Friday, November 12, 2010

I Left My Heart In Seattle

What a town. I had high expectations of Seattle and was certainly not let down. I have dreamed all my life of visiting this city, and my full day of exploration only made me love it more. Never mind that it was sunny, clear skies, and reached seventy degrees. I know I should come back when it is cold and rainy, just to get a better grasp on reality. Despite the balmy weather, I truly enjoyed my day in downtown Seattle.

After pacing around in my room for an hour, I finally felt like it was late enough to head outside. Perhaps it was because of the blocking buildings or maybe the high latitude, but it took forever for the sun to become a pertinent part of the day! When I woke up at 5:00 AM, I could have sworn it was midnight because it was still pitch-black outside.

I first headed towards Pikes Place Market shortly after 9:00 AM. People were still setting up their shops, so I decided to come see it again later in the day for a true experience. The flowers? A huge bouquet for $5.00? I would get fresh flowers every morning at that price! I didn't see any fish being thrown around prior to being filleted, but I did see endless displays of fish fresh from the water. If I liked fish even remotely, this probably would have been quite enjoyable. For this happy chicken-lover, however, I took a picture and scurried along my way.

I found the Gum Wall accidentally on my journey to find The Waterfront. It was fascinating to see so much gum strategically placed. And yes, the idea of how many germs were floundering in such a location crossed my mind. I found an entrance to the water and walked along the deck. I felt as if I was intruding on several homeless people's much-needed sleep. But I did get some nice pictures and enjoyed being on the water. This harbor is where the initial Alaskan gold first came into the United States back in the 1800's. Hence several shops are dedicated to miners and pirates alike.

Next, I wandered back up to Pikes Place to see the remainder of the booths. People make crafts, paintings, tiles, name it, you can buy it here. I didn't buy a thing and was quite proud of myself. I prefer to be someone who doesn't collect trinkets! It's a good thing, too, because my house would be full of them from all of my travels!

I then headed back south towards Pioneer Square and the Columbia Center, downtown's tallest building. I ate lunch here at a deli called Specialty's. Any sandwich with sprouts and avocado gets thumbs-up from me. My feet were already throbbing, but I continued my walk back towards the hotel, taking a different street so as to see even more of the city. It was quite a discovery for my shins to realize how vertical Seattle truly is. I climbed and descended many hills all through the day. Everything was so breathtaking. I think I walked about nine miles round trip.

When I got back to the hotel, I rested my feet for an hour before meeting Terry for an evening at the Boeing Museum of Flight. A separate post, all about airplanes, to come.

Conclusions: Seattle is a wonderful, friendly, magical, pedestrian-friendly location. I would move here in a heartbeat but think I should visit in the winter before I start looking for condos! It was such a great day and truly a dream come true to finally explore Seattle.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sunday Dinner With Friends

A few years ago, my sister, T'liese, a dear friend from church, Cassie, and I went to Cancun for a week of pure, tropical, white-sanded bliss. Since then, we've all gotten married, one had a baby, and one is expecting. Nope, not me. Cassie hadn't seen our new house yet, and I am always looking for an excuse to have people over for some grub! To help relive the olden days of lounging together and chatting, I decided to invite T'liese and her family as well.

The Menu
BBQ Beef Sandwiches
Pioneer Woman's Best Baked Beans Ever
Buttermilk Potato Salad
Tropical Punch Gingerale
Walnut Blondies with Maple Butter Sauce

Since we presently don't get out of church until 5:00 PM, the slow cooker has become my new best friend on Sundays. When we got home, T'liese and Evan were waiting for us, and Cassie and Joseph pulled up right behind. T'liese's husband wasn't feeling well and had to bow out of the fun. We had such a nice evening catching up on conversation! Cassie is expecting their first child within the month. They decided to be surprised about whether it's a boy or girl, and we had lots of informative conversation during dinner on how to have a baby. Isn't she a beautiful pregnant lady? They will be such great parents, and I am so excited for their little bundle of joy to arrive!

Thanks for such a fun evening, folks. Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have such great friends?

Monday, November 8, 2010

How To Have A Great Work Week

Step One: leave very early in the morning for a hop to mild Boise. It was quite a discovery to find out that Idaho has some hospitable locations, even in the winter. Where my grandparents live in Rexburg is unbearable eight months out of the year because of horrendous winds and low temperatures. I was expecting the same from Boise, but I was way off. They rarely get snow, and when it does happen to fall, it melts the same day. They are considered the desert of Idaho and have a very temperate climate. Honestly, I would buy a summer home here! It was gorgeous! And, luckily, they also have a PF Changs.

Step Two:
fly an evening flight to Spokane, Washington, just a half-hour away. My mom spent her senior year in high school in a small town a short drive from Spokane and came here for school clothes and to buy things not available near their home. She said she used to go to the mall with her mom, then eat at The Flamingo restaurant across the street after shopping was finished. I wish I would have had time to run to the mall to see if it was still there.

Step Three:
fly to Yakima and spend a lovely evening in a new hotel. The Holiday Inn just reopened a few blocks from their old location, and the hotel is so pretty! The bed was comfortable, and dinner with Boss #2 and other passengers was pleasant. He is quite the jokester and is fun to be around. I didn't have much time to explore the town since we left early the next morning.

Step Four:
fly to Portland, Oregon for a day of airplane-watching. We didn't know when we were leaving next, so we stayed close to the airport. I would also easily purchase a summer home in Portland as I love this place. After we borrowed a crew car for an Indian buffet lunch, we returned the spoken-for car and spent the rest of the day waiting for our passengers. They originally said 7:00 PM but showed up just before 5:00 for a short hop to Seattle.

Step Five:
fall in love with Seattle, Washington. I have always wanted to spend time here, and this was my first real opportunity. I am in love. More on this day in Seattle to come.

Step Six:
spend an evening at the Boeing Museum of Flight and drool over all sorts of neat airplanes. Accidentally meet an acquaintance of an acquaintance from my former life in Customer Care who happens to work at Boeing. Graciously accept when he offers a personal tour of a 787 Dreamliner the next morning. Try not to smile too much when sitting in the left seat of a 787 Dreamliner. That's right, folks. I SAT IN THE CAPTAIN'S CHAIR OF A 787 DREAMLINER! Since everything is proprietary, I couldn't take pictures. You will just have to trust me that an easy way to have a great week is to sit in an airplane that NOBODY sits in!

Step Seven:
fly home via a stop first in Boise to drop off a passenger. It was still beautiful, and I would still buy a summer home here.

Mesa-Gateway, Arizona -- Boise, Idaho -- Spokane, Washington -- Yakima, Washington -- Portland, Oregon -- Seattle, Washington -- Boise, Idaho -- Mesa-Gateway, Arizona

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mr. Hot Stuff

Yesterday was an all-day wedding event of a close friend of John's. Peter asked John to be a groomsman, so we spent the day in pictures, ceremonies, and receptions. It was a blast!

I just have to say that men in tuxedos are a favorite for me. And my man is particularly handsome! I am tempted to buy him a tuxedo for Christmas, simply so he can wear one any time my heart desires!

The wedding was beautiful. Congratulations, Peter and Mandy!
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