I have lamented more than once, here on my friendly neighborhood blog, that Michelle and I find ourselves very busy at time. This always surprises us, as by nature we are pretty much introverted homebodies.
I can’t remember, though, a weekend that has ever been the whirlwind that this one was! Lets start with the fact that I REALLY need to learn to look at a calendar. Earlier this year, Michelle and I signed up to do the Jingle Bell 5K. We have done it together every year (except the one where the world spun so much I was sick at home!) since we’ve been married.
Last year we really enjoyed staying downtown at the Westin Hotel
So I booked a room for this one as well.
Last month, a coworker Greg asked if we would be able to help out the Mighty P for the feed the needy breakfast we do. Once a month, a group gathers at a local church to make breakfast for 150 -250 people who might not eat otherwise. We were busy that weekend in November, but we assured him we would be there in December!
OH, and I had a new hire class start, in which I had to fly to Spokane…
How the HELL did all three of these end up on the same weekend!!!! Calendar I say!
OK first the breakfast. Most times, the team cooks eggs, ham, pancakes and oatmeal at the church. Good hot hearty breakfasts! For Christmas, though, they wanted something a bit more special. Something called a Strada. In essence, put 6 eggs, cheese, a bunch of bread, 2 cups or so of milk, and veggies if you want them, into a pan, and bake them. They were short strada volunteers so Michelle offered to make 4. The problem is, our fridge won’t hold 4, so we decided to make them that morning.
Meanwhile, I was drafted to help bring presents from the giving tree at work to the same church. I had to meet Sue at the tree at 7, then I would be meeting Michelle at the church by 730.
The morning went like this!
We were out of bed by 6. I made the beeline to Starbucks to get me a coffee and her the trenta unsweetened green ice tea she loves. When I got back, she was working on the stradas, meanwhile I made her and I our own breakfast, while also helping with stradas.
The pans were in the oven, cooking and I took off a run to help load the presents. At 730, we were loaded and ready to go,
I texted Michelle telling her we were rolling, and she was cussing the dishes for not getting done. Soon though, she and I were there with the group ready to go!
In the past, Michelle AND I were on the front line serving, but this time I was given the job of mixing pancake batter. I would mix it in a big bowl and pour it into a beer pitcher (ok this is a church, probably a water pitcher!) then when she poured a buncha hotcakes on the griddle, I would refill the pitcher, and keep mixing batter.
In hindsight, this may NOT have been a great role for me. I am a bit of a slob in the kitchen, and people were cleaning my batter up all OVER the place. Even on the refrigerator handle across the room….
Meanwhile, Michelle got stuck on the line. And it figures, the one time I was NOT there with her, some crazy homeless dude eyeballs her and won’t move in line, staring her down. Nobody came and got me, so I was clueless it was happening. Said dude left the church in an ambulance (truthfully) but no I did NOT hit him. Turns out he, was on something hard, and tossed his cookies and passed out. (This does not normally happen!)
Well after her stress and my tired right arm (from stirring NOT punching) we were beat. But our day was not over.
We went home, and I made a quick run to Safeway while she rested some.
Then I drove to Seattle with my car, to park it at the Mighty P. I had a great time-saving plan. I would park the car at work over night, then bike home. After the Jinglebell, Michelle could drop me off at work, then she heads home and I go the airport. Means we have to rush less!
So I drop the car. On the way back, wouldn’t you know, I got stopped by the Fremont Bridge to let a sailboat go through,
Now see the girl in red? Just as the bridge went down, she wrapped her helmet with a knitted scarf. It was cold and frosty Saturday and I am sure her head was cold. As we got to the other side, unbeknownst to her, the scarf blew off! Well, being the cowboy I am, I heeled over the bike, caught up the scarf in my teeth and took off after her!
OK, I stopped and picked it up with my hands, then took off after her. Problem was, she then had a head start and was faster than I am. I kicked in the afterburners and luckily she got stopped by a red light! Mission accomplished…
Remember I told you it was cold and frosty? I didn’t realize is was so cold that day that parts of the trail hadn’t melted! I had to be careful in some patches, and for about 250 feet, I got off and walked! I did NOT want to crash! Careful Valente they call me.
OK I got home, got a shower and we both just sat. Honestly, there was a part of us that wanted to say ‘screw it’ and NOT go into Seattle. But, the cancellation time had already passed. If we had canceled, we still woulda been charged. So we sucked it up and went.
The check in line was horrendous! We were there at 4. prime check in time, and there were only two people working the desk….
We are patient people though, we survived Seattle traffic to get there, we were good… Until we go the front… Ever work with that person who took every customer service class ever, twice, and actually believes in them. Then tries to throw in a combination of Shirley Temple, Minnie Mouse and Darla from Little Rascals in her high-pitched, cheer leader, the sun will come up tomorrow and its ok people the line is OK voice??
Yeah, neither have I, but this lady was all that times 2. I now know why the line was so long! Truthfully, if she woulda typed faster and not talked….
BUT, in the end, we got to our room, just as the sun went down!
Once we were there and stuff dropped off, we felt better. We went across the street for dinner at an Italian place. The main dining room was closed for some reason, but were lucky enough to score a booth in the front room. Soon we had wine, bread and soup, life was better. And the food was great.
I took out the Burt’s Bee lip balm at the end, and it slipped out of my fingers and down the crack between cushion and the back. Now normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but I needed it for the trip to Spokane. So YEP, being me, I laid on the booth and got my arm down there, fished around and… I found the lip goo…. Then Michelle said I got an “OH SHIT” look on my face! I was stuck!! I honestly people, I could NOT move.
I was just about to call for the jaws of life!!! But then gave one last pull, and even though I got a bit of the scrape as I lost some skin, I got out! WITH the Burt’s Bees!
We walked Seattle a bit and Michelle was a BAD influence. I went in to the local Mountain hardwear stores to look around. I found a cool stocking cap that would be good for Sp0kane. Then I saw this coat on sale.
THEN the guy tells me if I get both and spend a little more, I would get a free, very nice, backpack! Michelle found some gloves and the rest was history…. Bad influence I say! But damn it is nice to have that coat…
We walked around a bit, including Pike Place Market
But we were soon back at the room and sipping a bit more wine before bed.
This morning dawned bright, and chilly, but not near as bad as yesterday. I made the Starbucks run, and soon Michelle and I were at Westlake meeting our friends.
Dan is a runner, while the other 3 of us walked it. I will tell you, riding the bike does NOT prepare you for walking 3.1 miles with Michelle and Sandy! By mile 2, I was no longer talking, and just working hard to keep up! Then, the last .1 mile, we jogged it! We crossed in just under 50 minutes!
It was back to the hotel, a shower, to the office and then the airport! Did you know you now have to take out cameras, Ipads, Kindles AND lap tops… I didn’t. Once here in Spokane, I checked in, hit the grocery store and Subway, and I am now, finally, sitting on my rear sipping a gatorade.
It was a long busy weekend, and I will be exhausted tomorrow, but I really did have a good time with my gorgeous wife! NEXT weekend will NOT be so busy!!!