Monday, March 24, 2008

Opening Day of Baseball - a mini-vacation

Matthew 11:28-30
 "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, 
and I will give you rest. 
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, 
for I am gentle and humble in heart, 
and you will find rest for your souls. 
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

So Heidi finally got a week off, thus I finally got a week off.   Well most of a week, as I told Heidi I'd take Emily one day, so she could really have a day off.  And when Riley realized that I got a week off, he got a week off.  So right a way we got tickets to the opening day of baseball in Seattle, which was Monday March 31st.  And then we knew that we'd need someplace to stay, but it's always so hard as I hate hotels.  But on Friday our friends Chuck and Lynn Goodwin from Seattle were coming to Portland for the weekend and we knew we would see them a bunch.  This made it awkward seeing if we might be able to stay at their house on Monday evening, but they were very forthcoming at inviting us.  They themselves were staying at the Benson Hotel in Portland, though we would have gladly let them stay at our house.  Trouble is our daughters keep taking the double bed.  I need to find out where that bed is now.

We had originally planned to go out to dinner with them on Friday night, but I had had a rather rough week and by Friday I had no clothes to wear that didn't need to go into the wash.  In the morning I managed to get them into the wash, but by early evening they were still all in the wash.  My biggest problem was that the tranquilizer and sleeping pill that the doctor had me taking, for two weeks because of how stressed I've been feeling because of our oldest daughter's divorce situation, had finally got to a permanent state of sleepiness.  All day Friday all I could think about was that I wanted to take a nap - desperately.  I had e-mailed Riley saying that I really needed a nap, and then I called him, but because he was taking the next week off he had too much work to finish to come home.  

In desperation I took Emily to the Lloyd Center and let her do whatever she wanted.  She watched the ice skaters, then twirled all the racks she could in the jewelry department of Macy's.  Then looked at purses and back to the jewelery.  Then we head town the concourse to the pet store and looked at the puppies and rabbits and fish and kitties, etc.  Emily then headed on down the concourse and wanted to go into the men's suit store and when I said no she fell on the floor crying.  Now this is not her usual style and we were at the far end of the mall so I knew I was in trouble.  It was a bit of a struggle getting her back on track and heading back to the car, especially when we hit Barnes and Noble.  She knew right where the children's book department was an had every intention of checking out everything.  I found Marie Claire Idees and wanted to buy it and I knew that having to stand in line with Emily would be quite a feet.  Amazingly when we did I found a little book about puppies and told her to sit down and look at it, she did.  And when she was done she put it back on the shelf where it came from.  I finally made my purchase and picked Emily up.  Now she had been standing for quite some time, over an hour, and her diaper had efficiently collected everything.  But when I picked her up it began to squeeze out on I got all wet.  So now I really had no clothes to wear and I was really tired and I still was desperately in need of a nap. So when Riley got home he suggested that we call off our get-together with our friends until Saturday.  I usually don't like to back out on something but I did remember that our friends had called just before I went out with Emily and they said that the drive was very difficult because of the weather.  So when Riley called them at their hotel they were fine about the change of plans.  We all went out to dinner the next evening and had a wonderful time. We don't see Chuck and Lynn all that often but we always enjoy being with them. And we went to lunch with them at Kenny and Zuke's, a really good Jewish delicatessen with terrific corned beef and pastrami, the next day and all got so much to eat that we all took home leftovers. The Goodwins ate their leftovers on their way back home to Seattle and Riley and I ate ours the next day on our way up to Seattle.

As usual I didn't get ready ahead of time for our trip to Seattle.  When will I ever learn?!  I need to pack my bag the night before and get the extra things I like to take on a trip all ready to go.  I did start my bread the night before.  But the next day I did not hit the ground running, but started out rather slowly. At some point I realized that I need to get going, especially since I needed the bread.

We knew that after the baseball game we would need to eat, and we always find it hard finding a place to eat in Seattle - I don't know why. So after thinking a bit on the problem I decided that I would bring a picnic lunch. After I got the bread going on the second raising on Monday morning I knew I was falling behind schedule. I didn't want to be late for the game, which was to start at 3:40. I had decided to make tuna fish filling and eggs and ham filling.

Tuna Fish Filling

2 cans of albacore tuna, drained
sweet pickle relish
finely diced red onion
mayonaise, thinned with buttermilk

These are the basic ingredients and I think that how much of everything you put into the mixture is up to your taste. I love lots of pickle relish and diced onion, and I make the mayonaise about the consistancy of cream. The ingredients other than the tuna are your basic elements of tartar sauce or
remoulade.. I should try mixing them up sometime without the tuna and see what I get. If nothing else it could be a mix ready for the tuna, thus less fuss.

Eggs and Ham Filling

hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced using an egg slicer
ham, very finely diced
some red onion, very finely diced
salt and pepper

mayonnaise, thinned with buttermilk to the consistency of cream
mustard of your choice, I like Dijon

To dice up the eggs I place an egg in the egg slicer and slice it. Then, carefully lifting up the egg and opening the slicer, I carefully turn the sliced egg 90 degrees and then reslice the egg. When you've got you eggs diced up add the ham and onions and stir with a fork. Thin the mayonnaise with the buttermilk and then stir in the mustard. Add to the egg mixture and stir up gently. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.

By the time I got the fillings made the bread was just about ready to be put into the pan to rise. I know that Julia Child says to let them be free on the table, but I like the pan.  Then I dashed to the basement to find a picnic basket.  I love picnic baskets and I have found some real gems at Goodwill.  I think that my love of picnic baskets started with "Mickey Mouse's Picnic". The one I came up with is in the shape of a partial circle and has really good dishes in it and was never used before when I bought it.  I added to it a tablecloth, a couple tea towels, bread board, and a straw mat for sitting on.  And as to food items I put in a baggie of sugar and a few Wittards tea bagsLater Riley brought up the small cooler, added ice in baggies to it, and I put the sandwich fillings, the Pellegrino and a can of ginger ale into it. .  This ready I dashed up stairs to pack, telling Riley to remember that we were fast running out of time.  He was doing I don't know what, but he was in a very good mood.

Eventually everything was ready and we headed out of town (after getting a cup of coffee) at noon.  It wasn't long before I noticed Riley was driving really fast, but after I pointed it out he slowed down.  However, it was about Chehalis that he had me drive.  That's maybe half way, and I think in the end this was good, as it was me driving into Seattle to park and I took a very different approach to this than Riley would have.  I found an absolutely terrific place to park right off of Pioneer Square that leads directly to Safeco Field.   The temperature was 53 degrees and the sky was sunny, so I put on my sweater and neck scarf and left my red hooded wool coat. We hadn't walked too far when I noticed that a lot of people were dressed in decidedly winter clothing. I figured that they knew something I didn't know. In hind sight I should have gone right back and got my winter coat out of the car, but what did I know. Instead, we spotted a Mariner's gear shop with a 50% off sign. Riley was wanting a Mariner hoody, so in we went. Nothing in his size was on sale, but I found a hoody in my size for 50% off. We also found an absolutely adorable pink Mariner baseball hat for Emily. She's always putting on people's baseball hats and I had decided I must find one in her size. I put on the hoody right away and I was very glad that I had it, as Seattle can and did get very cold. I also put on a second pair of socks and my ankle-warmers. In my bag I also had with me a plaid shawl from Scotland which I wrapped around myself as the evening progressed.

In no time we were in our seats and the game was just about to start. It was already quite obvious that the evening was going to be cold. As I mentioned above I had to bundle up with everything I had. I had a great seat and I really enjoyed the game so I was sufficiently distracted from being miserable in the cold. They won, which was the first time they had won when we were in the stadium. We had been starting to feel like a curse or something. The pitcher was a new guy who came from the Baltimore Orioles . They trade five men for him. Bedard started off really well, but soon it was looking a bit iffy. He pitched over a hundred pitches by the middle of the game. But it seems that he's a pitcher with stick-to-itiveness. Once outside with the crowd heading back to the car it seemed reasonable to stop and have dinner in one of the many restaurants along the route, but in actuality all I wanted was to get warm by sitting on my heated seat in my car that would eventually heat up. We headed straight for the Goodwins house, where we took our picnic inside and ate our dinner while chatting with Chuck and Lynn. We tried not to keep them up too late because Lynn has to leave for work at 7:30 in the morning.

Lynn was long gone by the time I woke up. I got up and got dress and headed down stairs, where Chuck and Riley were having coffee. They got a cup of coffee for me and we sat down and ate a bran blueberry muffin. Afterwards we went and looked a Chuck's pictures of Paris. They have been twice taken to Paris for a Thanksgiving holiday with Chuck's mother. Quelle chance!! He had some very nice pictures, but they weren't organized. I told him that he needed to organize, though there is an irony there, as the Goodwins are excessively organized and tidy people. Unfortunately the Goodwins keep their house very cold, and after being so cold at the game, all I could think about was sitting somewhere in the sun. We tidied up our stuff and the room we slept in, loaded the car and headed out - after taking a look at Chucks 26 ft sail boat that sleeps four.

We headed to Woodinville and found the Starbuks and a a seat in the sun. Yes! We had coffee and a breakfast sandwich. We sat in the sun and did a crossword puzzle. I finally got warm, and it was lovely. Then we left and went to the Lacanche store to see what was up and say hi. They gave us a bottle of wine, and Riley bought a bottle of wine. After chatting for for a while with Stan we headed for the Mukeleto Ferry. It was a pleasant country drive. As we got close the terrain headed steeply down towards the water. We zipped up to the pay station, got our ticket and headed straight to the ferry, where they were just closing the bar. Seeing us the stopped closing the bar, leaving just enought room for us to drive under the bar and get onto the ferry, which immediately left the dock, heading for Whidbey Island.

Whidbey Island was to be the next leg of our trip. Our ferry came is somewhere around Clinton. The ride was hardly 20 minutes. We then headed on down the road. I was clueless as to where we were going, but Riley seemed confident. At some point along the road we spotted a sign to Langley and decided to go there. It's a charming little down, very trendy in its own way, but it was Tuesday and the majority of the shops were closed. But that meant that the streets weren't crowded with tourists, though it was Washington's spring break. We eventually decided that we should stop and have some of our picnic lunch. There was a tiny park in the middle of town, but I felt like I would be on display eating lunch there, and we headed out of town. But at the edge of town we spotted a very cute little park where we ate lunch. It was very pleasant.

After lunch we headed out for our main destination. I had absolutely no idea where we were going or how to get there, but Riley seemed fairly confident about it all. I suppose I should explain how it is we were going there. Riley's assistant at work had told him that she had an aunt who lived on Whidbey Island who loved to have visitors and that we should go stay with her a night while on our mini-vacation. Riley told me about this, but only as an amusement, as he could not imagine our visiting a complete stranger. But I thought it sounded like a terrific opportunity to me, and I told him I thought we should do it. He did not think I really meant it at first, but eventually I convinced him. I'm guessing that eventually Riley contacted via email the woman we would be visiting - Tammy Tasker. So here we were, finding our way to Aunt Tammy's place.

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." 
Robert Kennedy

No comments: