Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bellevue Staycation

With the Holidays comes party season, and a few weeks ago, we had a party to attend down in Bellevue, which is one of our area's most upscale suburbs with great shopping and tons of great hotels! Instead of driving home afterwards, we decided to make a little overnight staycation out of it, so we could get the most out of the weekend!

Our party was at the Westin Hotel, so I booked a room there for that night, and we headed in early to get ready for the festivities. The Westin is a grand hotel, located right across the street from one of the city's main shopping attractions, The Bellevue Collection. The hotel has a beautiful lobby, which hosts and afternoon happy hour, and also a restaurant and bar, Pearl, which I have been to many times. 

Walking into the lobby. 
We checked into our room, which was very large, and included a European style bathroom, and a private balcony. It had a large, plush, king sized bed, a mini bar, and two cozy robes.  I took full advantage of the large soaking tub, as I love big, marble hotel bathrooms. In any other hotel, a room like this would be an upgrade, but this was a standard room at the Westin Bellevue. 
Walking into the room for the first time
luxurious bathrooms!
Our balcony overlooking the city of Bellevue
I love a room with a Keurig and a mini bar!
I love when robes are included!
We hung out in the room for awhile, and then went to our party, which was only one floor away from us. We had an elevated private viewing area to watch the nightly Holiday show, Snowflake Lane, which was great, since we didn't have to fight the crowds who gather down on the street level to see it. There was also a casino room set up with roulette, card tables and craps, where you could win raffle tickets for prizes, a picture room with props to take crazy holiday pictures, and a prize room, where you could review the different packages, such as football tickets, overnight trips, and day trip outings, that you could win. 

Party time!
We had a great time!
And of course, no party would be complete without a grand ballroom for dancing and several bars. We also had a delicious buffet with Northwest staples like baked salmon and prime rib, and lots of yummy desserts to choose from! 

The party was really fun, and we had a blast, and the Westin was a great venue to host it from! Afterwards, we checked out the lobby, and went back to our room. 

The next morning, I went up to the hotel's spa, Truce Spa, for a massage. I'm a spa junkie, and I always try to make it to the hotel spa whenever we travel. I booked a 90 minute bamboo fusion massage, which is their version of the hot stone massage. This was my first time trying something like this, and it won't be the last!

Seating area at Truce
After my spa morning, we checked out and went to brunch at one of the nearby restaurants, and wandered around the mall for a bit before heading home. Although we were only about 25 miles away from our house, our little overnight staycation felt like we had gone on a little trip far away!

The indoor pool, which I unfortunately I didn't have time to check out. 

The Westin as seen from Bellevue Park.

I was not paid or endorsed in any way for this post. All opinions are my own.
Thanks for reading GuG!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fall with a Bang

Well, Fall has come, and is almost gone. Wow, the last few months went by fast! I love Fall, and I totally embrace all of the traditions and cliches! Cozy sweaters, boots, leaves, decorating, and of course, everything pumpkin! I love all of it! And two of what I call the Big Three Holidays are in the Fall, and this year, we did it with a bang!

We started the season off with some late September apple picking at Swan's Trail Farm. This was the first time we did it, and it was a lot of fun! However, I overestimated how long we would be out there, and how many apples we actually needed. My parents were over for the weekend, and we packed for an afternoon, and loaded up Sara and her little wagon. About 30 minutes later, we had picked a ton of apples...more than I eat in a year! We had so many, and now my freezer is full of apples! They are also a bit more expensive than those you'd buy at the store too, but it was a nice day, and I'm sure a new tradition that we'll enjoy for years!
Helping Sara put her apples in the basket
Pick a good one!
Enjoying her day!

A few weeks later, we did a corn maze and pumpkin patch. Mark and I have been doing corn mazes since we've been together, and its become one of our favorite traditions! Last year, Sara was a tiny baby, and slept through the whole thing. This year, she's a rambunctious toddler who loves to explore! She had fun riding in her carrier (my back didn't...ouch!) and touching the corn stalks and playing with her shadow. After the maze, we let her have a run through the pumpkin patch. Thomas Family Farm has an awesome patch, and it is one of my favorites! Sara loved it! She loved running through the dirt and playing with the pumpkins!
She likes them both!
So much fun!

Halloween was one of my most anticipated holidays. This year, like those in the past, we went all out with our decor, and our house was a huge hit! We used some window projectors which everyone loved, and I bought a new fog machine, which worked really well! We can't wait to add to it next year!

Our super creepy Halloween House!
Decked out!
The bat tree
We took Sara trick or treating for the first time this year, too. We dressed her up as a little bat, loaded her up in her wagon, and took her around the neighborhood. She loves candy, and after the first few houses, she learned that we were collecting treats just for her (and for me when she's not looking!) She did however get a little too over excited, and was in no way interested in going to bed that night! We ended the night watching some kid friendly specials, including a new one that was Michael Jackson themed that was really good!
Our little bat rules her roost!
Ready to go get some candy!

And like that, Thanksgiving was upon us! This year, we decided to go over to the Peninsula to my Parents' house. It's such a beautiful ferry ride and drive over to Sequim, and the foliage and scenery was stunning! Last year, Sara was just a tad bit too young to enjoy dinner with us. This year, however, we let her try everything! She wasn't crazy about the turkey or veggies, but she loved the mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce-surprisingly!

Ready to get her feast on!
There aren't any big malls in that area, so on Black Friday, I packed Sara up and visited a few of the local boutiques and small shops. Sequim is a very walkable little town, and I love popping in and out of the local businesses! I found some great deals, too! It was a nice, relaxing little break with good food and family, and was so fun!

Goodbye Fall! Till next year!
Now the season is over, and we're gearing up for Christmas and the coming Winter. There's a lot to be done for the last big holiday, so I guess I'll get busy and make some pie and crisp with all of those apples that we picked!

I was not paid or endorsed for this post-all opinions are my own. However, this post does contain affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the link. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Weekend in Vegas

A few weeks ago, actually, a month ago as I write this, my husband and I took a long weekend off work and flew to Las Vegas, sans baby. Sara spent the weekend with her grandparents, and had a great time out on the Olympic Peninsula!
It was nice for Mark and I to have a relaxing few days together with no worries! This was my second time visiting, the first being two years ago, which you can read about here.
This time, we just spent a few nights, but Vegas, like many other big tourist destinations, requires many visits to do it all!
For our hotel, I chose to book a Panorama Suite in the Encore tower at the Wynn resort. The room was beautiful, with rich red and black decor, a separate living room, and a floor to ceiling window overlooking the pools and strip. And like most of the hotels, a luxurious bathroom complete with a soaking tub and television!
Walking into our room
A view from the top! 34th Floor to be exact!
I love big, marble bathrooms!
Interesting Artwork...
We flew in on a Thursday, checked in, and immediately went to eat at the Wynn Buffet, one of the best on the strip! The restaurant was decorated with huge, beautiful floral arrangements, and topiary made of decadent sweets. There were so many interesting food choices, that it was hard to pick. I tried quail for the first time which actually tastes just like chicken. There were also tons of dessert options, too! I tried creme brulee, molten chocolate cake, and guava panna cotta. Delicious!
Inside the Buffet
The Dessert Bar
After dinner, we walked down the strip to watch the Bellagio Fountain, and check out a few casinos.
The following couple of days were filled with gambling, relaxing by the pool, and hitting up a few of our favorite bars, including Sugar Factory and Fat Tuesday's. For lunch on Saturday, we went over to Treasure Island to eat at Senor Frogs, a very fun Mexican restaurant and bar. I had been to one in the Bahamas years ago, and I had a great time!
My delicious Carne Asada tacos and drink!
Funny black light signs at the Frog! 
Our lunch was delicious, and we got a couple of rounds of 2 for 1 yard drinks, which were awesome! We spent quite a bit of time there, and I'd definitely recommend it!
We checked out more casinos, and I did quite well on slots, leaving with a couple of hundred dollars! Craps is Mark's game, and he had fun playing some of the different tables.
Before we knew it, it was time to go home. We were excited to see Sara, but we had such a great time over the few days that we were in Vegas! I'm actually thinking about maybe making it an annual tradition. I've even got some ideas about which hotel to try out next! 
Beautiful displays at the Wynn
The Parasol Bar at the Wynn
The Wynn Waterfall
Vegas pools are the best!
Night time view from our room
Checking out the strip, and fine shops
Our home for the weekend!
One of my favorite spots! We even have one locally now!
Treasure Island Fountain
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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Weekend Adventures

Note: This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase after clicking on the link, I will be compensated. Thanks for supporting GuG!

Wow, I've been away from blogging for awhile now! I've had a bit of writers block as well as dealing with everyday life. Sara's sleep issues have gotten a bit worse lately, and I'm a bit sleepy too.
But anyway, fall is in full swing now, and the foliage here in the Pacific Northwest is just beautiful! I'm quite busy during the week with work and appointments and meetings and such, so on the weekends, I like to kick back and relax, and have some bonding time with my girl!
Sitting in the house all weekend long can get a little stale after awhile, so I love taking Sara out on little gateways. I started this past Spring. Whether it be a walk through a Mill Creek neighborhood and park, or checking out some of the other little nearby towns and perusing the shops and cafe's, it's definitely good for our souls!
Some of my favorite spots have been downtown Kirkland, playing lakeside, consignment shopping, and enjoying a burger at the Slip, and also old town Snohomish, with their quaint antique shops, wine tasting rooms, and paved riverfront walking trail. Sara really enjoyed that afternoon! She loved watching all of the boaters and jet skis out on the river!
Our walk along the Snohomish River
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We also enjoyed a lot of beach time on the weekends! There are so many sandy beaches within minutes of our home. Edmonds, with the ferry terminal and interesting downtown area is a really fun beach side town! Sara seemed to love playing in the sand, watching the boats on the sound, and of course, the ice cream shop!
Sara's favorite thing about the beach is the sand!
Boating on the Sound!
Now that cooler weather is here, it's time for pumpkins, corn mazes, and playgrounds! We took Sara to a local maze last weekend, and she really enjoyed riding in her carrier and touching the corn stalks that we passed by. Her favorite part however, was definitely the pumpkin patch! She had a blast running around, and checking out the pumpkins! I'll have to take her again before the season ends!
The highlight of her day!
With colder, darker, and inevitably wetter weekends are on the way, I'll be sure to have to be creative in planning our fun bonding outings and experiences! I know she loves getting out and seeing and doing new things, and I'll definitely have to keep the tradition alive!
Getting used to wearing her boots
That was sooo much fun!

How To Book a Disney Cruise

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