Visiting Seattle – Day 1 – Pikes Place and Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!

Last month I had the amazing opportunity to take a little trip with my mom to Seattle, Washington. Its kind of always been a bucket list item of mine and so for my thirty-fifth birthday I went. It was such a crazy time in my schedule that I barely had any time to really prepare or pack so we were kind of flying by the seat of our pants. But we were ready for the adventure. In my next couple of posts I’ll be sharing all about my trip, sharing with you the places we went and what YOU shouldn’t miss if you make a trip there. An important thing that I noticed, for all my military readers, was how many places offered a military discount! It was pretty cool! All the attractions we visited offered it. Public parking was also a dream there. I used my parking panda app and was good to go. UBer and Lyft are popular and easily accessible, and drivers are some of the nicest I have ever seen! I don’t think I heard a horn once, even while driving in the city.

First stop was Pike’s Place and to eat at the Althenian Seafood Bar and Grill (of Sleepless in the Seattle fame). This is the restaurant that Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner eat at when he asks him how his butt is. LOL! The Pike’s Place Market itself is a really cool place to go. Flower vendors as far as the eye can see. The flower were absolutely gorgeous and I was so sad that we were not staying in town long enough to have them.




The view was amazing and the food was stellar! Best clam chowder I’ve had outside of Monterey. Plus being here with my mommy, who I used to watch Sleepless with over and over with, was icing on the cake.

We of course visited the first Starbucks! While not in its original location (only a few doors down), its a tiny little shop that runs like a well oiled machine. The line moved really quickly and they have it well organized. All the cups and items to purchase are behind the counter. You point to the cup you want on a laminated sheet and they give it to you all boxed up. The greeter was so sweet and he had a British accent, so that’s fun. If you are able to go during the week, I would suggest it, weekend lines can be crazy. But for coffee cup collectors like myself its a must see site! This location is also the only one with the naked sea witch/mermaid!





We hit up several Starbucks locations in Seattle. In the city there is a crazy amount of them, like over 200 just in the city part of Seattle. I had a whole list of Starbucks I wanted to try to see, and while we only made it to two of the ones on my list I was going to make sure we checked out the Starbucks Reserve Roastery. This place is crazy!



This is just a portion of the 15,000 sq feet of coffee heaven. Its incredible and takes up a whole city block. But don’t think you’re going there to order your non-fat, vanilla latte with extra foam. You can sample specialty brewed coffee that you can only purchase at that location. They have a special dark hot chocolate too, and i’m kicking myself from getting so full I couldn’t taste it. The food here is amazing, cooked in these really neat little ovens. You can also get alcohol here. It was a really neat experience you can only have in Seattle.


If you want to see the list of must-see Starbucks locations (including all the ones I couldn’t get to) visit the Starbucks Melody blog.

My favorite Starbucks, and the best we had on our trip, was at the Seattle Armory which is located in the Seattle Center near the MoPOP museum. It is on the grounds of this amazing collection of art sculptures, playgrounds, and art exhibits. Its a really incredible venue and we wish that we had had more time to experience.

Continue Reading

Visit Dallas Part 2 – Dealey Plaza and JFK

Day 2 was spent taking it all of the JFK sites in Dallas. The experience was very surreal, and of course started with me flying into Love Field, which is where Kennedy started out that day. It seems really strange to have this be something that you’re “looking forward” to. But, being able to visit all of the John F. Kennedy exhibits was something that I didn’t know would ever happen in my life. I am so glad that it was something I can now check off my list. And if you ever think you would have the opportunity to go, DO IT!

visit my Visit Dallas Part 1 for Downtown Dallas Basics





Dealey Plaza is a really beautiful place, and it is such a shame that it is associated with something so awful in our history. The day was beautiful, probably not that unlike the day JFK was assassinated. I spent a lot of time sitting on the grassy knoll just thinking and taking it all in. 

Road the procession drove down, with Dealey Plaza in the background

Grassy Knoll


one of the things that really struck me the most about seeing this in person was how close it was to the grassy area. I mean, its close guys. These people saw everything. Every horrible detail and that alone was a lot to take in.


So, my take for all you conspiracy theorists….I’m very skeptical. I’ll leave it at that and save it for an upcoming “True Crime Tuesdays” podcast ep.


This museum guys….I wish I could have taken pictures, but it was truly amazing. The only thing that really matches up to it is the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Civil Right Museum we visited in Memphis, Tennessee. I cried a lot and it was especially moving. They did a phenomenal job.



















So, these candles were the candles that Jackie burnt exclusively in the White House. They are from Paris, her favorite place. And her signature scent for the White House was this green candle, which smells like Cypress. It was the one thing I bought for myself (except for the books – see Downtown Dallas post). I’m not sure why but it was just something that I wanted. Smells are such a big deal for me, and are so closely tied to ALL memories. Something about having that same smell in my house makes me happy.


Continue Reading

Visit Dallas Part 1 – Downtown Dallas

While in Dallas, even for a concert when tourism isn’t quite at the top of the list, I wanted to explore as much as I could.  I was so excited to check Dallas off my ‘Major Texas Cities’ Bucket List. Dallas is the third largest city in Texas, behind San Antonio and Houston (Read my Houston Travel Posts here), the fictional home of the Ewing family, and the location of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. And while many might say that the skyline isn’t quite as captivating as the Houston skyline (although I’m sure all my Dallas readers will strongly protest), the Dallas skyline is pretty neat to look at as well. Downtown has its share of unique and historic buildings, which makes an architecture geek like myself quite happy.

Let’s kick off this three-part series with some basics for when you are in the City of Dallas!


Where to eat?

First, you have to go to In and Out, especially if you haven’t been to one. Texans may argue that places like Whataburger are better, but if aren’t planning on making it to the East Coast anytime soon I would recommend it.  My kids, who have now spent most of their lives not in California (shutter) and are more officially East Coasters, compare it to Five Guys. And I’m sure there is somewhere out there who is thinking, “no way!! Five Guys is so much better!!” Well, we respectfully disagree!! If you’ve never had it before, some parts of Texas are about as far west as they come so give it a try. Having not had it in about two years, and being a California Girl. I hadn’t had it in over a year, and this California girl was missing it desperately. So, in case you are headed to Dallas and flying into Love Field, you can take a quick Uber into the city of Dallas and roll right through In and Out. Which I did on my way into the city, and before I headed home too. Call me crazy!



We were in the city for a conference, staying right downtown. We were looking for a comfortable place where we could get some good food, good drinks and a relaxing atmosphere. We chose Press Box Grill for both of our free nights and it was a great place. The fact that it’s in an old historic building (The Wilson Building) and you can catch all the sports you want on one 112inch or 16 other flat screens makes it a great choice for dinner or a drink. Their patio seating in when the weather is warmer is also dog-friendly. The service was fast, the food was good, and the bartender can make a mean mojito! Definitely a “must-see” Dallas spot!


Where to Get your Coffee

Whenever I visit a new city, I always try to hunt down a coffee joint that is local (sorry Starbucks).  I happened upon this place while I was just walking around the city, taking in the sites. It was so yummy!! And I was kind of a fan of the guitar wall. Located in another really cool old building, The Magnolia Hotel, is The Flying Horse Cafe. That building was the tallest west of the Mississippi when it was built, and had the landmark of a Pegasus, the mythical Flying Horse, where the cafe chose to get its name. What I love about the Flying Horse is their commitment to sourcing locally as much as possible. Their coffee is also bought from small farms globally and roasted in small batches in California. They support the local economy and culture by showcasing local artists, creating a unique community within their little cafe. Lots of seating a great place to get some work done.


Make sure you check out Flying Horse Cafe next time you are in Dallas!

Add to your bucket list – see that cool building in the back? They were still in the middle of construction and were set to open soon. I was so bummed that I was going to miss out. It is a Commissary. Like a legit, at the bottom of a department store, 1940s commissary, where employees would get their lunch in those old movies. I about died and am still so bummed out that I didn’t get to try it. So, someone please go and eat there for me!!!

Best Used Book Store

You will literally spend all your money here, so bring another suitcase just for the books.

I did my research before I went and I knew I had to visit Lucky Dog Books. Guys!!! They did not disappoint and I spent a lovely morning perusing the book store. I was thankful for Uber that day because I walked away with a bag full of books. I’m so sad that they are so far away. Thank you Lucky Dog, for making this book lover so happy!

Exploring the City

Spending time walking through a city is always an important aspect of immersing yourself in your travels. I love to get out and stroll down the streets as if it were my own city, looking at the buildings and the different shops and getting a feel for it. I also happened to find myself walking down the same street where the police officers were killed in Dallas, and where the march and riots took place. That was a very surreal thing to realize. And it was lovely to see this sign up as a reminder to thank those that put their lives on the line for us every day.

Many of the older buildings were so beautiful. And the murals!!! Very cool. The culture of Downtown, the old buildings, and cool restaurants are something special to Dallas, and while most cities have all of those things Texas has a little something special.  The downtown area is definitely going through some revitalizing, but the flavor was there, and it is exciting to see all the new shops and restaurants that are opening soon. With an interesting mix of cultures, heritage, new and old, Dallas is working on creating a great place for tourists to come to. Visit the Historic West End and check out the Dallas County Courthouse, which looks like a castle. It was built in the late 1800s out of red sandstone and is now the home to the Old Red Museum, dedicated to local history. The West End is also the location of the JFK museum and Dealy Plaza.


This was one of the monuments and memorials to JFK, and a little sneakpeek of my post that will talk all about the JFK sites that I was able to visit. It was the most emotional part of my trip, and I am so glad that I got to experience it.

Until then, I’ll leave you with this crazy giant eye in the middle of the city. It doesn’t belong to anything in particular. There’s no restaurant, hotel or public park. It’s a strange, privately owned patch of grass with this giant eye in the middle of it.

Stay weird Dallas!!

Continue Reading

DC/NoVA Adventures ~ Boonsboro, MD

This year with everything being so crazy in our life we decided we needed to get away a little earlier than our anniversary. So we decided a “mothersbirthanniversaryjustbecause” trip was in order. I love planning these little getaways with Mr. Air Force. We decided a long time ago that these were types of trips were a crucial piece to our military life puzzle. So even if it’s to the Holiday Inn down the street, or my amazing friend here taking the kids to her house for the weekend, we try to spend some time alone together. It is incredibly important to carve out that time, no matter how you do it. We decided to do something a little fancier this year in lieu of gifts for the above mentioned holidays.

I had heard about the Boonsboro Inn from my romance writer friends and a couple of girlfriends who are Nora fans. I have read exactly two Nora books, all a part of the Inn series. However, you do not need to be a Nora fan to love this place. And it was the vintage, literature feel of this place that made me want to go. You have a choice of eight rooms to stay in (seven named rooms and one penthouse): Elizabeth and Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), Marguerite and Percy (The Scarlett Pimpernel), Nick and Nora (The Thin Man), Jane and Rochester (Jane Eyre), Titania and Oberon (Midsummer’s Night Dream), Eve and Roarke (In Death novels) and Westley and Buttercup (The Princess Bride). It is truly an Inn feeling, with a sprinkling of a Bed and Breakfast. The staff is sweet and lovely, it is relaxed, the food is amazing, and if you can get your hands on the homemade chocolate chip cookies and cranberry scones you will have lived a complete life! Breakfast in the dining room is amazing!!!!!!!!

 If you love how each of the rooms is so beautifully curated. LOOK AT THAT LAMP!!!! It really is the most beautiful and coolest thing that I have ever seen.  What made it even better is that it was exactly like the lamp described in one of the Inn at Boonsboro books. It was like a reader’s dream guys! How many times have you read a book and wished you could live inside of it? Visiting the Boonsboro in is your actual chance to do that. u are a fan of Romance Novels (they are very reserved and not super risqué) or reading a good fiction novel, I would definitely recommend The Inn at Boonsboro series. The writing is lovely and the stories are as well. I long the small town part of it, with a little bit of mystery and drama. They are just a nice read. I picked up the second book in the library of the Inn and got about halfway through in our three days there. Do you know what else is really fun? Watching the movie named for the room you are in!!! I wish they had had some of the other Thin Man movies because I would have popped those in. Instead, we watched a Nora Roberts movie, called Midnight Bayou, which was really good.

The whole town is quiet and there’s not a lot to do right in the square. You can drive to some other cute small towns with antique stores and little shops. On the weekend we went to a neighboring town was having a strawberry festival. There are several local wineries that we never made it to, but will be on our list when we go again. Antietam is also really close, and that is a must see if you are in the area. We’ve been twice and I would go back again (you can find a post here).


The two main restaurants in the area (owned by Nora and/or her family) are the pizza place and Dan’s Tap House. The pizza I think is good, it’s not the greatest, but its fun place to go. If you do, check out the Warrior Pizza. It’s a local favorite and pretty darn good. Dan’s has some really good drinks from the bar, including Mule’s, which are my favorite. We ate dinner there once and then went back and sat outside and had drinks and dessert one night.

All in all Boonsboro is a nice place to go if you’re looking for some relaxation. It’s not busy and if you like to be busy and not drive anywhere this would not be the place to go. But if you are looking for a truly lovely, romantic and quaint place to be GO NOW!!! And if you are from the DC area, drive through Frederick and check out the Cuban food at Sabor de Cuba. You can thank me later.

First time eating Cuban food!!! It was amazing!!! Thanks, Frederick, Maryland!!!



Thank you Boonsboro, Rohersville and Frederick for such a great time!

Continue Reading

5 Tips for the Best Legoland Weekend!

Thank you Legoland, California for hosting the Cammo Style Love family! We had such a blast and we can’t wait to go back again. If you are a Lego-loving family Legoland is a must visit It’s a unique experience, unlike most theme parks that I have been to. Here are some tips we learned that we’d like to pass on to you all in the hopes that you’ll have the best time! Also, a little tip for families, military or otherwise, there’s a great La Quinta not too far down the road. We love traveling with LaQuinta because of the afforability, the quality of the stay and the breakfast! Such a great place for families, and makes our lives so much easier!

The boat ride is a must-see – you get to see some really cool large scale Lego designs

  1. Find the Discount – you can always find a discount to Legoland! Sometimes on the smaller plastic bags of Legos, sometimes on their website, but find yourself a discount! Like most theme parks it can be a bit pricey. If you are military you are in luck, you can score a great discount anytime! They have two different park hopper passes (which can get you into the waterpark and the aquarium in California). We skipped the aquarium this time as we have been to Monterey and we live right by the Baltimore Aquarium which is amazing! We almost regretted not getting the waterpark pass, but you’ll find out why it ended up being okay. Legoland also has their own version of a FastPass, which has three different options and reduces your wait time by 25%, 50% or 95%. It is a bit pricey, but it might be something that you want to consider depending on your vacation priorities.
  2. Pack Snacks and Food – What’s great about Legoland is you can bring your own food in. I pack a ton of snacks and even sandwiches for the kids. I typically bring a lot of food with us on trips where we stay in hotels anyway. It’s a great way to handle snacky growing kiddos, and save some money. Sometimes you can find deals in the park, where the kid’s meals are free with an adult purchase, so keep an eye out for that! Two places I would recommend with the most inexpensive food (and good) was the Knight’s Smokehouse and BBQ, by the dragon ride, and the food in Fun Town (they have Nathan’s Hot Dogs!). Don’t forget to get your famous apple fries! They are heavenly and worth the calories and price tag!
  3. Do your research – So there aren’t a ton of big rides as Legoland really is geared toward the littles, and there are a lot of non-ride activities to participate in. So, if you want to ride the big rides go there immediately to avoid waiting for a really long time. After you get your fill of that ride then you can move on through the park. Pick a different ride for the next day. The park isn’t extremely large, but it is definitely sprawling so we worked our way through in order after our chosen first big ride. Chose to do your water stuff on the same day, towards when you are going to leave the park. The pirate water ride will leave you VERY wet, but its a blast!
  4. The Water Park – So, we were aware that there was a water park, but for time and money’s sake, we chose to pass on it. Little did we know there is a smaller water play area that is completely accessible to regular park goers! It is right next to the pirate ride, which makes it perfect. I wish we had thought to have the kids wear bathing suits, but we had no idea that this was a thing. In all my research I didn’t see anything about this. So, here I am passing on the good news. Pack that swimsuit and play your day accordingly. Go on the water pirate ride and then spend some time at the water area. The kids had a blast!
  5. Bring your Mini Figures en mass – Yes, this is really a thing! Bring a baggie of those to trade with any of the employees that you see walking around. Note that they will have very non-descript Lego characters on their badges. But we did get some cool ones that the kids had never seen before. Think City lego set characters. We went onto eBay and just bought random lego guys to bring with us. This is a super fun part of the trip and because of that, our kids didn’t really ask for souvenirs. We did let them pick out lego characters at the store (caution, it is right at the entrance). 

Most, importantly have fun! Walk around and take in all the cool sites, visit the little portion of the factory and museum, meet characters, stop in Friendship Villiage and watch the shows! Even my oldest boy liked those. It is a fun time and way less stressful than many park experiences simply because it’s just not as big.

do you have Legoland tips? I’d love to hear them!


Continue Reading