A Weekend in Seattle

As I’ve divulged before, I love surprises.  And fortunately enough for me, Aaron loves to dole them out (when he can keep it secret long enough to actually surprise me).  He particularly loves to plan surprise trips.  So this year, for my birthday, he packed us into the car and just started driving north.  And for me the destination was a mystery.

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Miami – The Expense-free Redux

About a year after we vacationed in Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach, Florida, we had an opportunity to return through a last-minute vacancy in a business-organized trip.  Aaron’s company offered him the suddenly open spot, and much like the last time we were offered a free trip, we jumped on it!

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Of course our agenda was much different, given we weren’t really planning this trip, but it was still just as fun as the previous.  And the obligatory seminar was worth getting the airfare and per diem on someone else’s dime.

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Newport Oregon: A Coastal Gem

Oregon has some magnificent coastal areas that are more than just beaches. Several rock formations create some very unique landscapes that you cannot find anywhere else. Last weekend we enjoyed our time with family, an accommodation with a view, and some delicious seafood during our stay. The weather felt like it was summer even though it was early November.

Beach near Newport Oregon

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Photostory: Seagull Attack at Kyrping | LotsaSmiles Photography

We’re taking a small break this week, as we were crazy busy preparing for and running our home anime convention, Kumoricon (did you know we’re in charge of the convention’s official video and photography?).  That’s one event we’ll both actually miss considerably next year.  I’ve always said I wouldn’t miss Kumoricon for the world… but that’s precisely what we’ll be doing!

Anyway, we’ll be back next week with some more Florida stories, but in the meantime, enjoy this fun photostory from one of our campgrounds in Norway, Kyrping!


We saw plenty of fauna in Norway (though certainly not as much as in Costa Rica).  And while the species didn’t really surprise us, their behaviors did.  We passed lounging yaks, curious goats, and baying sheep (were we in Norway or Scotland?).  And I was attacked by a seagull.

A seagull attacking another on a rocky island in Kyrping, Norway | LotsaSmiles Photography

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Florida: Our Journey to Key West

Throwback Thursday: May 2011

As a traveler, I’ve always loved going on road trips. There are times where it makes sense and other times when it doesn’t. This was one of those times where it didn’t make sense, at least not the way I did it. Oh, I have learned from my mistakes, but I decided anyway to drive from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and back in one day. This is about a 4 hour drive each way, and the way back was not forgiving. But I still had an amazing time that I will never forget.

key West Florida Marina

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Miami: A Ten-Year Celebration

Aaron and I have been traveling together for years.  We kept it local while funds were tight, but as we grew our savings, we were able to venture farther afield.  Ten years into our relationship, we wanted to celebrate with something special, so we flew the farthest we had been to-date: to tropical Miami, Florida.  (We hadn’t yet gone international; that wouldn’t come until our trip to Japan four years later.  And fun fact: Miami is actually 200 miles farther from Portland than Hawaii, where we honeymooned.)  It was one of our earliest major trips, and it only helped solidify our love of travel.  We tend to vacation hard, and this was no exception.

© Brianna Shade 2011

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Norway: How we Traveled on a Budget in an Expensive Country

Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Food, lodging and transportation costs can really add up. Despite these high costs, we were able to do this trip on a budget without sacrificing experiences. We even got by without handling any Norwegian cash until we found some while cleaning out the rental car. Here are our actual expenses from our trip to Norway.

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Driving Norway

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We Learned How to Drink Like a Russian

Life is full of all sorts of fun experiences, most of which, you never plan for.  In fact, it is the unexpected moments that make the best memories – the ones that stick with you throughout the years and make you smile when everything else dissolves into nostalgia.

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We had one such evening, quite by happenstance.  We had the pleasant fortune to learn what it really means to drink like a Russian.

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Norway Waterfalls

Norway: Raging Waterfalls

Since we are from Oregon, it takes A LOT to impress us when it comes to waterfalls. We have them everywhere. However in Norway, they are not only everywhere, you can see many at the same time! The volume of water coming off of the glaciers is so intense that you feel more alive as the water rushes down the mountain. Here are a few of our favorites.

 

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Snowy Lake in Norway

Norway: Glaciers and Snowy Landscapes

After packing for colder weather, we found a Norway that was unseasonably warm in May. So to get somewhere cold we had to go up in altitude and latitude. We couldn’t believe the views we saw and had to keep stopping to get more pictures as we went. When we thought we saw the most beautiful place possible, something better was just around the corner. Norway will always have a special place in our hearts, and this is why.

Pristine Norway

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