March, Part I

The month basically started off with Christmas. I had promised KrisDi a day out with no planning required from her. I found the Wailin’ Jenny’s were going to be in Victoria. I knew KrisDi was interested after she discovered Ruth Moody’s voice through the connection that Ruth Moody’s baby’s father is P Dubs’ friend of many years.

KrisDi’s father Les came out to watch the kids, so we were able to turn it into a two night ordeal.

We took the Victoria Clipper up there (~3 hour cruise), wandered around Victoria drinking beer and eating food and looking at the sights. When visiting one brewery (Canoe, I think), we noticed someone wearing a Chuck’s Hop Shop hoody at the bar and being friendly with the staff. When I went to ask the staff where we could find good poutine, he joined the conversation. Eventually, we learned that he was the owner of the Drake, which was on our “must visit” list for the trip. He gave some excellent recommendations for food (we ended up going to his recommendation for dinner — Hanks, which was very good). We ended up going to the Drake next anyway, and saw him speedwalking his way over while we were walking. We sat down and started harassing the bartender (per the owner’s instructions), drank beer for a while, and then the owner came over and sat with us for another 45 minutes shooting the breeze about beer and the beer business. It was really nice.

Later that night we went to the show at Alix Goolden Hall — a church that has been turned into a venue. The Wailin’ Jennys sure have pretty voices. I’d heard some of Ruth Moody’s music before, and perused some Wailin’ Jennys when I was looking into this trip, so that was no surprise. It was a good time.

The next morning we went to a place called Jam for breakfast, which was fantastic. We had a scotch egg for the first time (along with a caesar), which was interesting and good. We visited more breweries, ate more food, walked a bunch, and then picked up food to take home with us on the Clipper. I had arranged a couples massage, which was nice — it was KrisDi’s first professional massage and my first professional massage that wasn’t actually physical therapy. With actual back pain, I would much prefer  the therapy version. For relaxation, the spa + massage was nice.

On the way home, I got to exercise the megalens on the boat, trying to get decent pictures of sunset in low light with high zoom from a fast-moving boat. I got some pretty pictures, and about 400 orange blurs. It was fun, but nearly futile. Also, in the cold wind, my hands nearly froze off.

When we landed again in Seattle, we Ubered to the Air BnB in Seattle we were staying at, which was walking distance to two things we wanted to do: (1) In the evening, go to Holy Mountain and get pizza from Windy City Pie [we met with P Dubs & T], and (2) Kerry Park, where I wanted to go and try to get sunrise pictures of Seattle [it was gray in the morning].

After breakfast, we walked back to the truck, drove back to the Air BnB, got our bags and stuff, and then drove to P Dubs, where Les had brought the kids. After telling the kids about our weekend, they also wanted a massage.

KrisDi was out of town the next weekend, in Chicago to visit with her internet mom friends. I enlisted my Mom to help me out with the kids, mostly to get Chilkat to piano lessons. Then she stayed with us for the weekend. During a stop at the donut shop, Chilkoot recognized the salon where he last got a haircut and started asking for one; KrisDi remotely set it up and we did it. When we were leaving the house to walk to DQ, there happened to be a bald eagle in the tree immediately behind our house. He stayed there long enough for me to go back inside, get the megalens, and spend about 10-15 minutes shooting pictures of him. It’s nice nature finally decided to cooperate with me, sending majestic creatures into my back yard.

The kids were very excited to give me my birthday present: 22 bottles and/or cans of various IPAs. They got back from the store with their mother, giggling and telling me to keep my eyes closed while they got my present ready. I sure couldn’t guess what was happening by the clinking of glass as it thudded into a cooler, and then was covered noisily with ice. They sure are sweet kids.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 2 comments

February Part III

The rest of our vacation, and the rest of February.

After Sea World, we went to dinner at Ballast Point (KrisDi spilled 7 out of 8 ounces of bourbon barrel aged stout on her mother) and then we checked into the Lego Land Hotel (after GPS + road closure routing excitement). The hotel was fine. It’s geared toward children (surprise!). We stayed in a castle themed room. There were big heavy sliding doors on the spaces in our room — except the kids’ room. And they didn’t close well, so there was a good one inch gap to peer into/out of the bathroom. Location was kind of out in the middle of nowhere. The breakfast was definitely better than your average hotel breakfast. There were lots of nice touches (for kids) — free (read “included”) small Lego set after a small scavenger hunt every day, gigantic tub-o-Legos to play with in the lobby, sensors in the bathrooms that trigger recordings that talk to you and tell you jokes, wacky elevators, a corner that acts as a whoopee cushion if you walk in it, etc.

Lego Land was Lego Land. Lots of Lego sculptures, some rides (mostly pretty tame). I was surprised how interested the kids were in the mini cities. I was surprised how much Lego Land expanded their Star Wars themed stuff. We went to a brewery/bar/restaurant name Urge that night for dinner. Their beer was decent. They had a good taplist. The had a White Russians menu — a whole page just of variations on the White Russian.

The next morning we ate at the hotel again, then went to the San Diego Zoo. It’s a super nice zoo. Several elephants, a really big aviary, pandas. It’s also a really big zoo. I think we walked over 7 miles inside the zoo. This is where I really exercised the MegaLens (it was still too powerful in many cases). But I had fun with it. Lunch at the zoo, then dinner at Stone in Escondido afterwards. We swam in the hotel pool. After the kids went to bed, KrisDi and I went beer shopping. We drank a Rodenbach Alexander in the room when we got back.

One of the two nights, I don’t remember which, our key cards to get into the room stopped working and the replacements they gave us at the front desk also didn’t work. So, they concluded the battery in the reader in the door was dead; they needed the “master key” — a facilities guy with a crowbar and a wire on a stick. Lift up the door with the crowbar, slide the wire under the door and along the jamb, and voila! Door open, guests’ sense of security obliterated.

The next day of course we checked out, returned the rental car, flew home, etc. On the flight home, Chilkat’s tray table latch thing was missing — the airline’s “fix” was to tape it shut and stick an authorization sticker of some sort to it. Chilkat was upset, Chilkoot was gloating.

Nearly 3,700 pictures taken (not all kept), over 20gb of pictures/videos.

The rest of the month was pretty tame. But KrisDi wore mismatched shoes to work one day, which was pretty amusing.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 0 comments


Chilkat: Did you know they made Harry Potter books before the movies? And the books are better because you can get more detail and see what the people are thinking.

Chilkoot: Well, I like movies better because they’re more real.

Chilkat: Well Chilkoot, that’s a very good counterargument.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, 0 comments