at the top of the hill and i’m pretty sure i’d flip the bike trying to get up. ava wants a scooter + i can’t wait for monday. it’s supposed to cool down to 77 then 73-81 the rest of the week. sundays national ice-cream day. i don’t care for ice-cream much except for a few flavors from specific places. like molly moons here in seattle. ivan got me salted caramel and i’ve been working on it for 3 days now. a few bites at night is just perfect. its extra salty, sort of reminds me of cheese. i know how awful that sounds. ivan thinks it tastes putrid. i can’t stop painting. it started with the front two rooms i moved onto the kitchen then the hall now i want to do the bathroom. white just brightens up the place so much and looks so clean. another problem over here is that i can’t figure out the garbage situation. we have three. one for recycling and its normal size. one for compost, also normal size and another for trash. that can is tiny, about knee high. recycle comes every other week. i’m looking for an garbage i can keep in the house with 3 separate slots. seen any? i really don’t want to have three separate garbages in my small kitchen. the whole composting thing is a great idea but do i just keep a can of rotting trash in the kitchen? thats gonna smell. why is the regular trash soooo small and why is recycling only coming twice a month? thats enough rambling for now. hope everyones enjoying the monsoons back home. i sure do miss them!

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this is the actual house that was inspiration for the movie UP. its in the ballard neighborhood, just right over the ballard bridge. i see it every time we drive over. the woman who lived their, Edith Macefield, refused to sell and was even offered 1 million dollars in 2006. she passed away in 2008 and left it to the new buildings superintendent. it was sold to someone wanting to open a pie shop in ediths name. the building ended up being too expensive to get up to code and is offered free to a nonprofit that will move it so the land can be sold. if you are in the seattle area and have kids its really great to go see. my kids were so excited that the “up” house really exists.

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HOME

over the weekend we houses hunted. we called houses from craigslist + trulia + zillow. any site we could find offering up a rental. we drove around. we stopped in at open houses. we made appointments to meet realtors. house hunting here is nothing like it is in az. house hunting in seattle is madness. pure chaos. i met other couples doing the same thing we are. uprooting their life and moving to seattle. they were staying in hotels too. they figured they’d find something when they got here just like we did. they’d been seriously hunting for 2 1/2 weeks and still nothing. you look at a house and its over priced + outdated + hideously ugly + stinky + next to a cemetery + bad school district + sketchy area and list goes on. but because the inventory is so low and the techie’s are taking over the city you put in your offer with 90 other people and before you can hit send you get an email that its taken. then you cry and you stress and you wonder what you’re even doing anyways. a cashier at the busiest costco i’ve ever seen in my life (even on the worst of worst days at costco, this was at least 10 times worse) said they’re one of the busiest costco’s and they are jam packed every day. he said seattle has grown immensely over the last 2-3 years and the cost of living is now higher than NYC. say whhhhat?!!!

DSC07270 DSC07279 IMG_8555how can you not love that elephant?! the sun does shine in seattle and its a cool 73 degrees. take that az!

 

july is a busy month in seattle so we sort of jumped from one hotel to the next. sunday night as we were pulling up to our new hotel and ivan went inside to check in, i got on my phone and looked on craigslist again. a listing popped up. no pictures. my dream neighborhood at the top of the hill + middle of the city. great school in walking distance. i made ivan call. he got back in the car and said lets go look at it. she lives in arizona (coincidence? i think not) she said the keys under the mat. we drove straight over. he walked in through the back door and came to the front to let us in. i looked at his face and he shook his head yes. we ran inside to the most amazing craftsman style house. built in 1917. original hard woods. original built in cabinets. original door handles + windows. pretty much original everything. 3 bedroom with a huge master upstairs. 2 bathrooms, thats unheard of here!! aside from the hideous colors on the wall from the previous renter (we are painting) it was perfect. everything i had dreamt of in my head. my perfect seattle house. she said she had been praying for a family and praying that family (us!!!) would find it on sunday. we had been praying for this house. it was so easy + effortless. thank goodness she didn’t upload photos or this house would have had a line around the corner.

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just when i felt defeated it all fell into place. this move has been stressful. i’ve been homesick. i’ve wondered if we are making the right decision. but its all fallen into place. fairly perfectly. i mean house hunting for weeks but really only 2 days here in the city, when those other people were here for weeks, is pretty awesome.

IMG_8710gotta put your park somewhere. on top of the pharmacy at the u village. i mostly took this photo as a reminder to myself next time we are shopping and need a break. theres a park.

 

i have to says driving in the city might be my worst nightmare. i think public transportation is in my future. all the bridges + tunnels + traffic, oh the traffic!!! seattle has LA beat big time. i get so confused and then stressed. shopping is no easy task. we rented a van because ivan’s truck and trailer are still in az. (he’s flying back to pick them up and drive them here) i then had to drive around from store to store searching for furniture. buying beds + sheets + laundry soap + everything else you need to fill a home. i drove to the target north of me because my city target only has garage parking and i couldn’t fit the van in only to find out that target also only had garage parking and i had to park half way down the road. i filled up my cart and checked out. they don’t have plastic bags in seattle and i had to purchase two tiny paper bags (about half the size of a normal brown paper bag) the cashier was so kind and tried to jam everything he could into them. 3 sets of sheets + mattress pads along with laundry detergent i had to stack up and carry out. all these things i’m learning about city living. like don’t pile your cart at target when you’ve parked 5 blocks away.

IMG_8719view from the bottom of our neighborhood

 

then we walk through our neighborhood to the edge of the hill and look out over the water to the most amazing view. or we go to the movies in the middle of the city and i look out the window on the escalator heading up to our theater and i see a view of the city. our city. we are slowly finding our spots. we drive up that long steep hill out of the hustle and bustle of downtown to our quiet neighborhood and it feels good, really good. i know soon enough it will feel more like home. henri has done great, no allergies and thats what its all about! so even though i’m tired and stressed and sometimes miss the ease of arizona, henri being able to breathe is all that matters. thats it.

IMG_8720view on the way up to our theater

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Portland Oregon Food Travel Kids

PORTLAND

we’ve visited portland probably 5 times now. i’m always up and down about this city. some visits i love it and some not so much. this time i had a list of places to eat + visit. i wanted to make the most of portland and we definitely did. let me tell you i love portland. coming from san fransisco it seems so clean + less crowded. there are neighborhoods that are so cute and some you want to avoid. we got in just in time for dinner at porque no? before we got there ivan said he thought i was setting us up for failure. coming from az its really hard to find mexican food we love in another city (besides mexico) but it didn’t disappoint. the chips and guacamole are really good + fresh. we got a few different tacos but ended up loving the carnitas. the line went pretty fast and i think its worth the wait. ivan said they were some of the best taco’s he’s ever tasted.

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we spent the 4th of july downtown. a lot of the stores + restaurants were closed but we still had so much fun. we had lunch at lardo. we loved the bahn mi. the kids grilled cheese was the best i’ve ever had. i kept taking bites off their sandwiches. we walked up to jameson square. the kids wanted to get in the fountain and to be honest i did too but we didn’t have our suits on and i knew they’d hate being in wet close the rest of the day. instead we headed over to salt & straw to cool off. again we waited in line but it went pretty fast. i got the strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper +  sea salt with caramel ribbons. ava’s was really good too she got cinnamon snickerdoodle.

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we decided to head back to the hotel to change into our swimsuits and find a lake or river to swim in. unfortunately non of them were close enough and from what the locals told us the willamett is not clean and you definitely don’t want to get in it.  so we made our way over to powells books. ava was in heaven. that place is huge. we could’ve spent all day there. i loved the cards they had hanging off the shelf giving a overview of some of the books. some were even written by kids her age which i thought was so great. we were hoping to make it to pok pok for dinner but it wasn’t open so we went to a pizza place called sizzle pie instead. the pizza was pretty good.

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ivan looked around for where to watch the fireworks and decided the best spot would be the waterfront downtown. the kids had so much fun and kept telling us this was the best 4th they’ve ever had. we’ve decided we love portland and with any city it is what you make of it. i think we did a great job making the best of all portland has to offer. amazing food + super cute downtown + friendly people. the kids are getting used to all this walking. that makes me the most happy.

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24 HOURS IN SAN FRANSISCO

we spent right about 24 hours in SF. while i think a good 3 day trip is the perfect amount of time for adults, you can get a lot covered in 24hrs with kids. the kids did great walking, better than i expected. i put elle and jack in the double stroller. initially i was hesitant about pushing it around the city but it wasn’t bad. i even took it through chinatown. we alternated between the double stroller and the ergo + backpack carrier. i was surprised at the restaurants and how accommodating they were with our big stroller. we had such a great time and i’m so happy the kids got to see the city.

 

24 hrs in the city

3pm late lunch at house of nanking- its a MUST! we stumbled upon this place over 10 years ago and its still just as good.

walk through chinatown

ghiradelli and walk down to the water to get a glimpse of the bridge

walk down to pier 39 to see the sea lions + alcatraz

trish’s donuts for a late night snack, head back to the hotel

breakfast at dotties or mama’s. la boulange if you don’t want to wait in line

walk over to mr. holmes bakehouse if you’re at dotties. they open at 7 and sell out quick. i got to the door to see a sold out sign. tears

if you’re at mama’s watch the ladies do tai chi in washington square park. also a great place to let the kids play while your significant other stands in line.

walk over to union square and ride a trolley

lunch at boudin, because its an SF staple (although i have to say pike’s place chowder wins hands down for me)

walk down chestnut street in cow hollow and window shop.

lay on the grass at great meadow while the kids run around. you’ll have a great view of the city + golden gate bridge

drive over the bridge on the way out

 

if you have extra time

seward slides

giants stadium tour- i’ve never done this but a friend who lived in SF said its awesome and kids love it

walk the golden gate bridge

blondies pizza

shopping in union square

coit tower

painted ladies

crissy field

tour alcatraz

 

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LOCAL PIZZA -AZ.

we love pizza at our house.  we eat it all too often.  i love making pizza at home and recently shared our very favorite recipe here.  although some nights its just easier to order in.  here are a few of our favorite pizza joints.

 

grimaldi’s- is our favorite.  we love the pepperoni.  the pesto is really good too.  we get either the house salad or caprese. they don’t deliver, so pick up or dine in.

 

brooklyn v’s- this is the pizza we order in most.  closest to a ny slice that i’ve found in az.

 

sal’s gilbert pizza- garlic knots with cheese + antipasto salad + pepperoni pizza + chocolate dipped cannoli.  the italian sub is good too. it can get pretty busy. the kids like to go here for their date night and sit at the bar.

 

barros- who doesn’t like barros?!  we get a pepperoni pizza and a salad + olives. the kids and i like the cheese sticks (like a sauce-less pizza).

 

casanova brothers- we ate here a lot more before we found brooklyn v’s. the nicest owners from NYC. a great laid back place to take the kids and enjoy and easy night out.

 

lgo- all of their pizzas are great. the wings are even better.

 

slices- on mill or tempe market place. my favorite is the chicken pesto. ivan gets the bbq chicken or pepperoni.

 

anywhere you recommend? we don’t love spinato’s, the sauce is too sweet although i know a lot of people do. i grew up on red devil in phoenix. we don’t eat it often anymore. i know a lot of people in mesa like vito’s.

 

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ARIZONA CITY GUIDE

where to eat

mastro’s city hall steak house– my absolute favorite always consistent meal
-shrimp cocktail
-wedge salad
-Filet
-gorgonzola mac & cheese
-brussel sprouts
– warm butter cake, do not skip this!  Its pure heaven.  I’ve gone for this dessert only.  Trust me its worth it.

i’ve tried other salads and sides but this is my go to.  a lot of people like the lobster mashed potatoes. i’m not a fan of lobster its too chewy and tough but if you are, then go for it!

white Chocolate Grill
-tomato gin soup
-spit roasted turkey dip
-filet mignon cobb salad
-white chocolate banana cream pie, i would normally never order a slice of pie but this one has a graham cracker crust and is to die for.

houstons or hillstone (they’re pretty much the same, hillstone is usually not as busy and its close to last chance.  houston’s is closer to scottsdale mall.  If you want to walk off some of that food and get some retail therapy)
-house smoked salmon appetizer, toast with a mayo mixture and top with salmon.  i actually recreate this at home, its pretty great.
-cheeseburger with fries, the best cheeseburger you will ever have, get the spicy mayo.
-french dip aus jus, i ask for it cut lean.
-pan Seared Ahi Tuna
-center-Cut Filet
-chicken Salad, its not the one on the menu and its only at houston’s, it has chicken, egg, avocado, tomato and their house dressing.
-chicken Sandwich, it has a spicy mayo, cheese and tomato also not on the menu and only at hillstone.
-hot fudge sundae with sugared pecans

the original pancake house (not to be confuse with IHOP, barf)
this place is attached to a Motel 8 or 6 or some kind of motel.  its just west of scottsdale mall.
-2 eggs scrambled with patty sausage and either strawberry or pecan pancakes -that’s my jam
-the dutch baby is ivan’s favorite
-crepes are really good
-get the pancakes, any kind really, they’re all good!

bosa donuts – i don’t care what anyone says bosa has the best donuts.  the only donuts i like better are from doughnut plant in NYC.  go early in the morning while they’re hot.
-maple long john, you can’t go wrong
-buttermilk bar, i was hesitant when ivan told me to try these.  boy am I glad I did.

fractured prune
-sea salt + vanilla

burrito express
-i love their red salsa
-egg + potato + cheese breakfast burrito
-red chili and egg burrito

lee’s sandwiches
-egg + cheese + bacon breakfast sandwich on a croissant (ivan likes the baguette)
-french horn
-almond croissant

lolo’s chicken and waffles
another phoenix joint we’ve been going to since they were in the dumpy location south of the ballpark.  call me crazy but i actually loved that location.  something charming about a little hole in the wall that is constantly packed because its just that good (they now have several locations)
-the betty boop with a side of mac & cheese

LGO (la grande orange)
when ivan and i were first married we lived near here, before it was the crazy trendy place that it is.  man I love that neighborhood.  that area makes me feel at home.
-turkey breakfast sandwich with eggs and avocado on an english muffin
-artichoke appetizer
-cheese burger on an english muffin
-chicken wings with blue cheese (the blue cheese is so good, I could drink it)
-the pizzas are all pretty good
-i love the Sea Salt Chocolate Chip cookies, for some reason the last time I went they put waaay too much salt.  Which if you know me that’s nearly impossible, but there was.  So take a look before you get one.

rito’s
-green chili burrito with green chili sauce

carolina’s
the best tortillas this side of the border.
-machaca Burrito
do yourself a favor and get a pint of machaca to go and a dozen tortillas.  if not you’ll regret it when you get home and are craving more.  while you’re at it get a buttered tortilla for the drive.

mattas 
if you grew up in mesa you know.
-i like the hot and mild salsa mixed
-cheese crisp
-chili relleno
-chilaquiles casserole- fried egg, no onions, shredded beef, red sauce
-chicken burro enchilada style with red sauce

el charro
-usually people i meet like el charro or matta’s, i like both.
-homemade buttered tortilla (request this with everything you order or you’ll be stuck with a crappy store bought one)
-i like a homemade buttered tortilla with a side of rice and beans and I make my own little burrito
-mojado quesadilla, filled with beans and cheese

tum nak thai
-pad see iw -ive tried other dishes but i always go back to this.  its just so good.  i like it with chicken and medium spicy.

tamari sushi
-tuna poke
-surprise roll
– hot and saucy roll

sakana sushi
-boston Roll
-salmon Bomber
-rainbow Roll
-tootsie Roll
-red dragon roll

yoko bowl
-i get the number 6 and number 12.  one is yakisoba and the other is chicken.  i really have no idea which number is what.  i just order both.  i order the Yakisoba will all noodles and white meat chicken.
-get the red spicy sauce they keep in a squeeze bottle up front, its really good.

rolberto’s 
-i know it seems like all ‘berto’s” are the same but i’m here to tell you they’re not!  rolberto’s has the best bean and cheese burrito’s ever.  i do mean ever!  it’s on main just west of country club in mesa.  don’t eat there just go through the drive thru and eat it in your car because its too good to wait until you get home.

betitos
-quesadilla
-3 rolled tacos + guac.

honey bears bbq
-pulled pork sandwich + side or coleslaw (to put on top of your sandwich)

the bagel man
-everything bagel + scallion cream cheese

A few more places you should check out
-jp mcgurkee’s
-grimaldi’s pizza
-chelsea’s kitchen
-republica empanada
-tee pee mexican food
-defalcos great italian food + sandwiches
-cheba hut
-burger house in globe, az for green chili burros
-el ray also in globe green chili quesadilla. their homemade chips and salsa are great

where to stay
scottsdale is where all the resorts are. some of our favorite are
montelucia
westin kierland
arizona grand– great for kids
scottsdale princess

what to do 
scottsdale mall for shopping
scottsdale quarter + kierland commons- across the street from each other and both are great for shopping.  they both also have splash pads. quarters splash pad is better but kierlands is less busy.
tpc- golfing
camelback mountain- hiking
science museum- great for kids
phoenix childrens museum- my kids love this place, its huge and has tons of stuff to do.
phoenix zoo
butterfly wonderland
tempe town lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WASHINGTON D.C. CITY GUIDE

where to stay

 

georgetown

dupont circle

 

both are really great areas + very safe.  dupont circle is pretty centrally located.  georgetown is quant and charming.  lots of shopping and of course baked and wired.

 

how to get around

 

we took a cab from the airport to our hotel. i typically take public transportation but since this was our first time in the city we decided on a cab to get us to the hotel.

metro- we took the metro once. it was very easy to navigate and they have plenty of trains so we didn’t have to wait long. i’ve heard it can get a little congested so be aware of the time of day you’re getting on and plan accordingly.

walking- we walked the whole rest of the time. i love walking and we probably did 8+ miles a day.  if you like to walk, this city is definitely manageable.

 

my best advice is navigate ahead of time what you want to see.  if you plan on breakfast in eastern market don’t plan lunch in georgetown.  i typically start my planning with what I’m eating on the trip.  yep, i love food that much!  then i figure out what restaurants are in that same area for lunch and possibly dinner along with what we plan on doing for the day. this saves you a lot of walking across town or missing out on places you wanted to go.

 

what to do

 

the national mall- covers pretty much all the monuments

white house

us capitol

abraham lincoln, mlk, jefferson, roosevelt monuments

washington monument

us treasury

you could spend an entire day here and not see it all

smithsonian- made up of 19 museums.  all free. i loved the art museum but i wouldn’t recommend taking kids.  the air and space museum and natural history museum are great for little ones.

eastern market- its not huge but fun to walk around.  they have a flea market sunday mornings.

georgetown- m street and wisconsin ave have really great shopping.

arlington national cemetery

 

what to eat

 

founding farmers- great breakfast, fresh farm to table.

2 amys- pizza. i didn’t make it here but i’ve heard amazing things and i really wished i had tried it.

baked and wired- i went twice.  i like the vanilla vanilla cupcake.

georgetown cupcakes- good cupcakes, not as good as baked and wired.

shake shack- love the shake burger + cheese fries. do. not. forget. the. cheese. fries. and a shake, i get the black and white unless the flavor of the week is really good.

old ebbitt grill- my sister got the lentil cakes and loved them.  i got the crab cakes, they’re known for the crab cakes so i had to. they were pretty good. the restaurant is something like 130 years old and looks out to the treasury. that alone is enough reason to visit.

amsterdam falafel shop- really really good falafel.  tons of toppings.

sweetgreen- great for a fresh + light salad.  after all the junk i just told you to eat.  lemonade is good too.

pitango gelato- this was also on the list but i didn’t make it. try it out and tell me what you thing.

little serow- we saw a huge line and no sign on the restaurant. so i asked someone what they were waiting for. apparently its amazing thai food.  you stand in line and they seat two groups.  you wait hours, so if you have kids with you i don’t advise this place. he told me the food is out of this world. we were going try it the next night but after reading that they don’t give you food options you get a 7 course meal they prepare the same for everyone we didn’t go. my sister is vegetarian and she would have only been able to eat maybe 2 of the courses. he also told me its super spicy. being so close to az, nothing is super spicy to me, so take that for what its worth.

komi- the nice man i met at little serow told me komi is the best place to eat in dc but you must make reservations months in advance.

eastern market- the blue buckwheat pancakes are worth the wait.

 

a few other places i wanted to try but didn’t-

matchbox chinatown burgers

busboys and poets

good stuff eatery

cake sandwiches

takorean

farmers fishers bakers

 

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SEATTLE- CITY GUIDE

we really love seattle.  although i feel like we still have so much to explore in our favorite city and im sure i will have more to add when we head back up in a few months.  i do have a good start on what to do and where to stay.  so i thought id share with you a city guide on seattle.

 

Seattle gasworks

 

 what to eat

pike place chowder- in pike place. hands down the best chowder i’ve ever had.  ever.

piroshky piroshky- in pike place.  i get the moscow roll and its amazing.  i tend to lean towards the sweet over the savory but both are good.

beecher’s handmade cheese- in pike place.  the mac and cheese is to die for.  its more of an adult mac and cheese but my kids love it just as much as i do.

the crumpet shop- i love the pesto tomato and english cheese and the vermont.

daily dozen doughnut shop- in pike place. the best hot mini doughnuts

honey hole- capital hill.  they make some really great sandwiches and fries.

scooters burgers- great for a quick burger and fries.  get the onion rings and shake too!

paseo-  you cant go to seattle and not go to paseo.  the line will be long but it will move fast.  get the carribean roast.  its really really messy but really really good.

din tai fung- i always talk about this place.  its just so good.  we eat here several times every time we come.  get the juicy pork dumplings, shrimp and pork dumplings with spicy sauce, these are my absolute favorite and the green beans.  the best green beans you will ever eat.  i know green beans don’t sound exciting but i promise you will crave these.

dicks drive in-  a seattle staple.  there are several locations and they’ve been around forever.  burgers + fries + shakes.  don’t try and change your burger toppings, they won’t let you.  to keep things moving fast it only comes one way.  oh and its super cheap.

el diablo coffee- in queen anne, mexican hot chocolate + whipped cream.  the best.

 

what to do

discovery park

woodland park zoo

ferry to bainbridge island

space needle

emp museum

seattle aquarium

museum of flight

the pacific science center

seattle children museum

visit the fremont troll

pike place

ferris wheel on the water front- this one was tough for me.  its enclosed and i’m extremely claustrophobic.  its about 10 minutes but since it wasn’t busy when we went he let us keep going.  i wanted to die.

go on a hike

go to the beach

gum wall

go to a football game- the crowd is called the 12th man for a reason

there are plenty of outdoor places to explore.  we love to find the closest trail and go for a walk.  we usually end up at the water and play there for a while then hike back.

 

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Crumpet shop pesto

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Gum wall seattle

Wallingford

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Din tai fung

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PUERTO PENASCO MEXICO – CITY GUIDE

Family Beach Picture Rocky Point Mexico

puerto penasco is one our favorite places to visit.  i came a lot as a child and i love bringing my own family down there to the same beaches i spent my childhood on.  its changed so much since i was little. its such a small town so there are not many options for food but i wanted to share a few of our favorites.  the next time you take a trip down you should try them out.

las palomas resort and spa- this is where we always stay.  the rooms are big and there is plenty for the whole family to do.  the kids love the pool and water slide.  they have chairs and umbrellas on the beach to relax at.  they have golfing + spa’s + restaurants all right in the hotel.

taco’s el poblano- this is the first place we stop at when we get in town.  the waiter, fransisco knows us and just asks if we want the regular.  probably my very favorite meal in any city.  ivan and i get the caramelo taco’s, al pastor + cheese + guacamole + pico.  i top them with their green salsa and get a coke.  the kids get the cheese quesadilla’s and a fanta.

rosy’s- we get breakfast here.  we love the huevos rancheros and the kids get chocolate chip pancakes.

koffee hause- i get the stuffed french toast.  ivan gets the carne huevos rancheros, he says its even better than rosy’s.  the kids get the pancakes.

la curva- ivan loves the el pollo godorniz.  we love the chips they bring out before you order.  the mariachi’s sing to you at your table which the kids love.

thrifty’s ice cream- we go here after taco’s el poblano.  it’s just across the street.

max’s- i love their virgin bloody mary.  i know its an acquired taste but if you like a bloody mary they have the best i’ve ever had.

potato burritos on the beach.  also a breakfast favorite.  just wait for someone, prefferably sonya to pass by.  i like the soft and the crunchy with a side of valentina

mangos on the beach are our favorite snack.  just wait for someone to walk by selling them or there’s a stand outside las palomas resort.  i like mine with lime + chili + chamoy.  the kids like theirs with lime only.

get a pina colada in a pineapple.  you can find them off the side of the road just about anywhere.

visit choya bay mall for mexican blankets + dresses + vanilla and any sort of authentic mexican souvenir you want to bring home.  we also drive down to the fish market for fresh fish and shrimp and stop by mary’s for a shrimp cocktail.

we bring down our ranger, park our car at the condo and drive that around instead.  its a lot of fun and we can ride the sand dunes on the way into town.

on our home way we like to stop and grab tortillas in sonoyta.

 

Rocky Point Mexico

rocky point mexico

Rocky Point Mexico

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i love when they play so much that they are this exhausted

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everyday these guys on the beach would make a sand animal and everyday henri would recreate it in a smaller version

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jack loved the mangos

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my favorite beach snack

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the left is the green salsa i love at tacos elpoblano

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al pastor at tacos el poblano

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tacos el poblano

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la curva chips with sauce they give you before your meal

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jack loved the pina colada

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