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Merry Christmas, everyone.

It’s past midnight, so I guess that makes this technically the day after, but no worries.  It’s been a heck of a couple of days.  Got all the presents we needed bought and sent and wrapped and etc., etc., etc., though sadly my sister’s present didn’t make it to Seattle due to snow.  I’m pretty bummed about that one.  But I had the most uplifting post-Christmas chat with her on the phone about an hour ago, and it really made my whole day.  I know sometimes I can be way too aloof to be a good friend, let alone a good sister, but I’m trying to make that better.  I was really glad to get ahold of Lisa tonight and see how everything went and whine at her about stuff that went wrong and celebrate stuff that went right and talk about all the great food we made and all the neat things we got and good times we had.  I had a nice chat with Mom and Dad this morning, too, though a bit short due to my phone running out of batteries.  Sigh.  We made it, we’re not destitute, everyone seemed passably pleased, and it wasn’t just me who was feeling a little Christmas funk this year.  It’s a funky time.

And now I’m going to sleep, and dream, and wake up refreshed.  And enjoy all the wonderful thoughful things my husband gave me, and all the warm, comfy things my in-laws gave me, and maybe even have a big cup of delicious tea out of the most beautiful tea set this side of St. Petersburg.   Perhaps with pictures to follow.

And to all, a good night.


Flowers at the Bellevue Botanical Garden

Flowers at the Bellevue Botanical Garden

You can tell my vacation is going well when every post seems to start with a “Yay!”

Today was very chilled out, and we did lots of stuff I had never done before! We started out our day stopping by my sister’s to have a wee sconey breakfast before heading out to lunch with Valdito. Lisa was looking mighty tired, and seemed rather stressed out. It’s hard to know what you can say that will make her feel any better, but I hope she enjoyed having us over this morning, and that her day picked up from there. All this tea shop business can get a little trying and she’s such a trooper it’s always hard when you can see it’s finally starting to get to her.

Anyway, the lunch with Val was a bit awkward at first. I’ve never spent enough time with her husband to get to know him and the times I’ve met him over the years he’s always made a bad impression on me. This was by far the most time I’ve ever spent in close contact with him and I think it really paid off. By the end of our long day today he seemed to be loosening up and not being nearly so combative as when we first hang out. I think perhaps new people or old friends make him nervous; I know I am especially self-conscious when meeting Lewis’ old-timey friends.

So we kicked it off by going to a nice restaurant in cute downtown Issaquah, and then Val took us home to show off their wedding photos. It looks like they had a lovely time in Hawaii, and a lovely wedding, and I was definitely a bit sad that I didn’t have the opportunity to participate. But Val’s life is just how she wants it, and apparently how she wanted it was with only Kelly and her father by her side. I do wish them the best, retrospectively.

After that we took off for the Bellevue Botanical Gardens, which I had never been to. This surprises me a bit, given the field-trip-happy elementary school I went to fairly nearby, and the naturalist-type parents I had at the time. At any rate, the gardens are lovely, like a weensy Northwesty version of the Berkeley Botanical Gardens, and it was a very nice afternoon. I think we may have walked the whole park, and it took us through several wooded and open plains, and they seemed to have tons of fuchsia and hydrangea varieties.

I tried to follow Val’s directions to Lynnwood thereafter so we could go to P.F. Chang’s (where she had a mighty gift certificate to). I got supremely lost, but it turns out I got lost right at the mall. Lewis and I made three or four about-faces and ended up right at the point where we had decided we were lost in the first place. After eventually arriving at the Alderwood Mall we checked out the movie schedule and headed to dinner. Never ended up seeing the movie as I was hoping to get back to our hotel before it got too late so we could finally get some good sleep. And here we are – it’s 11:00 and I’m already back! Many sleeps to come.

All in all it was a relaxing and reassuring day. There were moments in there I was worried I’d never be able to enjoying seeing Val without Brian getting on my nerves, but that fear has abated. I also panicked about ever finding Lynnwood, but we made it there as well! A day of tiny triumphs, and entertaining experiences, and good company for sure.