Sunday, April 13, 2008

Has Spring Sprung?

Even though this is my first winter in the Northwest and I really have no frame of reference for the weather, I've been told that it's continued to stay cold for an unusual amount of time. Snow was falling on my birthday at the end of March. It was sleeting the other day and it's already mid-April. So yesterday this region of the country was giddy with excitement because in Federal Way it got up to 79 degrees!

Unfortunately I had to work in the morning (yes, I still work at Panera once a week on Saturday's. It's a little hobby where I can make some easy cash, so I mostly don't mind.) I have to admit that yesterday, though I wasn't especially happy to be at work. Customers were taking their food and coffee to consume outside, they were wearing tiny shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops. The sun was shining and everyone was talking about their plans to spend time outdoors. Luckily, I was able to leave by 12:00; it was so slow that they sent me home. I was very excited to have the whole afternoon to spend outside. Robb had the day off, so I quickly showered, changed to a t-shirt, capris, and flip-flops, and we went out for lunch. We tried a little local El Salvadorean restaurant we've been wanting to try. They had very good pupusas, an El Salvadorean speciality (corn meal pouches, filled with yumminess such as pork, cheese, and beans.) We then headed to the a local Federal Way "tourist attraction," the Rhododendron Species Foundation and Botanical Garden.

We walked along the garden paths and saw a wide variety of rhododendrons in bloom. The park was quite a bit larger than I expected. So we were able to meander and take our time and enjoy the sun. Next to the rhododendron garden is the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection, with a beautiful collection of bonsai trees. The park closed at 4:00, so we didn't get to linger very long to look at the bonsai trees, but they were really interesting and we learned a little about the different types of trees and how they're grown.

It was a nice way to spend our afternoon enjoying the local sun and warmth. But I'm not sure if spring has actually sprung. I'm wearing a sweatshirt again today, the windows have all been closed, the heater is turned on, and snow showers are in the forecast for next weekend.

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