Goodbye, California!

Well, it’s official – we’re moving! In 11 days we’ll be on the road and moving out of California.


Truthfully, this move has been in the works for some time, but I wanted to wait until we secured an apartment before saying anything. Matt and I have been talking about moving for about two years now. When we first moved to South Africa, we weren’t sure if we’d move back to California. But since we didn’t really have a place or reason to move, we decided to stick it out in southern CA for 18 additional (and long) months. A few months after we moved back to CA from SA, Matt started working remotely for a company based out-of-state. After working for them for over a year, it is time for him to start working in the company headquarters, meaning we’re crossing state lines.
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Travel Tromp: Seattle, Washington

travel tromp- Seattle, Washington

Original photo via Anupam_ts.

Seattle is quickly becoming one of my favorite places. While I’ve only been up there a few times, I’ve fallen in love with the city. Since the company that Matt works for is based in Seattle, trips up north have been a bit more frequent for him. Not one to be left behind, I joined him for a week-long trip in September. I’ve heard that the first two weeks of September are the most beautiful time to visit Seattle. Lucky for us, we had beautiful weather (85 degrees while it was 106 in southern CA) for most of the trip. So in my mind, Seattle is always sunny and bright. Here are some of the places we went during our last trip:

Seattle, Washington

Eat / Drink

I was blown away by the fabulous food choices in Seattle! We made a point to eat almost all seafood while there. These were my favorite places:
Liberty Bar – This place specializes in two things: sushi and liquor (so it is basically perfect). They have great and fresh food, and hundreds of different types of scotch and bourbons. We loved this place so much that we made two trips within a few days.
Anchovies & Olives – Anchovies and Olives has a killer happy hour: $1 oysters. Yes please. The atmosphere of the restaurant isn’t exactly causal but it isn’t formal either. It’s a great place to stop by for a date, grab a drink with a colleague, or happy hour with friends. I suggest stopping by during happy hour, though, since the prices are more reasonable.
Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar – This is one of my favorite oyster places in Seattle. I’ve only been up to Seattle a few times but I always make sure to stop by this place if I can. I really love that you can pick out the oysters that you’d like to eat. They also have a nice selection of beer and wine.

Pine Box – The Pine Box has delicious pizza and an incredible selection of beer. The restaurant is housed in a former mortuary (not at all creepy) and offers a nice little beer garden / patio in the back. This is the place if you’re a beer fanatic.


We stayed in a cute little 1 bedroom apartment that we found through AirBnB. The apartment was in the cute little neighborhood of Madison Valley, which was a great location. There were a ton of cute cafes and restaurants close by and we were within 15 minutes walking distance of Capitol Hill. Both Madison Valley and Capitol Hill are great neighborhoods to check out


Pike Place Market Yes, Pike Place Market is a complete tourist destination, but I still had a lot of fun stopping by the shops, watching them throw fish, and drinking coffee from the original Starbucks.

Nature! If I had to sum up my thoughts on Seattle, I would say “Go for the oysters / jobs, stay for the nature.” It absolutely blows my mind that the city is so close to so many state parks and gorgeous mountains. We spent most of our nature time at Snoqualmie Falls … and a few hundred other tourists.
Travel Tromp: Snoqualmie Falls

Have you been to Seattle? If so, any tips on where to eat/drink, places to stay, and where to explore?


Makes Me Smile

Here are six things that are making me smile this Monday:

Smile #1: We recently had a friend stay with us a few nights while she was in the process of moving. As a way of saying thanks, she left us this cute salt and pepper shaker set.

Smile #2: When I arrived at my mother’s house Thursday, I found these little gifts waiting on the nightstand (minus the glasses and keys). The Pike Place cook book is perfect since we just got back from Seattle.

Smile #3: Every time I head up to the Bay Area, I make it a point to visit my favorite sushi restaurant, Shogun. In all honesty, the only sushi that I’ve had that tops their quality was in Tokyo, at the Tsukiji Fish Market.

Smile #4: Seeing this dog makes me smile like no other. Roz is 15 and the most lovable dog there is.

Smile #5: This is my great grandmother. She’s 98 and wonderful, and puts the biggest smile on my face. Did I mention that she’s 98?!

Smile #6: This Monday, I’m smiling because I was able to witness my friend from high school marry the man of her dreams in the most beautiful ceremony I have ever seen. Congratulations!

What’s making you smile this Monday?