FAMOUS IN AMSTERDAM

Well…more like just famous in a hotel in Amsterdam!

Here’s the scoop:
During the summer, this lady emailed me about using my Amsterdam photos that she found on my blog here to display outside the elevators of the Courtyard Marriott floors. At first, I was a bit skeptical wondering if this was ‘for real’ but I said SURE! Months go by and I completely forget about it, until she recently emailed me the final products.

OH MY GOSH! I was so shock to see how BIG the display was! I was like NO WAY! This is soooo COOL!! I’m FAMOUS!!!

They used 3 of my photos and the number in front means what floor the photos are on! I don’t know how long these will be up for, but if anyone plans on visiting Amsterdam soon…can you pleeeease make a pit stop at The Courtyard Marriott and take tons of pictures for me!!!



PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA

…but hiring a professional Paris photographer is even an better idea!!!

Naturally, I’ll be snapping hundreds of photos of my family using that awkward “selfie stick” or asking my mom to take our photos or that random stranger who has a nice camera on hand cause he looks like he knows how to take a good photo. But what I really wanted was a professional! I wanted the artist’s perspective insights, the best lighting, the best vantage point and not have to worry if they got the whole Eiffel Tower in the shot. And so I booked an hour photoshoot with The Paris Photographer and I couldn’t be happier. Ioana was a dream to work with and I love that she captured our personalities and the elegance of the city, that to me is priceless.








LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!


It has been quite some time since I last visited Universal Studios Hollywood – so coming back here after 20 years felt like I was visiting the place for the very first time! Which it was since the only thing that felt familiar was the Jurassic Park ride!


Now I’m all about riding more and waiting less at Universal Studios, but when you have a baby, though, all hopes of riding the attractions quickly goes up in smoke. Or does it? They now have the perfect system for families traveling with the tiniest of tots…Child Swap. And it is the best thing about the park! Me and Andre basically took turns riding the rides while the other waits with Avery and then switch off. The lines are much faster with less than a 10 min wait so it was nice to be able to get out and enjoy the rides!





This is an incredible theme park with thrilling attractions that completely immerse you in the movies and TV shows that you enjoy such as The Walking Dead and The Simpsons! Plus, they now have The Wizarding World of Harry Potter…it was every bit as magical as you’d expect, but not as magical as going to the actual studio in London!



INSIDE THE CAPITAL

Recently, we made a quick trip from Seattle to Washington, DC. With just three days to take on the town, we found ourselves gallivanting from The National Mall to Arlington, VA, cramming in as much as possible. This is our second trip with Avery on hand, so it was challenging to mark everything off our bucket list…but we did managed to check out these must-see spots:

The Washington Monument

The Pencil, otherwise known as the Washington Monument, is one of the nation’s most recognizable structures. It’s the first thing we saw as we flew into into DC.

It was built to honor George Washington.


The obelisk-shaped memorial is made up of marble, granite and blue-stone gneiss. It’s the world’s tallest structure made of stone and the tallest obelisk, at 555 feet tall.

Abraham Lincoln Memorial
A white stone building with 36 columns and featuring a solitary 19-foot-tall statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting in contemplation, flanked on both sides with inscriptions of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and his most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address.

The views over the reflecting pool to the Washington Monument are amazing.

World War II Memorial

At the east end of the Reflecting Pool sits the World War II Memorial, which honors all 16 million people who served the American armed forces, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

It contains 56 granite columns that symbolize unity among the 48 states, seven federal territories and the District of Columbia. And the two 43-foot tall structures highlight America’s victory on the Atlantic and Pacific fronts during World War II.

The U.S. Capitol Building

The domed U.S. Capitol building is where the business of Washington – and America – happens, and is a massive network of buildings, offices and meeting rooms.










We got to do a private tour thanks to a friend who works at the Capitol Building. We went on a Sunday when the Capital is closed so we had the whole place to ourselves.

White House


We just took pictures outside the White House since we didn’t have time to do the tour.

Battle of Iwo Jima

Dedicated in 1954, the Marine Corps War Memorial (or the Iwo Jima Memorial, as it’s often unofficially referred to) honors every Marine who has served since the founding of the Marines in 1775. The design of the memorial was inspired by Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. It features six 32-foot figures raising a 60-foot bronze flagpole. The entire memorial is 78 feet tall.

U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing


Cameras were NOT allowed on the tour so the closest thing we got to actually money was this million dollar case full of ten dollar bills ya’ll!

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History




What’s great about DC is that its monuments and memorials are FREE and open to the public 24 hours a day! You can’t beat seeing the Hope Diamond for FREE!!!

MY ADVENTURE BOOK

There are a few things that I collect when I travel:
Snow Globes. Magnets. Site Pennies. and Postcards!

I stop collecting snow globes cause I don’t have space to display them, currently they are in storage bins (tear). I recently started collecting magnets and site pennies. Site pennies are the machines usually found in souvenirs shops and they usually cost only $.51 cents. I’ve always collected postcards cause they seem the easiest to store and put away since they don’t take up to much space!
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So while clearing out the storage room, I came across my box of postcards and started to reminisce about all the wonderful places I’ve been to. I didn’t like that the postcards was just sitting in a box and wanted to find a way to show them off! So I did some research on ways to display postcards and nothing seems to catch my attention…until I came across ‘My Adventure Book’ the exact same book from the cartoon movie UP. I thought what if I place a postcard on each page with a picture from that place!
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I bought new colorful paper to replace the poop brown color which was totally worth the extra time of cutting and hole punching each sheet of paper! I used my ever growing collection of washi tapes to place the photos on the pages.
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And Whad’ya Know, My Adventure Book turned out amazing! Here are a few pages from some of my favorite locations!

Would love to hear how you guys displays items that you bring back from your travels!

CELEBRATING NEW YEAR 2017 (SAN FRANCISCO STYLE)

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We started off our NYE evening with an all-you-can eat/drink dinner at Prubechu located on Mission street! A Guam restaurant that serves Chamorro food with a twist! Their main course – the roasted pig – was indeed, the BEST! The skin was deliciously crispy and the meat was very tasty without the need for Mang Tomas (Filipino gravy).
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Afterwards we headed back into the city to a Jazz nightclub called Biscuit and Blues to listen to Cafe R&B! The lead singer ‘Roach’ was phenomenal and very hilarious!
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On New Year’s Day we sported our green and blue gear and made our way to Levi’s Stadium to enjoy the San Francisco 49ers lose to Seattle Seahawks 25-23!!!
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As we move froward to the New Year, we look back on all the warm memories, feel proud of our achievements and take a lesson from our previous mistakes. Hope you all have a year filled with endless fun and laugher.
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xo,
cammy

ROCKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE

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For Black Friday we ventured out to my usual u-Cut tree farm over at Mountain Creek Christmas Tree Farm in Snoqualmie and chopped ourselves a 6ft Noble Fir Tree!
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The place is simply magical and there’s no better way to get excited for the holidays than bundling up, hopping in the car, cranking some Christmas tunes, sipping on cider, strolling through the farm, and picking out the perfect Christmas tree.
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Have a safe Black Friday shopping everyone!

THIS IS HALLOWEEN

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The spooktacular This is Halloween showcases a live orchestra, cabaret, burlesque and visual art installations that provide entertainment with every lively move at the Triple Door. Inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, this seasonal spectacular is a ridiculously fun time.
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We got great seating and enjoyed a fantastic menu from The Wild Ginger Kitchen along with delightful cocktails & desserts! It’s a def. must when Halloween season rolls around!

HIDDEN GEMS OF FLORENCE

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Visiting the Uffizi Gallery museum is like taking a journey into the Renaissance. It holds some of the most important masterpieces of all time from Italian artists like Gioto, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Caravaggio.

Duke and Duchess of Urbino, from Piero della Francesca

Duke and Duchess of Urbino, from Piero della Francesca

The Sleeping Ariadne

The Sleeping Ariadne

Tondo Doni, from Michelangelo

Tondo Doni, from Michelangelo

The Birth of Venus, from Sandro Botticelli

The Birth of Venus, from Sandro Botticelli

Annunciation, from Leonardo da Vinci

Annunciation, from Leonardo da Vinci

Medusa, from Caravaggio

Medusa, from Caravaggio

The museum is organized in theme rooms about artistic periods or specific artists. So we made a plan to see certain rooms that house famous art pieces!
This is obviously the GO-TO museum if you only have a day in Florence!

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Next up is one of Florence’s oldest landmarks, the Ponte Vecchio. This special bridge runs through the Arno River that contains shops physically built into its structure, most of which sell jewelry and gold. However, artisanal goods of all sorts have been sold here since it was first constructed as far back as the 12th century.

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As we continue to make our way around the city, we stumble upon Piazza della Signoria which has been the center of political life in Florence since the 14th century. We got to see amazing statues of Hercules and Cacus, Loffia dei Lanzi is a free open air museum that had sculptures like The Rape of the Sabine Women or Perseus with the Head of Medusa.
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Since we didn’t have time to make it to the real David from Michelangelo (located in the Academy Gallery), this replica will have to do.

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We found this shop, Bartolucci by accident, while walking through various streets in Florence. I’ve always been a fan of Pinocchio and its many characters. This shop is overloaded with the guy, toys, figures and gift items, but all made from wood. The shop is really small, but magical!

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Since our hotel is right next door to The Church of Santa Maria Novella; there was no excuse not to visit one of the most important Gothic churches in Florence. The exterior is the work of Fra Jacopo Talenti and Leon Battista Alberti. The interior holds extraordinary works of art including Masaccio’s Trinità, Ghirlandaio’s fresco cycle in the Tornabuoni Chapel and Giotto’s Crucifix, among others.