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April 2016 // Seattle

A lot has happened since my last blog post… As I haven’t been great at keeping up with it! …oops! Maybe someday I’ll have free time…

Mostly what has happened is: I am engaged to a man I love so much!! The last 3 years of being single has taught me much about myself, God, and others around me… I can’t say I loved being single, but I am grateful to be able to look back and see how much I grew and was prepared by God to proceed into this next season of life. I feel honored to have met and now be engaged to an amazing man who is smart, reflective, funny, loves the Lord, and isn’t bad on the eyes! This year will be my biggest year yet, and I just can’t wait!

In sharing that little piece of my story this year, I am posting pictures from our first vacation together! We were able to visit my parents and explore around Seattle (it was fun taking Brock for his first time!) Thank you to my parents & brother & Kate for giving us such a good time!

First Stop: The Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room. This is place is like starbucks elite… fancy coffee, coffee flights, reserve roasts not available at regular starbucks, and it looked really nice too! Definitely a fun stop if you’re ever around!

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Next stop: the iconic space needle! need I say more…

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Our last main stop of the day on friday was the EMP: Experience Music Project. It’s a really cool museum that captures the music and style of Seattle/the pacific northwest. And RIP Prince… there were tributes everywhere!

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Saturday was family day! We rented a minivan and took the Puget Sound by storm! We started with a ferry ride from Edmonds to Kingston.

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When we arrived in kingston, we drove up to Point no Point lighthouse, such a senic, beautiful spot! Made me happy to be a photographer!

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Shenanigans…

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We had a little otter friend come out to play for a second!

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Jumping pictures all around!

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We had a little lunch break in Poulsbo, Dad wanted to be the karate kid and we became vikings for a moment!

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After poulsbo, we rode the Bremerton ferry over to downtown Seattle!

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We ended the day on a fun note, celebrating our engagement and my dad’s and my birthdays at Salty’s, which had a great view of the city if I do say so! Till next time Seattle!

XO – SheaLyn

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Casey Kleeman Musician // Phoenix

This is a little bit of a throwback! Casey Kleeman is Casey Marie Music, and I had the pleasure of taking photos for her website debut! She is one of a kind, the sweetest person you’ll ever meet! And her musical talent is just a cherry on top! I was so happy with how these photos came out, I feel like they capture many of the beautiful sides of Casey.

Go check out her website www.caseymariemusic.com for more information about this lovely lady!

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Vienna // Day 5

My last day in Vienna is over. Today was much more relaxed, I decided to embrace the relaxation part of this vacation and didn’t leave the hotel this morning, it was glorious! After my morning in, I went to my much anticipated dance lesson to dance the Viennese waltz in Vienna! I have been ballroom dancing since March so I was excited to dance abroad in a place that is famous for dancing. My teacher was wearing a formal tuxedo and he taught me more about the tradition and technique of the Viennese waltz, it was so fun! I’m really mad I didn’t get a picture! But, it was a great experience and I recommend it to anyone who visits.

By the time I got back, my Mom was free from her conference! We headed over to the Naschmarkt, the public, outdoor market that has been around since the 1700s.  Although it was interesting, I wouldn’t put it on the top of my POIs if you plan on visiting Vienna; it was a lot of street shops selling the same things. IMG_0989 IMG_0993

I did love this sign!

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Then we went over to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the famous cathedral that can be seen all around town. It was unbelievable! Unfortunately they were doing some construction/preservation on the side of the building, but I think you can get the point.

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My last stop of the day was the Danube river.  Many of you have probably heard the Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss, and fun fact, it is the most famous waltz ever written and it plays all across the city and everyone waltzes when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.  Anyway, the music inspired me to visit the Danube, so there I went!  It was pretty rundown unfortunately, so this would not be very high on my list either, but I can say I saw it!

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Lastly, I had to take a picture of my coke at dinner, I thought it was fun that it was in German, even though I didn’t know what it said… Once I got home I looked it up, and it says “Share a kiss with the waiter” I wish I would have known😉

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XO -SheaLyn

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Vienna // Day 4

Day four is done and I am feeling pretty tired… I’ve been doing so much walking, and I don’t have quite as much energy because I’ve been adventuring alone yesterday and today.  But today was another lovely day, the best weather by far all week! This morning I woke up and planned to go to the Spanish Riding School, but unfortunately they weren’t practicing today so I wasn’t able to see the famous lipizzan horses.  Fortunately, the Demel cafe was nearby and I was able to go get some more coffee and a pastry! Demel has been around for a long time and has been passed down many generations, so it was another recommendation from travel books and pinterest.  They make the classic Viennese Sachertorte, so I bought some to go and am eating it right now; it is not what I was expecting, a very subtle chocolate cake, but it is good. It was cool to see the pastry chefs at work!

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Then I meandered around town and into the national library… It was incredible. I wouldn’t mind having a library like this!

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For lunch I had Italian… go figure. I had a crepe, gluten free🙂, with potato, cheese and bacon. It was delish!

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After lunch I saw the town hall (Rathaus) along with massive, ornate museums, the Austrian parlaiment, and the beautiful volksgarten (Vienna really has it’s gardens down).  It’s hard to believe that all of these buildings were built in the 1700s, they are really unbelievable to look at in person.

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XO -SheaLyn

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Vienna // Day 3

Today was my first day alone out on the town, and while I missed my partner in crime, it turned out to be a lovely day.  First stop of the day was Cafe Sperl, a pinterest recommended, authentic cafe that was featured in the movie “Before Sunrise” (haven’t seen the movie).  Side note before I go on, I wouldn’t say that German/Austrian food is my favorite, much of the food is bread and pork of some kind, and as many of you know I don’t usually eat bread or wheat.  BUT, I have cheated this week, and although my stomach has not loved me, I will say I have loved some of the sweet pastries I have been eating.  This morning I ordered a Latte and apple struedel, and it was DELISH! It was also fun to sit in a beautiful, old-world cafe, the only thing that would have made it better would be good company!

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After I was satisfied with my delicious breakfast, I headed over to Belvedere Palace which is now an art museum. It was built in the early 1700s in a lavish baroque style by Prince Eugene, and consists of an upper and a lower mansion as well as expansive gardens and a horse stable. It currently holds many works of art by renowned Viennese artists from the early 1700s till now, including many works of Gustav Klimt.  Although I couldn’t take pictures inside, I saw “The Kiss” and it was surreal to see it in person.

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Below is Upper Belvedere from the front

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Above and below are the famous Belvedere Gardens as seen from behind Upper Belvedere

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Below is Upper Belvedere from behind

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Below is lower Belvedere as seen from the middle of the gardens

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Dahlias are my favorite flower!

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Above and below are the gardens behind lower belvedere and the below picture features the horse stable

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As I was walking back I ran into the Liberation Monument

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After my jaunt today I passed out when I got back to the hotel and woke up 3 hours later… I think all this walking is getting to me! Guilty confession: I ran out to starbucks this evening and had my first pumpkin spice latte since it was rainy and cold #sorryI’mnotsorry. I hope I can sleep tonight. See you tomorrow! XO-SheaLynPhoto on 9-9-15 at 8.39 PM

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Vienna // Day 2

“The hills are alive, with the sound of music…. La la la la”

Day two in Vienna was actually a day trip to Salzburg! The original home of the real Von Trapps and also where the movie, The Sound of Music, was filmed. We didn’t have a hard time finding the train, even though everything is in German, but getting around Salzburg itself was a little bit more difficult.  Luckily, we went on a Segway tour and got all the best sights of Salzburg in a two hour ride, our guide was so sweet, and although it’s nerdy, it really is an efficient way to see any town and I totally recommend it! (http://www.segway-salzburg.at/)

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Riding the Train

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Our tour guide informed us that Motzart was not quite as tall and handsome as he appears in his statue!

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This is the largest Baroque fountain outside of Italy

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I loved this! This is the smallest house in Salzburg. Apparently, back in the day, you had to own property to be able to marry, so even if a guy owned this tiny house, he could get married! Don’t know how much his wife would like it though…

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They tried to cut this mountain in half, then they decided to make a tunnel because it was too difficult.

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Our tour guide told us that this was a piece of modern art, and that the artist meant it to say that like pickles, there are no two people alike!

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The above and below pictures are the beautiful Cathedral in the middle of the old town, it was incredibly ornate and awe inspiring.

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They used this building pictured below as part of the Von Trapp residence in the movie, it is now a hotel

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Another sight from the movie, the above and below pictures are at the Abbey where Frauline Maria was a nun, it is one of the oldest abbeys in the country and the real Maria did live here.

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These are the Mirrabelle gardens,Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau had Altenau Palace built them in 1606 as a token of his love for Salome Alt. The palace fulfilled its purpose: fifteen children were born of their union, ten of whom survived. How lovely!

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Until Tomorrow -XO SheaLyn

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Vienna // Day 1

We made it! It felt like we were travelling for two full days because we say the sun set, rise, then set again before we got to our hotel… But, I think we are adjusting just fine!

Vienna is beautiful! The first things I noticed: Everything is in German, there are a lot more Asians than I was expecting, and there are pastries everywhere I turn.  It’s a nice 60-70 degrees here which made for a lovely day at the Schonbrunn Palace and Zoo! The palace was a summer home for Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II, and it was damage during World War II then rebuilt and slightly modified.

I think the jetlag is getting to me and for some reason I’m having the hardest time putting words together into a sentance right now, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

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On the way home we were in the subway station, and heard music so went to find what we thought might be live performers… we instead found an Opera Toilet! I decided to take a picture, but was laughed at by a teenage boy who looked at me like I was the most ridiculous person he had ever seen. Only in Vienna!

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See you tomorrow! XO-SheaLyn

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Happy Father’s Day

In honor of my most amazing father, I am doing a post on a special day we were able to share when he was here over Christmas! My parents bought me a GoPro this year and we decided it needed to be tested, and what better way than to go off road with Dad’s new Jeep! I was pretty excited with how the photos turned out because, in my humble opinion, they look like they should be in a Jeep ad. The day did throw us a curveball because we weren’t able to get out of the trail like we had thought, but we survived in the wild and had a good time doing it.  Love you dad, I wish I could celebrate with you today in Seattle!IMG_6224

Also, as you can see below, we had to get used to using the tiny camera and got a few good selfies along the way…

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The Big 5-0 // Washington

On April 24th my dad turned 50! I was so glad to be able to go up to Washington to celebrate his birthday! I’m already wishing I had taken more pictures on this trip because we did a lot of fun stuff, but the main event was an overnight charter on a yacht! With Captain Josh we toured from Lake Washington/Lake Union through the locks, across the Puget Sound to a smaller, nordic-themed town called Poulsbo.  I definitely admire the nautical life, although I learned how much upkeep a boat requires, especially a large yacht. We learned a lot and it was so nice to spend time with my family. Enjoy!

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You can just feel the love, right?

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I’m not sure if this ship is on the deadliest catch, but it looks like one of those! I know a couple of ships come down to dock in WA for repairs and upkeep in the off-season.

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As we drove past this ship, Captain Josh mentioned that they are going to cut it in half to add 60 feet or so of ship. That seemed crazy to me, but he said it is more cost effective to work with what you have rather than buy an entire new ship… Interesting.

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This picture, along with the following, are of the locks. The locks are a barrier between the fresh water of Lake Union and the salt water of Puget Sound.  There are small locks, which held us and another sailboat on the way out of Lake Union, and there are large locks, which held us and a number of other boats on the way into Lake Union. The large locks can hold huge boats and ships if needed. The process was intriguing, we went into the first door and fastened to a wall, then the water lowered and we exited the second door. You learn something new every day!

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Even kayaks can go into the locks!

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This is a dark picture, but there in the distance you can see Mt. Rainier.

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Quick shout out to Brenna Alexander, they made a ship for you!

XO -SheaLyn