Friends and Fresh Air

Spending time with friends is such a energizer for both Bryan and I.  Fortunately this past week we have gotten a good dose of that energy each day.  That and fresh air with the clearing of the smoke and a bit of exercise and we feel like new people.  Not to mention the first time in what feels like forever that I have actually been able to spend a half second cleaning up or sorting through things in the house.  What may seem semi-organized during our weekly Monday night parties really is hiding (or not even really hiding) the chaos that is evident around us; piles of clean but unfolded laundry in the hallway upstairs, random artifacts on our dining table, a whole disaster going on in our bedroom, the guest bedroom and our workout room.  But this weekend I feel a little better that I was able to actually whittle away at these out of control areas.  That is, only between the time valuably spent with friends.

Friday night we were lucky to have Billy, Valerie and Ainsley over to our house for dinner.  Bryan grilled steaks and we had Valerie’s delicious blueberry pie a la mode.  It was the last lingering day of heat so we enjoyed dinner outside on the deck and spent a good deal of time talking and gushing over sweet little Ainsley…and the amazing amount of food she can eat.  It was a great way to kick off the weekend.

Going to bed stuffed on Friday night rolled over to fuel for a Saturday morning run.  With plans to meet up with friends for brunch and a distillery tasting we had to get our run in early.  We managed to get to Lake Washington for our 6.5 mile run along the lake and around Seward Park, back home, showered, put together and to Terra Plata in Capitol Hill all by 11:45 am.  With success of beating the clock, we were ready for coffee and food.  Polly and Ryuhei joined us on the rooftop and I got the delicious savory and spicy (and filling!) braised pork with poached eggs and arepas and Bryan tried their take on biscuits and gravy.  The temperature and sun was just right to be comfortable sitting outside on the rooftop.  The four of us made the quick ride over to Oola Distillery to meet the rest of the gain for the Dodd’s distillery tasting and tour that they won at the FareStart silent auction.  For a few hours we were provided a tour, sampled their special gins, vodkas, and whiskeys, and Bryan and I walked away with their spicy Chile Vodka and Gin, along with all of their recipe cards to get inspiration and guidance for making cocktails at home.  The rest of Saturday night yielded a long time going through old clothes that I don’t want, many loads of laundry, and watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them while eating our second Calabrese pizza of the week.

Sunday morning we managed to get to church, then headed back home for an easy lunch and prepping for some of Monday’s dinner.  At 3 pm, I left for the Arboretum for my first soccer game in 10 years!!!  New cleats, new shin guards, new shorts and soccer socks, along with my new ball, I was ready to play.  However, the other team apparently wasn’t and never showed.  With the forfeit, the team I was playing with decided to split and scrimmage one another.  I played with them for about 45 minutes; just long enough to assist a few goals, work up a sweat and realize that I miss this sport.  From there I walked the mile or so to Stephen’s house for our post-Ragnar BBQ potluck.  We enjoyed our dinner outside with most of the rest of the team, sharing some stories and planning some new adventures.  Sunday night ended way too quickly and this week was busy with our backpacking trip to Idaho for the eclipse quickly arriving.

We had 16 people over for Game of Thrones this week.  SIXTEEN!  Plus Bryan and I made 18 people in our backyard.  This week’s theme was Mexican with Bryan’s heavy-handed White Death Margaritas and both crispy baja fish tacos and tacos al pastor along with a ton of delicious contributions from the gang and finished off with sopapilla cheesecake bars.  This week we actually had one group watching inside and one outside under the heat lamp.  Only two episodes left for this short season.

Tuesday I played the last volleyball game of the summer with my coworkers.  The Cutterheadz won the first two games playing pretty stellar, then we must have had a little too much wine and beer on the sidelines between games because we lost the final three.  Wednesday we joined the FareStart gang at Feierabend in South Lake Union for Andrew’s birthday.  Good group and a lot of fun…plus great beer but we were starting to get pressed for time for preparing and packing for our backpacking trip.  Bryan managed to squeeze this in on Thursday and I helped Thursday night after a three-course Korean-inspired dinner at FareStart with the restaurant Chan.

Today is a half day and then we are out!  Our first task is to drive the 7.5 hours to Boise, Idaho where we have a sexy Motel 6 to share with our friend Jeff before finishing the drive to the trailhead in Stanley, Idaho.  Looking forward to some fresh air, exercise, and peace and quiet.



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