Summer Bucket List 2017: In Review

Summer has come and gone and we're finally out of the triple digit temperatures here in Las Vegas! Kids have been in school for a month and our days are packed and busy again.  Anyone else out there ready for a break already?!? 

I thought I'd go back and relive a little bit of our summer fun! As you all know, we've been putting together a summer bucket list for years now, but I think this year's was a little too ambitious and it's no surprise we didn't get to do everything on the list.  Some things we didn't do together as a family, such as the grandparents taking the kiddos to Dave & Buster's while we were away in Napa and Jason taking the kiddos to the drive in movies while I had book club.  Diego got to go to Wet N Wild water park with some friends and I took Elysse to Gravady Trampoline Park last weekend with her friend. Sure we didn't get a chance to try rolled ice cream, but we did enjoy plenty of ice cream this summer, including the famous Salt n Straw in Portland! YUMmmm! Although we didn't get to visit Zion National Park, we did visit  Sand Hollow Sate Park in Utah.

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We'll have to try to get to doing some ice skating this winter, try to get a camping trip in this spring, even if it's close to home in Mount Charleston, and Spring Mountain Ranch Super Summer Theater will be back on the list for summer 2018! 

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Hope your summer was fun and that you got to spend time together as a family and make some messy memories together!! XO 

Summer Family Vacation Part I: Seattle, WA

As I mentioned in my last post, I got to run the Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon last month. And, having never been to the Pacific Northwest, we decided to make it a family vacation, adding Portland and the Oregon coast to our trip.  Today, I'll be sharing all about our weekend in Seattle first and Part II will go into our 4 days Oregon.

Since our trip ended in Portland, that's where we flew into.  Whenever we have trips where we are visiting a few cities or doing a road trip once we land, I prefer to fly into the city we'll be visiting last.  The main reasons I prefer to do this are 1: Renting a car one-way is a lot more expensive than returning it at the same airport.  2: It's less stressful to be near your airport at departure than having to calculate for a few hours drive.  I'd hate to miss our flight due to unforeseen traffic or getting lost. 

The drive to Seattle from Portland took longer than anticipated due to traffic, but we had plenty of time to pick up my race packet at the expo and then make our way to Pioneer Square for our walking tour by Beneath the Streets.  We'd heard about these tours from some friends and when I saw they were giving 1 complimentary tour to Rock N Roll runners, I figured we'd give it a try.  We don't normally do group tours on vacation because I prefer a more authentic vibe, plus with little ones, you just never know if they'll find them interesting.  Well, to my surprise the kids, who aren't so little anymore, did enjoy the tour.  They found it interesting and even asked some really good questions to our tour guide.  Afterwards, we stayed in the area and enjoyed some of the fun games they had in the square.  

Our next stop was Pike Place Market.  The market was closing when we arrived but it was still super crowded.  I know this is an icon Seattle tourist spot, but I wasn't really impressed.  I think there were just way too many people walking around aimlessly and being, well, tourists.  We originally planned to walk around the market, watch the famous fish throwing, and eat from a few of the popular food places.  With the market closing, we didn't get to see much and we only made it to one place Beecher's Handmade Cheese for some mac n cheese.  It was cool to see the cheese making process through the window, but it wasn't really amazing mac n cheese.  The best part was seeing all the beautiful flower stands.

Afterwards, we checked into our hotel room for the night and we were all so tired & a bit cranky from waking up early for our flight and walking around all day, that we just ordered a pizza and salad and had it in our room.  

It was another early morning for me on Sunday to get up and run the half marathon.  It was a great course and I really enjoyed it and the VIP lounge area.  You can read the race recap on my previous post HERE.  After the race, we made our way to Seattle Center for a closer look at the Space Needle and to grab some lunch before making our way to Portland! I wish we would/could have spent more time in this area.  I would like to go back and check out some of the museums, but we still enjoyed our time walking around the pretty gardens and the kids had a blast at the playground there.  Our last stop was to go see the Fremont Troll under the Aurora Bridge.  Such a quirky spot and I'm so glad we got to see it! 

Although it was a bit of a whirlwind, our weekend in Seattle was a ton of fun.  Coming from Vegas, we welcomed the gloomy and rainy weather.  It never really rained but we did have a few drizzles.  Ideally, I think 3 days in Seattle would have been perfect and would have allowed us to visit a museum or two and not crammed so much into 2 days.  

Have you been to Seattle? Besides the museums, what else would you recommend we do or see on our next trip to Seattle? What side trips would be worth a visit from Seattle? Thanks for stopping by and be sure to come back for the rest of our PNW trip!  

2015 A Year in Review: Travels, Races, and Family Fun

With just a couple of days left in the year, I thought it would be fun to revisit 2015 today.  The year started off rough and we had lots to deal with as it went on with Jason's injury and following surgeries.  There were days that we just could not see the light.  But, we aren't the type to let our lives be dictated by our circumstance.  Sure, things were not ideal, but we knew they could be much worse. So, we made the best with what we had.  We kept positive and moving forward with our lives.  

Even with the ups and downs, we had such a full year.  We got to travel to some fun places with our family and Jason and I even got away without the kiddos to San Francisco+Sonoma County.  We took the kids camping in Utah for the first time.  We spent a super fun weekend with our family in Huntington Beach, CA!  The kids and I hiked to the Colorado River.  We got to go boating in Lake Mead.  I ran my first trail half marathon  in Red Rock Canyon and my 3rd Tough Mudder.  I won a free registration from Pace Per Mile to Walt Disney World's Wine & Dine Half Marathon, so we all went to Florida for 8 days! The kiddos ran the Disney Kid 1 mile race.  We visited all 4 Disney parks and visited with friends that are like family.  I also ran the Disneyland Half Marathon to complete the Coast to Coast Challenge.  I ran 3 Spartan races (2 with the hubs) and got my 2nd Trifecta.  The kids ran the Spartan Kid race too.  Lastly, I won another free registration to the Run Laughlin Half Marathon in December, which turned out to be a great race.  

I'm looking forward to starting 2016 with new goals and plans.  I'm looking forward to fun adventures with my family and taking on new challenges.  But, for now, I'm happy to look back and reflect on all the good things that have taken place and not to dwell on what could have been or feel bad for the huge curve ball life threw our way.  Today I choose to be grateful for all the wonderful things and places I've been.  I'm grateful for my family's constant support.  I'm happy to be where I am in life.  It may not be exactly where I want to be, but it is a lot closer than I was before. And for that, I am grateful.  

What's your favorite memory of 2015?  Are you looking forward to 2016? What goals do you have for the new year?