Solo dinner on Lake Union

Nobody wanted to go on the boat today but I know that summer is ending and I haven’t spent enough time on the boat, so I had (reheated leftovers) dinner by myself and watched the sunset on Lake Union.

I live in the prettiest city in the country!
Sunset over Aurora Bridge and Gasworks Park

I’m finally reading The Boys in the Boat and read a chapter of it during and after my dinner. It felt very appropriate to be in a boat at the very place the book is set. Speaking of, I noticed today that the Pocock Rowing Center is right there by the University Bridge that we go under on our way to Lake Union– George Pocock is a significant character in the book and was the most prominent boat builder for crew teams across the country. I love the history.

Camp week

As in 2019, all three kids went to Camp Orkila this week leaving Gay and I childless. On Sunday, we went to dinner at Eden Hill.

Carpaccio at Eden Hill

On Monday, we had dinner at Terra Plata with the parents of our kids’ camp friends. Tuesday, we finally got a reservation at Canlis and were going to go with Deirdre & Patrick but I was so tired that I didn’t go and they all went without me. Wednesday evening, we took Barley and stopped at Seattle Caviar on the way to the boat and, trying to do something decadent that the kids would not appreciate, had caviar and champagne on the boat in Lake Union. Then we had a late takeout dinner from Rione XIII at home. Friday, we went to Altura, one of our favorite restaurants, and we still think it’s the best restaurant in Seattle for creative and pretty food. (Still not as good as our unforgettable dinner at Schloss Elmau in 2018, but close)

STUZZICHINI

APERITIVO: SPICY CUCUMBER SODA
OSETRA CAVIAR, FERMENTED POTATO, NASTURTIUM
MAHOGANY CLAMS, FERMENTED POBLANO PEPPER, KINOME LEAF
SAVORY CANNOLI, HOKKAIDO SEA URCHIN, PARSLEY ROOT PUREE


MUSTARD GREEN SPONGE CAKE, KANPACHI VENTRESCA, CAPER LEAF
GRASSFED BEEF CRUDO, PARMESAN FONDUTTA, CURED EGG, CARASAU

Sockeye Salmon: CALABRIAN CHILI, PADRON PEPPER, ZUCCHINI BLOSSOM, SWEET CORN
WARM OLIVE OIL ROLL
SEA BREEZE FARM DRY-AGED DUCK
NEW POTATOES, SUMMER BEANS, PORCINI, FOIE GRAS
VANILLA GELATO, CHERRY GRAPPA, AERATED HOT CHOCOLATE
PISTACHIO ZABAGLIONE, SUMMER BERRIES, ALMOND TUILE
GRAPPA PRESERVED CHERRIES, MARZIPAN, CHOCOLATE

Albuquerque 2021

Because my dad died during Covid, we delayed his memorial service until this summer, when we thought the pandemic would be over. It’s not, of course. However, it worked out well because his birthday is August 5th so my mom scheduled it for that day.

We flew to Albuquerque on August 4th, checked into Hotel Chaco and then met almost everyone else for dinner at El Patron. My brother Todd, my sister-in-law Rozanne, my niece Kristin, my sister Trish, brother-in-law Jeff, their daughters Sarah and Leah, my aunt Lorna, my cousins Jodi and Delene and my mom, of course, were all there.

Dinner at El Patron

The memorial service was the next morning at their church. It was a nice service and my sister, brother-in-law Jeff and I spoke (I transcribed what I said here). I have a fear of public speaking so I was very very nervous about it. My sister was too, and fortunately, I brought airplane bottles of Maker’s Mark so we snuck away before the service and we each had one to calm the jitters. 😝

We had a family lunch at my mom’s house after the service. My uncles, a.k.a. my dad’s brothers, Bob and Roy, Roy’s wife Leslie and Bob’s daughter Carole were there too.

Gay, Sarah, Trish, Leah, Kristin, Jeff, me, Hudson, Havana, Bob, Eva, Rozanne, Todd, Carole, my mom, Leslie, Roy, Jodi, Lorna and Dalene

Across the street from our hotel was Sawmill Market, which was fantastic. We ate almost every meal there, trying to never repeat anything, and we still didn’t try 3 or 4 places. Next visit to Albuquerque, I guess. Everything we had was really good and it was so convenient to go there and everyone could get what they wanted versus spending 20-30 minutes on Yelp before every meal trying to find a good place to go.

First dinner at Sawmill Market

The highlight of the trip (of the year?) for Havana and Hudson was meeting Charlie Heaton, an actor in Stranger Things and other things. Several Netflix shows are filmed in Albuquerque and he was filming season 4 of Stranger Things so was staying at the same hotel and happen to be sitting all alone next to all of us at dinner on Friday night at Level 5 where we had a big family dinner. I sent him a beer and we got him to come over and say hello to everyone. Later, we had dessert and invited him over to share desserts and he hung out and talked to all the kids for a while.

Eva, Havana, Charlie and Hudson

Our hotel room had a nice big terrace so we hosted everyone for pizza dinner, from Sawmill Market, of course, on Saturday night. A bunch of us went over to order the pizzas beforehand and then had a drink outside in the courtyard waiting for the pizzas. It was a very nice evening all around.

My mom, Jeff, Hudson, Eva, Carole, Sarah and Gay

Orcas Island

We got out early on Thursday and went to Orcas Island for 2 nights, staying at Rosario Resort. We got to the island in time to have a great brunch at Outlook Inn and we had a fun dinner at The Mansion. On Friday, we had lunch at the casual restaurant overlooking the marina, went to the pool, got takeout pizza from Hogstone, a James Beard nominated restaurant that you just can’t get a dine-in reservation to, took the pizza to a nearby park by the water to eat and then drove around the island before coming back to the hotel, watched a little of the Olympics and then went to bed.

Tour de France 2021

I had fun the last 3 weeks watching the Tour, getting up at 6 or 7am for the last half of it and watching it with my morning coffee before the rest of the house woke up.

Tadej Pogacar had the race won in the first week after all his rivals, including Primož Roglič who I expected to win, crashed out early and he maintained a 5-minute lead the rest of the race. It’s his second Tour and his second win, which is very impressive for a 22 year old. Jonas Vingegaard, a 21 year old, finished second which might mean he’s the next cycling star. Carapaz finished 3rd. Sepp Kuss, an American, won a stage for the first American stage win in 10 years.

My favorite story of the race was Mark Cavendish who returned to the Tour unexpectedly after not racing it for 3 years. At 36, he wasn’t expected to do much, but after a couple of his sprint rivals also crashed out early, he ended up winning 4 sprint stages tying Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins that has stood for almost 50 years. Disappointedly, Cavendish did not win the final stage in Paris which would have given him the record-breaking 35 wins. I expect that it’ll be a long long time before the 34 stage wins record is broken as no one else is close to that.

I’ve been watching the Tour de France since 1995 or maybe 1996. That means I’ve been watching it every summer for at least half my life. Yet, I still feel like it’s new to me.

Cranchi E26 Rider delivery day

We finally got the boat today! After all the delays, I was skeptical that we’d really get the boat this week. I was assured that the boat was actually on the ship that was anchored in Puget Sound for almost two weeks waiting in line to get docked but I didn’t know for sure. It was unloaded on Sunday and the trucking company was able to pick it up today, I assume after going through customs and other red tape.

Hamid, our sales guy from Newport Boats, flew up from Los Angeles late last night and met the trucking company at the shipyard this morning. He sent me photos at each stage…

He hired a captain to take it from the shipyard to the Seattle Yacht Club where we met them at our slip.

Gay, Hamid & Me

Hamid poured us some Prosecco and we motored out of Portage Bay and cruised across Lake Washington to Carillon Point and back.

Gay, me & Captain Chris

Note that I intentionally wore clothes to match the boat: white shirt to match the interior, aqua blue jeans to match the hull, a blue/white watchband to match both and brown shoes to match the decking. Hamid even gave us an Italian flag.

After Chris and Hamid left, Gay and I went to the deck at the yacht club for an appetizer and a cocktail and to hold a table for dinner. Eva was at a birthday party so Gay went home to pick up Havana and Hudson while I read over the stack of manuals that came with the boat. We had a nice dinner at the yacht club, then Gay left again to pick up Eva from the party at Green Lake and then we met on the boat again to go cruising into Lake Union until sunset.

Seattle skyline from Lake Union
Havana, Eva & Hudson

Hot days in Coeur d’Alene

We suffered through three very unusual 100º+ days at home, one day setting a record for Seattle at 107º, and after that was over we woke up on Tuesday to comparatively chilly 70º temperatures and then left for Idaho where it was even hotter. On the drive over east of the mountains the temperatures as registered on the car’s outside thermometer went as high as 116º! Barley had to make a rest stop in 115º temperatures and the pavement was so hot on his paws he didn’t know what to do. Inside the car, it was in the 60ºs, a 50º difference!

We got to our Airbnb after 5pm and Jon, Megan, Emmarie, Nai and Kaki, who spent the heat wave in Spokane with air-conditioning, showed up a couple hours after us.

Hudson on the kayak, girls in the water, Megan and Havana sitting on the dock