Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Recap: More Parks Than I Can Count

Whew! That last post was kind of a bummer. Fortunately we had a great weekend with our family to make us feel better about our situation. On Sunday, my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and three-year-old nephew, L, came to visit and we had a great time showing them around Seattle.

After a breakfast at home of yummy waffles and fruit salad, we, of course, started our tour at Kerry Park because there is no better place to take in the views.  My nephew was more interested in the playground below, however, so we walked down the stairs. Upon arriving, he deemed the park "small."  :) It's hard to compete with Spokane parks. We walked up the hill to Marshall Park to sit and overlook Elliot Bay for awhile, before walking through the Parsons Gardens.

View from Kerry Park.

Next, we hopped in the car to visit one of my favorite spots in the city: the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. 

One lone smolt in the fish ladder.
After that, we wanted to get in some beach time, so we went to Golden Gardens. L had no qualms splashing in the waves at the edge of the water with his shoes and pants on—ah, to be three again!

Golden Gardens: Only in Washington would this be beach weather.
Sandy, wet feet: no big deal when you're three.

Pants and shoes changed, we got back in the car and L declared, "We're having a good day!" And I would have to agree.

But it still got better, because our next stop involved food. We were starving after exploring, so it was time for pizza at Tribunali on Queen Anne. Delicious pizzas, great atmosphere, and fabulous company.

yum. yum. yum.

No pizza cutters here. Instead we had special pizza scissors!

We swung by just one more park on the way home. This one with a merry-go-round. L deemed this the best park yet and the best part of the day. I was glad we could finally offer him a park opportunity that compared with his own city's premium parks. And as if that wasn't enough, we finished the day with a taste of fro-yo at Menchie's. Good to end on a high note. Hope you all had a great weekend as well!

(photo credit:
Weekly Workout Recap
Monday: 4 miles run
Tuesday: 4 miles run
Wednesday: 4 miles run
Thursday: rest
Friday: rest
Saturday: rest <--- too busy crying while doing our taxes to exercise.
Sunday: rest <--- too busy playing to exercise!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Second Thoughts

I was thinking maybe I should bring you all up to speed, honestly, about how the past five or so months have been going.

Late last year, my husband and I quit our great jobs in Washington, DC and voluntarily relocated, sans new jobs, to Washington State. We're both from here originally, had thought about moving back for years and decided that at the end of 2010 we would move back, jobs or no jobs. We wanted to be closer to friends and family and really put down some roots. In the meantime, we failed to notice that after more than six years in DC, our roots were already firmly in the ground. Since moving we've both felt lost and uprooted and uncertain and homesick.

In December, we packed up a POD, flew west on one-way tickets, and moved in to my mom and dad's basement. (Yes, we're in our early thirties.) But that is the one thing about this move that has been great: spending a lot of quality time with my mom and dad. We hadn't seen them much over the past six years and being with them is so fun. They are unfailingly supportive of us while we try and figure things out. They let us stay with them for months. Let me cry on their shoulder when I realized what we'd done. We've played games and taken a lot of long walks. And on top of everything my mom is a great cook and has fed us well.

But, aside from that, nothing else has been great: the job search has been utterly depressing. We've applied to more than 300 jobs (combined). I have gotten a few disappointing interviews and turned down one dismally underpaid and uninsured job offer. The husband has gotten one job offer, which he accepted, but that has been underwhelming, to say the least. Other things adding to the regret include the gloomy weather, the traffic and lack of transit options, and constantly second-guessing whether we made the right decision. We've been trying to focus on the positive, but since about mid-January, we have been wishing we could 'apple + z' to August 2010 and just go back to our life the way it was.

I've spent the past few months evaluating whether I'm just homesick and readjusting or whether we made a big mistake. I think I changed more than I realized and moving "home" to Washington State just isn't an option anymore, because "home" is elsewhere. Whatever we end up doing, in a way I'm glad that we gave it a shot, because otherwise the lingering need to try Seattle would always be in the back of our minds. But now we've explored this option and recognize that it might not actually be right for us. We took a drastic measure to move our lives forward, when in reality it's felt more like we've undone everything we've worked for for the past decade. Is it possible to hit the reset button and go back to the way things were? Or will things still feel "off" if we were to return?

We are typically very responsible, together people. We pay our bills on time. We both have advanced degrees. We are not impetuous or impulsive and we over-analyze everything. But rather than making a pro-con list for this, my heart says: undo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution

Who watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution tonight?

Simultaneously horrifying and inspiring, I am hooked. I've been a fan of Jamie ever since his Naked Chef days. I missed season one, but from what I saw tonight, he's courageously facing an enormous problem and it would be so easy to get discouraged. He needs more people to join the food revolution! How can we mobilize? At one point during the show, Jamie tried to reform a local fast food restauranteur. Unwilling to adjust his ways, it made me think—why can't someone start a nutritious, responsible, affordable fast food chain that will make eating healthy easy?

In honor of the show, I had a big garden salad for dinner. Colorful and yummy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend Recap: One Top Pot Doughnut per Person is Plenty

Hope everyone had a great weekend! We started the weekend out on Saturday with a 10-mile urban hike to the Sculpture Park, along the waterfront, through a couple furniture stores downtown, back through Pike Place, and back home via Seattle Center. Of course we stopped along the way for fish taco sustenance at Anthony's. My new mantra—if it's not raining, go outside! We didn't let a few clouds stop us from having a fabulous day enjoying the city.
Olympic Sculpture Park
Two of the fishing boats from Deadliest Catch were at the waterfront!
Yum! One of my favorite meals in Seattle: The Mahi-Mahi fish taco at Anthony's.
People watching at the International Fountain at Seattle Center. Can't wait to do this on a sunny day.
On Sunday, again, we didn't let a few clouds get us down. We started the day sampling Top Pot Doughnuts for the first time. Seriously people, these doughnuts are worth the hype. But they are filling! Beckoning and glistening in the case, it's hard not to overdo it, but one is plenty. After all that sugar, we took a spin on foot around Greenlake and almost made it once around before it started to rain. On the way home we walked through the Fremont Sunday Market. Can't wait to enjoy all these activities in the sunshine!
Top Pot Doughnuts: Worth the Hype
Pink Rainbow Sprinkles: The Husband's Doughnut of Choice.
Field of Daisies at Greenlake.
Greenlake was hopping, even in a small hurricane. Can't imagine what it will be like in the sun!
Quirky Fremont Sunday Market. The antique area definitely smelled like my grandmother's house. Before she quit smoking.

Weekly Workout Recap
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 3.5 miles run
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 20 minutes yoga + 3.5 miles run
Friday: 20 minutes yoga + 3.5 miles run
Saturday: 10-mile urban hike
Sunday: One walking lap around Greenlake, 2.8 miles

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Views through the Years

I was reminiscing last night and thinking: we've had some nice views over the past six years in Washington, DC, Alexandria, and now Seattle!

Seattle, WA: Olympic Mountains in the distance (though this is the only time I've seen them in a month due to clouds/rain!)
Old Town Alexandria, VA; George Washington Masonic National Memorial in the distance (1 year)
Washington, DC (AdamsMorgan/Columbia Heights); Overlooking Rock Creek Park, the National Cathedral in the distance (5 years)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekend Recap

Once again the weekend went by far too quickly. I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Here's what I accomplished:

Finally unpacked the last of our boxes/put them in storage.

Went to REI Flagship store in Seattle. It was crazy busy, but I got a couple of things with our dividend from last year. Also stopped by Velocity, a great modern home store across the street from REI.

Ran three miles during a brief moment of partial-sunshine on Saturday morning.

Napped on the couch while B watched the Final Four.

Tried two new places in Queen Anne: Le Reve and Emerald City Smoothie.

Le Reve is a great authentic french bakery with phenomenal pastries and other beautiful confections.

Look how adorable this mini-macaron is! Peanut butter and chocolate, yum!

Tried the Peach Pleasure at Emerald City Smoothie. Not that impressed.

Played Bananagrams while eating this delicious snack. And I finally tried kale chips. Have you had them before? I'm definitely going to try making my own soon—as these were $4.99 and were purchased in a moment of weakness. I'm still not sure they are that delicious...but at least I don't feel too bad about eating them.


Weekly Workout Recap
 Monday: Rest<-----calling this rest, but it's more like laziness
Tuesday: 3.5 miles, run
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 3.5 miles, run
Friday: Rest <----Weather was horrible!
Saturday: 3.5 miles, run
Sunday: Rest

Total for the week: 10.5 miles