Guys, get ready for an extreme overload of tulip pictures. Stephanie took last Friday off work and when I found out that she was going to drive up there that afternoon, I convinced my boss to let me take a half-day and join her. I haven't been up there in ten years. Cecily and I visited the fields in 2006, but I've only driven by since I've lived here. The traffic and crowds keep locals away. We stopped at a "free" field first and then paid to visit Tulip Town. They have food, kite flying, bathrooms, and a large variety of blooms. The fields are about 55 miles north of Seattle in the Skagit Valley.
2006 ---> 2016
Anyway, let's get to it.
Yes, I own a trench/cape. It's a little over-the-top, but I love it. AND it went on sale yesterday so I called and got a major price adjustment that makes me love it even more ;)
So maybe I started talking loudly to a couple who legitimately stopped and were staring at me posing for this picture. Were they enthralled with my cape? I have no idea. Literally hundreds of people posing for photos like crazy people, but I was a sideshow apparently.
Did you want a better look at my cape? OK. . .
Oh, Stephanie was there too. THOSE COLORS!
So just as we got in the car to head home my friend, Nick, texted to see if I wanted to go see the tulips on Saturday. Dude. . .
Because he is so handsome, I couldn't say no. I've known him since College Station and he's living up in Vancouver, BC. I insisted that we go early in the morning to beat the crowds and oh my goodness - you're welcome. As we left the fields, the crowds and lines had tripled in size and the northbound traffic as we headed south was INSANE. We started at a free field on the north side of Skagit Valley and then ended at Roozengaarde Flowers.
I told Nick I'd go to the tulips again only if he didn't care that I was wearing these silly/amazing sunglasses. I got them in the mail Friday evening and I'm a little obsessed. They are from ban.do who I won another giveaway from this week!
They have some incredible display gardens at Roozengaarde.
Clark Kent himself.
I love these sherbet colors.
Ugh, I have so many more I could share, but I will stop. We drove down to Seattle and had Din Tai Fung for a late lunch, lounged at Greenlake, a few "American" errands (Target & Trader Joe's), dinner and ice cream. It was a full day, but we just had the best luck all weekend with traffic, weather, wait times, good food, etc. We decided we won the weekend.
On Sunday we went to church and made dinner before he headed home and then I went to second dinner at a friend's. Topher is staying with me now for a few nights while he visits from San Francisco, so it's been a full and busy few days. Looking forward to a quiet upcoming weekend.
Oh goodness, it's been a few weeks since I've opened the old blog. I made a trip to Texas that is always too short and never enough time to see everyone. I went primarily for a friend's wedding in the Hill Country and it was beyond beautiful - the setting, the weather, and the couple. I do love a wedding for other people. I continue to stand by never having one for myself if the opportunity ever presents itself.
Anyway, Spring is trying to happen here. It's been so cold, but trees and plants are blooming like crazy. Today is sunny and it should last through tomorrow. I've been stealing blooming branches from the whole neighborhood and I'm running out of room to place them around my house.
I'm on the hunt for a cute Easter skirt, but not having much luck. I'd like something not navy blue (shocking, I know). I've been to the opera, read some books, celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a <sick> day off work, rainbow sugar cookies and dinner with friends. I want to spend some time in the yard tomorrow and do some spring cleaning and then I'm planning to have some people over for dinner Sunday to celebrate two birthdays.
I am ready for the weekend y'all. While I wait for today to end, let me tell you about last Friday night. My roommate Stacey got a group together to go tubing out at Snoqualmie Pass. I borrowed appropriate clothing (thank goodness!) and Steph and I made our way west. We took my car not thinking twice about it. It was raining pretty hard all the way there and as we climbed elevation, it turned into blinding snow. Hey, guess what? I'm from Texas and don't know how to drive in snow - in a Civic. It was a little frightening, but we made it and got down to tubing. It was very civilized with lots of rules that some folks thought made it less fun, but I'm 36 and not looking to injure myself flying down a mountain, so I was just fine with the rules.
Our hair was dripping wet. So much snow.
This video makes me laugh to no end. I was debating the danger of going down on my stomach, and ended up turning onto my back halfway down anyway. My stupid foot pushing off after the second failed attempt. 😂 Please enjoy.
Late last week Rosie let me know about a hotel room in Vancouver that she couldn't use, but couldn't cancel either. E&M were also going to be in Vancouver that weekend, so it seemed like a good time to head north. How is it that I was last in Vancouver in 2011? Insane. Holly and I got the ferry from there to Victoria in 2013, but anyway. . .
I drove up on Sunday morning and met E&M for a Valentine's breakfast. What married couple doesn't want to have breakfast with their single friend on Valentine's Day? Duh.
The weather was terrible - so rainy and so cold. It was sort of miserable to be outside. I went and browsed the downtown mall for a bit killing time before I could check into the hotel. You guys, Vancouver is great, but being in a different country and not having a phone is SO hard. Trying to make plans, get directions, or get information becomes impossible. (boohoo -life is tough.)
Anyway, once I checked into the hotel and got wifi, I made plans with my friend, Nick. He moved there a few months ago and as it turned out, his apartment was across the street from the hotel Rosie booked. He came over and we visited for the next 6 hours. We went out for food, but other than that, we just stayed inside and out of the nasty weather.
The next morning Rosie and I went for breakfast and then drove and walked around Stanley Park. The weather turned poor again around noon, so I decided to head home. I ended up sitting at the border for 2.5 hours. I wanted to die. I guess this is why I don't go to Vancouver more often.
Rosie is the worst picture taker on the planet. Kills me.
Man, I've been meaning to blog for weeks, but I get distracted and then forget what I was even going to say. So. Here are some things on my brain recently.
Sia's new album - really v good. You can listen on Prime Music. It's an album of reject songs she wrote for other popstars. Reaper, Bird Set Free and Broken Glass are my favorites so far. Bird Set Free is a total anthem. Also, did you watch her on Fallon? It will be in your head for hours.
ban.do giveaway - I won that giveaway in December and just got one of the prizes. It's a sweatshirt that is meant to be kind of "girl power", "girlfriends - yay!", but I feel as a 36 year old single girl in Seattle it just comes off as more "lesbian" (not that there is anything wrong with that). Thoughts?
Grease Live - I haven't watched any previous Live musicals, because I just couldn't. We recorded this one and after reading lots of good things, I sat down and pressed play. Now I fast-forwarded through 90% of the dialogue, but the music and production was excellent. And it was just fun. I haven't watched a musical in my living room in AGES and it was really wonderful to sit and singalong. Every note, every word and every pause and inflection buried deep in my brain. I owned the Grease soundtrack on record and it was my first CD. I'm an old school fan so it was nice to enjoy this one too.
Pepper's birthday - Alena skipped her own and instead held a birthday party for her bunny Pepper. Of course. Behold.
carrot cake, bunny tail cups for our Dr. Peppers, salad bar, "Hoppy Birthday", Pepper in a party hat
Valentine's Day - I've been collecting things from the Target Dollar Spot for a while to send to my nieces and nephews. It's getting more difficult because 14 year olds don't want the same things as a 4 year old. When I was diagnosed two years ago, Simon's first reaction was asking if that meant I wouldn't be sending a Valentine package. I loved that so much. It's coming this year, bud.
Lots of other things - I went to see The Marriage of Figaro (opera) on Saturday night and it was great. Great comedy and crazy to read the lyrics from over 200 years ago and realize that relationships between women and men and women never change. And I realized I knew one of the ariettas only because it's sung in a Jane Austen movie. BBC P&P episode 5 to be exact. When Darcy is looking at her like this:
I've been watching/listening to a lot of Jane Austen lately. Partly because of projects and I like it on in the background, partly because I'm prepping for P&P&Zombies this weekend (!) and partly because it's Valentine's season and I love love.
Hey! Guess what we're going to talk about? Cancer. I know. I know, but this time of year always brings it right to the front of my mind. I log my daily activities on my calendar and 1/21/14 just says "work - crying on the curb". I wasn't allowed to drive because of the fainting and I was waiting for someone to come pick me up from work. I was so fatigued and all I could do was cry, because I had no idea why and I was in pain and no doctors were helping me. That Friday I took matters into my own hands and scheduled a doctor's appointment to force someone to take action.
sidebar: In When Breath Becomes Air, even a neurosurgeon couldn't get his doctor to schedule a CT scan when he had severe back pain and weight loss. She started with an x-ray that showed nothing and delayed his diagnosis by months. THE WORST!!!
A friend texted me the other day to ask what my specific cancer was and it prompted me to google it for any new information. Everything you read on the internet says the same thing - your surgeon is the most important factor in survival rates. The recurrence rates are higher in smaller hospitals that don't see this tumor as often. Let's all just take a moment to say a silent thank you to Gary. In the emails between my boss and the Chair of Surgery this is what he had to say:
"Dr. Gary M8nn who of all of us that deal with this tumor is the most experienced and the most interested and knowledgeable."
Now that Gary is at MD Anderson, it confirms to me that he is one of the best. Also knowing how egotistical surgeons can be, it's so nice to know that he put aside whatever ego he had and called in help to assist with my hepatectomy (liver resection). He wanted to make sure they got everything.
another sidebar: In When Breath Becomes Air, he talks about a whipple procedure and how it's one of the biggest surgeries there is and you will feel like you got hit by a truck afterward. Gary told me my surgery was "as big as they come", but until you hear it from someone totally unrelated to your situation, it's sort of hard to take it seriously.
At my appointment with my oncologist last week, it was surprising (but not) to hear her say that she didn't expect to get to this point - twenty months post surgery and no recurrence. The further away we get, the less likely it is to return. So keep crossing your fingers.
I don't really know what my point is, but sometimes I just want to talk about it. It's all the same information though. Sorry about that. Thanks if you made it this far.
Want to hear the stupidest thing? Last week I tried to pick up three prescriptions for my B12 shot. They would only give me one because it was two days too early for the other two. There has to be 30 days between each refill or insurance won't pay. My doctor's office sent in new prescriptions and when I went to fill it yesterday, they gave me 100 needles and 100 syringes. It was dumb and weird, but the cost was only $17 so I just took it. It was costing me $6/month to get them one at a time. HOW IN THE WORLD DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE?!?!?!