Weekend Recap {Oceanside Getaway}

My girlfriends and I escaped the bustle of the city for a little piece of heaven this weekend. Emily’s co-worker rents out this little Oceanside sanctuary, about 9 miles from Tillamook, Oregon, and was gracious enough to let us borrow it for the weekend. The place was seriously stunning. In fact, I wanted to just pick it up and plop it right in the city and call it home. We immediately settled in, aka, popped open a bottle of wine.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and haven’t been feeling quite like myself. A getaway to a secluded, beautiful and reception-free cabin with my best girlfriends and all the wine available at the Tillamook grocery store was just what the doctor ordered. Below are some pictures of the house itself. I’ll share more pics from the trip later this week. I went a little trigger-happy!

Seriously, this tub.

 

I attempted to help build the fire but you see that little piece of wood in the corner…that’s what I handed Catherine to start to fire. She had me go open the wine. 

Oh, and we had these little monsters with us. I can’t even describe how happy they made me. Puppy fever – high alert. More puppy cuteness to come.

The Magic of Harry Potter World

Okay, confession time. I’m a bit of a nerd. And by the title of this post you can probably guess that I love Harry Potter. Yes, I’m the girl who wishes magic was real. Judge away.

My sister and I checked off something on our bucket list last month and ventured to the sunny and muggy state of Florida to witness the majesty of Harry Potter World itself. I’ll let the pictures tell the story but let’s just say that you will feel it’s as magical as you think and butter beer really does taste as good as you imagined it would.

P.S. Sorry for the ridiculous number of photos. I just wanted to give you the full experience ;).

Three Broomsticks Pub and the entrance of Hogsmeade VillageArrived as soon as the doors opened!

Flirting with the conductor of Hogwarts Express. Obviously.

Forced on the Dragon Challenge roller coaster. If you plan to ride this, the red one is way more rad. It had the spins and almost vomited on the British man next to me. 

Inside Dumbledore’s Office

Only thing that would’ve made Butterbeer better would have been a shot of rum.

Obviously a Hufflepuff but a wannabe Ravenclaw.

Why Hello Fall. You’re my favorite

Hi friends! I apologize for the radio silence over here. I’ve been attempting to soak up every gorgeous minute of summer here in Portland. It has truly been a breathtaking season and I’m a little sad to see it go. However, I must admit, Fall is my favorite. Shh…don’t tell the other seasons. What is it about the crisp air, the changing colors of the leaves, oversized sweaters and pumpkin patches? Pure bliss, I tell ya!

Life has proven to be unpredictable lately and while change isn’t always an easy adjustment, I’ve been making the best of each new adventure. My new motto is “go confidently in the direction of your dreams!” It has served me well. And if our dreams don’t scare us we’re not dreaming big enough, right? Lucky for me, I’m taking a break from all the chaos to enjoy a few quiet days in Orlando with my baby sister for a much belated graduation trip. We are going to Harry Potter World. Enough said. We will be cataloging all our adventures via Instagram. You can find me at @amandaip.

I’ll be back at it soon, I promise. What have you been up to? What’s your favorite fall time activity? I have get a list going soon!

20120922-155228.jpg

20120922-155247.jpg

20120922-155150.jpg

20120922-155133.jpg

20120922-155143.jpg

20120922-155201.jpg

Weekend Recap {Graduation in Arizona}

It was quite the nostalgic experience when my parents and I flew over to Arizona to attend my baby sister’s graduation. I have to say, telling people that it has been three years since I walked across the stage to receive my diploma from the University of Oregon was a hard reality to swallow. But the weekend reminded me of how far I’ve come since I switched my tassel from right to left. But it also made me realize that very little about my life has turned out the way I planned. And while Type A, control freak inside of me is sitting here tweaking out about it, I’m happy. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all strive for?

So to all the graduates out there this year…remember that this is just the beginning. The beginning of a life full of unplanned adventures, mistakes, challenges and lessons. It is also the beginning of a life you can create to be whatever you want it to be. Congrats baby sister!! I am so incredibly proud of you.

And what kind of post would this be without pictures? Here are a few photos from our weekend!

Spring Hikes

One of the best things about living in Oregon is our access to gorgeous hikes less than an hour from the city. The past few weekends have been absolutely gorgeous. When the weather gets nice in this city, you can pretty much guarantee that everyone takes advantage of the fleeting sunshine and goes to enjoy the outdoors.

Hiking in the Columbia River Gorge is probably one of the most popular activities on a sunny day. My girlfriends and I went on one of the Gorge’s most popular hikes up to Angel’s Rest. The 5-mile loop was a relatively easy hike with a steady incline up 2,000 feet. The hike offered a terrific conversation trail and with the views from the top, it is no wonder why this hike is so popular among locals and visitors alike. Overlooking miles of the Columbia River, the peak is quite spacious and accommodating for many groups to catch their breath and enjoy the scenery.

We had a little extra time last week to take a short hike and so we ventured over to Mcleary Park and hiked all the way up to Pittock Mansion for a glance of our gorgeous city.   Albeit a bit muddy and a little busy, the trail was filled with friendly hikers and the cutest dogs one could hope to see!

Tulip Festival

When spring comes, so do the tulips and in Oregon, that means only one thing…the Tulip Festival! Arielle and I strapped on a pair of rain boots, grabbed our cameras and ventured out to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm to see her favorite flower in full bloom! The festival begins in late March and lasts until early May but with the rainy, cold spring we’ve had the tulips are just beginning to open up! Usually the festival is packed with spectators but because of a little overcast, we beat the crowds and proceeded to get snap happy! These pictures really don’t do justice to the breathtaking beauty of endless rows of tulips so I highly recommend you check it out for yourself if you are ever in the area!! Oh, and be sure to go over to Arielle’s blog to check out her gorgeous photog skills!

Arizona

Oh, how much I wish I was back basking in the 80 degree weather. We didn’t do much more than lounge around in the sun, although I have a pathetic excuse of a tan to show for it. It must have been my paranoid attempts to not get sunburned. Okay, and we shopped. A lot. I made dinner one night for the kids – I turn into such a mama bear when I’m around my sister’s friends. And no one got food poisoning! See Mom, I’m getting better :). We dined at a few new spots (to me) like here and here. And went to some favorites like here. Twice. And we fit in a couple more things that have little pictures attach to it. See below. Thanks to my sissy and her bestie for hosting me. Next time I go to Arizona it’ll be the wee one’s graduation! Oh, how the time flies. I can’t believe I have a baby sister old enough to be done with college. I guess that means I must accept the fact that I may be becoming officially…old.

We went on a short hike. The dog got tired so we had to turn around. Okay, fine. It was me.

We dined at our traditional brunch spot. Yes, I have traditions in my little desert haven! I had the best eggs benedict. Ever. Al had french toast. Also the best. Ever.

And we put on our cute new dresses (me in a skirt) and went for a windy walk. I had one too many Marilyn moments including one incident where my hat flew into the street into oncoming traffic. Naturally, I yelled for my sister to go grab it.

We got cupcakes at this heavenly place. Try the cotton candy if you ever go. I’m not joking. It isn’t just for 5-year-olds.

Oh, and I took a ridiculous number of pictures of my little nephew. I’m not a little dog person but how can you not love this face?!!

Thanks again for having me sissy!!