My adventures in Seattle

This weekend, I took an adventure up the Pacific Northwest to the lovely wet city of Seattle. My friend Monique is getting her MSW (Social Work – isn’t that awesome?!) at the University of Washington, and I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time! Matt was supposed to be going with me, but his company just had to go and win a technical achievement Academy Award, so he was schmoozing with stars while I ate freshly fried mini doughnuts and posed with trolls. I flew in Saturday morning with my long underwear ready to go (I had been egged on by other Southern Californians about how cold I would be.)

Yummy things at Pike Place Market

Monique and I dropped my stuff off at her place and headed downtown via bus to the world famous Pike Place market. This place is a foodie’s dream, with stalls heaping with colorful fruit and glossy-eyed fish draped on ice. We shopped around, sampling the various goods and stopping for lunch at a Japanese stall. I got the vegetarian yakisoba and it was delicious – hot and sweet with fresh, crunchy cabbage and thin peels of carrot. We had dessert of mini-doughnuts – powdered sugar, sprinkled and cinnamon sugar.

Miss Monique samples a dougnnut

I also had to buy some dark chocolate pasta, just because the idea was so novel to me. I’ll be making chocolate pasta for dessert the next few weeks – I’m thinking chocolate linguine with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. I’ll blog it! I posed for a picture next to the famous Pike pig, and then we headed back to the bus so we could check out one of my favorite novelty stores, Archie McPhee. If you haven’t heard of Archie McPhee, I highly recommend you visit their online store. It’s a great place to buy all kinds of things you don’t need, like pickle finger puppets and potato guns.

Bronze pig appreciates bag of freshly fried doughnuts in hand!

After Archie McPhee, we walked a mile to the Fremont Troll. The troll is a piece of community art commissioned by a Fremont resident. The troll was a popular attraction and we had to get our picture taken a few times to make it troll-gawker free.

TROLLLL!

After the troll, we headed back towards the Northgate area and then had dinner at Taste of India. This place was awesome because they gave us free chai and pakoras while we waited for our table. I had the butter paneer masala and it was amaaaaazing – so creamy, tangy and rich over the basmati rice. We sopped up the sauces with piping hot garlic naan. When our bellies were full, we headed over to the local $3 movie theatre and watched Midnight in Paris. The plot of the movie was charming but I thought the ending was poo-poolicious. After the movie I passed out on Monique’s lovely futon. We woke up Sunday morning and picked up a sandwich at Jimmy John’s, where I was delighted to order a giant dill pickle. Sadly, my pickle had a hair on it of mysterious origins (discovered after my first bite), so I lost my pep for pickles, but my sandwich was still deee-lish.

Moments before I discovered the hairy pickle.

We drove 30 minutes to Snoqualmie Falls, where the air was frigid, wet and cold. The view of these giant manmade waterfalls was breathtaking – the water crashed angrily onto the river below, and rocks broke the surface among the crystal blue water. We explored the park area around Snoqualmie falls for a bit, shopped in the gift shop, (I scored a cast iron bumble bee – yeah!), and then went back towards Monique’s house for some more local adventuring of my favorite kind – shopping!!!

Breathtaking Snoqualimie Falls

We shopped till we dropped and then swung by Cupcake Royale, where I picked up a “Dance Party” cupcake, with vanilla frosting. It was pretty amazing with a glass of wine! We also got ingredients to make homemade tacos! Here’s a sneak peek – but tune in next time to learn how to make flour tortillas that are a million times better than the packaged ones.

Yummy homemade tacos

On Monday, I ventured to the university district to see my Uncle Daniel, who works downtown. We had a good time eating lunch and bantering back and forth about why California was the superior state. Okay, fine, we never agreed on that, but I have decided that although Washington is lovely, California wins with its sunshine and perpetual blue skies. It was fun to see him on the west coast, as I usually only see him in Minnesota on short family vacations when we’re visiting my grandmother.

My Uncle Daniel and I

This weekend was exactly what I needed – a long weekend to decompress, enjoy some girl time, and do fun things instead of laundry, thesis writing and errand-running. I definitely did not track my meals which will probably get me into trouble this week at the scale, but I’m taking full responsibility for my actions and can say with very little regret…damn, I ate well and enjoyed it! Cest la vie.

Tune in soon to see us get our tortilla on! I hope you had an amazing weekend and are having an even better week!

Grad students DO smile! See?

I’ve been a bad, bad girl

Did you get the reference? You know, cuz that’s a Fiona Apple lyric? Ok, well, anyways…. I have been bad. Very bad. It all started with my sister coming down to visit. I don’t know what it is about visitors that makes me shed every decent habit I’ve acquired, but I PIG the eff out when I have guests in town. It started with the delicious breakfast I made on Saturday morning – scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes. Then we went shopping in North Hollywood and had Chicago hot dogs with onion rings at Vicious Dogs . Then we used my groupon for Famous Cupcakes and I picked up a half a dozen of assorted butter-bombs of cake and frosting, including the Oreo Cookie cupcake.

Then we went home, laid around for a while, and ordered Big Mama and Papa’s pizza – one with fresh tomato and the other with pineapple and ham. One redbox trip later we were watching Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher have random sex in the movie No Strings Attached while stuffing our gullets with pizza. I opened a bottle of white zinfandel and drank one glass. And then another. And then one more. And then another. And then, I realized I was drunk, and the potato chips and sour cream and onion dip came out.

Intoxication + junk food = disgustingly awesome diet fail. I can’t blame it on the a-a-a-a-ah-alcohol (another song reference!! Did you get that one?). I have to be honest with myself that I have a problem with self control, and apparently a guest coming to visit is a special occasion for me and I go kookoo for cocoa puffs (or in this case, cookies n’ cream cupcakes.) I usually don’t eat that much junk food in a month combined, so you can bet my stomach has been a little gurgly today. Since I always try and find the positivity in something crummy, I feel like I gorged on so much crap that I really just feel like eating CLEAN the next week or so. I’m going to try to wean myself off of sugar and keep on the regular fitness. I could guilt trip myself pretty heavily about this, but I’m not going to. It was one day, and while I made bad choice after bad choice, life will go on and I will be okay.

What was the most sinful thing you ate this weekend? For me, it was the chips and dip!!