Coffee Shop View

After a thunder and lightning storm studded water taxi ride and a soaking wet walk through the city, I made it with luggage to my pre-office meeting in Georgetown. Luggage in tow because we leave for vacation after work, pre-office meeting because I love any excuse to work outside my cube, rain because, well, the end of summer is upon us in Seattle.

It is a beautiful morning. Packing with the house still torn apart was less than efficient, the commute with luggage a little more difficult, but life is so good right now. Our deck paint seems to have stuck well (even with the downpour 12 hours after we painted) and the house is slowly coming together. And we have a whole 9 days of sunshine and sand to look forward to. A long awaited break before school starts again. School starting will mark a drastic reduction in house project progress, but hopefully a slower pace for Matt. This summer has been breakneck speed.

I savor these moments. Good coffee, time, and watching rain. I found a book to take on the plane. PB&Js are stocked in my bag. Anticipation of vacation; one last dose of salt and sand and then I am ready for fall.

Sunglasses, Easter, & Baking Naked

What is one SUPER essential honeymoon/vacation item to pack? Sunglasses. Now as a Seattleite I go through sunglasses. Why you ask, would one need sunglasses in this “rains 24×7” place? Well, first of all, it does NOT rain 24×7 (maybe just 23/5×6.5 these days…) and second, when the sun does come out it is glorious and they are needed. The problem lies in those times when sunglasses are just not practical. They get set on a car seat, on the counter, get knocked on the floor…ie scratched, sat on or lost. Yep, sunglasses get replaced a lot in Seattle.

My current pair is from Fred Meyer, a cheapo pair that I like well enough, but they are starting to chip and scratch and the hinges are wearing out. Enter: new sunglasses. I was at Nordstrom rack and came across the massive discount designer rack (uh oh, I should have walked away!) and started trying them on. Low and behold, I fell in love with a snazzy totally-made-for-an-Italian-honeymoon pair. They are classic Coach; vintagey brown, big movie star frames. AND they did no hit my cheekbones (major hurdle for me and sunglasses shopping since nearly ALL frames hit my cheekbones). I happily skipped to the checkout counter and am now the owner of these fine beauties. All ready to pack for Italy in, oh, 4 months!

After heading home with my sunglasses (and while wearing my old standbys…a great decoy to protect the new ones) I got the biggest craving for banana chocolate chip muffins. Matt and I had been talking about making some again. They are a great addition to work lunches and keep him and his sweet tooth from buying cookies at work. So I went home to bake. I cranked on some good old college days music, opened a bottle of wine and away I went. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say if you have never baked naked, you really should give it a try. Seriously.

Easter is this weekend. We are going to Matt’s aunt’s house for family dinner on Sunday, and I am bringing my friend Beth along as my adopted West Seattle sister. I love including her when she is in town! It should be a fun weekend. Family, food, SUNSHINE (at least in the forecast!). Maybe I will get lucky enough to try out the new sunglasses.

Wedding Planning: Rainy Day Suit Search

Last night we trekked down to downtown Seattle in the rain to get Matt fitted for a tux for his brother’s September wedding. While at Men’s Warehouse we also started checking out suits for Matt. He wants to wear a brown suit for our wedding, and we learned very quickly that a) brown suits are scarce, and b) they are even more rare in his size. Humm. We checked out Nordstrom too (found a potential mother-of-the-bride dress for mom!) but no brown, Matt sized suits there either. Our next stop will be the Costco custom suiting event in August. Hopefully that will provide some options.

We also learned that there are very few places that rent suits anymore. Only tuxes. Guess we may need to start thinking about a second option for Matt’s groomsmen since we were planning to have them rent suits. Maybe just dress pants with shirts and ties or vests or something. But first we need to find Matt a suit.

Tri-ing New Things

Seattle in the fall has interesting weather. This past weekend the forecast was all rain.
 
 bleak

Well, it turned out more like this: rain, sun, rain, sun, downpour, lightning, sun, wind!, sun, dark.
 

Even with the bizarre weather it was a really fun weekend. Matt and I made amazing French toast with honey butter on Saturday morning, then I went out for Chai with my friend Crystal downtown. We wandered through some cute little shops and had a good long catch up session. Matt made miso soup with scallops, green onion, seaweed and mushrooms…yum!

Sunday I woke up early early early to go swim in the Trek Women’s Triathlon with my swim student Celine. It was a half mile in Lake Washington (cold!) and I am scared to death to swim in lakes, but sucked it up to support her. I should have just done the whole race, but decided to jump out after the swim. I was so proud of her for completing her first tri! Great job girl!

After the race I went home to shower and warm up, then to see my friend Lana…she and her husband just bought their first house! It is really pretty cute and I am so jealous of all the projects they now have to do! I cannot wait to have a house someday. We went out to lunch and then I did my grocery shopping, and then met up with Matt to go out to his parent’s house for Sunday dinner. Mom and dad were at my apartment when I got home, curled up on the couch watching Planet Earth. We hung out for awhile then went to bed. I was airport shuttle service taking them to SeaTac in the morning for their trip to Hawaii. I can’t wait for my next vacation! Michigan wedding in Oct and Caribbean cruise in December! Woot!

On Monday I finally made it to yoga (horray!) and then Matt picked me up from work to go to the Space Needle for a fish industry event where we got free valet parking, rides to the top, and all the awesome fish and meat samples you could want. We were stuffed by the time we left, but enjoyed the beginnings of a sunset from the top of the Seattle skyline. Good free evening date night!

We just started dancing again. We registered for some small group blues classes with one of the instructors from the summer dancing in the park series, Ari Levvit. He is so cool and a really good teacher. Lessons are every Tuesday evening for 3 hours (!) at his house, and last night was the first session. Oh learning to dance is so much fun! Now time to find Matt some snazzy dance shoes 🙂

Tonight I need to pick up my bridesmaid dress in Bellevue for Alissa’s wedding. I need to decide if the shoes I have will work well enough or if I need to go shop for some new ones. Tonight is pesto and gnocci night.

Peach Tart

Last night was my turn to make dinner. I made half a box of multi-colored cheese ravioli with pesto, corn on the cob, and a fresh peach tart with some of the perfect peaches that Matt and I bought in Thorp. The tart was an experiment…tasted fantastic but almost got burned. I will have a few alterations next time, but the combination was just about perfect. Puff pastry, lightly sugared peach slices, and a honey glaze…ooo yummy!

It looks like it will be a rainy, dreary weekend and I cannot wait. This will be my first weekend in town in 6 weeks! Horray! I am going sleep in tomorrow, have breakfast with Matt, go to a pig roast with Kelly (who had knee surgery yesterday and it went well!), then spend the rest of the weekend doing NOTHING! Ok, we all know that will probably not happen. I seem to always find a ton more to do than I can ever squeeze in. I am planning to go to the West Seattle farmers market on Sunday and probably meet Matt on his lunch break to say hi. Oh glorious weekends!

Growlers & Good Food

It is the last day of August and the rain finally came back. Seattle was woken up with a sound we have not heard for months…the sound of raindrops and wind. I had left my kitchen door open and my apartment was pretty chilly!

My knee is finally starting to feel normal again, and I went to my PT Dr. Ross (aka Dr. Tri) for him to walk me through a strength workout program he designed for me to literally get my butt back in gear. It is 56 days of workouts, 5 days per week. Complete variety, short really intense workouts that require minimal equipment and lots of muscle power. I am pretty excited to start on this program. We talked about a goal of mine to do a half ironman…St. Croix is the real goal, but I think I may train for the Victoria, BC half in May 2011. That would be awesome. I think I am more of a tri-gal than a marathoner. I was so excited about this new burst of inspiration to start working out again (going on a cruise in Dec and wearing a swimsuit for a week has that effect too….) got me all pumped up. I need to buy a medicine ball and a PVC pipe at Home Depot and I am set!

Yesterday I stopped by the Fish Company after my workout to deliver a leftover growler of Manny’s to Matt and the guys at the shop. I gained some serious cool girlfriend points!  This has been a week of good food. Matt made cioppino (Italian fish soup) on Sunday (so good) and then last night I made pork tenderloin, corn on the cob and Matt complimented it with bacon/walnut green beans. Cooking meals with and for someone else is so much better than making dinner solo. I am much more creative and willing to make a real meal rather than a one pot pasta dish. Matt and I have come up with good meus: from-scratch calzones, pizza, pesto pasta, fajitas, miso soup…all has been really good. He is a great cook and really fun to be with in the kitchen.

Ahh, the rain smells and feels so good. It did make me just want to curl up in bed all day though. I am excited to have that chance one of these days. For now though, it is go-go-go the rest of the summer!

TNT Week

Rain. And more rain. What happened to the beautiful summer weather we had on Sunday??? I really need to get those peas in the ground…

Work has gotten off to a slower start this week. Yesterday morning I gave a presentation in Bellevue to a group of about 40 people. Nervewrackingly it was on a topic that I am only semi-comfortable with and my alarm went off and HOUR later than I expected it to, and had to be out the door showered and dressed in a total of 9 minutes. I made it though and the presentation went great! I was very happy with it and got some good comments afterwards. I met some neat people too, expanding my network around this area is always fun.

The middle of this week is totally Team in Training oriented. Last night was a Tuesday night HIT team practice, only two more practices before Eugene! Crazy! Tonight is the kickoff event for the Nike season, and tomorrow night is Nike recruiting over in Bellevue. I am still debating on which Saturday team run to attend…Nike is at Gasworks and Eugene is at Alki…and Alki is way more fun to run at! I may wait and see what the weather looks like…

I hope this rain decides to go away soon! Hope you are having a great week