Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I have Returned!

Gosh, it’s been a while, I think, but I’ve returned to the fold at last.

Funny, my last blog post had me going to and coming from Seattle too. I really don’t go as often as it seems. But apparently I go often enough.

This trip was a long one—two weeks—and full of fun things. Well, one fun thing.

My main goal this trip was to run Ragnar NW Passage from Blaine to Langley. I didn’t actually fun from Blaine to Langley though cause we started in Bellingham.

So, I flew out on the 12th with not one but two bags and I hate taking two bags. Just saying. But I needed my running gear for Ragnar so two bags it was. I decided to run this particular Ragnar because I have done the Great River Ragnar between Winona and Minneapolis 5 times. It’s always been hot and humid and fun….but not that fun because it was so hot and humid. But NW Passage is by the water and in Washington and would be cool with ocean breezes. Dang was I wrong. Very very wrong.

I started out by having lunch with Grampa and the cousins in Olympia on Monday.



It’s not the best picture but you get the idea…..

I worked Tuesday and half a day Wednesday and then it was time to prepare for Ragnar! Tiff came in on Wednesday around noonish and I picked her up at the airport and of we went to Olympia.

We stayed at my sister’s house overnight and had clams and oysters for dinner. Gawd it was good. I love some seafood. I really do. Especially shellfish. Especially fresh shellfish. Especially fresh shellfish. Cause it’s not that fresh when it gets to Minnesota. Just saying.

And although I thought I took a picture while I was there, I didn’t.   (A whale in the bay in front of Debbie’s house)


It’s one from last month-yes we were there last month too.

We stopped at the fruit stand and got some delicious fruit, not to mention a quick trip to Fred Meyer.

The next day, Thursday, we headed up to Bellingham to do some Ragnar Volunteering. We made one stop to pick up our team mate, Kimberly, who was in Van 1. (We were in Van 2). The fun thing about joining up with a team is that you get to meet lots of different people. We did for sure.


30 miles an hour on I-5 because that’s how the 5 rolls. Or doesn’t roll.

DSC01052 Interesting giant stump at rest stop.

We did our volunteer and the next day, Friday, it was time to start.


Decorated Van-the Sunset Sweats!

Van 1--


Van 2


I’d like to say that it was cool and great running weather but in actuality it was hot. Upper 80’s, possibly 90’s on Saturday. Gawd.

IMG_1334 Bad selfie waiting to start.

My first leg--

Looking cool and collected but getting ready to run up a big hill and then sweat…a lot. I guess Sunset Sweats was a fitting name after all.


Tiff feeling the heat and Random Van Shots



Our only boy in the van--


Scenery from the first legs


Bad selfies on the road-


Our last leg before sleeping eating and resting!


Our Tent! It was a 12 man and we could stand up in it. Too bad we couldn’t take more time to be in it!

Mount Baker over tent city!

Moon over tents

We ran in the night and then rested again. (Not many night pics, cause, well, it was dark)

Going Homeless on my bench.


Our little homeless camp…..


Our team waiting on Van 1’s last runner


Mostly Bacon


Really beautiful scenery on Day 2




Mountains and Honeybuckets


And heat…..


It’s so dry and brown, and that day, hot in the pacific NW.

But we finally finished and here we are--


It’s so bright and really warm right then. We finished an hour and a half under of our estimated time.

We rocked it.

While you are doing it you hate Ragnar more than anything. However, I guess, when it comes right down to it….I’d do it again. At least the NW Passage. Was out running this AM in the soup and decided definitely not Great River. I just can’t take being that wet again when it’s not even raining.

We made it back to Bellingham and I fell asleep by 9 and don’t think I moved throughout the whole night long.

Tiff wasn’t scheduled to leave  until late Sunday, so we were able to mosey to Seattle at a leisurely pace, only having to stop for traffic once.

I was looking for some Seahawk swag for Blane, but couldn’t really find any. We were somewhat confused by the amount of Seahawk fans going to a Mariner game, especially when the Mariners were out of town. Turns out it was a Seahawk charity softball game. So I did get in the middle of a little bit of traffic there. But not bad. We got 8 dollar parking in the garage downtown (yay) and had lunch at the market which was packed with people.


Delicious seafood and great view!

DSC01105 DSC01106



Did I mention it was over 90 degrees in Seattle that day?

Jessh  Washington. Come on.


That  temp lead to a cooling Mojito



Dropped Tiff off which ended our Ragnar adventure.

This Ragnar Adventure. Other adventures to follow……


Jack is on the edge of his seat.



Monday, June 22, 2015

Let’s Go To Seattle….

The second week of June we went to Seattle/Tacoma and various points in between and all over.

But before I left I ran the 10 miler at Chester Woods. Yep. I decided to run 10 miles two weeks after the Med City and a week before the Rock n Roll in Seattle. Because I’m so awesome, that’s why.

It was really a perfect day for a race through the woods, and I took 10 minutes off my time and felt great. Yay.


DSC01034 Ugh-I actually feel good but I guess the picture doesn’t quite reflect that…..

Then, three days later we were off to Seattle for a fun filled week.

The original plan was to take Grampa to the coast for a few days. That changed because he got sick in April and wasn’t really up for big travel. Although actually he probably was. Still, just in case we cancelled that trip and we ended up staying at Debbie’s house on Hartstine.



I went to Portland on Wednesday with sisters and Grampa. While I was gone Dave stayed back on the island and went kayaking and walking. He saw whales, otters, and all manner of wild life.  (I saw some whales briefly but was unable to get a picture)

He was so lucky.

We had a little visit to the Riverside Graveyard and visited with Mother’s people….

IMG_3228 IMG_3229

Then out to lunch at Beaches in Vancouver

It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed it a lot.

Thursday we got up early and walked



We went back to Tacoma and took Grampa to the doctor. He had a good check up. Before we left Shelton, though, we did stop at Fancy Image, my fave yarn store, to get a swap gift and look at the lovely dyed yarn colors. We  got some delicious coffee in Shelton too. We also stopped at Nordstrom in Tacoma cause I had a gift card AND a note. I had bought some pants there last trip and then brought them all the way back to get hemmed up. I am still kind of trying to make sense of that

And on Friday it was up to Seattle to get our packets for Rock n Roll, then to Pike Place to look around and pick up a little present for Laura (who again watched the cats—thank you Laura!). It was crowded as usual for the summer rush. We walked up through town and on the way back I found a yarn store! Who knew? We got back and checked into the DoubleTree Hilton by the airport. Note to self-staying by the airport is so much easier when traveling.

We then left to go to a company party at Cheney Stadium—the Honkers game. It’s 24 miles and 27 minutes to get there. It took us over an hour. What I was thinking when we took off on a Friday afternoon to drive to Tacoma I’m not sure. It must have been exhaustion starting to set in because apparently I had lost my mind thinking that was going to be a smooth trip down the 5.  Fortunately, it was one of the best company parties ever. Free beer and food—can’t go wrong. There was even some cake involved. There couldn’t be a better party. We left early and decided to go to the hotel bar and enjoy a last beer before the race. We were pleasantly surprised to find out  that there was a very large Dr. Who convention happening. Very. Large. With costumes. Anglicon. Wow. I wanted to take lots of pictures but wasn’t sure if it would be rude to start snapping random shots of complete strangers in Dr. Who garb.

Saturday we had a big day at the Rock n Roll. We had VIP tickets and I will never go back to just hanging with the crowd beforehand. We had our own delicious food, tents, heaters, portapotties, unlimited beer and champagne. It was great. Before and After the race.

Our food tents


Our views


This is where the band played.


And this is some of what we saw while we were running and walking.

Halfway selfie--


Seattle Skyline


Safeco and Century Link Fields



Beautiful sunny day—perfect for our race. We finished in 3 hours even. Dave ran over half the race. I was very impressed. My sister and Tom were there too and they finished after us. It was really enjoyable.

We met up with Dave’s son Justin and his now fiance Katie for lunch at the Space Needle.

Space Needle

I love the Space Needle. Over priced but I’m such a tourist I don’t even care.

Sunday was Justin’s graduation from the Information School at UW. He got a Master of Library and Information Science.

Let’s drive to Seattle shall we??

image4 Yes, that’s miles of cars.

We got there though because we did the “leave two hours early” rule.

Justin graduated and won a prize from the faculty too. So that was nice.


We went out to Anthony’s in Ballard for dinner which was sooo good. We stopped in the bar first. Cause why not?



And after all was said and done, on Monday we packed up and came back home.

And although it was a fun trip, it was busy and  stressful so this past week I have been just trying to mentally catch up.

I think I am almost there.

This helped--

DSC01047  My swap package arrived with good presents for me. Yay.

And I walked Abby so that was good too.

DSC01045 Abby staring, not walking.

Getting ready to go back to Seattle in July and run Ragnar (and work a little too). It should be an easier trip I think, even though there’s a 36 or so hour race involved.

I’m actually pretty hyped for that.

Hopefully I’ll be able to stop and smell the flowers--


Or collapse into them. Keep moving….