Birthday Cake #50

We woke up at 9:45am — when kids aren’t around and there’s no alarm it’s easy to sleep in. We stopped in North Bend, went into Twede’s Cafe, another Twin Peaks site, and then next door to North Bend Bakery for doughnuts and coffee to-go.

Downtown North Bend. If you look closely you can see 2 paragliders.

We drove straight to Havana’s ultimate frisbee game to pick her up, then to Leona’s to get Eva. Hudson came over from Tobin’s as we got home.

A candle per decade

Eva’s friends Fiona and Cheetah and Hudson’s friend Tobin had Thai for dinner with us and then we had my traditional German Chocolate birthday cake.

Presents from the kids: beer socks from Eva, a Death & Co. cocktail book and a photographic essay book about the history of the Maker’s Mark Distillery from Hudson and a new leak-proof cocktail shaker from Havana. There’s a theme there.

I’m 50

I turned 50 today! I’ve heard a lot of sympathy and jokes about being old lately but I consider it an accomplishment – too many people don’t make it to 50. I’m happy to be 50 and even happier that I’m healthy and Gay and the kids are also happy and healthy. I’ve learned how to be comfortable with a rational work/life balance, the kids get along better than ever, we’ve started to figure out this parenting thing. I feel like I just need to continue doing what I’m doing and enjoy it rather than make changes or plans for some life goal or to achieve happiness.

Enjoying my free birthday beer at Optimism

My birthdays are always the same: dinner, usually steak, and German Chocolate cake for dessert and always at home with just the people who matter most to me. Since 50 is a special one I thought I should do something special. I’d always wanted to go to Salish Lodge since moving to Seattle 22 years ago but never have. It’s not a place kids would enjoy so it’d be the first time I didn’t celebrate with the kids.

We arranged for all the kids to have sleepovers at friends’ houses: Havana at Hannah’s, Hudson at Tobin’s and Eva at Leona’s. When the kids heard that we were going away to celebrate my birthday, Hudson said we are “ruining the sugar trilogy”. Huh? That’s what they call the three days of sugar: Havana’s half-birthday dessert on the 30th, Halloween candy on the 31st and my birthday cake on November 1.

Then Gay and I left for Salish Lodge after stopping at Optimism to drop off the kegs we served for Halloween and to get my free birthday beer (a BierBier) – there are only three reasons that it is legal to give away free beer in Washington State and a birthday is one of them.

A sunny and traffic-free drive got us to Salish Lodge just before 4pm. We checked in and put our luggage in the room, which has a view of the Snoqualmie Falls. Before we lost the sun, we walked the trail down to the river and back.

Before dinner we went to the bar, The Attic, and their signature cocktail is the Salish Manhattan, made with our neighbor Micah’s Copperworks bourbon. So that was an easy decision. The Attic was crowded and loud so we took our drinks to Club 268, a quiet little lounge that our room gave us access to. We had the place to ourselves and the hostess served us champagne when our Manhattans were done.

The champagne made us late for our 7pm dinner reservation. The dinner menu was mostly steak and we decided on the Tomahawk, a 34-ounce steak for two and it was cooked perfectly. Our table overlooked the river below lit up by spotlights.

After dinner and back at the room, we watched the first episode of Twin Peaks, since Salish Lodge and the surrounding area was the setting for the show – the opening scenes feature the lodge perched above the falls. The FBI agent, Dale Cooper, stayed at Salish Lodge, in fact. Gay was a big fan of the show in college.

Coincidentally, Salish Lodge and the Falls were purchased by the Snoqualmie Native American Tribe and announced today.

Halloween 2019

This is the first year we didn’t take our kids out trick-or-treating. Hudson got home at 4:55pm and was in-costume and out the door by 5:05pm to Bowie’s. Eva left soon after to go out with Iris, Ohana, Poppy, etc. And Havana had 6 (?) friends over for pizza before they went out. Havana was Pam from The Office, Hudson was in his green Chubb suit again this year and Eva was a Shark (her current favorite animal).

Gay and I gave out candy and beer until Jon & Megan & Emmarie & Kayak arrived. Then Gay and Megan took Emmarie out trick-or-treating leaving me and Jon to serve candy and beer. Gay got take-and-bake pizza from Zeek’s and Patrick, Deirdre, Finn (their German nephew and Garfield student) came over for pizza and various people were in and out throughout the evening.


After a late-ish night with friends Edie & Zach for dinner last night, I got up at 6:30am to ride Jenn Sherman’s NFL Pregame Ride at 7am and do my 1,000th (“millenniumth”) Peloton ride. It’s fun to get a shout-out during live rides for hitting milestones and I got 3 – one in the first few minutes and two at the end. More threes: I finished 3rd and picked up 3 followers.

Puberty Class

I took Hudson to Part 1 of the Great Conversations’ puberty class at Seattle Children’s Hospital tonight. Beforehand, we had dinner, just the two of us, at Eureka! where we could watch Monday Night Football and eat burgers.

It was good to have someone talk through the process in a way kids can understand it and it makes it a more comfortable conversation to have. One of the questions the presenter asked the adults was how they learned about puberty. Not surprising to me, not a single parent raised their hand when asked if their parents told them anything at all about puberty. Some parents were given a book by their parents and some were told to go talk to someone else. I learned about it in an uninformative week-long course during Health class in 7th grade and for several years after that. I think Hudson already knows more about it at 11 than I did when I was 14.

There was lots of participation from the audience and Hudson raised his hand to answer questions three times. There were maybe one or two other kids who were as active out of about 50. I was proud, when I was his age I never would have done that, certainly not on this subject. Hudson was also more mature than most by not snickering every time “penis” was said.


I disassembled the Nautilus machine on Saturday and the Tonal was installed today in its place!

This is my 50th birthday gift from Gay and the kids and it arrived early. One introductory workout and another first workout of the Building Basics 4-week program done. I think it’ll make weight lifting as much fun and interactive as the Peloton bike.