Posts Tagged ‘Starbucks’


Lessons Learned from A Family Vacation…


Warning: War and Peace was shorter. 

I just finished a trek to the lovely state of Washington with my hubby, daughter, the DSL, my brother-in-law and my father-in-law. While I adore both my own family and the one I married into, there are always little surprises along the way, even though I’ve been to this destination before and have been on vacations with this same group of people.  Here’s what I learned this time:

1. I don’t pack well under pressure.

2. The final episode of Survivor is more important to watch than packing.

3. I proved # 1 true yet again.

4. When # 1 occurs, I always forget something. Even if I make a detailed packing list.

5. I forgot my PJs.

6. Workout clothes make a good substitute for PJs.

7. I worked out once while on vacation.

8. I wore street clothes to work out because I was too lazy to change into workout clothes.

9. Glad I packed 5 sets of workout clothes.

10. TSA pre-check status rocks.

11. The hubby who surprised me with a TSA pre-check status rocks even more.

12. When going through TSA pre-check, I have flashbacks to trips I took in the 1990s.

13. I have more circles under my eyes than I had in the 1990s.

14. I’m pretty sure TSA put those circles under my eyes after 9/11.

15. I don’t respond to TSA instructions well under pressure.

16. Did I mention I like TSA pre-check?

17. We would super-glue the DSL’s belt to his pants to help him through security, but TSA wasn’t laughing when we suggested this.

18. Someone needs to get TSA agents a sense of humor.

19. Belts to hold up pants are lethal weapons and that’s why no one wears them in Seattle. See # 17.

20. I didn’t know there was such a diversity of boxer shorts in Seattle. See # 19.

21. Anyone under the age of 30 in Seattle shops at Goodwill and purposely puts polka-dots, paisley and plaid together. Color coordination optional.

22. If I go through Pike Place Market 10,000 times, I will still feel like I’ve never seen it all.

23. Beecher’s Cheese Mariachi Mac ‘n Cheese is da bomb. Next time I’m getting the large, economy-sized helping even if 4 wheelbarrows are required to carry me out of the place afterwards. Even if I have to make use of 1 set of workout clothes for something other than PJs.

24. The beautiful bouquets of flowers at the Market are way under-priced. And yet I walked away empty-handed because I had no place to put them.

25. # 24 is cruel and unusual punishment.

26. The Underground Tour never disappoints even if the new tour guide is…well…new.

27. Did you know “Lincoln” was a superhero and had a cape and everything? See # 26.

28. In the 25 years plus since my last Underground Tour my allergies have made it nearly impossible for me to go on the Underground Tour. Grr.

29. Pioneer Square is still one of the prettiest parts of Seattle.

30. I can play in a wind-up toy store for a solid half an hour. Maturity went right out the window.

31. Chocolate pasta and sweet potato orzo are just too difficult to resist in bringing home in crumbs in my suitcase.

32. The flying fish never disappoint, even if no fish are flying.

33. I am in awe of tea sets that are in the shapes of peacocks, phoenix (What is the plural of phoenix??? Phoeni? Phoenixes???), hummingbirds and other assorted fowl.

34. I’m not in awe of the price of # 33….at least not enough to bring it home in pieces in my suitcase.

35. O’Asia is not an Irish Asian restaurant, but the food there will make you feel lucky to visit.

36. When forced to choose between an interactive music museum and a world-renown glass artist, MaryAnn picks the glass artist.

37. When the hubby is forced to choose between an interactive music museum and a world-renown glass artist, the hubby picks the interactive music museum.

38. Neither one of us felt cheated.

39. Dale Chihuly is a genius.

40. The Hamilton Middle School string orchestra and jazz choir will make you wish your kids were raised in the Seattle public school system.

41. I don’t do Kenyan curry well.

42. I do potato chips and yogurt much better.

43. The daughter is as giddy as a kid at Christmas when taking new forms of transportation. Let’s just say Ms. Master’s Graduate liked the ferry ride.

44. We adore the houses on the shore at Bainbridge Island. We doubt the owners of these houses adore the ferry still coming into the nearby dock at 2 am.

45. The drive from Bainbridge to Sequim is breathtaking.

46. MaryAnn needs to quit saying the phrase, “Pretty, pretty.”

47. When the hubby needs a GPS holder, he recruits his wife.

48. The GPS holder has a lot of arthritis that doesn’t do well holding a GPS for 2 hours straight.

49. Sequim is pronounced, “Skwim.” I’ll remember that the next time I order my skinny latte.

50. There’s no fish and chips like the fish and chips prepared by a Kiwi.

51. They do xeriscaping in Sequim. Ummm….why? Is there a shortage of lawn mowers or something?

52. I lost count of the number of lead changes in the Indy 500 at lap 50.

53. I lost count of the number of drivers leading laps at lap 100.

54. I shouldn’t go 7 days without an allergy shot.

55. I went 9 days without an allergy shot.

56. If I go 9 days without an allergy shot, I should bring my Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene with me.

57. I get terse when I forget Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene.

58. There is nothing quite like fried raspberry cheesecake when I forget Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene.

59. The worst cup of coffee I had in “Starbucks Central” was in Seattle.

60. They don’t even give you pretzels on a 4 hour flight anymore. What is my $ 50 for a checked bag going for???

61. The EPA has decided that having a non-oil smelling airplane is good for my health. I now know what the $ 50 is going for.

62. I think I will invite the EPA to fly with me the next time I go to Seattle.

63. I will not invite the EPA to go through TSA pre-check with me.

64. When you get 5 seasoned fisher persons together with 2 rookies. the rookies will score the big fish.

65. If you want to avoid starvation, go with the rookies.

66. Because of # 65, I’m now divorced.

67. Did I mention I like TSA pre-check?

68. There’s no place like home and still no better family.

Friday’s Post: The Real Memorial Day…

You Might Also Like: Lessons Learned from and Lessons Learned from 7 Years on Facebook




Lessons Learned from My First Writer’s Conference…

Multnomah Waterfall

Multnomah Waterfall

  1. I will pack the kitchen sink for one weekend trip, but forget my toothbrush. Really? And I even made a packing list. *sigh*
  2. Traveling with the PH is so much nicer than traveling alone. Why? Because he has Executive Platinum level benefits everywhere. Essentially, this means everything is bigger and faster. Kinda like Texas highways.
  3. I can start and finish reading one book, complete 6 difficult Sudoku puzzles, do 1 Bible reading, ponder 1 Puritan Prayer reading, eat lunch, drink a can of diet Pepsi and a bottle of water, and take a pretty good nap all on a 4 hour flight.
  4. My favorite SUV in the whole wide world is ready for rental, but the bargain price (even with Executive Platinum PH benefits) is only $ 75 more a day than the very comfy Nissan Altima we rented instead. (That’s a bargain? That’s a benefit? Hmmm…They apparently never met my garage-sale-shopping mother.)
  5. On the way to the Christian university where the conference was held,one can visit 3 adult lounges and “Hemp City,” home of medicinal marijuana for all. We passed.
  6. To make a right turn in Portland, one must go left, then left again, then veer left, then right, then turn left to ultimately turn right. I hope the civil engineer that designed Portland’s roads was not a Purdue grad. If so, I live in utter shame.
  7. Really green grass does exist. It just doesn’t exist in Texas.
  8. Azaleas do bloom. Trees do, too.
  9. My home church praise band isn’t the only one that can rock out when “one or more are assembled in His name.”
  10. Paul Young has ESP. He can read my soul as if it’s his own. He can read 200 other, different souls the same way.
  11. Jesus poetry slams are da bomb.
  12. Step away from the cookies. However, do drink the coffee. Portland is definitely in Starbucks country.
  13. I understand, now, why the northwest brews such awesome coffee. The days are often cold, wet, humid and cloudy. A good cup of coffee is essential.
  14. The 8 hours I spent learning more about Christian writing were probably the most intense I have ever experienced. And most of it had little to do with writing.
  15. I am shy when around 250 fellow believers.
  16. I am at home with 250 strangers, even if shy.
  17. I am a self-publishing writer and not an agent/publisher kind of writer. At least not yet.
  18. The best way to finish a conference? Visit the Columbia store and eat dinner at the top of the world. Even with clouds and fog, it’s a beautiful view and a wonderful meal.
  19. The PH can get an awful lot done when he doesn’t have to work and he’s just waiting on his wife.
  20. The best breakfast in town on Sunday morning is at the bottom of a waterfall.
  21. The best after-breakfast workout is to climb to the top of the waterfall.
  22. The PH goes faster up the mountain.
  23. MaryAnn goes faster down the mountain.
  24. Climbing one waterfall isn’t enough…at least not for the PH.
  25. I have visions of Twilight dancing through my head when climbing waterfalls in Oregon.
  26. I hate switchbacks, especially when there’s 11 of them between me and the top of a waterfall.
  27. Oregon mileage is the same as 3-day walk mileage. Translation? The mileage estimates lie, particularly if the distance measured is vertical in nature.
  28. I was proud of my climbing abilities until I saw a man twice my age climb the same waterfall, unassisted.
  29. I was proud of my climbing abilities until I saw 3 people running up the mountain…with backpacks.
  30. I used to think I was in shape. Back to the drawing board.
  31. I can get up at 3:45 am. There is a 3:45 am.
  32. My calves and thighs are killing me today.
  33. I am blessed with a wonderful husband.
  34. I am blessed to encounter wonderful writers who counsel me and answer a ridiculous sum of questions just because they serve a risen Lord.


Point to Ponder Challenge: When is the last time you tried something new? Time to “climb another mountain” in your life? May I pray for your success, endurance and courage?

Tomorrow’s Post: Staple-head…