Although Bryan has turned another year older this past week, he can still round down to 30. I’m sure he is happy with that, but regardless, both of us have matured quite a bit in this past year. 34 is going to be a good year for Bryan, I can just tell, and we wanted to kick off the year as best we could. Bryan’s wish was to go on a hike and then get dinner and drinks with friends. So we did!
After having to unfortunately work a full day on Saturday, we were ready to let loose on Sunday. We wrangled up a group of nine adults and two babies to head to Mt. Rainier for a long day’s hike. We carpooled down to Rainier with Andrew and got on the road a little after 8 am. Thanks to a wait to get our entrance pass to the National Park, we didn’t get to Sunrise Visitor Center until about 10:30 am and the last of our crew didn’t arrive until 11 am. We finally got on the trail at 11:30 am with our goal being Third Burroughs on the Burroughs Mountain Trail, one we’ve done twice before, love, but have never gone all of the way to Third Burroughs. The hiking crew included: the three of us, Anne, Phillip and Rosalie, Deana and Ed, and Marion.
After Reese slept the whole way down, she was alert for most of the hike up. Alert but happy and riding on her daddy’s back. The temperature was absolutely perfect for hiking and we had mostly sunny skies with some cloud breaks. Our group was not fast but fortunately it was not the Millers, like we thought it might, that were holding anyone up. Bryan was kicking booty, carrying Reese and leading most of the way. We stopped for a nursing session on First Burroughs and stopped at Second Burroughs for a short photo session before deciding as a group that we DID want to attempt to summit Third Burroughs. Our entire group headed for Third, but half the group stopped short at the few snow crossings. At the top of Third Burroughs, Bryan, Reese, Andrew, Ed, Deana and myself broke out our lunch and a flask of birthday whiskey to take in the views before heading back down. The remaining crew was not far ahead of us and with the boys nearly running down the snow fields, we caught back up with them very quickly!
Now we had the long slog back to the car, much of which was downhill, and we certainly had a better pace on our way down. Reese did exceptionally, needing to nurse only twice, taking two naps, eating a good amount of pb&j, and seeming to really enjoy herself on the trail. This was a night and day difference to her first hike with us at Oyster Dome. We didn’t make it back to the car until nearly 5 pm, after almost 10 miles of hiking and over 2,500 feet of gain. We felt good but now we needed to high tail it back to Seattle because the rest of our friends were meeting us for dinner which we were now going to be way late for.
We made it to Central Smoke around 7 pm to meet up with Tim, Jason, Holly, David and Tina, the Tung family and Sarah and Lottie, who were already holding down our table on the patio. We ordered the Sunday night special platter for two with a combo of their brisket, pulled pork and ribs, plus coleslaw and greens and two cocktails for $35. A really reasonable price, although we have had better BBQ in Seattle. The service was also subpar. The restaurant cut the cake I made for Bryan and our friends seemed to enjoy the cake. I didn’t get a snap of the cake but it was beautiful (in my humble opinion). I can only say that because I am not a baker and certainly not a cake decorator and it looked alright and tasted very good! We will be making this cake again. Reese helped make the majority of the cake and she even approved of each component of the chocolate cake with raspberry jam, chocolate mascarpone filling and a chocolate ganache glaze.
We didn’t get Reese home until 9 pm and she had gone completely Tasmanian Devil on us at the restaurant. She was so dirty from the hike and everything else she got into at the restaurant that she still needed a bath. Bryan and I felt very accomplished after some nice hot showers ourselves after a great day with friends.
After a long Sunday and a day at work Bryan opted for a fairly casual, but no less delicious, dinner out at Due Italiana in Capitol Hill. They had come to FareStart a few months back with delicious homemade pasta. After looking them up, they serve delicious and large bowls of pasta for just over $10, glasses of house wine and beer for $6/$5, and they even offer fresh pastas that are “healthy” meaning lower carb and higher protein, which I think Bryan and I would both say were no less delicious. Birthday boy got the mushroom and truffle oil campanelle with sausage and burrata and I got the smoked salmon and caper cream sauce campanelle. We split the grilled eggplant salad and although Reese went Tasmanian Devil on us again, we all left full and happy with our meal and will be back for sure.
I really hope Bryan enjoyed his birthday this year because last year his birthday was overshadowed with baby girls baby shower. Bryan is so loved by friends and family and we were happy that many could help us celebrate his birthday this year!