Liese + Jordan: Proposal | Arches National Park | Moab, Utah

I had a funny feeling the night I answered a phone call from my brother-in-law, Jordan. I knew something was up. And sure enough, he let us in on the plan of his proposal to his girlfriend, Liese. You see, … Continue reading

Winter Vacation: Key West

After the crazy winter we’ve had so far, Jeff + I were RIDICULOUSLY excited that we scheduled a tropical vacation in the middle of February. Key West has been on our bucket list for the past few years and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. You can call us, “Florida snowbirds,” because even though we already live in Florida, we packed our bags and flew further south. Just kidding. We DROVE! One of my favorite things about Jeff is his energy + excitement to undertake crazy ideas and make them happen. (I like to think that one of my best qualities is my ability to convince him to take said vacations…. we balance each other very well!) So we drove. All.the.way.down.Florida. And it wasn’t that bad! We are really good road trip buddies and even a long traffic delay on THE ONLY ROAD TO KEY WEST didn’t dampen our spirits! The drive was actually one of my favorite parts of the whole trip!
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We chose to stay at the Southernmost Hotel and I HIGHLY recommend it! It was SO relaxing and wonderful! They had 3 different pools, an awesome restaurant + beach access to the southernmost beach in the continental U.S.! Pretty cool, huh? I know it looks like I took a LOT of photos, but honestly, I didn’t even take my camera out until the last day of our trip. I made every effort to really enjoy this down time and only checked my email once a day. Okay, maybe twice. Jeff + I spent much of our days lounging + reading + it was exactly what I needed! Looking back, I’m so glad that I brought my camera because now I can look at these photos anytime and remember how awesome it was! Here are a few detail shots from around our resort!
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That’s our room on the top floor!
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I know it’s is SO cheesy, but we really enjoyed how many “KW” souveniers we found – it’s not every day that your initials are EVERYWHERE!
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After an amazing Valentine’s lunch, we headed out to Duval Street one last time to snap a few more photos.
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One of the things that surprised me the most about Key West were the amount of wild chickens + roosters roaming around! They crowed all day long and we laughed every time. And we may have harassed a few for photos. I couldn’t help it.
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We watched this mother hen and her baby chicks the entire time we ate lunch. She was forging for food and it was incredibly cute.
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And for our last little “excursion,” we headed to the “Southernmost Point in the Continental United States” for the obligatory photo. The best part: it’s not true. You can see the southernmost point from there, but it’s on the military base and not accessible to the public. It’s OK though, we forgive you, Key West. Because you’re awesome.
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Holiday Vacation: Napa + Sonoma, California

Last weekend, in celebration of Juliet’s birthday + Jeff’s Christmas present, we headed to Napa Valley for some post-Christmas wine tasting! The 3 of us visited Sonoma back in 2011, with then underage Juliet as our chauffeur, and we wanted to return the favor by letting her partake this time. We found an awesome hotel near the wineries and set out on our journey.
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Our first stop was Mumm, specializing in sparkling wine. We enjoyed our tasting, a flight of 3 different blends and left a little gigglier. (*Jeff volunteered to be our DD, so he wasn’t quite as giggly.)
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Our next stop was ZD, right next door, where we enjoyed the ambiance, their upside down Christmas tree and more wine.
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After this tasting, we were feeling it, so we decided to break for food. On the recommendation of our host at ZD, we stopped at the Oakville grocery and obtained all the necessities for a wine country picnic, french bread, cheese and olives! This was a favorite memory of the entire trip (and that’s not just the wine talking.) 2014-01-04_0010.jpg

Our next stop was Robery Mondavi, the most recognizable winery we visited during our trip. There were a lot more people here (and LOTS of kids….) but we also happened to catch it right at sunset, so we used the opportunity to take a few extra pictures. There are definitely pros + cons to traveling with a professional photographer.
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The next day, we made a last minute decision to head to Sonoma and relive a little of our previous trip, but this time with Juliet participating! We made it to downtown Sonoma and it was just as charming as I remembered. Our first stop was Envolve, a winery tucked away in a shopping area. The wine was great and we enjoyed drinking wine at a time in the day that would be considered “early”, had we been anywhere else.
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On our final stop, we decided to forgo the tasting and just order glasses of wine and a plate of goodies. I could eat + drink like this everyday, but I really wouldn’t get much accomplished. It’s a good thing I live 3000 miles from wine country. 2014-01-04_0020.jpg

Until next time!

Holiday Vacation: Alcatraz

The week after Rachel + Kevin’s San Jose wedding, my friend (also named Rachel!) and I spent the week touring San Francisco. This was my first time as the tour guide, and while I have spent a lot of time in this city recently, I’m by no means an expert.  Although I do think we did a pretty great job navigating the city as somewhat “newcomers.” One thing I had yet to explore in the city was the tour at Alcatraz, and Rachel was totally up for it, so we decided to head out to what once was, a maximum security prison. You know, light stuff. Anyways, we had some spectacular San Francisco weather for our trip, with some amazing blue skies during our time on the rock. I love all of the outside photos! Now, the inside tour was professionally done, educational, really cool + pretty creepy. I stood in the isolation chamber and got some really weird vibes. (*Note to self, don’t edit creepy prison pictures while staying in a hotel alone with your chihuahua. End Note.) Here are some pretty cool + pretty freaky images from a really fun day.
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Here comes the creepy…
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Some images of escape attempts.
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And then HAPPY to be on the boat back to San Francisco!
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