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Milking a lost cause
Saturday. 8.29.15 7:56 pm
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Adventures in VA and DC! {a very long entry; you've been warned}
Thursday. 8.27.15 6:21 pm
The whole weekend went by so quickly, it almost felt like a dream.

I got up for work around 6:30am Friday morning. I'd packed my bag the night before, so I really only had to make sure to throw in the last minute items: charger, hairbrush, etc. I got dressed for work, made sure my windows were still cracked, but not open wide enough to flood the place should it suddenly decide to rain while I was gone, and locked the place up. I would be leaving for the airport 4.5 hours later.

I was able to obtain a ride to the airport so that I wouldn't have to worry about making it just barely in time using public transportation. I had more than enough time to get through security and to my terminal. The flight ended up being delayed by an hour, which was just enough time for me to get to the next airport, use the bathroom, and board the next flight. This, added to the issue at the very end of the trip {details later,} I will be taking direct flights from now on.

I made it to DC just before 2am local time and made my way on the shuttle over to the car rental place. Now, I'm sure Hertz is a great car company, but I'm never using them again either. They have a $200 deposit for the car, which would be fine if I was rich, but since I'm not, I'm not using them again. The issue, however, was not that it was $200, it's that the hotel was holding their money so I was actually short the amount that I needed for said deposit.

I ended up staying at the car rental place, off and on the phone between my mom and cousin, for 3 hours trying to figure out how to get a vehicle to drive the remainder of the way to the hotel, which was another 2 hours away. Eventually, after realizing there was absolutely no way to get money in to my account at that time of the morning, I decided to make some phone calls and find out how much other rental car agencies charged for their deposit.

Dollar General and National both charged 15%, but neither location was open until 8am {it was 5am at that point.} Enterprise charged 20%, but they were open at 5:30am, so I went with them. I reserved the car online, since it was cheaper than doing so over the phone and headed back on the shuttle to the airport to hop on the Enterprise shuttle back to the rental car place. I was finally able to obtain a vehicle and made my way south to the hotel.

8am Saturday morning, I arrive at the hotel and, after having been awake for a solid 24 hours and letting everyone I'd been in contact with know that I'd made it, I passed out. 3 hours later ... wide. the fuck. awake. Go figure. At this point, I took a much needed shower and text a couple people to find out if it was cool to go hang out at their hotel, which it was, obviously. I drove a quarter mile down the road and met up with my aunts.

The one aunt I'd seen just last summer, when she was out on business, but the other? It had been at least 13 years, if not longer. I honestly don't remember how long ago it was when I saw her last, but it's been way too fucking long. I met with the two of them in the lobby and hung out for a little bit, until my cousin {the one who was getting married} walked in and it turned in to even more of an on the spot family reunion. Minimum 13 years since I last saw him as well. My uncle was with him and of course, being that he would be getting married later that day, he needed to borrow his parents for related issues.

My other aunt hung out and we continued to converse for a little bit longer until my Uncle mentioned he was going across the way to Applebee's for some grub, since he'd not eaten anything yet. Plus, my other cousins were already there eating and I'd not seen then yet. We walked over and I got a salad, while he got a wrap. It was more lunch at this point, seeing as how it was after 1. While there, my other Uncle joined us and the two cousins left to help their brother set up at the venue, since they were part of his groomsman. I stayed and finished eating my much needed meal.

After that, we made our way back to the hotel and I hung out in the lobby waiting for everyone to get ready {I was already dressed, since I'd taken my shower earlier.} While playing on my phone, another cousin came down and he had no idea I'd be there, so that was quite the pleasant surprise. It was kind of the point, though. I wanted to surprise people, since it's been between 10 and 20 years.

Instead of riding on the already full car with my aunt and uncle, I was talked in to taking the shuttle with my cousin and his brother and most of the rest of the wedding party so I text my aunt then followed my cousin up to his room. I met his new wife and his kids {who were 17 and 14} and hung out until it was time to go. His brother had no idea I'd be there either until we all met up in the lobby to wait for the shuttle.

Once there, it was a beautiful place! I'd have loved to take more landscape pictures, but I was there for my cousin, not to play photographer. That being said, I did take quite a few pictures while on this trip. The wedding itself was amazing. I'm so thankful that I got to be a part of it. His vows made most everyone tear up; I was trying so hard not to cry. Only a few tears escaped. The rest got sucked up by my contacts.

I met my cousin's {not the one who was getting married; his older brother} best friend in the lobby of the hotel and I ended up sitting next to him during the ceremony. We hung out off and on throughout cocktail hour and the reception afterwards. Drinks, many drinks, were had, lots of dancing, loud music, delicious food, funny speeches, toasts, selfies and all around good times ensued. We all got back to the hotel around midnight and the party sort of continued among the guests at Applebee's until they closed at 1.

I crashed with the best friend that evening and we were up early the next morning due to a prior engagement he had. It made me kinda sad, but he said he'd come hang out again before I left so I had that to look forward to. I also knew that I had only Sunday to do any kind of exploring before flying back home on Monday. I went back to my hotel, packed up my shit, checked out and went back to the hotel that my cousins were staying at.

I text the one whom I'd agreed to go have breakfast with and we headed out around 11. They lived in the opposite direction, more towards Norfolk, rather than DC, so after breakfast we said our goodbyes and parted ways. I set up Google Maps on my phone, picked out the easiest, most straight forward route and headed back. Since I'd only gotten approximately 2 hours of sleep the night before, I became super tired about an hour in to the drive. I rolled the windows all the way down and blasted the music... until I realized the heat was just making the drowsiness worse. I rolled the windows up, turned up the AC and continued to blast the music.

Once back in DC, I followed the road signs for Arlington Cemetery. I don't know about you guys, but if you've ever driven in DC, you'll understand why I continually got lost for an hour before finally arriving at my destination. I pretty much made every single turn except the one that actually needed to make... every single time I turned back around and tried again. I ended up at the Air Force Memorial, which was cool. The statues and information there was interesting. It was a good excuse to get out of the car and stretch my legs, give my brain a little bit of a chance to wake up and get oxygen flowing back to it.

I ended up accidentally turning in to the military base; the guard at the entrance was so kind, though. It was ridiculously obvious that I was lost and had no idea where I was going. Not only did I have a WA license, but I was driving a car from Ontario, Canada. He was nice enough to let me in so that I could turn around and then gave me more accurate directions on how to actually get to the cemetery entrance from there. Thanks to this, I finally made it to where I wanted to be.

Once I'd parked, I changed in to walking shoes from my flip flops and headed out, ready to take pictures. The place is beautiful. It's incredibly well maintained. It's peaceful, quiet and *most* people were respectful of the place. Even the tiny humans that were there with families were mostly well behaved. The one thing I had to do while I was there: watch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. It was the first major point I had to stop at along the route I was following on the map. It's much easier to see this during the summer, as they change out every half an hour. You know, heat stroke is a thing. There were signs up asking people to be respectful and stay silent, which actually happened! I know I shouldn't be surprised, but in the 20ish minutes I was there, I only heard 3 cell phones go off and only two kids had to be shushed.

Afterward, I made my way around the cemetery and eventually made my way to the JFK grave site. The eternal flame was cool to see, but people were far less respectful at this site, despite the fact that the same signs were posted. I'm thinking it's because everyone at that site was dead, while the Tomb of the Unknowns had a live guard. Who knows, but after 3 hours of walking around and taking pictures, I was ready to head back.

I plugged in my aunt's address and only made one wrong turn on my way back to her place. Luckily I'd realized the mistake and was able to quickly adjust and make my way back. Once there, I hung out with my aunt for a bit. My cousin and uncle had gone out to play a round of disc golf; my cousin's wife was taking advantage of the baby being asleep and my other cousin was napping. It was nice being able to just hang out and relax.

Once my cousin and uncle got home, pizza was ordered and we all hung out watching a movie on the big ass TV in the family room, which would be where I'd crash later. Once dinner was complete, I took a much needed shower and got cozy. My cousin broke out a game called Sentinels of the Multiverse, which is a pretty fun game. I see myself playing that again. Apparently one of my coworkers out here actually has the tabletop game so perhaps I'll play with her and her husband at some point.

At around 1:30am, I finally gave in and crashed the fuck out. I slept for a solid 5 hours, making it the most consecutive sleep I'd had since getting up for work Friday morning. The night prior, right before dinner, my cousin asked if I'd be up to playing disc golf with him, his best friend and my uncle, to which I willingly agreed to. It was the hanging out that I'd wanted from the friend before we parted ways Sunday morning.

Monday around 10:30ish, the 4 of us, taking two cars, made our way to the course. I'd only ever heard of the game because of my cousin so I was excited to see how it was played. Being the person I am, I also wanted to actually be good at it by the time I was finished. There's a lot of mechanics involved, but once you get the hang of the basics, you work your way up to the more intricate stuff. I was getting advice from all three of them throughout the course and it was just so much fun! I apparently did quite well considering it was my first time, but I will have to make sure I do better next time around.

I had to return the rental car by 2, but I was running a little behind due to the game. Not complaining at all, though. It was totally worth it. However, when I realized that my flight was being delayed ... and delayed and delayed, I noticed that it got to the point where my flight in Denver would not land until AFTER my connecting flight back to Seattle had already left. Big problem with this.

Once the car was returned, I made a phone call to the airline to find out what I could do about switching flights so that I could be back in Seattle in time to be at work at 8am Tuesday morning. The lady I spoke with informed me that there were no other flights from Denver to Seattle until 7am Tuesday morning ... which would definitely not be okay. I asked what I would have to do in order to get back to my final destination, to which I was informed that it would cost me $200 to change my flight completely, since it would be a different route. {yes, again with the $200} This was bullshit, so I told her I'd call back.

I explained to my aunt what was going on and she suggested I call back and ask for a supervisor. The need to change the flight was not due to me fucking up; the airline fucked up. I had nothing to do with the flight being delayed. At this point we were back at her place and I was visibly annoyed. I called the airline back, got a different person on the phone and requested to speak with a supervisor. The guy I spoke to politely asked me what the reason was and when I explained why, he asked if I was going to be flying out of the same area and going to the same place. I told him yes, there were three airports in the vicinity to choose from and Seattle was still my final destination. He informed me that there shouldn't be a charge for this, since it wasn't my fault and I wasn't exactly changing my route. I was offered a direct flight, but it would be leaving 2 hours from then.

I confirmed with my aunt that if we left right at that moment, we could make it in time. I told the guy okay, booked the new flight, said very quick goodbyes and left for the airport. I was back home 3 hours earlier than I originally was supposed to be and was actually at my place an hour before my original flight was supposed to even land. Altogether, between the time I woke up for work Friday morning and when I crashed out Monday night, I'd gotten no more than 10 hours of sleep. But it was so worth it.

I'm already planning my next trip out there, but it won't be for at least another year. However, this time it'll be a full two weeks. I'm going to be making up for lost time and ensuring that I get to do everything that I want to do and more.

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Halfway point!
Tuesday. 8.11.15 8:09 pm
Oh my goodness! I have completed day 15 of the 30 day challenges that my sister and I have been doing. 140 squats and 90 second plank. I'm beginning to think {after two days in a row with my back hurting} that I'll have to start doing the "easy" plank starting tomorrow, when we go to two minutes. Rather than balancing on my forearms, I'll keep my arms straight. If I can keep that up for the remainder of the two weeks, then I may start the challenge over doing them the "right" way. We'll see how it goes.

I leave for DC in a week and a half! I'm so excited about flying back east. I haven't been back to the east coast since I graduated high school ... 11 years ago. It's crazy to think about! This is the longest I've ever stayed away; when we moved the first time, it was only a couple years before we moved back. It's going to be a very quick trip, though. I'll only have one day to explore while I'm there, but you better believe that I'll be taking full advantage of the day. The one thing I must do? Arlington Cemetery. It's something I've wanted to go back to do since 1998, when I went the first time.

I have plans pretty much every weekend from now until the weekend after Labor Day. . . I'm not sure how my calendar fills up so quickly these days, but it's fantastic! I'm quite enjoying being out and about, whether I'm with people or not. This past weekend was a very chill weekend for me. I went to the gym both days, and that was the only time I left the house. I'll be getting on a scale this weekend so I'll be able to see what progress I've made. I'm hoping to have lost at least a couple more pounds, but with the daily exercising I've been doing, I wouldn't be surprised if I've gained some weight in muscle. My pants actually fit me now and one of my skirts is far too loose at this point, so I've lost at least something.

Work is work. There's really nothing new going on that's worth writing about. I'm beginning to question the logic being used for the new hires that are supposed to be taking over one of our departments once it's centralized ... they're not very bright. Some of them have even quit in less than a month because they just couldn't handle it. I mean, my job is challenging, but I had to learn, essentially, 13 different departments in two weeks and I'm pretty damn good at my job. I very rarely fuck up and when I do, it's not normally something serious. I just don't get it. Oh well; it'll be out of our hands in a month.

Anywho, I figured I'd type up a quick update. Not sure if I'll be typing anything up before I go to DC, but if not, then definitely when I get back.

{For those who follow me on Facebook and Instagram, there will definitely be pictures so stay tuned}

Until then. . .

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Week one complete
Monday. 8.3.15 9:12 pm
One of the previous blogs I wrote, {it may even have been the last one ... I can't remember and I don't feel like going back to look} I mentioned that my sister and I were doing two 30 day challenges: squats and plank. Well, today was day 7 and I've completed both challenges for the day. It feels pretty good knowing that I can do these things. I know that week two will be getting a little more challenging. The squats increase to 135 and plank is 90 seconds by day 14. I'm looking forward to the challenge. I'll also be going to the gym again this weekend and hopefully getting to 2 1/2 miles within 30 minutes. I was pretty close this past weekend.

The BBQ place was delicious. I tried a couple different things this time around. I got the jalapeno cheddar sausage and the mac and cheese this time around. I had leftover brisket again and it was still good as lunch the next day. My friend gave me her left over chicken, which I will probably have for dinner tomorrow night. There's always so much food to be had there and the prices are incredibly reasonable considering how much food you get. I'm really happy that I was introduced to a BBQ place I can actually eat at.

The Sounders game was fun. We lost, but my friend and I had a good time. She kept dissing on Canada, which was entertaining since they were kicking our team's ass. We were up in the nosebleeds and I was more interested in the sunset than the game itself. It was the perfect spot to watch the sunset too. I took quite a few pictures and posted a few on Instagram, if you'd care to follow me there {since I'm not currently on Facebook.} My name there is sa.boof.

Yesterday I ended up just staying in all day. I woke up not feeling well so I wasn't in the mood to go anywhere. I did laundry and took a nap right after and then ended up going to bed around 8:30. It was just a really off day for me. Thanks to going to bed super early, I was awake just after 2, but I was able to fall back asleep fairly quickly. I had a dream about a friend and his best friend. It wasn't a bad dream; I actually had quite a bit of fun with it. What made me laugh even more about it is that I know there's no possible way it's ever going to happen and yet in the dream, it just felt so natural.

Anywho, the rest of this week is going to be interesting. One of our departments just got "optimized" and it was already pulled back because there was a problem with the template. Go figure. There was nothing wrong with the way we have been doing things so I'm not sure why they made so many changes to make things "better," but clearly it's not working as well as they'd thought. Oh well. One day at a time, one problem at a time and as soon as 17:00 comes along, I'm no longer concerned with it.

No plans as of yet for the weekend, but the week is still young.

Until next time. . .

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Goosebumps
Friday. 7.31.15 5:29 pm
There's a movie coming out {or, it may already be out} about the Goosebumps books... it looks interesting. That's one that I will wait to see until it's on Netflix, though.

Seafair weekend is upon us here in Seattle and the Blue Angels have been doing practice runs for their show tomorrow and Sunday. Yesterday was just to get a feel for the area again and today was to actually practice the show. With the fact that it's clear and fucking mid 90s outside, they were able to fly pretty far up, which made them coming down toward the water even more awesome.

Because of how close my work is to the area in which they host the show, they do fly overs pretty much right above the buildings. In the few years past, I would go up to the roof to watch them. This year, not being in security, I don't have access to the roof, which is only slightly irritating. I'd not trade to go back just to have access to the roof again. I had to watch them from the ground this time, but it's still really cool seeing them fly so close overhead. Feeling the effects of the afterburner gives me chills.

Every year I say it's really not a big deal because the show is mostly the same every year and once you've seen it a few times, there's really no absolute need to see it again. But as soon as the first fly over happens, you hear the noise and see them so close, it's quite challenging to not get excited about it.

That being said, I will not be partaking in the weekend festivities. First off, it's fucking hot outside. Second, it's not a price I'm willing to pay to be out in the heat. A few years ago when I watched the show out on the water, it was technically on Friday and it was their practice show so there was no charge. Besides, I have plans for the weekend anyway.

Tomorrow I'll be going to the gym in the morning and possibly meeting up with a friend there. A little later in the afternoon, I'll be picking another friend up from work and we'll be going out to lunch before going to the Sounders game. Last time we went, it was the end of November and it was freezing as fuck. My toes were numb, which made walking home rather interesting. This time, I'm hoping it won't be too hot. Tomorrow isn't supposed to be quite as warm as yesterday and today, but it's very possible that it could be. I'll bring a jacket with me just in case the game runs late and it gets cool once the sun goes down, but I have a feeling I won't need it.

Then Sunday I'm going to explore some more; I just haven't decided where yet. I have a couple ideas in mind so I'm just gonna play it by ear once I get in my car and start driving.

I do need to go grocery shopping at some point and I really should have done it after work, while I was next to the grocery store, but even with the job that I don't hate, I still like to get away from work as quickly as possible at the end of the day. Especially on Friday. Perhaps I'll go after the sun goes down.

It's nice that tomorrow is already August. This year is flying by and I'm oddly okay with it. It's not quite as packed as this month was, but with my weekends being mostly open, it's very possible that they could be filled up with spontaneous plans. Here's to hoping that it's full of amazing times!

Until next time. . .

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Busy busy
Saturday. 7.25.15 10:52 am
I kind of don't know where to begin... so much has happened this month. I've not really been home a whole lot since my last entry.

The weekend after I wrote that last entry, I went to Canada for the first time. I went to Grouse Mountain and didn't get to do any of the things I went up there to do. The weather was cool and rainy and foggy, everything I normally like, except that this very same weather is what caused the attractions I wanted to do to close. I still had a great time. I took several pictures, all in a fog. I basically experienced what it was like to live in a cloud for a few hours. It was eerie and beautiful. I will be going back at some point, hopefully when the weather is more fair, so that I can actually do the things I wanted to go do. I'll also plan it better and maybe spend more time in Canada.

The next day I hung out with a couple friends in the morning and in to the afternoon. We saw a movie and had lunch. The movie was okay; not something I'd be willing to spend money on again, though. And lunch was delicious {it's kind of hard to go wrong at Red Robin.} After that, I met up with another friend for drinks. He didn't know that I'd gone out to eat lunch beforehand so I ended up just getting drinks while he ate. I got to sit on his friend's motorcycle this time and it was really surprising just how light it was. It's a sport bike, compared to his street bike, and I was able to easily move it, unlike with the street bike.

I really want a motorcycle...

The next weekend I went out of town with my best friend and her husband. We went to the Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival. It was my first time camping. They have a pop up camper and there were port-o-crappers dotted throughout the campgrounds, so I wasn't sleeping in a tent on the ground and shitting in a hole that I had to dig, but it was still camping. The music was mostly good, the bugs were abundant. I'm pretty sure I've managed to get over my irrational fear of bees. I still really, really don't like them, but my pulse and blood pressure don't spike every time one is around me now. We made friends with our "neighbors" and hung out with them intermittently throughout the entire weekend.

The river was so refreshing! We all walked down to the river and listened to the music from there. My friend made us a private rock pool. It started out as her trying to build a rock tower and turned in to an entire pool. After a couple hours hanging out, we made our way back to camp, changed and walked back over to the beer garden to listen to the late show music. The next day we went to the river again; our pool was still unattended so we all took an earlier morning dip before I had to leave.

Without stopping, the trip out there took me about 4 hours. In no traffic, it might have taken me about 3 1/2. On the way back, I wanted to stop at the various turn out and overlook spots to take pictures so I left a bit earlier than everyone else. I was allotting about 5 to 6 hours for travel and still be able to get home in time to do laundry and shower for work the next day. It worked out pretty perfectly, actually. Just over 5 hours of travel and I was home.

Between the sun drenched field, the river and the alcohol, even with being very good about applying sunscreen, I still managed to get burned quite a bit. I have a bunch more spots than the 4th of July weekend sun burn. The tops of my feet, the tops of my legs, above my knees, my back {which hasn't been exposed to the sun in that amount since I was a kid} and my chest. My arms didn't really get burned and neither did my face so I guess the sunscreen did at least something to protect my skin. I'm in the fun peeling stage and my back itches like crazy.

This weekend is actually the least busy of the entire month. I don't have any plans right now, but I have a 5k that I'm doing later this evening. It's the same one that I've done every year that I've been in Seattle, minus last. It's also the first year that I'll be doing it alone. Tomorrow is the only weekend day for the entire month in which no plans have been made and I'm looking quite forward to having a free day. Whether it stays as a day of just hanging out at home, recovering from today, or if it turns in to a day of spontaneous plans, I like that I have the option of either.

Next month is in a week and the only set plans that I have is my trip to DC later in the month. Hopefully the extra time means that I'll actually be able to write more often.

Until then. . .

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