Every year my company gets President’s Day off and every year I am unsure how to spend it. A few times we have been in Whistler or elsewhere skiing and that’s good, but others it is just me in the house. Of course this year I knew exactly how I was going to be spending it, studying. And that is what I did. All day on Monday I rotated through a cycle of studying for about two hours at a time, breaking for something to eat or drink, and tidying up around the house. It was quiet and it was lonely but at least I got to study in the warmth of the sunlight pouring in. I finally got out of the house around 5 pm to go to the tempo cycle class that I now greatly enjoy and by the time I was back Bryan was home and we had dinner of slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches with coleslaw while watching the Olympics.
The real weekend was not much different but still enjoyable with my beau. Bryan had men’s group Saturday morning while I studied but once he was home I stopped studying. We decided to put together our new bedside nightstands which took a surprising amount of time to build but is something we both love to do…for me Ikea furniture are a version of adult legos. After assembling the furniture I went for a walk to the post office in the sun (but wind!!) while Bryan got ready to go for a run through the Arboretum. Saturday night we indulged in picking up Lil Woody’s burgers, fries and a chocolate milkshake for their 3rd week of Seattle Burger Month. We’ve only tried two of the four week’s burgers but both have been unique and super delicious. This one by John Sundstrum from Lark (and James Beard winner) was umami on a bun with yuzu aioli, watercress, maitake mushrooms with a pork burger.
Sunday morning started with church and another Subway run on the way home as we hurried to catch the end of the amazing Michigan victory over 8th ranked OSU. I face-timed the family for a while and then Bryan and I took advantage of the surprise outpouring of sunshine to go for a walk through the Arboretum. It was chilly so we bundled up and the wind counteracted the warmth of the sun but we enjoyed a nice long walk. Once home we warmed up by the fire, I studied for a bit, and then we finished making a Thai dinner of chicken satay and fried rice.
Rather uneventful weekend but still restful and peaceful. I am so looking forward to having the freedom to do what I want during my weekends and evenings instead of studying. I think it is just starting to wear on me and I still have about 6 weeks or so left. Ugh.
Tuesday I spent several hours after work studying until I couldn’t take it anymore that the lights in the Municipal Tower kept going off on me every hour and headed to meet Bryan at Capital Grille for a very filling indulgent steak dinner thanks to mystery shopping. We each had a steak, sides and split the warm chocolate cake with cherries and ice cream to finish the night. Certainly had meat sweats Tuesday night.
Wednesday I had a dentist appointment followed by rushing to get to my girls group at church so NO studying! It was my night off…that was still rather filled with rushing but I passed the dentist appointment with flying colors and the 40 minutes of yoga and girl talk afterwards put me in a zen state of mind heading home in the winterland of snow that was falling. I expected that a chef from Orcas Island, who is currently one of the top rising star chefs in the country, would draw a sold-out restaurant for FareStart at GCN on Thursday but apparently his unique menu posted to the website did not seal the deal. We had very low numbers at the restaurant meaning an early night for us.
And today is joyfully Friday and Bryan and I don’t have much on the calendar again. I don’t even care what is on the calendar anymore I just want to get to April 15th.
We had our first pretty eventful weekend honestly since December. We took Friday night to chill at home with a good pasta dinner and movie in between FareStart night and plans Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday was a double-hitter. Bryan and I had purchased tickets to the Seattle Rep’s Special Club 20/30 performance of the latest play, Two Trains Running, midday. The ticket prices were cheap and included free drinks and snacks in their VIP room before the show and during intermission. It’s good to be young in the realm of live theater. The play had a long running time of three hours with one intermission so immediately afterwards was our scheduled Girls Night, the first of the year. Ewelina graciously offered to host in her apartment, while I brought all of the supplies for candle-making and others chipped in with some essential oils. It was my idea to make pumpkin spice candles back in November but the baking night was a little too full to cram them in. The girls still wanted to make them though so we had a large selection of scents to choose from to make our candles smell wonderful. It was a fun night catching up with just the women and enjoying each others potluck dishes. Some of the boys, in the meantime, enjoyed several drinks out and at David’s, along with a Mexican dinner out.
Seattle Rep Play
Part of the girls squad
Some of the finished products
Sunday morning began like many with church. After a month spent on “Margin” we have moved on to “The Centrality of Christ” in the book of Colossians. This week was the occasional table talk at church which means the message is short with time to discuss questions among a table. I think everyone gets nervous and worried when they see the tables set up like this but I’ve enjoyed them every time. We get to know members of the church a whole let better and we get to talk to one another about meaningful things. We actually exchanged numbers with one of the couples, one of the girls from my women’s group and her husband, to get together another time. After church we picked up some soups for lunch from Met Market before heading home. I managed to squeeze in some studying Sunday afternoon after none on Saturday. We had another night of plans though that cut that short. We had reservations at the new-to-us Ethan Stowell restaurant Marine Hardware for their Lobster Hip Hop night they do on occasion. For $55 we were treated to a full lobster and tons of delicious sides, hip hop tunes, cookies for dessert and a really good time. Here was the menu:
Coleslaw Old Bay Fries Goat Cheese Crostini with tomato jam Roasted Baby Beets with avocado, grapefruit, and pickled shallot Little Gem Lettuce with red wine vinaigrette, radish, and walnuts
Whole Lobster with drawn butter and lemons
I really enjoyed this experience. We had a great date night out, we enjoyed delicious food and went to a new restaurant. This also met my standards for splurging a bit more on experiences (whether they be food or other) instead of just meals. Great fun! A great weekend with very little studying in…whoops. Oh well, hopefully I can get some in this week.
What a week we have had leading up to Christmas. We’ve had one thing after another each and every day this week but all/most festive and fun…just maybe not the best medicine for getting over a sickness.
Monday night I had a girls night scheduled and hosted by Deana in her super cozy apartment’s social room. We had the fire going, Christmas music on the Amazon Echo, Pagliacci’s pizza ordered, my salad, Anne’s mocktail (because she is expecting) and got ready to make gobs and gobs of chocolate dipped everything; pretzel rods, pretzel twists, popcorn and oreos. Deana had all sorts of supplies and I was impressed with her talent and know-how of the chocolate dipping process. Everything looked great and certainly tasted great. I didn’t get home until about 10:30 with an absolute sugar/chocolate high.
Chocolate drizzled popcorn
Beautiful and balanced chocolate covered pretzels
Tuesday night Bryan and I had plans to go to dinner at Harvest Vine to use one of our gift certificates for 2017. We got seated in a cute corner table in the taverna area downstairs, selected a Rioja wine and four tapas and took in the cute holiday decor and relaxing music. For dinner, we chose well, really well! We started with the roasted cauliflower with salsa verde that was crispy, soft, salty and tangy all at the same time. We also had the seared sea scallops with an almond and pepper romesco sauce which was as excellent with the scallops as it was with the side of warm and crusty baguette. Our second round were the meats; the always available but always delicious Iberico pork with panadera potatoes and cider sauce and the seasonal venison with oyster mushrooms and root liquorish sauce. Both were so amazing and cooked to perfection. We got a slice of the musicians five-nut caramel tart with whipped cream for dessert and didn’t get home from there until after 10 pm.
Pork with potatoes and scallops with romesco
Wednesday night was the oddly timed FareStart Guest Chef Night Volunteer Appreciation Night. A good many were there despite being so close to the holidays and we were treated to wine and appetizers while we got to enjoy one another and provide any feedback we have on how GCNs are run. We stayed in the restaurant well past the end time of 8 pm so about seven of us walked over to Le Caviste for more wine and conversation. We didn’t leave on this night until nearly 11 pm.
Thursday was really a pretty quiet day for both of us at work with many people already beginning their travels. I also had scheduled a cleaning service to give me some help and feel like I have piece of mind knowing that the house is clean before we leave for a week. If only they would go through our clutter and stuff and do that for me too. We had plans to dine at Bin on the Lake for views over Lake Washington to take in the holiday boat parade. However, we didn’t realize until midway through dinner that the holiday boat parade was beginning from Kirkland Marina and not Carillon Point Marina in Kirkland, and was heading north not south. Oh well, we say a few boats lit up making their way north and we had a delicious dinner with the lake in the distance. We each got great salads to start and I had the Skuna Bay salmon dish and Bryan the seafood risotto and we both left quite stuffed and happy.
Last day at work for 2017 and that is exciting yet I’m also a bit reluctant for the work to come in 2018. This year has been all design; calculations, drawings and I honestly love it all. Next year is going to be a lot of reviewing submittals during construction and corralling other disciplines to get the building permit acquired for the Seattle Public Utilities ship canal project. That also means that part time I am going to be moving up to SPUs building a few days a week. Certainly a few mixed emotions for me on ending a good year of work and being a little apprehensive about the next years work but I am also ready to start 2018.
Home to pack all my cold weather gear and presents for the next week.
And in a blink of an eye October has vanished. Very quickly. It’s been well over a week since my last post and quite a bit has happened. All good, none bad, rejoice!
We continue to have weekends at home which is nice. Last weekend was just Bryan and I more or less and more relaxing time than anything. It was pouring rain for the vast majority of the weekend. We got dinner just the two of us at Din Tai Fung, watched football, went to Billy and Val’s orchestra concert, went to church, and had a good brunch at Poquitos.
We needed a low key weekend because last week was rather eventful for us. I had my monthly SEAW dinner meeting on a fascinating but mentally taxing topic (after a 9 hour day of work) by a professor from the University of Texas. I managed to get to barre class twice and ran once during the week in the glorious fall sunshine. I had my weekly girls meeting on Wednesday after a great (and free birthday) dinner at the nearby Red Robin on the waterfront by work. Meanwhile, Bryan went to Stephen and Ewelina’s for dinner with a few friends after a long row. And FareStart was it’s usual grand self while staying quite late talking with our FareStart friends with our departures seemingly getting later and later.
This weekend was really a fantastic weekend! I hurried home to get dinner made for Bryan’s coworker Mark and his son who I haven’t seen for well over a year. I was frantic in preparations but then dinner was conversationally easy and relaxing. Saturday morning Bryan and I both watched our teams play the early game in our PJs before setting out in the absolutely gorgeous weather for our favorite lap around Seward Park. Saturday night I hosted the first (of hopefully many) girls night in while Bryan hung out with the guys for their night “off”. Five of us girls enjoyed baking two really delicious, and new to us, fall desserts, using the abundance of pears and apples I had on hand, talking, eating a yummy fall dinner, and then settling in with multiple bottles of wine to watch Magic Mike and eat our sweet creations. I had a great time and Bryan did as well; grilling steaks, drinking beer and whiskey, hot tubbing and going out to the bar to drink more and play video games.
My night did me in less than Bryan’s and Sunday morning came around but Bryan didn’t start out on the up and up. Instead of going to church this week we headed over to Randy’s condo overlooking Shilshole for his annual donut party. It was good to see Marika and Randy, the donuts were good, the coffee was needed, and before long the sun was trying to come out and Bryan and I were on our way to Centurylink to go to the Seahawks vs. Texans game. The game started fast and furious and kept up that way the whole game. The Seahawks scored way more than usual and let up way more than usual. It was an exciting game from start to finish. The sun came out full force in the second quarter and I was in high heaven soaking up the sun, yelling my lungs out and thoroughly enjoying the crowd and atmosphere. Russell Wilson proved himself again with shear seconds left and the Seahawks pulled out the victory at the very end. We were electrified leaving the stadium and headed to get food at the new Halal Guys in Pioneer Square (the same group as the legendary street trucks in NYC) and enjoyed our gyro platters and chicken sandwiches before heading home. Both of us were exhausted but the epic marathon of a World Series game kept us up.
We are ready
Nosebleeds but still enjoyable
Such a great weekend…friends, food, and finally all of our teams with a win!!