Tuesday, November 30, 2010

October, November and maybe an eventual catch up...

Holy crap I am never going to get this blog back to date. Here's the October AND November musings, as they are posted (which will hopefully be sooner rather than later)... Like the last few months, I'll have this post up first with all of the postings to follow. You can click on the red links to go to the specific day/post as they are made (and yes, everything is in chronological order...I may not be good at keeping this up to date and posting but I have been keeping track of what I NEED to post)....and, go!


October 2, 2010: Seattle! Sounders!

October 3, 2010: An un-wedding.

October 10, 2010: Domestication.

October 11, 2010: I have a problem.

October 13, 2010: A fresh start.

October 15, 2010: The twice monthly drive.

October 16, 2010: A swipe, er, mutilation of the cervix.

October 17, 2010: Granite Mountain, take #2

October 19, 2010: Disabled.

October 20, 2010: October, 20.

October 21, 2010: Always an experience.

October 22, 2010: Pumpkin carving!

October 23, 2010: A busy saturday.

October 24, 2010: More wine.

October 31, 2010: Happy Halloween!


November 3, 2010: The first week of November.

November 4, 2010: It's that time of year....

November 7, 2010: The domesticated life.

November 8, 2010: A midday brunch.

November 9, 2010: Working girl.

November 10, 2010: A new (classy) ride.

November 11, 2010: Working and working...

November 12, 2010: New hair.

November 14, 2010: Puppies, the ride of death, and a wedding.

November 23, 2010: SNOW!!

November 24, 2010: Miss CJ comes to visit...day #1

November 25, 2010: Thankful.

November 26, 2010: Thanksgiving 2010.

November 27, 2010: Exploring Seattle

November 28, 2010: VANCOUVER!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


For the weekend of November 27-28, Carolyn and I decided to take a girls' road trip to VANCOUVER, BC! Yee haw! Pictures tell the story best, as always:

After a late night at the Frames concert the night before, we made a quick stop for coffee and gas before leaving Seattle and hit 1-5 north straight to Vancouver. We made it to the border around noon and had our passports ready to go!

After a stop for lunch in the bustling Granville district, we went to the waterfront for some photo ops. Did I happen to mention how FREEZING it was? I'm pretty sure I've never been so cold in my life. I think it was MAYBE 20 degrees but the windchill was probably much less than that. Regardless, we got some great pictures, anyway.

A shot of the Vancouver skyline and sunset.

And another shot... this time with a dolphin.

A look across the water.... Vancouver is one of the prettiest cities I've visited.

And one more of the skyline...

We also went to the place that held the Olympic torch when the Olympics were in Vancouver last year. Pretty cool!

After checking in at our hotel on Robson Street (SUCH a cool area, would highly recommend it along with the hotel Listel), Carolyn and I vegged for a while then we got recommendations for a dinner place nearby. We started with a few drinks, had dinner, then had more drinks and jazz back at our hotel.

And the place that we ate at- Joe Fortes. It was pretty tasty! It also become one of the weirder nights of my life when we met a local TV celebrity that thought he was hot stuff and wouldn't stop hanging around us... I'll keep the stories to myself but WOW. It was out.of.control. We laughed a lot on Sunday remembering the prior night.

The next day- leaving the hotel, we had treats in our car!

We headed to the beautiful Stanley park to walk around and take more photos.

After freezing our asses off (once again) at Stanley park, we headed back to Robson street to shop around a bit and we saw this crazy VW bug. All decked out, Canadian style. We then headed to Vancouver's chinatown for some dim sum (Carolyn) and tea (me). Vancouver has one of the largest Chinatown's in North America (I think 2nd or 3rd after San Francisco). It's pretty cool.

After Chinatown, we headed to Gastown, the older district in downtown Vancouver and also the district that I really like, after Robson street....here's a shot of the gasworks clock.

We had lunch at a local brewery after shopping around a bit and it was fabulous!

And then, we headed home. All in all, it was a GREAT trip up to BC. That night, we met Justin back in Seattle and headed to our favorite Thai place in Kirkland to wrap up Carolyn's northwest tour. It was so fun to have her here! (All other visitors, including repeats, are ALWAYS welcome...hint hint)....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Exploring Seattle

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, we all got up early to continue our sight seeing tour with Miss Carolyn. This included hitting all of the Seattle sights we hadn't hit earlier in the week. Luckily Justin was off work because he just so happens to be a GREAT tour guide and knows much more about the city than I do.

First stop: Seattle center which includes the space needle. We got some great pictures here. Of course only one of them was on my camera (aka: phone).

Second stop: Seattle waterfront. We went to one of the little touristy shops (Ye Old Curiousity shop for anyone who has been here before) and played around some... including seeing how madly in love we are (the machine behind us). Apparently we have hot burning love. Justin looks scared.

After the touristy shop, we headed over to eat some Seattle oysters at Elliotts Oyster House, one of the best places to get oysters in Seattle and right on the water as well. Carolyn needed the experience. As did Bailey who had never had oysters before. Here he is trying the first one...

And down the hatch....

From his face, you'd think he thought they were terrible but he actually really liked them. Carolyn and Justin did too. Oliver and I, however, were not fans but I knew that going in.

Third stop: After the oyster fest, we headed up north into Ballard to the Ballard lochs. There weren't a ton of boats coming in/out but it wasn't raining so it was still fun to be there.

Fourth stop: Fremont troll!

And Bailey posing in front of the Fremont troll. After stopping in Fremont, we headed straight to the gym. I think Justin and I were DYING from not working out for several days, especially since we had gorged ourselves over Thanksgiving. So we decided to squeeze in a little workout Friday afternoon. I can't even tell you how good it felt.

We rushed back home after working out and then headed straight to Seattle where we had sushi on 1st avenue at Japonessa (where we were in the above picture). Usually I go to Wasabi Bistro but it's been closed because of remodels lately. I may just head to Japonessa from here on out... it was AMAZING. And it was happy hour too so it was AMAZING and not expensive. Great combo. After sushi we headed to the Main Event which just so happened to be tickets to the frames concert. I heard about the frames from Carolyn who I thought might have a minor heart attack when she found out they were in Seattle when she was. The main guy (Glen) was the star in the movie Once (that's how most people know the frames) but the frames have been around for years and I guess are just awesome. WELL. Now I KNOW they are just awesome. It was the best concert I've been to in a long time. They had so much passion, so much energy, and were just plain GREAT musicians. I think there were several times that I was almost in tears from them playing. It was awesome. They played from about 10pm-1am so it was a LONG set too. Incredible and a great, great end to an already good day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We woke up Thanksgiving morning to MORE.SNOW. It kept snowing and snowing and snowing. It felt more like Christmas in freaking Alaska than Thanksgiving in Seattle. Carolyn was still on Kansas City time so got up bright and early for a Thanksgiving walk... in the snow. Shortly thereafter Justin and I were up and ready to cook for our crowd of people who were coming over later in the day. We had prepped a lot of things in advance but some things just couldn't be done in advance.

We also started the day off with mimosas first thing. Mmmmm! Popping the first cork here.

Above- the tables were set and Bailey was supervising them. And by supervising I mean facebooking. Duh.

Also first thing- I started in on making potatoes. We were having mashed sweet potatoes and mashed garlic red potatoes. Well. APPARENTLY the sink doesn't like potato skins down the drain. Uh huh. HELLO plumbing debacle! Luckily I have a VERY handy man who plunged and took apart the whole sink to unclog the mess. It took a while but he saved the day...which called for another bottle of champagne.

Around one or so, we'd been cooking for about 4 hours already and people had gathered and were just talking, eating cheeses and drinking wine. Perfect! Justin and I were tag teaming it in the kitchen and were having just as much fun.

For the turkey, we had a 26 pound bird. Which was HUGE. We had heard that if you cut it in half, it bakes SO much faster and is so much more moist. So that's exactly what we did. And that turkey? Cooked in about 3 hours (a full, un-cut bird would have taken probably 6 hours to cook)... not that I REALLY know what I'm talking about because that is definitely Justin's area but I was impressed by how quickly it cooked. And it was AMAZING. So moist and tender.

Testing the turkey (or one half of it) when it was almost finished.

Another project: bread. Justin made two HUGE loaves of bread, one a cardamon bread following a recipe and the other called "add whatever Justin feels like" to that same recipe. We had done this in advance, just had to bake them on Thanksgiving day.

And finished loaves. Justin tells me that they needed more flour but I did more than my fair share of damage. I thought they tasted awesome.

Finally around 4pm, we sat down to dinner. On the menu:
-Pumpkin squash soup to start (like the one here)
-Ham that my neighbor made
-Mashed garlic potatoes
-Mashed sweet potatoes
-Mushroom/green bean casserole
-Spinach/cranberry/walnut/feta salad
-Cranberry glop (basically cranberries and marshmallows, a staple in Justin's family)
-TONS of desserts...pies, cookies, everything
-So much good wine (given)
I swear there were other things too but I can't for the life of me remember right now. All I know is that by the time we sat down to eat I was so full from tasting everything as I was cooking that I could barely eat anything. Everything was fabulous and came off flawlessly, though, despite the one plumbing incident. It was great fun being with everyone and working with Justin to do it together.
A shot of Oliver and Justin's mom at dinner. And the mashed sweet potatoes which were, hands down, my favorite. I could have eaten that whole bowl. I have a current obsession with sweet potatoes, though, so it's not really that big of a surprise to those who have hung around me lately.

Two of my favorite guys eating dinner... Justin and Oliver and the big cranberry glop in between them. I'm pretty sure Justin would say he could eat a whole bowl of that. I, however, was not such a fan of the glop. I think it's an acquired taste.

And at the other end of the table, the neighbors' kids (Ryan and Lauren) were working on two HUGE turkey legs. It was hysterical.

Attempting to get a shot of the whole table.

And the other side... love the look on CJ's face here.

And us... the perfect team that made it all happen so smoothly on Thanksgiving day. We brought our friends and family together to eat awesome food, enjoy each other's company and to truly celebrate the meaning of thanksgiving- how richly blessed each and every one of us are.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


For many many things, including my home, my job, my health, and certainly my friends and family, both near and far away. And mostly, for this guy, who is not only my partner but my best friend, who I love and who loves me.... And never ceases to make me laugh.

More detailed Thanksgiving post to follow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Miss CJ comes to visit... day #1

Like I mentioned in this post, my friend Carolyn came to visit us in Seattle from Kansas City for the week of Thanksgiving. The timing just worked out for both of us and she's always wanted to visit Seattle. The night she arrived was interesting because NO restaurants were open at all in Kirkland (the city where we live). They were all closed due to the snow (welcome to Seattle and how it deals with snow). But, crisis averted, we made it to one of our favorites, Wild Ginger in Bellevue.

The next day, the first full day she was here was a little interesting because we still weren't really sure if the roads were ok to drive around on. Justin had to work so couldn't cart us around in his big truck (and I did NOT want to drive that boat around Seattle). So, we got in the mini cooper and hoped for the best. It wasn't THAT bad. There were still isolated roads that were crappy but for the most part, we fared pretty well.

Our first stop was Pike Place market, the must-see for all Seattle tourists. It was absolutely ASS COLD at about 20 degrees, windchill of 10 but we braved the cold. We bought a lot of hot teas and stopped for a long lunch at a place at pike which looked out over the (freezing cold) Puget sound. We then decided that we should go to Chateau St. Michelle for wine tasting. Why not?!

A preview of the listing sheet from that day. I ended up buying a cold creek Cabernet that was just incredible.

A picture of Carolyn tasting. She ended up buying and shipping several bottles back to Kansas City.

A picture of the VERY snowy grounds at Chateau St. Michelle.

And a shot a Miss CJ at the Chateau.

After we tasted we decided to go on the last tour of the day at the winery. Since it was the night before Thanksgiving, we were the only two lone soldiers on the tour which was AWESOME because it was like our own private tour. Fabulous!
We headed home after that to meet Justin and the boys (that had just come over the mountains for Thanksgiving with us). Bailey, Justin, Carolyn and I all went to purple (a local wine bar with awesome food) for dinner while Oliver stayed at home to play his xbox. We had so much fun at purple drinking wine, talking, and eating. After purple, we came home, drank a bit more wine, relaxed, and started to prepare a little bit for Thanksgiving the next day...