Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A Different Kind of Seattle

O'Hara turned 30 this year. Yep. The dirty thirties are upon us. It's terrifying. We decided we wanted to travel to Seattle to celebrate his birthday, but we entered visa limbo for a few months and weren't sure if we would make it back into the country if we left. You know how something like 96% of illegal aliens in Australia are Brits who over stay their visas? That was us for a while! We had applied for our visas though, so sort of had a bridging visa, but not. It was a weird few months. The best part was I was still being paid by the government for maternity leave.

Luckily, a week before his birthday we received our new visas, so our trip to Seattle was on. Alexis, Hal, Greg and Lil all decided to join us for our first adventure with baby. Harriet was 13 weeks old, had her Canadian passport, and was leaving her country for the first time. It took me 21 years to achieve the same feat. Clearly Canada to the US is different from leaving Australia, but can someone remind her of this when she's 16 and complaining I don't let her do anything?
First timers keeping it cool
Harriet has never been a good car baby, but luckily for this trip she slept almost the whole way. Me sitting in the back entertaining her probably helped. Monte (the dog who always gets car sick) also joined us, so it was a real family holiday.

Our first night we revisited one of our favourite stops from our fist visit in 2012. The Seattle Crab Shack. Armed with a hammer, some bibs, and a delicious cocktail, we filled our self with crab. By the time we were done, Lex and Hal had arrived so we met them for a nightcap at the hotel bar. We were staying at the W, and it turns out their bar turns into a bit of a club at night... so Harriet also had her first clubbing experience. Pity she slept through it. Some guys in the lift told us the baby really bought the vibe down though.
Harriet is clearly enjoying her crab
The next morning we did what many visitors in Seattle do, and took the dogs for a walk to find good coffee. We didn't do this on our first trip there, and it was a nice experience. Seattle coffee is a winner. Australian approved. For O'Hara's birthday lunch we went to an amazing French restaurant that kept us full until a night at Safeco field watching the Mariners beat the Athletics and eating garlic fries. It was a good game and Harriet maintained her legendary sleeping status by staying down pretty much the whole game. She gave me a few scowls every now and again when the crowd had a big cheer.
Coffee and baseball
"Why are you keeping me awake dada??"
Seattle is a really fun city, and it's nice that it isn't too far from Kamloops. We really should take advantage of the trip more often. Kudos to my legendary friends who hung out in the hotel room with me multiple times while the pump party was going on. Harriet appreciated the food, and I appreciated that I could drink... You know you have great friends when they don't mind keeping you company while you transfer your hotel room into a dairy. You also know I'm not a good friend, when someone steps in spew because you're yelling "WATCH OUT" and they're too busy trying to avoid cars to watch their feet.
Family at Pike Place markets (too busy for a dog and pram...) and the Seattle Great Wheel

Monday, 20 July 2015

Fourth of July in Portland, Oregon

Things I would not recommend: travelling to one of the coolest cities for 4th of July, when 8 weeks pregnant. You will not be a good time. I have limited photos of the trip, as I was spending more time in bed that experiencing the city. A disappointment!

Prior to conception we planned a trip to Portland, Oregon which was going to be amazing. 4 days of drinking beer, brew-cycle tours, eating seafood and tax free shopping. There was nothing that could go wrong, until little mini got involved. Now that I'm 33 (oooohhh written a while ago!) weeks pregnant, I feel great about the situation, but anyone who's been 8 weeks pregnant and suffered the wrath of "morning" sickness knows it turns you into a walking downer.

So my recollection of the holiday includes mostly lying in bed watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix, and trying to communicate to O'Hara that he needed to bring me home more food. Disaster.

Exciting things did happen though, I was just semi present for all of them. We did a Brew Cycle Tour for 4th of July, which basically consists of a 13 person bike that rides around the city trying out different pubs and breweries. We thought it would be appropriate to get dressed up in our finest 4th of July attire... but it turns out Portland is a little too cool for that. I think we looked great, but everyone else thought we were morons. There is a small chance they thought we were taking the piss. Which we weren't... 100%.
Trying super hard to be fun here
We ate at this food truck party place (a block that was dedicated to all food trucks) multiple times. Cheap and delicious food, where you can chill out and eat in the sun was a lot of fun. I know I at least ate a southern pulled pork roll and bratwurst at some stage.

We went to a cool brewery, Cascade Brewing Barrel House, that did sour beer. Yep. I have a stash of that waiting for me in February (now drunk and delicious)! We also ate Vietnamese multiple times as this is something that is seriously lacking in Kamloops.

There were adventures that I'm aware of but didn't partake in including, buying bulk fireworks and setting them off, the blow up balloon adventure, piano bar and plenty more pubs. In the end it was a good thing I wasn't involved in the fireworks purchases or burning, as I'm a total wet blanket about them. All I see is missing fingers. which makes me a bit of a buzz kill.

We're hoping to go back to Portland in 2015, so I can experience it for all the good times glory.
Brewcycle Portland and Shotguns