Saturday, December 19, 2015

Game Day!

After a great few days with Pat, it was time to say our goodbyes. We had one last breakfast together and then she headed home. Vince and I, however, had another full day in Seattle... and it was a game day for the Seahawks :D A few of his good friends drove over to meet us and the fun ensued...

We settled on FxMcRory's to watch the game

The boys carefully eyeing the drink options

A tense moment...

...and then it was time to celebrate!

Good times

We spent the better part of the evening in "celebration mode," and then it was time to find some food! It was a tough decision, but we eventually decided on some pizza...

Italian Family Pizza was a great choice; we had Hawks fans in the
room, a fun waiter, and the pizza was comparable to the pizza in Naples

Bellies full, the party was just about over- 
time to head to the hotel and get some sleep!

Our week in Washington had finally come to an end the next morning. Vince and I saw off his friends and headed to the airport for our trip home. It had been a fun and informative trip- complete with good food, family and friends :)

On To The Emerald City

Vince, Pat, and I were up bright and early the next day; we had real estate to check out! We had a quick breakfast at the hotel, packed our bags, and set out for our appointments. A new development in Poulsbo was our favorite option, but we'll see what happens- we have time ;)

We wrapped up our sightseeing and boarded the ferry to Seattle that afternoon. It was a gorgeous day on the water, so we had a pleasant ride. Our next stop was our hotel in Seattle, and then we Uber'd it to dinner at a place we were dying to try: Rione XIII for some Roman fare...

The cozy interior

Excellent options- it was hard to choose what to order!


Gnocchi alla Romana...

...and oxtails with creamy polenta- YUM

Our dinner was fantastic; it was the perfect ending to a productive day of idea-gathering. We're still not positive where we'll end up, but at least we have some good ideas of where we'd like to be :)

Exploring Kitsap County

After our lovely Thanksgiving(s), it was time to hit the road. Vince, Pat, and I were off to Kitsap County the next day to check out the area for potential places to live... Alaska is awesome, but our plan is to move closer to family sometime next year ;)

Port Orchard was our first stop

Next was Poulsbo

Poulsbo was our favorite of the 3 places we looked at; 
we spent most of the day checking out the downtown area

From there, we went to Silverdale, checked in to our
hotel for the night, and went to dinner at Silver City Brewing

It was fun trying some new craft brews...

...and the fresh salmon was good as well

There was live music back at the hotel, so we checked
it out, made our plans for the next day, and drifted off to sleep :)

Thanksgiving x2

Our big Thanksgiving meal with Vince's extended family was great, but we wanted to have a smaller Turkey Day with just us and his parents as well- not to mention we still had a hankering for smoked turkey and I had some new Thanksgiving recipes that I wanted to try! We woke up the next day and went back to the kitchen...

Vince preparing the bird

Extra drumsticks- YES!

Vince spent all day tending the smoker and the results were fabulous

Caveman lollipops ;)

Homemade stuffing

Corn, cream cheese mashed potatoes, and the stuffing

Brussels Sprouts with bacon

Cranberry sauce

No desserts for us, but that was perfectly fine; our dinner was quite a treat in and of itself! We played cards after dinner and enjoyed some Christmas tunes in the background. It was a great Thanksgiving and one I'm definitely thankful for :)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Time For Thanks

After our mellow R&R in October, Vince and I were rested and ready to travel for one of our favorite holidays: Thanksgiving

Getting ready to leave the snow!

We made it to Palisades and Vince went straight to the grill...

...the dogs didn't mind! V's beer-can chicken was
awesome and they were on high-alert for scraps :P

We had a couple days to relax and make our usual day-trip to Leavenworth, but then it was time to get to work. We were invited to Vince's aunt's house for a big family Thanksgiving and we had some assigments! I volunteered to make mashed potatoes (for 36) and pumpkin cheesecake

Thankfully, Vince & his mom were great sous-chefs. This was
our potato-peeling station; tequila and good company made it fun!

One big pot of peeled & diced potatoes ready to boil

I got the taters finished and the cheesecake in the fridge. We had just enough time for a game of cards, and then it was time for bed.

We arrived at Vince's aunt's house the next day ready to mingle

The 5 (?) giant tables say it all! It was the biggest Thanksgiving
gathering I've ever been to, but it was very well-organized and a lot of fun

The kitchen in its early stages...

Our big Thanksgiving was a success: everyone liked the potatoes and the cheesecake I made (yay!), I met a lot of my new in-laws, Vince & I had fun hanging with the kids, and we left with our bellies full and only 2 dishes to wash :D

Practice Makes Perfect

Vince and I had relatively quiet time off work in October- a nice change of pace for a few weeks! It was nice to get caught up with friends and to spend time in my kitchen again :) I've got a few of the things we learned in Italy down-pat...

Saltimbocca assembly

Sauteed shrimp in fresh tomato sauce


This is not Italian food, but the start of some great
caribou summer sausage that Vince helped me make- yum

A picture we took at Kincaid Park on one of the last snow-less
days in town. A chill was definitely in the air... "Winter's Coming"

On The Hunt 2015

With our Italian adventure and fishing season behind us, it was time for Vince and I to get ready for our first hunting trip together. We spent the first part of the year gearing-up (the living room in our condo still looks like REI layaway!) and it was high-time to get out shooting!

Our setup at Rabbit Creek shooting range

I felt pretty good about these two!

The day finally came to set out on our hunting adventure. I was lucky enough to draw a Dall Sheep tag, so that was our priority. Vince had a caribou tag to work on as well. We packed up the Black Betty (my CX-5) and headed toward Delta Junction. Our good friend Vern was kind enough to let us stay at his place as muster point ;)

My permit area

The seasoned hunter Vern helping us with our game plan

We could see sheep up there!

Now that we had an idea of where the sheep were,
it was time to figure out the best way to get to them...

Heavy rains had flooded the creek beds that we'd hoped to use :/

BUT, we eventually fought our way through the alders
and made our first campsite before the weather turned

Vince watching the sheep

Time to head to the tent; a storm was brewing!

Clouds, rain, and wind had us "tent grounded"

We spent the next several days looking for a better access point to the sheep, but the weather was definitely not on our side and our time was running out. Frustrated, we decided to go after a caribou...

Caribou shed- we knew they were around somewhere!

Our patience, scouting, and walking was rewarded in a few days :)

We cleaned-up our prize, retrieved the rest of our gear from Vern, thanked him, and were on our way home...We were definitely looking forward to a hot shower and a comfortable bed, but it was awesome to get out of town, get some fresh air, and work together toward some common goals.

Freezer is looking good; can't wait 'till next season ;)