Snowy Adventures with Scout

On New Years Day, we headed up to Mount Laguna for a walk through the forest with Scout. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year than breathing in fresh mountain air with the late afternoon sun on our skin. Patches of snow clung to the shady spots in the meadow and underneath the trees. So Scout experienced her very first snow day! And let me tell you – you haven’t seen pure happiness until you’ve seen a cattle dog chasing pinecones through the snow. Not pictured are the handful of photos I took of her rolling uncontrollably and darting through the snow-covered grass, leaving flurries of ice behind her while we died laughing. If there’s one resolution I have this year, it’s to do more of this.

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Anniversary Overnight at Ace Hotel DTLA

This last weekend, Dave and I headed up to Los Angeles for an overnight anniversary trip. October 28th was our 7 year “first-date-iversary” and we figured that seemed like a pretty good date worth celebrating after all the chaos of October died down.

After a 4-hour drive from San Diego through brutal traffic, we finally made it to the newish Ace Hotel in the Broadway theater district of downtown LA. A bottle of wine and a handwritten note from the hotel greeted us in the room. Our king-sized bed faced out two large windows overlooking the LA skyline, which made for some really fun photos in the morning. It’s still so bizarre to me that I get to wake up every morning next to this guy and call him my husband (anyone know when the weirdness of that normalizes?).

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Italian Honeymoon Pt. 3 – La Specola Zoological Collection

Just beyond the tourist-swarmed Ponte Vecchio and past the Pitti Palace, a flight of stone stairs leads up into one of the oldest European science museums and the first Wunderkammer of the 17th century. Twenty-four rooms, all lined with beautiful floor-to-ceiling wood and glass cabinets, contain a vast collection of species from around the world. Many of the taxidermy pieces are notably newer, while others are charming reminders of how far the art of taxidermy has come – one example being the Medici family’s preserved pet hippopotamus which was laughably taxidermied by a man who had never seen one alive before. The museum also boasts a mount of the legendary thylacine, which was pronounced extinct in 1936.

La Specola was one of my favorite stops in Florence. We walked back through each room a total of three times because I couldn’t get enough of this place. I could gladly live in here.

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Italian Honeymoon Pt. 2 – Bologna Zoological Museum

Dave and I spent the majority of our honeymoon weaving through halls of dusty taxidermy, peering into Victorian cabinets full of centuries old creatures. My mom was pretty annoyed that after coming home from our trip, all I had to show were pictures of dead animals. But Italy has some of the most extraordinary and historically significant naturalist collections, with pieces dating back to the 18 and 1900’s.

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