Advent Merriment, And The White Elephant

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Photo Credit: Barbie Hull Photography http://christopherflowers.biz/tag/museum-of-history-and-industry/

One stormy night in early December M and I made our way down to South Lake Union to Museum of History and Industry for my company’s holiday party. The night started out with a storm that knocked out power in some area neighborhoods of Seattle and north. Getting there was a little bit of a challenge since we could not take I5 since it was all backed up. So down Aurora (SR99) we went, and it was smooth sailing from there.

The party was swinging by the time M and I walked through the door. There was signature drinks to be tasted and heavy hor d’oeurve to be sampled. I really like the lamb burger slider and the yummy lettuce wraps they had. I didn’t taste the signature drinks but I heard they were great. The three were Icicle Blue, Fireside and Holiday’rita. Around this time I realized how much of an introvert I really am. Large crowds of people bring this out not only in me, but in M as well. Having another introvert as a date becomes tricky since we both stand there like an island in the middle of the room unsure of ourselves.

After all the toasts were made, M and I made our way through the museum galleries to check out the history the building held. In the Klondike Exhibit M and I decided to see what our prospects were during the gold rush. Our results where night and day. Michael ended up with a person who mined $2,000 worth of gold, looses all of it in a night of gambling and then was jailed for jumping the man who won his gold. Not much of a luck strike! For me I got John Nordstrom and I went on to building a fortune off of the miners coming through and opening a shoes store that one day have a mark of fashion in the Pacific Northwest.

One gallery M really liked was the sports memorabilia on display. On display is the Seattle Super Sonics Basketball team’s NBA Champion trophy from 1979, along with the second base from the last Mariners game played in the Kingdome. The base on display has all the signatures from all the players on the team who played in the last game.  But it was the display with the Mariner game score book belong to Dave Niehaus that was the highlight of the evening. Niehaus would keep sore of every game the Mariners played in a spiral bound book while he was the announcer. Just seeing this made the night for the both of us.

Around 10:30pm we made our way to the door to go home and get ready for work the next day. As a small party favor, my company game each person a portable cellphone charger. The next day people who could not make it to the party the night before wanted one and the extra ones were gone by the end of the day.

A week later the research group I am a part of went out for our Holiday Group Lunch at Purple Cafe in downtown Seattle. All sixteen of us had a privet room reserved for our little late lunch around a long oak table surrounded by wine bottle from every wine region around the world.

We started off with three appetizers, the Baked Brie, Bruschetta, and Spicy Prawns with Shoestring frites. The Baked Brie and the Bruschetta where fabulous and there was more than enough of it for all sixteen of us. the Spicy Prawns had a kick of spiciness that after two I really couldn’t take the heat. Plus prawns have never been a favorite seafood of mine, so I rarely eat them. I will admit the prawns were meaty, and not those skimpy ones you sometimes find in the grocery store.

For an entrée I had the famous Classic Steak and Frites. Nine of us in the group all had this same dish and after thinking about it, I could have gotten away with having the Lamb Burger instead. Oh well. The steak was cooked medium-done, and the fries were nothing like a big fat greasy steak fries you get at some restaurants. To wash it down, a tall glass of squeezed lemonade.

For dessert, a Chocolate Truffle! I’m all for anything chocolate, and I don’t share my chocolate truffle with anyone. One of my co-works like to joke about bread pudding and why I don’t like it. I’m not a fan of the texture is all. On the menu under cheese section there was a cheese called Humboldt Fog. Either it was a wine or lemonade talking but I thought it said Humboldt “Frog” instead of Fog. I bet you get the picture why I needed a double take on that.

After waddling-yes I did waddle a bit out around 3.45pm to catch the bus back home, I felt like I had a food baby and in a food coma at the same time. The bus ride home was very uncomfortable and for the rest of the night I didn’t even what to look at food since I was still digesting all the goodness of lunch.

Advent started off with a breakfast high on the sugar scale mix with some caffeine Some church mornings need a little more boost then others. Our church decide instead of a Christmas Nativity play this year, why not have all of us come together as one big congregation (we have two Sunday services) and celebrate the coming of Jesus’s birth.  The service and the party was one of the best the church as put on in recent, and I will say even better than last year’s Advent party.

The White Elephant part of the story happened on the same night as the Advent party. Started out with me picking up a fruit plate since the deli forgot to make my pin wheel sandwiches! Oh well, fruit is better for you. The “white elephant” for those who do not know is where you bring a gift that you already have (ex: box of cereal) and exchange it for another gift someone else brought. There are many variations to how it is played, but the version played was anyone can steal your gift from you at anytime. The gift I brought was a commercial pot holder that has been hanging around the apartment since I have a whole bunch already. The gift I ended up with was a Starbucks thermos that no one took from me! I’m happy.

After all, this is only the beginning of what merriment waits come by the end of this month and year! By the time I’m done, I will be needing to go on a detox diet for a while in January.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Last Two Months of Summer

Wow! Where did the time go? It’s the end of August and I still haven’t posted all that has happened in the month of July. I better start…

 Decorating the new apartment

While decorating my new apartment, Mom and I went to the Goodwill in Shoreline looking for an old mirror to do up. We ended up with a mirror along with another find I never expected. There sitting in the middle of the store was a perfect conditioned microfiber love seat for only $45.00! I ended up snatching that couch up on the spot and called Dad to come with his pickup to haul it to my apartment. I guess it was a day the gods of couches was looking down on me, or I would still be looking for a couch.

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 Mini adventures during the week

One day I decided to take a little trip to Golden Gardens to take advantage of the sunshine. I have been so use to the beaches up in North Seattle area, and so I decide to need explore more of the parks around Seattle.

On the nice sunny days during the work week I would take a 30 minute lunch run around South Lake Union park. Mostly there are other runners, walkers, bicycles, and summer campers in the park. This makes a fantastic people watching moments and you could see all the tech workers hanging out on their lunch break.

Discovery Park adventure

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For a while I have been wanting to explore more of Discovery Park. M’s apartment is just walking distance to the park, so on the hottest day in Seattle we headed to the park for some lunch and to explore a new part of the park for me. I have seen the West Point Lighthouse before, so I wanted to see a part of the old Fort Lawson and see the old buildings that are left over from when the officially closed. Being the hottest day in Seattle, poor M started melt in the heat and sun. I feel sorry for dragging him out during the hottest part of the day with not much shade to be had. I ended up getting very good shots of the old falling apart buildings of the former base.

Lab Monkey Strikes!

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Funny thing to put “I love lab monkey” on my bio safety cabinet window, only to come in the next morning to someone drawing a picture of said monkey. Science is not all seriousness. When you have an awesome team of people we just are like family playing practical jokes on each other.

First Mariner’s game with M and his friends. See post: Play Ball Boys!

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 Adventures with Megan.

When Megan is in town things become more like a non stop fun fest. This girl is a kick in the pants to be around and you never have a dull moment with her. Case in point the Happy Meals On Crack. Why did Mc-D’s decide to put a very scary happy face on the side of a children’s food box? Was someone very-or should say a team of creatives/marketing high when they came up with the idea?

Megan:” is it my hangover making this box look creepy?”

Me: ” Nope, the box is creepy.”

Megan: “Looks like it is on crack.”

Me: (putting the psychedelic glasses it came with it on it)

Me: ” More like on acid!”

Just look at the pictures. One friend on Facebook wrote “Holy cow!”  Then you have to ask why two adults be buying Happy Meals? We were hung over and tired to care about what form our food came in.  Maybe creepy faces are our punishment for thinking we are kids when we are not.

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A few days we checked out my apartment’s pool and sauna. Conclusion, decent enough to swim in, and lay beside. After sunning ourselves, we decided to head to Roy’s in Edmonds for a Mac and Jacks and a burger before she left for Pullman for one last year of college.

BBQ Galore!

August was the month of BBQ! I guess with all the great hot weather Seattle has been getting lately it was time to get serious about BBQ-ing. At work we had a total of two BBQ done of the sun deck with everyone attending. A huge success since many of the social events fail terribly. M bought a Weber BBQ a year ago and never had used it until now! Our first BBQ adventure was making hamburgers and then moved on to hotdogs. Both times turned out well, and M’s BBQ-ing is up there with how my Dad does it, so M is a keeper.  At the end of August the church I attend puts on a community BBQ called Grill and Chill. This year there was BBQ hotdogs and a lot of entertainment. The bottle rocket station was one of M’s favorite things to watch, and I am guessing if he could, he would have been up there with the kids letting them off.  After the Grill and Chill BBQ, I have eaten my last BBQ hotdog for a while.

Summer Movie Nights

Saw a few new and old movies this summer. The church puts on a free movie night in the back parking lot of the church for a family movie night. This summer it was the movie Frozen, and all snacks had the Frozen theme. I’m a sucker for Disney movies (grew up on them) and was in heaven to just to be a kid again laughing at all childish jokes. Two weekends later I went and saw Guardians of the Galaxy at the Majestic Bay Theater in Ballard with M and M’s friend Al. The movie was good and would say more of a guys movie then a girls one. I love to watch the Marvel Comic movies, and at that point I feel like I’m a bro-girl when I go see them with M. I would recommend seeing the movie if you like misfit superheros, but it is not really for kids since there are adult jokes that will go over any kids heads.

Oh, and the Seahawks are back to defend the Super Bowl title.

On a group lunch date I had the 12th Man sushi roll at I Love Sushi in South Lake Union. Go Seahawks!

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Oahu’s Windward Coast Vacation | Days 12-15 (Last Days)

Updated: 12/2017

Day 12: Zip lining & Beach

Zipping through the palm tree tops! Three rides 1,200 ft! At first when I saw how far off the ground I was going to be, I started freaking out. I’m not afraid of heights, but it looked to be very scary. Now that I tried it, I will be doing it again. The morning started off with a down pour for five minutes, then cleared up long enough to take three rides down. The first two rides were with Mom , and then the last one was just me by myself. Once I got through the first one, I was fine to take the last two rides down. It was very short ride, and so I recommend getting at least more than one ride to really experience the zip line. I now can add this to my life experience list and hope to try out the one near home called Wild Life Trex near Seattle. The rest of the day was spent at the beach again just relaxing.

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zipping along

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me zipping along

Day 13: Marine Base Crazy & Last minute stuff

Another relaxing day getting last-minute stuff done before we leave for home. Took on last trip to the Marine base to do some last-minute shopping at the Exchange. When I stepped outside the store I saw a new sign that appeared in front of the doors. Apparently the new base commander is trying to keep the unmentionable people from “polluting” the base and disrespecting the military environment. So just imagine the pictures you see on People of Wal-Mart website and you have a good picture of what was posted on this sign. These were the things that are not allowed to be worn when on base. I really could see why the commander is doing this and why he doesn’t like half-naked people walking around base when not in uniform. The whole time I was on base (even Bellows had a dress code in their commons areas) I never say anyone out of uniform looking like a bum.  I just go some Hawaiian theme stuff to take back to Seattle at the Exchange.

Relaxed on base for a bit and started to see Man of Wars washed up on the beach. Remembering there was a full moon when we got to Hawaii and five days later the jelly fishes started to appear, every time we walked the beach we had to make sure to watch where we stepped or else get stung by the blue tentacles. Later that evening we all went out with my cousin one last time to a small local pizza place in Kilua.  The place was busy with locals stopping in to grab a slice of pizza or a whole pizza for dinner. The pizzas are huge at Bob’s Pizzeria, and so a whole pizza can easy be shared with five people. I had two big slices which amounted to four small slices.

Now here is a funny story in a way to share….When we went to drop off my cousin at the Marine base, we did not go through the main gate as we have in the past, but he back gate where the housing is. A huge mistake because when we pulled up and my cousin showed his ID, the guard at the gate wanted everyone’s ID. Apparently there is a huge crack down at night due to a Marine sneaking a prostitute on base a few weeks back and getting caught. Also the guard in a moment of putting his boot in his mouth made it almost clear that he thought Nana, Mom and I were prostitutes! Nana and Mom felt offended, but for me I just though “oh thanks for letting me know I look like one.” As I was stating in above paragraph, the commander of the base is really on a crack down. We did drop my cousin off at his barrack without anymore trouble from the Marine Security Force.

Day 14: Sea Turtles

Our last full day in Hawaii. We did some last-minute shopping again and packed up our bags for our afternoon flight back to Seattle. Walked the beach one last time (ok a few times). While on one of our walks we saw a group of sea turtles swimming along the beach. A half a mile down there is a little cove where the waves are strong and the turtles get stuck in. All three turtles tried their hardest to swim back out to sea, but kept getting swept back into the rocks. At one point one came very close to some kids in the water and freaked them out along with the poor turtle. I believe the three turtles did get out when the waves calmed down a bit.

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While packing for the trip home, I realized I had bought a lot of Hawaiian food. Hmm…I think I will need it when friends come over for tea and a Hawaiian short bread macadamia nut cookies.

Day 15: Going Home

Going to the airport was crazy stressful adventure. Why? Because 1) my suitcase all of sudden put on weight, 2) security check point was a mad house and I thought for sure I was going to throw my shoe at TSA (Sea-Tac has it down to a science), 3) USDA inspection line was crazy! Poor Nana had to be patted down because she set off the metal detector and her sleep machine had residue of liquid in it. Really just wanted to get on the plane and get to Seattle without anymore stuff happening. The flight was six hours as usual. The only crazy part was landing in Seattle after a huge windstorm came through. Overall, the six-hour flight went off without much stuff happening. When I left Seattle for Hawaii the temperature was 70 degrees F, when I came back it was 50 degrees F and a storm blowing through. Just shows how much the weather changes within two weeks of being gone. I still look at my phone’s weather app for Bellows to see what the weather is at the moment. I miss the warmth, but Seattle did have a wonderful summer with all the sunny hot weather we had. I can’t complain.

I really enjoyed my two-week adventure on Oahu Hawaii. I will of course return to the islands again in the near future. I think the next island to visit is Kauai or Big Island. I am glad I had the chance to see my cousin while he is stationed at K-Bay, and hope he has a great time while there.  I loved not having to do all the touristy things this time. I really got to see the island from a different perspective. I know now all the main freeways, and know which major highways lead to where. Great to stay somewhere other than Waikiki for a change. I really got to see the beauty of the island without the sky scrapers in the way. I still would love to hike up Diamond Head since I did not get the chance this time. I guess I will be making a return visit again.

Mahalo for reading about my adventure in Hawaii! Hope you enjoy Hawaii really soon.

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