Yuletide Kickoff

Kickoff of December and logically the kickoff to Christmas has begun.  Though not all events this week were Christmas related, enough were, and this time of year I associate the holidays with lots of events in general.

SEAW Space Needle Dinner Meeting:  Our monthly SEAW dinner meeting was a special event this time held at the top of the Space Needle.  They are working on a documentary on the 1965 World’s Fair construction and had three of the structural engineers on the project hold a panel for us on what it was like and the direction their career has taken them since.  It was fascinating learning about the rapid construction that led to what is now the Seattle Center.  The three panelists were in charge of the Space Needle, the Monorail, and the Mercer parking structure and Pacific Science Center, respectively.  Fun facts:

  • The Space Needle was built in 9 months!
  • The guideway beams for the monorail are hollow.
  • The monorail was intended to be disassemblied (like most structures built for the World’s Fairs) and thus was bolted to it’s foundations.  Instead it was decided to keep the monorail and each guideway was then sold to the city for only $1.
  • The middle tier of the Space Needle (where the revolving restaurant is now) was not originally on the Needle.  When the design was proposed later the citizens wanted the Needle left unchanged from its original design. The private owners of the Space Needle threatened to uproot it and move it to Tacoma if they couldn’t follow through with the design.  Uproar was settled.
  • With the price of admission to the top the Space Needle paid for itself in only 6 months time and has only been profitable since.
  • The Mercer Street Parking Garage is slightly inclined at all parking spots.  This was not only to help drain runoff on the Garage’s floor but also because at the time it was constructed cars still did not do too well staying in their parking spots (i.e. no parking brakes I guess).

Google + Gingerbread House Making at Bravehorse Tavern:  I was invited to Google’s event this past Thursday to decorate gingerbread houses and savor snacks and drinks for free.  I also was able to invite four of my friends to come too because I am special.  Bryan and I decorated an intricate house, Amy’s looked like it came from a magazine, Luis’ had a glorious block M on it, and Carina’s was just so cute.  We all ate tons of yam fries, fruit and cheese plates, and their well known homemade soft pretzels with a variety of dips (pimiento cheese, bacon peanut butter (great), and chocolate hazelnut (phenomenal)).  I got a few glasses of a great Malbec and we watched Amy’s Saints lose play.  It was great fun and a good first time visit to one of Tom Douglas’ restaurants I have been wanting to visit for a while now.

Boy and my creation.  A long ways from being perfect. Lol.
Boy and my creation. A long ways from being perfect. Lol.

Company Christmas Party:  This Saturday was a big day for the JA family.  We had our annual Christmas Party at Washington’s largest winery; the Chateau St. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, WA.  After a few hours of getting my makeup and hair done by the fabulously talented ex-roommate Marieke we taxied to the office to catch the booze bus company shuttle.  There were indeed a laser light show, an ipod hookup to jam out to, a few cases of beer brought on board, and a stripper pool (nearly went untouched).  It was so funny and so much fun.  We had 20 of the young employees on board on were able to get to and fro the party without a worry.  The dinner itself was great!  The Chateau was beautiful and donned out for the holidays.  They gave us a short winery tour to start and their sparkling Chardonnay (pretty good for a Chardonnay dismisser).  Appetizers were passed around and introductions were made and compliments were passed around for how nice everyone looked (my company is normally a jeans and boots kind of workplace).  The buffet dinner was excellent; savory beef tenderloins, super moist and creamy sea bass (different to List’s), cauliflower and pasta dish, roasted root veggies (all over this), fried mushroom risotto cakes, and a great apple and blue cheese salad.  The wine bar was frequented often and the table’s favorite was most definitely their Cabernet Sauvignon (I’ve never had a wine taste so buttery).  There were a few short speeches and the pinning ceremony and then a great game of trivia along with the dessert course of an almond bread pudding and coffee.  The booze bus company shuttle left the party at 11pm (along with everyone else) and the night continued with a mild round of drinks and pommes frites at Toulouse Petit in Lower Queen Anne.  Such a great night!!  Pictures to come in slideshow format.

party 1

Friendly Brunch at Golden Beetle:  On Sunday after a few apartment tours Polly, Bryan, Amy, Philipp, and I got brunch at a place I had really been wanting to try called the Golden Beetle on NW Market St. in Ballard.  It is owned by the Tilth organic farm that I have tried to start volunteering for.  It was super amazing.  I got their wood oven baked eggs with spinach, bacon and harissa.  It was served with fresh pita bread that was great and some more harissa (like a middleeastern sriracha) that I liberally spread on.  Others in my group got the breakfast pizza, red pepper and feta omelet, and lamb hash which all looked great and we split an order of their cardamom spiced donuts with a honey syrup to dip.  Yum!!!

Not my picture but looks just as amazing as it was.
Not my picture but looks just as amazing as it was.

Deck the Hall Ball:  On Tuesday a group of eight of us went to our second annual Deck the Hall Ball.  Last year’s was so good that I have been anxiously waiting for this recurrence for a long time.  Nine great bands: The Killers, Of Monsters and Men, Passion Pit, The Lumineers, Metric, M83, AWOLnation, The Joy Formidable, and Grouplove.  I had actually already seen three of the bands already but I loved each and every one of the bands that took the stage.  From 3:30pm until 11:30pm we were dazzled with great music at the Key Arena…heaven!!!  My favorite were the Killers, who headlined, but also loved Of Monsters and Men and the Lumineers.

Deck the Hall Ball
Deck the Hall Ball

Seattle Center Crock Pot Cookoff:  Myself and a friend volunteered our Wednesday night at a crock pot cook-off event with proceeds going to a non-profit music venue called the Vera Project.  So many home chefs came with their crock pot creations, guests got to taste their dishes, pick up new recipes, and vote on their favorites by category.  I, of course, got to taste as well and was inspired by quite a few, such as the chicken tikka masala and split pea and nutella bread pudding.                .


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