Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Astoria & Seattle

The husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage this August. We were babies when we got hitched and somehow, despite the ever-increasing grayness in his hair, Steve looks exactly the same. And when I mean exactly the same, I mean the totally handsome Stevie Dream Boat that I will forever cherish.

A few people have asked for marital advice from us recently, and I just giggle to myself and wonder what a kid like me could possibly have to offer. And then I remember that, with a decade of marriage to Mr. Dunlap under my belt, I'm not so much of a kid anymore. But as for advice, to quote the Dowager Countess of Grantham, "Marriage is a long business." When it comes down to it, you will spend the majority of your life with your spouse. Not with your parents or your children, but your spouse. I know Steve and I had it pretty easy, being best friends and all. But we've had to work to continue that friendship, and we will always work on bettering our friendship. Great marriages don't just happen; they are a labor of love.

Anyway, we celebrated our anniversary while on vacation with the family in Oregon. Steve and I left the kiddos with my folks in Jefferson for a few days while we explored Astoria and made a quick jaunt to visit friends in Seattle. Let me tell you what: Astoria is our new favorite town. Portland, Seattle, San Francisco--you've got nothing on Astoria. For starters, it's gorgeous. Astoria is located at the tippy-top of Oregon, right where the mouth of the Columbia River spills into the Pacific Ocean. It's old, has great history, and is a mish-mash of different cultures. People are friendly, the food is eclectic, and I got to have aebleskivers for breakfast. It's not overwhelming like a big city can be, but it has enough culture to give it that funky, urban feel. Also, Goonies was filmed in town (and Kindergarten Cop--bonus!). Anyway, I heart Astoria and would like someone to please purchase me a summer home. Thank you.

The huz and I ate some pretty fantastic food.
See what I mean by fantastic?! Aebleskivers with lingonberry syrup for breakfast.
This was the scene from the rooftop terrace of our charming hotel, Hotel Elliott.
The side of our hotel, peeking out. They advertise "Wonderful Beds," and they did not disappoint.
Housed in a historic bank, Marie Antoinette's Cupcake Parlor had these amazing little diorama-like scenes scattered about the place. The shop was filled with beautiful things, just for the sake of beauty. Love it.
It's no secret that I'm a fan of ice cream. No secret at all. On vacation, you get to eat as much ice cream as you want. Did you know about that rule?
The majestic Astoria Column. There's a lot of history etched on this baby.
Stevie Dream Boat at the top of the Column.
Karen at the top. I was a bit wary of climbing up the steps inside, as I'm not overly fond of enclosed spaces or heights. But then a couple of kids whizzed by me on their way to the top and that pretty much sealed the deal. The view of the Columbia and the Pacific made my uneasiness totally worth it.
Just taking in more of the local history...
What's this? Just the Goonies House. Radical!
This town is full of history. I wish we had more time to explore...

After our wonderful but short stay in Astoria, we hopped in the car and headed north to Seattle. Our dear friends from college, Candace and Joel Morris, recently became parents to the lovely Baby Bowie. It had been WAY TOO LONG since we had spent time with those dear friends, and we were so anxious to see them in action as mom and dad. Although we don't get to see the Morrises very often, they will always be family and feel like home.

Candi, Steve, and Bowie
Proud Papa Joel
Uncle & Auntie...and a lopsided Bowie.
This friend will always have my heart. I'm so glad that she's a mom...Candi is a gifted nurturer. 
The family--minus our offspring.

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