Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

Random Seattle Love

June 3, 2009

Sometimes, like tonight, the sunset looks this awesome….

(even from a moving vehicle, which my friend Brandy graciously slowed down to a honk-inducing 30 mph on I-5, just so we could TRY to get a decent picture through the windshield).

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Imagine a non-blurry photo from solid ground, and then imagine the color pumped up times five.  That’s the live version of this gorgeous sunset over the Olympic Mountains.  Love it!

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Road Trip 2007 Flashback #1

March 26, 2009

So this week I decided I was going to take the opportunity to recap some memories from my cross-country road trip to Seattle, because my brother is currently making the same trip. 

But before I even had time to do another post, I found out that he is arriving tonight!?  Apparently our approaches differ when it comes to the cross-country road trip. 

My brother and uncle seem to be taking the very male “power through it” approach – they left yesterday early afternoon and drove in shifts through the night.  I’m sure they’re also calculating their gas mileage and discussing whether they’re making good time along the way.  And eating beef jerky…or something. 

My road trip with my mom, on the other hand, included things like books on tape, “the license plate game”, leisurely dinners, and every national park and tourist attraction within even remote distance of I-90 on the way out here…and lots of Diet Coke.  (And I would have taken another week if I could have!) 

Verbatim text exchange with my mom today:
Mom:
   Bob and Jack are 100 miles west of billings mt.
Me:   they have gone a long way!!!
Mom: Yes they’re serious about arriving for the beer festival 🙂

(There is a beer festival at the Seattle Center on Saturday.  I vaguely remembered hearing about it, but my brother and uncle found it on their own, and they are pumped.)

On that note – I give you the touristy kitsch of central South Dakota: 

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Mitchell Corn Palace (South Dakota) – It’s more like a gymnasium covered in corn husks.  You cannot make this stuff up.

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Yes, that sign says population three hundred and ninety.

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A tiny roadside “strip mall”

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Wall Drug.  I don’t think I can even accurately explain this place…not so much a drugstore but a cheesy, touristy empire.

After we passed through the touristy stuff, we started getting into the true west and the mountains.  I’ll post more of that pretty soon, though probably after my brother arrives….

but here’s a preview with another picture from Badlands National Park (that’s my mom in the middle):

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Attack of the Jack

March 21, 2009

My brother Jack is one of my very favorite people in the world.  (Me, and everyone else who knows him!) 

And I am very fortunate that this Tuesday, Jack will be packing up his black Jeep Cherokee with all of his wordly possessions and driving it cross-country to move to Seattle! dsc00637My brother, the only way I ever imagine him – wearing his famed Mr. Bubble shirt.  And his military ish haircut.

Sometimes things happen in funny ways.  When I moved to Seattle 18 months ago, I didn’t even know that Jack moving here was a possibility.  I can’t wait to share a city with him.

(When he called me at work awhile ago and told me the news, I literally started sort of dancing around in between the cubicles.  It’s a good thing my co-workers are used to me.)  

I’m still pinching myself!  Jack, Seattle will not know how it got on before you…

Jack and Erin, 2006:dsc00643

Jack and Erin, 1985:naples85_4(Sorry, Jack, I had to…this one’s CLASSIC!)

I love it when long weekends actually feel long.

January 19, 2009

This weekend (which is so not over yet….love 3-day weekends!) has been a really great, balanced mix – one of family, friends, exercise, sleep, good food/drinks…and the list goes on.  

January is a bit of a weird month for me because I’m not traveling AT ALL.  Could this be a sign for a more low-key 2009? 

Probably not, because I’m in the middle of planning several trips already, but none of them happen to be in January.  I’m trying to enjoy this lull while it lasts, knowing that my wanderlust will be kicking in soon.

Weekend highlights (not in any particular order)

– Thank you, Seattle sun, for coming back out and giving us a blue sky for the first time in a few months (and temperatures nowhere near as cold as the Midwest).  I wish I took pictures. 

– My mom was in town from Chicago.   We had some much-needed quality mother/daughter time.  It was a blast, as always!

– If you ever get the chance to eat sushi with my mom, reinforce that it’s best NOT to cut the roll pieces in half to try to fit them in your mouth more easily.  (She may need some reminding.  It was her first time.)

– Even without having seen the other female performances, I can see why Kate Winslet won the Golden Globe for Revolutionary Road.  Intense.  And worth seeing.

– I feel bad for the couple who had to share an 8-person table at Serious Pie with 4 of my friends, my mom, and me on Saturday night.  The restaurant is tiny, so apparently they fill all seats.  We were pretty loud (and kept talking to them).  Hopefully they weren’t hoping for a quiet date!

– Seattle coffee loves Obama.

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– This weekend brought not just one, but two familiar faces in from out of town.  One of my college friends was in town from Dallas (visiting her family here), so it was great to catch up with her tonight.

– I’ve been to four hot yoga classes since Tuesday.  My mom came on Thursday and Saturday out of her own free will.  She did great!  And I am doing better than I expected with that particular resolution. 

– Tomorrow should be a good time to research Whistler accomodations (the next trip I’m planning – a last-minute-ish trip for a group of 10 or so to ski over Presidents’ weekend – my fourth time there!).  Whistler has become one of my favorite places since I’ve moved to the Northwest, so I’m sure there will be much more to come on that particular destination.

“Firsts” in 2008

January 7, 2009

 

My first weekend of ’09 was pretty low-key (in contrast to the last few days/nights in 2008).  Worked all day last Friday.  Stayed in that night after 3 months of non-stop everything.  Did about 7 loads of laundry, FINALLY unpacked, and went out to dinner with friends on Saturday night. 

 

Over the last few years I’ve started actively trying to get to all 50 states.  I looked at my list and was a little disappointed to realize that I only added one state this year (even if it was a good one).  Even so, I had some other good firsts in 2008, and it was fun to think back to all of these:

  1. Went Surfing – I’ve always wanted to try, so this was #1 on the list for my Hawaii trip with Skip in August.  Despite swallowing about a gallon of saltwater, we did pretty well (despite wipeouts below).  I want to do it again for sure.    surfing1
  2. Hiked – I never really thought of myself as a true outdoors/nature person, but you can’t live in the Northwest without hiking.
  3. First full year living in Seattle!  I moved in September 2007, so this was my first (and probably only) full year living here before work takes me back to Cincinnati.  I freaked out yesterday when it hit me that it is really 2009, meaning a “moving year.”  It feels too soon!
  4. Rode in a helicopter – also in Hawaii, over Kauai (most of the island is only accessible via helicopter).  Really gorgeous…but really difficult to capture the full impact in pictures.  Here’s one anyway, above the Na’Pali Coast. img_2779
  5. Painted (most of) my condo – Every surface of my condo was beige when I moved in.  Skip and I painted my hallway and bathroom when he came to visit in February.  In November, I got on a little kick and painted my entire living room and dining/kitchen area by myself over a few weekends (on a temporary lull in between work travel and my brother’s Thanksgiving visit.  I’m sure he really appreciated my new color pallette!  🙂 ). 
  6. Took public transportation to work – Seattle’s transit system is only so-so (mostly buses), but I live and work close enough to the stops that I decided to try.  The ride times are a little rough because I change buses in Bellevue, which doubles commute time – so I don’t ride every day, but I love the time to read.  The people-watching is never dull, either.
  7. Celebrity run-ins – On one of my work trips to Cinci, Cuba Gooding Jr. started talking to me outside of the Westin hotel (he told me that my suitcase is bigger than I am, which led to a 10-minute conversation about nothing in particular), and I DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS HIM TILL AFTER HE LEFT!  I just thought he was someone who LOOKED like Cuba.  In my defense, Cincinnati is the last place I ever thought I’d see someone famous.  Next up was Mary Murphy (of So You Think You Can Dance) at the Luxor in Vegas, and I did actually talk to her.  (OK, and asked for a picture.  No shame here.  I have a slight SYTYCD obsession.)MaryMurphy
  8. Solo skiing – I started skiing a few years ago, and I’m hooked.  Before Seattle, I lived about as far from mountains as you can get.  On a random Saturday morning last January, I just felt like going (despite nobody to go with me), so I went.  Not necessarily the safest thing to do, but I went to a place that’s 45 minutes away and always super-crowded…so I figured if something happened to me, tons of people would be around to see it.  (I was fine.  But I still prefer skiing with people!)
  9. Voted in a caucus – Washington is a caucus state for the Presidential primaries (they do a mail-in primary ballot as well, which apparently doesn’t count towards anything).  I couldn’t pass up the chance to participate and see what one was like.  On February 9th, I went to my caucus location where we were split into tables by neighborhood.  The voting was a pretty simple and completely transparent process.  Everyone at my table put in our votes (mine for Obama), and our self-elected “neighborhood captain” counted them right in front of us.  Obama won our neighborhood by about a 70-30 split.  It was a really interesting experience, and very cool to see and be part of the results real-time. 
  10. Added 1 new state – Hawaii, as I mentioned, which brings my state count to 31.

On another note, I spent some time playing on Photoshop and went to hot yoga on Sunday, so I’m not doing too badly with my resolutions for once.  (Maybe a first for me in 2009?)