July 30, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!


Tomorrow is my birthday!  And not only is it my birthday, it's my golden birthday {31 on the 31st}.  In honor of that extra special day, I'm taking the day off of work {and the blog} to just take it easy.  It's supposed to be gorgeous this weekend, so I'm planning on eating some yummy food, hanging out outside, and spending time with some of my favorite people.  I'll be back next week {a little older} to share with you all of the weekend shenanigans, plus pictures from one of my most favorite weddings ever :)

Cheers to the weekend!  :)

xoxo,
stephanie marie

July 29, 2015

Alaska {Cruisin' & Victoria}

our last few days of the trip were spent chillin' on the boat with a quick stop in Victoria before heading home.


 on thursday, my uncle and kalliu convinced me to go to a scotch tasting in the whiskey bar, as we were stuck on the boat all day long with not much to do.  throughout the afternoon, different family members {and the enigma that is pete} stopped by to share in the fun :)


 we tasted 4 different scotches {along with a yummy cocktail} - while it wasn't my favorite, it made me realize that i can actually drink scotch and not spit it out!  making progress.....


 that night, we had one last dinner in the dining room and i went all out with beef short ribs and prawns - yum!


 friday, our boat was late getting into victoria, so we spent lots of time on the deck as the sun started shining again.  we even saw an orca right up next to the boat!  such cool wildlife on this trip.....


 once we were finally in victoria, we had a few hours to walk around and grab some dinner {delicious oysters and seafood stew!}.  we walked by the parliament building.....


 .....and the empress before heading back to the boat to hang out.


 i was craving an extra dirty vodka martini for my last night, so we headed to shakers martini lounge to get one from the greatest......

 
 ......robert antony!  i met robert my first night on the boat and we instantly became friends.  every time i would walk by the bar, he'd always wave and yell "hi, stephanie!" and had a drink waiting for me when i sat down.  i'm gonna miss that guy - but luckily he friended me on facebook the second i got home :)


saturday morning, i woke up to this gorgeous view off my balcony - home.  no matter where i go in the world, it's always nice to come home :)

What a trip, eh?  Thanks again Gram & Gramps - it really was one of the greatest weeks!!

xoxo,
stephanie marie

July 28, 2015

Alaska {Skagway}

wednesday we arrived in Skagway, and it was deemed father/daughter day.


 we wandered around the town, and i immediately found a statue needing my assistance


 we also found the comforts of home.....


 .....and signs that this town was very small :)


 we took a shuttle out into the country, and along the way we saw a bear!  cute, right? {wrong - it was giant!}  it definitely made the trip for me.


 dad and i took an excursion to a musher camp!  we met a girl who was training her dogs to qualify for the iditarod.


 we got to hang with a team of alaskan husky dogs who were all too eager to meet us


 we hopped on the back of the sled {on wheels} with a group of 6 people and 16 dogs.....


 .....and off we went!  the dogs were so excited to get running and pulling us up hills and around corners.


 they were building muscle to train for the summer, and we were more than willing to be their "weights"


 we rode around for a full mile, and it was one of the coolest things i have ever done.


 afterwards, we got to hang with the dogs while they drank water and relaxed


 dad even got one to take a selfie :)


the dogs were so sweet and friendly.


 afterwards, we went back down to camp where we got to snuggle puppies!


 these guys were only 4 weeks old!!  my heart melted


 so tired!


 i tried desperately to sneak one off in my backpack :)


 but they learned that if they whine enough, they get to go back to their mommy :)


 the views from the camp were gorgeous, and i had the best day with my dad


 and that night, I had a date! :)

xoxo,
stephanie marie

July 27, 2015

Happy Birthday Brother!


Happy Birthday to my most favorite brother!  I couldn't have picked a better little brother if I tried {and if the stories are true from when we were little, I definitely tried}.  Thank you for always being there to encourage me and make me laugh - I know I can count on you for anything.  You're not only my brother but one of my best friends, and for that I am truly lucky.  Have a great one, little bro!

xoxo,
stephanie marie

July 24, 2015

Finally


I am so, SO excited, because after almost 11 years, Susannah and Rob are finally making it official :)  I know this weekend will be filled with so much love, laughter, and of course, DANCING!  I cannot wait to watch two of my favorite people in the entire world say I Do - get out the tissues!  I love you guys!!

xoxo,
stephanie marie

July 23, 2015

Alaska {Juneau}

 we spent Tuesday in Juneau, Alaska!  we woke up extra early to head out as a family to tour the mendenhall glacier.


 it was absolute gorgeous - and huge!


 totally worthy of getting out the selfie stick :)


 a few of us decided to hike out to get a better look at the glacier and the enormous waterfall beside it


 it was awesome - but freezing!


 we had to walk through 32 degree water to get a closer look, but it was worth it {even if my toes didn't agree}


 after that, we decided to warm up with some beer at the famous alaskan brewing company


 cousins!


 we tried several different brews in a short amount of time


 my faves were the ipa and the oatmeal stout


 the family that samples beer together, stays together


 later that day, we got back on the ship and made our way up the tracy arm fjord


 kalliu picked the locks on our balconies so we could all hang out together watching the glacier - it felt pretty fancy :)


icebergs surrounded us on all sides...


 ....and we passed this tiny rock island that had people camping on it in tents!  where did they come from?!?!?


 then just like that, the sawyer glacier was right in front of us!  breathtaking.


 the captain took the ship right up next to it, then did a 360 so you could see it from all sides of the boat.  it was spectacular.


 that night i had escargot cassoulet with dinner - the last time i had escargot was on a cruise with gramps to mexico!


 iceberg, right ahead!  from the dining room :)


 after dinner, the fam got together to watch kramer totally kill it at karaoke in front of a huge crowd.  it was probably the best performance i've ever seen! 


we were such proud cousins :)

xoxo,
stephanie marie