Sleepless in Seattle (Part 2) – Eat & Drink

Hello sunshines!

Part 2 of the Seattle travel guide focuses on the delicious food & drinks that we had while we visited! Mr. Photography (aka Mr. P) and I are also giving you the number of stars we both gave to each location. Prepare to get hungry after seeing all the food pictures :)!

  • Alchemy 4717 42nd Ave SW. Mr. P and I are fans of night caps and we definitely needed one after the long 4 hour flight (thank goodness for the in-flight movies). We made a reservations at Alchemy West Seattle for 10:30 pm, which was actually almost perfect because we checked into the hotel at 10 and left literally 5 mins later to hop into our Uber. I will say though, the Uber from downtown to West Seattle was $25 one way!!!! The vibes at Alchemy though were awesome. We were seated by these really tall, really majestic looking red arm chairs. I should have gotten a picture but got way too embarrassed after taking the pictures of our drinks with flashes…it was so dark inside! All and all, Alchemy had an awesome atmosphere, but the drinks could have been better and they could have offered a better variety of snacks (no fries?!) Stars: Mr. P 3.5; Maddi 3.5
  • Dahlia Bakery2001 4th Ave. We went to Dahlia Bakery twice and almost went a third time if it weren’t for us running a little behind on time getting to the airport. Mr. P got the biscuit with jam both times and I got the English muffin with an egg. I’m still dreaming about the bakery! Stars: Mr. P 4 .5; Maddi 5
  • Market Grill 1509 Pike Pl Ste 3. We were starving and honestly randomly came across the Market Grill while strolling through the Pike Place Market, and let me tell ya, I’m so glad we decided to stop and eat here. Their Alaskan Salmon sandwich was delicious and it was a huge portion too. Mr. P also got the clam chowder and he said great things about it.  Stars: Mr. P 5 ; Maddi 5
  • Nest @ Thompson Hotel110 Stewart St. this rooftop has first come first serve seating or you can make reservations for $50 online (via Resy). The view was phenomenal up there. I recommend getting there right when they open so you can grab a seat and soak up the views. I got the rose all day gin based drink, good, but I probably could have finished it with one sip :/ Stars: Mr. P 4 ; Maddi 3.5 (for so-so drinks that were expensive and crowded) 4.5 (for the view)
  • Belltown Brewing 200 Bell St. Belltown Brewing has a daily HH from 4-6 pm; appetizers were only $5 and Belltown Brewing beers were also only $5! It wasn’t super crowded when we get there around 5, so we were lucky to have been able to on the patio and enjoy the nice upper 60s weather. Not too hot, not too cold. We shared a huge plate of fries and a flatbread pizza, and we each got a beer (me – IPA, Mr. P amber). Stars: Mr. P 4.5 ; Maddi 4
  • Adana1449 E. Pine St. We were both super excited to try Adana because this restaurant is owned by Top Chef Gauntlet chef, Shota Nakajima. Adana featured a rotating seasonal menu, and from what we saw online, it looked delicious. I won’t lie though, I was very disappointed with my dishes. That being said, since this is a rotating menu, it could totally change and perhaps be amazing this next time. Mr. P did say that their whiskey selection was amazing though! Stars: Mr. P 3.5 ; Maddi 3
  • General Portoise Donuts1020 E Union St. There are three flavors that are always available at General Portoise Donuts (lemon curd, chocolate marshmallow, vanilla custard). When we were there, they had two special flavors (grey iced tea and I can’t remember the other one!) that are “rotating.” The donuts we got, lemon curd and grey iced tea (tasted like Thai iced tea) were yummy, but the whole donut was a bit much. I wish they made mini ones so that we could have tried all the flavors. Stars: Mr. P 4 ; Maddi 4
  • The 100 Pound Clam / The White Swan 1001 Fairview Ave N. We were so so so so sad that we couldn’t try The 100 Pound Clam / The White Swan. I made the rookie mistake of not checking when they were open and of course we showed up on a Sunday, the only day they were closed. We had walked all the way from Starbucks Reserve to the restaurant, which was an app 30 min walk. We were so sad since this spot was super highly rated on Yelp at the Lake Union area.
  • Duke’s Chowder House901 Fairview Ave N. Duke’s Chower House is close by to The 100 Pound Clam and since we were starving, we pretty much choose the closest and next best restaurant since The 100 Pound Clam/The White Swan was closed that day. Duke’s Chowder House is right next to the lake, so we were hoping to sit outside. But the restaurant was super busy so we had to sit inside….talk about a major disappointment. The menu did look delicious but very pricey (as compared to The 100 Pound Clam. Their Bloody Mary (Duke’s Special) was delish and came with 2 large prawns (very well seasoned) for only $10.95! Stars: Mr.P 3.5 ; Maddi 3IMG_3637 edited.jpg
  • The Dane 8000 15th Ave NW. We stopped by The Dane, a bar in Ballard, before our dinner reservation at Delancey. It was quite empty at 6 pm, but the bartender said they were super packed earlier in the day for brunch….apparently they ran out of bread! We enjoyed beers, and even had an $8 beer flight (4 beer 4 oz each). We also enjoyed chatting with our bartender, who was very knowledgeable and gave us recommendations for food and hiking! Stars: Mr. P 4.5 ; Maddi 4
  • Delancey 1415 NW 70th St. I thought the pizzas at Delancey was delicious but Mr. P wasn’t big on their thin crust pizza. The restaurant is pretty far outside of Seattle and is pretty small…there was not much space inside at all. It was also located in the middle of a neighborhood, which seemed pretty random. We shared a salad and a pizza (1/2 margherita, 1/2 hot salami), and both ordered mixed cocktails. Unfortunately neither of us really enjoyed the mixed cocktails…I would stick with beer next time. Stars: Mr. P 3 ; Maddi 4

Thanks for reading! If you’ve visited, let me know your favorite food & drink spots in Seattle! We’re already talking about our next visit, so I’ll def be looking for new spots to try!



Sleepless in Seattle (Part 1) – Places to See

Hello sunshines!

With a blink of an eye, we are now in mid-July, and there is still so much to do on our (Mr. P and mine) summer to-do-list! We recently checked one off the list during our visit to beautiful Seattle. It was our first time visiting Seattle, so it was a highly anticipated trip. We have heard AND seen beautiful pictures and could not wait to see for ourselves! I’m sharing on the blog today Part 1 of our Seattle travel guide to Seattle and talking about the places that visited. Stay tuned for Part 2, which will be all about food & drink!

Mr. P and I booked a Friday evening flight that left Chicago O’hare around 6 pm and landed in Seattle around 8:30 pm (YAY for the time change). We hopped into an Uber Pool, as it was much cheaper, and went on our way to the Westin, which is located right in the middle of the downtown Seattle. *Fun fact about Ubers picking up at the airport, they HAVE to be a hybrid or fully electric vehicle…it was so funny seeing the line of Prius’, Mr. P and I both got a kick out of that.

  • Space Needle – Our first full day in Seattle and we were ready to go explore, bright and early! We bought tickets to the Space Needle to skip the lines, but had to wait in the OTHER long line, ugh. At least it didn’t take too long to get to the top…maybe 10 mins. I actually do recommended buying tickets before you go! We bought the cheaper ones that they offer called the “up early/up late” tickets which are available for use either 8am – 9:30am or 10pm – 11pm, those were only $19/person vs the normal time tickets that were $29/person. We knew we had a full day of activities planned so going to check out the Space Needle early at 9:30am worked out perfectly, and we saved $20 that went towards the drink fund ;). The only downside to going super early is that Seattle is a bit cloudy in the morning…not foggy, just cloudy. So if sunshine is what you’re looking for, maybe go during normal hours after 11am or so!

IMG_3116 edited

  • Pike Place Market – Two words. Pure amazingness! We went around 11 AM and it was SO BUSY! There were flower stands, veggie stands, LOTS of seafood stands (I could not believe how big the crabs were), it was amazing. We were even lucky enough to witness a fish being thrown at the Pike Place Fish Market!!
  • Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room – Of course we had to visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting room! It is located in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle, which was app a 15 minute walk from our hotel. The roastery was HUGE inside and super busy too. There was roastery equipment out in the open for everyone to see…and it was so mesmerizing too. I’ve never seen coffee roasting equipment until this trip! In addition to the roastery equipment, there was a coffee library, an experience bar, and lots of lower level seating space to sit and soak up the entire experience. Mr. P and I ordered a “coffee tasting journey,” which consisted of a special roasted flavor of coffee, dried cherries, dark chocolate, and cheese. It was really cool tasting the coffee in different ways instead of just drinking it for the caffeine! Mr. P even said you can watch employees bagging freshly roasted coffee through the one-way mirror in the men’s restroom! (kinda weird, I know)
  • Lake Union – Lake Union is app a 30 min walk from Starbucks Reserve Roastery (Capitol Hill neighborhood). It was such a nice day out so our plan was to walk from the roastery to lunch at Lake Union. It just so happened to be the Wooden Boat Festival that weekend, so we also got to see such cool (and huge) wooden boats by the dock! Mr. P and I saw a few water taxi planes land, so we decided to walk over and see if we could go on a plane tour….but once we walked in, I noticed lots of luggage and got way too embarrassed to ask if they also did tours.
  • Mount Rainier National Park – Mr. P was so so so excited about doing some hiking at Mount Rainier National Park. He had planned this whole trail out but we unfortunately had to change plans last minute because that trail was still covered in snow. The trail we ended up hiking was about 5 miles round trip…and let me tell ya, being a first time hiker, 5 miles was enough! After our hike, we drove to the top of the national park, and got a glimpse of the amazing snow covered Mount Rainier. So beautiful! Mr. P and I are already talking about going back one of these August’s so that we can climb the original trail that he had planned….the view from that hike looked amazing from the pictures we saw online.
  • Mariners Game – It wouldn’t be a 4th of July celebration without going to a ball game! Mr. P and I thought it would be a fun way to spend an evening AND be able to watch 4th of July fireworks afterwards. Plus, we read that food at Safeco Field was amazing! We read this article giving us all the tips on where to eat at. Sadly we got there during the 4th inning and the game went by SUPER fast. Because of the time crunch, we stuck by the food places that were close to our seats. Thank goodness that the beer selection was great! Mr. P said Safeco Field has the best beer selection out of any ballparks he has been to!

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Sleepless in Seattle Part 2 – Eat & Drink!



Exploring NYC in 36 hours!

Hello Sunshines!

On today’s post I’m sharing with you all how we explored NYC in a short 36 hours a couple weekend’s ago! (Actually probably less than that if you include the necessary 8 hours of sleep :))

Prior to our trip, we researched and planned out the places we wanted to visit on this trip to the T, meaning I knew exactly how long it took from Murray Hill to get to the Brooklyn Bridge and which route we should take on the Subway. Disclosure, I am a crazy planning nut! I know many people would prefer to not make plans and go with the flow, but for me, I need my checklist and would go crazy if I left everything up in the air :X. That being said, I know things don’t always go according to plan, and that I can accept…you reshuffle your to-do-list and go from there!

Mr. P and I had a 5 PM flight Friday night and landed around 8:30 PM at Laguardia. From there, we ordered an Uber to our friend’s house in Murray Hill, which was app 30 mins with minimal traffic at night (other than driving on the sidewalk because of a truck being stuck in the middle of the road!). That night was spent catching up with friends and drinking lots of vino! The next morning, with a little over 24 hours left in NYC, we started our day bright and early at 8:30 AM! We obviously had to grab a NYC bagel so went to the shop down the street, Bagel Boss. There was a 6 subway stop that’s headed downtown to 33rd & 3rd Ave, just a couple of blocks away from where we were staying. Normally I think we could have taken the 4 or 5 train, but due to the Chinatown parade it may not have been running. (SEE, I told you I accept it when things are out of my control!)

Brooklyn Bridge
The 6 train took us directly there, it was so convenient. Let me tell ya, it was a super cold day and it was even colder on the bridge. I brought my peacoat instead of my puffy down coat and I sincerely regretted my decision. Even though it was cold, the bridge was already filled with runner, bikers, and tourists. I did manage a few shots on the bridge with no one around me, just pure luck I guess! We made it about halfway across the bridge before deciding it was too cold and turned around. Next time we’re there, when it’s warmer, we’re definitely walking the whole way across.

 Brooklyn Bridge! So cold that day :(
Brooklyn Bridge! So cold that day 😦


The 9/11 Memorial & Museum
All of our family and friends who had previously visited the memorial &museum strongly suggested that we visit, so we knew this destination was a must-see on our list. We did not buy tickets online ahead of time, which worked out just fine. The ticket line was short and we waited maybe 5 mins before getting our tickets and walking into the museum. The museum was very well put together, lots of artifact, and it brought back a lot of memories. We both felt very emotional while walking through the museum. I highly recommend going if anyone is visiting NYC in the coming months. They have a guided tour available that takes app 3 hours, we didn’t end up doing that due to time restrictions.

We originally had the Charging Bull on the list as well but unfortunately we did not have time to walk over there. Next time!

Brunch @ Hotel Chantelle (92 Ludlow St) —
The day we were there, Hotel Chantelle had a live jazz band playing, so we all enjoyed that. The food was decent (I ordered Scrambled Egg Crostini, and everyone else at my table ordered the Chicken & Waffles – that’s the brunch fav apparently) and the brunch drinks were super cheap, as in 92 cents for their special brunch cocktail; overall, I’d say I liked the ambience (cool patio too) more than the actual food, but that’s ok! You go for the experience, right?!

Dessert @ 10 Below Ice Cream (10 Mott St) —
No meal is complete without dessert! We decided to walk towards Chinatown for dessert since we were already super close (maybe a 10-15 min walk). We happened to walk by just as the Chinese New Year parade was passing by! There were so many people out for the parade, loved that we could be part of it! Anyway, 10 Below is not an ordinary ice cream spot! They make Thai-style “ice cream rolls” and it was super cool watching them make it on a cool plate and blending all the ingredients (cream, fruit, etc) into it. It was SUPER delish as well. Highly recommend trying this Thai-style “ice cream rolls”! We roamed a little further so that we could walk through Little Italy since it’s right next door to Chinatown. Definitely getting a meal in Little Italy next time we are there—all the pictures and menus of pastas and pizzas looked soooo good!

 Ice cream from 10 Below!
Ice cream from 10 Below!
 Had to participate in Chinese New Year festivities :)
Had to participate in Chinese New Year festivities 🙂

New York Public Library & Times Square
I know you’re thinking, WOW, you guys must be tired. Tired is not in the dictionary when you’re only in NYC for a short period of time!! I still had the New York Public Library and Times Square on my list! Yes…I have been to NYC before…but Mr.P and I have never gone to NYC together! As some of you know, I’ve been wanting to check out the NYPL since the Sex and the City movie came out in 2008 and Carrie smacked Big right outside of the library with her bouquet of flowers, so I was very happy to finally be able to see it!

 New York Public Library
New York Public Library

 Times Square
Times Square

Dinner @ Rosie’s (29 E 2nd St) —
Rosie’s is a delicious Mexican restaurant and they have extremely potent (but yummy) margaritas. I ordered the Esquites de Calabaza and veggie tacos. EVERYTHING looked delicious on that menu, but I had to stop myself from ordering more from the menu because Mr.P and I were planning on getting a slice of NYC style pizza as our last stop of the night before heading back to the hotel. We walked around East Village/Lower East Side some more, went to grab drinks at a few bars/speak-easys and called it a night (after grabbing a slice of pizza, duh). Our flight back to Chicago was bright and early in the morning!

Thanks for stopping by and reading about our short 36 hours in the Big Apple! Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite spots are in NYC! 🙂





Austin (Part 1) – Street Art & Murals

Hello sunshines!

I am so excited to share with you all our most recent trip to Austin, Texas! I decided to split this LONG blog post into two parts because I had way too much to write and way too many pictures to show. Part 1, this post, will be all about the awesome street art & murals that Mr. Photographer (aka Mr. P) and I found while walking around the city! Part 2, which will post this weekend, will be about where and what we ate & drank and places we knew we had to see.

Many of you know that I get super excited about finding cool street art & murals. I could not believe my luck as we stumbled across a total of 11 pieces of art; well, 10 to be exact, since the Hope Outdoor Gallery was already on my list :).

Living the Goodlife in Austin, TX – E. Cesar Chavez & Waller

Fast Folks Cyclery and Café – 1201 E Cesar Chavez St (E. Cesar Chavez & Waller)

Welcome to Fast Sixth IBIZ District – 1201 E 6th St (E. 6th & Waller)

‘Til Death Do Us Apart – E. 7th & Waller

Austin, Texas – E. 6th & I-35

One Cool Cat – E. 6th & I-35

Capital Building – E. 8th & Congress

Cool Car – E. 8th & Congress

Mosaic Jazz Mural – E. 11th & Waller

HOPE Outdoor Gallery – 1101 Baylor St

Blue Glass Wall – E. 5th & Sabine

Which one is your favorite?!? If you have an upcoming trip to Austin or thinking about visiting, I hope you find some of the street art & murals that I’ve shared with you, and I hope that you stumble upon cool ones of your own! 🙂