Just like Seattle, I hadn't been back to Portland since becoming an American so it was time for another quick visit. We still had to drive all the way home (Portland to Bay Area in one day = not recommended) so we only had a few hours. First stop was Voodoo Doughnuts where I got an Old Dirty Bastard and Maple Bacon- too much sugar first thing the in the AM so wasn't able to finish them unfortunately. Then we walked our sugar coma off a little bit along the water before heading up towards Powell books (amazing as always) and a quick stop in Deschutes brewery <-- very necessary for the 10 hour drive we had coming up as I wanted to sleep as much as possible. I love Portland so while it was a good visit, it was much too short- wish we could have stayed longer.


I decided to drive back to California from Canada with my parents (road trip!) in order to cross off two more states on the list. While I had been to Washington and Oregon before, I had never been as a full on 'Merican so I needed a redo. We quickly made it to Seattle where we stopped at Gas Works Park for a cool view from the water and then headed to Kerry Park which had a spectacular view of the city and Mount Baker. Since we were only in Seattle for a few hours, I wanted to get the full tourist experience so we headed down to Pike Place Market for a late lunch- unfortunately it was fairly quiet (and most restaurants were closed) since it was New Years Day so I definitely need to come back. Beautiful afternoon in Seattle and next up was Portland!

Christmas in the homeland

Christmas 2014 was one of the best ever! My family and I headed back up to Canada and spent an amazing week with family and friends. We started by first visiting with my mom's side of the family for a super-sized Christmas with all the aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents under one roof- 13 foot tall Christmas tree, hours worth of opening presents and a beyond excited six year old made for a perfect Christmas morning. On Boxing Day, we loaded up the car and headed over to Vancouver Island to visit with my dad's side of the family- and met my cousin's super cute baby! After a few days on the island, we headed back to Vancouver to visit with friends then headed up to Whistler to get some snowboarding in before heading home. Epic Christmas- 2015 has a lot to live up to.

Old Town Alexandria Virginia

Considering I was there last September, this post is way overdue! To catch up, I'm going to keep things quick from now on- pictures over words (and you can always follow along on Instagram which I'm always updating). Anyways, I'm going to count Virginia on my list of states visited however I didn't really do a whole lot of exploring beyond Old Town so I definitely need to go back. I stayed at a great Airbnb spot right in the heart of Old Town and it was fun wandering down the old brick sidewalks and checking out the architecture (and fun colors!) as I made my way to the train to take me to DC. The food was also fantastic- the most memorable being dinner at Vermilion- everything was delicious!