Friday, November 30, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend - Marathon Post!

Thanksgiving weekend was a wonderful compilation of friends, family, Washington tourism, and food. My parents arrived Thanksgiving afternoon around 12:30ish and brought beautiful weather for the whole weekend. While it was cold (low to mid-40s as the high), it was sunny and clear, with beautiful views of Mt. Rainer. Of course, the day my mother left it got even colder, overcast, and practically rained icicles.

Thanksgiving Day: We got back from the airport and immediately started eating the deviled eggs I made earlier in the morning. Angela and Will (friends from Oregon) showed up around 3:30, just in time for Robb’s famous spinach-artichoke dip and wine. We ended up drinking a total of 6.5 bottles of wine before the evening ended around 9:30. We ate dinner around 6. Robb made the turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and rolls. I contributed cucumber dill salad and fried corn. After a delicious dinner we ate my yummy homemade pumpkin cheesecake and chose to eat Robb’s spice apple dump cake a couple of days later. As I mentioned earlier, wine flowed freely and conversation was ample. It was a really nice Thanksgiving. My parents went to bed by 10, exhausted by their day of flying that started at 5:00 am, Eastern Time.

Friday: Because obviously we hadn’t been drinking enough the day before, the parents, Robb and I chose to visit Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville, WA. I’ve been very excited to visit this winery because for a long time they’ve created my favorite riesling. On our way, we stopped in Seattle to eat at Red Mill Burgers. I know I’ve mentioned their amazing onion rings before, so we had to let my parents experience the greasy goodness. I think they aren’t as impressed as Robb and I are, but they still liked them. We got to the winery just in time for the 1:00 tour, which was fairly unimpressive. At the end of the tour we got to try three wines, a chardonnay (pretty bland), a merlot (very good), and a dessert wine (which I refused to try because it’s too sweet). We then were herded into a gift shop and my parents paid for us to sample four more wines, all of which were good, but the $40 reserve merlot was phenomenal. After that we headed across the street to Red Hook Brewery and tried a flight of their beer. I enjoyed their flagship beer and their blonde, but didn’t care for the IPA, stout, or holiday blend. We drove home, relaxed for awhile and then headed to Bellevue to eat dinner at Z’tejas. My parents fell in love with the original Z’tejas when we lived in Texas and I ate dinner their once and was blown away. We were all very excited to eat their again. However, it was extremely disappointing. The menu had changed, the food was bland, and the service terrible. Robb and I just feel so bad for my Dad because he was so looking forward to this dinner! We were determined that the next day’s food choices would be better.

Saturday: We started with breakfast at Panera and then drove to Seattle and parked near the Space Needle. I had read about an international holiday bazaar and we went into the Center and found a total of three booths, a huge disappointment. So we walked a few blocks until we got into the ride free zone to take the bus downtown. (There is a certain area in downtown Seattle where the bus is free, which is a very nice convenience). We took the bus to Pike Place Market and walked around so my parents could take in the sights. We also ate at Piroshky Piroshky, Beecher’s, and Pike Place Chowder. I’m pleased to report that my parents liked the perogi-imitation and proclaimed that the clam chowder was the best they ever had. It was the first time that even Robb and I ate the macaroni and cheese at Beecher’s, and we were all impressed with the best mac and cheese we’ve ever had. Seriously. How cool is it that in Pike Place exists the best clam chowder and best mac and cheese in the entire world? After our food celebration we took the free bus to Pioneer Square to check out a few of the local stores and more specifically, visit Elliot Bay Book Company. I had heard that this was the best book store and Seattle and felt compelled to bring my Mom. It turns out to be a beautiful book store in a very old brick building. It really is an amazing store and once I have some more money coming in, I want to spend some more time in there and actually buy something. On the way to the bookstore we came across Waterfall Park, a dedication to UPS workers (UPS was founded in Seattle.) This beautiful water fountain is hidden behind a couple of walls in the Pioneer Square district. It's really quite stunning and beautiful to have such an impressive waterfall in the middle of the city. After the bookstore we took the bus back to our car and on our way home stopped at REI so my Mom could see the original REI store. We then went home opened up a bottle of wine and headed for dinner at La Casa Bella in Federal Way. Robb and I had been to this Italian restaurant twice before and were excited about sharing our favorite local restaurant with them. We were NOT disappointed that evening. All of the food was phenomenal. We had balsamic portobello mushrooms and caprese for appetizers. All of the entrée’s were phenomenal and at the end of the night, after deciding against dessert, the waitress brought out a complimentary (probably because we spent a fortune on food and wine) pineapple sorbet served in a hollowed out pineapple. It’s just so nice to have a great Italian restaurant in our little town!

Sunday: Got up real early to take my Dad to the airport. He had to be back at work on Monday, so he had to leave a day before my Mom. Later in the day, Mom, Robb, and I went to the mall in Bellevue to eat lunch and go to the movie theater to see Michael Clayton (pretty good movie, slow in the beginning, but speeds up to a pretty good story.) My mom bought me a couple of shirts for my new job and then we headed back to Federal Way and just ordered pizza in and watched a couple of movies at home. She left very early Monday morning. Overall very good weekend and I already miss my parents terribly!

Left to Right: Robb, Angela, Will, Me, Dad

Chateau Ste. Michelle

Mom and Dad at Pike Place Market

Robb and Me Eating at Beecher's

Pike Place Chowder

Dad at UPS Waterfall

Pineapple Sorbet

Mom Enjoying our Fireplace.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jobs All Around!

As soon as I get all my pictures uploaded, I will post about Thanksgiving weekend and the food/tourism that ensued when my parents were here. But I wanted to let everyone know that other cool things are happening now too!

I’m pleased to announce that Robb was offered a job! He will be an Assistant Bistro Manager at our favorite grocery store, Metropolitan Market. He originally applied for just a part-time customer service position to pay the bills, but they were impressed with his resume and asked him to consider the full time position. This upscale local grocery store chain (about 6 stores in the Seattle area) has everything from Kraft macaroni and cheese, to organic frozen entrées, to $250 bottles of balsamic vinegar. It’s about 1.5 miles away from our house and while we can’t afford to do all of our shopping there, it’s truly a pleasure to go inside. Metropolitan Market has an extensive bistro/deli with an olive bar, gourmet cheeses, soups, pasta, and items such as fried chicken, or butternut squash lasagna. While it’s not his ideal job in the marketing/writing world, we’re very happy that if he has to work in the customer service industry for now, at least it’s in such a nice looking place. They obviously care about their store and employees and he had to go through two interviews before it was offered to him. He starts training next week.

Other exciting news is I just interviewed for a Program Coordinator position for a nonprofit. I actually interviewed with this nonprofit a couple of months ago, but they then decided to restructure and decided not to hire anyone until new managers were in place. So they contacted me this week and let me know that the new people were interested in interviewing me and considering me for the position. So I had a FANTASTIC interview with them this afternoon. Perhaps the best interview I've ever had. Yes, I know I have already accepted a job at the State which will start in mid-December. However, the State hasn't sent me a written job proposal and hasn't started on my background check yet. Plus, this job at the nonprofit would pay me more and is only about a mile away from my apartment.

I should know by this time next week if I'm offered the nonprofit job. But even if I'm not offered it, it doesn't really matter because I have another job lined up! We’re definitely thankful this holiday season that after months of looking for work, we will both be employed in December.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Truly I have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. This afternoon I got the call that offered me a career. I will be a Management Analyst for the State of Washington. I don't want to divulge the division on this public forum due to privacy reasons, but for those of you who are friends/family I will be happy to let you know if you're interested. I am very excited to be offered this position. It's working for the state government in a position that improves government functions (efficiency, effectiveness, accountability, etc); truly my dream position. This is what I went to school for and of the several jobs I applied for (and interviewed for) this is one that I've been most excited about.

The position is in Lacey, Washington, (right next to the capitol Olympia) which is about 40 minutes south-west of where we live. Even though we were initially disappointed to live so far away from Seattle (Seattle is about 40 minutes north of us); now we are happy to be in such a central location that allowed me to apply for this job. This process has taken a long time, but that's the government for you (one of those efficiency things that should be fixed by people who are management analysts). I actually applied for this position the end of August. I won't start until mid-December because I need to complete a background check and the state only starts new hires on the 1st and 16th. Even though I won't start for a few more weeks, it's a comfort to know that I'm finally going to be employed.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Second Interview

Well I have a second interview for that management analyst job I interviewed for last week. It's going to be Friday, the 16th at 2:00. I'm pretty stoked that I got called back for a second interview. Apparently I'm one of three finalists. I hope that by telling people about this I haven't jinxed myself! Actually I'm just hoping that everyone can just think really good thoughts for me next Friday at 2:00, (5:00 for you East Coasters)!

Other than that, it's been pretty boring around here. Watching movies, working out, going to Panera on the weekends. Mom and Dad are coming to visit for Thanksgiving weekend, so we've been trying to come up with a list of activities and must-sees. So much to see, so little time! And I haven't even seen half of what Seattle has to offer myself!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Question: Why do I have a purple toe?
A) Is it frostbite because as much as I love the cold, after living in Florida, I forgot what it MEANT to be cold and I don't have as many socks as necessary.
B) Did I finally lose my mind after realizing that I spent a lot of money on a master's degree only to be working in a Panera and decided that coloring my toe with purple markers would be a creative outlet, sparking some type of intellectual debate?
C) I thought it would be smart to leave my hand weights out in the middle of the living room floor, and then forget that they were there and ramming my toes into them to add some excitement to my day.
We're pretty sure it's not broken, as I can bend it and mostly walk. However, it's very painful, swollen, and ugly. It looks much worse in person than in the picture! I think Robb might be secretly glad I tripped over my weights, because in the future I'm now going to be prone to putting them away when I'm finished with them and he won't have to pick up after me.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Dash Point

We wanted to go for a hike last week, but gas prices have gone above $3.00 a gallon, so we decided to stay in town. We went to visit Dash Point State Park which is in Federal Way. Nothing really exciting and the trails that were there were pretty muddy (and we didn't wear the proper shoes to hike). But, seeing as how I haven't posted any pictures lately, thought I'd go ahead and show you a little bit.