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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunny in Seattle

Tres and I just got back from Seattle, and I can honestly say, this city ranks in the top 3 for me! The people, the personality, the food, the WINE… something about this city glows in this so-called dreary city. Actually, when someone tells you Seattle is rainy and gloomy, the weather facts may not can be denied, but the personality of this city is nothing related to those two adjectives. And to make mine and Tres’ trip even better: we didn’t see a trace of rain or a cloud in the sky one time while we were there. I don’t know if we were just lucky, or if cold, dark Seattle is just a myth.
Top of the Needle

On the other side of the city... amazing views!
At Chinooks... great views as well (a restaurant with a view can't be beat!)

As you know, when Tres and I visit any city, food and wine are at the top of our list of things to do. I always do a massive amount of research on the most notable restaurants. Not to mention, we get to know locals while we are there because we have learned, no one knows a city’s food the way a local does. It’s fun comparing tourist restaurants with what the locals suggest. The Travel Channel and Food Network (especially Man vs. Food… my dream job haha) are also great sources, but on this trip, we found a LOCAL in Seattle KNOWS the city of Seattle. They are all very proud of their city and have no problem sharing their knowledge and love with tourists.

If you ever wondered what the Original looks like!

One of our favorite restaurants (recommended by a local of course)... Chinooks

It was ironic, our only full day in the city was on National Drink Wine Day, and whatdaya know? Seattle is a total wine city! Knowing Washington was quite the wine state, we never imagined the big city of Seattle would have so much to do with their wine industry, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn that “wine” just may be this city’s middle name. As a matter of fact, it’s the best wine city I have been to since Napa Valley. Imagine Napa city-style! Can’t get any better than that! At nearly every corner of each popular street, there is a wine tasting bar with flights and small plates galore! We couldn’t get enough!
Wine Tasting

Wine....

Wine....
And LOTS more wine...

Our favorite part of the trip was Pike Place Market. WOW! TV shows and movies do this place no justice. The people who live in Seattle are the luckiest people in the country. Tres and I decided we would never even look at another grocery store again if we lived there. Why would you? You have the gigantic market with the freshest fruit, vegetables, fish, and meats in the country! The thousands of fish and millions of veggies sit right in front of your wandering eyes in never ending rows… it’s a cook’s heaven! And I must, too, bring up the fresh flowers that you can purchase for $10-$15 dollars a (huge… seriously abnormally large) bouquet. And these aren’t just your typical Kroger arrangements – I saw some of the most unique and beautiful flowers I have ever seen in my life! And for $10… I would have a new fresh bouquet of flowers in my house every few days. So… WHY?! Don’t we live in this city? Ahh… I can only dream!



Why go to Seattle and not do the one thing Seattle is known for?! Check out this video of me catching a fish in the market! The guy had to throw it to me three times (no surprise… he was fairly warned) before I could catch it! Too funny, and such an experience… it was the best part of the day! (Ummm... can't get the video to upload. It's only like 1 minute! Can anyone help with this?)

To sum up Seattle… the personality and ambiance has to be mentioned. I have concluded in my travels that every city has a “personality,” but this one? The charisma leaks through in everything you do. It’s not your typical big city feel. When walking down the street, you almost think you can hear Pearl Jam or Soundgarden playing in the distance. The stories you hear are true… the people are very grunge, laid back, carefree. Think of the people you typically see in coffee shops – cool, calm, intellect, artsy – these are the people you see in Seattle (no pun on the coffee shop thing, but very ironic!). No one is pretentious or hoity-toity here… they just simply “live,” and it’s clear that they thoroughly enjoy life. But why wouldn’t they? They live in Seattle!


***** By the way, for my Social Media class, I am required to write a Beat Blog. With my current travels and future travels underway... and of course, my obsession with food, I decided on my Beat Blog topic to be "Food Travel." I just created a blog on Wordpress that I haven't put much in yet but it should be full of food and wine suggestions from cities galore in the next few months! The goal of the blog is to compare touristy restaurants with restaurants suggested by locals. Shoot me an email (aletard@varsityspirit.com) or tweet me (@tatumletard) if you would like the link!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Glorious Day, A Joyous Bride, A Busy Wife!

I want to start by apologizing for being a terrible blogger. And for the record, I know never posting is like the worst move ever as a blogger…. I OFFICIALLY know this because I am in a Social Media class for Grad School, and my professor says so :) haha. So here’s the thing… I am going to try my darndest to never get this behind on blog posts again. As you will see below… I kind of have an excuse. Mine and Tres’ lives have been literally nonstop for the last two months. I know this statement is said a lot, but when I say I am having a difficultly finding time to pee lately, I am seriously not over-exaggerating. It’s the honest truth! Ok, I don’t need to say anymore. Nothing else, but I’m sorry and below, you will see my excuse… only words cannot even describe the reality of it :)


Well, that’s a wrap. I never thought the day would come when there would be no more “wedding” to write about, but whew, I have to say that I sure am glad it’s over! I think the only element of this whole wedding planning process I will even miss is writing about it each and every week – giving other brides and future brides details, advice, and ideas on how to have a lovely, classic, beautiful wedding. But guess what I get to write about now?! How to have a lovely, classic, beautiful, and NEVERENDING marriage! I think this will be even more fun than writing about the wedding!

Tres and I (in almost four months of being married) have already experienced so much together with so much more to come. To be quite honest, our calendars took a huge hit as soon as we got back from the honeymoon, but most of it has been fun, exciting, and what I like to say, “going into marriage with a BANG!” haha!
Here’s what we’ve done as a married couple so far:


Been to Chicago – Just a few weeks after the honeymoon, we went to Chicago for a short little weekend trip. It was a weekend full of food and fun (our two favorite things :) If you ever go I suggest: Avec, Hot Dougs, Gino's East, Volare, Monk's Pub, Park Grill, Al's #1 Beef, Zed 451, and Bin 36... all awesome food, drink joints! (P.S. We have no pictures from this trip... we took a ton of them and Tres' phone dropped out of his pocket in a cab. So sad, but I'm sure we will be back:)

Worked out the Holidays – Who knew getting married meant changing the same holiday schedule you’ve been on since you were pooping in diapers? Well, I certainly learned that when we had to decide who’s family we would spend Thanksgiving with and who’s we would spend Christmas with. Since we spent Thanksgiving with Tres’ family the year before, we did Christmas with them and Thanksgiving with mine. Leaving mom and pop on Christmas was a challenge for me, but that’s what you do when you get married, ladies :)


Been to Atlantic City – Wowza… if you have never been to this city, strap on your party pants, possibly hit up an ATM, and get ready to HAVE A BLAST! We had so much fun in this city with a group of our friends… I mean, this place is as awesome as Boardwalk Empire makes it look on HBO – just a tad bit more modern, unfortunately! Haha! My friend Lori and I decided we must go back… it’s our new favorite “fun city!” If you ever go eat at: Bobby Flay (HOLY CRAP!)

Me on the Boardwalk!

First Miss America Dress to win - EVER! They had about 10 of the originals in our hotel from the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and now!

Had a White Christmas in Knoxville – This was a wonderful week together with Tres’ family, his friends, and even his sickness where he spent a full day in bed. Awe, the memory we will always have of that. Tres NEVER gets sick, so I had to throw that in this post as a memory… I took great care of him and we survived! It also snowed for like 3 days... It was the first White Christmas I think I've ever had!


Been to Asheville to see The Biltmore – This was an amazing experience and lots of fun! Me, Tres, his mom, and his sis did a quick little trip to this magnificent CASTLE of a house and had the grandest time. It was a great way to wrap up the holiday season, as the place is picture-perfect at Christmas!


Had my 27th Birthday and celebrated New Year’s – My birthday is on New Year’s Day so New Year’s Eve is always a treat for me. We decided to spend NYE in Knoxville with a large group of Tres’ best friends. They had reserved a large room at a restaurant/night club, so we ate dinner and danced all the way from 26 to 27!

Stayed at The Hermitage in Nashville – For my birthday, Tres surprised with a night’s stay at The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, and OH MY!!!! He could not have given me a better gift! This hotel is beyond top-notch. We love great hotels, and this one exceeded all expectations and knocked every hotel I have ever stayed in down on the list! We also had dinner at a fabulous place: Sambuca… cool atmosphere, great food, and perfect for a young couple. Brunch the next day was great at Capitol Grill (not the one you are thining of :)


Started re-decorating the house – Ok guys, I have to say… this is very tentative considering we are traveling almost every weekend until May, but I am happy to say: WE ARE IN THE PROCESS and plan to get as much done before the summer as we can! We have begun furniture shopping, looking at d├ęcor, spending hours at a time at Home Depot – oh yes, we have definitely begun a fun journey and should have a brand-new, beautifully furnished and bejeweled crib by at least 2012 (my goals are clearly not set very high with getting this show on the road, but my schedule is screaming at me as we speak!)

Made it apart on the two most opposite sides of the country (twice) – Several weeks ago, Tres went to San Jose, CA, and I headed to Orlando, FL – both for work. Ok, ok, this is really nothing out of the ordinary because Tres leaves me for work trips all the time, but this was our first one over a weekend (since we have been married), and our first one both traveling at the same time, and our first one apart for a long period of time. By the time Monday rolled around, I missed him dearly. I seriously could not stand it anymore. Our regular plane texts were getting intertwined the last day of travel (we always text each other before we take off and when we land) because we were both in and out of airports, but we made it home (at the exact same time, I should point out) and riding home together was a wonderful feeling. It was great to be home with my hubby! This happened again 2 weeks ago when Tres was in Palm Springs and I was in Orlando again. Did I mention Orlando is my second home? :)

Started up a new, different lifestyle – I am now officially a STUDENT! I have been attending graduate classes in between my crazy travel schedule and trying to keep up with all my school work, all while working all week and keeping up my workouts! Seriously, I sleep 5-6 hours a night these days, I don't have time hardly to even stop and pee (haha), but honestly... I am fine with it! I love to stay busy, and am 100% ready to tackle a Master’s of Journalism!

Been to Providence, RI – And we did not just visit this city, but we visted it during the record-breaking cold temperature. It was colder there than it had ever been in history when we went, but we still had a blast and ate some amazing food. If you ever go, eat at Hemingways… YUMO! And can I just say… I have the best husband ever. My curling iron broke, and I was having a bad day on Saturday. When I got back to the room, there was a Trade Secret bag sitting on the counter with an awesome new curling iron in it! Small acts of kindness like this from him make me realize that I am such a lucky girl!

This newspaper came from our hotel... it was really the headline one day!

Me at Hemingways

Been to Columbus, OH – We had a lot of fun here, but stayed busy with work stuff. This was seriously the week when I thought I was going to stroke because I had so much school work, was running on no sleep, and Tres and I weren’t going to get to see each other after this trip for over a week. This trip= fun but stressful! I made it through! :) Only because we went to a Man vs. Food resturant though... haha! Schmidts... It's a must try!

I know I am like WAYYYYYYY behind on these and this post is totally unnecessarily long, but I had to catch you all (and myself) up on what all has been going on since we jumped into this awesome marriage! Tomorrow makes 4 months, and we have already done so much as a married couple! I can’t wait to see what the next several months bring!

This weekend, we are headed to Seattle!!! Neither of us have ever been, so I am beyond stoked! The food list is already planned out, and I can't wait to share the experience when we get back!