It was a fun Christmas Long Weekend!

I am pretty sure I have let y’all know that I am NOT great at planning days off. Over the years, I morphed into the guy who would come into work on Tuesday, look at the forecast as decide Thursday was the perfect day to go hiking or cycling! (There were some years where every Thursday afternoon was a 3 hour, USELESS meeting of us supervisors. So even if the weather wasn’t perfect, I would still take the day off.)

Luckily Michelle IS a day off planner. Last year, when she saw Christmas was on Sunday, and therefore we would have Monday off, she had us take Friday as well. I am very glad she did! 

Thursday, about 2 or so, we left work. She had to stop at her mom’s bank to do some paperwork. I was worried this would take forever, so I tagged along. I promised to take her out to dinner at Arnies in Edmonds. I didn’t want her to start the holiday weekend in a bad mood.  I knew good food, wine and views would help.

Initially, I thought we were in trouble… Christina,  who was helping us had NO idea what we were talking about. (NOT her fault, we were not given the best info.) However, she made it happen. She picked up the phone, called her corporate office, and informed them in NO uncertain terms they would tell her exactly what to do! No lie, 20 minutes later, we were done and out the door. I complimented her on taking charge of the issue. If I didn’t really like my bank and this wasn’t Wells Fargo we working with (don’t trust em) I would consider changing!

So, in a good mood we were off to dinner. We were lucky enough to get a window seat in the bar!

The wind was kicking up the waves,


But the sun would peek out of the clouds from time to time

Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island

The food was great as was the wine. An excellent first night of a long weekend.


Friday, the Mathmajor was coming over to open his presents, then we were going to lunch and then taking him wine tasking. (He loves wine, but has never been out with us.) It was going to be fun.

In Seattle, we can count on very few things. 1) It can rain on any day after Halloween and before the 4th of July, and 2) it NEVER snows anywhere near Christmas…


So imagine the surprise when here it was the day before Christmas Eve and it was snowing hard!  Loved it! The roads were fine though, and we were off.

Lunch was great at The Commons in Woodinville, luckily again, Michelle planned ahead and got us reservations, it was CROWDED!

The first winery was Chandlers. Love the place and the wine! Turns out the winemaker/owner was there, and was talking to us. (OK he was bashing me for being a COUG fan while his team the Huskies were going off to play in the college football semi-finals) but he makes good wine and was funny, so I tolerated him.

After a bit, another gentleman came in to meet up with him. “HOLY CATFISH!!!” it was Steve Raible, the radio voice of the Seahawks!!! (I didn’t notice, Michelle did!) We VERY much wanted to get a photo with him, but hell, its got to be annoying for him to have that happen all the time. He was just there to buy wine for Christmas. He KNEW we knew who he was, but I think he appreciated being left alone…  If we run into him again, all bets are off!

One thing we forgot to warn the kid about was the fact our wineries (Chandler’s and Dusted Valley) LOVE us! We quite frequently get to taste wines the masses don’t even see, or we suddenly have a second taste of our favorite. With him there, the girls loved him, and suddenly he noticed his nose was numb! (made me laugh, I am pretty sure since they knew I was driving they were giving him bigger pours)

With his nose numb, I drove us home, and he hung out for the next 6 hours. Once he (AND I) agreed he was good to drive, he headed out. He loved his gifts.

Christmas Eve was painful. Our friend Sue came up for the afternoon. No, having Sue there wasn’t the bad thing, it was the fact we watched the Seahawks crash and burn AGAIN when playing Arizona!  UGH!!!

On the plus side, though, Michelle made her homemade Christmas Chowder!


And cheesy bread! image

I had the left overs today after a VERY cold ride! (But I am ahead of myself here!)

Christmas day hit!

Michelle opened and immediately put on her Hello Kitty fleece jams from our niece Abby!


It was a fun time, just the two of us opening gifts. She, and everyone else this year, were spot on for me. (My Mom ALWAYS has the right sized gift!) I just hope I was as close for Michelle. I will say I have some serious reading to do.


Before the rain started today, I did set up her new rain gauge!


Her brother Gregg came over for an hour to open his presents, then was off for his own adventures. For the rest of the day, we hung out, snacked on cheese, crackers and fruit and watched movies. Later there was wine and pasta and off to bed.It was a fun day, but we were both happy of another day off!

Today was a new day! Michelle encouraged me to go for a ride, even though it was BUTT cold! (Butt cold is 31 degrees (at least today it is). This called for bundling up!


The plan was a quick 30, out and back along the Burke Gilman trail. It was supposed to rain most of the day, so I wanted to get going and hopefully stay dry!

This guy, and 2 buddies didn’t care about dry!


Yep, just as I reached Logboom park, he and two friends took off for a Boxing Day jet ski ride. And people think I am nuts…

The ride out to the turn around was chilly, but uneventful (aside from dodging 3 BIG piles of horse poop!). I saw a heron and some hawks, but nothing to write home about or even photo worthy. On the way back though…

I was cruising along, and saw a couple with a dog on the grass to the right of the trail. They seemed to be talking, so I didn’t think much of it, then I saw her point to the other side of the trail.  I looked. and out loud shouted, “Holy Crap!”


My first thought was it was a giant assed rat! But, after that fleeting thought went away, I took a closer look. The lady thought it was a beaver. But then I got a good look at the tail.


Nope, no flat tail. A river otter it was! I have seen them swimming many times in the river, and ever playing on the opposite shore. But this was the first time I saw one in my side of the river, less than a foot from the trail.

We weren’t bothering him, so he ignored us and just chowed away at the grass. This is why I love the river trail. You just never know what you will see, today was no exception. I got in just over 30 cold miles, and it was a great ride!

The rest of the day was just relaxing at home, straightening up after yesterday (Michelle) folding and putting away laundry (Me) and girding up for the first day back at work tomorrow (BOTH of us, but she gets to work from home!).

Quite honestly, with the exception of the Seahawks, this was one of the best Christmases ever! Thanks Michelle! Love you!!

8 thoughts on “It was a fun Christmas Long Weekend!

  1. I was incorrect, this was not a river otter. It is a nutria essentially a big assed South American River rat. It’s an invasive species here in WA. people used to raise them for meat and fur in the 30s and 40s

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