Monday, March 25, 2013

21 Years and Counting

Last week, my husband Andy and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary! I can hardly believe we have been married that long. Twenty-one years ago, we chose March 20, the first day of spring, to tie the knot. Spring represents new beginnings, and for me, that's what our marriage represented. A new beginning - a new chance at love, a new chance at a happy marriage.

The Bacon Mansion, Seattle, WA

My first wedding (as a very young and naive 18-year-old bride) was huge and expensive, and that marriage barely lasted 5 years. When I married Andy, we had a small, private ceremony that only included the pastor and two close friends as witnesses. We've had our ups and downs, but it is exactly those ups and downs that have strengthened our love and commitment to each other through the years. Here's hoping for 21 more!

We left the kids at home with our oldest daughter Whitney holding down the fort, and spent Friday and Saturday nights at the lovely Bacon Mansion in Seattle. Andy and I have loved staying in bed and breakfast inns from the beginning of our marriage. Our first experience with a bed and breakfast was in Niagra Falls, NY, shortly after our wedding. We enjoyed that stay so much, that we've been looking for bed and breakfasts ever since.

Our room was small but cozy and the bed was perfectly made with crisp cotton sheets and a billowy duvet. I slept so soundly both nights. The bed was so high off the ground that I practically needed a stool to climb in! I would love to have a high bed of my own. Maybe someday...

A perfectly set table
 Breakfast at the Bacon Mansion was not your typical bed and breakfast fare - they offered yogurt, fresh cut fruit, coffee, juice, tea, and homemade, straight-from-the-oven muffins. It was actually perfect for two 40-something people watching their diets. :)

We had a balcony near our room where we enjoyed sitting in the evenings with a glass of champagne.

After our light breakfast on Saturday morning, we headed over to Pike's Market.

The famous Pike Place Fish Company is the first thing you see upon entering Pike's. It was not quite 10:00 AM and not crazily crowded yet - and the fish guys weren't yelling and throwing fish at each other. :( I guess it was too early for that!

The fresh fruits and vegetables are not only delicious to eat but a delight to look at!

I literally could eat one of those pints of sweet-n-fancy tomatoes all by myself in one sitting.

These were the biggest grapes I have ever seen!

One thing Pike's Market has an abundance of is fresh flowers. The vibrant orange and yellow ones were my favorites!

A view of the upper floor from the stairwell

A little man clad in underwear spies on unsuspecting customers at a used bookstore in Pike's Market.

After we walked all over Pike's Market, we decided to walk around outside. It was the most beautiful spring day. Blue skies and lots of sunshine - not typical Seattle in the spring! We just felt the outdoors calling us, and the cool, fresh air was intoxicating.

 We talked about some things we could do. The Space Needle - been there, done that. The new ferris wheel - something we would enjoy more with the kids. As we talked we just walked, and walked, and talked, and walked. It was really nice - no agenda, no appointments. We decided it would be nice to keep it that way. We began walking up a steep street.

 Most of the deciduous trees were still bare, but there were cherry blossoms everywhere!

We continued walking up the ridiculously steep hill. We had no idea how far the hill went from bottom to top at the time, but later we tracked it with our car and it was 2 miles. 

At the top of the hill we found a little park.

We thought that was the top of the hill - but then we found that just beyond the playground was a winding path that was even steeper than the street we had just climbed.

At the end of the path was a clearing, and we discovered this breathtaking view of the city below.

On the way back, I took a picture of the park sign.

The other side of the sign....wait a minute...what's the name of the park?

After that excursion Andy wanted to take me to Zeek's Pizza, where he had eaten before when he was in Seattle on business. Washington State isn't exactly known for its pizza, so I was a bit hesitant, wondering if we could stick to something safe like Asian food. The Corona appetizer was refreshing after our walk, though!

As it turned out, the pizza was delicious! Definitely not New York delicious - but really, really good. Besides, it wasn't even New York "style" but a different taste all together. We ordered a "personal" size pepperoni & sausage and shared it. There wasn't a crumb left when we were done.

Ummmmm. I will definitely eat at Zeek's again next time we're in Seattle.

After our pizza, we went out walking again.

This walkway made me really wish I had brought my running clothes and shoes. I haven't been running in a while, but I'm so ready to get back into it. Andy and I used to take our running gear with us whenever we went on a trip together. We would either get out and run first thing in the morning, or run in the evenings. I have lots of good memories of us running through various towns all over the U.S. Some days were deathly hot, while other days found us running through ice and snow. Nothing used to stop us! Seeing all the runners out on this beautiful day while I was stuck in my wool coat and boots made me slightly jealous. And I want some neon orange or green running shoes. Everybody has those now! Andy asked me if I got some if that would motivate me to run again. Well yeah, duh! Half the fun of running are the clothes and shoes!

I couldn't believe how close this bird let me get. I kept inching closer and closer and he just sat there. I could have touched him. He flew off when he heard my camera click.

 The water and sky were amazingly blue.

Mt. Rainier, coffee, umbrella, fish. Yep, that pretty much sums up Seattle for ya!

This little girl shared her popcorn with the pigeons.

As it turned out, we spent the entire day walking - and we estimated later that we had walked about 7 miles - some of those miles up and down some pretty good hills. I am feeling a slightly familiar ache in my legs and butt - what is that from? Oh, yeah, it's called EXERCISE!!!!

 I will leave you with a picture of the Space Needle against that beautiful blue sky!

Monday, March 18, 2013

River's Day Out

Last week, Mama, Nene (that's my grandma), and I had a Kids' Day Out! First, we went to one of my favorite places. Can you guess what that is?

Barnes & Noble! Mama & Nene didn't mind. They like to drink coffee there, and look at books and magazines.

This is my robot pose!

There were so many things to choose from! I asked Mama to buy me a Godiva chocolate bar, but she said no. So then I asked for a chocolate granola bar, and she still said no. Finally, she bought me a banana. That's OK, because I like bananas. They're just as good as chocolate, Mama says.

I shared my banana with Austen. I'm nice like that.

After we had a snack, we went to play at the train table. Austen loves the trains!

And so do I!

 Mama likes to read while Austen and I play with the trains. This is a really good deal, because we all get to do something we like.

I got a piano cat off the shelf, and Austen played on it a lot. It made a "meow" sound every time she pushed a key. It was so funny and loud! I don't understand why Nene and Mama said they will never buy this awesome toy. If I had a nickel, I would buy it for Austen! And then I would borrow it!

After a while, I said we need to go to the Lego table.

I worked very hard building some really cool houses.

After I built a few houses, I told Mama and Nene I was hungry. They said we will go eat at Chipotle. I was worried because sometimes Chipotle food is too spicy. But Mama said it wouldn't be spicy today. Nene says that Chipotle is good because they have lots of vegetables. But I think Nene really likes the chips and guacamole the best. Is guacamole a vegetable?

The food was very yummy, and Mama didn't let the Chipotle people put anything too spicy on my plate! Mama, Nene, and Austen sat at a little table, but I'm a really big boy so I just sat on a stool by the window all by myself. I liked watching the people outside while I was eating!

Soon it was time for Austen to go home so she could take a nap. She's still a baby and gets tired easy. She really doesn't like sitting in the carseat, but I think hugging that baby doll helped her feel better. 

 I had a fun day out with Mama and Nene! I hope we can do it again soon! Maybe I will take them to IKEA next time....