Category Archives: Travel

Goonies Never Say Die!

Astoria CollageSaturday we took a day trip down to Astoria, Oregon. It’s a lovely coastal town that also happens to be the home of the Goonies! If you are unfamiliar with the Goonies you should rectify that immediately.

Astoria Column ViewThe view from the Astoria Column base. Incredibly gorgeous. And pretty much all you need.

Below is the Astoria Column which is an odd column on the top of a hill that offers an amazing view. You pay $2 to park for the year (an excellent value with the picnic tables for lovely seaside views) and then you can climb the tower and hang out at the top, or on the grounds, as much as you’d like. We made it halfway up the unbelievably rickety stairs and bailed. Major anxiety attack. I don’t enjoy heights, and am increasingly disinclined towards tight spaces, this column offers both. Rolland was also carrying the toddler up with super winding stairs and agreed with the decision to abort. Those stairs were crowded and wobbly. I swear, my knees start shaking just thinking about it.

Astoria ColumnOur column tour guide.

Sophy Astoria Column 1Quick snuggle with the tour guide.

Sophy Mommy Astoria ColumnUnrelated to the tower but our primary reason for the visit was a quick house visit. I’ve had a pilgrimage to the Goondocks on my to do list since moving to Seattle. I can now check it off the Seattle list. The house is pretty awesome and lives up to the vision. The experience itself is kind of meh. You just walk up a gravel hill driveway, take a pic and move on. A bit of a let down but I’m not entirely sure what my expectations were for said house.

Goondocks - Goonie HousePrior above house visit.  We ate lunch at the Rogue Public House which was also meh but primarily an awesome experience irrespective of our actual meal. You drive over the rickety pier and eat lunch in the brewery / canning factory. Rolland said the beer was super tasty but the food was just ok.

Rougue Public HouseA big hit at the Public House, untasty food aside, was our lovely lunch companions. The sea lions were cavorting outside our window and offering an awesome show. You could hear them barking through the window. They were adorable and looked like they were having a fantastic time in the water. It was chilly or I would be tempted to join them. Please note I realize this is a total pipe dream as one doesn’t hug a wild animal, particularly a super sized sea lion.

Seals in the harborAstoria was awesome and we want to head back and travel even further down the shore to check out Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock. Still, a perfect way to spend a Saturday.

Road Trip Mini Edition


We’re heading out tomorrow on a mini adventure and this little girl is super excited. She’s become a road trip fan. McDonald’s stop for yogurt and juice, her Nabi and snacks are all she needs for hours of riding entertainment.

Hope you’ve got an awesome line up of weekend goodness ahead!


Today is my birthday, 41st to be exact, and it’s been fantastic!

It started with a day trip to Portland on Saturday for a visit to Powell’s bookstore, lunch at On the Border, and then quick hops to lots of good places like Cargo and Collage. We made a few more stops at K.Marie and Enchante in Milwaukie, Oregon and Candy Babel in Portland but I’m being lazy about linking. They are pretty awesome though. Collage and Cargo were my very favorites though with tons of stocking up on project life and art goodies.

kokeshi at cargo cargo birthday lunch OTB

Today was an early dismissal at work so Rolland and I could catch a movie without toddler. We saw Captain America: Winter Soldier and I loved it. I miss regular movie goings so we’ll have to work out some more lunch dates for attending. Movie and mall were great for an afternoon date. We picked up the toddler and headed for Uneeda Burger. Sooo yummy! If you’re in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle I highly recommend it. It was 77 degrees and sunny so we sat near the open garage door munching on fried cheese curds, burgers, and fries… not much more I could ask for and 41 has turned out to be lovely. Can’t wait to see what else the year has in store!

B&w family selfie

Mt Rainier

We took a a day trip out to Mt Rainier just to do some reconnaissance for future trips. It was a really lovely drive and the forest was beautiful. No rain and clear skies were amazing. Sophy loved it and wanted to make a snowman and kept yelling “snowman, snowman”. It was crazy cute. Slightly adventurous when visiting the restroom with a sign “flush bathrooms and facilities 3 miles”. I almost backed out but sucked it up and went in. Not too bad but next time, may drive the 3 miles!

We could only go about 6 miles in the park, chains were required to go any further, but definitely paid for the annual pass. I can only imagine how gorgeous it is in the late spring and late fall. Can’t wait to go back when well and plans for hikes.

Mt Rainier Entrance

Mt Rainier on the trail

Sophy and Daddy on bench

Sophy crouched in hat

Sophy in hat - troy radlab

trees with waterM

Side benefit, we found a Dicky’s BBQ on the way and had it for dinner. Insanely good, maybe even better than those in Texas, I’m thinking it’s the new comfort place when we get homesick. Yummy!

Sophy in Portland

We went to Portland a few weeks ago and it was freezing! It was the day after a snow/ice storm there and we weren’t really prepared for the frigid temps. We spent a decent amount of time in the car seeing some sites but got a few good Sophy shots in the hotel.

In case you wonder how we get her to smile sometimes, see flying elephant below!
elephant incoming Sophy running tree Sophy tree 3Sophy funny expressionAnd sometimes, she’s just over it.

Sophy grump face Sophy hat coat and boots

Seattle Visit Part 1

It’s been crazy busy at our house as we try and get everything in order for our big move. Luckily we aren’t moving ourselves! Just a little bit of packing on our part. I did find out that we have so much stuff it will take TWO days to pack and one to load. This is after we’ve done a major purge. Ugh.

Anyway, we left on Friday morning for Seattle with the kiddo. She hasn’t been on a plane since she was 5 months old with our trip to Vegas. She was a trooper. This one, she did pretty well. As long as she had her paci and Peppa Pig no problem. Although no electronics at take off and landing did not seem reasonable to the toddler. Also, this is the cleanest that lamb was for four days. By the time he made it home… ICK!

Sophy AirportLanding at SeaTac she was out. I would’ve been happy to hang out for a nap. Cleaning crew had other plans.

Sophy Mommy planeI have no idea why I can’t get this pic rotated but they are super cute. You can see she’s getting drowsy.

Sophy and DaddyWe stayed at a fantastic hotel in an amazing location Downtown. Starbuck’s was attached and we walked out the door with restaurants and a Whole Foods right there. Even fancy yoga and spabut I did not partake. Boo! Whole Foods was Sophy snack greatness. Will, our front desk check in guy, also gave her a super cute panda when checking in. Panda made several trips out with us and she enjoyed throwing him to throw ground to watch us pick him up. Dance monkeys, dance! Even the valet guys there are awesome. They were super speedy, loaded everything quickly and asked how it went after every outing. Some were better than others. :/

Hotel ViewView from our hotel room. Several buildings on the right are Amazon’s. Woo hoo!

Hotel LobbyCute toddler in the lobby. There are incredible statues in front of the Whole Foods that I LOVE. There are fabric versions of them in the hotel lobby. You can kind of see them behind her. I’m now hooked on most of his pieces. Greatness.

Near where we think we’ll be living, fingers crossed all the paperwork is good!, is Alki Beach. I’ve also referenced it as the “Sleepless in Seattle” beach. This has garnered some odd looks.  Apparently not everyone can remember every random scene from movies they watched years ago. Weirdos.

Alki Beach FerrySophy’s first beach and playing in the water! We bought sturdier shoes that didn’t leave her feet exposed later in the day. There may have been a tide/wet foot incident.

Mommy Sophy beach 2 (2)Tiny sliver of water view in the back. This was the best of the family photo choices. Kind of love her expression.

photoBeach Snuggles!

Mommy Sophy beach 2 (1)

Rental hunting was exhausting. I was kind of prepared for the increased cost of living but not the state of a lot of the places we saw. It was crazy how much people wanted in rent compared to the cleanliness of the house. Ugh. We got really lucky and found some place that was pretty roomy, relatively speaking, in a good neighborhood with kids, in the city and really reasonably priced. I’m hoping we get everything finalized this week. It will be a huge relief to get an actual address where we’ll be for at least a year. I admit to having already started house purchasing looky looing.

Next up is Gas Works park and I figure out how to post larger images.

Moving to the Emerald City!


I am super excited, we’re moving to Seattle!

I was offered a position at Amazon in the book division. Needless to say, that’s at the top of the dream job list and we just couldn’t turn it down. It’s a whirlwind in our house and we’re heading out today for a house and school hunting excursion.

I’m pretty nervous about finding a school for Sophy. Everything seems to have a wait list and/or not want kids until 2/2.5. We found one and if we like it, we may just pay the extortionist prices and get on some wait lists.

I am crazy excited about potential city leaving and all the outdoorsy opportunities. Parks, national parks, beaches, lakes, etc are all at the mercy of Sophy Huff and she will conquer them all! With Rolland carrying her in one of those backpack things for sure. The city isn’t ready for her on her own. Yet. Give her a few weeks!

More Seattle excitement when we return! Hopefully with house and school settled. Oy.

Guthrie was good to us

So this is basically a giant post of family shots from last weekend. I couldn’t resist the toddler cuteness.

Sophy in her new flight jacket Grandad bought for her. It’s Daddy’s new favorite. If he could put her in her Star Wars onesies and her jacket everyday I pretty sure he would.

A new Halloween outfit from Grandma. She can kind say “Grandma” now and it makes my heart melt. Aunt Jeni also got her a super cute outfit but it missed the pictures. There’s also a new baby, bear, baby sized wagon, and a couple of books. Nope, not spoiled at all.

Aunt Jeni watching her navigate the stairs. They were tall stairs and she made it. Mostly.

My Mom and I. We did not coordinate the pink on purpose but it’s a nice happy accident.

Baby snuggles. She wasn’t feeling like a photo shoot and became a little resistant. Daddy was quick and got a pretty good one.

How can you not love a toddler in pigtails with her monkey. So. Cute.

Stair climbing is hard work. A little sippy before she heads back to it.

Tasty goodness that is Cracker Barrel. This bib from Wal-Mart is fantastic. It has a little pocket at the bottom to catch everything. Greatness.

I said “No Pictures MOMMY!”.

Well maybe one more with scrunch face. No resisting this.

Daddy and Sophy out for a stroll. I know some people hate the “leashes” but she loves her Monkey and it makes me feel better that she can’t just dart out into the street. She pretty much refuses to hold your hand unless it’s at her request and then she prefers a parent on each side swinging her. So, Monkey is the winner with her feeling independent and Mommy not having a stroke. Mommy not having a stroke is a big win with Daddy.

“Hi, my name is Sophy Huff and I’m addicted to Peppa Pig. And pacis.” Although we’ve started hiding the pacifiers except at bedtime and she hasn’t noticed. She only demands monkey when we get in the care. I cave. I know.

Sophy with Grandma and Aunt Jeni. Such a great picture for a great weekend.

Vacation Dreams

The start of summer kicks of the new season of travel yearnings in the house. Rolland is always thrilled <insert sarcasm>. I start rattling off places I’d like to visit, shoot for the moon dreaming might even be a long sabbatical with living abroad potential. The list is mighty but it feels like the right time to write it down and start to make some progress. Put it out there and let if flourish. We have some realistic summer weekend trips planned which are fine with me as Sophy’s not ready for international travel. Yet. I’m mostly not ready for international tantrums. But soon, the baby passport will be in hand. In the mean time, dreaming it is….

Travel List
Butterfield & Robinson Trip
Easter Island


German Christmas Markets
Iceland’s Geothermal Pools

Italy – most everywhere in the country
Machu Pichu
Nepal Tea House Trek
New Zealand
Safari Trip

This is a pretty small list since I’d basically like to go everywhere! Ideally, I want to visit a lot of the major sites from the ancient world but given that most of the ancient world is now mostly in conflict countries it’s not happening soon.

In the meantime… road trip!