Monday, June 2, 2014

Meet Me in St. Louis

A few weeks ago Loren and I spent the weekend in St Louis. It was a quick trip but I think we hit most of the important tourist to-dos.

First I should just mention that the Drury Inn on Broadway downtown was such a great place to stay! We were within walking distance to pretty much everything and the staff was so nice. Plus there's a free hot breakfast,  fresh popcorn everyday for snacking, and a sweet happy hour! Free drinks and hot dogs! We were more than satisfied with our stay there and will look for their hotels in other cities we visit. 

Moving on...we spent a lot of our first day in town relaxing. We did venture out and saw the Gateway Arch on our way to the Cardinals baseball game. From Broadway St you can see the Old Courthouse and the Arch is behind the building. It's beautiful. 

We continued on toward Busch Stadium. There's a new area next to the stadium called Ballpark Village that the hotel staff recommended so we stopped there for dinner.



 The place was huge and we ended up eating at Budweiser Brew House. I'm going to be honest and say that nothing I had there was very remarkable. I'm not a beer drinker so I ordered a sangria. The waiter told me it was tasty but strong. It was disgusting and strong. I think I took four sips before giving up on it. I also ordered poorly when it came to food...disappoint all around. But it was a fun atmosphere and I feel like most of my complaints were my own bad choices given the venue. 

The Cardinals game was pretty fun. It was a chilly night so we brought a blanket from our hotel room to keep warm, haha! I will admit that it was somewhat strange to me to see how packed the stadium was. I don't usually see that many people at the baseball games here in Seattle. The stadium was really nice and I loved all the red team gear.



The next day we were up and at 'em relatively early. Our first plan for the day was heading to the Gateway Arch. We walked over and waited through the security line to get inside. Something worth mentioning is if you book your tickets ahead of time you still have to wait in the security line to enter the structure. There are lines at both ends of the Arch. The "pod" you take up and down the Arch is a little on the scary side.

 

If you are a claustrophobic person, the ride could get a little intense. I had to take a few deep breaths to try and keep calm. I'm positive the people we rode up with thought I was a lunatic. Once you get to the top though, there are some pretty amazing views.




After the Arch, we headed down to the waterfront to take a riverboat cruise.


The cruise was okay but if you have a packed schedule you could definitely skip it.


Later in the evening we decided to end out to the Del Mar Loop. It seemed to be a more hip, young crowd in this area. Lots of people carrying bluetooth speakers around so everyone on the sidewalk could listen to their music. haha! We stopped for a little pick-me-up at Fitz's Root Beer shop. They brew their own root beer and serve up some pretty serious root beer floats.



Loren had the original and I went with the s'more (cream soda with ice cream, hot fudge, and marshmellow fluff). It was delicious but I think I only managed to get about 25% through it. Luckily Loren's sweet tooth is bigger than mine. :)


After browsing the shops a bit more we decided it was dinner time. We settled on this Mexican place that had a super long wait. BUT it turns out that they have a take-out window and little side bar where you can eat. We got food and drinks within about 15 minutes compared to the 45-60 minute wait we were quoted at the restaurant. Seemed like a win to us!




This food was AMAZING! We ordered these french fries with carna asada and all the fixin's piled on top. Honestly, one of my favorite things I've ever ate. Mexican food and french fries in one?! Heaven!! Plus the most delicious strawberry daiquiri ever. It was a good food night.

The next day was our last day in St. Louis. We drove around Forest Park for a bit but decided to focus our efforts on getting some St. Louis style BBQ. Interesting tidbit - on our boat cruise the guide informed us that St. Louis style BBQ is actually about the cut of the meat; and it's pretty much what you get everywhere in the US. But Loren had looked up a few places that seemed worth checking out so we went anyway. We decided to go to Pappy's. After waiting in line for about an hour, we were finally able to order our food. Loren got ribs and I got the beef brisket sandwich.





The food wasn't anything to write home about. Loren actually said that he'd prefer the ribs at Famous Dave's...so not worth waiting an hour for.

Our last stop was the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour. We got to meet a Clydesdale! He was a beautiful horse.

The tour was fun and it was actually a very pretty place.





So that's it! A weekend of fun in the Midwest! We had a good time exploring the area and I was happy to check another state off the list of places to visit. The people there were just so friendly, I enjoyed the city just based on that fact alone. Until next time..  xo, K


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bookshelf Love

I never realized how much I love bookshelves until I had one to put all my fun, pretty things on. But now?! I'm officially a bookcase lover!


We picked up an Expedit bookcase awhile back for the guest room. There had been a small desk in the space but it wasn't being used and just sort of took up space. This is a much better solution for the space and allows some extra space for Loren's stuff on our his actual computer desk. Plus, I have space for all my pretty things like my commemorative china from the Royal Wedding and Prince George's birth.




We also added another Ribba photo ledge from Ikea. We have one in our dining room and had been holding on to this extra one that finally found a home. I put a print we brought back from Paris, a print from Etsy that Loren bought me for Christmas a few years ago, a painting from my sister-in-law, and a few other items on the ledge. Everything there makes me happy. :)




The top of the bookcase could use a little fine tuning, since it's a little full right now but I'm not too concerned with it. The room isn't used too often so I like being able to look at all the fun things rather than worry about having open space. Anyone else obsessed with bookcases? I've definitely been trying to find places for them all over our house...wish me luck! :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Color Run

This morning Loren and I participated in The Color Run for the third year in a row. The Seattle race takes place right at the Seattle Center.



Yes, I do use my sweat band as ear muffs. I have sensitive ears!  It's a fun race that focuses on people having a good time rather than their race time. Plus, there's good music, BUBBLES at the start line, and lots of COLOR! Happiness is inevitable.



The color on the course was different this year, the color stations were using "liquid color" and I have to say...it wasn't as much fun.



In the past when you approach the color station as seen above, there are clouds of color. This year...no cloud. The liquid didn't seem as effective at leaving color either. The course was packed but you passed a lot of pretty parts of the city.


At the end of the race there was the normal, powder color. And, of course the color throw. The best part of The Color Run.



We both had a good time, and I still have some Smurf toned skin to prove I was there. :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Easter Weekend

Ahh, Easter weekend was just the break in craziness we'd been waiting for. The past few weeks have been filled with lots of fun, traveling, and house guests (more on that another time) so Loren and I had been looking forward to a nice weekend at home.

Friday night we spent with some super cool friends for an evening of yummy food and fun. Unfortunately I have no photo evidence, but it was a great evening and perfect end to the work week.

Saturday we spent some time lounging around the house and running errands but also made it over to a friend's house for an Easter party. The party was fun and all the kiddos there seemed like they were really having a good time. Loren and I managed to get our picture taken with the Easter Bunny!


Easter Sunday we finally made it back to church. It was a full crowd and wonderful service. We also gave Ruby her first Easter basket. It was the cutest thing ever. The little basket had a new toy, rawhide bone, and an egg with a treat inside. She pulled all the stuff out and then chased the egg around until it finally popped open and she could get the treat inside. Loren and I had lots of fun watching her.






Later in the afternoon, we had a few people over for dinner. It was nice to celebrate the holiday with friends and family but still keep it a small enough group that I didn't pull my hair out. I kept the table setting simple (even used cutesy egg shaped paper plates) and it was a good excuse to get some fresh flowers!



We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and prepping for the work week ahead. All in all, a great holiday weekend. Hope yours was wonderful as well!

P.S. Tonight we treated ourselves to some delicious pizza from Elliott Bay Pizza since we'd given it up for lent. So good!!