Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Lake Shore Vibes

Our first family vacation is in the books, and we had so much fun! Having time together to relax and create new experiences is very important to me, and for this Summer's getaway, we went to Lake Chelan.
Located just over three hours from the Seattle area, Chelan is a popular destination for those of us on the west side of the mountains. The lake has crystal clear blue water, and tons of fun activities! We chose one of the top resorts in town, Campbell's Resort.
Our hotel room was very comfortable and spacious, with a small kitchenette, and a balcony overlooking the beach area and lake. Sara loved the room, and crawling out to look over the grounds!
Our first evening there, we ate dinner in the hotel's restaurant, which was delicious, and Sara enjoyed it too! She even learned to use a straw finally! After we checked in, I went for a quick evening swim in the lake, and checked out one of the resort's two pools. Then, we all went for a walk around the grounds, and bought drinks at the beach bar next to the pool. Sara sure was a fan of their strawberry smoothie!
Great evening for a swim!
She loves it!
Taking it all in
The following morning after breakfast was beach day! We all went down, and I sat in the water with Sara as she splashed around and played. All of the boating activity on the lake created mild waves similar to the ocean, but on a much smaller scale. Sara loved sitting in the water right where the waves broke, and she loved playing in the sand!
Swim Time!
Pretty crystal clear water!
After a fun day outdoors, and a nap, we took a walk through the quaint downtown area, and had dinner. Saturday was also Mark's birthday, and I had arranged with the hotel to have a cake and balloons brought to the room. We all sat out on the balcony and enjoyed some cake, and looked out over the lake.
Happy Birthday Mark!
The balcony was her happy place!
So was the ottoman!
Enjoying the evening!
Early Sunday morning, I decided to try stand up paddle boarding for the first time. The resort rented them out, and I had received a coupon for a free rental upon check in. Paddle boarding is a very popular sport here in Washington, and I was eager to try it! Let me tell you, it's definitely harder than it looks! It took me a few minutes to find my balance while on my knees, and once I was in deeper water, I tried standing. Staying balanced while paddling is quite a workout. I felt like I would fall off at any moment. I was really more comfortable on my knees than I was standing.
It was a lot of fun, though, and really peaceful out there before everyone else hit the water. I'll be renting sup's again soon to get more comfortable with it!
So much fun!
Later that day, we did more shopping and beach time. I took a dip in the pool, and enjoyed a few drinks from the beach bar. For dinner, we enjoyed burgers at a local brew pub, and sat out on our hotel balcony and enjoyed the evening.
Such a pretty view!
Monday morning, it was time to pack up and check out. I sat out on the beach next to the lake and enjoyed my coffee before breakfast. Afterwards, it was time to head home. We had a nice drive through the mountains back to Seattle.
Last morning by the lake.
Our time at Campbell's Resort was so much fun! I'm definitely planning on another stay next summer! Next time, I plan on checking out the spa, which I didn't get around to this time. Also, possibly renting a boat and spending a day exploring more of the lake, and also checking out some of the wineries. We really got off to a good start at creating happy family memories during this vacation, and I can't wait to create more!
She's enjoying our walk through town!
Watching all the activity out in the water
Let me out!
I loved floating around in my hamburger float!
Delicious Miami Vice!
Too much excitement!
Little Beach Bum!
Such a beautiful resort!
Here's to Summer Vacation 2017!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

All Work and Some Play

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A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to go on a working trip to the Phoenix, AZ area. I had never been to Arizona before, and I know many people here in Seattle who have ties to the Phoenix area, including my husband. I was excited to check it out!
Sitting at Seatac getting ready to leave!
Although it was a work trip, and most of my time there would be dedicated to that, I was excited for having some down time to explore the area! The only thing I was apprehensive about was the mid summer heat. About a week before I was do to leave, it was so hot in Phoenix, that planes couldn't land at the airport.
When I first arrived, it was warm, but not brutally hot. It was the start of the annual storm season, which I guess also drove down the temps.
Only in the upper 90's!
After my first day of work, I decided to relax at the pool a bit before heading to North Phoenix to check out a Mexican restaurant. I had some delicious tacos and margaritas before exploring the neighborhood, called High Street. This area was a very vibrant shopping and dining center with a lot of cool restaurants and bars. Among them, Blue Martini, a fun spot which used to have a location here in Bellevue, and a Mellow Mushroom! This was a throwback to my college days, as the "Schroom" has been a presence in Statesboro, GA, where I went to school for years. I couldn't pass it up! I went in for dessert and a local brew.
Ice Cream and a Beer at the Schroom!
The next night, after work, I decided to check out Scottsdale, which has a reputation of being the Beverly Hills of Phoenix. Unfortunately, a big storm was rolling in as I drove up there, and by the time I arrived, was raining. I ducked into this little karaoke place in Old Town, and had dinner, and enjoyed watching some locals singing karaoke.
Arabian Horse Fountain in Old Town Scottsdale. Arabian horse breeding has ties to the area. 
After dinner, I walked all around town, from the western themed older section to the very affluent riverfront area where all of the shops and upscale hotels are located. I came across a few little boutiques I checked out before heading back to my car. On the way back, I came across a tiki bar and had to stop for a drink. I love tiki bars, and can't pass one up!
The fancy part of town!
Can't pass up a good Tiki Place!
On my last evening in Phoenix, I met up with a high school friend who happens to live nearby. We had dinner near the ASU campus and walked around afterwards. It was a really warm and pretty evening!
I really enjoyed my time in Arizona, and I would like to go back some time. My husband, who used to live there, has told me about all of the things he liked to do there. I think a family getaway to the area will be in our future!
I love desert plants!
Cactus at the hotel
Goodbye Phoenix!
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