Sunday we met up with blackwingedboy at Folklife. I got Jet and myself a couple of duct tape wallets. It's amazingly useful, especially since my old, leather wallet is full of holes after a good five years of hard use.
I loved talking with Will-yum, and Jet started calling him that, too.
We hit Espresso Vivace before Jet turned into a pumpkin, just.
Vivace was hip, cool, and the lines were out the door at 3pm in the afternoon. The espresso shot was indescribable, but I think it was because I didn't drink it right out of the spout, while it was still crema. Instead it was like getting hit with a slug of engine oil with bitter and sours under and through it. The milk drinks (which were of the appropriate volumes, I did appreciate that the 'normal' drink was an 8 oz and the only one larger you could get was 12 oz) was absolutely astonishingly good and had the nice latte art that we'd seen in Vancouver. Now I know what to aim for with microfoam and what it should taste like when it's really good.
I bought the book on professional techniques. Quite the case study for "perfection is not a thing to be attained, but a way to be taken". It's as bad as Go for being easy to learn what the ideal should be but the attainment taking a lifetime. It boggles my mind to know that there are now espresso machines out there that can control the temperature of the water that hits the bed of coffee to be within half a degree of the ideal. And it's still nothing without good distribution, packing, heating the head just before applying the coffee, the correct roast, the right altitude (the book so much as says that you cannot pull a sweet shot at the altitude we're ate), and grinding to match the humidity. Yeesh.
I also bought a pound of the "green" beans, in quotes because I think some of the beans are already partially roasted. About a third of the beans have the hue and size of beans that have already gone through the warm-up stage of roasting. I'm not sure if it's actually so or if they did that to give the larger beans a head start as in the little roasters, there just isn't time for the big ones to develop at the same rate as the smaller ones. Or something... we'll see how it turns out, and this Dolce blend is reputed to be extremely finicky. We'll see how it tastes.
It was great seeing Blackwingedboy again, as it's been a while, and he was perfectly happy to talk with Jet at his level, exchange good jokes with John, and hugs with me. Yay! I miss him, too.
The weather was cool, too, which I enjoyed.
Jet fell asleep as soon as we dropped William off near his car, and he really liked William a lot.
So we went home, had a good dinner of salmon cakes, leftovers from the great Copper River salmon from the other night, and slept happily. Jet got up in the middle of the night and HAD to have John, for some reason, but, once he got John, he went back to sleep pretty quickly. Whew.
Monday we visited with a bunch of folks, with Jet. Joe, a co-worker, and his wife had moved out of Northern California to the area less than a year ago and were really into the area, which was neat to see. They were a blast to talk with and had kids and grandkids that are now about Jet's age, so were able to relate, no problem. Jet liked them and their house and toys. We had a lot of fun talking about food with them, which was great. Then we went to Ruby's, a nice little diner in the Redmond Town Center, and Jet ate most of a corn dog without any protests or thinking much about it.
From there we visited niherlas and his family in their new home! That was great. Nathan and Jet got along just fine, and shared a bunch of things, played well together, and were extremely polite to each other. There was a very cute exchange of "Please." "T'ank yew!" "Y'r welcome" several times over when it came to sharing pretzels. Running true to form, the chalk and BIG cardboard boxes were the favorite things to play with, along with Daddys. :-) That was fun and it was great to meet palinade and see Nathan enjoy his grapes. :-)
It's neat to see other parents in action, too.
Jet fell over as soon as we were in the car from Nathan's and he didn't wake up until we were into our second course at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Then he wouldn't touch the "snow noodles" as he just wasn't that hungry. He did, however, drink his milk and eat his ice cream.
We then went out and looked at all the houses George and Isabel had shared, in Seattle and back in Eastgate. That was pretty keen. Especially with a stop up on Queen Anne, where we could just peer at the city as it stood in the mist and grey. Sniffle. I don't need a view like that in a home, but it was just beautiful to see and contemplate for a while.
Tuesday was Flight Day, and we did a quick run to Issaquah for our Last Things, like gas to get to the airport, smoked salmon, a gorgeous jug (in a really snazzy shocking pink, athlete's water bottle) of Toshi's teriyaki sauce, and a latte fix. Jet went with us, as he wanted to, and happily ran everywhere we went. And then it RAINED!
I got sprinkled on, and it was so nice to be kissed by the coolness. Happy sigh. I'm glad so many people got done what they wanted to do over the weekend, but I'm also glad that I got a little bit of a Seattle mist-fix. I needed it.
The flight home was uneventful. Jet, as usual, stayed up for the snack and a bit of TV, then got started on his movie and fell asleep about a third into it, and then slept until we got out of the plane. We got back to the remote lot by standing up in the shuttle bus's front area, and then walked to the car. It was good to stretch the legs after the long flight, and the summertime thunderheads had created enough shade to make it easy.
Home again, home again, and Jet had a smoothie while we had coconut shrimp and salad from the nearby Outback. There's nothing in the fridge, but it was already 8 and we were tired and hungry and we basically unpacked, got Jet to bed (which he didn't wake up from all night after a few nights in a row of crying for Daddy), and mostly heaved a big sigh of gladness to be home.
It was good to be in Seattle for a while, to catch up and be homesick for the Northwest, but it's also good to be in our own beds again and our own house. Tonya did a stellar job on all the watering, and I'm very glad everything but Jet's cucumbers are alive and growing quite happily. I think the ants have killed the cucumbers, plus not getting watered nearly enough by the sprinkler system. We'll have to fix that before the three-week trip.
John got Jet to school this morning. I dragged myself into work after hitting The Brewing Company for my breakfast and a couple of shot glasses for measuring my shots. Now I know what to look for with respect to grounds distribution and good packing. I roasted the Vivace green last night, so it should be okay to go tomorrow, best the day after, perhaps, for body and crema. Nice thing is that I'll get to try it and see.
I'm now into the third of Cherryh's Fortress books and am enjoying them tremendously. To the point where I read past midnight last night because I was finally alone and uninterrupted. I shouldn't do much of that, but it was fun while I could.