Thursday, September 30, 2010

World, meet Milli

World meet Milli - the newest member of our family!

Milli is a Shetland Sheepdog - aka a Sheltie or Baby Lassie. She is about a year and a half old and mostly healthy.

She came into our lives about as oddly and out of the blue as Chad and I found each other. A couple weeks ago, Chad and I were invited to a party by a friend, whose friends were hosting it. When we walked into the strange house, with all the strange people, Chad and I just kind of chilled in a corner and hung out with their dog - their Sheltie named Mandy. As the night unfolded, we started mingling, and having a good time - and Mandy just followed us around sitting with us, wanting to be pet. The owner came up to us at one point saying "Hey, she really likes you." We responded with a casual "Yeah, she is amazing! We're actually looking to get a dog at some point, maybe a bul..." We were quickly cut off with a "OH! Really? Do you want her? I have her kennel upstairs! I can go get it for you"

We readily accepted, but had a vacation to go on, and said we'd come get her in a couple weeks. The weeks passed, they still wanted to give her to us, and here she is!! They just didn't have time for her anymore - a young, fun couple - all of us so happy with how it worked out.

As you can all imagine, Joule was not exactly happy with the new addition... He kept a solid eye on her all evening, always from the high ground, with the occasional hiss and swat. By bedtime though, they were both sleeping in our room, Milli on a towel on the ground, Joule on our bed. And now here we are, a mere 12 hours later, and the both of them are sleeping next to me (opposite sides) on the couch.

So here goes to Day #2 and already am pretty sure this is going to all work out :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two Weddings & A Road Trip

What does a....

22 hour road trip
My brother getting married
A 8 hour road trip
One of my best friends getting married
And a 13 hour road trip

... create?

One of the best weeks of my life!

September 18, 2010
Robin Roberts marries Yvette Barlow
The ceremony was in Dana Point's Heritage Park - and oh my goodness! What a sight! The view, overlooking the marina, was spectacular! Especially with a beautiful bride and gussied up groom standing in front of it! Yvette and Robing looked AMAZING and seem so crazy happy! Check out my facebook for many more pictures:

Congrats Robin & Yvette!

September 26, 2010
Brianna Clemons marries Zeffrum Nathaniel
A perfect fall wedding at Franzinetti Winery, Sacramento. The venue had a classic, old feeling - a stark, but perfect contrast from the beautiful, contemporary bride and groom! There was a party, dancing and wine to celebrate the day - exactly as the bride had imagined! So much fun!

Bri & Zeff - here's to a long and happy life!

So two more lucky couples tie the knot - beware world, the good ones are getting snapped up!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Today is the Day Before Tomorrow!

And today being the day before tomorrow, means that today is the busy work day, and tomorrow is the start of a very busy vacation!

Unfortunately, that means a vacation from this too...

So, I bid you adieu until Sept. 26!

Monday, September 13, 2010

a Murder N' Mayhem Murder Mystery!

We decided to use this Saturday to explore Port Orchard. So far my most favorite of the small towns in our area. Located on the south side of the Sinclair Inlet, the whole down town is right on the water - water taken up by boats and marinas....

There were two best parts of our trip to Port Orchard: 1) We were there for the annual Pirate Murder Mystery! And 2) Moon Dogs, Too, the most bar like, bar we've found.

We ended up in Port Orchard cause my friend told us about the Pirate Murder Mystery... well what he knew about it, which wasn't much... Here's the scoop: its held in early September every year. Think live action Clue. We didn't participate, but I talked to a few people and read a bit about it and basically - your family pays for a packet. In this packet there are clues and you go to the various participating downtown shops to ask questions of strategically placed pirates who each give you more clues. Putting everything together you figure out who killed the captain!

This event coincided with the towns weekly farmers market, and there was a free showing of the Muppets Pirate movie and a small, very small, street fair. But the best part - there were PIRATES EVERYWHERE! Elaborately dressed! Think renaissance or cowboy fair, with PIRATES! Super, super cool.

After seeing all there was to see, and working up an appetite in the process - we decided to stop at Moon Dogs, Too. A great, step-above a dive bar. Cold beer, GREAT food, open stage with live music, pool tables, and the other bar stuff. We got a calzone and a fish taco - oh my, sooooo good!

So that was that, Port Orchard, great place to go, spend a Saturday afternoon, have a picnic, check out the farmers market, grab a beer, go antique-ing, hang out with good people!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Flowers Make Everything Better!

Just a quick one today -

I just love how a bouquet of flowers can make any day, mood or room, soo much better than it was, before they showed up.

Not much else has that kind of power (barring winning the lottery or finding the person of your dreams). And its great because this part of the world is almost famous for its flowers! They are available everywhere! About 1/5 of Pikes Market is dedicated to selling them and every farmers market is just chalked full of pedal peddlers! Mums are especially popular and a bouquet this size, generally goes for between $5-$6!

Chad totally loves me!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Festival that was Made for Me!

Labor day weekend - most people think BBQs, days off work and the end of the summer. Here on the Kitsap Peninsula, we think Blackberries and the Blackberry Festival!

The festival was held in downtown Bremerton, between the docks and the ferry terminal, right on the waters edge and mostly on a pier. Spanning about 2 city block lengths, it could hardly contain the billions of people who showed up on Sunday afternoon! Billions might be an overstatement... but crazy crowded isn't one. The lines for the food tents were awesomely long, but totally worth it. They had the typical fair food, but most items had a blackberry twist! Blackberry lemonade, blackberry marinades, blackberry ice creams and shaved ice, blackberry wine, blackberry pies... etc... etc... etc - It was awesome.

The wine was especially cool. Once a year, this vineyard makes pure blackberry wine especially for this occasion. They make it, bottle it and sell it only at the fair. We bought a bottle - saving it for a cold night :)

That was about it - we walked and ate for about 2 hours and that was it. A nice way to spend a pretty nice day.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Up hill, Down hill, Up hill... LAKE!

What a better way to explore Washington, than to take a hike through one of its most amazing national parks?!

This past Saturday, we did just that. With the help of a few new friends, Chad and I were able to hike up to Silver Lake. Unfortunately, the location details of this hike are a sworn secret, as it is not in any guide book seen so far, but I can tell you we were in Olympic National forest, near Sequim, about 10 miles down a dirt road... past that I was pretty much lost... which I think was the point...

Anyway - we went at the perfect time of year, not too hot, not too cold, and other than once we got to the lake, and being stuck in a cloud... not too wet. Though, at more than one point in the trip we definitely felt a little like Californians... Almost as soon as we got to the lake, a little damp rain cloud decided to sit right on top of us. Chad and I were in typical CA hiking gear - jeans/khakis and long sleeve shirts. At this point though, the point of misty rain, everyone else pulls out -OF NOWHERE- full rain gear, pants, gloves, jackets.... needless to say we were cold... and wet.... but luckily not for long. As soon as we started the journey back, Chad and I were better off than the rest - who had to stop again and de-gear.

The lake was amazing - crystal clear, not too big, surrounded by sitting rocks. We could see fish jumping and misquotes flying... The highlight for me was we went during prime picking season! Along the trail we found ripe currants and blue huckleberries! Just right there! Within arms reach! A dream. Come. True.

The hike was a perfect 4 hours. But I was not about to accept driving 2 hours each way, for only a 4 hour hike! So after a quick cup of coffee in Sequim with the group, Chad and I headed for Port Angeles.

Port Angeles... weird little city/town. Not much to offer, but a bit of shopping and food. There might be more to the place off the beaten path... but the beaten one looks just that... kind of old and a little tired. Luckily, with the help of our GPS, we found a GREAT little, odd, restaurant: Bushwacker Seafood Restaurant. It was good. The help was interesting... and very honest about the shortcomings of certain foods... but all in all good. I would recommend it if you are looking for a simple, decent, great priced, meal.

And that was that, great people, amazing scenery, and good food. Could you ask for a better day? I think not.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guess Who's Talking Today!?

So this is the man of the house speaking today. Gracing you with my ever expanding knowledge and words of wisdom from which you young grasshoppers might learn a thing or two. Besides making it a personal goal of ours to try every beer and wine and other local spirits in Washington, we have noticed that their definition of Pale Ale, and Amber beers are vastly different from the rest of the country. Their Pale Ales are more of an amber with a distinctly smooth flavor yet each one has a very distinct flavor, and are stronger than the everyday mass-produced beers. While their Ambers are more of a paler color with a kick of hops that could have you guessing if you ordered the correct beer or if the server misplaced your order with an IPA or ESB. But all in all, these people have by far some of the best beers around.

Secondly, our cat Joule... our oddly astute, somewhat retarded, smart, fast-learning, and expression filled cat. From looks that say "I have been here all day, where the hell have you two been?" to looks of self-pity and "can I please have some of your food?" To even the now more apparent looks of, "Can't you two sit still!? I am trying to nap on you," looks. The slight retardation...yes, I recently got a bird feeder which has brought in some local birds, but also the attention of Joule who at first just watched them, then tried, more than once mind you, to burst through the sliding door only to have the birds look at him. Now he has resorted back to bird watching again, apparently running full force into a window hurts.

On the other side, I managed to turn on the natural gas fireplace yesterday and the little retard decided to lick the end of the butane lighter only to invoke a funny looking gag reflex and then a look of "ok, that sucked, what next?" Then, oh yes, the fire was ignited....THIS, had Joule's full attention and he intently watched every flame.

So some time passed, and then we caught him basking in the full heat of the fire, loving every minute of it. He was there for at least 30 minutes while we saw him, and then we left. We came back a while later and he was still there albeit in a different position. It was time to turn the fire off...and this...this, completely bummed Joule out, left him there wondering where all the fire went. That was pretty funny, as you can see by the pictures.

Well, I am done for now. Have to drink the rest of my beer, which isn't local, but still a good one. We have only gone to 4 breweries and we have so much more to go too, hehe.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Let's Go Mariners! *Clap Clap*

Yet another great day in Seattle!!

It all started with me taking two buses to get to the ferry terminal - which was much easier than I thought, and only $2 instead of $12 for parking! It was awesome. Made it in plenty of time, to walk around downtown Bremerton, and run into a friend! From the ferry I had an amazing view of Mount Rainier. Once in Seattle, I met up with a new friend of mine, Shawn and his wife. We did a little shopping, got a little coffee, and ended up waiting for Chad to arrive, at The Pike Brewery (they have the most amazing Heirloom Pale Ale).

The game starting in just 30 minutes, we said goodbye to Shawn, and high-tailed it to Safeco Stadium - only 15-20 blocks away!

Chad got the tickets for us from work - for free! - one of those, right place at the right time, deals. The tickets WERE AMAZING! We were 16 rows from the first base line. I could see the dirt! I could read the back of the jerseys! It was crazy - I was actually confused for parts of the game because I couldn't see EVERYTHING at once!

Safeco was pretty cool. It felt small, had a great view of downtown and the food! Ohhhh the food! Fantastic!

There was this note on the back of the seats in front of us: Which made everything all the funnier, cause every time there was a pop-fly I covered my head! When we had first sat down, Chad's eyes lit up! Very excited by the possibility of catching a foul ball.