Adventures in Portland and Seattle

These past few days have been, quintessentially, all about pray, eat, move, groove.

I have so much to share with you!

{Background: My family and I took a short trip to Seattle and Portland for a family friend’s wedding, so we did our best to explore the area, since we’ve never been to these northwestern states!}


4:30 AM wakeup for an early flight (that was completely on time, thanks be to God). I brought along a breakfast cookie with some milk for the ride to the airport.


flight included airplane peanuts, watching 12 Years a Slave, and sleeping

I was the first one of my family to arrive in Seattle (we all took different flights), so I was on my own without a rental car for a few hours. First order of business was finding lunch. Might have gotten lost four to five times, but my legs didn’t mind the walking after a 6 hour flight.

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Hawaiian BBQ chicken was a good treasure after a long quest

8 minute abs in the teeny exercise room.

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We shared an amazing sushi dinner once the ‘rents arrived! God bless Pacific northwest seafood.

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everything was excellent except for the bottom right roll—it was basically dissolved in mayonnaise

While stopping by CVS to pick up a case of bottled water, I saw that this was on sale…


…so, yeah. We’ll see if it can make it to 3 oz. by the time we fly back home this morning. (It didn’t, they threw it out.)

Ben flew in late Wednesday night!


Off to Portland(ia)!

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but first, complimentary hotel breakfast a la Marriott

After 2.5 hours of driving, we arrived at a sweet Catholic sanctuary called The Grotto. Such a beautiful, hidden gem.


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We walked around for an hour or so, working up an appetite for lunch at one of the famous Food Truck “Pods” of Portland! This was the Tidbit Food Farm and Garden. 😀 <— literally my face the whole time.


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“Sardou” savory waffle sandwich with eggs, steamed spinach, gouda, artichokes, and honey dijon

Phenomenal would be the word to describe this sandwich.

Ben and I walked approximately a mile to get our dessert at Blue Star Donuts, but we got distracted by the hypnotizing scent of waffle cones. The only solution is to give in. Let it happen.

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carrot cake (!!!!!!!!) ice cream in a waffle cone from Salt & Straw // blueberry bourbon basil + dulce de leche hazelnut donut from Blue Star Donuts

The ice cream was out of this world (um, huge chunks of carrot cake IN the ice cream), and the donuts were delicious, but I wouldn’t go back for more. I’m glad we got distracted by waffle cones.

Next stop was Multnomah Falls for breathtaking scenery and some hiking. The hike wasn’t extreme, but it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park. Sup, gravity.


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 Ben at the end of every panorama

 We feasted on seafood at Jake’s Famous Crawfish, but it was kind of disappointing. My crab cakes were mostly filler, and everything seemed overpriced.

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the most expensive mixed greens salad ever

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Ya win some, ya lose some. Still a fantastic day overall! Thanks, Portland ♥



As many of you said, there’s no way we could miss out on Pike Place Market. It was a fun atmosphere with some awesome shops and eateries.

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Enjoyed the chanting every time they threw a fish. Really enjoyed the fact that they threw fish, period.

Side note: If you go to Seattle, look up the best places to park beforehand. We encountered some headaches and ripoffs with parking.

The Great Wall of Saliva:

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the one time I forget to bring gum with me

Sightseeing in the PERFECT weather (the kind in which you could be outside in short or long sleeves and still be comfortable).

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Ben let me share a couple bites of his single fish taco from Pike Place Market. So fresh!

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Then we went on a cruise tour to learn all about this fine city. Eat from the water, be on the water.

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Followed by the best seafood lunch of my life at Elliott’s Oyster Bar. This totally made up for the lack of crab in my crab cakes the night before at Jake’s.

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grilled seafood salad *angels singing*

Ben and I walked around for a few more hours until we all met up for the wedding rehearsal dinner.

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the very first Starbucks, aka the seed of the greatest American addiction

You were charming, Seattle.


Wedding day! Not mine.

Dad and I moved and grooved a little in the hotel fitness center after breakfast. Handstands and stretching for me!

Then we watched my lovely aunt tie the knot. I love weddings, ugh.


My family broke off for a late lunch afterwards at a taco place. Hit the spot!


Then we chilled out, went to Mass (to count for Sunday Mass), and then headed to the partayyy. Eating, dancing, and being merry.


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 Congratulations to the beautiful couple!


Now I’m finishing typing this on my phone on the plane. I just hid my phone so the stewardess wouldn’t see. #rebel. (We’re still on the ground.)

This trip has been incredible, but I’m thankful mostly for the time I got to spend with my loved ones. The greasy food (and extra zits) were also worth it 😉

See you in New York!

So tell me:

Have you ever been to Portland?

Do you like weddings? Going to any soon?

What did you do this weekend?

Day in the Life of a Ninja

Two trips down, one to go!

Not that I’m counting down vacations. St. Louis (for cousin’s Baptism) and Canada (to visit relatives) were a blast, and our last family trip is to Seattle (for a wedding) starts today. Then it’s the countdown to move-in day back in Boston!

Our last day in Canada had some ups and downs, but mostly ups. If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you probably already know that I’ve exhausted the fact joke that I’ve been in ninja training, but I’m about to push it to the limit with this post.


A Day in the Life of a Ninja (Monday)

7:00 AM— Wake up and go to the bathroom. Check emails, comments, and social media.

8:00 AM— Go back to sleep, because ninjas need rest to be on their game.

9:00 AM— Wake up again, brush teeth, etc. Eat breakfast, which is oatmeal a la microwave, because time is of the essence for ninjas (and I didn’t want to burn the bottom of my aunt’s pot like I did on Sunday morning, woo).

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quick oats, unflavored protein powder, cinnamon, banana, maple syrup, milk, and almond butter

10:00 AM— Change into ninja clothes (workout capris and top).

10:15 AM— Hang out with my cousin, Amy. Get my mind blown by hexaflexagons (<— seriously the coolest thing ever) and get my butt kicked in Super Smash Bros (virtual ninja training).

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she’s trying to create a character that looks like me, and the hair is pretty darn accurate

1:00 PM— Go to lunch at a tea house with Amy and her dad, because ninjas obviously like Asian food.

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delicious noodles, short ribs, chicken, soup dumplings, beef tendon wraps, and mango yogurt juice

2:30 PM— Digest at home and get ready for bouldering (aka ninja training for scaling mountains and buildings).

3:30 PM— Start bouldering! {I used to rock climb regularly when I was in fourth and fifth grade, so the smell of the gym was familiar and nostalgic. I missed it!} This was an absolute blast. We were all about focus and discipline during our training.

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my cousin and uncle are SO STRONG

5:45 PM— After burning out our hands, arms, and upper backs, we realize that we’re late for our dinner appointments. They drop me off to meet my dad.

6:45 PM—Dad and I arrive at my other aunt and uncle’s house and go to a pub for dinner from there. My stomach is hurting a little bit… Figure that I’m just hungry from all the climbing.

7:00 PM— Sit down to menus and some fun 70s music bingo. Try a sip of my dad’s beer because that’s legal for me in Canada.

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no idea what I’m doing

7:20 PM— Dig into my fish tacos! My aunt also shares one of her wings with me.

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7:50 PM— After finishing two of my tacos and sharing the third, we continue playing music bingo until my aunt wins a round! But then I totally kill the vibe when my stomach pains become semi-excruciating. Take a tablet from my aunt that’s supposed to absorb gas in your stomach. Go to the bathroom just in case.

8:00 PM— Aunt decides to take me back to her house to rest a little. Every step hurts my stomach! Aunt kindly nurses me with some tonic water and her comfy couch. Ninjas are not invincible.

8:30 PM— After lying down for a bit, stomach pain dissipates dramatically. Like, 100 to 0, real quick. We concluded that it was a heck of a lot of gas in my stomach for whatever reason (my stomach looked like a balloon, but I didn’t feel super full or anything). Thanks, Aunt Judy!!!

9:00 PM— Head back to cousin’s house, where we’re staying. Shower up.

9:30 PM— Practice throwing knives with the family, because ninjas. (Promise we’re not actually plotting to kill anyone. This is purely for fun…but that doesn’t sound much better, does it?)

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10:20 PM— Practice handstands. Evidently, my stomach pains were virtually nonexistent at this point, thanks be to God.

11:00 PM— Sleep!


And yesterday we drove 9 hours back down to New York, where we did the whole unpack, laundry, repack deal. Here are some eats from our road trip!

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McDonald’s Asian grilled chicken salad (not too shabby!)

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lots of peanut butter in the car

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Bareburger for dinner: pickles and slaw to share // “blue elk” burger


finished off the day with some vanilla bean ice cream + cinnamon and nutmeg (tastes like eggnog!)

Catch ya on the other side of the country! Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday 🙂

So tell me:

Have you ever gone rock climbing or bouldering? I rekindled my love for it on Monday. My shoulders and forearms the next day though… not so much.

Have you ever had extreme stomach pains due to gas? Doesn’t that sound sexy.

Have you ever done a sport/activity that seems scary to others? Like shooting or archery?

If you’ve ever been to Seattle or Portland, what should we do there?