The Great Northwest

It feels so long ago that we were in Seattle and Vancouver, but we sure haven't forgotten how much fun we had there with our homies.  First off, Colleen Kocer is a saint.  She not only housed us for the week, but 

showed us such a kick ass time that we convinced her to move to Australia with us.  Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, 


 she really is moving to Australia soon!  She coincidentally got some fantastic news that her Australian nursing license was approved on our 

last night

 in Seattle.  Universe, you crazy.

During our week in the Northwest, we made a serious dent in our list of cool breweries to visit.  Like Denver, Seattle has a crap-ton of cool, unique breweries that have a quirky feel and a personal flavor to them.

Do you ever play the name game with someone who happens to have a random-ass commonality with one of your good friends?  Well, Lauren here (Kocer's roommate), happens to know one of my good friends from Denver because they went to college together.  We had a bit of a freak out moment when we figured that out seeing as we had met less than 24 hours before hand.  The world feels smaller and smaller sometimes.

Another reason Koce is a magic maker has to do mainly with her fantastic ability to bring together old friends, new friends, and make them love each other all-too-much at the end of a debaucherous day.  (This picture is relatively tame due to the fact that it was our first brewery).

Find the Blake Street Tavern of Seattle, you say?  Well, talk to Shawn Martinson, one of my favorite regulars at BST who recently relocated to the Northwest, and he'll show you what's up. 


 is a funky little spot that employs nothing but awesome people...or maybe that's just because they knew Shawn.  We were treated like rockstars when we stopped in there for a few hours and had several shots that enhanced the pace of our night 

(sorry Grandma)

.  Shawn said he would take full responsibility for our hangovers.

I didn't get any photos of other places we visited after this spot, but again, you can blame Shawn for that.  Don't worry, Mom & Goose, we were fine.  Everyone ended up back at Koce's in one piece.

Before I could even let the hangover set in the next morning, I popped up, popped some Advil, and headed out the door to spend a rockin' day with Andrea, my old pal from grad school.

A Seattle must-see (although I didn't see it last time I was there, haha), is "The Troll" under the bridge.  Anyone remember a classic movie,

Ten Things I Hate About You

? (Miss you, Heath).  Andrea took me by on our way to lunch and I just fell in love with this creepy misfit.

She also wanted to show me the "Locks" of Seattle; a Panama-like canal that allows ships to go from the lakes to Pugit sound.  It is intended to maintain the level of fresh water in Lake Washington and Lake Union at sea level.

Just some funky artwork near the "Locks."

This is an interesting creation made for the salmon to swim upstream.  They apparently jump from level to level to go either way when it's time.  You can tell I have extensive knowledge of salmon swimming patterns.

Why come to Seattle and not enjoy the seafood?  Growing up with my Dad's amazing Clam Bar in New York, I've been spoiled with the best quality seafood from the Northeast.  I have to say, these clams were effin' amazing and I never would have thought they would cure a hangover.

Oh wait, maybe it also had something to do with the fact that we went on another brewery kick that afternoon.  We'll



Other cool places to hit up while in Seattle: Gasworks Park, the original Starbucks, and Pike's Place Market...

(Another classic

Ten Things I Hate About You

 spot -- that sweet paintball scene)


We stopped at a place for dinner that had oysters delicious enough for kings.  We learned all about different types of Northwestern oysters and sucked 'em right down.

Next stop: Vancouver!

We only spent a short time in Vancouver, but admittedly partied enough for a week's time.  We attacked the city, but the city won.  That's all I care to admit.

Rest assured, Grandma, I didn't die partying in Vancouver, because I had a jam-packed day ahead of me at Whistler Mountain.

Whistler has got to be one of the most incredible mountains I've ever snowboarded on.  Don't worry, Colorado, you'll always be my favorite.

The day I was at Whistler was so insanely magical as it dumped snow the first half of the day, then the skies opened up and I boarded in beautiful sunshine for the remainder of the afternoon.

Hey, Jersey folk!  Look!  They made a dirty name out of your state and slapped it on a ski-lift.  Oh, Whistler, you kill me.

On one of my first lift rides, I got to talking to a ski/snowboard instructor, Larry, enjoying his day off from lessons.  He invited me to join him for some tree trails and, boy, did he kick my ass.

(One of Larry's German buddies)

Fulfill the one dorky "selfie" quota for the day....check!

Larry was an incredible boarder and definitely challenged me to do some things I wouldn't have ordinarily done if I was on my own for the day.  Riding on a different board than I'm used to in unfamiliar snow/territory definitely gave me a run for my money.  It was a tough day, but well worth it. 

Larry!  I owe you many thanks for making my day one I'll never forget.  You rock, amigo.  Glad I got to spend the day with ya!

We headed back to Seattle and had a few places left to explore before we took off to our next destination.  There were some adorable shops we stopped into during a lazy afternoon stroll through the city.  I found this oh-so-perfect locket in a store that I couldn't help but purchase for our upcoming adventure down under.

We met up with an old Denver friend of mine from Blake Street Tavern, Carly, who has since moved to Portland for her own adventures.  It was great to see her and catch up while we ate pad thai and gorged ourselves on samples of locally made chocolate.

One last stop at the Troll...

Oh, and we found some sad girl who dropped her pad thai on the street.

On our last night in Seattle, we hit up some cool spots -- one being the bar that Macklemore filmed "Thriftshop" at:

The Unicorn


Had such a blast with you guys in the Great Northwest...can't wait for our reunion in Oz!