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Thu
17
Jul '14

Trip Report: Whistler With Roxy.

Roxy goes back to college at The Evergreen State College in the fall, and left both of his jobs at the beginning of the summer to have one last fling before academia. With that in mind I’ve booked us three nights in the WorldMark Whistler Creekside – a one-bedroom plus.

Roxy’s bedroom – albeit meant for children:

My bedroom was meant for the adults:

Not a bad view – and this was taken before they came and whacked down some of the closest trees for an even better view:

We got to the place about 3:30 after stops in Squamish at the liquor store for wine and cider, and Nesters for groceries. The room was ready and I think I’ve even had this room before since it’s on the third floor – but that’s the entrance floor. Room was at the end, close to the back door for convenient parking.

Since Roxy is a PescaTerian, it’s fish rather than fowl for dinner – halibut with salsa to be exact, along with a nice salad:

In the morning it is up and out – according to what I have read, the 7th Heaven Express lift has limited hours. A little breakfast and out the door with the first stop be Guest Services to pick up our lift tickets – if you book 5 days in advance, you get a discount (which pretty much pays for the tax) and a second day free –which is a huge discount. Basically it works out to $25 a day for unlimited mountain top rides, but only one time up the mountain. We were in line behind some nice German boys:

What I discovered over the two days on the mountain is that Whistler/Blackcomb is truly an international destination. German, Italian, French, Kiwi, Spanish, you name it.

Our first ride is up the Whistler Gondola:

That takes you to the Roundhouse Lodge where we caught the Peak-to-Peak to get to Blackcomb.

The Peak-to-Peak is the world’s longest gondola run at 1.88 miles. From there we caught the bus to the 7th Heaven Express. So weird to see people waiting in line half in and half out of ski gear – I prefer the half out:

The bus was crowded since the lift had only opened half an hour earlier. Figure half tourists, half ski/snowboard.

Here is a selfie with Roxy on the open-air lift:

A beautiful day to be in the mountains. And from the top, which is 7,494 feet….

And the ski-bowl, which is open until July 27th this year:

Complete with skiers doing aerial tricks:

After hanging around for a bit, it was time for a little snack:

That would be the ham and cheese melt on a big slab of multi-grain bread, a shot of cognac (which hits you like a ton of bricks at that altitude), and my “water bottle” filled with Whiskey and Diet which lasted me all day – got to keep hydrated. As for Roxy – just a can of cider, he’s not much of a mid-day eater.

We caught the bus back down and grabbed the Peak-to-Peak back to Whistler and set off for the summit via a .37 mile hike (elevation change 180 feet) and yet another open-air chair lift. Whistler Summit is 7,807 feet in elevation and needless to say has stunning view.

Just to give you a feel of the ride down – several people have commented….no way in hell!

We decided to take the Solar Express to Blackcomb Base Camp since it looks on the map like it will be closer to the Free Day Lot (Lot Number 4) where we parked. We saw a black bear on the way down, but I didn’t get a good picture of it. For this ride on the Peak-to-Peak, we waited for one of the two glass-bottom cars:

The downside of these cars is that you have to wait for them rather than immediately getting on one of the regular ones, there are not as comfortable (i.e. you can’t put your feet up), and most importantly they are stuffed with other people.

Back at the condo – it’s another fish night, this time was a slab of grilled salmon with grilled eggplant – did I mention the condo had a grill?

A quiet evening for the boys…a little whipped by the altitude.

Up the next day – not as early since we’ve already done the summit with the early closing time – today is all about hiking – yes, I used that word. Granted, we are only doing the “Green” trails, not the “Blue”, and god-forbid, the “Black” trails. But nonetheless, yes, I’m hiking. Here is the hiking trail map.

We did one hike on each of the mountains, coming up the Solar Express from Blackcomb Base Camp in the morning. The first hike was the Spearhead Walk, which was .74 miles long with an elevation change of 55 feet. Twice the trail passed over the downhill run from 7th Heaven:

Lots of great views of the valley between the two mountains on our little hike:

After our first hike of the day, it was back onto the Peak-to-Peak to hit the Alpine Walk on Whistler. This one is .96 miles long with an elevation change of 213 feet. More great views, just no great pictures.

With that hike done it as time for a late lunch at Christine’s back on Blackcomb – onto the Peak-to-Peak we go….Christine’s is the fancy sit-down restaurant and I thought we should treat ourselves. It’s also a great way to avoid parents with children. My expectation was OK food and that you are really paying for the view….but first… cocktails:

Manhattan for me, Blueberry Margarita for Roxy. As for lunch, Roxy had the hot ahi tuna sandwich with arugula and black truffle aioli and I went for the pound of steamed mussels:

We shared bits and both were EXCELLENT – one of the best meals that I’ve had in YEARS. The bill? $88 CAN not including tax for the two entrees and three drinks. Any yes, the view was STUNNING as well:

It was after 4 by the time we were done with lunch, and time to head back down the hill.

Today there were four black bears out foraging for huckleberries – and I got a nice little video of one of them:

On the way back, we stopped at the new grocery store (Creekside Market) in Creekside Village where the condo it. I hadn’t been to this one, it’s only been open since the Winter Olympics in 2010 where Creekside was at the bottom of the downhill run.

We found a great selection of sausages – salmon sausages for Roxy, lamb for me.

Well after dinner, Roxy found some playmates down the hill – and me, I had another drink and went to bed.

Off before 11 in the morning as I have to been Susan at the Costco in Burlington to pick up some more bindery equipment that she is getting rid of – that after an easing short line at Customs after our trip to Duty Free (2 liters of Dark Rum for Dark and Stormy’ s since I still have some of the Reeds Ginger Brew). Roxy still needs to apply for Nexus so that when we go to Cabo San Lucas in September that he has Global Entry.

Both of us got a ton of sun on this trip…. 5 hours with the top down on the way up, 5-7 hours each day on the mountain, another 5 on the way home.

It was nice to switch off driving on the way home. Speaking of home, got there at 4pm after dropping Roxy off at his place in the old brewery.

And my next house guest was patiently waiting for me – he’d arrived yesterday. Luckily I have a lock box with a key in it for such emergencies.

[? ? ?]

 

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Sun
14
Sep '14

Trip Report: Cabo San Lucas With Roxy

This post will mostly be pictures, since I didn’t really do anything other than lay around on the outdoor couch. A place that is so comfortable (after 3PM when it’s in the shade) that I’m going to post the picture again:

Now all I need is a houseboy…alas, Roxy isn’t that type of boy.

Speaking of Roxy, he was out playing when I arrived at the resort so I was all by myself for the “owner/new owner/upgrade” reception at Baja Brewing on the roof of the building next door to ours in the complex.

Alas, I didn’t win any of the prizes….so it was back to the condo with its wonderful view:

And the condo isn’t too bad either…

Sorry, forgot to take pictures of the bathroom which had a walk-in shower for four people, including a nice bench.

Roxy finally arrived, with a boy in tow (a theme that was to develop during the week)…

I shouldn’t say boy as Carlos is 28 (Roxy will turn 31 on Friday, the day I leave). We ordered room service for dinner my first night.

Tuesday at noon it was off for the “owner update” for $60USD in restaurant vouchers. Had I known Roxy was going to tag along (for the free lunch and drinks) I would have had him listed on the presentation and we would have scored $160USD. Add this to the $100 in restaurant credit I got for paying my dues early, and that should make a dent in our food expenses (and whiskey expenses were trimmed at Duty Free).

We got a buffet lunch (value $18USD according to them) with a decent Margarita at the restaurant while we went over the preliminaries, then it was on to the real “sales pitch” and several more margaritas….

I’ve never seen someone put salt on the rim of a Styrofoam cup – but they were like 16 oz. Margaritas… I got through another 1.5 and took the rest back to the room after they finally realized they weren’t getting any money out of me…when you only paid $1USD plus a $100USD transfer fee (THANKS COLONELS!) they’d have to set the bar REALLY low to get me to pony up. That and I’m pondering if I want to keep it at all, preferring the WorldMark Cabo San Lucas for its full kitchens and closeness to the Mega Mart just up the road (and walkability to old Cabo – San José del Cabos).

Not that the scenery by the pool is lacking at Cabo Villas:

I can only imagine what a zoo this place is at Spring Break (when Linda, Peter and daughter Claire are coming next spring)…

With all the restaurant credits at Baja Brewing, we took many meals on the rooftop, including this lunch one of the days.

Enjoying a couple of Bourbon and Gingers on the roof while waiting for our food.

Champagne corn chowder with bits of catch-of-the-day, and Roxy’s grilled catch-of-the-day salad:

Ack! The view is so boring!

If you wanted water-based activities, there are certainly lots to choose from:

Jet ski rentals, glass bottom boats, parasailing, dinner cruises:

Including one on a “pirate” boat:

Though I’m a little unsure about the name of the boat…yes, that would be the Buccaneer Queen:

Though, my former Tall Ship Captain buddy, Bebbe-Center, recommends you check out the “Sunderland” which moored at the marina in the center of town but sank in 2013, was refloated but not allowed out of the harbor for dry dock repairs so it was broken apart to be used for educational exhibits…sigh.

Or, you can just experience the sunset:

A truly lazy week laying around until you are hungry, go to one of the restaurants on the property, use the 10-15% off card, or order in (and transfer it from the Styrofoam to real plates), then go back to relaxing.

Finished up all the New Yorkers that I brought, killed another paperback (that wasn’t even worth coming home with – Night Watch, by Alistar Maclean), leaving the hardback for the trip home.

Whilst I was lounging about, Roxy was working the local scene like a pirate plundering booty…of 9 meet-ups arranged, 8 showed up and he ended up plundering booty from 7 out of the 8, and one came back for an additional plundering, another for three. Made me tired just watching the effort involved. But I guess when you return to college in a week after a seven year absence you need to all your oats in the ground before fall. One more metaphor and even I might puke.

My last night (Roxy stays another night) he didn’t get home until 2:30AM – good thing I’m not his mother (or father).

That said, we both had a great time doing the things we love. Maybe I should sell the timeshare to Roxy and go back to staying at the WorldMark – just a thought.

Back in the air tomorrow. Now to figure out how to get to the airport.

[222.4]

Mon
12
Sep '16

Trip Report: Round Two At Whistler With Roxy

In July Roxy and I purchased season passes to Whistlers Peak-2-Peak Gondola – this would be the second year for us doing this, my third year running for going to Whistler a couple of times a summer:

Interesting that they just pulled last year’s picture off the server – so If I go next year, the same picture.

So, the pass is $40 USD for the day, or $58 for the season (Mid-May to Mid-September) plus taxes/fees. Roxy and I were trying to get the most value out of our season pass so we came back up to get the most bang for our bucks. I think we are down to less than $1 per ride.

But first, we have to get there, and I’ve booked us into a Studio Unit at the WorldMark Birch Bay:

A word to the wise – avoid the Studio Units, though I hear the handicapped units have a better configuration – this is with the bed lowered:

Yep – really easy to get to the bathroom or kitchen from the couch.

I declined the “owner update” in favor of sleeping in – and we were actually out of the place around 10:30, and 20 minutes later (after Duty Free), this:

Now if Roxy would get a Nexus Card – though in all honesty, the lines at the borders weren’t bad in either direction.

Here is a shot on the Sea To Sky Highway which skirts Howe Sound:

And a VERY disturbing selfie of Roxy:

We got to the WorldMark Cascade Lodge in Whistler a little after 1pm, expecting to not be able to check in until 4pm. Surprise!

The sort of original plan was to go up the mountain while we waited to check in…we got lazy, we went out for a snack instead – we split a Charbroiled Kobe Beef Burger at The Beacon Pub. You can just barely catch the rim of my Manhattan ($11.95 CAD) – nicely made from Bullitt Rye (which seems to be the “house rye” in Whistler), Cinzano Vermouth, Orange Bitters, and THREE Luxardo cherries!

And I’m a dipping sauce kinda guy, which is why we got the “Royal” sauce on the side, and I order a little tartar sauce as well. Roxy is NOT a sauce kinda guy.

And it was a little gray and drizzly out:

After that “snack” dinner was late – post 9PM. Pork loin and roasted potatoes and a salad:

Lots of left overs to go with the eggs in the morning!

We actually were out of the condo before noon and headed for the mountain!

Overcast and drizzly, but not bad at the top:

Even with the overcast we are up to our usual hijinks on the gondola:

Yep – reading – Roxy is still working on the same book from our last trip. Back and forth we go until we work up an appetite for a late lunch at Christine’s On Blackcomb – our guilty, expensive, pleasure. The view is a little socked in, but you can see the lake in the valley:

Went with the “house” Manhattan which was Crown Royal ($14 CAD) – good, not as good as yesterdays.

Roxy went for the Vietnamese Pork Burger (I had a taste – YUM!):

I went for the lighter Scallop Ceviché:

A most interesting presentation – but damn tasty.

Time to go back and forth, and forth before heading back down to the village:

Dinner was rib eye steaks…oddly, no pictures. Just an evening in watching TV and surfing the web.

Turns out the next day on the mountain was even worse, weather wise – more time for reading!

On the upside – less people, no line to get the photograph on the rings:

Or to disturb the wildlife – like this black bear (the only black bears in British Columbia populate Whistler/Blackcomb):

Or the Hoary Marmot:

Popped into the theatre (first time in my three years of going to Whistler) for a 15-minute video which I wish had more about the building of the gondola….

But soon it was time to go back to Christine’s – this time splitting an entree so we don’t ruin dinner. And a Manhattan with the Bullitt Rye (same price as the Crown Royal – wish I’d known!):

That would be the Frittata – a second breakfast!

We ran into the General Manager of Nester’s Liquor Store on the Gondola – turns out there is a trade wine tasting in another part of the restaurant this afternoon – I could have made it a “work” trip!

Maybe we should have ordered from the Kid’s Menu – they have a HOT DOG!

I’m a little surprise to see both Salmon and Falafel on the Kid’s Menu – those crazy Canadians.

Yep – more reading in the drippy weather before we finally bail on the mountain:

Did I mention that there is EXCELLENT 4G LTE service on the mountain – and Wi-Fi at both mountain tops.

Met lots of fun people just going round and round on the gondola – who thought we were “odd”, especially the Australian ladies.

Back in the condo, it’s time for a cocktail and dinner… not the fanciest, but I had sausage on the mind.

We were actually on the road at 9:30 in the morning – yes, ME. And the weather cleared up at bit for the drive home:

Another adventure down – more to come.

[214.01]

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Fri
29
Jul '16

Trip Report: Whistler With Roxy

In what has become an annual tradition for the last three years, Roxy and I are once again off to Whistler for some “hiking”.

Top down the whole way, with a few sprinkles – overcast mostly.

Condo was ready for us when we arrived a little after 4pm – not a bad place. It’s a one-bedroom so Roxy is on the fold-out couch:

First stop is the IGA for a bird and supplies:

Just like my trip to Puerto Vallarta a couple of weeks ago, it’s going to be a chicken week, made easier by the fact that Roxy is enthusiast about food.

The next morning up and on the road – but with a wake-up selfie for a friend just back from Europe:

A bit out of focus, but that’s Roxy’s fold-out couch/bed.

We were SLOW getting out of the condo, it was after noon when we picked up our Peak2Peak Season passes… what was overcast yesterday was cloudy and drippy on the mountain….this is on the first gondola:

Which turned into this on the Peak2Peak….

For us, having skipped breakfast (for sleeping in until 11am) we headed directly to Christines for lunch – it was closed for renovations last summer, but it was a favorite our first year:

Roxy had the Salmon…

I had the Blackened Ahi…

Sorry that both shots were after we’d “tucked in” as the Brits would say.

This should give you an idea of the weather on our first two days on the mountain:

But there was a “cool” display of a “faux” GMC Denali gondola:

After last night’s dinner, I’d stripped the chicken and Roxy made us Chicken/Ciabatta/SweetOnionDressing sandwiches for our mountain adventure – tasty they were:

I also boiled down the bones and made stock for chicken/vegetable/noodle soup – with is tonight’s meal:

Got to get your money out of that chicken!

Even made it to the hot tub for a soak post dinner after our “grueling” day of “hiking”:

Day Three in Whistler required a room change – down the hall in the Handicapped Unit – couldn’t find four days together in one unit, so that meant packing everything up, leaving it on a trolley, bagging the stuff in the fridge, and having it magically appear in our new unit.

But, again, the mountain was socked in…

This day, we were wise enough to bring books along, spending many revolutions in the Peak2Peak Gondola, not bothering to get off – just introducing ourselves to new riders with each turn.

More chicken noodle soup for dinner – the staff kindly moved it pot and all, replacing the missing pot from our new kitchen.

And oh what a difference a day makes when the sun comes out! Lines everywhere…

No more round-and-around for us. People everywhere because of the break in the weather…

And the first hike we do – it’s a Black Diamond trail to the Peak Express. Remember, I’m the guy that only does the Green Diamond Trails. That would be the lift down in the valley – bad for my knees on the way down, bad for my breathing on the way up:

Said “Black Diamond” trail:

On the walk I saw this gentleman doing a watercolor on the path – reminded me of my brother-in-law on hikes:

That would be a snow making lagoon on the upper right.

As you can see from the video below, there is a reason we didn’t take this lift Tuesday or Wednesday in the bad weather – they are open chairs!

But it sure is pretty at the top!

The way DOWN is actually a little more breathtaking – though I didn’t get the camera turned on in time to see the sudden “over the cliff” launch – but as luck would have it, that’s right where the lift stopped.

I had a hankering for a hot dog – apparently not easy to find when they don’t have their outdoor grill going – unless you are a whole suckling pig!

Guessing that’s for the pulled pork poutine (which I had last year). I had to settle for the Children’s Combo which had a VERY SAD hot dog, fries, and three sides (yoghurt, fruit strips, fruit cups, etc.). That said, it was $10 CAD, minus 10% because we are pass holders, bringing it to $9 CAN, and with the exchange with $1 USD equal to $1.30 CAD, it was a cheap lunch in an expensive place:

Alas – lunch at Christines is a once-a-trip treat (we spent $110 CAD on lunch Tuesday for the two of us).

The trip is coming to the end, so, a little more reading, hanging out on lifts, but no more hiking:

And from our final ride down the mountain:

Before you know it, we are one the road headed home – actually got out of the condo by 9AM! Don’t we look relaxed on the road?

The border was maybe 20 minutes because I spent five minutes buying duty-free rye, cutting off another 10 minutes of traffic – would have been quicker, but Roxy doesn’t have a Nexus card – but not bad. We made it home after getting stuck in Seattle traffic by 3:30 or so… plenty of time to cook dinner for our mutual friend, Mr. Whippet!

Pardon the stacks of wine boxes – got 10 cases of “Buck-A-Bottle” for upcycling.

All-in-all, a fun trip. Going back early September since I have a season-long pass – and there is “room at the inn”.

[214.8]

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Sat
13
Jul '13

Open The Shop, Close The Day With Roxy For Dinner.

Well, dinner WITH Roxy, not a dinner of Roxy, though as a vegetarian I assume he’d taste quite nice.

Odd day at the shop, can’t wait to see the final numbers tomorrow. Was out of there a little after 4 to pick up the car-less Roxy. Actually, he has a car but his father transferred the registration into his name when mom/wife died… an illegal transfer since it was in the will to go to Roxy. Time to unleash the legal hounds.

So, someone dropped off a sample of a cinnamon flavored whiskey sort of like hot damn at the shop. Jim saved it for me being disgusted at the concept of adulterated whiskey. As for me, I figured out a cocktail of:

  • 1 part Cinnamon Whiskey
  • 1 part Perucchi Rosso Vermouth
  • 1 part Ginger Ale
  • 1 whiskey marinated Bing cherry

As for dinner, an Ahi Tuna Steak for Roxy, and a Strip Steak (beef) for me, plus some small round crab cakes, a big salad, and, of course, for the carb hound, fresh baked bread.

A lovely evening – but didn’t get any packing for tomorrow’s trip accomplished.

There is always tomorrow night.

[205.0]

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Mon
20
Jan '14

Victoria Bound With Roxy In Tow.

This week’s midweek trip is to lovely Victoria BC with Roxy who spent the night so that there was one less stop to make in the morning.

Up at 5:30am, out of the house at 6:30am, checked into the ferry at 7:00am – only to find the waiting room packed with Canuck hung-over Seahawks fans in blazing Seahawks gear – boy was in a quite ride to BC.

Mimosas at 8am while still at the dock in Seattle.

Nap at 9am on the boat. Photo courtesy of Roxy:

Taken, he says in response to the picture I took of him last night crashed on the chez lounge.

As expected our rooms weren’t ready – it was 11am after all and check-in is at 4pm. So off to the Blue Crab located at the Coast Hotel next door, armed with a 15% off coupon… which I forgot to use. Damn. C couple of good pictures from lunch…

Roxy reading (GREAT picture of him)….

It seems the Monday drink special with $3.99 CAN for a highball… which is VERY CHEAP for Canadaland – bring them on.

And our lovely lunch…

Roxy had the seafood sandwich – lox, shrimp, avocado, tomato, greens, I went for the diet busting fish and chips – the single piece version… but it was one big piece of fish – and I was patient enough to wait to eat the fish until it cooled down. It’s as bad as pizza just out of the oven.

For our amusement there was a team of police scuba guys going through trailing – complete with a really wet RusaAnnie….

After lunch it was off shopping as I’m cooking for seven tonight:

  • CrowDog
  • RobinHood
  • Roxy
  • Me
  • Royce
  • Kyle
  • Elliot

On the menu is a surf and turf – turns out Tyler is a vegetarian, luckily there are lots of non-surf and turf items for him:

  • Pupu platter of cheese, crackers, smoked oysters, hummus
  • Mixed greens with baby carrots and mushrooms with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing
  • Maui style marinated boneless ribs
  • A kilo of salmon
  • Dessert courtesy of CrowDog and RobinHood (who also brought me 222’s, a Canadian aspirin, caffeine, codeine mix)

A wild meal with some of us hottubbing after dinner.

Final damage in the booze department:

  • 40 oz. of Bacardi Rum
  • 13 cans of Diet Ginger Ale as mixer
  • ½ a liter of Maker’s Mark
  • Almost 2 bottles of wine

For seven people – boy those Canucks can suck down the duty-free booze.

All and all, a wonderful evening with old friends and new friends. Was having too much fun to actually get any pictures. Sorry all.

[207.2]

 

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Tue
16
Apr '13

Dinner With Roxy And Brandon.

Worked the usual 10-2:30 shift at the print shop.

Ran some errands and came home to prepare for dinner with Roxy and Brandon.

The funny thing is that I met Brandon through Roxy, but Rox doesn’t know he’s coming to dinner since he moved 45 minutes away to lovely (kidding) Spanaway. Brandon’s spending the night and will cut the lawn tomorrow to earn some bucks. Not only is he stuck in the middle of nowhere three miles from the closest bus, he’s out of work and doesn’t have a car. Not good. Luckily he has a saint for a sister.

Dinner tonight is a rack of pork ribs for Brandon and I – and cod for Roxy.

Way too much fun. Roxy didn’t get out of here until midnight which will be rough since he gets up at 3am for his other full time job (other than being my boss at the print shop).

[206.8]

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Thu
10
Oct '13

Breakfast in Hong Kong

Lunch At 35,000 Feet

Dinner In Seattle With Roxy.

Up at 6 (me) and down in the dining room when they opened. One big buffet is what’s on offer:

Everything from western-style omelets to miso soup and sushi, or a green salad, or baked beans for the Brits.

TokyoDave all bright eyed and chipper:

A little after 7 we set out to find the bus stop for the cheap (under $2 US) city bus to the airport – beats the $40US cab ride – but don’t expect a seat half way through their pickups:

Lots of people standing. And my favorite highway sign that I failed to get a picture of on my last trip:

Both Hong Kong Disney and the airport (and the giant Buddha) are on Lantau Island.

Settled in on the plane next to a tiny Chinese woman, I have my reading stand all set up for the trip:

That should take me though the end of the first meal service when I wash down an Ambien with a glass of wine.

Flights on time or early – and had the luxury of having my SFO-SEA flight depart from the International Terminal which gave me a little more time in the lounge between flights. I have to say I love the speed and ease of Global Entry – it takes longer to walk there than it does to get through Immigration and Customs.

Got back to the house a little before 2pm – plenty of time to bake some bread for my dinner with Roxy tonight. The menu:

  • Ceviché Gazpacho
  • Salad
  • Fresh Baked Rosemary Challah
  • Grilled Salmon

The plan was to east a little earlier at 6pm since Roxy goes to work at 4am. We succeeded in getting the dinner over, but then Roxy’s new boytoy showed up for after dinner drinks:

It turned into a whiskey sampling. I pity Roxy tomorrow – they didn’t get out of the house until 10:30!

[209.6] but that was mid-afternoon.

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Lunch At 35,000 Feet

Dinner In Seattle With Roxy.

Sat
30
Nov '13

Work & Dinner With Roxy.

Standard day at the office (aka wine shop)—today we were tasting (1) Champagne (1) White from the Loire, and (3) Bordeaux. Didn’t sell as many as we’d hoped, maybe it was because lots of people were picking up their wine club shipments.

Was going to pick up Roxy on the way home, but a quick call diverted me downtown to pick him up at 3rd and Pike.

Salmon stuff with lobster and crab is tonight’s entrée – with a large salad as well. And the bread – Roxy loves his bread (or should I say, “my bread”):

When all that was done and we started another run through the still – the second to the last as I will be out of “feed stock” soon.

Meanwhile, progress on the new rolling bar has come to a halt:

It’s getting there but is going to need many more hours, which I don’t seem to have.

Sigh.

[205.2]

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Sat
30
Aug '14

Trip Report: Rainier With Roxy.

I was feeling the need for one more road trip with Roxy – and actually pulled it off. He wanted to go hiking on Rainier with our Park Ranger buddy Sierra. An overnight hike isn’t my cup of tea – but at least I got him up there. Sierra will run him back down the hill to Enumclaw afterwards and he can catch the bus home.

On the road again…

The entrance to Rainier National Park…

The Visitor’s Center at Sunrise in Rainier National Park…

And our buddy Ranger Sierra…

I didn’t know that having a personal invitation from a Ranger would get you in the park free – there’s a $15 savings!

Ranger Sierra actually lives in the building to the left of the visitor’s center photo:

Yep, his bedroom window looks out on Mount Rainier. And here is the common room. Glad to see the Rangers drink beer:

Ranger Sierra was leading the 3PM walk – he switched from the 1PM so we could do it, not realizing I had to leave at 3. As it turned out later, I made phenomenal time getting back to Seattle and probably could have made the walk and still make my 7:30 appointment with a house appraiser. Here he is in a park poster:

Since I was going to miss it, Roxy and I set out on one of the easy trails…yes, I’m hiking AGAIN.

Here are some of the better shots from our outing:

And finally the one that was taken by a German Tourist of the three of us, just before I left to head back to Seattle:

What a fun way to spend the day.

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Mon
1
Apr '13

Monday In The Print Shop With Roxy.

I think I know the owner’s motivation – another full day of training in how to run the print shop. Personally, with the half-hour crossover between our shifts, I get how this works, and if I don’t, it still goes out that day because pickup is at 4pm.

The way Roxy deals with this is “its work hours, I’ll as many as they give me, it’s all over in mid-June”. This from the guy who is working a 40 hour week at Nordstroms as well as this 25 hour a week gig.

Worked until 6, then it was back home for a quick cocktail before heading off to dinner at The Brooklyn downtown. The boys (CouchSurfers) wanted a truly Seattle meal and were willing to drop bucks on it.

We all started with the oyster samplers:

  • I went for Vodka Sampler (4 ½ ounce shots of different vodkas, four different oysters)
  • Aaron went for the White Wine and Oysters (same combo pattern)
  • Johnnie went for the MicroBrew and Oyster sampler

Four different oysters, four different vodka/beer/white wines.

  • For dinner, I had the duck entrée
  • Johnnie had the Goat Cheese Pockets (Pockets my expression, they had some Italian name for it)
  • Aaron had a cup of the chowder and the foie gras over scallop

Bottle of Writer’s Block for dinner – it’s Jed Steele’s son’s label if I remember correctly from my time in Lake County north of Napa and Sonoma.

And then it was time for dessert. Poached Asian Pear with mascarpone:

With no Grappa Sampler anymore, I had (another) Manhattan, with the Bullet Rye I believe (or some local rye):

The boys split the Port Sampler (I think that makes FOUR samplers for the night!):

We lingered so long at the restaurant that the bartender had the key to my car – avoided a $9 valet charge! But with a two-seater, the boys took the bus back to the house – and got there 15 minutes after I did – shocking! They hit the bus stop downtown the same time the bus showed up. No traffic at 9+ at night.

Stayed up (again) too late – must work in the morning.

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Fri
19
Jun '15

Trip Report: Whistler, BC, Round One

This spring seems to be the spring of repeated trips…three trips to Hawaii, and now two trips to Whistler. That’s what happens when you buy a season Peak-2-Peak pass early because it comes with a $10 Gift Card for food/stuff on the mountain.

Yes, Mark Stephen Souder bought a summer long pass to go “hiking” in a resort 5 hours from Seattle. Well, it was cheaper than two single day passes. And with all the trips that Roxy an I took on this trip we got it down to less than $5 per Gondola ride – and with the summer pass I can come down to the village for a decent cocktail for a late lunch since Christine’s on Blackcomb is closed for renovation this summer.

Bur first, Roxy and I have to get there….

I sort of like this “road shot”. Cheap (far right), medium cheap (me, in the center), and really expensive (left). That would be the Audi R8, $120,000 MRSP.

It’s basically 5+ hours from Seattle to Whistler with small stops – found a new thing I want to check out a new place I saw a sign for…Railway Heritage Park in Squamish. Up the road from the Britannia Mine Museum – which I’ve done and would do again.

But no stops for us other than gas (south of the border), duty free, the border itself, and then into the condo.

This is what it looks like after we are settled into the condo – granted, this was the morning after a lovely fish dinner (fried breaded sole) after we arrived:

.

And here is a sketch that Roxy did of me that morning….

We have three nights here, and full day one (Tuesday) is spent just exploring the Village and hanging out. Like picking up our left ticket (Roxy) and my season pass (Me) for tomorrow. Want to rent a car:

$500 a day. We decide lunch in the village was a better choice, and cheaper, though not by much:

Tonight’s dinner was broiled Halibut and salad – we are both watching our weight. Not sure WHY I have no pictures of any of the food on this trip.

In the morning we are up in the air on the Gondolas, one three running at the moment – Fitzsimmons for the Mountain Bikers (cute), and the Whistler Gondola – and, of course, the Peak-2-Peak.

That is actually a winter map…the summer trail map is here – the former, better at giving you topology, the later, more realistic for our summer hiking…

Except that ALL the hiking trail are closed for snow, and there is no skiing even on the 7th Heaven Run, which was running until mid-July last year, so Roxy and I just go back and forth on the Peak-2-Peak (5 round trips).

The Peak-2-Peak is really pretty amazing…..

And here is a quickie video….

Even with the trails not open, it is still a stunning view….

On the Blackcomb side, Woz from New Zealand remarks about how many times he has seen up today…got to get that $50 ticket to under $5 a ride!

There is food on the mountain – even if Christine’s on Blackcomb, home of stunning mussels and amazing Manhattan’s is closed for the season for remodeling – it’s Pulled Pork Poutine and Merlot for me!

Roxy had the Quinoa Vegie Burger (and thankfully shared my fries):

Even without the table service and good cocktails, the view was stunning….

But after a few runs across the mountains you start getting silly…..

Who travels with a Santa Hat – someone who wants a Christmas Card Photo in the snow…

Was horizontal, now vertical, eyes closed, might use the one on the gondola….Roxy, on the other hand decided to do Yoga on the Peak-2-Peak. Just FYI, we usually waited to have a car to ourselves (email me for the OTHER pictures:

Since Roxy is into Environmental and Business stuff at The Evergreen State College, when we saw this right under the Peak-2-Peak Gondola, it required research….

The whole story is here: http://blog.whistlermuseum.org/tag/cheakamus-dam/

And the diagram of how it works is…

Geeks in the woods. Eating fish every night. And not even sitting by the pool.

Left Thursday morning around 10, or was it 11. Swung through Duty Free which probably saved us 15-20 minutes wait since Roxy doesn’t have a Nexus card (gets you through the border in the equivalent of the HOV lane) – and I needed Rye Whiskey ($34 after 10% discount for being a Nexus member, take another 20% off for the exchange rate for two 1.14 liter bottles).

Home late afternoon after getting stuck in an hour delay getting through Seattle. After all the fish for the last three days – it was a steak for dinner:

Now I just need some red wine – Roxy isn’t drinking so no wine with dinner for the last three days. Very uncivilized.

But I’m home and back to the non-wine-cellar…

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Sat
23
Mar '13

Scholarship Time,

After Shop Time.

Opened the shop today, and it was dead until 1pm, so basically two hours of quiet time, then, by 1:30 when Jim showed up, $450 in sales. The “whale” showed up – he tends to by his wine by the case and half-case from the Saturday tastings and then picks them up the next week. We love our whale – wish he’d find a pod to bring in.

Left Jim running the shop after the tasting and headed home for dinner with Roxy – my soon to be boss.

Tonight’s activity before and after dinner is to read the scholarship applications that arrived on Friday. I did my reading last night so I’ll be cooking while he’s reading. Apparently, reading scholarship applications and awarding money based on those application is on Roxy’s “Bucket List”. I mean, I like doing it, but not sure I’d consider it a bucket list item. Apparently in his job interview at Nordstrom he said is eventual goal in the Corporation was to end up in their philanthropic wing.

And he’s pretty good at it – he caught two applicants that shared exact wording between their two applications:

Both were in their cover letters. Not knowing who filched from whom, we disqualified both of them – but even my initial rating of the papers, they were at the bottom of the rankings.

Since Roxy is a pescatarian, it was a fish meal – guess I should have had him over yesterday since aren’t we in Lent?

An amazing after-dinner conversation about the direction of the company that we both now work for (well, for me, starting Monday). Seems the owners want to divest themselves of the company and Roxy thinks it should be turned into a Foundation like the Newman Foundation, with the profits of the business going for scholarships at the various schools we service which would make a GREAT marketing pitch tool to get other schools to join in. Roxy on the operations end, me on the sales/management end, the original owners on the board of the foundation. I guess I know how my next seveal months are going to be filled – working on a business plan.

To bed too late as usual – must start retraining body to be out of the house by 9:15am.

[209.6]

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After Shop Time.

Thu
24
Apr '14

Trip Report: Redmond, Oregon

On the road with Xander and Roxy – headed for Redmond, Oregon for a couple of nights in a 3-bedroom “chalet” complete with BBQ grill and hot tub – the only way to stay. We will be meeting Julian and Megan who are coming from Portland to celebrate Julian’s last week in Portland before a week in New Mexico and then flying off to JapanLand for at least a year of teaching English as a Second Language.

Here is a great selfie from the road:

How nice to not have to drive the 6 hours in each direction – and unusual situation. And a pleasant one.

I forgot to plug in Burgerville into my GPS so we were out of range by the time hunger struck. But we did stumble across a gem:

That would be the Barlow Trail Roadhouse on Highway 26 in Welches, Oregon. To hell with the diet – I’m having the Biscuits and Gravy (1/2 order) and a Manhattan.

Xander went for the Miners’ Meat Lovers Omelet with mashed potatoes (from scratch) and gravy instead of the breakfast potatoes:

And Roxy went for the Stomping Mountain Toast which is Texas toast dipped in pancake batter, rolled in oats and sugar frosted flakes and then deep fried.

Talk about RICH – hello coronary.

It was 4:30 by the time we got to Eagle Crest, a WorldMark resort. They did a slooooow check-in which meant that the unit wasn’t quite ready for us…not a good sign. But it was BIG:

Julian and Megan didn’t get there until almost 7 so dinner was a little later than usual… Salmon with a Ginger Wasabi Glaze for Rosy the Pescaterian, and little lamb t-bones for the meat eaters:

For our only full day, off to Smith Rock we went – no, not my idea. Really, hiking? Me? I did actually manage to get down to the river and back, but I passed on the longer route the rest of the folk took.

Needless to say, this place it set up for hiking…and rock climbing:

Man I love my 18x zoom lenses. Since I headed one way (on a shorter trail) and the kids took the longer route – I moved the car to pick them up at the other parking lot.

Tonight’s dinner is a brazil-nut encrusted rock fish for Roxy with a spicy wasabi drizzle, and a couple of racks of pork ribs for the carnivores… It’s really nice to have Julian in the crowd – he’s a great cook and takes most of the load off me.

The breakfasts were rosemary challah French toast with South Park Blackberry Syrup (yes, I ate the carbs) with sausages, and the final breakfast was a eggs scramble with a side of bacon for everyone except for Roxy – no cheese, no bacon.

Check-out time is noon, and waiting for a load of dishes to get done put up right at that mark… back on the road again, this time with stops in Portland to drop off a book, and then to finally get to a Burgerville for my fix:

Yes, that is a Pepper Bacon Tillamook Cheeseburger with a glass of Merlot. Be warned – this might be the only Burgerville that serves beer and wine.

Got back home around 7 with Xander and Roxy staying for a couple of drinks to wind down from the road trip.

Guess it’s time to plan some more travel….

[213.0]

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Wed
5
Oct '16

Trip Report: Birthday Ramble 2016, Part One – Cabo San Lucas

The annual tradition continues – the multiple week Birthday Ramble. This year week one is in Cabo San Lucas. Total of three of us.

Salamander and I are travelling together with Roxy taking an earlier flight, but arriving in Cabo at the same time. Roxy misses out on The Board Room with his earlier flight, but with the size of Salamander’s machine-made pancake, maybe he isn’t missing anything:

That’s a lot of butter for that mini-pancake.

UncleMarkie’s breakfast on the other hand…(with Salamander’s in the background):

I got us upgrades on the way down, so we are comfortably in 1A (Salamander) and 1C (UncleMarkie):

And it doesn’t take Salamander long to look like this:

Maybe it was the cocktail – but he did wake up for breakfast number two:

A little too much starch and sugar in the encrusted waffle (maybe I shouldn’t have applied the corn syrup packet), but tasty.

Turns out we have a stop in San Diego, where there is no duty free shopping – good thing I put a “handle” of Evan Williams in my checked bag!

Back on the plane after the security pass – I had to snap this pic just before the door closed. Had we been in the back we would have had a TON of seats to ourselves:

And soon it was time for lunch…

Ah, the joys of travelling up front!

Roxy met us after immigration (quick) at baggage claim – he’s flying with just carry on, and we are out the front to find our driver – and before you know it, on the road with a pretty full van of other people headed to Coral Baja:

After a hellishly long check in process (made better my free watered down margaritas) we are off to the 3-bedroom penthouse, our home for the next two nights:

And then, there is the view… this doesn’t suck!

Dinner night one was room service from the on-site restaurant – we were all beat up from the early morning.

Did I mention that we had our own private hot tub…

And that you can order a full moon from room service?

The night hot tub view!

Terrible admission – there were no groceries in the unit so we headed out to the former MegaMart, now a LaComer after the hurricane a couple of years ago – but I was hungry – hungry for hot red head!

But shop we did…

Mixers, booze, refrigerator (we passed on that), eggs, fresh tortillas…. And next to the sex shop next to the market, a wine shop!

I did stop in, but I’m running with a cocktail crowd this week.

Hopefully we won’t end up like El Gordo (the fat one), who died between the store and the condo:

To be honest, it was 90+ degrees out and we had the A/C cranked, and were mostly running around in robes. Me, I have my Bernie doo on.

I’d been hoping to find the TackyT-ShirtPrincess a shirt from the market on the highway outside the condo:

This place used to have a ton of stuff – a deli, fresh pico de gaia, the works, since the hurricane, it’s now lame, though I did buy some Mexican Brandy the last night of the trip as we’d exhausted all booze in the condo. I was hoping to find a t-shirt in a women’s medium for her to match the one I bought years ago and had to dig up and take a photo of:

Alas – nothing close to it, and the shirts they had were $20USD. Sigh.

After two nights, we “downgraded” to the 2-bedroom penthouse, which I found larger and I loved the rooftop hot tub and tanning deck area – see what you think.

And then the spiral stairs to our private roof top deck:

If you want the walking tour of the place, here it is:

Did I mention the brand new looks like never used BBQ?

And we used it!

Rib eyes and onions on the grill!

And now just some random photos of how we spent our week doing nothing, I say NOTHING:

OK – we did a little more than lay around! There is drinking and tanning to do.

Why leave to penthouse when you can watch them releasing baby sea turtles into the high surf:

And eavesdropping on a wedding!

And there was eating as well….pupu platter…

Scratch-made chicken tortilla soup:

And because you need things you didn’t bring, you improvise. Hot chili sauce made from four packets of ketchup from the first nights room service, combined with the red chili flakes and some garlic powder in the spice rack:

Need breading for fried fish? Crunch up the crackers that came with my octopus ceviché afternoon snack (yes, we did eat out twice in the week):

Crumble those crackers! And no, we aren’t talking about the upcoming election.

Whip an egg, batter the fish, and fry!

I could blame it on the heat, but we didn’t do ANYTHING tourist related. No walk into San José del Cabo, no bus ride to check out Cabo San Lucas, we only did grocery store runs for more supplies – and in the end we were taking the cab (100 pesos, basically $5 USD each way) to the store.

I barely finished a book, Roxy only got one more chapter done in the book he started when we were at Whistler two summers ago. Yep, slugs.

Sunday we headed home on different shuttles – Salamander and I early, Roxy later.

Did spot the cool American Airlines Piedmont Airlines livery at the Cabo San Lucas airport – sorry the shot isn’t better:

Salamander and I managed (after a Wi-Fi call to the US – got to LOVE T-Mobile!) to get upgraded to First on the Cabo to Los Angeles leg, which included a chicken (never found it) and rice lunch:

No upgrade on the LAX-SEA leg, but we had lounge access for more free food and drink:

And before we knew it, Salamander had his bag and headed for Light Rail, I was waiting to see if my hard-side came out on the regular belt or the “oversize” (because it looks like an OtterCase filled with expensive equipment).

Stay tuned for Part Two of the Birthday Ramble, but first I have to work a couple of days.

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Tue
16
Sep '14

Trip Report: Cabo Postscript.

When Roxy flew into Cabo San Lucas International Airport….

His plane took a more westerly approach to dodge Hurricane Norbert so he could land on Saturday afternoon. Friday afternoon and Saturday morning the airport was buffeted by winds…. Here the wikipedi description of Norbert:

The NHC began monitoring a large area of disturbed weather in association with a trough of low pressure near the south-central coast of Mexico on August 31.[111] Amid a favorable atmospheric environment, the disturbance steadily organized and was acquired sufficient organization to be declared Tropical Storm Norbert at 15:00 UTC on September 2.[112] The cyclone moved generally northwestward following formation, steered on the southwestern side of a mid-level ridge over northern Mexico.[113] With a symmetric central dense overcast and curved bands wrapping into the center, Norbert was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane at 03:00 UTC on September 4.[114] Initially steady state, the cyclone began a period of rapid deepening early on September 5, becoming a Category 2 hurricane at 00:00 UTC and a Category 3 hurricane at 06:00 UTC.[115][116] After attaining peak winds of 120 mph (195 km/h), the effects of cooler ocean temperatures began to weaken the system. Norbert weakened below major hurricane intensity at 21:00 UTC on September 6 and below hurricane intensity at 15:00 UTC on September 7.[117][118] After lacking deep, organized convection for over 12 hours, Norbert was declared post-tropical cyclone at 09:00 UTC on September 8.[119]

By the time I arrived on Monday, Norbert was a distant thought, a little beach swell, but no flooding.

For our week in Cabo, the weather was mid-80’s with some humidity, so basically I hung out here:

For FIVE DAYS… just bring me food and booze – OK, it wasn’t that bad, but close. My feet never touched the sand or any beach/pool water.

I left on Friday morning (well, from the resort, afternoon from the airport), but wen Roxy left on Saturday, the waves from the next storm were already lapping at the beaches….

Thanks Roxy for the FaceBook shot that I stole for this post.

Apparently Roxy and I both got out in time… because Hurricane Odile was a duzzy”:

On September 7, the NHC began monitoring disorganized convection in association with a trough several hundred miles south of the Mexico coastline.[120] The disturbance gradually organized within an environment of moderate northeasterly wind shear, and it acquired sufficient organization to be declared a tropical depression at 0900 UTC on September 10.[121] Six hours later, it was upgraded to Tropical Storm Odile.[122] Over the coming days, only slow intensification occurred as upper-level winds remained unfavorable; by early on September 13, however, the satellite presentation began to change quickly, with the center fully embedded within a central dense overcast. In conjunction with satellite intensity estimates, the cyclone was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane at 09:00 UTC.[123] Odile then began a period of rapid deepening, becoming a Category 2 hurricane at 00:00 UTC,[124] a Category 3 hurricane at 06:00 UTC,[125] and a Category 4 hurricane at 09:00 UTC on September 14.[126] After reaching peak winds of 135 mph (215 km/h), the start of an eyewall replacement cycle caused the system to weaken to a Category 3 hurricane.[127]

Thanks again Wikipedia.

Reports mentioned Cabo Villas where we were staying – distressed honeymooning couple, flooded Hiltons, etc.

Here is the report from the honeymoon couple….http://abcnews.go.com/us/hurricane-turns-cabo-honeymoon-nightmare-family/story?id=25513418

This would be up e beach (north) from where Roxy and I were staying…..but a short stroll….

Dodged two storms – reminds me of a trip with Jillar where we cancelled and moved our holiday to Sonoma.

And it feels weird to be making this post t 35,000 feet over the Denver Airport (according to the Captain)

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Mon
12
Aug '13

Another Day, Yet Another Dinner Party.

Slept in late (10). It felt really good. Luckily the BC Boys aren’t early risers either – but were up before me and had the coffee on. Nice treat.

They also made breakfast (and cleaned up). VERY good houseguests.

Did a little running around in their Tercel (since my wagon is with Mountainé), up to the shop so Hummingbird could buy a bottle of pear cider for the gathering, then a little sightseeing driver through Leshi to see the late, then back Yesler through Pioneer Square, down 1st to Peco’s Pit for a BBQ sandwich lunch, then home for a nap.

Tonight’s dinner party:

  • UncleMarkie
  • Hummingbird
  • Cyndi/BamBam
  • Roxy
  • JC (Hawaiian friend of Roxy)

A heavily fish-centric dinner since Roxy is a pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish).

  • Pupu platter of summer sausage and cheese (neither of which Roxy could eat, but it’s what I had)
  • Shrimp ceviché gazpacho (recipe below)
  • Fresh bread (came out better than last nights, but still a little lumpy, and with water instead of chicken broth)
  • Big green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, Brazil nuts
  • Grilled asparagus
  • BBQ’d halibut and salmon

Shrimp Ceviché Gazpacho Recipe

  • ½ pound shrimp ceviché
  • Spicy Bloody Mary mix
  • Vodka

In small ramekins split the ceviché evenly. Serving size determines the number of people this recipe feeds. Add ½ ounce of vodka over the top of each. Top with Bloody Mary mix and stir.

Well, that’s it for today – so far no dinner party guests for tomorrow.

Whew.

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Wed
10
Apr '13

Full Day At The Print Shop.

Full day of running orders, picking envelopes, seals, making them all pretty in boxes. Figure I made 35 graduates (or their parents very happy today). Not much time to sit around – didn’t take lunch until 3:30 when the rush of orders slowed down. One more full time day for me tomorrow.

Next couple of days will be busy because of the various “Grad Fairs” that Roxy and his boss are attending.

After work it’s back to the wine shop to pick up another couple of packages:

I had Roxy (my boss) in tow; at least we had a nice taste of a Western Australian Syrah/Viogenier while we were there. Next up the Post Office to drop off the few and rare Alaska shipments which FedEx Ground doesn’t handle, then dropped off Roxy and finally made it home by a little after 7.

In the mail this evening was a rather unpleasant surprise – my taxes came back from the accountant. Apparently I took too much out of my 401K and made too much money from the shop – whopping tax bill of $3786, plus his $325 fee. At least I have it in the bank, but ouch.

At least there are new toys to play with.

I didn’t realize the tablet came with a leather(ette?) cover with a place for its pen. Nice touch. I knew it came with a docking station with 2 USB ports and a HDMI out. Time to order some more accessories for the new toy:

  • 64gig SD card to double the storage (128gig cards still too expensive)
  • HDMI to VGA converter cable so I can use a larger monitor – and hopefully replace the noisy server in the living room with this combo

Should arrive Friday or Saturday – then I can put the whole Adobe Suite on the “D” drive, the new 64gig SD card. It would be nice to retire the Monster Server, though it means moving some mail forwarding onto another machine, which I should have done years ago.

Some chicken thighs in sweet chili sauce and the leftover salad was dinner tonight, even the wine as left over from last night.

[204.4] Wow – haven’t been this light since Kansas City a year ago, and that was an unreliable (but flattering) analog scale.

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Wed
22
Jan '14

Last Day In Victoria.

After spending ALL day yesterday in the WorldMark provided bathrobes, it’s time to check out and explore the city since check-out is Noon, and the Clipper is at 5.

Time for a walk-about. Roxy with kilted bear in front of the Royal Scot:

And UncleMarkie with the bear…

Maybe UncleMarkie as a Totem Pole would be better:

You have to love Victoria – apparently this is the place to play darts according to Nicola, my favorite desk clerk at the WorldMark (I gave her a bag of condo-made croutons in a nice box when we checked out):

It’s in the lower floor of the Strathcona Hotel – wonder if it’s any relation to the Strathcona that I stayed at in Toronto in October.

And our final picture for this post is of Roxy and I having lunch at my favorite Mexican place in Victoria (where I always end up getting the ceviché) where 3oz. martinis are $11.00 (cheap for CanadaLand), Roxy got the Sangria:

Honest, it’s vodka – it’s just a blue tinted glass.

We grabbed our luggage from the WorldMark and headed to the boat about 3:30 for our 5pm boat… which was the smaller Clipper III (see background of the previous post) – which was SEVERELY understocked on Duty Free – I got the last bottle of Tanqueray and picked up a bottle of Captain Morgan Spice Run for my… less discriminating friends.

Home by 8:30…

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Sat
28
Dec '13

Slow Saturday At The Shop.

Still can’t motivate myself to look for pictures of Michael. I know where they are, just not quite ready to go there. Got a text from Dylan that all his old friends in Bangkok have been calling. I offered to invite Dylan to dinner when I’m in Berkeley (I think he is in Emeryville) early next month – we’ll see if he is up for it.

Dead at the shop today, even with the tasting. Thinking lots of people are out of town for the holidays – or just broke from the holidays. The days totals we better than I was expecting with the slow morning and tasting.

On a whim texted Roxy to see if he wanted to come to dinner – not that I had anything thawed for him. Turns out the answer was yes. Swung through downtown and picked him up after he got off work.

First up was the bread – Roxy is a carb whore. That put dinner at about 7:30 – steak for me, ling cod for the pescatarian. Plus salad, plus sparkling pear cider from Bonny Doon. Roxy is also a cider whore.

After dinner a buddy of his swung by – and of course the fur has to come out…

A fun evening, but not an early evening. Luckily the cold seems to be getting better… albeit slowly.

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