Okay, I know I've been back in town for a few days now. Today was my first day back at work, though, so my vacation is officially over. Sigh.
I had a great trip to Washington state and spent a fabulous week with my friend Kari and her new husband Dave. The weather was cool, often windy, and sometimes rainy, but I'd take that over the 101 degree heat they had a couple weeks before my visit.
Kari and I made a trip across the state from the Tri-Cities area to Seattle, and I got to experience Washington state's diverse geography. The southeastern part of the state looks eerily similar to western Nebraska, and just west of Kennewick is wine country with lots of vineyards. And then we got into the mountains, where everything was still blanketed in snow--in mid-June!
We spent a little more time in Seattle this time, though I think I'd have to spend a whole week there to really get to see all that I want to see. We went downtown to the central branch of the Seattle Public Library, which I wanted to visit since I made two knitted hats that were based on the lattice design of the building. The building was interesting, and I picked up a couple things I want to try at my library. But I must admit that my overall impression of the building was less than favorable. The fourth floor, which is where the meeting rooms are located, I found most offensive, actually. It is dimly lit, with no windows, and winding halls, and the doors are distinguishable only by the fact that they have handles protruding from them. And all of it, floors, ceilings, and walls, are painted a bold red, except when you round a corner at the end of the hall, the wall directly in front of you is stunningly purple. The stairs throughout the building are metal, so your footsteps clang not matter how gently you step. The escalators are neon yellow. And the thing that bothered me most, which is probably supposed to be one of the most notable features of the building, was the "book spiral," in which the fifth through tenth floors slope upward (or downward, depending on which way you're headed) in one continuous, well, spiral. I don't know why, but this irritated me. Maybe I was just in a bad mood from all the wind and rain. And the whole library seemed rather dimly lit for having so much glass, but maybe that was just due to the overcast skies.
Anyway. We also visited the Space Needle and went all the way up to the top. It costs $16 to get up there, so we figured we'd better get our money's worth out of the stay. The view really was spectacular, as the clouds finally did let up a little, and Kari took lots of pictures. We went down to the waterfront, and walked along the piers. Everything was closed by the time we got there, so we didn't stay too long.
After spending the night in a tiny little town called Eatonville, we started the drive up to Mt. St. Helen's. But alas, our trip was cut short, because after only twenty miles, the road was closed due to snow.
So we had to turn around and head back down the mountain. We decided not to turn back and go all the way around the mountain and see if we could get up the other side, so we just headed back to Kennewick. It was still a very beautiful drive through the mountains, with lots of picturesque vistas. We stopped at every scenic viewpoint on the way down to get out and take pictures. A couple places had little hiking trails that we followed. Hiking is excellent exercise, especially in snow!
There are more pictures over at my Flickr account , and I'll add more next month since I maxed out my upload limit for the month. I wish I'd taken more pictures, but I didn't have a lot of room on my memory card.
All in all, it was a practically perfect vacation. I ate a lot of delicious food, watched some great movies (and one supremely bad one), did a lot of knitting, and some exercising, and best of all, spent quality time with a great friend. I am already planning my next trip out there!
And I have been busy since I got home, too. After spending a couple days at my parents' house, and helping them rearrange practically two entire rooms, I finally got back to Lincoln on Saturday evening. I brought with me a couple of arm chairs that my parents were getting rid of. I planned to put them in the tv room, along with a loveseat that I recently got from my friend Lisa, to make a more comfortable seating arrangement for my roommates and I when we all watch movies. What I didn't anticipate was how perfectly the three pieces would go together. After arranging the furniture, I spent a couple days scouring thrift stores for the perfect pieces to match. And this is the result:
It's totally cheesy, but I love it for the cheese factor! It kind of reminds me of my grandmother's living room. And it's way more comfortable than that old futon.
I've been getting back into my workout routine again also. I gained four pounds(!) in the last two weeks, so I'm anxious to undo that. I went to BodyCombat last night, and BodyPump tonight. Tomorrow morning I'm meeting Karrie at the gym for a workout before work. So on that note, I need to get to bed. I am still trying to readjust to the time zone, and my sleeping schedule is all out of whack.