Man, with all the preparations prior to the trip to Washington, the trip itself, and sorting through the (no lie) 800+ pictures afterwards in order to pick out the best ones, edit them in photoshop and decide which ones to order prints of (I got it down to just 170!), I feel like the last three weeks of my life have been all about the trip! Oh, and work, of course. I haven’t even mentioned all the other stuff that has taken place this month. Like, umm, I don’t know… Christmas!?!
So even though I wasn’t really feeling Christmas this year (even Fanless is not feeling it; this past weekend we were talking about how it didn’t even feel like Christmas had happened. Like it was just a brief moment that passed with barely a blip), we did have a pretty nice Noche Buena dinner at my niece’s in-laws’ house. Her MIL did all the cooking and Oh My God it was sooo good! The congri was like melt-in-your-mouth good. And the lechon asado was so tender and juicy, and with the mojito de aceite on top… wow, dude. Heaven. I can not comment on the yuca, as I am not a fan.
Anyway, it was a nice evening. Very low-key and simple. I didn’t take any pictures as I was pictured out by that point! Afterwards, Fanless and I came to my place (conveniently, these people live across the street from me) and watched “Fast Food Nation” and at 1:30AM we exchanged our gifts. Well, actually, it was more like I opened my gifts from Fanless. Because frickin’ Best Buy is so screwed up that my gift for him won’t be here until January 5th! (Don’t even get me started.) It’s a video game he’s been wanting for a while, but he never got it for himself (he already knows so I’m not ruining the surprise). I’ve also gotten him a few other things since, but he won’t get them until tomorrow so I can’t say any more, because those ARE a surprise.
Okay, so can I just say how awesome my BF is? He’s really good at paying attention to what I like even when I don’t realize he’s doing it. Aside from the 2GB of RAM he had already installed in my laptop without my knowledge (he did it in the bathroom one night while I was sleeping; skillz, yo!), he gave me a Hello Kitty metal piggy bank with Kitty riding a bicycle on it… so I can save up money to get a bicycle! LOL! (Back story: we’ve been talking for months about me getting a bike and we keep checking out different ones online and at the store, but I haven’t found “THE ONE” yet. Although he has six bikes, they are all BMX bikes and the positioning and style of the seat hurts my “girly bits,” so I can’t ride them.) He also gave me a “Make-It-Yourself Snow globe” from Urban Outfitters (I collect snow globes; that’s a long story for another time), in which I immediately put a picture of us from the trip (one with snow, ‘cause you know, SNOW globe!); and he got me one of the “Post Secret” books (I told him like three or four months ago that I wanted to get one when we saw them at the store). Oh! And there’s one more thing that he said was on the wish list I had on here (I took it down already) but it didn’t get delivered until yesterday so I won’t know what it is until tomorrow. [**See below.] I’m so excited! So, yeah, my honey ROCKS!!
Christmas Day was equally low-key for us. We slept in until noon, then I made “breakfast” while he did some updating on my PC. Later that evening we went to my niece and her hubby’s place for a casual family get-together.There were 27 people in their small apartment! But it was nice to see everyone. And again, there was sooo much food! We left there with THREE plates of food. Because you know anytime you go to a Cuban party, you’re going to end up taking food home. It’s like an unwritten rule.
We basically spent the rest of the weekend hanging out at Fanless’ place, napping, blogging, downloading pics (me), hacking the matrix (him), and eating leftovers. We also watched “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Story” (I’d never seen either), plus some really cheesy, made-for-tv Christmas movies. Yes, I still cried; don’t you judge me!
So, yeah, that was Christmas in a nutshell. How was yours??
**Updated: I got my final gift from Fanless on New Year’s Eve. It was the green teardrop earrings from Etsy! Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the seller. They are so beautiful! I wore them to our New Year’s Eve get-together.
The Great Northwest – The finale! December 29, 2008
WARNING: PHOTO-HEAVY POST!!
On our last night in Washington, after visiting Seattle with Aunt Linda and Uncle Russ, we spent the night with Cousin Scott’s family in Everett, approximately 40 minutes north of Seattle.
They had gotten a LOT of snow over the previous two days (which is VERY unusual for that area), so when we got to the house, we found Scott shoveling snow from the driveway. Fanless decided to jump in and help him. (FYI – he’s using a garden shovel! Scott said they get so little snow there normally, that he doesn’t own a snow shovel.)
Their front yard was all decorated for Christmas, so of course I had to take pictures.
A little blurry, but I like it.
D. gets a lift from daddy (Scott).
I’m going to credit Lisa for the beautiful Christmas decor. I love the Christmas village on the mantel.
The backyard the following morning. You can get an idea of how deep the snow is by looking at the lawn chair on the bottom left.
Enjoying a beer in the Africa Lounge at SeaTac, prior to boarding our flight. (Don’t let the smile fool you; we’d just had a really stupid argument right before this.)
And that, folks, is THE END!! Hope you enjoyed this trip as much as we did. =)
Peace out, yo!
WARNING: PHOTO-HEAVY POST!!
These are all pics from our visit to the Seattle Space Needle and the Seattle Center.
The Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum (that oddly-shaped building in front of us) stands a few feet away from the Space Needle.
A little history: The Seattle Space Needle was designed by artist Edward E. Carlson in 1959, and built as the dominant central structure for the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962. It stands 605-ft. tall and cost $4.5 million to build.
According to our elevator guide (I’m not kidding), it takes 41 seconds to reach the top of the needle, at a speed of 10mph.
The Sky City Restaurant atop the Space Needle offers panoramic views of Seattle, the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, and Elliott Bay.
The rectangular-domed structure at the bottom left of this picture is the Key Arena, where the Sonics used to play before moving to Oklahoma City.
I love that you can see the mountains in the back of this pic.
This is probably my favorite.
Fanless got artsy with my camera.
The restaurant’s drink menu featured locally brewed beers and wines from Washington vineyards only. It was a pretty extensive list!
Here, Fanless samples one of the local beers.
Downtown Seattle (not all that different from downtown Miami, actually).
After lunch, we went up one level to the observation deck. Don’t let the smiles fool you; it was “f-word-ing” COLD up there!!
When in Rome…
We left the Space Needle and went across the street to the Seattle Center, where they had a large-size Christmas village on display.
“The Boy and the Plastic Bubble” (See the face? That’s the “Oh God, more pictures??” face.)
I took this one as we were leaving the Seattle Center.
Tomorrow will be the last Washington post.
Peace out, yo!!
The great northwest – part 3 December 28, 2008
WARNING: PHOTO-HEAVY POST!
These are all pics from our next to last day in Washington. Most of the scenery shots were taken from the backseat of Aunt Linda’s car, traveling from Othello to Seattle (approx. 3 hours), so they are a little blurry.
Crossing the Columbia River (Othello is located in the Columbia Basin)
After you cross the Columbia River, you get onto Highway 90 (Snoqualmie Pass).
We made a quick stop at Aunt Linda’s house in Ellensburg (Fanless and I want to live there; it is such a cute house).
Back on Highway 90.
Once you pass the Columbia Basin area (which is mostly desert), you start getting into the “wetter” side of the state. It’s a noticeable change, as all of a sudden you are surrounded by evergreens, and eventually you hit the Cascade mountains. The snow was actually a lot heavier on this side of the state, which is unusual for Washington.
Once you cross this bridge, you can exit on the right into a town called Roslyn. This is where the exterior shots for the tv show “Northern Exposure” were filmed.
We really started seeing a LOT of snow as we got into the Cascades.
At the base of this hill is the rest stop we stopped at on our way to Othello the first night (it was so foggy that night, I didn’t even know there WAS a hill!)
I know why they call Washington “the Evergreen State".
We made a quick stop in North Bend to use the restroom and get some jerky.
We continued on to Bellevue to pick up Uncle Russ, then went on to Seattle.
Part 4 will be pretty much all pics from Seattle.
Peace out, yo!
the great northwest – part 2 December 27, 2008
WARNING: PHOTO-HEAVY POST!!
More pics from our trip to Washington.
Fanless and his grandma (he was the first grandchild in the family).
On Day 3 of our trip we woke up to find snow! Being a Miami girl, I can not possibly put into words how excited I was to see snow (even if it was only a little bit)!
At Uncle Dave’s house:
And at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm:
(FYI – when the sunlight hits it in just the right way, snow actually glitters! It was too overcast here, but a few days later when it was sunnier, it looked so beautiful. Like sugar crystals.)
We celebrated Family Christmas on this day with a delicious lunch (catered by Michael Jay’s Restaurant in Connell), family photos, then a gift exchange. Here is the adults’ Christmas tree all decorated and stocked with gifts (the kids’ tree and gifts were in the shop, where we ate lunch).
The following day we went to Connell (pop. under 3,000) to return the food containers to the restaurant. Then we went to a barbecue at Fanless’ aunt’s house (his dad’s sister), then to see his little cousin’s Christmas recital at the church.
More to come…
WARNING: PHOTO HEAVY POST!!
Pics from our Washington trip earlier this month!! (Okay, so admittedly, we spent most of our time in the great SOUTHEASTERN part of Washington state, but whatever. Semantics.)
Arrival day: We stopped at this cute rest stop, located on Snoqualmie Pass, on our way to Othello.
The following morning, we woke up to heavy fog at Uncle Dave’s house.
Later that morning, we went to get the Christmas Tree for Grandma and Grandpa’s house. It started sleeting while we were at the tree lot.
Fanless and his mom.
This is only about 1/3 of the family.
When we got back to Uncle Dave’s house, the fog had lifted and you could see more of the pastures and farmland surrounding the house.
That evening, we went back to Grandma and Grandpa’s farm for dinner, and to decorate the tree.
More to come…
T Minus 12 hours! December 10, 2008
It’s here, it’s here!! Tomorrow is the day! Fanless and I are heading to Washington to visit his family and spend a few days on Grandma and Grandpa’s farm. We’ll also get to spend a day in Seattle before we return, which I’m super excited about. Seattle has been on my “must visit” list ever since I discovered Nirvana and strong coffee!
Admittedly I’m freaking out a little bit. Not about meeting my potential, hypothetical, future family-in-law. No, I’m freaking about the flights. Me, I’m not so much a fan of the flying thing. I’m trying to remain calm about it and not let Fanless know how freaked out I am so he won’t get annoyed. But really, right now I feel like if I’m duct-taped to a chair after drinking a 2-liter of Mountain Dew and an entire colada of Cuban coffee! Normally I would pop a Tylenol PM as soon as I planted my ass in my assigned seat, but I promised Fanless I would stay awake and watch movies on the laptop with him. So we’ll see how this goes. I’m going to approach it as sort of a psychological lab test. By the way, the fact that we have to switch planes in Atlanta isn’t really helping the matter. Just sayin’.
Overall, I’m just happy to finally be taking a real vacation, away from Miami and away from work. I haven’t really had a vacation since last year. And technically, since I spent last year’s vacation stuck in a hospital waiting to have superfluous internal organs removed, I guess you could say it’s actually been two years. So I’m about due.
According to my PHFMIL (potential, hypothetical, future mother-in-law) we have a full agenda planned. Getting the Christmas tree, family photo shoot (with an actual backdrop and everything), Christmas lunch, family auction (as in the family participates in the auction; not auctioning off family members)… And Fanless was worried he was going to be bored!
Before anyone asks – no, we will not be going to Forks, La Push, or Port Angeles. There will be no treetop-flying or glittery-skinned goodness. Oh, and if you want to read a hilarious review of the “Twilight” movie – from a male perspective – please visit Anilu’s blog. Her hubby, Juan, was
forced coerced lovingly encouraged to partake in a dinner and a movie date night, and the movie was “Twilight.” I almost peed a little reading his review: Part 1 and Part 2. Unfortunately, we won’t have internet access until we get back, so I have to wait to read his take on the ending.
Alright, I have to go finish packing and checking my list (twice!) so I’ll have to leave you now. You all behave yourselves!
Peace out, yo!
it’s beginning to look a lot like… eh, whatever. December 2, 2008
So I had the brilliant idea of decorating for Christmas this afternoon. Fanless had already helped me put up the monstrous 7 1/2-ft. prelit white tree last week (an incredible deal I got post-Christmas last year; a $200 tree for $50 at Target!) so I just needed to bring out the ornaments and get to work.
I currently have three half-full plastic containers of tree ornaments and miscellaneous other Christmas decor taking over the floor in my home office. That is not counting the three boxes of ornaments spread out in the living room. There is glitter everywhere. It looks like Suicide Bomber Fairy went off in here!
Do you think I’ve bothered to roll out the vacuum and get it all cleaned up? Of course not. I’m sitting on the couch watching Tivoed episodes of “Fringe” and chatting with Fanless.
I’ve decided to downsize and give some of this stuff to charity. I just need to find charities that want this stuff. If you know of any (preferably in South Florida), please leave me a comment with the info.
Alright… really tired and fading fast. I wish I had something more exciting to share but this is my life, folks.
Peace out, yo!
P.S. Only 9 days until our Washington trip. According to my future, potential, hypothetical MIL, the temperature is going to be in the ‘teens! We checked the 15-day forecast and they’re predicting snow flurries. I’m excited, but… I’m going to freeze my boobies off!! Oh, and did I mention that I will be meeting Fanless’ family? Like the whole family. All 20-plus of them. At one time. Yikes!