Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Bought The Hunger Games on a whim in June but didn't actually pick it up until August 8th. I only remember that because it was two days before we left for Seattle.

It only took three days to get through this series... and I'm not a fast reader.

Needless to say, I enjoyed it. Literary masterpiece? Who am I to judge? — but this series made me feel things. Certainly not all good, if you're familiar with the premise, but it was captivating. I guess it's classified as sci-fi/fantasy {I suppose that's the default genre for post-apocalyptic tales} which is not usually my cup of tea, but after the first chapter I needed to know what happened to these characters.

I will say, the first book in the series was definitely my favorite. The second one was pretty good, but Mockingjay felt all kinds of rushed.

I'll be interested to see how this translates to the silver screen. A's reading it now, and is worried they're going to go overboard with the CGI... guess we'll have to wait and see. The movie is slated for March!

Next up for me is the 'Dragon Tattoo' series {yeah, yeah-- I know I'm late}. I just finished the first book {which took considerably longer than any of the 'Hunger Games' novels, mostly because of the suuuper slow beginning}. I hear the second one picks right up in the action, so I'm excited!

Have YOU read any good books lately?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seattle and Portland

From the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest in and out of week. Talk about whiplash. We would only endure such depletion of the mind, body, and wallet for two people: J Willi, my fabulous sister-in-law and B Web, my absolute favorite of the mister's friends-- and the only person cuckoo enough to complete our twisted little musketeers vibe we have going on. Suffice to say, hijinks ensued☺

Evergreens have the be the official symbol of the Pac Northwest, no?

OK, kids-- about as touristy as you can get, but still wonderful...

First things first: Piroshky Piroshky — I've been dreaming about this deliciousness since we last visited in 2009. This teeny tiny little shop has tons of sweet and savory handheld pies. Between the four of us, we sampled the cheese onion garlic, beef and cheese, chocolate hazelnut and cinnamon cardamom rolls. Oh what is there to say other than "Yummmmm"?

I think this is a Seattle thing {correct me if I'm wrong}-- very interesting... melted down booze bottles into cheese boards. I am so into this. Amwilli was eyeing that Maker's Mark bottle {on account of his penchant for whisky}, alas, we left empty-handed.  

Can't. Resist. Cute. Monkeys. 

Public Market has scads of fresh flowers for $5-$10 per bouquet. The flower merchants even customize bouquets--does it get any better? 1-800-Flowers, who?

Quintessential Seattle: Space Needle, hills, SUBARUS. 

 The first of many happy hours... and this one was at...

...wait for it...


 Happy hour, numero dos... I was clearly S.D. Churchill's bff in a past life.

Post happy hour things...

 Seattleites are into chalk it seems...

Molly Moon's - carmelized peaches and cream. I may have found the perfect ice cream flavor. Just sayin'.

Someone challenged me to a game of pool...

...and there you go. 

Well, hello gorgeoussss...

Just steps from J Willi's place-- I'm officially jealous. 

Onto the next happy hour... 13 Coins. It's a place where high end dining meets lounge lizards meets supper club, and it was a great time. Fabulous live music, insane people watching, and ridiiiculously delicious bar food. Meatball sliders, anyone?

BWeb's alarmed...

...probably because this just happened. Oops. 

Onto PORTLAND! Beware of bears...

 ...and big ass dogs. Seriously, Portland has got to be the big dog capital of the US. Newfies, great danes, rhodesian ridgebacks, and a variety of large hounds. They're probably needed to scare off the bears.  

Portland is an eccentric town, separated into different neighborhoods and districts. After spending the first part of the day in the Pearl District, we headed to Hawthorne neighborhood for shops and dining. I found all these little ditties in ONE shop {I wasn't lying about the eccentricity}:

What's that you say, another happy hour? Bring it. The land of evergreen trees believes in LATE happy hours, and dangit, so do I. 

One of the few friends he's kept in touch with since high school-- if surviving Catholic school doesn't bond you, nothing will.

A cobblestone alley full of hipster bars, but they had a bunch of picnic tables under twinkle lights. Why don't we have anything like this at home??

 I'm so OK with this kind of trouble!

 What's so funny?

 Ohhh... {Jersey Shore fans didn't have to think twice about this}

Voodoo Doughnut: Perfect way to end the night...

The world famous, bacon maple. Finger lickin' good {and I don't like maple flavored anything}.

Voodoo doll, naturally. Check out that pretzel stake-- it's complete with raspberry filling for the blood and guts. Wild.

Waffle Window: Perfect way to end the trip!

What can I say about Seattle and Portland? Great towns, a-mah-zing food, and perfect company. It was really an unforgettable way to end the summer-- and I can't wait for the next adventure!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rhode Island

Providence to be exact! That's where we headed after Maine for a visit with friends Steve (A's best man) and Michelle (his better half). 

Our weekend began at a baseball game-- which Steve was promptly thrown out of (So quickly in fact, I didn't even have the chance to snap any photos). Let me set the scene— these times are approximations:

6:58 pm - Quick hi before the game starts.
7:00 pm - We sit in the stands ready for a great game 3 of 3 for the championship (pins and needles).
7:15 pm - Steve comes up to bat. Gets called out on strikes. Points to where the last pitch was (WAY outside), then gets thrown out. 
7:15:30 pm - Amwilli feels the need to call the ump "Napoleon" because he short (original, right?)
7:15:35 pm - I'm mortified that I'm sitting next to such an offensive heckler.
7:16 pm - Steve waves at us to leave. ta-da. And welcome to Rhode Island, folks. 

The rest of the weekend was pretty stellar-- tons of good food, great sites, and informative yelping. Check it out: 

Modern Diner in Pawtucket (that's pa-tucket, not PAW-tucket)-- built in 1940 and the first diner on the registry of historic places (AKA old). The breakfast was awesome-- I highly recommend the Kasey omelette. 

 Downtown Providence... 

...and its stately statehouse.

The boys extolling the virtues of who-knows-what.

Samson, the wonder dog... just look at that face.

 ...and profile...

...and little/big mini bulldog body, which he's keen on throwing into you to say hi. If we didn't have the Teeb I probably would have been shell-shocked by the experience :)

Just in case you weren't aware-- RI is Sox country. Even the tiny garden gnomes know. 

It's us! In Newport! Home of the US Tennis Hall of Fame, Brick Alley Pub, Francesca's and Alex & Ani (among many other things). 

Michelle introduced me to these super cute Alex & Ani stackable bracelets. They're eco-friendly, made from recyclable materials and USA all the way. I got an 'A' because I'm a cheeseball, and the 'Path of Life' because... well, I'm a cheeseball. They sort of twinkle instead of jingle, and they stack with bangles I already have so I think it was meant to be. 

Just because we were out of town didn't mean we had to forego Champagne Saturday. It's one of those things where there wasn't too much arm-twisting involved. 

We had a great weekend you guys☺ Can't wait for the next visit!