Summary of “since Christmas”…
Mom decided to start selling the wine rings she makes, so she had me do the web design and business cards. In other words, if the site sucks, it’s probably my fault! 😉 http://www.isthatmywine.com
April: Disney World
JB is working at Disney World until the end of July – headed over mid-January – as part of the Disney College Program where he is now a monorail pilot. Dad flew me over to Disney World at the end of April for 5 days in the parks. I spent about a day and a half with JB in the parks, and the rest of the time was by myself. With four parks and less than five whole days to do them in, I was in the parks just about from open to close each day, and I must have walkedmiles! It was an absolute blast, though, and I loved going on Rock’n’Roller Coaster! I’ve got photos on Facebook, if anybody cares to look and hasn’t already.
The heat between the maybe-60s we were having in Seattle versus the 80-90+ we hit in Florida was sure a shock to the system! I’d stayed on Disney property to take advantage of the transportation – and because JB could get me a discount on hotel that way, being a Disney employee – and it was pretty cool. I stayed at the Pop Century Resort, which is one of their low-end resorts, but I figured as long as the hotel was clean and had a bed, I was good, since I wasn’t planning on spending much of any time at the hotel! I did miss the ease of when we went as a family and had stayed at the Wilderness Lodge (one of the 5 star resorts) of taking a boat across a little lake to the Magic Kingdom and monorail hookup to Epcot, since having to wait for the bus got a little annoying, but it was still a good deal, and I can’t wait to go back!
Memorial Day Weekend: California
Nikki and I had been planning a roadtrip since last fall to my dad’s house in San Jose, California, and it panned out! It took us about 14 hours to get there, and 13.5 to get back since we somehow managed to avoid both Bay Area and Portland rush hour on the way home, which we’d hit both of on the way there. For irony, we’d been hoping for great weather in the 80s, and I’m not sure it got above 76 at Dad’s the whole trip, though it was 83 degrees in Redding at 10:30am on the drive home… Nikki’s car was also a comfortable ride/drive, even after a long day of sitting in it. We’d driven down to Dad’s on Thursday and back Tuesday to avoid a good chunk of the holiday weekend traffic.
Friday we got most of our liquor-run-ing taken care of – Costco and BevMo with orders from other people! I also bought a 24 pack of Pacifico at Costco because it’s at least $15 up here for a 12-pack and down there it was less than a dollar a bottle for a 24-pack! 🙂 Friday night we went out to Rosy’s for dinner with Dad, Cathy, John, and a few of the other regular group.
Saturday, Dad took Nikki and I to the CalTrain station and we rode the train into San Francisco for the day. I don’t think I’d been in over 10 years. The train took an hour and a half from San Jose to San Francisco, but it was worth it to us to not have to drive in San Francisco or deal with trying to find parking! That, and you’d miss out on the whole lunatic-bus-driver experience! Of course, it was cloudy and chilly in San Francisco, but it was fun. We hit Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf, and then we (finally!!) got to go to Alcatraz! I’ve been trying off and on to get to Alcatraz since I was 17, and it’s never worked out till now. The audio tour included in the tour price – it wasn’t a “guided tour” – was awesome and much more involved than I was expecting. Nikki and I also had a blast in the gift shop – I was able to find a retro (art deco/contemporary?) 5×7 greeting card to frame that matches the style of one that I’d gotten at the Point Defiance Zoo last year, and since then I’ve found three Seattle ones in the same style to frame as well. I’m hoping to find even more, but all I can find from the company (Lantern Press) online is poster-size, not 5×7 greeting cards. Nikki got a black messenger bag that has Alcatraz’s Rule 5 on it: “You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Anything else you get is a privilege.” That night, we got back to San Jose around 8:30 or 9pm, completely exhausted and starving, but Dad swung us by Blockbuster on the way home so that we could rent “The Rock” with Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery, since we’d just been to Alcatraz and I’d never seen the movie. Great movie, too!
Sunday was Dad’s party – I had asked a while before we came down if it was going to be close enough to into summer for Cathy and John to be having their Friday night parties or not, and since it wasn’t, Dad agreed to have a party instead 🙂 We saw the Parks that morning – I think Kenna’s about up to my nose in height now – and had fun visiting with them. Nikki got to see the outside of the house where I used to live, and got to make fun of the Santa Cruz “Mountains” with me. I’m sorry, but where we’re from, those are hills! We met Dad’s girlfriend, Karen, that day as well, and she’s really nice. Dad’s party was a lot of fun too, and two women there were kind enough to provide the evening entertainment… In other words, they were so tanked by the end of the night that Nikki and I got a kick watching them. One was convinced that she was psychic, and grabbed me as I walked past to read my palms. Apparently I’m “on a journey, and shy” and Nikki “needs to be more assertive, and could go both ways.” Um, yeah Victoria. And you’ve had how much Tequila?
Monday, Dad, Karen, Nikki and I all went to Monterey and Carmel. On the way out, we hit Powell’s Sweet Shoppe in Willow Glen and I got Flicks for myself and Mom, and some Fizzies as well (old candies Mom used to talk about having as a kid). We stopped first in Monterey to walk a little and have lunch at Bubba Gump’s, where I got a cool shirt (I didn’t know you could get a small size shirt with the name “Bubba” on the front!) and Nikki and I both got smiley face pins that say “Stupid is as Stupid Does” on them. From there, we went to the White Sands Beach in Carmel and had fun walking around and watching people’s dogs going nuts having fun. I really love the Carmel Cyprus trees – I wish we had that type of tree up here! We did a little shopping in Carmel, too, and then headed back to Dad’s house.
Tuesday was an early morning rolling out of Dad’s for home, which included a detour through Medford to stop for lunch and Everclear 190. Nikki and I each got a bottle for ourselves, partly for the novelty of it, and I picked up two bottles for Danny. Combined with what Mom had had me pick up in California, if we’d gotten in a wreck, we would have gone up in a mushroom cloud! The warnings on the Everclear label are hilarious:
Caution!! Extremely Flammable Handle with Care
Warning!! Overconsumption may endanger your health
Caution: Do not apply to open flame. Keep away from fire, heat and open flame – contents may ignite or explode. Do not consume in excessive quantities. Not intended for consumption unless mixed with non-alcoholic beverage.
It was a very long day, and being a fool, I had to be at work the next morning because…
I got a New Job!
I had applied for the position of Manager Trainee at Big 5 Sporting Goods back in February, since jobs are really lacking up here in the current economy so I’d caved and applied for a retail position, even though it’s not my favorite thing in the world. Before we left for California, I’d gotten a call from Big 5 asking if I was still interested, and since I was still working meager hours at Pottery Barn… duh! It’s the one closest to my house, so my commute time has gone from 50 miles round trip to less than 8 round trip. I had time before California to get interviewed, get hired, and give my two-week’s notice at Pottery Barn in a way that put my last day at Pottery Barn as while I was in California, but I’d already gotten the trip time off at Pottery Barn, leaving no gap between jobs, officially. Working full time has been hard to get used to, especially since my shifts vary a bit – opening one day, closing the next, a midshift, etc. Working the truck shift on Fridays – I’ve only done it once so far – is brutal: the shift starts at 4:45am so that we can get the truck unloaded and the majority of the merchandise put away on the shelves before the store opens at 10am. The stock room at the store really only holds shoes and large exercise equipment, not all the merchandise we carry like it did at Pottery Barn. On the plus side, that day I got off work at 1:15pm and was able to have time to nap before going out blues dancing that night!
I’m still living at home for now, but the current idea is that in 6-8 months I could be moving up to be a 2nd Assistant Manager at a variety of stores, so if I stay living at home until then, it will open up more options for where I can change working to. I’ll be able to agree to a further away store if I can find an apartment there and move, since I won’t have a lease and I’ll be able to work on building savings back up!
Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I finally managed to pick out a backing for my flower garden quilt. I had initially been looking for a green fabric or one with a floral print on a white or off-white background, but the fabric I settled on has vibrant Forget-Me-Nots on a black background, making their color really stand out. Even though the background color of the top of my quilt is white, the vibrant colors on the back work well with the vibrant blues and greens on the front, since the idea of the quilt was Forget-Me-Nots. I had been a little concerned about the dark fabric showing through the white fabric of the top, but I’ve discovered with a creamy cotton batting, it does not show at all! Now I just need to get motivated to practice my hand quilting more so I can set up the quilting frame that Dad got me for Christmas! …I should also work on finding room for that, too! I’ve been trying to practice hand quilting on a watercolor quilt top Auntie Deb left unfinished, but having to sew through seams that frequently is really hard – on my quilt, I won’t even be having to quilt through seam allowances, which will make it much easier.
Whew! I think I’m more or less caught up, though now I’m thinking I should retitle this “the very long, late, blog post from hell.” I’ll try to be better about staying current in the future.
BTW, I’m not sure if the issue here tonight is with me or with Blogger, but I had a nightmare of a time getting the bloody formatting of this post anywhere near correct, and if it screws up one more time when I hit “Publish”… Aaaannnddd Blogger needs to die.