Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One Very Full Memorial Day

Yesterday was just a really awesome, fabulous day.  Robbie and I didn't really do anything amazing or interesting, just enjoyed each other's company and had a wonderful time doing it. 

We woke up relatively early and I was determined to wear a summer dress out of the vast collection I have amassed over the last few weeks. I settled on the lovely little blue dress that I bought in Washington. Since it was almost 90 today I didn't need a sweater and it was absolutely awesome.  As we walked the dog I was filled with happiness with the sun and the green and the happiness...what a great start to the day.

For lunch, Rob and I had a little picnic in the yard while Cypress ran around like an idiot and begged for our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We also clipped some lilacs (my favorite flower) from the bush in our yard:

I need 85, my husband needs 15. Let's hope our kids turn out more like him.

Next we drove to a large field near our house to let Cypress frolic in the river and enjoy the weather.   It was an amazing day so a lot of people had the same idea we did.

My LL Bean sandals. Didn't look amazing with my dress but sometimes function must trump form.

Our town :)

Rob had this little dinosaur in Iraq, still holds a lot of sentimental value.

Love this dress!

Behold, my new favorite picture of us:

If you can guess what Rob and I are referencing in the next two pictures, you get 10 blog points:

Rob asked to take over camera duties:


Afterward we got some yummy gelato - because I found a dead mosquito in one of the pans (ew ew ew) we got my gelato for free! Ever one to take advantage of such a stroke of luck, I combined banana and dark chocolate sorbetto to create what I call the "Bluth Banana."

Emphasized above: mosquito!

 Cypress also loves sweet treats:

Later I took Robbie out to eat, which we do every year for Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.  We had a few drinks in honor of the comrades he lost, and others that have fallen over the course of the last few years. I find that it is very important to honor this holiday and make sure that we don't forget the sacrifice of our vets and the fallen.

Going out to dinner gave me an excuse to wear a new dress I bought a few weeks ago...it needs a belt and some accessories, but still adorable:

And finally, we had a few drinks out on our patio together.

I really wanted to write a blog about today because it was such a wonderful day for us.  I ended the day feeling very fulfilled...more fulfilled than I have in a long time.  I've been in a funk for awhile, which I have discussed extensively here, and today I finally felt like I was emerging from that.  It was also great to spend some time with my husband...time with him always reaffirms how freaking lucky I am to be married to my soulmate, partner and best friend.  He also enjoyed today, so much so that he posted a somewhat-mushy Facebook status...if you know him, you know that this is a pretty rare occurrence:

My apologies for posting another picture-heavy post so soon after the last one, but one of my Summer Goals was to take more pictures and what better place to share them but my blog? I hope you all enjoy them :)

What did you do on Memorial Day? 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our Trip to Washington (Long and with Pictures!)

Aaaand we're back!

My last post turned out to be a wee bit misleading.  We actually visited Olympia along with a small city north of Seattle where the lovely Ayla lives.  We had planned to spend a day in Seattle, but realized in short order that (1) neither I or my husband are city people and tend to prefer exploring rural areas, and (2) it was Memorial Day weekend, the weekend of a Yankees game, and the weekend of the Folklife Festival, meaning the city would be three times as packed as usual and parking would be twice as expensive.  So we didn't end up in Seattle, except to fly out, but we had an absolute blast and didn't have to deal with the stress that city driving/walking/existing brings.

So with that, I've outlined our trip below by each day, along with pictures from that day.  I know this might be too long for many of you so if you stick with it, rock on:

Tuesday, May 24: I ran around all day making sure we had everything, said goodbye to Cypress and dropped her off at daycare, and we left for Portland to catch a train to Boston.  Of course, we stopped by Chipotle, my favorite fast food restaurant ever, and then grabbed the train. The trip was uneventful, thankfully, and we crashed in our hotel room and slept for a few hours before waking up at 4 a.m.

Wednesday, May 25: Longest travel day EVER, and that's saying a lot considering how much I travel.  We were up at 4 a.m. to catch a plane. I was smart enough to bring my own granola, so I was able to mix it with yogurt for a lovely early-morning breakfast (if you are gluten-free, you know that travel is particularly obnoxious, so this was an epic win).  We flew on Virgin America, which I highly recommend if you are flying to any of the .05 locations to and from which they fly within the US.  Our plane had "mood" lighting and a TV service that also allowed you to order food and drinks and send messages to people in other seats.  We flew to LAX (busiest, most obnoxious airport I've ever been in) and then on to Seattle.

We drove to the home of our friends, Gabe and Aimee.  Rob had known Gabe while in the Army and I had become close with Aimee, though we don't talk all that much anymore except through Facebook.  They weren't ready immediately so we stopped by a beautiful park in Olympia and walked around, admiring how tall and beautiful the trees and greenery were.  We met up with Aimee and Gabe had a delicious dinner of Thai food with them and their beautiful son, Oscar. I'm sad that I didn't take any pictures of this because they are awesome people, but don't worry, I made up for it by taking pictures of other beautiful things later.  we hung out at their home, had a few drinks and talked tattoos (both are avid collectors and Aimee is an artist).  At around 10 pm we decided to make the 2.5 hour drive to Ayla's.  By the time we got to her home we had been awake for 24 straight hours so we went straight to bed after saying a quick hello to her and her beautiful beast, Annie.

Mood lighting, I guess?

Always remember to perform a breast exam prior to looking out your seat window.


Let's pretend I'm not totally lame.

Thursday, May 26: We woke up surprisingly early and went out to a restaurant called Adrift, where we ate a delicious 2000-calorie breakfast that filled us up for the rest of the day.  Ayla took us to Deception Pass, this huge canyon-like thing with beautiful views and a bridge over a pretty hefty drop.  The scenery was just gorgeous.  After that we came back to the house for some yummy goat cheese, fruit, and eggs, local chocolate milk, lots of 30 Rock episodes, and general vegging.  We eventually decided to venture out again to a local park where, legit, we got stalked by a deer.  The thing became very interested in Ayla's beast, Annie, and came within feet of us trying to investigate further.  Then it FOLLOWED US DOWN THE ROAD. Finally we were able to scare it away, but it seriously was the weirdest experience with a deer that I've ever had.
Later that night we ate delicious vegan minestrone and corn quinoa noodles (thanks Ayla!) and took a walk by the water.  We found a salamander that was half-dead from lack of water and Ayla insisted that Robbie save it, so he carried it for a few minutes until we found a puddle of fresh water.  We may have made it worse, but we're not sure.  Anyway, we returned to the house and spent the evening with a few drinks and lots of 30 Rock.

Indeed, Annie.


See how close he got?!
Face-off, Annie vs. Deer.

Where's Waldo: Can you find the deer in this picture? It helps if you zoom in all dramatically like a crime show.

The 3/4-dead salamander we "saved."

Friday, May 27: My birthday! We woke up to yummy homemade granola, made by our lovely hostess.  Then we took a trip to a nearby co-op for delish berry smoothies, and finally off to Bellingham for shopping. We went to Texture, where I bought a cute skirt and some knit mits (buy some, they're amazing). We checked out a few more stores with lots of fun items and finally grabbed lunch at a Thai restaurant.  The waiter seemed very knowledgeable about gluten so I wasn't too concerned; however, as we were driving home I was struck with soul-shaking (yes, soul-shaking) nausea, which I managed to more or less avoid until we arrived home.  Once there I had a very unpleasant vomit-y experience, which I chalk up to the Thai restaurant. There's only one time that I had such a violent reaction, and that was at the Social Distortion concert after I'd stupidly eaten French fries at a restaurant with no knowledge of gluten-free diets. Anyway, I threw up everything I'd ever eaten and powered through the whole-body cramps with the help of (you guessed it) more 30 Rock.

We went out to dinner at Adrift. I had a light salad and soup (stomach still was not up to par) and husband and Ayla had crab tacos. Delish! Later we went to an awesome bar for some martinis, then another bar for another martini, and home to watch Arrested Development.

Isn't he so handsome?

Pomegranate Cosmo!
Saturday, May 28: This was the day we were going to spend in Seattle.  As we talked it over, though, we realized that it would be super stressful on me (and, by extension, Rob) and we would have to deal with having two separate cars since it was also our travel day.  So we talked it out and decided to go back to Bellingham for the Farmer's Market and the Memorial Day parade.  First, we stopped by the co-op for smoothies again and I bought the absolute cutest dress ever (I put a picture on Twitter but hesitate to ever look at said picture ever again...I photograph so awkwardly!).  At the Market I bought a sandwich on delicious gluten-free bread, then went back and bought that same sandwich again because it was so yummy and the bread was so "normal." Ayla had a delicious salad from 22 Grains that include roasted chickpeas and other yummery.  

We wandered down to where the parade was and had fun coming up with a "scavenger hunt" of things we might see at the parade, including dancers, miniature vehicles, shriners, and veterans.  We saw all of these things. At one point several people walked down with large images of servicemembers from Washington who had been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Since Rob came back from Iraq that stuff affects me quite a bit, so I was pretty pissed off when the parents of an 8-year old behind me weren't telling the kid to shut the hell up and respect the memory of these servicemembers.  The kid blathered on and on about nothing while we all stood and clapped and I was NOT happy. I understand wee babes making noise, but I'm sorry, my children will know that there are times that they need to stand up and be aware of what's going on around them.

After the parade we said our goodbyes (sad!) and drove to the airport. And got as close to the Space Needle as we did all week (picture below). We flew from Seattle to San Francisco, then an overnight flight to Boston.  This morning we took a 2.5-hour train to Portland, which had annoyingly run out of Chobani so I went breakfast-less, and then we drove the 1.5 hour home. Needless to say we're pretty exhausted.

Ayla's sweet grandmother made these for her dreads!

Mmm, mango lassi.

Me & Ayla!

This is like the one parade picture I got. Can you believe how big those logs are? In Maine our trees don't get nearly that big (that's what she said?).

As close as we got to ze Space Needle.

Waiting to board...

Creepy airport art at Sea-Tac.
Sitting at Sea-Tac...isn't my suitcase cute, btw?

Sitting at San Francisco, decidedly less happy.

The gate sign says "On time, wicked eh?"

At the train station, not pleased.

Very un-gluten-free granola.
Want to see more pics? Add me on ze Facebook.

So there you go, my friends, our whirlwind trip to Washington.  I really, really enjoyed this trip - it was amazing to reconnect with old friends and to finally meet an online friend that I hadn't actually seen in person yet, and to whom I feel even closer now that we have spent time together. I felt very at peace in the Northwest, surrounded by greenery and calm (minus the highway driving, of course), just as I do in Maine. 

I'm working on getting caught up on blogs and commenting and Twittering and such.  I intentionally disconnected from Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin', and I am very happy I did.  

I'm also glad to be home and can't wait to sleep for at least 37 hours.

Did you all have a good week and weekend?  Any plans for Memorial Day? I plan on taking my veteran out for dinner as we do every year because, as he said one year, "we should drink for those who couldn't come home and drink."