The rain was blowing horizontally this morning while John and George wrestled with the fact that the upstairs toilet hadn't stopped running water, flooded the bathroom, and dripped water into the basement bathroom as well. Sleet followed the rain and Jet and I watched it quietly as we did origami in the living room.
Isabel had fun telling us that there was rain in the forecast for the next five days. Then Jet asked, "Should I sing the song?"
I said, "Sure. It can't hurt."
And he sang, "Rain rain, go away, come again some other day." And then, to top it off, he added "please." "Rain rain please go away, come again some other day."
The sleet sleeted across the windows pinging and bouncing, and then ten minutes later it cleared. The sun came out between the clouds, and shone through the windows and ten minutes later it stopped raining completely.
We took it as a sign. And hightailed it across Lake Washington. The wind was blowing hard from the south, so that there were waves on the lake coming over I-90 going east. The waves were so high that they hit the cars on that side of the road, but the bridge itself calmed the waves so that the lake to the north was calm.
We went into the International District and went right to a little place called Samurai Noodle. Jet's parking karma was in effect and we found a perfect little street spot right on the corner so getting in and out was a breeze even with the station wagon, and we got two hours' worth of time. And the spot was right across the street from Uwajimaya. I'd noticed Samurai Noodles the last few times we'd gone by that whole plaza, and after doing a little online research it seemed a good place to go in downtown for ramen. They made their own noodles, broth, and stuff, so it seemed a good thing to try out.
It was packed, beyond packed, as the place only had tables for about twenty people, and while they did a brisk take-out business for those willing to just take their noodles down the block to eat in the Uwajimaya food court, the rest of us opted to sit down there when and if we could. The boys were incredibly patient about the whole thing. We ordered our food first, and then waited outside in the sunshine and wind and cold until a table cleared for us at about 12:30. I was very thankful that Jet's song worked as we watched the stoplights go nearly horizontal in the wind.
When we sat down the three guys in a closet of a kitchen started on our order, and within a few good minutes, we had fresh, hot ramen on our table. I'd bought a half shouyou and half tonkatsu ramen, as I didn't think I could take the fatty pork broth at full strength. John got the chile green onion ramen, and it came in a broth red with chile. Jet got the clear shouyou (chicken) broth with just the noodles, and the chefs generously gave his toppings (seaweed, pork, and more green onions) to us on a side plate. It was better than I could make at home, not quite a flavorful as the place I'd eaten with umetaro or amberley in the Bay Area.
But the seasoned egg was just like Mom used to make, though we called them red-cooked eggs. *laughs* And the roasted pork slices were very, very tasty. Jet ate his entire adult-sized bowl of noodles and drank most of the broth. The fatty pork broth was very rich, and the "firm" textured noodles had great bite. I loved the little bits of black mushroom, and John was very happy with the spice in his soup. So we called it a Big Win, and both boys were very happy with their lunches, and Jet said that he still had a little room for something sweet.
So we went into Uwajimaya and had a great time looking at a ton of stuff, and ended up in their paper section and bought a huge stack of origami papers. Jet and I have been making little ornamental paper balls from a single stack of paper that I'd brought along for the trip, and now we had a lot more ammunition to use for the balls.
From there we headed back into the store to find something sweet, and I ended up with Pocky and Jet found chocolate bears and John got some of the sticky rice candy. The great good thing about buying that candy in Seattle is that it isn't rock hard dried the way it always is in Colorado.
From there we went through the bookstore to the car, and found lots of cool things that I couldn't figure out what to do with, so we didn't buy any of them. The car had ten minutes of time left when we got there, so we'd used all of the time up quite nicely.
From there we headed back to Redmond to check out the Border's sale and do a little walking around Redmond Towne Center, as the parking was free, there were walls and roofs to cut the wind, and lots of stuff to see. The sale got us a calendar for half off, and Jet a couple of captain Underpants books for night time reading. We were happy about that, and then we did a bit circuit around the mall just to see what was there and to walk around a bit. We didn't buy anything else, but it was nice to walk in the sunshine and cold. We got back to the car, drove back to George and Isabel's and at 3:30 in the afternoon hit rush hour traffic and stop and go stuff along 405.
Yes, I understand that this is a normal circumstance. I used to commute along that corridor to and from a job in Lynnwood when George and Isabel put me up for a summer.
But after the relatively traffic-free existence we've had in Colorado it really brought home just how many people live here and commute here and have to contend with really slow traffic on an every day basis. It made me pretty grateful for our little bit of high desert that isn't quite as attractive to everyone else.
Jet and I got to indulge in our paper when we got back. Jet had bought a little over 1500 pieces of paper in two blocks of origami paper. I had more paper, but far fewer pieces. *laughs*
Then we all bundled up in all the cold weather gear we had and headed to the Bellevue Botanical Garden for their "Garden D-lights". The Denver Botanical garden has a winter time light show as well, but it was just random lights or Christmas lights. These were actually lights in the shape of, mostly, botanical things. The lights were bundled to emulate hundreds of types of plants, flowers, and trees. Palm trees, pine trees, and even a Poinsettia Tree were all "created" by taping up lights and bundling them to look like the flowers or leaves, and then arraigning them all over the Gardens. So there were displays over much of the Garden's grounds.
It was actually pretty impressive to be able to tell strawberries from tomatoes, grapes from wisteria, and lilies from irises, all done in lights. There were sunflowers, corn, morning glories, orchids, nasturtiums, and even potted pansies for sale. That had me giggling.
Jet enjoyed it a lot, and they had a kids' search for all kinds of animals and creatures planted all through the displays. Doves, monkeys, geckos, turtles, fish, crabs, and all those kinds of things in lights were hidden among the "plants".
We got there right as it opened, and after seeing it all in about an hour, the place started really filling up and getting crowded. So we left at 6, just in time to get home for supper and hot chocolate after the long, cold walk, and it was perfect.
Jet and I did more origami while the other adults talked about Facebook and finding relatives through it. And I put Jet to bed, and, finally, got a chance to make another brain dump.
My night, last night, was finally pretty good. For the first time in nearly four or five months, I actually dreamed good dreams, and in one of them I actually climbed a soft climbing wall that was made to make it nearly impossible to fall. Even with a rope that unraveled in my hands like cut lace, there were two women who helped me make a support that could bear my weight. The funny thing was that right before I woke up, a seer woman was telling the other four people in the room with me what they needed and what they were when she touched me on the head and said, "You are a woman sleeping." In the dream, that puzzled the heck out of me, but when I woke a few minutes later, I got a good giggle.