Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Music on the road...

Since Joe and I are spending soooo much time in our car, I figured I ought to pay a tribute to some of the music that has been keeping us awake, sane, and upbeat during the very long drives.

Here are my top 5 road trip favorites:

The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
16 Horsepower, Sackcloth 'n Ashes (especially tracks 6-10!!)
Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Belle and Sebastian, If You're Feeling Sinister
Blackalicious, Blazing Arrow

Road trip update: Family time in Baltimore

Joe and I have had a great couple of days with my cousin, Jim, his wife, Charlene, and their 2 beautiful and spirited daughters, Ruby and June.
Baltimore is a great city and we really enjoyed exploring the waterfront and various neighborhoods. But the best time was definitely spent with the family- talking and laughing until way too late at night.
This trip has been so amazing for both Joe and me-- for about a million reasons. However, the time spent with our family has been extra special.

Thank you, Jim, Char, and the girls...we love you!!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Road trip update: New Orleans and family time in Sarasota

It's been 11 days since I last updated this blog and a lot has happened!

When I last wrote, Joe and I were heading towards Sedona, Arizona. Unfortunately, our time there did not go as expected. Sedona is a beautiful town surrounded by gorgeous red rocks and canyons. It is completely quaint and charming. However, I came down with an ear and sinus infection upon our arrival, and we pretty much holed up in our hotel room for the whole visit. It was disappointing, but at least we got to see some more pretty scenery!
I am feeling much better now, thanks to the antibiotics I got at Sedona's Urgent Care clinic. :)

Joe and I decided we needed to revise our plans a bit and go somewhere where we could have some FUN! So, we spent the next few days in the car for verrrrry long periods of time, and beelined for New Orleans!

Neither of us had been to New Orleans before and the city totally exceeded our expectations.
It is such an amazing place- full of history, gorgeous architecture, fantastic food and a great music scene. We ended up staying at the cutest B&B in the Garden District, aptly named the Garden District Bed and Breakfast. I HIGHLY recommend this place: it's charming, has great owners and a laid back atmosphere, it's in a perfect location, and is unbelievably affordable. Ask for the patio suite, and enjoy a glass of wine in your own private courtyard. It's awesome!

During our time in the Big Easy, Joe and I wandered the streets of the French Quarter, got a tarot card reading, had cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe Du Monde, listened to 4 different live music performances, chatted with locals and just enjoyed the scene. On our second night there, we ate dinner at Emeril's and thoroughly enjoyed our incredible dinner. I definitely recommend going there if you get the chance.

All in all, we had a blast and cannot wait to return to this fascinating city!

After reluctantly leaving New Orleans, we had another long drive to the outskirts of Sarasota, Florida to visit my brother and his fabulous wife and daughter.

My brother, Sean, and his wife, Jenny, live across the street from the beach in a great house surrounded by lush plants and foliage. I must say, there are few things greater than waking up in the morning and swimming in the Gulf. What a way to start the day! If only Seattle had warmer weather....

During our 4 days in Florida, Joe and I read books, played with my niece, (the adorable Miss Thea), relaxed outdoors, and thoroughly enjoyed our time with family. Sean and Jenny are both body workers- he is an acupuncturist and she is a massage therapist- and I was lucky enough to receive treatments from both of them. I know I may be a little biased, but I have NEVER had such incredible work done on me before. Sean and Jenny- you are both truly gifted.

Here are a few shots of Miss Thea...

Joe became Thea's new favorite person....(I was only a little jealous!)

We left Florida this morning, and are on our way to Baltimore, MD, where we will be visiting my cousin and his family.

More news to come....:)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Road trip update: Bryce Canyon

Wow. What an AMAZING place.

Joe and I just got back from spending the day in Bryce Canyon National Park, and we are happily exhausted.
Hiking at 8000+ feet is a bit different than hiking at sea level!! But it was definitely worth it.

Tonight it's dinner, a movie, and then a good night's sleep before leaving tomorrow for Sedona, Arizona. Can't wait!

Road trip update: Reno and the Southwest

Joe and I spent Sunday night in Reno, Nevada, and I finally found a game that I like: roulette!!
I even won a little bit of money! Joe, on the other hand, was not so lucky. :(
We had a great time, though, and were ready to leave on Monday morning for our VERY long drive into Utah.

Monday was spent entirely in our car- 11 hours of driving, to be exact. The drive was gorgeous: we saw flat and desolate desert that stretched for miles in all directions, barren hills, gorgeous plains full of cacti, mountain passes at elevations of almost 10,000 feet. All of it was beautiful but we were very happy to arrive in Bryce Canyon, Utah just as the sun was going down.

Now, off for a day of hiking!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

A day at the horse races

I couldn't help but post a few more pics of the adorable nieces, (in these shots they are with their dad, Don.)
Can you guess whose horse won??? :)

Road trip update: I have the cutest nieces EVER!!

Joe and I rolled into the Bay Area on Thursday afternoon, and have been thoroughly enjoying ourselves in Oakland ever since. It's always a treat to come here- it is a fantastic place, afterall. It is also my husband's hometown and we are here solely to spend time with his family. It is embarrassing to admit, but Joe's brother and wife had their second child 6 1/2 months ago, and we have waited this long to meet the new addition. Their first daughter, Jazzlyn, is the smartest, most perceptive, funniest, prettiest, and most fabulous 8 year old girl on the planet. She is also one heck of a dancer, as I discovered last night while Joe was (feebly) attempting to sing "I Will Survive" karaoke-style.
Her new little sister is the cutest little muffin on the face of the planet and is already demonstrating her own musical abilities.
I have already shot over 100 images of the girls....but who could resist these faces???

We are off to Reno tomorrow, (bring on the blackjack, baby!!) and we eagerly await our next adventure.
Thank you, Barboza family, for hanging with us, and thank you, Don, for treating us to the BEST Philipino food ever....nobody makes pancit, sinigang, and ginata na manok like you!


Monday, April 2, 2007

My first post on my new blog!

Well, this is pretty exciting....a new website design and a new blog!

In 2 days, my husband and I will be leaving on a trip we have been talking about for years: a month-long, cross country road trip. I am SO excited! Joe and I are road trip junkies- we love them. Some of our best memories have been spent on the open road, listening to great music, having long conversations and no destination in mind. The key to a good road trip is not over-planning it. The beauty of travel is that there are no schedules to adhere to, no meetings to go to, no appointments you have to keep. Your heart and mind are more open, your perspective shifts, you notice more. The possibilities are endless.

I plan on updating my blog while I am on the road, so stay tuned!

Here is Joe on one of our last vacations