Thursday, January 23, 2014

Portland OR

Lizzie always makes my birthday an absolutely amazing. This year she surprised me with a trip to Portland OR, a place I've always heard about and always wanted to go. We stayed at a hotel with a river view, immediately got a drink and headed out for the night. We ended up at the Kennedy School which is an old school where the classrooms had been converted to separate bars. We even got to see the end of the Seahawks football game and I have to say being around the excitement was pretty cool.

Ok... The Kennedy School is absolutely awesome! They have their own brewery and each room has a sort of theme that went along with what kind of classroom it once was. For instance, The Detention Room was a tiny place that could hold maybe twelve people and is one of two places left in Portland where you can purchase and smoke cigars indoors. The Honors Room was my personal favorite, another tiny room with a wood burning stove and each bartender made absolutely killer Negronis! We ended up having dinner in The Boiler Room which is exactly what you think it was but much cooler with old plumbing made into gates and decoration.

The bar at Vivant

Dessert at Vivant

The next day we slept in then had a couple's massage at the hotel then off we went to find some food. We wanted to soak in as much Portland culture as we could so we went to two small plate places for dinner. The first was Bar Vivant, a Spanish Tapas slash in house dessert maker run by a few bearded awesome guys. Talk about authentic! The bacon wrapped dates are to die for. From there we went to the dark and secluded Expatriate which is run by Top Chef Masters alumni Naomi Pomeroy. The Drinks were to die for as were the lobster rangoon. From there we visited the small but nice Blush club for the remainder of the evening. 

The entire trip was so great! I'm sorry we didn't get as many quality pictures as we hoped but we're already looking forward to getting back to Portland as soon as possible. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Birthday and 200th Post

Well hey, it's my birthday and my 200th blog post. First I want to thank each and every one of you for following my blog and reading it. My reader numbers far exceed what I ever thought they would be and it means a lot to me that you all take the time to be a part of my life no matter where you live. I appreciate you and your time so much!

For my 200th post I want to dedicate this to my lovely, amazing, mega-talented and truly perfect wife, Elizabeth Valentino, who literally showed me how awesome life can be. She inspires me every day and  she has made me the happiest boy on Earth. 2014 is already shaping up to be a blockbuster year for her, she's writing a lot of new things including a steampunk erotica anthology, a RPG with me and she continues to work on a full length book that is going to blow your socks off. Not to mention a re-release of Bound By Blood! Everyone be on the lookout, this year is going to be an exciting one.

To you Liz, you are my everything and thank you for your amazing love and my amazing family! I love you all so much!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Killer Women

I'm super stoked and proud to tell everyone to check out my cousin, Siena Agudong, playing Lulu Parker in the ABC television action/drama Killer Women. The first run of the show is 8 episodes that follows a Texas Ranger that tracks some notorious murderous women.

We in the Valentino household are insanely proud of Siena and we give her big props for not only landing such an great role but also for absolutely doing an amazing job. Seriously, she's awesome. We'll be watching in Washington! Check out Killer Women on ABC on Tuesdays 9PM Central and look for the mega cute girl with glasses.

Need some more info:
Check out the ABC Killer Women site here:

Also check out Siena's Website:

Friday, January 3, 2014

Nashville vs. Seattle Part 3

Here's the third installment of the (in)famous Nashville vs. Seattle blog that highlights some interesting differences in life from a somewhat culture shocked Southerner. The last few blogs have gotten quite a lot of readers so I'm going to continue to do these as I keep noticing differences.

There's a ton of neon in Washington State, especially neon green. I suspect that the color's popularity originated with the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders FC but it definitely doesn't end there. People rock neon green even if it doesn't advertise the local sports teams. I've also noticed Washingtonians like to match their neon, sporting neon stripped shirts with neon socks and shoes. They're serious about their neon here.

Vape Stores
Despite the cheesy name, Vaping is also mega popular here and I get why. Using this product/method has allowed me to stop smoking for over a month now and I'm pretty damned happy about it. Anyway, there are vapor stores all over the place, including two in Gig Harbor (which is kind of weird if you've ever been here). But in general, there's tons of these places popping up. I guess it's good money if you can get in on the trend. As I know it Nashville has a very limited supply of these places. (Hint hint if you wanna make some money)

Ok, pot is legal in Washington. Of course at this point you still can't buy it without a medical card but from what I hear, it's harder to get a drivers license than it is to get a medical marijuana card. So what's everyone doing? Everyone and their mom, and their mom's dog and their mom's neighbor is opening a marijuana dispensary. If you thought Washington had a lot of Starbucks, you'd be right, but quickly dwarfing the coffee houses that make this land famous are white signs with green crosses on them indicating that they sell weed legally at that establishment. I'm not kidding about how many of these places are popping up, they're on every corner. My guess is everyone is opening a store so they have the licenses and stuff in place for when they can sell to the general public and they can all retire by twenty five. Since weed is very illegal in Nashville of course you're not going to find anything like this there. It was weird coming here and seeing weed stores but now I see them so often that it would be weird to not see them . Personally I don't care about weed but I'm glad it's somewhat legal .

Bikini Baristas
Ok, this may sound redneck but one of the awesomest little perks of WA is the freedom and open-mindedness that goes on here and yes that does include having little drive up only bikini barista coffee stands. They funny part is they often make better coffee than the latest "cool coffee place in town". Maybe it's just I'm a sucker for a hot girl making coffee... I mean your day is just a little better when your mocha is served by someone in pasties. In Nashville, they might literally try to throw the bible at you if you attempted to open one of these places but maaaaannnnn if you wanna cash in big time the South is ripe for the pickin.

Nerds take all
Ratio wise, there are a ton more "nerds" in Seattle than there are in Nashville. I mean that in the nicest way too because I consider myself one of them. You'll typically run into more "nerdy" folks here. It's kind of like being at a con all the time. Chances are pretty good that you'll run into someone that would love to talk about the weapon systems of Jaeger in Pacific Rim.