Fourth of July with Friends in OC by Michael Morris

Somehow we’ve time traveled forward to July - at least it feels that way with how busy the last few months have been. Thankfully, we were able to escape the daily grind for a for days and head down to Orange County, California for the Fourth of July holiday to visit our dear friends Tiba and Kyle, who had actually just moved back down there only a few days earlier!

The cool, cloudy morning that we left behind in Seattle was the polar (or should I say solar?) opposite of the beautifully warm and sunny days that awaited us in California. We enjoyed afternoons in the pool and on the beach, evenings full of laughter and board games, lots of rest and way too much great food. Quality time with some of your favorite people is the best way to spend a holiday!

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A Business Trip to Tokyo, Part 3 - Tsukiji by Kristi Wallace Morris

The Tsukiji Fish Market is a seafood lover’s paradise. Aman and I set out to eat our way across the market with empty stomachs and plenty of cash.

Favorite Places:

  • Tsukiji Fish Market

    • Kouragumi Tsukiji - Grilled to order seafood

    • Maruyama - Nori and Tea Merchant (I recommend the apple hojicha!)

    • Marutake - Artisanal tamagoyaki makers since the Taisho Era

  • Tsukiji Hongwanji Buddhist Temple (No photos allowed indoors, but worth a quick visit.)

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A Business Trip to Tokyo, Part 1 - Ebisu by Kristi Wallace Morris

Back in May, I went on my first international business trip, a global summit held in Tokyo, Japan. The challenge was huge—coordinate a summit for up to 160 guests in a month. It was daunting, demanding, and yet was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. It’s really hard to describe the waves of emotion that I felt during that week in Japan, so for this series, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Favorite Places:

  • Yebisu Garden Place

  • TOP Museum

  • 江戸前蕎麦と溶岩焼地鶏 真禅 (Edo-style soba noodles and grilled chicken)

  • The Westin Tokyo

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Weekend Trip | Olympic Peninsula - Day 2 by Michael Morris

Day 2 of our Olympic Peninsula weekend escape included a relaxing morning at Colette’s Bed & Breakfast, an outing to gorgeous Lake Crescent and Marymere Falls nearby, and lots of good food, the peak of which was our dinner at C’Est Si Bon.

Stay at Colette’s Bed & Breakfast

I cannot say enough kind things about Colette’s Bed & Breakfast. The hospitality was exceptional, the rooms were superbly comfortable, and the grounds and gardens were as beautiful as they were relaxing.


Visit Lake Crescent and Marymere Falls

Lake Crescent is a pristine mountain lake located a short drive from Port Angeles, WA. It is the second deepest lake in the state with a maximum depth of 624 ft. The shores of the lake are dotted with quaint cabins that are available to rent and there is a sizable lodge for visitors. We also enjoyed a casual hike from the lodge up to Marymere Falls.

Eat at C’Est Si Bon

Dinner at C’Est Si Bon was, and I do not say this lightly, one of the best meals of my entire life. Chef Michéle Juhasz and her husband Norbert have been serving French cuisine in Port Angeles for more than 30 years. Each and every meal brought to our table was immensely flavorful, cooked perfectly and was a surprisingly generous portion. Michéle and Norbert both personally came and spoke to our group throughout our meal and were truly caring hosts.

P.S. - We wish that we had more photos of the meal to share, but sunset arrived before the meal and there simply wasn’t enough light left to do justice to the amazing food on the table!

Appetizers:

  • Soupe A L'Oignon Gratinee Au Champagne (French Onion Soup)

  • Escargots Curnosky (Escargot in Garlic Butter, Wine and Herbs)

Entrees:

  • Saumon En Papillotte (Salmon in Parchment)

  • Souffle Au Crabe (Dungeness Crab Souffle)

  • Magret de Canard Aux Airelles (Duck Breasts with Berry Sauce)

  • Canard Roti (Roast Duck)

  • Medaillon Beurre de Cassis (Beef Tenderloin in Red Currant Sauce)

Dessert:

  • Mousse Au Chocolat (Chocolate Mousse)

  • Crème Brûlée

  • Gâteau Au Fromage (Cheesecake)

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Weekend Trip | Olympic Peninsula - Day 1 by Kristi Wallace Morris

Day 1 of our trip to the Olympic Peninsula began with a short ferry ride to Bainbridge Island followed by a scenic drive up to Sequim, WA, where we got to check off an item from our Washington bucket list—visiting the Olympic Game Farm. We followed that up with an amazing brunch and a relaxing evening getting settled in to our bed & breakfast (featured in the Day 2 blog post coming soon).

Visit Olympic Game Farm

The Olympic Game Farm has quite the interesting history. The farm originally worked exclusively for Walt Disney Studios, providing animals for the film industry until the 1970s. Since then they have focused on caring for their animals as well as providing a home to captive bred animals who are in need. Visitors are able to drive around the farm with loaves of whole wheat bread to feed the animals, many of whom are free to walk right up to your car (and stick their head inside to request more bread).

Eat at Oak Table Cafe

For nearly 40 years the Nagler family has served their community delicious breakfast and lunch. In addition to the original location in Sequim, WA the family operates a second restaurant in Silverdale, WA. The food was amazing and the photos just make me want to drive out and eat it all a second time. Here’s what our table shared:

  • Western Omelette

  • Ham and Cheddar Omelette

  • Peach Waffle

  • Apple Pancake

  • Thick Sliced Bacon

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University of Washington - Cherry Blossoms by Michael Morris

Between hectic work schedules and frequent spring showers, having the opportunity to get out and take a few photos on a weekday is an elusive goal for us this time of year. It’s for this reason that we were thankful to have a short window of opportunity last Thursday to race the approaching rain clouds and the quickly setting sun over to the University of Washington campus, where the cherry blossom trees on the quad are in full bloom. When we arrived, the weather was perfect—cool, lightly breezy and a calm grey sky—the kind a photographer loves dearly.

When the cherry blossoms bloom in late March and early April, the already gorgeous UW campus becomes even more captivating. The quad was full of people relaxing, taking a leisurely stroll, throwing frisbees and letting their dogs meet and play with new friends. Special thanks go out to our friends Rei and Aman for coming with us, encouraging us to get out at the end of a long day, and for lending a hand while we tried to capture the lovely campus. We’re already looking forward to going back and seeing more of the sights around campus!

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Day at SFMOMA by Kristi Wallace Morris

Last week flew by so fast, following a long and busy GDC. Our lofty plans to roam the city for art districts and good Mexican food quickly fell to pieces as we all realized that we couldn't muster the energy to stand on our feet any more than we absolutely had to. So instead, we opted for a lazy Saturday.

We started with a relaxing brunch at Samovar, a short walk through Yerba Buena Gardens then off to the SFMOMA at the recommendation of our friend Shailendra. This was a great way to wind down and recharge. The museum is stunningly gorgeous and so peaceful. Just what this introvert ordered after a people-filled week. While modern art isn't my favorite—I don't always get the style—there were a lot of quirky and interesting pieces that are worth the visit.

Brunch at Samovar

- Smoked Duck Hash with Earl Grey

- Salmon Eggs Benedict with Four Seasons Oolong

We ate here three times last week. It's just that good! Mike especially recommends the smoked duck hash if you're feeling something hearty and savory. My personal fave was the salmon eggs benedict. Biscuit, salmon, avocado crema and poached eggs on top. How good is that?? If you’re in the mood for something sweet, order the Challah Country French Toast. And of course, get some tea! I especially loved the Four Seasons Oolong (bright, floral, refreshing) and the Goldon Phoenix Oolong (sweet, peaches, deep). You don’t be disappointed!

Lunch at Super Duper Burgers

- Super Burger

- Garlic Fries

Always a great option for a quick bite. Treat yourself to a dipped cone too!

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A Sunday Stroll in San Francisco by Kristi Wallace Morris

My friend Aman and I decided to catch an early flight out to San Francisco on Sunday to enjoy a leisurely afternoon before the rush of GDC. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect—sunny, warm, and a bit of a breeze. (Way more sunny than our poor Seattleite eyes were ready for.) We met up with our dear friend Rei then set off down Market Street towards the Ferry Building.

Lunch at The Slanted Door

We started our adventure with a lunch at The Slanted Door, a James Beard award winning restaurant that serves up modern Vietnamese food. We ordered a few rounds of the pineapple spritzer and a feast to share:

- Crispy Vegetarian Imperial Rolls
- Grass-fed Verde Farm Shaking Beef
- Lemongrass Chicken
- Confections and Chocolate

Shops We Visited

Blue Bottle Coffee (Buy a bag of the Bella Donovan!)

Beekind

Dandelion Chocolate

The Gardener

Far West Fungi

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