Three Days in Philadelphia

Hello from the City of Brotherly Love! We definitely felt the love this weekend. So much so, that we can’t wait to come back!

Leading off: We left Providence, RI on Thursday night and drove an hour south to stay in Stonington, CT with my in-laws. This made our drive to Philadelphia on Friday just over 4.5 hours. Before we hit the road that morning, we stopped at Olde Mistick Village for donuts from Deviant Donuts. Knowing how much food we wanted to devour over the weekend, we only ordered one donut each. However, their unique flavors made it so hard to choose just one. 

Because we left early on Friday, we only hit a bit of traffic getting into Philly. We arrived around 1pm, just in time to explore and get lunch.  

Pro tip: Tolls…watch the damn tolls. If you’re driving, have cash.

Touching down: We stayed at The Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse Square was highly recommended to us, and after staying there I understand why. While our hotel room itself was just above borderline basic, the area was incredible! 

Pros: Great location, nice rooms, easy to walk to/from everything, delicious food nearby, fair price. 

Cons: Further away from the stadium, hotel parking was a bit spendy.

Day 1: 

Our first stop was Sampan for lunch. Our reservation was at 3pm, which we soon realized was when they opened. We knew the food must be good because the line waiting to be seated was quite long. In addition, it was happy hour! 

Right across the street is Shibe Vintage Sports. If you’re a sports fan- especially a Philly sports fan- this shop is a must stop. Named after the original stadium (1909-1953,) this store has original clothing designs that celebrate both Philadelphia teams and Philadelphia greats. 

Another sports store that was recommended to us was Mitchell & Ness. Now, this brand is known for their classic and vintage style jerseys and jackets. Their actual name is Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Co. I have seen their clothing sold in team stores and online. But, we didn’t realize until we got there, that Mitchell & Ness originated in Philadelphia, hence having an actual store.  

With just another quick walk, we made it to Philadelphia’s famous Reading Terminal Market. Even though it was indoors, it gave me very big Pike Place Market vibes. There were a ton of vendors selling everything from meat, smoothies, cheese, produce, and fish, to cookies, chocolates and desserts. If we were really hungry, we could have spent hours in there, weaving in and out of the aisles, trying new things. But, we didn’t want to spoil dinner. So, we grabbed two cookies and some fruit for the weekend and headed out. 

After a little refresh at the hotel, we walked (literally) around the corner to Parc. This French inspired Bistro sits on Rittenhouse Square, and was another highly recommended spot. The food was delicious and the waiter took good care of us. Both of us had the Beef Bourguignon, and we really felt like we were transported back to France

Tip: Make a reservation! That’s number one. Then ask to sit on the park side of the restaurant.  

Day 2: 

On day 2, we woke up early to try and see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Even before the pandemic, we had read that you want to get to the Liberty Bell early, so you could beat the lines and grab a ticket for Independence Hall. Well…by the time we arrived there was already a two hour wait just to get inside the building where the Liberty Bell was. That coupled with the fact that the line was outside and it was 80+ degrees outside, helped us decide that we will try and see it when we come back for another trip. Plus, you could see the bell from outside. So, technically, I saw it. 

Independence Hall was no better. With Covid protocols, you either had to get the free day-of tickets first thing in the morning, or try to reserve them online weeks in advance. Again, something we will save for another day. 

Note: Both of these historical landmarks are free to see!

Another reason why we decided to move on was so we could make our reservation at Talula’s Garden. Luckily, the restaurant was nearby. This adorable breakfast spot was worth missing the Liberty Bell. We sat on a covered patio outside, which plants and water features surrounding us. Everything from the ambiance to the food made it feel like you were enjoying a farm-to-table meal.

After fueling up with food, we walked…a lot. From Talula’s we walked back past Independence National Historical Park and over to Christ Church Burial Ground. The popular cemetery charges an entrance fee, so we decided to keep moving. However, on the positive side, Benjamin Franklin’s grave was near the fence. So, like the bell, you could still technically see it without having to go inside. 

Down the street further is the Betsy Ross House, where Besty Ross created the first United States flag. To go inside, they also charge a small fee. We knew we would have to pay to go inside, but after reading a few reviews, we again decided it wasn’t for us. (Unfortunately, when you live in an old city like Boston, you come to realize how similar a lot of the other historic sites are.)

Then a quick walk from there is the famous Elfreth’s Alley. This is the “nation’s oldest continuously inhabited residential street,” which dates back to 1703. It was fun to see and reminded me a lot of Boston’s Acorn Street. 

For lunch, we stopped at Sonny’s Famous Steaks. To our dismay, this was the only cheesesteak we had while there. Fortunately, it was delicious. It tasted fresh and less greasy than others I’ve had. Unlike the Pat vs. Geno’s tourist traps, this cheesesteak joint was recommended by locals. This made it easier to slip in, find a table, enjoy our sandwich and leave. The other one we wish we could have tried was Jim’s South Street. 

After, we started our walk back to our hotel and stopped at Independence Beer Garden. This government building’s outdoor area has been transformed into a beer garden, with a brewery-like aesthetic. Complete with Insta-worthy spots, bistro lights, and a long list of beers, this spot would make any brew-lover happy. Plus, it across the street from the Liberty Bell.

We finished up after a couple rounds, and headed back to the hotel. We made a quick stop in Allbirds, which again, was right around the corner from the Warwick Hotel. Why am I mentioning this? First, these shoes are so comfortable and perfect for walking around. Also, their brick and mortar stores all have three different shoe string colors that are unique to the city. For example, Philly’s colors were cheese whiz yellow, eagle green, and Liberty Bell gold. It may sound silly, but it’s always fun to guess the colors and names.  

Finally, after a little relaxation and refreshing, we headed to the Philadelphia Phillies Game. Read all about that experience here

Day 3: 

Before heading back home, we woke up early and grabbed coffee at La Colombe. This was another recommended spot for us, which we thought was local to the area. However, we have since learned that they have coffee shops in Boston, Providence, DC, New York, Chicago and California too. Regardless, it was nice because it too was a short walk from our hotel. 

Plus, it was down the street from Philly Bagels on Chestnut Street. This well-known shop is known for their fun flavors and colors, so we knew we had to stop by and try a bagel. 

With coffee and a bagel in hand, we walked by City Hall and over to Love Park. I wish we would have had more time to sit and enjoy the park, because it was so peaceful. However, it was the perfect way to end an incredible first trip to Philadelphia.

After saying our goodbyes to the city, we headed out. But, we will definitely be back! 

Citizen Bank Park

Home of the Philadelphia Phillies


*All opinions are my own

With covid creeping towards its final end (hopefully,) we loaded up the car and headed south to Philadelphia. Even though the ballpark had some restrictions still in place, we got a fairly “normal” ballpark experience, while also still feeling safe. From the food to the views, everything was a home run.

See everything we did: Three Days in Philadelphia

Best Place to Take a Photo– Outside near the Third Base Gate and kiddie corner from XFinity Live, is a giant Liberty Bell light. Frame it right and you can get the bell and “Citizen Bank Park” in the same photo. When inside, head to the third level on the first base side for a photo of the whole field, the “Phillies” sign in the outfield, and the beautiful city skyline.

Food at the Stadium- A few favorites that were unique to Philadelphia include Chickie’s and Pete’s Crabfries (these are also available at Yankee Stadium,) Campo’s Philly Cheesesteaks, Bull’s BBQ, and Federal Donuts. 

First Timers- Head to Guest Services near Section 122 on the main level for your first time certificate.

Where We Sat- At first, I was a little bummed with our seats. They were the only ones I was able to find with the limited capacity. However, the 300 and 400 levels have incredible views of the ballpark and the city. So, yes, the players were a little smaller. But, we had a nice view of…everything!

The Mascot- Philly is home to the Phillie Phanatic. He’s a mean, green, dancing machine and that’s really the only way I can describe him. In 1978, this “flightless bird from the Galapagos” replaced the original mascots Phil and Phillis, who were pilgrims. (Groovy History)

According to the Phillies’ website, other occasional mascots include the Phanatic’s mom Phoebe and his pals from down south the Galapagos Gang (Bessie, Calvin, Sid and Iggy.)

Best Place to Pregame- Xfinity Live! Ok, so I am not sure that there are many other options in the area. But, I have also never seen anything like XFinity Live! For those who have never been, it is essentially a large food court with massive TV screens. Grab a table and order drinks from one of the several bars. If you want food, you have options like Geno’s Steaks and Chickie’s and Pete’s. There is also outdoor seating with live music from time to time.


Getting to the Game- The ballpark is located near both the Wells Fargo Center (Flyers/ 76ers) and Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles,) so there is ample room for parking. We had planned on taking the subway, aka the SEPTA, but we were running low on time. So, we ended up taking an Uber for about $20.You can find all of the parking and transportation information here.

Graphic by the Philadelphia Phillies

For the Kids- In the outfield there is an area called The Yard. There are games for wiffle ball and a hot dog launcher.


You Should Know- The bar in the outfield was renamed Harry The K’s after longtime Philadelphia sports broadcaster, Harry Kalas, unexpectedly passed away in 2009.

Throwing a Masters themed party

My husband turned 30 in October, and I really wanted to throw him a surprise party- which is also on my 30 before 30 list. I already had the idea of throwing him a golf themed party, and then the 2020 Masters was moved from April to November; two weeks after his birthday. The timing was essentially perfect, and the wheels were set in motion. However, COVID hit hard and we decided to reconsider.

Flash forward to this weekend, Masters weekend 2021. A few of our close friends and family helped me pull off the ultimate surprise that no one would expect; a 30 and a HALF par-tee! Here’s a look at the day.

Food: 

There was something for everyone with all dietary restrictions. 

Pimento cheese sandwiches; One of the official sandwiches of the Masters. I found & used this great recipe from Intentional Hospitality.  

Salad and veggie tray; a.k.a. The Greens. 

Chili; this recipe was a huge hit with everyone.

Chips & dip; a.k.a. Chip it

Donut holes; a.k.a. Bucket of balls 

Drinks: 

Azalea Cocktail; An official drink of the Masters and another great recipe from Intentional Hospitality

Spiked Arnold Palmer; Lemonade, iced tea & vodka 

Decor: 

I tried to stick to the yellow, green, and white color scheme. 

White lanterns; with logos I created with our last name to look like golf balls

Flowers; yellow tulips & pink azaleas

Banner; I created this banner, but there are similar one’s on Etsy. 

Golf ball centerpiece; easy & inexpensive

Name tags & signs; Again, I created these based off one’s I found on Etsy. 

Extras:

Chipping mat; Gavistory from Amazon 

Putting mat; Perfect Practice putting mat 

Green jacket + patch; The jacket was from Amazon and the patch was from Etsy

10 Fun Facts About Gonzaga and Spokane

By now you’ve heard of Gonzaga University. But what else do you know about the university? 

When I moved to the east coast from Washington, I grew used to the fact that people only knew what and where Gonzaga is because of their basketball program. I didn’t mind, especially because it was a conversation starter. Besides, they are the only reason I got into March Madness in the first place.

For those that don’t know, I got my bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University, a school located about 15 minutes away from Spokane, Washington. Then, I continued my education, and graduated from Gonzaga University with my master’s degree in Intercultural Communications. (If you ever want me to talk your ear off, please just ask me about my experience in the program!) 

So, having spent numerous years of my life in the Greater Spokane area, I thought I would share a few fun facts about the city and the school that aren’t necessarily basketball related.  

Overlooking the Spokane River

Spokane

  1. Spokane is the second largest city in Washington State. According to multiple demographic reports*, Seattle leads with a population of over 775,000. Spokane follows a population of ~227,000 and growing. Spokane is located on the far left side of Washington, and bumps shoulders with the Idaho border. 
  1. Spokane was home to the World’s Fair in 1974, making it the smallest city to ever host. The U.S. Pavillion, which still stands erect in Riverfront Park and it was on the most prominent features in Spokane, was originally built for the fair. (History Link Org
  1. The city is home to several of the “largest” events, including…
    1. The World’s largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament called Hoopfest. Streets are blocked and transformed into mini basketball courts. (Spokane Hoopfest
    2. The World’s largest timed footrace, known as Bloomsday. The Lilac Bloomsday Run hosts tens of thousands of people from all over the World. In 1996, they hosted an all time high of 61,298 participants. In the most recent years, participants have consistently been in the 40,000s. (Bloomsday Run
    3. The Nation’s largest Torchlight Military Parade known as the Spokane Lilac Festival. This parade is part of a week-long festival, which also includes a queen’s coronation, a tea party, a gala, and a golf tournament. (Visit Spokane
  1. Father’s Day originated in Spokane in 1910. Sonora Smart Dodd was one of six children raised by her father, who was a widower. With the help of government officials, local churches and the YMCA, her attempt to celebrate the day statewide was successful. “However, it was not until 1972–58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official–that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States.” (History)
  1. Spokane is also home to the Spokane Indians (the High-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies) and the WHL hockey team the Spokane Chiefs. Both teams embrace the Native American culture of the Spokane Tribe, who are “one of the Interior Salish speaking tribes.” (Spokane Tribe)
I worked there, and this is the only photo I can find…

Gonzaga University**

  1. Gonzaga is a private Jesuit school. The name Gonzaga comes from Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.
  1. Famous Students; John Stockton (Utah Jazz Point Guard), Kelly Olynyk (Houston Rockets Forward Center), Seattle Mariners’ Ace Marco Gonzales, and quite possibly the most notable of them all Bing Crosby. While claiming Spokane as his hometown, Crosby only spent three years at GU and did not graduate. 
  1. The university does not have a football team. Their last team played in 1941, just before sending men off to war. 
  1. Gonzaga became a school before Washington became a state. First opening in 1887, Gonzaga beat the state by two years. 
  1. Over half the students study abroad before graduating- including me! This makes sense, seeing as GU is not only named after an Italian Aristocrat, but also because they has a sister school in Florence, Italy. 

* https://www.washington-demographics.com/cities_by_population https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/cities/washington

** Information pulled from Gonzaga University website

2021 Update: 30 (Be)for 30

In 2019, I made a list of 30 things I would like to accomplish and/or check off my bucket list before I turn 30. For those who are new here, the idea was inspired by ESPN’s 30 For 30, which began by celebrating their first 30 years of existence. 

With COVID-19, I wasn’t able to cross many off this year. However, looking back on my list (most of which I forgot about,) I realize that blaming it on a pandemic is somewhat of a crutch. If there is anything we have learned in the last year, it’s that most things are possible from home. Obviously the travel related items will have to wait, but I do have my eye set on the few that can be done from the comfort of my four walls. 

With that being said, this is year 29 for me! Meaning, I should technically try and cross the rest of these off this year…I may give myself a grace period, due to covid. But overall, I got my eye on the prize! 

Here’s a quick recap of what I’ve done so far: 

Omg…only three each year? I have some work to do.

This is what I was able to check off in the last 12 months: 

Took my parents on a trip (sort of)

When my parents visited in early fall, my husband and I treated them to a night in Newport, RI. (We were all tested before and after the trip, with our results coming back as negative.) Despite it pouring the entire day, we enjoyed playing golf in the mist at Newport National. 

Side note: we were all tested before and after the trip. All of our tests came back negative. Masks were worn in all locations with other people. Even the photo of the four of us was taken on a timer.

Bought a house

To be honest, I really believe this one was possible because of the pandemic. We were able to focus our money elsewhere and make it happen. But, I’m just trying to give my dogs the backyard they deserve! 

Learned how to make my Grammy’s cinnamon rolls 

They weren’t right, but they were so, so close. Plus, it still tasted like my childhood!

Only 24 more to go…haha

  1. Stomp gapes at a winery
  2. Take more Spanish classes
  3. Hike Mt. Rainier 
  4. Run a marathon
  5. See the Northern Lights
  6. Catch fireflies
  7. Spend the night in a tree house
  8. Write a song
  9. Throw a surprise party
  10. Cut and donate my hair 
  11. Attend a major sporting event
  12. Donate my whole paycheck
  13. Paddleboard on Lake Havasu 
  14. Visit Disney during the holidays
  15. Visit on a dapper day OR disneybound 
  16. Go to a comicon
  17. Help make someone’s dream come true
  18. See two wonders of the world
  19. Become a parent
  20. Host a charity event 
  21. Go on a charity-related mission trip
  22. Fly in a hot air balloon
  23. Go bungee jumping
  24. See a panda in real life 

2020 Travel Recap/ 2021 Bucket List

Happy New Year!

As (what seems like) the longest year in history has come to an end, I am reflecting on the year and looking forward to the future. Typically, this is the time of year when I take a trip down memory lane, while also dreaming about the year ahead. Well this year, the trip down memory lane is more of a short stroll. 

2020 Travels
  1. International Tennis Hall of Fame- Newport, RI
  2. Spring Training- Arizona
  3. Dining on the Diamond- Pawtucket, RI

That’s it. That’s all the traveling that was done. In February, I visited the International Tennis Hall of Fame and attended a few Celtics and Bruins games. After that, I headed out for a week of spring training. I returned home from Arizona on March 8, and the sports world stopped on March 12. 

When the Red Sox finally had their opening day at the end of July, I was at a ballpark. However, I was watching the game on a jumbotron, while also having a socially distanced dinner. (This one was a pleasant surprise.)

So, since I wasn’t able to cross off ANY of my 2020 bucket list plans, I’m going to try this again. I am optimistic that 2021 is going to be a great year, which full of fan-filled stands! 

2021 (Sports) Travel Bucket List
  1. The Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa.
  2. Escape to the Cape League.
  3. See the Seattle Kraken in their first season. 
  4. Go to a Connecticut Suns game (vs. Seattle Storm preferably.) 
  5. Welcome the Worcester Woosox to Massachusetts. 
  6. Say hello to Slam Diego and the Padres.
  7. Watch the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry in New York. 
  8. Finally visit Wrigley.
  9. Do a DC/ Baltimore combo trip. 
  10. Feel the brotherly love in Philadelphia. 
  11. Hit the jackpot in Vegas and watch Eastern Washington University play at Allegiant Stadium. 
  12. Head south to the Grapefruit League (and Disney!) 
  13. Retrace my steps at the Tri-City Dust Devils (where it all began for me.) 
  14. Watch “my team” in a new stadium; Red Sox, Mariners, Celtics, Bruins, or Seahawks. 
  15. Visit three new MiLB stadiums. 

Since 2020 showed us how unpredictable life can be, I realize that this sport-centric list may be nothing more than wishful thinking. So, I’ve added a few to the list that are more attainable in a socially distant world. 

2021 Travel Bucket List contd.
  1. Hike Mt. Rainier. 
  2. Explore more national parks (Joshua Tree and Grand Canyon are at the top!)
  3. Play Torrey Pines golf course.
  4. Play Chambers Bay golf course. 
  5. Go to Hawaii. (More on this later!) 
  6. Be spontaneous and go somewhere random. 

What’s at the top of your list?

Sweet Spots: Seattle

Is it just me or does Seattle know how to do two desserts really well- macarons and ice cream. It does help that these are my two favorite desserts, so…maybe I’m just bias. Regardless, here are my top dessert spots (in no particular order) in Seattle! And speaking of…

Molly Moon’s Ice Cream

Multiple locations

There’s nothing quite like simple & sweet. This popular ice cream shop is locally made and known for their fresh and fun flavors. A fan favorite is lavender.


Trophy Cupcakes

Multiple locations

I honestly didn’t think I was a cupcake fan, until I found Trophy! Maybe it’s how they fill the center of the cake with rich flavors, or maybe it is how they seem to put just a little more frosting on top. Whatever it is, this sweet spot not only has decadent cupcakes, but also incredible macarons.


The Moo Bar

Westlake

This is not a drill! This place got creative and somehow smushed my two favorite things into one- ice cream & macarons. Aside from this dynamic duo, The Moo Bar is also known for their teas and puffy waffle cones.

Macaron and ice cream from The Moo Bar.

The Confectional

Pike Place Market/ Armory at Seattle Center

The only thing you really need to know is they have truffles and mini cheesecakes! The perfect little treat while walking around the market or the Seattle Center.

Mini cheesecake from Pike Place Market

Shug’s Soda Fountain

Pike Place & T-Mobile Park

Just a quick walk from Pike Place,  Shugg’s is going to give you “all the feels” with their soda fountain style and ice cream offerings. You can choose ice cream in the form of shakes, floats, sundaes, and boozy floats/shakes.


Le Panier

Pike Place Market

I’ve been to France and these are the closest thing to true French pastries. If there isn’t a line out the door, this Pike Place bakery might blend in with the hustle and bustle. Located near Beecher’s Cheese, this sweet spot is a must.

Macarons at a French bakery in Seattle, WA.

Pie Bar

Capitol Hill

Don’t worry pie lovers! There is something for you too. This…well, pie bar is a quaint little spot almost hidden amongst the older buildings in Capitol Hill. You can not only eat pie, but drink pie-inspired cocktails too! You can get something to go, or dine in. However, seating is very limited.

Apple pie from Pie Bar

Lady Yum

Amazonia & SeaTac airport

Macarons & Mischief- that’s their motto. Add a little bubbly and you have a trifecta. Lady Yum is well known for their unique flavors and eclectic décor. They have monthly flavors, but shindig and salted caramel are among their best original flavors.

Macarons and champagne

Full Tilt Ice Cream

Multiple locations

Speaking of quirky and fun, Full Tilt is another local Seattle ice cream shop that lives for bright and bold. For example, the below photo is marshmallow and Sour Patch Watermelon flavors. (They also offer vegan flavors!) To add to their atmosphere, the parlor includes neon walls and an arcade.

Ice cream from Full Tilt

Bakery Nouveu

West Seattle, Burien, Capitol Hill

Talk about sensational! This bakery will play to your senses with it’s tantalizing smells, and ornate confectioneries. Nouveau offers everything from sweet pastries and chocolate to pizza and bread.


Bluebird Ice Cream

Greenwood

Simple, sweet, and to the point. This old-school styled soda fountain offers a variety of classic (and vegan) flavors that’ll bring you back to the good ole days. However, if you want to mix it up a bit, they also offer boozy milkshakes.

Old fashion ice cream

Cupcake Royale

Multiple locations

Another cupcake place that grabbed my attention! According to their site, they were the first cupcake bakery to open in Seattle, and have since focused on fresh, natural, and local ingredients. Aside from their scrumptious cupcakes, they also serve ice cream.

Cupcakes from Cupcake Royale

Did I forget one? Let me know in the comments!

Top Things to Do in Seattle

So, you’re headed to Seattle, the Emerald City? Surely you will want to see Seattle’s most popular sites. But, you don’t want to miss these additional spots.

Pike Place

Ok, let’s start off with one of the most popular of places, Pike Place Market. PIKE not PIKES ;). This market is best known for flying fishing and being home to the original Starbucks. However, there is so much more to see and experience. Take your time walking through the 9 acres that make up the market. Here you will find some of my favorite eats, treats, and art.

◈ Hungry? Try Pink Door or Cutters.

The Space Needle

Now, let’s cover the other popular tourist attraction- the Space Needle. With it’s newly renovated glass floor and walls, the Space Needle is a must see. However, if heights aren’t your thing and/or you’ve done something similar, then maybe you don’t need to pay for tickets to go up inside the tower. Sometimes, just seeing the actual needle and going in the gift store is enough.

If you do want to go up, buy tickets in advance or get to the area early and prepare to look around while you wait for your reserved time. One way to kill time is to walk next door to…

Pro tip: I have to bring attention to the Seattle CityPASS. I get no kickback from this, but I can’t believe how good of a deal this is. The CityPASS gets you access to;

◈Space Needle
◈Seattle Aquarium
◈Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
◈Museum of Pop Culture OR Woodland Park Zoo
◈Chihuly Garden and Glass OR Pacific Science Center

Chihuly Garden and Glass

If you aren’t familiar with his work, Dale Chihuly is known for his incredible glass artwork. While his work is world-renowned, his most popular pieces can be seen in several places around the city (outside of Chihuly Garden. The blown glass ceiling installation at Bellagio in Las Vegas is another great example of his work.

Gas Works Park

Relax and watch the seaplanes land on beautiful Lake Union. In my opinion, this is the best of both worlds. Not only is this a perfect little preview of the outdoors in the PNW (Pacific Northwest), but you also get an excellent view of the city skyline.

The Fremont Troll

Seattle is known for their grunge, coffee, and art scene (see Chihuly.) The Fremont Troll is a great representation of the quirky side of Seattle. This massive troll lives under Aurora Bridge in the Fremont neighborhood.

If you watched ABC‘s show Once Upon A Time, then you might have seen something similar to the troll. However, this guy is a lot bigger and doesn’t mind if you climb aboard for a picture or two.

THE Fremont Troll

Alki Beach

Alki Beach in West Seattle gives you true beach vibes, while also feeling like you are in the city. Walk, bike, or skate down the long stretch of beach and enjoy the view of majestic the Cascade Mountains. Or, perhaps sticking your toes in the sand, while soaking in a killer view of the Seattle skyline is more your speed. Regardless, the options are endless.

◈ Hungry? Try Cactus, Salty’s or Mission Cantina.

Starbucks or the Reserve Roastery

If you want to stop at the original Starbucks in Pike Place, you may have to wait in a line. Plus, the coffee shop is so small that there is literally no where to sit. However, they do offer unique Pike Place trinkets, like mugs, shirts, and ornaments that you can only get at the original store.

If you are looking to relax and enjoy a different Starbucks experience, check out the Reserve Roastery on famous Capitol Hill. Here you can try specialty drinks like coffee cocktails, mocktails, and flights. Even if you don’t drink coffee, it is worth the experience.

The Pier

Pier 55: Argosy Cruises

For a great sightseeing tour of the Seattle Sound, check out Argosy Cruises. All tours run from one to five hours.

Pier 57 (Miner’s Landing): Great Wheel and Wings Over Washington

This entire pier is worth the trip, especially if you have kids or like rides. I recommend walking up and down each of the piers. However, Pier 57 is special because of Seattle’s Great Wheel and Wings Over Washington. The Great Wheel is the giant Ferris wheel that extends out over the water. Wings Over Washington is a ride created by the same folks who created Soarin’ Over California for the Walt Disney theme parks. Essentially the ride is the same, except you fly all over Washington State.

Pier 59: Seattle Aquarium

See the Seattle sea life at the Seattle Aquarium. That basically is all you need to know!

◈ Hungry? Try Ivar’s.

Kerry Park

This is one of the most photographed places of Seattle. Why? On a clear day, there is no better view of the city, the sound, and Mount Rainier. This is an excellent spot to soak it all in.

Seasonal: University of Washington’s cherry blossoms

Folks from all over flock to the University of Washington in the spring to catch a glimpse of their cherry blossoms. After seeing it for myself, I understand why.

Top things to do outside of the city;

  • Climb Mt. Rainier
  • Tip-toe through the Skagit Valley tulips
  • Sip your way through wine country in Woodinvillle or Walla Walla
  • Take a ferry to the San Juan Islands

2020 Gift Guide

It goes without saying, but 2020 has been a bizarre year. So, while hats and jersey still make a perfect gift, here are a few of my favorite things. These are both unique and functional in a time of quarantine, working from home, and watching games from the comfort of our own couches.

To wear

1. Face masks- Let’s get this one out of the way first! At this point, masks are here to stay, so why not add favorite sports teams into the rotation?

*Support small business by buying one-of-a-kind masks from places like Etsy.

2. Slippers- Nestle in to a winter at home with cozy slippers. Need I say more? (FOCO $25)

FOCO

3. Baseballism backpack- Most MLB stadiums have not incorporated the clear bag policy, which makes this backpack perfect for baseball games during a typical year. Additionally, this is my go-to travel bag when exploring a new city. This genuine leather backpack is sure to last until we are allowed back in to stadiums…and far beyond that! (Baseballism $215)

Baseballism

4. Clear bag- Now, if a stadium does observe the clear bag policy, there are some great options that are functional for both stadiums and every day use. Plus, this UNITY Collab bag donates to charity. (UNITY Collab $30)

UNITY Collaboration

5. Custom sports spirit jersey- Stand out in a unique (and über comfortable) spirit jersey, while also supporting small business. This is perfect for game day at the field or lounging on the couch. (FanFam USA $30)

FanFam USA

6. Reversible Hoodez- Curl up on the couch inside this luxurious reversible blanket/hoodie. Enough said. (FOCO $55)

FOCO

7. Pajamas- Few things scream family holidays like matching pjs. So, why not make them sports themed and wear them all (insert sport) season long? (FOCO $50)

FOCO

To use at home

8. Bose headphones- These are my go-to travel headphones. They are comfortable, noise canceling, and the battery lasts forever. While I originally bought them for noisy airplanes, they have also proved to be perfect for working at home and being on calls all day. These are available for monthly payments with Bose Pay. (Bose ~$150-$350)

Bose

9. Grill set- Help someone tune up their cooking/grilling skills with a personalized grill set. (Baseball BBQ)

Baseball BBQ

10. Sports subscription- Instead of looking into tickets for a game or even season tickets, check out a TV sports subscription to get every game all season long.

11. Door mat Make home feel more like home plate with customizable door mats. (Wood by Stu $22+)

Wood by Stu

12. Perfect Putting Mat- Even if they don’t golf, this putting mat will keep anyone entertained—especially when cooped up at home. (Perfect Putting Mat)

Perfect Practice Golf

Office art

Add a little team spirit to the home office with these sports themed artists.

13. Art of words- If you look closely, this artist hand draws each picture, using words to make the overall photo. (Art of Words)

Art of Words

14. Minimal art- This artist is known for his minimalistic field and mascot designs. You may also know him for the IG account Ballpark Princess Art. (S. Preston Designs $20)

S. Preston Designs

15. Stadium scratch off prints- Keep track of sports wanderlust with these scratch off prints, which come in MLB parks, NHL arenas, NFL stadiums, and NBA arenas. (Pop Chart, $25 or $85 for set)

Pop Chart

16. Personalized sports portraits- Combine the two best things— your favorite team and your family— to make a special portrait to display at home. (Princess and Her Frog $12+)

Princess and Her Frog

For collectors

17. Funko POP! –  I don’t actually own any of these, but the collector in me is debating it. From speaking with friends, I know how loved and sought after they are. Why not add to the addiction by gifting a new addition? (Funko $11)

* Did you know Everett, WA is the HQ for Funko? They’ve even named the MiLB park after it. Check it out!

Funko

18. Stickers- An easy and fun gift to sprinkle a little holiday spirit all over the place. (Stark and Stanley $3+)

Stark and Stanley

19. Ticket stub diary or passport book- These keepsakes help to capture memories for years to come. (Uncommon Goods $14/Fanatics $63-90)

20. Puzzle or legos- Get the team together to do a team puzzle or lego set. (FOCO $80)

FOCO

Regardless of what is physically gifted, I wish all the health, happiness, and love to you and yours this holiday season.

Dangeruss Dog// Inspired by the Seattle Seahawks

In 2014, I got a taste of my first Seahawks & NFL game. Naturally, it rained the majority of the time, but I chalked that up to the true CenturyLink experience. Luckily, I was able to stay warm but drinking lots of hot chocolate and devouring a Dangeruss Dog.

As the name suggests, this creation is inspired by QB Russell Wilson. One bite and I was assured that this combination was dangerous…ly good, just like Russ! Unfortunately, I don’t think CLink sells these anymore. But, have not fear because the ingredients are pretty simple.

  • Hot dog
  • Mac & cheese
  • Jalapeños
  • Crumbled corn tortilla chips
  • Hot sauce

Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you thought!