Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, Washington

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This was kind of a cool place to explore back in November last year.  My dad lives on Whidbey Island and his wife gave us a little tour around Fort Casey, which is a Washington State Park and historic district.  It was really cool getting to see old historical bunkers and how they form into the landscape.  We didn’t get to explore much of the grounds, but from what I gather, on a sunny day this place looks awesome for a picnic.  The park boasts of 999 acres of land so there is definitely a lot to explore.

For those visiting Seattle, I would recommend doing a day trip to one of Washington’s surrounding islands.  Whidbey Island is a cute Navy town, but there are others like San Juan Islands or Orca for whale watching and/or kayaking.

 

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Visiting All 50 States – A Bucket List Goal

Does anyone else want to do this?  Visiting all 50 states with my husband is on my bucket list.  Below is a colored map of the states we’ve so far visited together, and hopefully next year we get to knock out a few more.  We’re thinking of visiting the northeast and driving up into Canada, but who really knows, our plans change so often we could be headed to Florida for all I know.

 

 

us map

 

When we visited each state:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona – 2009
Arkansas
California – Home
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii – 2010
Idaho – 2016
Illinois – 2012
Indiana
Iowa – 2012
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana – 2016
Nebraska – 2012
Nevada – 2009
New Hampshire
New Jersey – 2011
New Mexico
New York – 2011
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon – 2015
Pennsylvania – 2011
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas – 2017
Utah – 2016
Vermont
Virginia
Washington – 2018
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming – 2016

10 Days in Oahu, Hawaii

It was my first trip to Hawaii and my husband’s second time back when we went together in 2010. We went for our friends’ wedding and stayed for 10 days on the island of Oahu.  We rented a car, drove around the island, hung out on the beach during the day, and ate so much Hawaiian food.  It was such a great and fun experience!

For first time visitors to Hawaii, I highly recommend going to Oahu first.  From what my Hawaiian friends tell me, it’s the most commercialized island, which isn’t a bad thing  because there’s a lot of things to do.  Whether you’re into shopping, surfing, snorkeling, or just wanting to lounge on the beach, there’s options.

Places that I recommend:

  1. Kailua Beach – this beach has gorgeous white sands that stretch for 2.5 miles.  This is our favorite beach on the island and we loved coming here to walk.
  2. North Shore – although crowded, we went for the shrimp trucks and Hawaiian shaved ice.
  3. Koko Head – this is a great hike if you want some physical activity on your trip.  For less intensity, there’s Diamond Head
  4. Boots & Kimo’s – banana mac pancakes.  YUM.
  5. Shark’s cove on the north shore – come here for an intimate snorkeling session.
  6. Ted’s Bakery – Haupia pie

Hawaiian food I recommend you try:

  1. Haupia pie
  2. Malasadas
  3. Shaved Ice
  4. North Shore shrimp trucks
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Kailua Beach
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Kailua Beach
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Shrimp truck
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Koko Head hike
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Koko Head hike
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Koko Head
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Shark’s Cove for snorkeling
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Bird’s nest
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Waimea gardens

Our 2 Day Stay in New York City

Below are just a few photos from our short trip to NYC back in 2011.  We stayed with my aunt in the Bronx so we saved a little money on accommodations.  Obviously, we had to prioritize our time so we made it a point to visit the Guggenheim, Central Park, and Top of the Rock.  We did just that plus a trip to Serendipity for their cold ‘hot chocolate’ and an unexpected musical to see Priscilla Queen of the Dessert courtesy of my aunt.  It was a fun filled 2 days in New York City for us newly weds.  Just a few months prior, we got married and this was our first trip together as husband and wife.

I could definitely do New York City all over again, but for an extended period of time.  I’d like to at least stay for 4 days just to soak everything in, and I’d want to go shopping, see a better musical on Broadway, and eat at Peter Luger’s because our friends told us so much about the place.  If we ever go back, I’d kind of want to go for New Year’s eve just for the experience.  I definitely wouldn’t want to be out in the frigid cold, but instead, I’d want to be in one of the hosted parties waiting for the ball to drop.

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Roof of the Guggenheim
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Had to get this because of the movie, Serendipity. #fomo

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From Top of the Rock overlooking Central Park
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From Top of the Rock
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Times Square

Day Trip to Washington D.C.

Below are photos from our day trip to Washington D.C. in 2011.  At the time we were staying in Atlantic City and the drive down took 3 hours.  We didn’t mind the drive since it was our first time visiting the northeast.  In fact, it was rather an adventure for us although somewhat of a rude awakening because of the amount of toll roads crossed.  Over here in California we take our freeways for granted, and that was when I figured out where the name ‘freeway’ is from.

I’d definitely like to visit Washington D.C. again and spend a little more time in their museums since they’re free.  I’d also like to tour the White House because who wouldn’t right?  Historical buildings are just amazing to see!

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Lincoln Memorial
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The scale of the Lincoln Memorial is amazing.  I think seeing this in person blew me away.

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Vietnam Memorial
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Vietnam Memorial
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U.S. State capitol building
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U.S. State capital buildings

When We Went to Chicago

Chicago is a beautiful city.  We had the opportunity to visit in 2012 when our friends got married in Omaha, Nebraska.  And since we were in the mid-west, we made it a point to see downtown Chicago.  We purchased the CityPass because it gained us entry into the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck, Willis Tower, and the Art Institute of Chicago.  It was definitely a packed itinerary with a visit to Millennium Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, and gorging ourselves on deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s.  It was a fun trip and we could definitely visit Chicago again.

Below are some of my favorite pictures from our trip.  Hope you enjoy!

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View from the Shedd Aquarium balcony overlooking the city
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Sue inside the Field Museum
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Looking down from the Willis Tower
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Cloud Gate in Millennium Park
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Buckingham Fountain

Universal Studios in Hollywood

Our trip to Universal Studios was actually fun.  It was my first time ever going, and the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter park was the thing that got me to visit.  I can’t say I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, but I can say I did read all 7 books and watched all 7 movies.  So in a way, I am a fan but not unlike others who go above and beyond that.

The Harry Potter park is probably my favorite part of Universal Studios.  As a fan and also one who appreciates architecture, I loved walking through Hogsmeade and the castle.  The spaces are well thought out and creatively designed that it’s worth a trip despite the crowds.

Below are just a few photos I took at the park.  Hope you enjoy and find inspiration to go!

Trip duration: 2 day park pass (Aug 2016)

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Waterworld show
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Universal’s animal actors show
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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter