Seattle (Part 3)

Normally on Tuesdays I write you a little pep talk. But this week, the only encouragement I'll give you is to specifically encourage you to make sure you go spend a few days in Seattle sometime! Seriously, next time you are planning a vacation, choose Seattle.

Okay so on our third day in Seattle, Brian and I woke up feeling awful. We hadn't gotten much sleep (jet lag and noisy puppy) and we had been walking constantly for two days straight. So we woke up feeling pretty dang crappy. 

We made blueberry muffins and bacon for breakfast and then we went to The Museum of Flight. I think the museum was probably awesome but honestly I felt like a zombie and spent most of the visit sitting on the bench next to some grandpas who couldn't keep up with their grandkids. The museum has everything you could want to learn about airplanes and space exploration. 

Then I complained enough that my brother let us leave the museum. We went to a Mexican restaurant. I ordered a chicken quesadilla but it was way too spicy and I was crying and sweating. So Brian graciously traded with me and I happily ate his black bean burrito, which was wonderfully mild. I think it was a good trade for both of us. 

Then we came back to my brothers' house and I took a FOUR HOUR NAP. I felt like a new person afterward. We cooked chicken  and cheesecake for dinner. We watched TV and turned in early (praise God).

The next morning Nathan took us to another farmers market to walk around and wait for our brunch restaurant to open. It was beautiful and k kept asking Brian if we can please please please please move to Seattle. 

We had a tasty brunch, chatted a good chat, then he dropped us of at the airport. We waited for hours and hours and then got on a plane and sat for hours and then got on a shuttle and then got in our car and then we got home! It was 2am and we were totally loopy. Overall we loved our trip to Seattle. We love Matlock and Nate and their dog Mickey and the beautiful state of Washington. 

Seattle (Part 2)

We interrupt your regularly Mission Monday for a Storytime Sunday. I've got more to share about our recent trip to Seattle.

On our second day in Seattle, Friday, my brothers had to work a half day in the morning so Brian and I took an Uber to go do the super-touristy things. First was Pike Place Market. We got there by 7am and it wasn't crowded. When we first arrived, a man at a produce stand gave us a slice of what we thought was an apple. We each plopped it in our mouths and then were very startled when it was a soft plum. Still tasty though.

The whole market experience was so awesome I couldn't stop talking about it and Brian was constantly asking me to play it cool. But who were we kidding? Only tourists go there at all. Seriously nobody was a local. The people who worked there asked us where we were from and when we said "Atlanta," they always responded "Hotlanta!" We ate at a restaurant inside the market. We admired the tens of thousands of flowers, and the great displays of fresh seafood.

Then we walked to the Space Needle. Luckily it was a pretty clear day and we could see clear across the harbor. We couldn't see Mount Ranier though, so Brian was a little disappointed. It was neat though. They took our photo behind a green screen which we thought was really cheesy and awesome. They also had a camera set up to take out photo with a wide angle which was kinda cool too.

After the Space Needle, what we really loved was the Chihuly Glass Museum. It was stunning. Amazing. Awe-inspiring. Brian already shared details about it in another post.

Then Matlock and Nate met up with us for lunch and we ate at the restaurant attached to the Chilhuly museum. After lunch we took a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island. We ate at a cute crepe restaurant and we walked around Fort Ward Park. Brian skipped rocks on the ocean and I hummed to myself Taylor Swifts, "Starlight."

We took the ferry ride back from Bainbridge to Seattle, picked up Mickey the cutest puppy ever, and went to Discovery Park and walked to the lighthouse and back. I thought we were going on like a 1 or 2 mile walk on 65 degree weather, so I mistakenly wore jeans and a flannel. But in reality it was a 6 mile mountainous in 80 degree weather. So basically I was miserable and my legs were about to fall off.

We got home, showered, changed, and went to a neato Italian restaurant called Agrodulce for dinner. There was a large tree inside, and they made homemade pasta. Then we were completely exhausted. I think the boys watched a movie on the TV while I fell asleep on the couch.

Tomorrow I'll finish up with "Seattle (Part 3)" ... by this time I was very tired and took far fewer pictures, so get ready to read read read!

Seattle (Part 1)

This time last week, Brian and I were in Seattle! It was the most fun we'd had in a long time and I constantly turned and whispered to Brian, "Can we move here?" Since trying to put our adventures into a post, I've discovered it will actually take about three parts to do it justice. So here's part 1!

Thursday morning we had to get to the airport at 5am so we were not exactly happy campers. We live on the opposite side of Atlanta from the Airport, so we had to leave the apartment at 3:45am. It was rough. 
But after a 6 hour flight, thanks to the beauty of time zones, we actually landed in Seattle at 9:45 in the morning! My brother Matlock picked us up from the airport, took us home to output suitcases down and pick up his husband Nate. We went to brunch at Ray's Boathouse, which had a wrap-around fire of the harbor 😍. Our waiter was VERY weird and we had a good time laughing at him throughout our meal. 

After brunch we visited the locks, where ships transfer to and from the freshwater and saltwater. It was impressive and interesting but I made the poor decision to use SnapChat to document it, and forgot to save the pictures to my phone. I am a dummy. But a seagull pooped on Brian and I will always save that memory. 

Then we came back to the house to play with their puppy Mickey for a while. He's about eight months old and the cutest thing you ever did see. He's also a very effective alarm clock every morning around 5:30am. 
He's so fluffy I'm gonna die. 

Then we went to  the Starbucks Roastery Reserve which was reeeeally cool. If you're a Starbucks fan, this place should definitely be on your bucket list. It looked like Willy Wonka's factory. You could see the beans being roasted and packaged. They also had hundreds of tastings for you to choose from. We chose one tasting style where they prep a few different coffees in a siphon style, and another tasting in which they prepped one style of bean in three different methods. It all tasted exactly the same to me, but Brian and Matlock and Nathan were able to pick out their favorites. 

After coffee we walked to Elysian Brewery for dinner, where we ordered about six different appetizers and you can order tiny half-size beers so we got several varieties and shared them all. Then it started pouring, so we ran back to the car, went back home, snuggled with the crazy puppy Mickey, and played SongPop Party Music Quiz which was very entertaining and frustrating and competitive. 

And that was only day one of our vacation! I'll write more throughout the week, deviating from my typical schedule of weekly post themes. For now, I'm still dreaming of another vacation to Washington state! 

Slow Walkers

The first image is sent to PostSecret by someone anonymous.
The second image is by me, inspired by the first.

Dog Selfie

Yet another Foto Froday today... And I'm scrolling through my camera roll to see what I have to share. Between last Friday and today, I took several hundred pictures, which is definitely a record for me. But all he photos are from our vacation in Seattle, which I want to save up for a Storytime Sunday post. 

So here's a photo I totally loved from the trip but isn't just a "Seattle Thing" that needs to be saved for later. MICKEY DOODLE! Mickey is a skilled photographer who took a cute selfie. 

My brother-in-law and I couldn't stop laughing at this "selfie." To see more photos of the cutest Labradoodle in the world, follow Mickey's Instagram, @mickeydoodle2015 .

Three Things I Love About Summer

Summer is the best season, hands down. Today was the last day of public schools around here, so IT'S SUMMER! I am very passionate about this issue. People who claim fall, winter, or spring is better than summer are completely delusional. If Brian and I ever get a female dog, I'm going to campaign for the name Summer. Summer veggies are better. Summer clothes are cuter. Summer activities are more adventurous. The list goes on forever.

My top three reasons for loving summer:

1. It's hot. I love hot weather. I love the pool and the beach and taking hot walks around the neighborhood. A few years ago I vowed to never complain about the weather being too hot. That was back when I lived in a dorm room with no air conditioning and worked on summer staff at a summer camp with no air conditioning. That one simple mindset change has been magical, and I love summer even more because of it.

2. My job changes up. I do really like my job year-round, but during the school year it can get pretty monotonous. During the school year 80% of my energy is spent on the regular monotonous stuff and only 20% on special events like the Christmas Pageant or Easter Egg Hunt. During the summer, that ratio is reversed. I spend way less energy on Sunday School, and get to plan wild and crazy stuff for Vacation Bible School and Local Missions Camp.

3. My birthday. August is the absolute best month to have a birthday. As a kid, my birthday party was always the weekend before school started, so all my pals were back in town. And as a teen and college kid, I could use my birthday to get extra cool back-to-school clothes. As an adult, I guess it matters less on the timing, but it still feels special to me to have a summer birthday.

Tourists at the Chihuly Museum

I asked my wonderful husband if he wanted to write a guest blog post for When-I-Was-A-Dummy Wednesday. No, I was not sneakily calling him a dummy when I asked. He agreed, so without further ado, here's a post written by my sweet Brian.

Kirby and I just got back from Seattle where we went to see her brother, Matlock, for a long weekend a few days ago. Matlock is a wonderful host and always makes sure we have a great time when we visit. He made sure that we did all the "touristy" things during our stay including going up in the Space Needle and walking around Pike Place Market.

Now both those things were wonderful experiences and I'm certainly grateful that I had the opportunity to do them. That being said, they both felt "touristy." Now I knew going into these things that they would probably feel this way. Everyone knows that when you visit Seattle you're supposed to see the city from atop the needle and you've gotta go watch some random folks toss around big, frozen fish (note - we got there in the time between when they actually set up the market and when most people arrive... so we didn't see any flying fish. Thanks jet lag).

These aren't experiences that most Seattleans have on a regular basis and I was well aware I looked like a tourist - not something that I enjoy. I can't put my finger on it, but there's something about standing out as a tourist that makes my skin crawl. Maybe I'm just overly sensitive (true) and maybe I'm lacking in self confidence (also true), but I really don't enjoy the (probably made up) feeling of locals knowing and belittling the fact that I'm a visitor to their city.

That feeling changed when I saw the museum exhibit dedicated to Dale Chihuly. if you don't know who he is, I urge you to look up his work. Chihuly is an artist who works mainly with glass blowing and is inspired greatly by nature. When Kirby and I walked in I was expecting to quickly walk through a couple exhibits and hit the road. But Chihuly's work is truly breath taking. We walked slowly, stopping often to admire the many rooms dedicated to the glass sculptures (and so Kirby could Instagram, A LOT).

I know we looked like tourists. We made several back-and-forth trips through the rooms, each dedicated to a different aspect of his sculptures. I probably could have spent the better part of our day just browsing through again and again, knowing full well that I looked like a typical out-of-towner. But I stopped caring. I was a dummy to allow what others might be thinking of how I carried myself around really cool experiences affect my enjoyment of those things. Going forward I'll work on trying to not be dumb and to just enjoy the new things around me.

ALSO, I just saw a TV commercial for the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. They are currently featuring Chihuly's work from right now until the end of October. If you've never seen his work in person, or if you already have, I highly recommend going to see the exhibit. It's awesome.