Our quick trip to Birmingham, Alabama!

Bands and Concerts, Traveling

This year, we are attempting to take fewer vacations.
(insert huge eye roll here) If you know us, you know that this is next to impossible for us. We love anyyyyy excuse for an adventure. 

 

We need to save money, and we can’t do that if we keep traveling for concerts. HOWEVER, we bought Mumford & Son’s tickets back in November for their concert in March. So obviously we couldn’t NOT do that, which meant a trip to Birmingham for the weekend. It’s only an 8.5-hour drive for us, so… why not? Birmingham is one of our favorite cities!

We drove up on a Friday afternoon and made a pitstop in Valdosta, GA to surprise my little sister and her family. She had noooo clue we were coming, so it felt great to just spend a few hours with her. I painted my niece’s nails (and my niece painted Steph’s nails, which she proudly wore to the concert), played with her makeup and turned her into Harley Quinn, and had a tea party in her hot pink room. Then, I watched my nephew kick some Spider-Man video game ass. It was a great halfway-ish break! 

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Our one full day in Birmingham we spent exploring. We started our day out at Urban Standard which is the BEST coffee/breakfast place that we found when we were there the first time a few years back (for a City and Colour concert). Steph still raves about their Balsamic jam to this day. (she’s a balsamic JUNKIE, to say the least). This time all Steph wanted was Avocado toast, and I got a coffee gravy biscuits and gravy. IT WAS TO DIE FOR!! I got a chai tea latte and Steph got a soy latte with vanilla – honestly, everything they make is incredible so you can’t lose. (And the presentation of their drinks are so perfect!!!)

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We decided to spend the day exploring and seeing things we hadn’t seen the last time we were here. We went to check out a vintage Vinyl store, Seasick Records and next door there was a really neat antique mall called Urban Suburban. After wandering up and down every booth I scored 2 old fashioned makeup train cases that I have been obsessed with for years for just $10! (Steph’s mom has a blue one and I’ve needed one ever since I first saw it!)

 

We left the vintage mall and headed to this video game coffee shop called Saturn! We walked in and Steph was in heaven. There was a rocket hanging from the ceiling and all of the space gear decorating the whole place. Steph ordered an Iced latte and I ordered a  Kombucha because they told me that it didn’t taste like vinegar, and that is the ONE thing I despise about Kombucha. I fell in love and then found out that I cannot get said Kombucha in Orlando since it’s locally made and apparently Florida has something against good kombucha. (sorry to all of you Kombucha lovers, but I am NOT one of them). We sat down to play old school Mario Kart on their Nintendo 64. And Steph, of course, kicked my ass. (I wasn’t sour about it in the leasssst- insert eye roll here-) 


When we were leaving, we were going past the Sloss Furnaces, which we had read about before. Apparently, they are super haunted and a creepy place to be after the sun goes down. We had decided prior to this that we would NOT be stopping there.. but after seeing them up close (and it being the middle of the day), we decided what the “hell, why not!?” and we were sooooo glad that we decided to stop. Despite feeling lotsssss of cold chills and quite a few eerie heavy feelings, they were sooo gorgeous! They were full of all the history that we both love so much. They started operating in 1882 if that tells you anything at all. In typical “us” fashion, we turned it into a photo session and had a ton of fun. Not to mention ended up with some awesome photos!

While we were at Sloss, someone suggested a place where they serve edible cookie dough like ice cream called Cookie Dough Magic and Obviously, we had to check that out. We tried a ladyfinger cookie dough, birthday cake, and chocolate chip. Seriously, it was sinful and we probably should have been rolled out of there!

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By this time, we were EXHAUSTED! And still had a concert that we had to stay awake all night for! We went back to the hotel and laid around for an hour or so. Luckily the venue was literally attached to the hotel. All we had to do was go down an elevator and walk down a hallway and TA-DA! And on our way to the concert, Steph was handed a Mumford & Son’s Delta Tour t-shirt! Scoooore!! We finally got to our ALMOST nose bleed seats and the concert started! They were INCREDIBLE. Mumford & Son’s are breathtaking Live. For their Encore performance, they brought out this husband and wife duo who blew us all away the second they opened their mouths! If you haven’t heard of The War and Treaty, YOU NEED TO LOOK THEM UP RIGHT NOW!!!

We had a GREAT weekend! Stopped at my sister’s again for an awesome dinner. I taught her how to roast asparagus! It’s the little things. By the time we got home, it was around midnight Sunday. And unfortunately, we had to get back to reality Monday morning. Totes worth it though!! 

Here are some gems from the Mumford and Sons concert:

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Seattle Recap 2018

Bands and Concerts, Married Life, Traveling, Traveling Gypsies

Today is January 31st and I’ve been horrible about this whole blogging thing. I finally got our Christmas Letter out just in time for Christmas this year (it’s the small things) so i figured I’d cram the rest into one blog post.

In November we celebrated our 1 year anniversary and flew up to Seattle. We had the time of our lives and wish we could’ve stayed a bit longer. I feel like we only skimmed the surface of what there was to see.

First of all the weather was perfect the whole time. And it only “rained” once but Seattle rain is like Florida fog so we weren’t that worried..

Our rental car was a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was super nice until we realized Seattle has exclusively parallel parking.. we got to our Air bnb which was perched on a cliff. It was perfect and the view out of the panoramic windows every morning was breathtaking!

 

 

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We were starving so we stopped by a Mexican restaurant and got burritos bigger than our heads. It was west coast Mexican which tends to lean more toward a “chipotle” vibe which was 100% fine with us! We walked down a few blocks to grab a coffee from a place called Uptown Espresso which as it turns out was one of the best coffee shops in the area. They’re known for their foam which is super creamy and dense instead of milk bubbles. We went there a few times over our trip.

 

I wanted to grab some photos so we looked up the best viewpoints in Seattle to see the whole city and ended up at this park, which was AMAZING.

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The next day we did Pike’s Place Market which was such a culture shock to me. I’ve lived in Florida all my life so just being on the West Coast was mind-blowingly different. The lobster tails were as big as my arms.

 

Another thing Seattle has is BUSKERS. We were in one of the shops and RAN outside to see this one man who had the most incredible voice.

The next day we headed an hour outside of Seattle to do a bit of hiking. We headed up to a waterfall that doubled as a power plant. The photos don’t do it justice.

 

We planned this whole trip around Dermot Kennedy’s concerts in Seattle and Portland. They just so happened to land near our anniversary! If you haven’t heard this man sing you need to.

The next day we headed to Portland which is a three-hour drive from Seattle. But totally worth it. But the drive back the same night…. post-concert and exploring, was ROUGH! Scariest drive in fog, EVER!

 

We did a little sightseeing before the concert and got lost in an underground mall.. We ended up sharing a Lyft with 2 other girls who were going to the same concert and had been to the Seattle concert too – we aren’t the only crazy ones!

The day after, we went exploring again. We got “Teriyaki” from a local place, which is apparently a MUST – also it was prob the best Asian food we’ve had ever. We drove by UW and the Bridge Troll and Sam looked up a park for us to watch the sunset. It was freezing but my teriyaki kept me warm mostly.. there’s nothing that can compare to those views.

After that, we went to go see Fantastic Beasts (because we wanted to live like the locals) and found a quaint little movie theater on the top of the mountain in West Seattle where we were staying. (THEY ONLY HAD REDVINES!!! WIN FOR SAMANTHA!!) It was the perfect way to end the night and we felt so at home.

Get to know us! 20 questions AMA.

Bands and Concerts, Married Life, Traveling Gypsies

I decided to do something a little different for a blog post before I return to school next week. Here’s a little “get to know us” 20(ish) questions. Let me know if you like these and I’ll try to do another one in the next few months!

If you could change only one thing in your life, what would that be and why?

SAM: Honestly, there isn’t a thing I would change about my life. I have been so fortunate and I have everything I could ever need, want or think to ask for. If you asked me what I would have done differently, my answer would be that I would have traveled through other countries and experienced more of what the world has to offer.. But I’m not dead yet, so now I get to do those things with my wife and hopefully future children.

STEPH: I would have taken way more advantage of learning new things and reading more. I think because everything is so much more accessible with the internet and knowledge is everywhere, it’s so much easier. My life is pretty great though, now and I’m legit learning rocket science, so I guess I would have just started it sooner.

In a regular day, what do you find yourself thinking about the most?

SAM: Currently, Babies. A year ago, our wedding. A year from now, Either still babies or Our move to Washington State.

STEPH: Food. Our future house somewhere in the mountains. Our future. How I need to drink more water.

Who is your favorite artist that you’ve seen perform live?

SAM: That is suuuuuch a toss up.. Either Dermot Kennedy for his raw talent and the emotion that he evokes from everyone in the room, or City and Colour for the incredible performance and undeniable talent that Dallas Green has.

STEPH: City and Colour in Birmingham, Alabama at Iron City Music hall. But also The Band Camino. I’ve seen both twice and they’re both absolutely incredible.

What things in your life bring you the greatest pleasure?

SAM: Coming home to my beautiful wife and our Zoo of a house. We are so blessed to have such a stable home and a great love that can conquer anything.

STEPH: I love coming home and being able to hang with my wife and the dogs and watching a movie or catching up on our TV shows after a long day of work. Weekends with her are the best.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment in your life?

SAM: I’m still working on that.

STEPH: So far, going back to school. I’m at the very beginning of that journey, but I think starting anything is the hardest part.

In what settings are you the happiest / eager / most comfortable?

SAM: Any Concert or getaway with my Wife.

STEPH: In my house or hanging out in the backyard (when it’s less than 80 degrees).

What things do you look forward to each day?

SAM: Crawling into bed with the love of my life every night. Just the fact that I am blessed enough to have her to snuggle up to is enough for me.

STEPH: Coming home to hugs and kissed from my wife and our dogs.

What would be my ideal romantic date?

SAM: Whisk me away to anywhere.

STEPH: I love adventure. Any sort of trip to anywhere would be amazing. We are road trip professionals.

What do you appreciate most in your partner?

SAM: The way she views the world through her rose-colored glasses. I fought it for the LONGEST time. But there is something to be admired about her sheer blind faith in the world and the goodness it contains. Her heart is something so pure and I am incredibly lucky to hold such a huge piece of it.

STEPH: Her realness. Whether she’s telling you something hard to hear or is pulling my head out of the clouds and back to reality. Her confidence is something I admire as well. The way she demands with her presence is out of this world. I can’t wait to see her in mom mode.

In what situations do you feel most afraid or insecure?

SAM: Dinosaurs and scary movies. That’s about it. I can take on anything the world throws my way otherwise.

STEPH: I’m not good at being in situations I can’t control, mostly with money or adulting. In an emergency, I’m the person you want by your side, lol. For whatever reason, I’m super calm cool and collected.

What would you like to do outdoors that you have not done before?

SAM: I can’t wait to hike up an actual mountain!!!

STEPH: Being able to explore the wilderness. You can only go so far in Florida on flat land and highways before hitting the beach.

What country would you like to visit that you haven’t visited yet?

SAM: See bucketlist…. I’ll send a picture. Lol

STEPH: Pretty much all of Scandinavia. Denmark, Iceland, and all of Europe. I’ve only ever been in the US.

What family member did you most admire when you were a child?

SAM: My Grandpa was my ENTIRE world.

STEPH: My aunt Barbara. She’s my mom’s little sister and was always the cool aunt who I ran to when I needed absolutely anything.

What are your favorite things to spend money on?

SAM: Ohhhhh crap…. I mean, I don’t likeeeeee the amount of money they cost… but the things I buy the most often are makeup and clothes!

STEPH: I HATE spending money. I can talk myself out of buying anything.. Movies and books are my downfalls.

Who are you most envious of?

SAM: Honestly, no one. There have been moments where I wished that I had what someone else had.. but at the end of it, everything in my life made me who I am today. I wouldn’t change that for anything… … I TAKE THAT BACK!!! I’m envious of morning people!!! I wishhhhhhh I was the type of person who could get up with the Sun.. but I wasn’t blessed with that gene.

STEPH: I’m envious of people who are debt free and are somehow so good with their money that they can travel all the time. I wish I could be a travel blogger. They’re living the life.

If you had endless amounts of money, what’s the first thing you’d do?

SAM: Buy a farm on an Island in Washington…

STEPH: Build a house and pay off my debt.

If you had to live in the world of any book or movie, what would it be?

SAM: ….this is an impossible question…. Every book series that I love is full of sooo much drama and insane crazy, that I can’t say that I would love to live in it…. But the paper magician is the coooolest concept. So if I HAD to choose one, that’d be it.

STEPH: I’d say Star Wars, but they’re legit in pretty much constant battle and there’s a pretty good chance your planet could get blown up, so I’m going to go with Harry Potter.

What’s the last book you read?

SAM: The immortal circus series!!!!!! Sooooooo good!!!

STEPH: I’m in the middle of 3 right now. The last one I finished was Fallen – I take that back. I still haven’t finished that. It was the Paper Magician.

If you could do anything that wasn’t your current job, what would it be?

SAM: Either be a History professor or own and run a successful record label.

STEPH: I’d work for Spacex or Nasa.

What is your least favorite food?

SAM: Greek!!!!

STEPH: Olives. Or any of the weird cheeses like feta and blue cheese. And pickles.

 

Here’s Sam’s Bucket List. Is she forgetting anywhere? Have recommendations? We’d love to hear from you!

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