Maize maze.

After the Seahawks pulled out an ugly victory from the jaws of defeat, we headed out to a nearby farm’s corn maze. I’ve never seen one before. It was huge – a whole field of full grown corn with several miles of trails cut through, forming a maze. Big and small kids were walking in all directions inside, trying to make their way through, while finding all the checkpoints. Fun!
A view from inside:

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A view from outside:

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And the route we logged going through the maze, from my mapmyrun app: :)

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A view from the penumbra.

Crazy weather here. It rained and poured this morning. Then we had an hour or two of sunny blue sky, which afforded a glimpse of the partial solar eclipse through a hastily-made pinhole camera.

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Then the cloud bank rolled in again with rain. I’m glad mom had a chance to watch it, if only for a half hour or so.
Pretty cool.
The next solar eclipse will be on August 21, 2017. Mark your calendar!

A moment from a lovely walk.

Rain is in the forecast for the entire week here.  I timed my walk today for what I hoped to be a break in showers.  As it turned out, l made it back home after an hour or so with barely a drop on me.

I was listening to Pandora, and as I crested a hill on my way home I turned up the volume when I heard one of my faves through my earbuds – Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole’s cover of Somewhere over the Rainbow.  As I was listening, I turned my head and coincidentally saw a faint rainbow lit up during a brief sunbreak – making the song even a little more enjoyable than usual.   Nice.

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Waterfront home with a view.

After a glorious summer, Seattle has been blanketed with rain this week – coincident with my arrival here. That’s ok. I’ve almost forgotten what rain is like, altogether.
I’ve been trying to go out and exercise every day, but I’m going to need a better rain jacket!
Thankfully, the rain clouds parted for a time Thursday, so Fran and I got out and about to enjoy some sunshine.
I heard the story of one of the locals who lives in a tiny (10′ x 10′ ish) cabin that floats offshore, off the grid, and off the property tax rolls. The cabin is floating to the left of this shot, with Mount Rainier poking above the horizon to the right. He sure has a beautiful view!

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And now, for something completely different…

Last week I began a short break from the rat race, taking a couple months off from work.

Soooo….I went shopping on Monday; golfing on Tuesday; sailing on Wednesday; woke up at anchor Thursday morning; back to the lake Friday for two nights on the boat; rafted up with Kurt & Kevin on Dancer, and Marty & Sue (yay!!) on Caribbean Hug Saturday night; made it back home Sunday night to watch my Seahawks and make pizza; and then headed to Seattle for a visit this past Monday.

I’ll try to get my sheila365 groove back. :)

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Girls’ trip 2014 – Destination Washington, D.C.

Last year five of my girlfriends and I went on a trip together to San Diego and had a really great time.  We said we’d try to make it an annual thing.  And we did!  This year’s destination:  Washington D.C.

The fall weather was beautiful.  We rented a townhouse on Capitol Hill just south of Lincoln Park – about a mile and a half walk to the Capitol buidling.  What an amazing place to live.

The Highlights:

We walked about a hundred miles (!), mastered the Metro, and took in some amazing sights.   We visited the Library of Congress & National Gallery of Art, and their outdoor Sculpture Garden.  We took a 3-hour Segway DC Monuments & Memorials tour with CitySegway (I highy recommend them, and our wonderful guide, Ray).  We caught a showing of the Broadway musical Evita at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  We drank a couple barrels of wine.  And danced the night away in the townhouse.  We we sure crammed alot of fun into a 4 day weekend.

The Eats:

- The night we arrived we ate at the highly touted Spanish tapas restaurant Jaleo (2 blocks from the Archives metro station).  This madrileña gives them a bleh and a thumbs down.  Service was ho hum, their traditional tapas like gambas al ajillo were not traditional at all… (made with red, spicy pepper sauce with no garlic!).  When we complained, the waiter said they’ve changed the way they prepare them now and we should have ordered them traditional if that’s the way we wanted them, even though that’s how they were described on the menu.  We shared a pan of lobster paella which tasted like new orleans dirty rice made with a burnt roux.   Sorry José Andrés, you let us down.

- for breakfast the next day, Friday, we ate at the Madison Cafe atop of the Library of Congress’ James Madison Memorial Building.  What a great, unassuming breakfast stop, with reasonable prices.  Spectacular view of the Potomac, but apparantly you’re not supposed to go out on the patio unless accompanied by the Capitol Police (oopsie).

- for lunch on Friday’s sightseeing marathon (seriously, Laura’s pedometer said we walked about 23 miles that day!), we happened upon a really wonderful farmer’s market/outdoor food court in the Federal Triangle – Capital Harvest on the Plaza.  In contrast to last night’s meal, the paella I got here on a paper plate was perfect and the real deal.  They are open Friday’s through the end October.

- for dinner on Friday night we ate at the fabulous italian restaurant Graffiato  (a short walk from the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro stop).  Now this was a great meal!  The service was fantastic.  We tried nearly everything (watercress salad, caesar, mussels a la vodka, potato gnocchi, homemade pasta, white house pizza, and even more that I don’t recall) and came away wanting more.  Delicious!

- Saturday morning we walked to the nearby Eastern Market – a historic indoor/outdoor food and arts market and a hub of the neighborhood on Capitol Hill.  We bought ingredients for our planned dinner-at-the-townhouse later that night.  The menu:  spinach soup, grilled salmon steaks, asparagus risotto, green beans with lemon vinagrette and goat cheese.  We outdid ourselves!

- for brunch on our last day, we headed to Le Greniere, a fantastic french bistro on H street, about a mile walk from Union Station.  Their weekend brunch menu has a great variety of delicious choices.  My croque-monsieur could have fed 2 or 3.  :)  excellent service and brunch menu.  We were all thankful for the walk afterwards.

And then, *poof* it was over.   Til next year!

Some of the sights:

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Literary inspiration.

I recently read Ernest Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream. I enjoyed it – set in the Caribbean, full of sea and salt and many an alcoholic beverage.
One of the favorite drinks of the main character in the book, Thomas Hudson, was a gin drink with coconut water, lime juice and bitters. It sounded interesting enough to me to concoct one and try it. And it was pretty good! We call it a “Tom Hudson.” There wasn’t a recipe in the novel, so the individual quantities are up to the bartender’s discretion. But here’s how I like them:

Tom Hudson
– 2 oz gin
– 4 oz coconut water
– juice of 1 lime
– a few (or many) drops of bitters
– serve on the rocks

Cheers, Ernest!

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Yay, us!

We took a roadtrip over the weekend to celebrate our anniversary.  I’ll skip the narrative and just let some pictures tell the story.

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Centuries-old hill country live oaks.

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Texas wine trail.

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Picture perfect views @ William Chris Winery.

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One of our favorites.

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True.

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I ❤ FBG.

Wildseed Farms are always in bloom.

Wildseed Farms are always in bloom.

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Anniversary-appropriate passion flower sighting.

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C’mon longhorns, turn around and smile for the camera!

Nothing to see here.

The natives are restless.

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Happy anniversary, sweetie!