Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Since we last spoke we snuck extra wine into Canada, took a tall tall gondola to the top of Banff, hiked the extra kilometer up to a windy, but breathtaking spot atop the charming city.
We dined on a yummy lunch at the Banff Springs Hotel before taking yet another bubble bath in our hotel (with the challenging fireplace.) Those of you on facebook already know that our first night in Banff I tried to set the stage for some romance by opening a bottle of wine and lighting a fire. To say it was a failure would be a joke. The room filled with so much smoke that Jas' allergies kicked in and he was miserable. We ended up watching tv (oh, and I think I recall blogging that day... maybe I'm not as far behind as I think I am.)
After our second day in Banff we were headed to Lake Louise, but with only a 50 minute travel time between locations we decided to spend our day by driving up the Canadian Ice Fields Parkway. I don't have the vocabulary to describe the views - but these pictures should help.
Upon arrival at the Chateau Lake Louise we were greeted by a snappy valet in kicky shorts and green tights. Nothing says $800 a night like a grown man proud to wear green tights. Our suite was a delight, with ANOTHER fun bathtub. No jets like in Walla Walla, or smokey fireplace like Banff, but pretty darned wonderful anyway.
We rested for a bit, took a gander at the lake and dressed for dinner. We had reservations for a dress up dinner at the restaurant recommended by the hotel (back in June when we made reservations.) I think perhaps Bavarian faire isn't my favorite, but I give the hotel kudos for having the balls (yes, I said balls) to charge $47 for 6 ounces of thinly sliced beef that we cooked ourselves (fondu). The following night we dined at the "Saloon" on the lower floor and were pleased with our casual but more substantial dinner. It is an topsy turvy world when I don't get enough to eat at dinner.
We spent our day at LL by taking the 7km hike to the little lake "up the way". It was advertised as a 3 hour hike, but we enjoyed tea at the rustic tea house at the top (where supplies are helicoptered in, and they have no power) and to be honest it was an athletic event and it took us longer than it might have for those of you who do things like "jog" or "work out". In the end, it was a delightful way to spend the day.
This morning, we had a light hotel breakfast (meaning it was under $40) and then made our way to Kelowna. The travel book said that Rogers Pass is the most scenic pass in Canada, but I'm sorry, after the Ice fields Parkway, Rogers Pass was only mildly amazing. Rico arranged for a friends and family rate at the Holiday Inn Express and we were sad to learn our room wasn't ready. But, keeping in line with our bathtub themed room, we were upgraded to the suite. A rather roomy room with a bathtub for two. Woo Woo.
We are sampling a glass of Isenhower wine (in shitty plastic cups)and deciding where to dine for dinner. This room has a 50 inch big screen tv and I think we'll be watching a movie after dinner (and ANOTHER bubble bath - thank you Claire for the fun bubble bath.)
I'm going to post this, download photos and come back later to show you the pictures, so please check back.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Mostly, we drove today, but wow... the drive was fantastic. The scenery was breath taking and we did the silly touristy thing of taking pictures from the car windows.
Even though we spent most of the day in the car we spotted lots of wild life, a wolf hustling from one side of the highway to the other. As we entered the Banff National Park, three VERY large rams were dining by the roadside. We've successfully avoided elk and hope to keep our streak alive.
Once in Banff we explored the cute downtown area and met up with friends from Seattle for a nice dinner. Jason is on his third night of the Steak Across the America's program and found his dinner tonight to be the best. My goal for tomorrow will be a non-beef experience for dinner.
We headed back to the hotel where I knew we had wine, a fireplace and a new honeymoon nightgown waiting. The nightie is cute, the wine good, but the fireplace was a colossal failure. We (no, I) smoked up the room so much that Jason can't breathe.
We scrapped the romantic evening and am now tucked into bed (because we have to have the windows open to air our the room) and are watching a movie we brought.
on a creepy note, we stopped at a rest area early in the day and the place was a spider nightmare. There were literally hundreds of tiny black bodied bugs with long legs all over the outside of the outhouses and they covered the ceiling of the inside. We both really needed the rest stop and risked the ick factor. None of the spiders moved an inch during the visit, but both Jason and I had that "something is crawling on me" feeling for hours. In fact, I itch just thinking about it.
We worked our way to Spokane by way of Colfax. I talked Jas into a side trip to the top of Steptoe Butte. It was a twisty and curvy road to the top, but the view was spectacular. We did have a bee that tried to stow away with us, but we quickly 86'd him.
In Spokane we had lunch on a deck overlooking the falls. We then
explored the park, and foolishly dropped $14 to ride the gondola. It was about 400 degrees inside the car and it was a slow ride to nowhere.
Back on the road after a few hours we made our way to the Lodge at Sandpoint, a wonderful place with cozy rooms, nice amenities and a well adorned lakefront. We drank one of our newly aquired wines and watched the sunset. (oh romance!!)
We dined on the patio and (bad idea) ordered a second bottle of wine.
Jason put his new and drunk wife to bed at 10 and then watched a bad episode of Greys Anatomy.
We're on the road early today because the sandpoint locals said our 300 mile journey could take up to 8 hours and we have a dinner date with a Seattle couple in Banff.
lessons: bee's aren't friendly
Two bottles of wine will end an evening early.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I torchured Jason by forcing a side trip to the Whitman Mission, where in 1847 (or thereabouts) the Cayuse Indians put an end to the mission by ending the Whitmans and a few other whities. It seems they were a tad bit pissed about the diseases that had wiped out half their community and the never ending inflow of travelers into the region. This national historic site is interesting, but certainly not a destination to make your soul focus of a journey.
After the mission, a couple wineries and a picnic lunch we headed back to our apartment/hotel for a nap.
Once fully refreshed we headed back out to Cougar Crest winery and picked up some super yummy reserve wines for the wine locker at home.
We had dinner at a place recommended by many of the local folks we encountered and it did not disappoint. After dinner it was back to the room for some cable tv, packing and a dip in the fun and huge jacuzzi bath tub. (oversharing?)
We are having fun telling everyone we are on our honeymoon and have been treated well everywhere we have gone.
Tomorrow is a road trip day, with a lunch stop at some Spokane place and an over night in SandPoint. I doubt we'll even pull out the laptop, so just know we are on the road about 5 hours tomorrow.
Don't miss us!
We stopped in Granger for a tiny pit-stop at my parents and then pushed through to Walla Walla. I've crossed this lovely state of ours many times but sometimes I forget about the diverse and interesting the landscape.
We grabbed a quick lunch on the patio of a pub (that was later poo-poo'd by the wine purveyors at the Forgeron Wine Cellars). Walla Walla has cute downtown area, little shops (a massive Macy's) and a few coffee shops. We stopped into Hot Poop, Washington's Oldest Independent Record store. Obviously the name is what drew me in. I may be a married woman now, but a good poop joke makes me happy
We managed to enjoy a couple wine shops and plan out our day for today. We've got breakfast plans, a dinner reservation and in addition to stopping at l'Ecole we'll tour the Whitman Mission historical site.
Our little apartment is super cute and we even made diner for ourselves last night. We are thankful that we left Tuesday rather than the day after the wedding. I was a zombie Sunday and a bit more human Monday. We are sleeping like the dead and I think we will be 100% back to normal today.
We'll check in again tomorrow.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
We made a last minute CD for the DJ and have been hustling & bustling all morning.
We are alone in the condo, but are filled with happy energy. We practiced our first dance don't expect much - it's mostly swaying and googly love eyes at each other.
Both of our phones are going crazy! People are so kind to offer help.
We are enjoying the day!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Now that our buyers financing has come through I am free to share some VERY exciting news.
These here pictures are of the house that Jason and I have under contract. Should all the little real estate mice and money / title people do their jobs right we will close on this October 23rd and will move right in.
This is the fourth house we got our hearts set on and think this is the best of the bunch.
We will be Rentonites and close to many exciting things like the new Landing and the church we attend. It is light filled and has tons of storage... lots and lots!
This is the butler's pantry - which cuts through from the dining room to the kitchen. We will use it as our bar area. When you come over expect Jason to retreat to this area to whip you up the cocktail of the hour.
The blank wall to the right will be filled with the refrigerator that we need to acquire. We'll also need a washer and dryer - but these items can wait until after the honeymoon.
This is the family room, which I am excited about. We will stick our crazy big tv above the fireplace and fill those shelves with our treasures.
We will be getting shades of some sort but even with shutters the room is bright and happy.
We had an accepted offer from the builder last week, but the buyer for our condo needed FHA approval for their loan and it came through today.
We are doing the happy dance and will ignore the big elephant in the room (i.e. moving) until after the honeymoon. We will hire movers but if you WANT to come and schlep boxes you will be welcome!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday night (or actually Saturday morning) I was awakened by a senseless act of sleep talking and couldn't get back to sleep.
Jason swears he was awake, but "ok, maybe only 80% awake". I don't fault him for waking me up, as he had a distinct sense of urgency that I was requiring something of him related to our on going quest for a new place to call home.
Clearly, this is a stressful event and I think it is affecting both of us.
This morning around 5:03 I realized I was awake and upon rolling over Jason reached out his hand for some early morning hand holding. (Does that make you gag a little? We hold hands sometimes while sleeping. I'm told by another girlfriend that she and her husband do it too - so there. We are disgustingly cute, but we aren't alone!)
Any...who... I quietly inquired if he was ok and in a full alert voice he answered. "oh yeah, I'm fine. Awake, but fine." At that point we realized there was no going back to sleep so we talked and then made coffee and started our day. CRAZY.
I think it is a combination of the wedding in a few days and the house buying experience where you make progress and wait, and then make progress and wait. (we are in wait mode right now.) This has to affect your sleep.
The good news for us is that we spend the day with my parents and helped my Uncle Ed put new siding on my mom and dad's little house. It was HOT over there and the work was continuous. Cut, carry, lift, nail, nail, nail, nail. Cut, carry, lift, nail....
It was VERY hot and dirty. I made mud in the shower simply by washing the grime. Someone needs to make a sun screen that works but isn't sticky. I carried home from Granger all sorts of native bits on my skin. (ICK)
The point is that I think tonight we will sleep like the dead. The early get up and a day of hard labor will help.
If this sleeplessness continues I may take up some illegal narcotic that puts you out. I have so little experience with drugs that I may need to do some research to find out what will be the most effective.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
There will be no counter offer because they signed an offer from someone else.
I don't have details on anything other than they signed the other offer so we have no options on that house.
Jason and I are regrouping and we'll see where tomorrow takes us.
For now, I'm sad. I'll get over it.
The good news is that "accuweather" is reporting 70 degree weather on the 19th.
We may be homeless, but the wedding will be lovely.
I'm in San Jose until Friday and while I HATE being away, I plan to enjoy three wedding chore free days.
The "to do"s pick back up this weekend but mostly everything is done. We're going to a party Saturday for some friends. It will be nice to celebrate the purchase of their first home. And, if we end up sucking the air out of the room we will duck out. This is their party.
Other than the party and moving the wine from the storage locker in Seattle to our booze filled home we are free to spend some time together. Maybe we'll use one of our many (non-wedding) gift certificates and go out to dinner.
Hopefully we will be celebrating the acceptance of the offer Jason is making on the little house we found.
I was adamant early on that Snoqualmie was too far out and that I'd hate it. Well, it turns out I was wrong. This house is warm, friendly, casual and meets our primary wishes. It doesn't have a guest room with bath on the main floor, but I think we can work it out when the parents come to visit.
In addition to being livable inside, the exterior is cute. Red shutters and a red door (that means love dwells inside). There is good on street parking and we'll be able to bike or even walk to the little shopping center where there's a starbucks, a Mexican restataunt, an Irish pub, a sub shop and (whew) a place to get my toes painted.
We're making an offer today and should know tomorrow. I feel really good about this and I know I'm supposed to wait to fall in love but I'm mentally moving in our furniture.
I suppose I should be preparred for the rug to be yanked away, but this place feels like our home.
We looked at places yesterday that were ok, but wrong. One place was exactly what we were looking for but was missing one room. It could have been a den or a guest room, but it was just not there. I give Jason a lot of credit for being able to walk away from a place that had all the esthetics that we want but not the space.
So, if our offer is accepted we will start the serious packing process when we return from our honeymoon. We'll have 3 weeks to get ready. I think we can do it. I know we can. We may not be able to find our socks for a while but I have faith in us.
More news as it comes in. The condo buyers are inspecting the condo today. I can't imagine there will be any issues but the process makes me jittery anyway.
We should have our inspection of the Thompson St. House before the beginning of the week. We're on a short timeline.
It's a lot to manage and yet fun!
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
The Seattle Times reports this morning that the Bellevue school district is opting not to show the Presidents message to American school children.
I know that messages of "stay in school" and "work hard" are controvercial and potentially dangerous. I mean, holy shit, what if they listen? Who will the democratic bleeding hearts use as excuses to spend and spend. What would happen if our grduation rates increased? The competition for entry level jobs would be just that much harder. Good lord people, we can't have all the former mortgage brokers competing with high school graduates. (seriously, would one speach make an impact? Doubt it.)
I was NOT a George W. Bush fan but respected the office he held. This refusal to show the Presidents message is an embarrassment.
Sometimes politics irritates me. (sometimes? That might be an understatement. )
Monday, September 07, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
I have been busy while he's been away. Yesterday I pulled together the "welcome" baskets for our out of town guests staying at the hotel.
I also started the programs for the wedding. My original plan was to print them on regular paper and fold them over, but my side trip to Michaels (and arts & craft store) for bags for the welcome gifts yielded "Program Kits" which looked "easy". Yesterday I worked with the printer for HOURS to get the covers printed and then spent even more time on the inside portion of the program. Now I'm taking a break from the tedious job of sticking them together. Its' 11am and I am half way done, but my eyes hurt.
My next project is a "reserved" sign for the head table and a small sign for the card holder (yes, it will be a birdcage.)
It is quiet, even with the music on and all this busy work is making it easy for me to get lost in thought. Here is what I am over thinking.
Jason's cousin (who lives in town) called Jason's mom to tell her that she and her family won't be coming to the wedding. There has been some family drama regarding an unfortunate incident at Thanksgiving which resulted in the abrupt venue change at Christmas. Cousin Y had planned to host Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the family chose to move Christmas and failed to inform her in a kind and gracious way. I'm told there is a LOT more back story but don't know the details. (Frankly, I don't want to know. Family drama is family drama...same shit, different last name.)
So, here we are NINE MONTHS later, and Cousin Y feels that she is better off not coming to the wedding because she doesn't want to confront the Christmas mover. OH MY GOD...Grow Up.
In my head I'm having a conversation with her that hits these points:
Boycotting Jason's wedding is really a problem for me.
Your beef is with the family and we were not part of that event.
Jason's parents aren't hosting this wedding, Jason and I are, so you should have had the guts to call us directly.
There are people coming to this wedding who don't believe it will be "sanctioned by God" because I'm not in the same sub-section of the Christian religion as them, but recognize that Jason is family and family is more important that (their crazy, misguided) beliefs. You should be able to set aside your anger for 2 hours and share a joyous day with someone you claim to care about.
It's true we didn't invite your son to the wedding. We didn't invite ANYONE's kids to the wedding. The site only holds 175 people and Jason's list with kids totaled over 200 - and strangely enough I have family and friends too. As our RSVP's came in we were able to accommodate some kids. (this is a point of stress as we still couldn't invite every one's kids so I'm worried that some folks will be offended that their little angels weren't invited when there will clearly be kids at the wedding.) Had you called ME instead of my mother in law I would have happily invited your little boy.
You're missing an opportunity to experience a happy event that isn't clouded by politics, current events, agendas or ulterior motives. We are two people who are so grateful to have found each other that we want to sing it from the highest mountain and stand in front of our family and friends and form a new family. How do you boycott that?
I think those are my salient points. I'm irritated that I'm seriously considering calling her to ask her to reconsider not coming, but the stubborn part of me says "fuck 'em they made their decision." The more human side says I likely won't rest until I try.
It think its unfortunate that whatever her hurt is, will cause a permanent tick mark in my mental file of personality traits of this new family. Cousins A-M = were welcoming and friendly. Cousin Y - stand offish and boycotted the wedding.
It's going to be hard to make friends with her - I am stubborn enough to never really make the effort now that I'm established have good relationships with everyone else.
At the end of the day, her presence or absence will likely have no effect on the big day (13 days away!) but the 'drama' around it will be a long term irritation.
Anyway, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Jason would say, don't call. Let it be. He says he doesn't care, but I disagree.
The super evil part of me says don't call. We've given our numbers to the caterers, so 3 extra people might be noticed. However, I'm sure there will be folks who said they are coming who won't show.
Grrrrr... get out of my head Cousin Y!!!!
Is it too early to snip into the wine? Nah, I can't do that. I was going to get my toes painted (on this dreary rainy day...)
Friday, September 04, 2009
My funny and sarcastic topic of the day is BABY MACHINES.
Mrs. Duggar announced on the TODAY show this week that she's pregnant with her 19th child. This is not news it is a freak show.
I love a big family and see how the togetherness could be great. This particular family seems to be grounded in pretty solid morals and financially on stable ground. They don't have the apparent mental issues that the OCTO-Mom has and while are on TV because of their big family appear to have a purpose to their lives.
HOWEVER - STOP ALL THE F*CKING! Good night people...
If each one of these kids starts producing an offspring at the age of 20 and then has one each year in 30 years there will be 5063 Duggars in the world. I"m not smart enough to do the math to see what happens in year 2030, when the first grandchild turns 20 and starts to produce... good lord. (you'll have to click the image to make it big so you can see my special matrix of kids.)
The Octo-Mom is a special kind of crazy and I think it's unfortunate to lump her in the same bushel as the Duggars who, while confuse me don't perplex me. Nadia is, gosh how to say this delicately... A WACK JOB. I think that it's one thing to have a ton of kids in a row while you're working and building a family, it's another to go out and intentionally try to have many all at once. Especially with questionable financial planning.
As for Jon & Kate - I never thought I would sympathize with Kate. She's pretty unlikeable and controlling. However, this Jon guy seems like a douche bag. I don't doubt that he loves his kids, but it's pretty clear that his priority isn't the kids. I think this because on his "off weeks" he's not hanging out in town working, he's in Vegas, or Europe with girl after girl. Off week doesn't mean you're not still a parent. And, for frick sake --- GET AN IRON and TUCK IN YOUR DAMN SHIRT.
Sheesh. Will people EVER bend to my will?
I love kids. I really do - what I don't love is wacky parents.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
My plans include:
Finishing some wedding things like programs, gift baskets for our out of towners, some signage for the head table and maybe menus for the tables.
Getting my toes professionally painted and pampered
A hot bubble bath
Packing a few boxes (because we WILL be moving after the wedding.)
Watching shitty tv, maybe a lifetime movie or two. Or one of the 950 dvd's in Jason's (er, our) collection.
Climbing Mt. Si. (kidding - I won't go hiking alone on a weekend when everyone I know is out of town. That's just what I need is to break my leg and have no one miss me for 48 hours.)
Church. (yes, church is on my list on the 3 day weekend. we'll see if it happens.)
All in all - sounds like a fun time for me.
The house hunting thing is stressing me out - but that's a whole different post. Maybe tomorrow. Right now, I have work to do.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
The new lower priced condo has been sold. Well, not sold, but a reasonable offer made and accepted. Now we're in that fun cycle of wait and see. There are the normal hurdles like the inspection and appraisal, but we also get the fun stress of the buyer financing. They are pre-approved but nothing is done until it is done.
They offered us a reasonable closing date more than a month after the wedding, which gives us time to find a home. We'll be out looking with Steve the wonder agent tomorrow.
The sad news is that because of the lower asking price and the change in the markets we are approved for less than we originally thought. Don't get me wrong, we'll get a nice house, but we had found a SPECTACULAR house that was a dream house for both of us. Now, we have to set the dream aside and buy a house that doesn't come with a maid and a cook. (It was an amazing house.)
We're back to reality and finding some very nice places. The one "must" for me was at least a 3/4 bath on the main floor and I think it becomes a "nice to have" in the new price range. I guess dad will shower in the kitchen when he comes to visit. That is a bummer, but it is what it is.
So, send us good luck on a home search.
The one really good thing is that this activity does fill the void in all my free time.