Things that make me smile

15 06 2010

Daydreaming. Scott picked up a tuscan cantaloupe at the store on Sunday. I just sliced it and it was perfect. I love a perfect piece of fruit. It made me daydream about our first meal in Rome. We were really intimidated by the language as it was both our first trip to Europe. We arrived in Rome at 11pm so we went straight to bed that night and woke up around 11am to take on the day. It was about 98° and we were pretty jet lagged. We decided our first adventure should be food. We roamed around, looking for places that might be friendlier to jet lagged American tourists because we knew we’d stumble and end up using a lot of spanish instead of italian. After peeking in several places we settled on one.

I ordered buffalo mozzarella and tomato, Scott ordered proscuitto e melone. Oh my goodness, my world was changed forever. It’s like the juiciest, sweetest Pecos melon you’ve ever had with the most perfect thin slice of salty ham/bacon you’ve ever tasted. My mom salted her cantaloupe when we were growing up and I thought she was weird for it. I so get it now. We looked at all the tables around us and the business men, ladies lunching, mothers with older daughters were all drinking carafes of chilled white wine. We ordered one too. It was such a perfect meal and opened the door to some of the best food either of us had ever eaten.

When we drove from Rome to Corsanico (a very small village up north, in Tuscany), we passed fields and fields of cantaloupe. The smell was intoxicating.

That time may qualify as my favorite 3 weeks in life.

our "clean out the fridge" feast for our last night at the villa

Hot Water? Meet Colder Waters!

12 06 2010

Despite all the hooplah in Hawaii about pregnant women not being able to boat, we took Hot Water on her maiden voyage in the Pacific Northwest last weekend. In between some major storms and cold weather, we got a blast of heat. Mid-70s, virtually no wind and total sunshine! We took advantage. We gave the marina a quick call in the morning and told them we’d come to the boat around noon.

We showed up a little later than expected (shocking) and pretty much no one was there. The owner of our marina was there picking up his old wooden 40 something foot luxury to go hang out off the shores of Seward Park in Lake Washington with his family for the day.

When we call, they use a crane to pull Hot Water off her dry storage rack and put her on an elevator of sorts and into the water. The crane operator has a full set of plugs and makes sure the boat is plugged/unplugged with each in/out of the water transaction. It was a small point of “oh, crap” for us when Scott found Hot Water’s actual plug in a cup holder. We later learned of the plug system. Whew! Crisis #1 averted.

unsnapping the canvas, looking for the plug

There were no pictures of getting out of the marina. That could be considered a crisis scenario. You basically have to learn how to wedge a boat out of a tiny spot with little to no steering power. You thought parallel parking when you were 16 was rough. In all reality, Scott was amazing and with just a few little pushes off the dock by me and Ollie, we were out of there, but alas, no pictures.

We are basically parked at the very tail end of the ship channel. Just before you hit the salt water of the Puget Sound. We have a speed limit of 7kts for several miles to get to the open water. You come across many kayakers amongst the ship docks.

some good perspective

And then there’s the famous Seattle houseboats. That’s my kind of city living. Their houses float on a dock, they have to be proven sea-worthy once per year to be able to stay on the lake.

typical. boat is bigger than the house

We have to go under many bridges on the way to the lake. The smaller bridge is the Fremont Bridge, the taller being Aurora.

fremont and aurora

Pretty much the whole shipping channel is lined with the unique houseboats. Some are absolutely giant, others are little 2 bedroom, 1 bath cottages. One of the partners at my old firm had a mansion on the south end of Mercer Island (we’ll get you some pics of Mercer Island on our next boating journey) and a cottage on Lake Union for the summer. My kind of city living!

city the pac nw

The dogs in Seattle LOVE to boat. We saw tons of them at the bow barking away with their tails a-wagging.

captain of his ship

Once we hit Lake Union, we did a small circle to check out what restaurants around the lake had mooring. Planning our future excursions or thinking of one night where I say “hey, sun doesn’t go down till 10, let’s take the boat to dinner.” 🙂 Lake Union has some interesting complications. First being it’s a freaking runway.

float plane coming in for his landing

…for all the float planes of Kenmore Airlines. Kenmore goes to surrounding islands and a few other locations. Their “hub” so to speak is Lake Union. You kind of hear their roar and go “crud, where do we go?” Before our next trip, we will do a little reading to make sure we are following all of the rules, but the pilots appear to be quite well versed in maneuvering the pleasure boats on the water.

talk about squeezing in to tight spaces

Lake Union is another 7kt zone, so we decided we were ready to stretch Hot Water’s legs and hit Lake Washington. We had to go through the Montlake Cut, under the University Bridge, past Husky Stadium (will the Aggies be playing there soon?????? Go Pac10???)  and into the deep glacier fed waters of Lake Washington.

university bridge

The cut is basically owned by the University of Washington crew teams. They paint the retaining walls with motivational sayings and each class gets something fun to paint. I liked the one below best.

hard work pays off

One of my absolute favorite parts of boating: laughing at the lubbers sitting in traffic on 520. Many of you have received many phone calls from me while I sit in this trainwreck of traffic daily. Scott drives it twice a day too, it’s pretty darn miserable. I usually curse under my breath at the skiers and wakeboarders having fun in the water while we just sit. And sit. And sit. On our way to sit. And sit. And sit at a computer.

ha ha. who sits in gridlock on saturdays? not i.

Even Miss Rainier came out to play last weekend!


We made a stop by my old place to see if any of my buddies were hanging out on the dock. Only one person was out, maybe they just don’t hang out there anymore since I moved? Probably. My friend Jeff still has my noodles and blow up Orca, I hope he’s taking good care of them.

my old digs at madison park

Once we got into Kirkland (the east side of the lake – where Microsoft is and Bill Gates lives…), we tucked into a little area called Cozy Cove. It’s pretty quiet and off the main channel of the lake, keeping the waters a little calmer. We’ve decided it’s where the lucky ones who were working at Microsoft before Microsoft was the giant it is live. Beautiful homes, most with a large motor yacht and a “small” ski boat. Many with their own float planes. We heard some rattling and turned around to find this coming out of someone’s dock.

cozy cove taxiing

I guess he was taking advantage of the weather as well.

picking up speed

He just cruised right past us and took off.

cozy cove take off

Maybe he was off to the San Juan Islands for the night? That’s 100% what I’d do.

wonder what's going through the pilot's head?

Bye! Say hi to Friday Harbor for us!

probably "c u l8tr seattle"

Scott then needed to take a conference call for work. So we appropriately pulled up to his office. We moored (for free) at his office where I went to get a cold drink at Starbucks and Scott took his meeting. His office has the little plant in the yellow pot in the window.

where my husband usually is

We had dinner at a little lake front restaurant and decided the clouds were rolling in, the winds picking up, and it was time to hit the water to get back to Seattle for the night.

clouds are rolling in

Our little break of sunshine was coming to a close for the weekend.

later rainey, catch you next weekend

We had one last shot of downtown before heading down the ship canal.

city boating is fun!

Don’t feel sorry for us. The rain came in and stuck around all week. But guess what? Today it’s going to be 80°. EIGHTY!!! So, we’re going to finish up on our computers, clean the house and hit the water for the afternoon. Have a great weekend everyone!

Things that make me smile

11 06 2010

Abby’s unabashed love for Scott.

a quick goodbye from one of our visits

Day 5: Parasailing and a Lū‘au

5 06 2010

Our last full day on the island, Scott wanted to parasail. I thought I’d be able to ride on the boat and take cool pictures. Apparently, pregnant women are too broken to ride in boats (oops, don’t tell anyone what I did today) so I sat on the beach while Scott went parasailing. It was fun to watch from the beach with my half caff americano in the morning. They took him by dinghy out to the parasailing boat.

dinghy. no, not my husband, the boat!

He said it was really peaceful and relaxing and not at all scary. On my next trip to Maui, I am so going parasailing!

going up!

He went 800 feet above the ocean to soak in the island. 

a third of the way to the full height

in front of the west maui mountains

They even dipped him in the ocean and let him go back up. It’s all wench driven from the boat you saw right off the beach. 

when i dip u dip we dip

 This is my view of it all from the beach. 

thankfully, he came down safely

We spent more time hanging out on the beach and at the pool reading our books. That evening we had reservations at the Old Lahaina Lū‘au. It was surprisingly good. We went in with low expectations for both food and entertainment, but the food was actually fantastic and the entertainment was nice. We shared a table with a newlywed couple from New Jersey who were on their honeymoon. They were really nice and the setting was perfect right on the water watching the sunset.

old lahaina lū‘au

They do a traditional smoking of a whole pig underground and unveil it for their guests. The gentleman in the sarong was telling us all about how it is smoked and telling cheesey jokes. As you can see, there were a ton of people waiting there. We got there a little early so we could see the pig. It was hot and crowded and annoying. A young british girl was standing in front of us and decided she’d rather partake in a fresh, frozen lava flow (pina colada with strawberry purée) than stand around looking at a pig in the ground. She looked at her mom and said *put on your best british accent now* “it’s just a pig, being dug out of the ground?” Her mother nodded her head. The girl said “Bugger. I can just bury some bacon in my backyard and see this at home” as she wandered out of the crowd for her rum fueled cocktail. We have been cracking up and saying “I could bury bacon” in our best british accents all week.

story telling

 The pig was uncovered. The skin looks crispy and yum. Like a smoked turkey. 

piggly wiggly

They carried him away for our dinner. I suspect that pig did not feed all few hundred or so of the people there, but the ceremony and show was funny.

off to the buffet

The sunset was spectacular that evening.

perfect sunset

A perfect end to our week in paradise.

taking it all in

We got back to Seattle late Tuesday night to storms, gusty winds, and chilly weather. It was quite the shock to the system. So were our inboxes. We’ve readjusted to real life and even got a spectacularly sunny, warm day in Seattle, so all is good!

Day 4: Relax

5 06 2010

Many people told us of a little breakfast spot called The Gazebo. We simply must have breakfast there every day! Well, our hotel reservation included a free giant breakfast buffet every morning (a $60 value). It was hard to pass up free given the expense of food for all the other meals. But we couldn’t miss the Gazebo. We hopped over for breakfast and only had to wait in line for about 30-45 minutes. It’s a tiny little place with 12 tables and some really tasty macadamia nut pineapple pancakes. Scott really liked the coconut syrup they served with the cakes. Thanks for the recommendation, folks, it was awesome!

the gazebo with kapalua bay beach in the background

Just outside the breakfast spot is this funny sign. Scott yelled “whale ho” all day when he saw me. I tried not to take it personally. (I’m kidding, my husband never yelled it AT me, he just yelled it a lot and I pretended to be offended). We saw no actual whales, we missed them by a couple of weeks.

ding ding ding whale ho

We then spent the day at Kapalua Bay Beach. Scott did a lot of snorkeling and saw tons of great stuff. I hung out in the shade and read my book.

snorkle master

We hung out by the pool at the hotel for a little while after the beach as well.

he's so handsome

The coolest thing we did this day was the “astronomy tour” at our hotel. There is a small observatory on the roof of the hotel. We got to go up and see stars we don’t typically see at 47° N (Seattle’s latitude). We watched the moon rise over the West Maui Mountains. There was also a powerful telescope where we got to see the rings and four of the moons of Saturn. It was really fun. Even if I wanted to go to sleep half way through.