Page 2 of Stephanie and Andras Travel Blog Posts

Vancouver Island is beautiful, especially once you start moving away from the strait and venture closer towards the coast of the Pacific. Wild berries, eagles, seals, crashing ocean waves, water worn pebbles, the sound of gulls riding a current and the fresh scent of fir and pine. Magnificent! It's as if all the quintessence of the northwest has somehow been condensed and put on display for all to see and experience in one spot - which really, if you think about it, is what transforms a location into a locale, particularly one visitors might desire to visit. The lure of such imagined Northwestiness was too strong to resist, especially for two Northwesterners, and even when our actual experiences failed to align with our anticipated ones, the lovely thing about memory is that you can conveniently neglect ... read more
Sunset from Point-no-Point
Crashing Waves
Early Morning Light

Andras gets only one week of vacation a year (one!) but with a brand new passport in his hand, and an underused one in mine, a trip outside the border was imperative - so hello Canada! For the longest time American citizens didn't need a passport to cross back-and-forth over the 49th parallel and the city of Vancouver is similar to Seattle in so many ways that in order to feel like we were actually "going someplace else" we ferried across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the decidedly more European feeling city of Victoria, on Vancouver Island, and spent our time there rather than on the mainland. As the legislative seat, the atmosphere of Victoria certainly puts the 'British' in British Columbia, at least as far as two Yanks are concerned, and if one ... read more
Legislative Building
Mist on the Lake
Legislative Building at Sunset

North America » United States » New York » New York » Manhattan December 20th 2009

Christmas in New York is unsurpassed in terms of a uniquely metropolitan experience - the lights, sights and iconic holiday displays. The rest of the winter is rather miserable, unless, of course, you come with the express purpose of enduring the cold, snowy, slushy mess that is Manhattan. I did not, and having spent the past two winters with my nose in a book or my fingers on a keyboard while staring out into the dark, dreary cloud layers, pounding out thoughts to finish off the semesters, I could not prevent the feelings of claustrophobia setting in. But (there's always a but) when all was said and done, after my extremities had thawed and there was no longer salt-laden ice melt threatening to ruin the hems of my pants with every venture outside, I realized that ... read more
Lights at Bendel's
First Snow of the Season
Central Park

North America » United States » New York » New York » Brooklyn September 3rd 2009

It's a strange peculiarity of east-coasters to refer to 'summer' as a verb, whether it is to "summer in Martha's Vineyard" or "going to summer upstate." Being the impoverished graduate students that we are, my roommate and I decided to "summer at Coney Island" the last weekend before our classes were to start. This involved a ridiculously long ride on the subway, stopping every two blocks as we made our way down to the shores of the Atlantic. Apparently, two hours on the F train gets to where the N train will take you in 45 minutes, but we didn't know this. So we sat, and waited. And waited and waited, stalled somewhere in Brooklyn wondering what possessed us to wake up so gosh-darn early in the first place as we glanced around the empty subway ... read more
Surf Ave
Game On
Don't Piss Here

North America » United States » New York » New York » Manhattan August 23rd 2009

When Andras and I first arrived in New York back in August, it was with an anticipated mixture of glee (at having never been to NYC before), uncertainty (at the prospect of settling into to an entirely new environment), and sorrow (at having to say goodbye to each other at the end of the trip). I had already made a reconnaissance trip back in July to sign a lease and meet my new roommate, whom I would be living with while I attended graduate school at NYU, so for me this trip was all about the big move. For Andras, it was his week of vacation to help me get settled in before we embarked on our hardest journey to date - a long distance relationship separated by over 2,000 miles of the sprawling North American ... read more
Washington Square Park
The Lake in Central Park
Life in the Fast Lane

North America » United States » Washington » Mount Vernon April 26th 2009

Did you ever watch the Wizard of Oz and in that scene where Dorothy et al are running through the endless red poppy fields trying to reach the Emerald City think "I wish I could do that!" Same here! Well we finally made it to the tulip festival (fittingly, a few hours north of Seattle, our own "Emerald City"). I've been wanting to visit the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival with Andras for years. Not only does the area transform into a photographers dream, but acres upon acres of wildly colored flower fields cannot manifest any feelings other than happiness. Last year the rare April snow delayed the bloom and our work schedules prevented us from leaving the city and this year the weather almost threatened to do the same thing, but during the last few days ... read more
Yellow Tulips
Purple Barn
Tulips in Skagit Valley

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle December 22nd 2008

We've been hunkered down riding out the extremely uncharacteristic winter weather for the past week or so, and it finally looks like it's going to let up this weekend. Who would have thought Seattleites would actually be looking forward to a forecast of 40F and rain. One of the news reporters this morning commented that we'd be waving the white flag of surrender to Mother Nature but it would just blend into the background. After a series of snowstorms have hit the area, we're waiting out the longest stretch of snow this area has seen in several decades! I'm not complaining. I love snow and miss that we don't regularly get a blast of white powder raining down from above every December. Transportation has been a complete mess for the past week though, what with the ... read more
Kerry Park
Snowboarder on Queen Anne Ave

North America » United States » Washington » Prosser October 10th 2008

There is something so inherently classy and romantic about the great wine regions of the world. The quaint reserve of Riems, the misty mornings in Napa Valley, the feed store in Prosser with the heavy-set lady pushing an equally hefty child in a stroller out front....okay that last one doesn't exactly fit the idyllic image you get when you think of wine country, but then again this area is young. Up and coming. It hasn't yet traded it's rustic, agricultural charm for formulaic tourist facade, although that transformation is on the horizon. It's that very principle that makes the Yakima Valley area both refreshing and challenging to visit. On one hand, many wine makers are still so involved in the development of their product that you can speak with them personally in a tasting room instead ... read more
Zinfindel on the Vine
Old Fashioned Wine Press
Eastern Washington Scenery

From the driest area in the state to the wettest in a little over two hours, we rounded the east side of the Olympic Peninsula heading towards the Hoh rain forest. I must say, for being one of the few temperate rain forests worldwide, it was remarkably dry on the days we were there. Not that I am complaining, it's just that you don't expect an area that receives over 12 ft (3.6 m) of rain a year to be so....well, sunny. Had I done my research I would have learned that unlike tropical rain forests, temperate rain forests receive most of their water over the winter and spring, and the summer is characterized with mild, foggy days - a nice surprise from what I was expecting. There was definitely was a change in climate as ... read more
Forest Floor
Washington State Ferry
Second Beach

North America » United States » Washington » Sequim September 29th 2008

This trip has been forever in the making. I'm honestly surprised to be writing of it as I thought it would never happen. We had originally planned to go last March. Yes, I realize it's almost October, but we had a week off and our brains swam with visions of rainforest camping and montane hikes. And then a huge storm blew through and flooded the campsites while mudslides completely demolished the roads. The trip was post-poned until summer. Summer came and went. The weather was good but the scheldule was not. If I wasn't working Andras was. On my days off he was at the office. Between the two of us we considered it a stroke of good fortune to have one day off together, and when it finally did come around (half-way through August) we ... read more
Mt. Baker
Life Raft Aboard the Ferry
Water Fowl on Dock Posts

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