Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Snow and Snow.

Last week was a lame one for posting. And the week BEFORE was all about snow. Snow in the city and snow in the mountains! For Tyson's birthDAY we braved the city (not-plowed) streets to get to the Fremont Brewery for libations with friends. Never mind the 100+ bars in our actual neighborhood. We had our priorities straight because their beer is goooooood.
Plus Tyson wore his 80s sweater purchased several years ago at the Aspen Thrift Store. Legit! It actually has a silk lining. 

On Friday afternoon we headed out of town for our 5th annual cabin ski trip. This year we rented a friend's cabin and it was hands down the coolest cabin I've rented. An actual log cabin! Beautiful.
As far as the snowboarding went, it was like a snow explosion (see the picture of snow above for reference). I don't think I've snowboarded in as much snow ever. So needless to say this was a bit of a challenging day for me. Lots of point the board and hope you don't fall because digging yourself out will be hell. And of course it was all worth it during apres ski with pals and beers and my birthday guy.

Otherwise we did a lot of what is depicted below: Sitting around in the cabin and relaxing. And eating. And sipping. Not a bad way to spend the weekend. Tyson is officially birthday'd and we hope he enjoys his last year in his 20's!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Denny Way, Capitol Hill

This is just one hill, in one neighborhood of the many. In this fantastic video, my friend Randall captured the spirit that is Denny Way street sledding - the street that on any normal day is the main artery for getting on the hill. Sledding. It brings so much joy.

Denny Hill . Capitol Hill . Seattle . 2012 from randall statler on Vimeo.

Have great weekends! Back next week with tales from Mt Baker. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

two nine.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie! I hope this year is your best yet! I love you to bits. 

In honor of Tyson's big day, we are off to Mt Baker for the weekend to surf in the white powder! In light of the recent Seattle weather, I think it's safe to say we will have a great time. Nine of us. Good food + good items to sip on. And a hot tub to boot. 

Oh and here are the current conditions as posted on the Mt Baker Ski Area's website:

With our recent storm total over 57 inches, we now have one of the deepest snowbases in North America!

We have issued a DEEP SNOW WARNING as deep snow conditions currently exist at Mt. Baker. This means ride with a partner, keep your partner in sight at all times and be aware that tree wells and deep snow conditions exist throughout the ski area.

Forecasts are calling for more heavy snowfall for the weekend.

The Mt. Baker Highway Department of Transportation crew continues to put their experience and expertise to use in doing a great job keeping the entire Mt. Baker Highway in great driving shape-- Thanks guys!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow Day ||

A white blanket of snow has covered Seattle and the surrounding neighborhoods. As we experienced several years ago, the city shuts down and debauchery ensues.

Seattle becomes a place of hapless hilarity in times of snow. Any semblance of an incline becomes a sledding hill. The rarity of snow means people are delighted to play. The city comes alive in a totally different way = of course sledding, Xcountry skiing, pubs fill up and the windows steam while sleds collect in the corners near the door.

We definitely made good use of the city powder yesterday. First time out on my new xcountry skis!
Growing up in MN, we were covered in snow from October to April. That was BEFORE shit got all weird and people started talking about Global Warming. Whether or not its legit I'll just say this: There is no snow in MN right now and we have tons of snow in Seattle. This, my friends, is odd. In any case, I forgot about the gleaming white that envelopes your house as the the light reflects off of the snow outside. We don't have a fireplace, but a burning candle is enough to make it feel cozy.

New this year was the introduction of chairs mounted to skis for optimal speed and stability. We've come a long way from the days of just cookie sheets and laundry baskets.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Its snowing here in Seattle. A rarity, and oh so good. And on that note, a cozy house for snow days.

From here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I'm heading to Portland this weekend! My Minnesota pals are heading west yet again! A college girlfriend, Bbo, lives in Portland and three of us are converging on Ptown in a girl buddy explosion. I cannot wait! I'll pick up coffee and hit the road Saturday morning for the 2.5 hour drive south, and I'm looking forward to good music and news in the car and maybe even some telephone banter. A grand weekend of gals, great food, quirky shops and fashion, and really good beer. Portland is so great.

In honor of the trip, check out this Q&A with Carrie Brownstein on season two of Portlandia. She rules. Such an inspiration for constantly pushing yourself to do the things that interest you and inspire you.

Monday, January 9, 2012


So simple and so effing cute. I can tell I am already shopping for spring/summer fashion. This is not a good sign considering its January.

On the bright side of January, a pack of us headed to Crystal Mountain this past weekend and whizzed down the slopes. Though conditions weren't superb, the group chemistry made up for it. We all had a ball riding/skiing together.


On another note, I've been struggling lately to find some balance. I can't tell you how often I feel sloppily dressed for work or ill prepared for a book club gathering. And I don't even have kids! How on earth am I going to be a good mama* and get ANYTHING done if I can't do it now.

* No I am not pregnant. I just think and obsess about these kinds of things, you know, that don't affect me yet but I have found space in my brain to worry about them. Jesus Christ, Andrea! Stop!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Burn & Ring.

I'm a Minnesota gal. I grew up on a farm and my parents have been hosting a New Year's Day bonfire there for probably twenty years. This is no wimpy bonfire and in fact most years the flames reach thirty, even forty feet into the air. They collect items for the burn pile year-round and then invite all of their friends to come and burn the old, ring in the new. In years past, it was not uncommon to find an old couch in the pile, a random something that probably hurt the environment as it sizzled, but the prevailing common thread was always the Christmas trees. Party guests bring their trees to toss in and even the local nursery loads up all of the trees that didn't sell and drop them off in a pile next to the fire. Periodically throughout the day/night the trees get tossed in and ignite within seconds. Its a great tradition! Sometimes its -10 degrees and only the side of your body that faces the fire is warm, forcing you to roll along like a rotisserie to handle the cold. That and make sure you have a beer in-hand AND a trapper hat! The trapper hat is an element that has surely evolved over the years. I'm pretty sure it started with my dad as he spends most of his time working outside and the big furry hats keep him warm. As the years chugged on it became the running joke that in order to stand out by the fire one must don a trapper hat!

Since we didn't go back to MN for the holidays this year we decided to implement the New Year's Day bonfire in true West Coast fashion <<< on the beach.

Though this idea was new to us it was certainly not original. Sunday was gorgeous and sunny - a rare Seattle winter day. The Olympic Mountain range and its snowy peaks were clear and visible across the Sound. Sailboats curled around in the bay. And every single fire pit in the sand had people standing around them burning trees!

Our friends brought their trees. My girl Erin brought her PhD exams and tossed them in. I roasted a dog and sipped on a Rainier tall boy. It was a good day. Happy New Year!


Here we are on our last night of 2011! Photo courtesy of B. Look at how cute and happy Tyson is in that bottom picture. Love that happy man. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New and Shiny!

Its a whole new year! Crazy. Just like that. Someone recently asked if I have any regrets from 2011. A missed opportunity perhaps. A learning. Or maybe something I did, and wished I hadn't done. Well, I'm not really a regrets kinda gal! Yeah we didn't go on a single backpacking trip - absolutely a missed opportunity. I didn't do a lot of writing, and as a result I have a hard time writing even this post. But overall I have to say that 2011 was bombtastic. This time last year I'd been engaged for almost two weeks (eeeeek!). We did some snowboarding. I spent a magical weekend in MN with some of the most amazing women on the planet. We gathered together our closest friends and family and I married my partner and absolute best friend...and then jetted off on a honeymoon that will surely be a highlight of my life when I'm ninety, swearing like a sailor still, and look back on it all. Yeah, life was pretty good in 2011. Even stranger is to think that almost two years ago, to the date, we'd quit our jobs and were hopping a plane for New Zealand - a move so terrifying and yet so exhilarating that its the most alive I think I've ever felt. I'm reminded of that feeling as I look out into the unknown that is 2012. What will I carve out and define for this precious year of life? I plan to dig deep and scoop up some of that madness that comes with taking risks. I'm not yet sure how this will manifest but hopefully it means I will push myself out of my comfort zone this year and find that edge where excitement and fear create living. Eeeeeek! (Again.)

In a not so scary but more general sense, I plan to:
+ floss
+ care less about what people think of me
+ actually learn how to play my baritone ukulele
+ live with intention
+ read, read, read
+ write, write, write
+ go, go, go...to the Methow Valley, to Vietnam, to Mt Baker, to St Louis, to MN, to Banff National Park, to Portland,...to the mountains and to the sea