Thursday, December 8, 2016

Shenk Boys & Motorbikes

My longtime and very dear friend, Tanya, lives with her husband, Andrew, and their son, Declan, just outside Indianapolis, and they welcomed us for a visit in early August. Declan and James are great friends and share a love of all things loud and powered by an engine. 

James trying out Declan's little motorbike. He loved it!
He appears ready to go fast, and yet, he really wasn't going that quickly. Just has the face for it.


Andrew happens to be Andrew Hines, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle 5-time Champion, so as it turns out, there are a lot of things that go vroom in their world. Chris and James were in heaven! Andrew took us on a tour of the local shop where some of the magic happens. I'm pretty sure Chris wanted to move in and live there forever, happily smelling the oil and grease in the air...

Whoa! Look at the size of that tire! 
Chris happily checking out all the details of the bike. Absorbing by osmosis, maybe??
I love how perfectly these were all lined up. It looked like art!
He has the position down, just needs to grow a little bit bigger.
I have no idea what they are looking at, but I'm pretty sure it was gear-head nerd stuff.
I'm pretty sure that's not what that was intended for, but I admit to not really knowing my way around a shop...
James and Declan can always find a way to entertain themselves and it usually involves speed.
James and Declan. Such cute little buddies.
Even the local restaurants have various types of race vehicles. Which they of course had to "drive".


Tanya and Andrew have some rural property nearby that they are planning on building a house in the next few years. In the meantime, it serves as a great location for tractor driving and homemade dirt-bike tracks.

We're training him to start mowing the yard soon.
Andrew and Declan, a father and son dynamic dirt-bike duo. 
James got all geared up for his turn on the dirt-bike.
Andrew took him around to make sure he was okay. He was SOOOOOO excited!
Look at our big boy! He did really well and was surprisingly afraid of going too fast. 
This is how Tanya and I enjoyed the weekend. Wine and Outlander


We were lucky enough to be able to time our weekend visit to coincide with my favorite singer, Ray LaMontagne, having an awesome outdoor concert in Indy. Tanya arranged the babysitter (woohoo to that!) and the adults enjoyed a great night out. 

I am so grateful for this friendship that goes back 30 years!
We actually remembered to take a group shot. Nice job with the selfie, Andrew!
A beautiful night for an amazing concert!
Thanks again for a super-fun weekend, Hines Family! Can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Two Girls, Adele, and a Pizza Place


Seattle. 
I love this city. It's full of amazing coffee, delicious food, great people, and it's so green (in every sense of the word)! 
My dear friend, Kim, scored tickets to see Adele in concert in this fantastic city and I was thrilled to be her weekend getaway date. Girls weekend with Kim and Adele? 
YES, PLEASE!


Our plan was to explore the city, mostly on foot, and so we needed fuel to do that. Or at least that is what we told ourselves as we proceeded to eat our way around Seattle. First stop on Saturday morning, Cupcake Royale, for a breakfast of champions.

All breakfasts should be coffee and a giant cupcake. 
The gorgeous Kim with the awesome view to be seen at Queen Anne Park. 
Walking along the waterfront.


Time to eat again. Biscuit Bitch had the best biscuits and gravy I've had outside the South. The coffee was flavored with orange peel and that was pretty yummy, too.

How fantastic does this look?! Biscuits, gravy, fried egg, and bacon. YUM!


Saturday evening, we enjoyed the Chihuly Garden and Glass which is next to the Space Needle, so of course we rode to the top of it. It was a beautiful evening for it and I was wishing I hadn't decided to just use my phone for pictures all weekend (I opted not to carry the big camera all over Seattle).

A close-up of a much larger sea-life sculpture.
I loved the use of reflections and light in the museum.
The colors in this made me think of a gorgeous beach sunset. It was stunning.
I wasn't kidding when I said it was right next door to the Space Needle. 
Kim and I having our own fun with reflections and light out in the garden.
Sunshine, water, and mountains in the distance. So lovely. 
Space Needle selfie!
Kim. Contemplating life. And how to get a job and move here and have this view forever.
Such a great piece of architecture.
Capping off an awesome day with some ciders on tap at Queen Anne Beerhall.

Sunday morning, we took the Underground Tour. There are no pictures of this, but it was pretty neat. The tour guide was funny and informative and we both enjoyed it. We spent the rest of the day exploring different areas from Pioneer Square up to Capitol Hill. And you know that all that walking means a whole lot of eating. I chose not to take pictures of all our food since I'm not a food blogger and mostly, I was too busy eating it, but trust me, it was a panoply of deliciousness.

This is our potato pizza from Serious Pie. Kim couldn't even wait until I took the picture to start. So freaking good.
Just a short while later... 
Dessert from Molly Moon's. My favorite ice cream place. Ever. Anywhere.
Snapping a selfie with downtown and Mt. Rainier from our hotel's rooftop patio, which was awesome.
Putting my feet up and relaxing with this view. My life doesn't suck.
Seattle at sunset with the mountain out. Love.


Monday we walked down past the Pike Place Market to catch the ferry to Bainbridge Island. Getting out on the water in Seattle is always nice and the island is a lovely place to go. 

But first, breakfast at Top Pot Doughnuts. Which one to eat first... 
Obligatory selfie at Pike Place Market. 
Seattle, as seen from the water on a gorgeous sunny day!
It is very windy on the ferry. Should have gone with the ponytail.
Bainbridge Island with the Olympic Mountains in the distance. 
The ever-impressive Mt. Rainier. She's so beautiful!
Ferry selfie with Seattle in the background. It's a phone pic. What can you do.

Monday night. Adele
Her concert was fantastic. It was everything you would want it to be. Her voice was velvet and she sang a great mix of old and new songs. There was even some funny audience interaction and chitchat that I really enjoyed. She is really funny! It was like you were hanging out with a friend who just happened to burst into song. Be my friend, Adele. Please! 

Anxiously awaiting her arrival!!
Yes. To all of it. Just yes.
This section of extra stage was right in front of us.
Much closer than this picture makes it appear.
After the concert, we took in the skyline one last time from the rooftop balcony
while we tried to come down off our Adele high.
Flying home. One last glimpse of Mt. Rainier above the clouds.