Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Long Weekend on the Hood Canal

After a very busy two weeks, Joel and I were very excited for a three day weekend mini-cation on the Hood Canal with Jackie and Chris Arnett. It wasn't long after we were all off work, that we were on our way. We caught the ferry in Edmonds to take us out to the peninsula and then drove down the coast to Lilliwaup where we had rented a beach cabin for the long weekend. We arrived in the dark and immediately were confused about which of the three houses we were staying in. So using our cell phones to light up the dark, we went from house to house, trying the key code and hoping it would eventually work. Lucky for us, it did, and we quickly made ourselves at home.

Joel was very excited to be on vacation and was eager to started making our snacks for the night.
Jackie and Joel make us delicious Pigs-in-a-blanket for a late night snack.
Joel wasn't very happy I photographed him watching The Golden Girls,
but to be fair we all were... this show is pretty funny, even today!
Joel and I - enjoying our first night in the cabin.
I tried to get a picture of Chris and Jackie - and this is what Chris did.
So after telling Chris to smile, and trying to take another picture - this is what Jackie did.
In the morning we spent some time exploring the beach that only a few steps from our deck. We saw so many starfish sunning themselves along the shore, they were everywhere! The beach was also full of oysters and clams. We wandered up and down the shores looking at the shells, watching for seals, and enjoying the warmth of the sunshine.

So many starfish!
Joel was not very impressed with oysters.
Our beautiful Cabin!
This starfish was my favorite - it was bright purple!
Just lounging around, enjoying the sunshine!
After lounging around for awhile and a quick lunch we decided to go into town and see if we could find some ice cream. I had also managed to not pack any socks and Jackie was in need of some lotion, so we decided to go on a little shopping trip.

This is the Lilliwaup Country Store and Hotel!
I guess open containers aren't really a problem here, since you can open your beer on the way out of the store!
It would also appear that the Country Store and Hotel is also the Fire Department station!
Welcome to Hoodsport - which is just down the road from Lilliwaup.
We decided we needed some coffee so we headed over to the Hoodsport Coffee Co. for a great cup of coffee.
While waiting for our coffee, I noticed this sign. Here is what it said:
Four young Sitka Blacktail bucks pulled from Stephen's Passage, Alaska on Tom Satre's 62' charter vessel. The four distressed bucks were in Stephen's Passage and swam directly toward the boat and began circling and looking the humans on board. With help, the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals came willingly onto the boat where they collapsed with cold and exhaustion. All four deer were transported to Taku Harbor and released.

How crazy is this story!
It was such a beautiful day to be out and about on the Hood Canal.
After having our fun in town, we headed back to the house and spent the rest of the day being lazy. It was bliss. Jackie read a book, the boys played on their tablets and I lounged around on the beach soaking up all the sunshine I possibly could. It was pure heaven on earth!

Jackie found a good book to read.
Apparently Joel and I have a hard time unplugging - cell phones, my kindle, and our tablet kept us entertained all weekend.
We even played old school Words with Friends - Ha!
I won this round, but Chris messed up the board before I get a picture!
 We spent the rest of the night eating, drinking, and watching movies. It was a lot of fun and some much needed relaxing. We didn't get out bed until late in the morning on Saturday and we spent the entire day relaxing and lounging around the house and the beach. I could really get used this slower lifestyle! Saturday night we decided to play dominos, I had forgotten how much this game was. We snacked on more snacks and I drank more wine. I swear I ate more this weekend than I have all week! I am really going to have to work hard this week at the gym to erase all the fun I had this weekend!
Joel can't believe he forgot to play his double and it was the opening Chris needed to take the win!
Jackie wasn't very happy with me after I played all my dominoes and took the win before she could even play one of her dominoes!
It was very sad for me to wake up on Sunday morning and pack up my bags. I wasn't ready to leave the cabin behind and return to the real world. I was just having too much fun relaxing, laughing and eating my fill of anything and everything I wanted. But we put on our happy faces, packed up bags and were on our way home by 10:00am. As we closed the door behind us, I spotted a seal on our floating dock. He must have heard we were leaving and came to say goodbye!

Come back soon!
Hope you all had a wonderful Easter Weekend!

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patrick's Day 2013

St. Patrick's Day has always been a special day for Joel and I. The second time we met, was on St. Patrick's Day eve. I was still in school at WWU and had come down to Seattle to cheer on a few friends who were running in the St. Patrick's Day Dash. The night before the race, we all met up for dinner and since Joel was running in the race he was one of the dinner guests.  When Joel walked into the room, sparks flew and I was crazy about him. Flash forward six years, and we find ourselves at the St. Patrick's Day Dash starting line again.

As the Co-Chair of my company's Wellness Committee, I get the chance to participate in a lot of great events in the Seattle area, and one of my favorites is the St. Patrick's Day Dash. Even though the course is basically one giant hill, I really like it. I think what really makes this race enjoyable, is all the great people watching opportunities. People really go all out for this race and dress up in the most creative and unique costumes ever seen!

My Office Team
Angela, Tim, Kristen, Brian, Julie, Me, Joel, Sarah, Stewart, Dan, and Mike
Joel and Julie ran the race with me this year and we did a great job! Joel tends to take off pretty fast, but Julie and I were able to catch up to him. We kept a great pace and finished the race strong. This year, I ran the race in a total time of 35 minutes and 18 seconds; an average pace of 9 minutes and 42 seconds per mile. I was ecstatic about this time. I had set a Thirty by Thirty goal of running a 5K with a ten minute mile average and I would have never thought I could accomplish this goal on such a hilly run!

Joel, Sarah, Julie, Me, and Kristen - Ready Run!
The day before the race, I had stopped at our local feed store to pick up some horse tape for the race (my shin splints secret!) and look what I saw!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the Bothell Feed Store Horse!
 A very special shout-out goes to my friend Sarah, who participated in her first 5K race even though she was healing from a partially torn MCL! Check out her story here!
Happy St. Patty's Day Everyone!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Thirty By Thirty - The List

I have decided I wanted to make a Thirty by Thirty list. I like the idea of having a list of goals to accomplish and I think it will help me feel better about this new decade in my life. So without further ado, this is my Thirty by Thirty list (in alphabetical order of course).

1.      Complete two home projects
2.      Eat vegetarian or gluten free for one month
3.      Finish the project of turning my blog into a book
4.      Get in the habit of flossing and water piking at least five days a week
5.      Go roller skating
6.      Hike Mount St. Helens
7.      Learn how to play one song on my guitar
8.      Learn how to really use Lightroom
9.      Learn how to really use my camera (not just leave it on the automatic setting)
10.  Learn how to Ski
11.  Learn how to water ski
12.  Make it to thirty without a speeding ticket
13.  Organize all the music and photo files on our computers
14.  Purge the junk in my house
15.  Put together a serious emergency preparedness kit for the house and both our cars
16.  Reach my goal weight
17.  Read all the books on my bookcases
18.  Ride in the Seattle to Portland bike race
19.  Ride the Duck
20.  Run a 5K with a 10 minute average
21.  Run a half marathon
22.  Run a marathon
23.  See a NBA basketball game
24.  See an opera
25.  Sky dive
26.  Solve the mystery of what is the combination to my gym lock
27.  Take a trapeze class
28.  Think more positively
29.  Travel More
30.  Visit the Skagit County Tulip Festival

I have already starting researching several of my thirty by thirty goals and I can't wait to get started on my goals. Stay tuned for updates!

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Very Sad Day

The Odell family is one member smaller. I am very sad to say that Jack Rabbit has passed way. I came home from work on Wednesday night to find him peacefully curled up in his box, gone from this world.

Who knew such a small bunny could leave such a big hole in my life.

When he first came home, his ears were so big!
This is how many Saturday mornings went for Jack, Anna and Me.
He LOVED to chew on things, newspaper, blankets, carpet, my couches,
clothes, backpacks, junk mail, pay stubs, receipts, anything really...
Bet you didn't know bunnies can swim! Jack used to swim in the pool at
Joel's apartment in Redmond. I always made sure he was on his leash
so I could rescue him if needed.
Sometimes he would need to rest, so he would lay across my ankles.
When his fur was wet, his legs looked so skinny!
When I lived in Bellingham, we used to take Jack to Boulevard Park.
People were always surprised to see a rabbit on a leash.
What a little face!
Every year we dressed Jack up in Christmas Duck's outfit for some giggles.
What a good sport!
Merry Christmas from the Christmas Bunny!
He was so cute in that little hat!
Jack loved to lay in Joel's lap and just be petted for hours.
He is so relaxed in this picture!
Joel decided he would use Jack as his "bunny" in a round of Killer Bunnies.
Jack was always up for some fun and games.
Joel and Jack - watching football together. Boys will be boys.
Jack liked to sit in the chair and watch me work on projects.
I knew he was really just waiting for his chance to eat something when I wasn't looking, but it was still super cute!
I loved to feed him fresh greens and listen to him chew - the smallest sound, but such a cute sound!
He would make fast work out of carrot tops, cilantro, and spinach.
How can you get mad at this face, even when he completely destroyed a couch pillow.

I miss my bunny boy.