Wash / Van Trip [part 1]

It had been far too long since we traveled to Washington, so earlier this month we made our way once again to places we love as well as new places to explore. 

We arrived in Seattle and before heading to Anacortes to catch our ferry, we met up with an old friend to borrow a bike. He gave us a tip to check out Tweets Cafe on our way since we had a few hours to spare. 

Tweets was the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat in the little town of Edison. It had a great atmosphere and fantastic locally sourced food. After we ate we walked around the town [all three or so blocks of it!] before continuing on our way to Anacortes. 

The drive out of Edison was beautiful. Plus, it was so nice to have fresh air after a 4 hour stuffy flight. 

We arrived plenty early for our ferry to Orcas Island and were greeted by deer. We parked the car and took a walk on the trails that lead to the beach. We reminisced how last time we were here we were calling people to announce our engagement. 

Taking the ferry at 7:00 PM is equally awesome as it is terrible. Leaving that late means you get to the island when it's dark and there's not much to do [except go to the only place serving food and get stuck sitting next to people singing karaoke]. But on the other hand, watching the sunset from the ferry is one of the best things ever.

We walked in circles around the ferry for most of the trip taking in all the views. As we did so we wondered at what point this ferry ride would ever become dull. Do locals just sit in their cars bored by the view? I hope not.

san francisco [day 3]

We started our third, last full day in San Francisco by going to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. I hate to admit it, but it was the second time on this trip we were standing in a line that we didn't know what it was for. So, here we stood, outside in a line as it started to rain. 

Thanks to some girls next to us who also wondered after about 5 minutes what they were in line for, they investigated. Turns out everyone was a line to get a cruffin [a croissant / muffin hybrid], which wouldn't be available for another 20 minutes. Sure a cruffin sounded delicious, but it wasn't worth waiting for in a long line, in the rain. 

We decided to bypass the long line and get a boring 'ol donut and bread pudding.

The show we had planned to see this particular afternoon was Superego. We had first seen them the last time we were in town for Sketchfest

Not only did we see the Superego regulars, but some amazing guests where there as well including John Hodgman, Amanda Lund and Janet Varney.

The show we saw has not been released, however, you can check out TONS of Superego on Howl.fm. I highly recommend this.

After the show, we found out there were still some tickets left for the Workjuice Players [basically, The Thrilling Adventure Hour]. However, it was for the late show. Meaning 10:30 pm. MEANING 12:30 am our normal, back home time. You know, two hours past our normal bedtime. 

But, we decided to live it up and got tickets. Knowing we had a late night ahead of us, we decided to not do too much and just walk around / explore. Maybe grab a beer and a snack. 

The beer and snack idea did not go as planned. We found a cute coffee shop, but they had JUST stopped serving food. 

Then we found a brewery Eric wanted to check out. Both their bar areas were full, but since we would be sharing an appetizer they would not let us sit in the dining area [even though it was before the dinner-time rush and only 2 tables were currently occupied].

[Thanks for nothing 21st Amendment Brewery.]

We were about to give up and head back to the hotel when we came across a little sports bar on the water. At this point we were exhausted from walking and just needed to sit for a bit.

For dinner that night we stopped at Gott's at the Ferry Building before heading over to the Brava Theater

It's probably worth mentioning that we spent most of our time in SF at Brava. All three shows we saw took place there. Needless to say we knew our way around that area pretty well by the end of the trip. 

The Workjuice Players started out with a solo by Rhett Miller, singing Life on Mars. [Unfortunately it was the next day that David Bowie passed away.] You can hear Rhett's great performance here. You can also hear Sparks Nevada, the story it proceeded, here

I'm glad we stayed up way past our bedtime for this show. There was so much talent on the stage and it was such a fun way to end our trip. 

san francisco [day 2]

Day two of our San Francisco trip was the busiest. We started out bright and early [thanks to still being on Central Time] and went to have breakfast at Blue Bottle

We had planned to ice skate that morning but we were too early and it wasn't going to start for another hour. We weren't too bummed though, since this left time to explore and work on our glutes. 

Upon arriving back at the skating rink when it opened, we were still the only ones there. Although it was nice to have the rink to ourselves for a half hour before others arrived AND to be skating outside and not be freezing [as we would have been in WI]. 

After skating it was time for lunch so we headed over to Jaspers Corner Tap. We had already eaten here our first time to the city, but it was close and convenient so we went again to plan out the rest of our day. 

Instead of resting, we decided to go check out Baker Beach. It was quite overcast and there weren't too many people, however, there were dogs. And lots of them. One lady in particular had six dogs with her. I really wanted to take some photos but felt bad so I asked her first. 

Her name was CJ and she runs Gentle Dog. CJ was very nice and at one point I was talking to her and Eric took off without me. He soon found me after he realized I wasn't behind him. I mean it was pretty obvious. If there are animals, I'm hanging out with them. 

That evening, we attended the first Sketchfest show we had tickets for which was Spontaneanation with Paul F Tompkins. This podcast was not quite a year old when we saw it, but Eric and I had both listened to every episode up until this point and it never had disappointed us, so we knew we were in for a good show. 

The show is comprised of a monologue by PFT, an interview with a special guest and then an improve story which includes 3 additional people. We definitely hit the jackpot with the show we saw. If I had been asked the three improvisers I'd want to see - these three would have all made the top of my list. 

The improvisers were Craig Cackowski, Matt Gourley and Janet Varney, while the special guest was Jon Hamm [yeah, I know I probably don't need to link him to anything but hey, I'm trying to be fair to everyone mentioned]. Oh yes! And the improve is all scored on piano by Eban Schletter

If you ever get the chance to see this show live, DO IT. I can't recommend it enough. You can listen to the particular show we saw here and during the few occasions you don't know what's going on, but the audience is laughing uncontrollably? Well, too bad, you should have been there. Also, you should have been there to hear everyone sing "Don't Stop Believing". That's something you won't hear on the recorded show. 

After the show there was a meet and greet. We decided to wait in line and well, meet and greet the performers. I had brought along a picture I wanted signed if there was a chance, so here it was. 

I'm no stranger to autographs. I still have all my autographs I've collected over the years [I'm not sure if it's more embarrassing that I have kept them all or that I knew exactly where they were].

EXAMPLE A - A magician / comedian from some random show my parents made me go to.

EXAMPLE A - A magician / comedian from some random show my parents made me go to.

EXAMPLE B - Elijah Wood, of course. 99% sure this is not authentic, but a copy sent out in bulk to teenage girls who wrote letters to their favorite teen actors.

EXAMPLE B - Elijah Wood, of course. 99% sure this is not authentic, but a copy sent out in bulk to teenage girls who wrote letters to their favorite teen actors.

Although, after standing in line for a while I began to feel silly. I'm already an awkward person meeting people I don't know. And do I really need an autograph? No. But is it neat to meet the people that entertain you during long drives or while you sit for hours editing photos? Yes. 

So, we stayed in line. And I got my picture of Maude [concerned that she couldn't listen to a live Superego steam because of technical difficulties] signed by 1/2 of Superego. [I had the chance to collect the other 1/2 of the group the following night but still felt weird about meeting and greeting, so I refrained. Not sure if that makes this signed photo more or less rare.]

tl;dr Go see Spontaneanation live. Listen to these podcasts: The JV Club, I Was There Too, Pistol Shrimps Radio + Superego. Make up your own mind if getting an autograph is cool or not. 

san francisco [day 1]

This past January Eric and I traveled back to San Francisco. In most cases I like to travel to new places [Seattle / San Juan Islands excluded from that statement], but Sketchfest was calling our names again.

We went for the first time in 2013 and had so much fun, we had to return. Our plane left on a Thursday morning and once we had arrived and checked into our room, we went for a walk. It was too early for supper and we had just been sitting most of the day. 

Eventually we ended up at Mikkeller and sat down for a beer. A very good beer I might add.

By now we were started to get hungry so we made our way over to Uno Dos for some delicious tacos.

We hadn't planned to see any shows at Sketchfest this first night, but instead wanted to check out the Exploratorium. Since it was Thursday, it was open from 6-10 pm for their adults only After Dark event and we had read there would be exploding ping pong balls. 

The Exploratorium was huge! I'm sure we could have spent a whole day there if we really wanted to look at everything. It was a bit overwhelming that there was so much to see and do. 

Before 9:00 we made our way over to where the ping pong balls would be exploding. I didn't get a picture since we were told to cover our ears, but you can see a video of it here. There were over 3000 ping pong balls in a garbage can which exploded when liquid nitrogen, which had been in a sealed bottle, exploded. Now that's how you end your first night in San Fran. 

our first anniversary

Today my husband and I celebrate 2 years. Yippee!

I never shared the few pictures from our first anniversary, so I guess now would be a good time. 

Since we had a huge doughnut as our 'wedding cake', there was nothing to freeze for a year [and thaw and pretend it's not freezer burnt]. Anyway, we figured getting another doughnut was a good way to celebrate year one.

[Spoiler alert - it's a good way to celebrate year two as well.]

cookies, cookies, cookies

Last December I stopped by St. Peter's Church in Lebanon to take pictures of their their 18th annual Christmas cookie sale.

When I arrived the Friday before the sale, volunteers were finishing up the last few batches of cookies and candy while also making sure everything was organized for the following morning. 

Knowing that they had been baking the past week and even some weekends prior, I knew there would be a lot of cookies. However, it wasn't until I saw all the boxes in the back that I realized how many cookies there really were.

Although it was tempting to sneak a cookie on my way out the door that night, I refrained. 

The next morning I returned and even though the sale didn't start until 8:00 am, many people were already there to secure a good spot in line. Once the sale started people made their way around the tables filled with cookies and added a variety of treats to their containers. 

Many people stayed afterwards to check out the craft fair and to have something to eat [besides all the cookies they just bought!]. As not to be outdone by all the varieties of cookies, there were about 20 soups to choose from. 

If you haven't stopped by this cookie sale in the past, keep it in mind for this coming year! 

one year old cooper

Just look at this ONE year old! Isnโ€™t he adorable?!

I met up with Cooper and his mom last fall for his one year photos at Harnischfeger Park. I went to high school with his mom and probably havenโ€™t seen her since then. So, you know, a FEW years agoโ€ฆ Anyway, I was super excited to hear from her and to hear she wanted photos! 

It was a cool and windy fall morning when we met. I had a few props along, like a chair. For some reason Cooper loved it and walked circles around it. 

He did so well during his session. His only displeasure was wearing the firetruck hat which his mom really wanted pictures of since Cooper's dad is a firefighter. Somehow I snuck a couple pictures before he ripped it off [this may have taken a few tries though] and I'm glad too because I love that hat!  

I'm glad I got to meet this smiley one year old and catch up with his mom between snapping pictures. 

at the library

Yay! It's one of my favorite families again. 

Last November we met at the library in Madison and took some pictures. I feel like our past winter started out very mild, but yet I remember this day was quite cold and windy. Luckily we were indoors. 

Kenley had a smile the whole time and Schuyler didn't want to be left out and gave us a smile every now and then as well. 

I'm glad I got to photograph these guys again, they are just too adorable. 

the h family

It was a super sunny day when I met with the H family last fall. Luckily we were able to find some shade while we walked the trails at Retzer Nature Center. 

Gavin was a sweetheart - just look at his adorable smile in these photos! I think he got bored of me taking pictures after a little while [no hard feelings - I'd probably feel the same way if I wasn't behind the camera!] but that changed when he got to hold his dog Max. I loved to see the interaction between Gavin and Max. 

The session ended with Gavin getting a ride on his dad's shoulders as we walked to our cars. What a lucky kid and what a wonderful family.