Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pitch a Tent!

Summer in Seattle means time-to-go-camping! Last year we only got out twice, but both times were awesome.

The first camping trip we did in July. Dayne and I headed out to Lake Quinault and the Willaby Campground. Neither of us had been before and it ended up being a great choice, we just loved it out there! The campground is so green and lush and right on the lake. We found the best site, down a set of steps and completely private from the other campsites, but the whole campground seemed very nice.

The area has lots of hiking option ranging in difficulty and distance. The trails go through amazing forests of huge, old growth trees, as well as next to the lake shore, over waterfalls and past the Lake Quinault Lodge. You can see the largest spruce on one trail, and the largest cedar on another. It's all really beautiful.

After a morning of hiking, we inflated the raft and went for a float on the pretty and serene lake in the afternoon. We saw others fishing, paddle boarding and boating.

Our second trip last summer was back out towards Salmon la Sac for a group camping weekend. This time Jen and I weren't as lucky and all the sites were booked by the time we arrived. We scrambled around with Gary and Elisabeth and finally crossed the river and grabbed an unofficial site. It ended up being great because 1) there was a fire ban and you just can't sneak a tiny fire while in a regulated site and 2) it was during the Perseid meteor shower and without lights or neighboring campfires we could see an amazing site!

The weather that weekend was so hot that we all took our rafts to Lake Cle Elum and spent the entire day floating and swimming in the lake. I can't remember the last time I swam, not just waded around, in a lake and it was awesome. We all felt like kids again!

Next weekend will be our first camping trip of the season, bring on the s'mores!

Lake Quinault camping photos here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sizzling Sin City!

You know the old saying "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas", but I think now a days, people should consider that with everyone equipped with smart phones and internet access, the saying should be "What happens in Vegas, stays on Facebook".

Case in point; Rachel, Ally and I headed down to sin city to see his purple greatness aka Prince about a month ago. We landed late morning, our town-car driver waiting to take our bags to the car, and were whisked off to the Wynn Encore, our preferred hotel choice as it is small, upscale and free of children. A quick check in (both to the hotel and on Facebook) and we were changed into our suits and sitting down to a delicious and wine-fueled lunch.
A little drinking in the pool, a little hot-tubbing (no time machine!), and some pool side gambling makes me a very happy girl. As the afternoon ended, we headed upstairs where we had champagne chilling on ice, and had a little Prince dance party in our beautiful room.
That night we headed to RM Seafood for dinner. I'm not in the habit of bashing businesses online so I'll just say that I don't recommend it and leave it at that. Afterward we swung over to check out the new and very hyped Cosmopolitan, we all thought it was overhyped and not all that great, but Rachel did win big so at least the cab ride was covered ;)
The next day we decided to go to the Encore Beach Club for Will.I.Am's show. Some Boston guys, on a bachelor party, had rented a cabana for $10k and had invited us to join. We really had no idea what to expect, which was evident by the fact that we sauntered to the front of a 2 hour queue and griped about having to wait for 20 minutes to be let in. We walked into a total rave, happening in broad daylight. It was absolute madness. The lifeguards were in the pool, making sure people didn't get too friendly, if you know what I mean. Boys and girls behaving badly and it wasn't even 1pm. And amateurs drinking too much, leading to situations like this...
If you are wondering if that is any of us, you don't know me or my friends very well. We would never touch our knees to a public bathroom floor!

We stayed till the end of the show, both Will.I.Am and the crazy people watching, each entertaining in their own right, before leaving the madness to escape to the spa for a soak and a massage. Two worlds were never so different.
That night we had a lovely meal at the ever reliable, ever delicious, Bouchon. It's a bit of a tradition for us to eat there, one I am happy to continue! Then we were off to the Hard Rock Hotel's Joint for Prince. It was an amazing show! He sang new stuff and old stuff, he played guitar, he played piano, he was awesome.
A bit of gambling till the wee hours, room service breakfast the next day, and a full afternoon by the pool before an early evening flight home, made for a really great girl's weekend. And a lot of good Facebook posts!
Vegas snaps