Seattle Weekend

Last Monday was the bf’s 30th birthday, so we decided to celebrate with a weekend in Seattle. I booked a room at the Paramount Hotel for Saturday and Sunday nights, and we spent the weekend enjoying one of our favorite cities.
Saturday, we got checked into our room (we had a corner room with a nice view of Pine Street) and went to dinner at Dragonfish, an Asian restaurant inside the Paramount. If you haven’t eaten there, you should…it’s delicious! We had planned on going to a different place after dinner to have drinks, but our usual spot was beyond crowded so we ended up back at Dragonfish. They have a fantastic happy hour and we had several drinks that we really enjoyed…my favorite was the Singapore Sling.
Sunday morning dawned sunny and beautiful. We got lattes at Starbucks (after all, we were in Seattle…we had to have coffee!) and then ventured down to Pike Place Market for a breakfast of freshly made mini donuts. After splitting a dozen between us (and vowing that next time we’d split a half dozen, as the donuts were delicious but VERY filling), we wandered around the market. I spotted a series of cat pictures done by artist Frank Coble, and bought one that made me think of my fat orange kitty, Oliver.

My big-boned kitteh

We continued to wander along the waterfront and ended up at the Seattle Aquarium. I’d been to the aquarium once before last year, and Paul had been as a kid on field trips and such. I really liked looking at all the colorful fishes, but my very favorite were the playful otters. They are so cute and lively! They seemed to be having the time of their lives and we watched them for quite awhile.
After a nice lunch at the Crab Pot, we wandered along the waterfront, up through the Sculpture Park, and over to Seattle Center (where the Space Needle is, for those not familiar). We had planned to take the monorail back to Westlake and walk the small distance to our hotel from there, but the line was uncharacteristically long so we decided to just walk back.
For dinner, I took Paul out to Ray’s Boathouse.  I knew it was on the water, but I wasn’t prepared for how stunning the view would be. We arrived right as the sun was setting, and it was breathtaking. The restaurant itself is fabulous and the food was delicious. Paul had scallops and I got a sampler with salmon, sablefish, and a crab cake. Everything was mouthwateringly good.
On Monday, we went to the Pacific Science Center to see the King Tut Exhibit. Paul had of course been to the Pacific Science Center many times, but I never had, so I enjoyed wandering around and looking at everything. We saw King Tut at noon, and that was amazing. If you live in the area or can get yourself here before January 6th, I highly recommend going to the exhibit (it’s leaving North America after that). The exhibit is wonderful and I enjoyed brushing up on my ancient Egyptian history (I had a history teacher in school who focused a lot of his curriculum on ancient Egypt….we even reconstructed Tut’s tomb as a class project and led tours through it) and seeing in person the things that were found in the Valley of the Kings was amazing.
We finished out our weekend with Paul’s delicious homemade steaks and a fire in the fire pit (may be our last one before the cold weather sets in). We sat in the backyard, warmed by our fire, toasting marshmallows for s’mores.
All in all, I think the 30th birthday celebration was a great success.

Where Not to Poke Your Nose

It’s election year, and a big focus has been over whether abortion or even birth control should be allowed. As a woman, it pisses me off to no end to listen to a bunch of middle-aged male politicians talk about what I should and shouldn’t be able to do with my uterus. There’s no equivalent: I can’t say to a man, “Well how would you like it if you weren’t allowed to…” because there’s nothing to compare it to. It’s such a personal issue. To tell women they shouldn’t be able to choose abortions for themselves, to say that I can’t decide how to deal with an unwanted pregnancy in my own way, makes me feel like a second-class citizen. There’s no feeling quite like being told you shouldn’t be allowed to choose the best course of action for your own body and your own future.
It bothers me enough listening to middle-aged male politicians banter on about how my rights to make my own health decisions should be taken away. It makes me angry, sad, and afraid. It terrifies me that there really are these oppressive and stupid men in this country, in 2012 no less, that are trying to push women a step back . Then there are the women who also cry out in agreement for suppression of their own rights. I want to slap those women.
Yes, all of this pisses me off. But what truly brought it home and led me to finally write about it and take a stand is being told, to my face, by a peer that he supported taking away my rights. That he knows better than me what I should do.
When I say I’m pro-choice, I’m not even talking about circumstances. Some say there should be exceptions to the no-abortion stance, like rape or for the health of the mother. But really, to me the only explanation needed is, “This is what is best for me.”
I’m not saying these things to have those that disagree with me try to tell me why I should change my position. My position won’t change, so save your breath. I’m writing this because the whole issue became a whole lot more personal to me when I felt the discrimination first-hand, when it wasn’t some idiot on tv but someone whom I wrongly believed valued me equally as a person. I’m sad, I’m hurt, and yes, I’m angry, and I feel driven to say so.
I don’t believe that abortion will ever be illegal in this country, and that comforts me. I’m further comforted by the fact that there are good men in the world, men that are my family and my friends, that stand with me and all other women and will fight alongside us to help us keep our rights.
To those people who are trying to take my right to choose away, you are a villain in my world, make no mistake. You are someone who believes that you know better than I do what choice is right for me. You are trying to position yourself to tell me what to do and I really, really hate being told what to do. The fact that you think you should be able to dictate to me is disgusting.
This is all very simple. If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one. But don’t try to tell me what to do.
In short, keep your nose out of my vagina.

Welcome to My New Site! (with life updates)

So I haven’t written in awhile…after finding the options for enhancing my blog to be rather limited, I opted to switch to WordPress. At the recommendation of my fabulous friend Kate Retherford, I asked her very awesome friend Jon if he would be willing to help me with my site. He agreed, and has been beyond amazing in the process of switching over my site. I’m really excited with how everything looks! Please feel free to browse around my new and improved site and let me know what you think!
So what have I been up to since I’ve last written?
A few weeks ago, I traded in my Elantra on a Prius. I am in serious Prius love. The new car is dark blue, has all the nice features I like, and is getting a consistent 50mpg. I couldn’t be happier with my purchase and maybe, just maybe, I’ll keep this car a little longer.

Earlier this month, I went with Kate and some other friends from Zumba to the Puyallup Fair. I had never been to a big fair like it before (although my mom did tell me afterwards that she and my dad did take me to the small fair in Victorville once) so I was really excited. We had tickets for the rodeo and for a ‘Dancin’ in the Dirt’ concert after that. The rodeo wasn’t until the evening, so we arrived around lunchtime to have some fair food, wander through all the booths, and watch a round of Mutton Bustin’ (little kids riding sheep).The day as a whole was spectacular. The weather was phenomenal, the friends I went with are some of my favorite people, and I looooved the rodeo, especially the barrel racing and bucking horses!
Yesterday, Paul and I went out kayaking for the first time this year. We always rent kayaks at the Agua Verde Paddle Club in Seattle. When you paddle out, you have the option of going over to Lake Union or staying on Lake Washington. We chose the latter, and spent a blissful hour paddling around the Arboretum, seeing the plants, the lily pads scattered across the surface of the water (Paul sweetly gave me a beautiful lily), and watching the many ducks swim, play, and fish.

My lily.
It feels great to be back to blogging, and now that my new site is up my goal is to get back to at least a couple posts a week. Welcome to the new, very much improved V in the Northwest!