Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Birdy, B and Hales > 2

Saturday, Bess and Teresa joined us, and we headed out of the city to go hiking on the Denny Creek trail near Snoqualmie Pass. The weather was absolutely perfect and it seemed the group really had no agenda or sense of time. We stopped to eat our sandwiches and rest in the shade. Haley opted for a sandwich fit for a giant, resting state: 6" tall.

Then we headed down to an area with a recently collapsed ice cave and a waterfall. Some of us sat on the rocks and just relaxed. Some of us played around in the snow and water. At one point Haley and I decided we were going to become adventure climbers and "climb" down a rock wall to check out the area below. Yes, we are our own entertainment.

The hike was great. I love being outside and in nature with friends. Much like snowboarding trips, I love getting out and doing something together and then focusing on what type of meal it just earned us. We stopped by Whole Foods and picked up various items and then once again headed back to the rooftop. More chatter.

Then we headed out to meet Teresa, Wendy R (CSB) and the always entertaining Buckley for a few drinks. I loved connecting my Seattle friends with my MN friends. Somehow I wish we just all lived in the same city, but alas, we do not. I did appreciate the few hours spent with my two worlds.

And without sounding like the classic sign off, I really had an amazing weekend. And as Crow headed back to be with her family and start work the following day, I cried a little in the car on the way back from the airport. Then Haley and I dropped B off at the train station and reflected together on how great it was to see her. Haley, Tyson and I hit the market and relaxed until it was time to drop her off also. Tears. Lots of them. The weekend really was over. So much laughter and time together that hadn't been so quality since the living quarters of St. Bens.

Thank you for your visit. I love and miss you! And anyone who doesn't is "dead inside". HA!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Birdy, B and Hales > 1

Oh vacation. Its funny how when you go on vacation your psyche goes into a completely different mode. Real life is there somewhere. Somewhere way back in the corners of your mind. But for the most part, your mind and body fall away into another place where all things real life fade away, and what's left is usually relaxed, present, and let's be honest, in vacation mode. I've been so grateful for so many visitors this summer. And ironically, even though my guests are on vacation visiting me in my real life, it sort of puts me in vacation mode as well. An excuse to eat more, to act like an idiot a considerable amount more, to drink martinis, to laugh at nothing, to thoroughly enjoy all things...and maybe, to get a tattoo.

Haley and Crow blew into Seattle on Thursday afternoon and an immediately stop was Trader Joe's for snacks and wine. We relaxed in my condo for a few hours sipping wine and catching up. Tyson came by to pick up his previously misplaced cell phone and joined in the conversation also. I think he sent Haley into a tailspin of sorrow after telling her that once you touch a moth's wings they eventually die anyway, so picking them up and releasing them into nature doesn't actually save them. Insert photo of a distressed Haley searching the internet for answers.

We then headed out for dinner, more talking and laughing, and eventually went to bed early intending to arrive at the REI sale 30 minutes before the store opened. I'm not sure Haley and Crow were planning to go to this sale when they booked their flight, but I had them all fired up.

That morning Crow mentioned an interest in getting a tattoo. For those of you who don't know Michelle, a tattoo is a bit of a shocking admittance. She's great! ...but usually more of a straight arrow and I think Haley and I were reeling at the possibility, but I personally didn't think she would do it. Bethie came in around noon and all of us were starving. We hit up Volunteer Park Cafe. Then it was off to the Super Genius tattoo parlor.

Immediately entering, the music was loud, sort of hate-filled and devil sounding. I was watching Crow and anticipating a freak out and an immediate exit. Nope. She was determined.

Even after meeting her designated artist and having him be somewhat pushy, rude and ultimately a bit of an angry man, Crow forged ahead. She had made her decision and she was getting a tattoo before she turns 30. So fun! Sean was a smidge concerned during the follow-up phonecall. I think he felt girls' weekend had taken his wife and he wondered when the real Michelle was going to please stand up.

After Birdy was inked, we headed out for martinis and snacks and then headed home to eat take-out and drink wine on my rooftop deck.

We basically sat there all night looking out at the Puget sound, the Olympic mountains and the downtown skyline and just talked and talked and talked ...and I loved it so much. I get choked up just thinking about the quality friendship time during our weekend. Again, you don't get that when you just go out for dinner or drinks or even go to a cabin. There's usually something to do, something to get up and drive home for. I feel that trips are what really bring people closer. I think its why I like ski trips so much. Spending time outside and being active together but then loads of sitting around and just being together. Throughout the weekend I kept thinking how great it would be if they all lived here. But even then, it wouldn't be the same. Jobs, kids and families. Vacation baby, truly fantastic way to be with friends!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

new handle bar grips!

Still no camera. Which has been interesting because I always find myself obsessively documenting and for a week or so I've just sat back and relaxed in the moment of things.

Last weekend the Joe Bar hosted a free bike tweak where you could bring your bike and they tune it up and fix things you are having trouble with. Any donations they take go to Bikeworks and they use it to buy helmets for kids. It was great because not only did they tune up my bike and now it rides like its brand new, but they showed me how to rewrap my handle bars and now they are bright pink!

Tyson and I and some of our friends are doing the Black Diamond Tri on September 14. Look for the pink.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Beach camping on the WA coast.

Last Friday, Lisa B, Tyson and I headed out of Seattle on the Bainbridge ferry bound for the Olympic Penninsula and the WA coast in Forks. We were meeting up to camp on the beach with six other people. Arriving at almost midnight, we donned our headlamps for the hike through the rainforest with our backpacks on -Busch light in hand. After 25 minutes or so we started to hear the sounds of the ocean and knew we were close. The three of us set up our tents and I tried to ignore the beattles crawling around in the sand. Tyson and I headed out to check out the beach in the dark and still managed to see some jelly fish washed up on the shore.

Saturday we woke to grey skies and a smidge of rain. The rest of the folks showed up and we ended up with the fanciest camp site(s) of all time. One area for all of the tents. Then the site next door was commandeered. It had been left behind by some boy scouts and still had warm coals in the firepit. And a sweet rock off to the left provided some rain shelter for our collected wood - we called it our "garage". Once fed and at least one beer in, we all headed out on a hike to the next beach. The entire trip was one of relaxed playing. We skipped rocks on the beach, sat on some logs, chatted...basically did nothing really significant execpt hang out together.

That night we all made our respective dinners ooohing and ahhhing over each others' gear and dinner choices. We sat around a fire and drank wine late into the night. Tyson brought his glowing frisbee and some of us threw it around in the black of night, aiming only for the sound of voices. So much fun. And though I absolutely love spending time with Tyson, it was really fun to camp and hike with such a big, fun group.

Unfortunately I managed to lodge some sand in my camera lense and it is currently on the fritz. Its being serviced and I hope to post photos from this trip very soon! Until then, you get the one sent from my girlfriend, Nan.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Beer Olympics 2008

Tyson and I were invited to participate in the first annual Mason Lake Beer Olympics hosted by our friend and my co-worker, Rob. We caught the ferry early last Saturday morning and looked for signs directing us to the cabin. Each team consists of two guys and two gals. You must have both a uniform and a flag, and your team name must represent your country which can be either real or fake. A sampling: The Vatican, Athens: Tappa Kegga Brew, The Republic of Mustachia (yep, mustaches). We were Ballgium -play-on-words of Belgium. Don't judge me, Grandma and parents, I didn't come up with it. Rob's parents hosted beer olympics for ten years in the 80's. They have photos to prove it. On the fridge I noticed one of his dad, Bob, running down the dock with a flaming torch in his hand. No joke.

Seven teams lined up in the driveway as "inspiring" symphony music blared from the boombox. We processed down onto the dock with our flags leading the way. At that time, Bob snapped polaroids of each team, blew a whistle and the games began. Both Bob and Genie were very active parents in the games. Bob toted a bullhorn and stopwatch for the first event: Boys in the row boat blindfolded, girls dictating where to go. Destination was Temptation Island (or the floating dock) in which case both girls had to be out of the boat and on the dock, drink a Miller Light, get back in the boat and tell the guys how to get back to shore. All the while, Bob is timing you and the rest of the teams are heckling you from the shore. One team spun their boat in a circle three times, another hit the dock. Hilarious event.

There were five events in total: The rowboat, the football toss - which the parents scored with number cards, beer pong, holy boards (otherwise known as washers) and the final event was flip-cup. A roaring finish.

Our team placed second earning us a silver medal. It was so much fun and I haven't laughed that hard in a really long time. Insert plug - If only my parents would buy that cabin on Lake Minnetonka, I'd host Beer Olympics 2009.

Friday, August 8, 2008

umm, wanna learn something?

How to avoid trapped arm, whilst cuddling in bed.
How to have an opinion about Grand Theft Auto 4.
How to build a Mentos and Diet Coke booby trap.
How to deal with odd sexual requests.
How to carry groceries with a square piece of fabric.
How to do an Indian Head Massage.

This is a site I found on one of the NYTimes' blogs. Video Jug. Life explained on film. Its great! The How To's above are very odd, but they have everything from Tennis lessons to parenting tips.

Wanna know if you're really in love?
How about how to track diabetic glucose levels?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ann marries Brian.

After spending the day lounging on the lake, Tyson and I made our way into Mpls for Ann and Brian's wedding. They chose the very warehouse and swank Theater de la Jeune Lune as their venue. Ann looked absolutely beautiful and I'm not just saying that because I love her and because she was the bride. Brian had apparently stopped eating after May 1st and as a result lost 20lbs before the wedding. He looked great too. In their ceremony, they made sure to make note of the fact that their relationship is based on many things, but mostly, they make each other laugh. And they really do. They laugh all the time. And you can't really miss it because Ann has this amazing, brilliant "cackle" that I love so much! They really waited until they both found their right partner and I think they are going to have an incredible marriage and will truly spend the rest of their lives as best friends.

It was interesting to see so many of my former co-workers from my old agency. So many questions about "what happened?" and "who is this guy?" ...anyway, I had a great time. Just sometimes, life is very odd.

And so is Tim. Odd I mean.