From Here to There & a Shop Announcement

This year, Scott and I are bumping up our annual wedding anniversary take-a-trip tradition to August. We’ll have been married for four years this November 8th, and in years past, we’ve always enjoyed a week long getaway to discover someplace new (we know we won’t live in Chicago forever, and we think of each city as a test drive), try new foods, see new things and revel in the company of each other. (The last one sounds naughtier than I meant.)

For the first time since we’ve started this tradition, we’re leaving tomorrow – rather than our usual November date. With the holidays in full swing by then, the Pet Shop is at its busiest, making it a no-brainer to take the trip a few months earlier. You know, before things get ca-razy. And when we made this decision, it was before we knew we’d be spending 4 days at the Lake House and a whirlwind trip in Paris. Ah, well – it’s been a busy few months, and aside from a few whoa, are we nuts?! moments, it’s been very, very thrilling.

We’ll be heading to Vancouver, BC for a handful of days, working our way down to Seattle and then ending our travels in Portland. If you live in any of these cities (or just really love ’em!), we would love any and all recommendations! Where should we eat? What should we see? As type-A as we (read: I) can be, when it comes to our anniversary getaways, we’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants pair. (We just want to have fun!) And while we’re pumped about each of the destination cities, we’re just as excited by our mode of transportation between each stop – the Amtrak Cascades! (That is, not counting our flight in to Vancouver and out of Portland.)

Of course we debated saying our whereabouts on this public platform, but we quickly realized that this virtual home and my days painting coincide so heavily with our overall life. As a result, it was a fair opportunity to let you know that we’ll be putting the Pet Shop on complete vacation mode until we return.* (Our home will also be amply booby-trapped for any unwanted trespassers. Seriously.) While I felt a little funny about putting such a large part of my life on hold for the trip duration, I realized a few things:

  • Everyone needs time to breathe and recharge.
  • It’s important that I focus the upcoming days on me + Scott, together. When one anniversary ends, we immediately start saving and planning for the next year – and it’s so worth it to have that adventurous time with each other.

During our travels, we’ll be dropping in every few days with a photo journal of sorts, just as I did when I spent my sweet week with Kalli in February. For the most part, there’ll be no words (because goodness knows, I thought this post was just going to be a “little” announcement, and look at me go!), only snaps from our point of view.

Upon our return, we plan to hit the ground running, both virtually (around these parts) and literally. We’ve mentioned in the past that we want to work on a little bloggy shake up – as we’ve grown over the years, a fresher, updated look and content review is certainly in order – and in addition, I’m excited to start working on new products for the Shop. A few of our must dos quickly turned into will dos… for later, as our August has somehow turned into a travel marathon. By no means are we complaining (quite the opposite, really), but between our time at the lake, quick jaunt to Paris and now our anniversary celebration, well, we really packed that sheep in.

Come September, we have boatloads of ideas we’ll be working on behind the scenes (again, see above), but we’re also looking forward to tweaking the rest of our living room, welcoming cooler weather and getting a head start on our cider intake. We couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming months!

Have a happy weekend, and we look forward to sharing our trip with you as it unfolds for us!

* Orders placed today will still be processed as usual!

PS: See our one year anniversary in Nashville, two year along the California coast and three year in Grand Rapids.

PPS: Amtrak photo via.

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  • Jess8.24.12 - 6:14 AM

    I loved visiting Vancouver, BC and my only recommendation is you MUST rent bikes (or a tandem like we did…for a bit of a giggle) and bike around Stanley Park. I think the ride was about 12 miles, easy and with the most beautiful view (right on the water).

    I lived in Portland for several years. There are so many great places to eat so it just depends on what type of food you’d like to try. Screen Door has delicious southern food, I love Jade for a quick/flavorful lunch but it’s in Sellwood so not in the most central location, and you’ll have to get yourself some Stumptown coffee while you’re at it.

    Have a great time! You are headed to 3 of my favorite cities around!ReplyCancel

  • Jane @ The Borrowed Abode8.24.12 - 7:11 AM

    Ooh, I hope you guys have a fabulous anniversary trip. That’s one of my favorite destinations. If you’re into raw oysters, Elliot’s Oyster House is right on the water with outdoor seating. I haven’t been in a few years, but they had an amazing oyster happy hour where oysters were 50 cents and the price increased by 25 cents every 30 minutes starting at 3:30. That, coupled with great prices on wine, made for several blissful afternoons for me. :)

    There are so many amazing espresso bars in Seattle. . . Espresso Vivace was one of the best.

    The neighborhood of Queen Anne is interesting and artsy, although I think it’s under appreciated by tourists. Anyway, have a blast!!!ReplyCancel

  • erica8.24.12 - 7:22 AM

    i visited portland for the first time in april and think you guys would really love exploring the house of vintage. it’s this insanely, doesn’t look this big from the outside, vintage/antique store that can be over whelming but oh so fun! and eat from as many food carts as you can because they are that good. the saturday morning market in old town is pretty fun too.ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia]8.24.12 - 8:12 AM

    Um. WE’LL be married 4 years on November 8th! Are you feelin’ this? Nuts. Have a blast you two lovebirds!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.24.12 - 8:41 AM

      Thank you for the tips! As if we weren’t excited enough!

      Julia, that’s awesome. What a small (bloggy) world!ReplyCancel

  • Have an awesome trip! I can’t wait to see the images!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie8.24.12 - 9:30 AM

    Portland is so, so, so, so, so, so amazing! I would suggest checking out the food cart pod on Mississippi in North Portland. There is a great breakfast cart called “The Amazing Egg” or “The Incredible Egg” or something like that – soooo yummy! The whole North Portland area is great. Oh, and for a great view of Portland, go to the Pittock Mansion and have a picnic lunch on the lawn. Don’t bother paying to go inside – it’s not that exciting. :) Have fun! Can’t wait to see your pics!ReplyCancel

  • Amy8.24.12 - 9:47 AM

    Seattle… The Pink Door. It’s in an alley down by Pike’s Place Market, and for fine dining, it’s reasonable (and they have a small burlesque-like show thrown in there. Not burlesque really but a woman in a 1920s-era leotard who does a rope routine for 5 minutes). For sushi, Umi Sake House on 1st Ave N. Delicious, creative flavor combinations, just amazing. Recommend reservations at both. And if you’re there on a Sunday, it’s a fun bus ride up to Ballard Farmer’s Market (I know, why go to another farmer’s market when you’re near Pike Place? But it’s a fun trip). While you’re up there, you can check out the Ballard locks where boats transition from lake to sea.
    For drinks… Tavern Law
    Oh, and most importantly, skip the Space Needle (and the line) and head to Columbia Tower (Seattle’s tallest building) for the best (and cheapest) view. It looks closed on weekends but it’s not, you just have to find the correct entrance (east side of bldg I think).ReplyCancel

  • Amy8.24.12 - 11:12 AM

    Forgot something… if you like mac & cheese, this place is in Pike Place Market.
    It’s the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had.ReplyCancel

  • casacaudill8.24.12 - 11:15 AM

    You’re hitting up some of my favorite places on this trip so I’m so excited for you.

    In Vancouver …
    Take a little water taxi over to Granville Market, buy some lunch, and picnic overlooking the city. Rent bikes and ride around Stanley Park. Be sure to check out the totems. Watch sunset from English Bay.

    In Seattle …
    Take an Argosy cruise of the locks out to Elliott Bay. Eat dinner at Matt’s in the Market. Grab a sandwich and a table at Salumi. Do the Seattle Underground tour from Pioneer Square. Watch the salmon ladder in Ballard. Go shopping at Pike Place Market for fresh fruit.

    In Portland …
    Eat at a food cart. My favorite was in the Pearl District called The People’s Pig. So much porchetta goodness. Get a coffee (or three) from Stumptown. Wander Powell’s Books. Rent a car and drive the Columbia Gorge to Multnomah Falls.

    So many wonderful places to see in these towns. I love them so much, in fact, that I’m trying to convince my husband that we need to move to PDX or Seattle in the next couple of years.

    Have fun!ReplyCancel

  • casacaudill8.24.12 - 11:18 AM

    Oh, more things I forgot.

    In Seattle …
    Oyster happy hour at Elliott’s. Get a seat on the patio and watch the ferries come and go. So much fun! The Pink Door is also a great little hole in the wall Italian restaurant. The night we went there was a jazz trio. The ambiance was so fun.

    In Portland …
    If you like beer, plan to eat/drink at Deschutes in the Pearl District. You can probably skip Rogue. We liked Deschutes much better for ambiance, food, and service.ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.24.12 - 11:22 AM

      You guys are awesome! We will definitely hit up as many of your recommendations as possible! So pumped.

      Amy, mac and cheese? It’s my favorite. We are so there!ReplyCancel

  • Deanna8.24.12 - 11:25 AM

    In Portland, I highly recommend Tasty ‘n’ Sons for either brunch or dinner. Their pasta carbonara is to die for. It can be a long wait, but you can leave your phone number and they’ll call you when your table is ready. Then you can wander down the street to the little shops or stop for coffee or a beer at one of the other restaurants on the block. Another favorite is Lovely’s 50/50 on N. Mississippi. Delicious pizza and even better ice cream! Lots of other great places to eat on N. Mississippi too! Enjoy your stay! I love it here!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa8.24.12 - 11:57 AM

    I just moved to Portland in June! I’m a vegetarian, so I’ve been hitting up the following: DC Vegetarian food cart, Portobello, Sizzle Pie, Oasis (best pizza!), more food trucks, Herbivore Clothing, Sweet Pea Bakery, etc. I haved loved the hiking as well! Any of the falls in the gorge, Mt. Hood, etc. enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • Katie K8.24.12 - 12:02 PM

    Uhm I live in Seattle and LOVE it. I also love your blog so here goes…

    Agua Verde Cafe and Paddle Club ( They are a great Mexican Place that also has a kayak rental in the back. You can Kayak around and look at all the house boats and then enjoy the afternoon with a margarita.

    Salumi – Mario Batali’s father owns this place and it is great, but their hours are crazy! (

    Tom Douglas Owns this town, he has about a dozen restaurants now. Try Etta’s Crabby Happy Hour. You can get a whole crab for 20 bucks! Also it is right next to Pike Place Market. So you can explore there as well.

    If you are here on a Sunday check out the Fremont Outdoor Market. Lots of random treasures and the Fremont troll is only a couple blocks away.

    As for Portland…

    Powells, books and books and books.

    McMenamins Pubs are all around the city and well worth going to. I love their Edgefield Property. Playing pool in the basement pub is always great fun.

    Other Brewery’s to try: BridgePort, Rogue, Deschutes Brewery, Full Sail…

    And just riding around on the MAX is fun too! Or renting Bikes and pedaling. :)

    Vancouver: Guu has AMAZING food.

    Japadog. Home of the Vancouver hotdog:

    Ok back to work!

    Enjoy your vacation!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.24.12 - 12:11 PM

      You guys are the absolute best! We cannot thank you enough for the detailed tips! Keep ’em coming! :)ReplyCancel

  • kelsie8.24.12 - 12:43 PM

    I just moved to Seattle in April, but some of my favorite places are Bitterroot for BBQ in Ballard. That was a lot of B’s. It’s tiny, a capacity of 75, I think, and the decor is something I think you’d enjoy. Plus, bourbon!!
    Love El Chupacabra for Mexican with a punk rock vibe, and the one in Alki has pretty great views of the Sound from the front patio.
    I third the Pink Door! Haven’t been, but it’s definitely on my list of places to go!
    Kerry Park in Queen Anne has an amazing view of the city + mt rainier, especially great at the Golden Hour.ReplyCancel

  • Scott8.24.12 - 1:05 PM

    After a crazy week at work and sitting down to check comments over lunch, the reality of this trip has finally set in. Everyone’s suggestions are sounding fantastic! You guys are the best!ReplyCancel

  • Ana Herda8.24.12 - 1:16 PM

    Check out Gastown in Vancouver.

    Seattle- If you’ve never been go to the Pike Place Market. I hear the new Ferris Wheel down by the water is finished, check that out. Someone mentioned the Pink Door, it’s a good place. The needle is so overpriced and kind of underwhelming but I understand the urge to want to do it. Skip the aquarium too, it sucks.

    In West Seattle It would be a sin if you didn’t get cupcakes at Cupcake Royale, while you’re there go across the street to Easy Street for one of the country’s best (and last remaining) record store.

    West Seattle also has Luna Park cafe a great diner and Buddha Ruska, if you go there definitely get the crispy basil chicken.

    Fremont is a lot of fun, cute shops and be sure to check out the troll!ReplyCancel

  • Jodi8.24.12 - 1:20 PM

    yay! what a fantastic trip! my husband and i did the portland/seattle thing for our 10th anniversary. it was super fun.

    i highly recommend pedal bike tours in portland. the photobooth at the ace (if you aren’t staying there already), crepes at le happy, cargo (shop) in the pearl district and the rose test garden.

    seattle picks: delancey for pizza, the public market, the main library and sitting by the water in gas works park.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah8.24.12 - 3:51 PM

    I did a savor seattle food tour of pike place market in seattle when I was there the last few weekends and it was the highlight of my trip! Highly reccommend! A great way to see the market! Have fun!ReplyCancel

  • Erin8.24.12 - 3:54 PM

    We used to live in Vancouver and LOVED it!
    Activities -hike grouse grind is just north of downtown, you hike up and take a gondola down (required). Beautiful views.
    Bike ride around Stanley park is great add the sea wall as well.
    Check out kits beach, Jericho beach, and Spanish banks ( easy ride with bikes). You can rent paddle boards or kayaks at Jericho beach
    Local public eatery across from kits beach has a patio and great food. Watermark restaurant is on kits beach -overpriced but worth a stop for a drink.
    Vij’s great Indian food
    Naam amazing vegetarian fare open 24 hours
    Best bubble tea… Dragon Ball Teahouse ( corner of King Edward and Oak St -cash only)
    Granville island – good shopping and breweries -I believe you can take the water taxi from downtown
    Chocolate Arts has amazing chocolate and it’s near Granville Island now I believe
    There are lots of trails near the beaches I mentioned and the University of British Columbia campus -called the endowment lands
    Bad weather try the university’s museum of anthropology
    Best coffee – 49 th parallel located on 4 th ave in the kitsilano neighborhood (great boutiques too on that stretch)
    Dim sum at Kirin ( a few locations 12 th and cambie or downtown on Alberni is great
    If you can swing the price a train ride ( day trip) to whistler aboard the rocky mountaineer is amazing. You get lots of food including high tea and a chance to roam whistler.
    Alright I’ll stop but if you want any more specific ideas let me know!ReplyCancel

  • sarah8.24.12 - 5:35 PM

    I took a fantastic vacation to Seattle and Vancouver with friends and still remember it as one of my favorites.

    In Seattle, Pike Place is an obvious spot for food and scenery. And, I’ve been dying to try Delancy and Essex (; Molly Wizenbberg just announced Essex’s opening and the cocktails alone sound like a reason to make the trip. We also went to the San Juan islands for some whale watching (no whales that day, but the ferry ride, lavender fields, and Pacific Northwest islands were well worth the trip).

    In Vancouver, Granville Island was a highlight, as was the acquarium, where we saw beluga whales! We also scored a cheap and really fun multi-course lunch at the Pacific Institute for the Culinary Arts (…great food and you get to watch the student chefs fix your food.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah8.24.12 - 6:26 PM

    You’re going to have an amazing time, and the weather is just beautiful (and ohsomuch cooler than the midwest) right now.

    Vancouver – second all of the thoughts about Granville Island and Stanley Park. China town (in my opinion) is to be avoided… If you’re renting a car and have an extra couple of hours it is a must do to take a drive about an hour up the Sea-to-sky highway (towards whistler), the views are breathtaking and the drive is exhilarating

    Seattle – I read the comments and can’t believe no one has mentioned that you should get cuban roast sandwiches at Paseo (two locations – the Ballard one is my favorite as it is on the water, not far from the locks (also recommended above), and the wait is generally shorter), beware that they’re cash only but it’s worth it as they’re frequently voted the best cuban sandwiches/best sandwiches in the region. Also in Ballard, just take a stroll down Ballard Ave and pop into some of the shops and stop at different places for drinks – I’m digging The Sexton. A trip to Gas Works Park on a nice day is so fun for watching the boats and float planes as they take off and land, and people flying kites.

    Portland – Food carts, food carts, food carts, Powells Books, and Multnomah Falls (about a 40 min drive from portland). If you’re going to do shopping on the trip wait until Oregon, where there’s no sales tax. And it’s illegal to pump your own gas there, so be ready for that if you’re driving.ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.24.12 - 6:59 PM

      No sales tax in Oregon?! Be still my heart!

      We cannot thank you all enough! We have such an amazing list. It’s too bad we’re not staying for much, much longer! All the reason to go back again!ReplyCancel

      • Kim8.24.12 - 7:00 PM

        Oh, one thing I should mention. We won’t have a car in Vancouver or Seattle… That shouldn’t be a problem, right?ReplyCancel

  • Sarah8.24.12 - 8:29 PM

    you should be fine without a car in Seattle if you’re going to stay within the greater Seattle area. There’s plenty to do in down town, you can even take a ferry to the town of Bainbridge or over to Alki from down town. Busses are super easy from down town and the city’s web site is best for figuring out what routes/busses to use: ). If you’re going to take a day trip to Mt.Rainier or something you’ll probably want to rent a car. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah8.24.12 - 8:31 PM

    don’t know why I kept typing downtown as two words, and not commenting on my own mistake would have bothered me. sorry!ReplyCancel

  • G8.24.12 - 8:36 PM

    My husband and I visited Vancouver B.C. a few years ago for our sixth anniversary. We ate at Bin 941 – it was stupendous. It may even be my favorite restaurant of all-time. Highly recommend it. Check out their menu at

    Last year we went to Seattle for our anniversary weekend. Highly recommend the Experience Music Project Museum – don’t miss the upstairs portion where you ‘learn’ to play instruments and to DJ (both harder than I would have imagined).

    Portland was our first anniversary weekend getaway for 5yrs – if you love books, make sure to visit Powell’s which is downtown. There are many fun shops in the Pearl District (walkable from downtown). There is a great path along the river. Also, you should make sure to visit Voodoo Donuts. Don’t be surprised to see folks traveling with boxes of their donuts to bring to those that don’t have the luxury of living in PDX. I’m not a donut fan but I LOVE them. Personal favorite: oreo covered.ReplyCancel

  • Bernadette8.24.12 - 8:40 PM

    My husband and I took our anniversary trip last month, and did almost the same trip! We flew to Seattle, drove up to Vancouver, then Whistler, back to Vancouver, back to Seattle. The scenic routes are gorgeous, even with the quasi bad weather we had.

    Whale watching from San Juan Island was our favorite activity. We did it in the middle of the drive from Seattle to Vancouver. We saw about 30 whales, 3 bald eagles, and tons of seals. I also recommend hiking the national parks – beautiful and lots of fun!

    In Seattle, we ate at an Italian restaurant called Alturro. It was delicious!! In Vancouver, Blue Water had some of the best seafood ever. We also loved this Italian place called Cibbo. We were told that the Pacific Northwest has a lot of recent Italian immigrants, and the food shows it because it’s authentic and fabulous.

    Have a great trip!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.24.12 - 9:43 PM

      Thank you, Sarah, for the car feedback!

      And everyone else, too – for everything! Our mouths are salivating at all the food options, and it’s nuts seeing your detailed must-dos! You guys rock.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay8.24.12 - 9:44 PM

    I’ve lived in Seattle for 3 years now, but there is a blog by jewelry designer called Elephantine. She lives here too and takes gorgeous photos around town and has a great guide of her favorite places broken down by neighborhood. The waterfront is fun and has Ivar’s which has a pretty good happy hour. Capitol Hill has a ton of restaurants and things to do – Poquitos is a fun place for margaritas and dinner and Cafe Presse is a cute cafe in Capitol Hill with great coffee and chocolate croissants. If you like French toast, Portage Bay cafe has a toppings bar. The lines are LONG though. Citizen Coffee in Queen Anne also has great brunch (crepes)and $5 mimosas for a pint. I love West Seattle, you can walk on the beach, have a great view of the Olympics and there are lots of little bars and shops.ReplyCancel

  • Becca5.1.13 - 4:18 PM

    Man, I am so glad I got to this post! We are heading to Portland/Seattle for OUR 5 year anniversary this summer. I have a page of notes from all the awesome comments! Thanks!ReplyCancel


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