In which there was a sunset boat ride

I came home the other day and Jeff wasn’t home. I called to check in and he said I wasn’t going to be happy with where he was.. My first though was that he was playing with our friend’s dog, and I was sad that I’d missed that. Instead he was on the boat, on a gorgeous Seattle evening with our friend Tom. I was seriously jealous until Tom said they could pick me up if I could drive down to the Huskie’s Stadium. Which I immediate hopped in the car and did. They picked me up off the UW boat dock and I got these pictures and a wonderful sunset in return. Thanks so much Tom!

Montlake bridge over the cut separating Lake Union and Lake Washington

Montlake bridge over the cut separating Lake Union and Lake Washington

Party of 40 some odd sailboats in the middle of Lake Union. Apparently they do this every Tuesday night.

Party of 40 some odd sailboats in the middle of Lake Union. Apparently this is a sailboat race that (d)evolves into a party every Tuesday night.

The Fremont Bridge and sunset.

The Fremont Bridge and sunset.

Seattle skyline at night

Seattle skyline at night

Gas Works from the water

Gas Works from the water

Gas Works via Instagram

Gas Works via Instagram

 

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In which I got to ride in a police car

Let me first clarify, it was the FRONT of one, not the back. The kind officer gave me the choice and even though it meant he had to clean out a bunch of his stuff, I got to sit in the passenger seat. I don’t have very many goals in life, but NOT sitting in the back of a cop car is definitely one of them.

This all started out when I was down at Greenlake trying to study for my finals (slash, really just trying get a tan). I had taken some books, a bottle of water, thoroughly sprayed my pasty body with sunscreen and started to get down to studying all the stuff I missed while out on anesthesia. In the spirit of procrastination I snapped this photo of my productivity:

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When you highlight a lot it clearly means you’re learning.

And then! Some jerk face ran by and stole my cell phone off my blanket! From right next to me! It was maybe three inches from my book.

The girls next to me started calling the police before I could even react properly. Who steals a phone that’s laying right next to you? Good lord. I stood up, but I wasn’t chasing the guy down because 1) I was in a bathing suit top in the interest of tanning and that thing has no support for the ladies, tiny as they may be and 2) he was seriously gone. Just gone. Up a few blocks and then disappeared up a side street. I was surprising at peace with the whole thing.. I mean, I’d already downloaded our pictures from the Victoria trip and the phone is over two years old, so I’m on borrowed time already, right?

I packed up my things and started back home when an officer pulls up in a squad car. “Are you the victim?” Uh.. victim? You mean of the phone thing? Because seriously y’all must have better things to be doing, like saving people in actual trouble. So yes, I guess I am the victim here. He was really nice and told me that some of his fellow officers had caught someone matching the description and I needed to go identify him. “Would you like to sit in the front or back?” Definitely the front, sir. Definitely the front.

We go to where they have this guy held, but I can’t make a positive ID because to be honest I really didn’t get a great look. Plus I’ve seen way too many shows on the Discovery Channel where the wrong person is put in jail because someone saw a vague suspect from 1000 yards away through dirty windows and thought it was them, so I was paranoid about giving them wrong information. I joke, I’m a terrible witness, huh? No one should get murdered near me! The police officer was not amused, “Just tell the truth. We need to know if we should search him.” The man they’ve got looks kind of like the guy, but I wasn’t a hundred percent sure, so they let him go. I would have LOVED to have called my lawyer in this situation, but you know.. no phone.

I told the officer that I can track my phone on my computer and I only live a few blocks away, so he kindly drives me to my apartment and parks in front. I offer to run in, check on where it is and report back to him, but he insists on coming up so we can do this in real time and radio it in to the guys on the ground. I let him into the apartment with a Hey hun.. so I brought a nice police officer gentleman cop guy here with me… My phone was stolen in the park. Jeff’s face embodies “What the hell, Elise?” as I bring out the computer to the kitchen and apologize to the officer for our messiness while logging on.

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I’ve used this feature plenty of times to find my phone when I lived alone and there was no one readily available to call it. The GPS is pretty accurate, so much so that you can tell if it’s in the front or back of your apartment. The most helpful part is that you can also send a sound so it’ll chirp – helpful when you’ve dropped it outside of your car when carrying in the groceries and it’s too dark to find it.

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The GPS is much more accurate than this.. I’m just not sure I want everyone to know my exact address.

So we start tracking the green dot – and our kind police officer radios the location to the other squad cars on the ground. Yes, cars plural. I had four police vehicles aiding me in the phone theft. I am a complete waste of resources. They track down the SAME GUY as before walking down the sidewalk. When they give the word I press the button that sends the sound to the phone and we all hear over the radio, “He’s chirping! He’s chirping! We got him!”.

I drive to the area with the officer to pick up my phone. As we leave Jeff tells me, “So much for you getting the new iPhone 5! Hahaha”. The suspect is already headed to the precinct to get booked and another policeman comes up all excited to hand me my phone. The whole bunch is clearly elated, I mean, how often to you catch the guy red handed? How many times does a phone theft get solved? Which made it really hard for me to tell the young guy, sheepishly, I’m so sorry, but this isn’t my phone… this is an iPod touch. “What?! But he was chirping when you sent the signal!” We call Jeff back at the apartment and he tracks the little green dot down N. 80th and up Roosevelt, headed in the direction of the precinct. Jerk face had my phone in his other pocket.

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So we drive to the precinct and I got my phone back. Thanks Seattle Police for your dedication on tracking the guy down. Job well done guys. I seriously hope I didn’t detract from anything too important that day.

So clearly all this means is that I need to keep this phone forever.

So clearly all this means is that I need to keep this phone forever.

In which we go to Canada

Flashback: Spring Break 2005, Sophomore year of college. Jeff and I had been dating just over a year and we and a couple of friends decided to drive to Canada. Why there? Well we were too poor to fly anywhere warm, we could try skiing and because the legal drinking age was 18. A few days before the trip everyone had dropped out except for Jeff and I, but we decided to go anyway. I should’ve known I was going to marry him then because how else do you drive 1024 miles in one week WITHOUT fancy GPS equipment or iPhones in a country where my middle school French was not helping us out that much?

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Roughly our route (and remember this is pre-GPS days. Durham -> Boston -> Quebec -> Montreal -> Durham. That last stretch we drove in one day.. something like 14 hours!

That trip was so much fun; I’m so glad we ended up still going. Sadly most of my pictures were destroyed or corrupted a long time ago, but here is some vintage Jeff and Elise:

Young us visiting the ice hotel in Quebec

Young us visiting the ice hotel in Quebec

Snowy streets of Quebec

Snowy streets of Quebec

Flash forward: So we find ourselves so close to the Canadian border once again – only three hours via I-5 to Vancouver, but just haven’t found the time to make it to our snowy (or on this side, temperate) northern neighbors.

After our hike out on the Dungeness Spit we drove on to Port Angeles to catch the ferry to Victoria, BC. The city lies at the end of the Vancouver Peninsula and is basically only accessible by plane or boat. This ferry was much larger and it took us over an hour to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca, much longer than the 15-20 minute one across the Sound.

Tickets and the view from the ferry.

Tickets and the view from the ferry.

Us on a boat (sweaty from our hike)

Us on a boat (sweaty from our hike)
And look what our phone can do 8 years later – take pictures, edit them AND has the INTERNETS! All in our pockets. And all this on a 2+ year old phone.. Amazing.

Once we landed we checked into the Hotel Grand Pacific (thank you Hotwire and your awesome deals!) and hurried through a much needed shower before heading out to find some food. Victoria (and Seattle for that matter) is so far north that the sun is still pretty high even at 8:30pm, so it didn’t seem too late out until the lovely people at The Keg brought our our steaks – then we ate like the famished hikers we were!

The next day we explored around the Inner Harbour where we were staying – it’s kind of touristy, but fun to see all the cute little shops, boats, seaplanes coming in from Vancouver and Seattle and the lovely Fairmont Empress hotel and old British Columbia Parliament buildings.

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The Empress Hotel

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Boats in the Inner Harbour – early morning before the throngs of people started to come out.

After a quick breakfast we headed out to the Butchart Gardens. Victoria is where a lot of people in Canada go to retire due to the temperate weather (it’s basically their Florida), so they’re slightly obsessed with gardening. I was excited to see the Butchart Gardens because there was a picture of them on my grandparents’ wall for so many years when I was younger. They did a lot of traveling when my granddaddy retired and I loved flipping through their photo books, always wanting to see the places for myself. Jeff is humoring me and we’ve been checking off places that hung on the picture wall pretty diligently (the Badlands were our last ones).

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The exact picture my grandmother has!

The exact picture my grandmother has!

The whole place was pretty incredible – some of the best gardens we’ve ever seen. Neither of us has anything close to a green thumb, so I like to think we appreciate this amount of horticultural knowledge and expertise on a well respected level.

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Their Japanese garden section outdid Portland’s entire garden devoted to the theme.

DSC_0412All too soon we had to head back to the ferry because unlike when you cross into Canada and can just show up at the dock, the US customs agents need you to be back 1.5 hours before your crossing to ask you a bunch of questions.. and then make you wait for an hour and twenty minutes.

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We were once again blessed with clear skies and smooth waters.

Hello Olympic Mountains, peeking out from your ever present clouds.

Hello Olympic Mountains, peeking out from your ever present clouds.

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Bye, bye Victoria!

From Port Angeles we headed back to the Kingston-Edmonds ferry and then back down into Seattle. It was a quick, perfect trip!

A: Seattle; B: Dungeness Spit; C: Victoria and then back again.

A: Seattle; B: Dungeness Spit; C: Victoria and then back again.

In which the sun still shines

I think if you don’t live in the northwest, some wintertime sun isn’t anything to write home about. But here, it seems like it started raining one day in October and never stopped, so bare with my iPhone photos of the sunshine. It brings warmth to my heart, a renewed faith that this isn’t the Noah’s Ark redux and some breath taking views of the snow capped mountains around us.

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Other than some brief reminders that the skies won’t always be grey, it’s been back to sklerk (Jeff’s combination of “school” + “work”, but accurately spelled schlork).

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And to end the day, one of my favorite groups singing one of my favorite hymns: Mumford & Sons – Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing