Jun 012015
 

I left off with Anna and I lounging like lizards by the pool. It was blissful! I needed some relaxing time and some sunshine. I love the desert…

We cleaned up and got ready for the wedding and took the street car downtown. The wedding was at the Z Mansion. It was such a cool building! (When we got there we explored a little bit and there were secret passageways and all sorts of neat things.)

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There wasn’t much around there and we hadn’t eaten lunch (the vodka and pineapple didn’t count LOL). We wanted a snack so we ended up going to a Mexican restaurant across the street and sharing a snack of guacamole and chips and a quesadilla.

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Then it was time for the event! We hung out and explored the mansion a little bit during cocktail hour.

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I LOVED the wallpaper. I wonder if Michael will let me do this to our house…..? I know I just remodeled my bathroom but now I wish I had peacocks on the wall…

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The wedding was outside in the backyard. It was an intimate wedding under the trees that were decorated with fairy lights. There was a gazebo and a fountain. The colors were a creamy ivory and sage green. I loved the colors.

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Christine looked gorgeous! Her dress was simple and looked breezy and comfortable (and perfect for a hot Arizona day). Everything looked magical. I was so happy for the couple!

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She walked down the stairs and then her dad met her and walked her down the aisle. Christine and Jeremy had a very sweet, romantic and unique wedding ceremony. They each talked a little about how they met and it was funny! I was so impressed they were able to like have SPEECHES! And an ACT! Michael and I wrote our ceremony and vows so that our friend Star was the one saying everything and we just said “I Do” because we both knew we wouldn’t be able to talk much up there.

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It was very romantic and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house–even Anna who didn’t know the couple was bawling her eyes out. LOL

After the ceremony they got group pictures of all the guests and then we all kind of hung around by the bar area while we waited for the tables to be set up.

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Anna and I won the lottery with the table. Table 8 ruled! We made lots of new friends and had a blast!

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There was drinking, dancing, food, lots of laughing.

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They had anyone who wanted to come up and give a speech. Apparently I’d had just enough wine to feel bold enough to go up there. Eeeek! Had I known this was happening I would have written something but I went up there, heart pounding, and winged it.

I think my speech started off with… “Picture gray, rainy Seattle…it’s the 90’s. I’m obsessed with Nirvana and Christine is obsessed with Soundgarden. I think we both have braces and are beyond awkward…” And then Christine jumped in and said yes, and something to the effect of still being awkward (truth). I talked a little about how I met Christine in middle school and said some nice things about her and then of course, Jeremy, her new hubby, I had to comment on his excellent taste in beer. I was told later the speech was ok. I was so nervous I don’t remember much!

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We stayed pretty late and danced into the night with Awesome Table 8 (Anna suggested we have a 10 Year Table 8 Reunion) and then we walked back to the street car and headed to the hotel. It was a great wedding!

Sunday

We slept in and decided on having a very leisurely day. We got breakfast at Dunken Donuts (across the street from our hotel). I love DD!! The iced coffee is amazing. And I love how quick and easy, low-calorie and delicious the breakfast sandwiches were. That became our breakfast norm.

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Then we took the street car back to 4th Street so we could finish our sightseeing and shopping and then we checked out the University Campus.

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Lunch was Mexican food at B-Line, a cute bistro with delicious food. I got the Carne Asada tacos. It was just the right amount of food and really tasty. Another place I’d recommend if you visit Tucson.

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After that more walking, more shopping, and then back to the hotel to spend the day by the pool. I finished reading my book and started the next one, took a nap, relaxed. It was lovely! I FaceTimed with Michael and Bella by the pool. :)

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I had some time to kill before dinner so I ended up going to the hotel gym for another quick elliptical workout.

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Dinner was at Hub. We cleaned up and took the streetcar back downtown. The place was huge and packed! But we got a table immediately. We got tasty beverages.

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And I ordered the Veggie Burger. It was a Chipotle black bean patty with roasted red pepper aioli on a delicious brioche bun. I got a salad instead of fries. The whole meal was fantastic! I was really impressed with the food and the vibe was pretty cool.

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It had high ceilings, exposed brick walls, cool decorations and apparently they are known for their ice cream because there was a huge setup for that too. Sadly, we had to skip the ice cream because we wanted to make the last train of the night back to the hotel. We could have walked it but…we didn’t want to! So we hustled back to the train. I think on Sundays they stop running at 8pm. It was a really perfect day and I happily fell asleep early and slept like the dead.

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May 282015
 

I mentioned earlier that I was going on vacation; I went to Tucson for a friend’s wedding.

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Unfortunately Michael wasn’t able to go with me but my cousin Anna was up for a girl’s trip so that was good! We flew out of Portland early Friday morning for the holiday weekend and went up to Seattle (a quick 45 min flight), waited less than an hour for our flight from Seattle and then we were in sunny Tucson! The bummer? It was REALLY windy that day and the turbulence was truly awful. Nothing like feeling like you are dropping out the sky for 30 minutes to think “oh my god we’re going to die”…

We checked into our hotel, the Marriott right by the University–which I really recommend. It was a great location, right on the street car line (only cost $4 for a 24 hour ticket and the street car runs every 15 minutes), the hotel was pretty cool and our room was huge and had a balcony with a view. The interior of the hotel was also pretty cool looking:

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Our food schedule was a little screwy because of traveling. It was Friday afternoon, too early for dinner, too late for lunch. We stopped into Gentle Ben’s Brewing because it was right by the hotel and had outdoor seating. It was decent pub food. We split a salad and the giant pretzel and we each got a glass of wine while we tried to shake off the turbulent travel jitters and just relax a little.

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We had some time to kill before our evening plans so after that we walked around the University shops and did a little sightseeing.

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Anna wanted to take a nap (she wasn’t feeling well) and so I went down to the hotel pool to do some swimming. The wind had scared everyone off so I had the pool to myself. It was a small pool but large enough to swim some laps. I did about a mile, maybe a little less, in 40 minutes. Then went back up to the room to shower and change for the evening.

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My friend Christine was getting married to her fiance Jeremy and they were hosting a post-rehearsal dinner drink event at Reilly Craft. Anna and I ended up taking a cab there because we didn’t know the area well enough yet to risk exploring at night in heels.

Reilly was SO COOL. What an awesome place! If you’re ever in Tucson you have to check this place out. We wanted to go back later that weekend and really explore it but never got the chance. Dang it!

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Okay so Reilly is in a building that was apparently an old mortuary. The place is huge. You walk in to a super modern restaurant with high ceilings and exposed beams and brick and a chic white marble bar. Then you walk outside to the alley way and there is a super cool space with picnic benches, fake grass on the walls and ground, exposed brick and romantic lights.

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Then you walk to the beer garden, that is inside but completely open without walls. It had such an awesome vibe and I’m bummed we didn’t get a chance to explore the basement cocktail lounge!

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Anna and I ordered something small for dinner. I got the Ninkasi Tricerahops beer (beer from home) and probably one of the best salads I’ve ever had. Delicious greens with chicken, cranberries, some kind of toffee brittle, chopped green apple and goat cheese. It was divine and it hit the spot. Anna got the meatballs (I had one). They were really good. This place was excellent and I highly recommend it!

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We chatted with the bride and groom a bit and then decided to head back to the hotel.

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This time we were able to figure out the street car (it was like 2 blocks away) and took that back. We ended up using it for most of our trip and it worked well.

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Saturday we took it pretty easy. We had the wedding to go to in the evening. We slept in and then I went to the hotel gym for a workout. For some reason I just could not get my heart rate up (no idea why) but I was glad I got some exercise in!

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We decided to check out a local place for breakfast and took the street car to downtown (about 10-15 min away) to go to Nook. The restaurant was super cute–very modern and chic. We ended up sitting outside because HELL YEAH. We’re not in Oregon anymore! I LOVED that most everywhere in Tucson had outdoor seating.

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The outside patio was enchanting. It had Christmas lights, bistro tables with umbrellas (if you wanted them), big comfy outdoor couches, and there were a few hummingbirds flitting around the garden area.

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I got the BLTE: bacon over medium egg, arugula, tomato jam in housemade crumpet. It came with cottage cheese and Anna and I split a side order of fruit. It was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. It was messy and gooey and the egg dripped on everything but it was to die for and I could have licked the plate it was so good! Their tropical iced tea was fantastic.

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Anna got The Godfather Benedict: crumpet, prosciutto, arugula, poached egg, hollandaise, balsamic drizzle. I had a bite and holy cow was it amazing! She won at breakfast.

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We spent the rest of the day walking around 4th Street. It was a trendy area with bars, shops and restaurants. I’ll write more about that later. We did stop in for a “lunch” beverage. :) Vodka and pineapple juice at the Surly Wench.

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Finally, back to the hotel where we spent the next three hours poolside lounging, reading, napping, relaxing in the sunshine!

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Stay tuned for more!

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