Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

Home Again Home Again

In which we lose a Trader Joe's a few times, visit friends in Kirkland, I see real Japanese maple leaves like lace, oogle Japanese painting books, get our neighbor's grocery list, eat at Yeh's Wok, I get mistaken for a man (whew), and try to phase shift back to Mountain time. And then we actually get home and have most of the afternoon get home, do laundry, heat the house, find food, and get settled in again.

I love my new keyboard. It's light and easy and really feels good to type with. It's a BTC lightweight keyboard with a special spring action, and I love the thing far more than I thought I would and it's now on my kitchen computer, and it's really nice.


Yesterday was on and off snow and rain in Bellevue and Seattle. We got up pretty late after all the traveling the day before, and getting in to a cold house. But little space heaters really made things a lot easier in the sleeping areas, and I did pretty well. I got to do a little computer stuff in the morning, and after a light lunch, we left for Kirkland to try and find the Trader Joe's there. But we were late enough when we missed it twice, we just went ahead to our friends' house.

They're folks we knew from Data I/O. *laughs* Hey! Dave has books for sale, still!! Dave Pellerin's an old engineering friend of ours, who went on to make his own business, write books, and do some traveling and is now on his second company. His wife Satomi is now into professional ceramics sales, and is also doing a lot of other things, including raising their son, Julian. He's into a C-compiler that takes the language and basically converts it into hardware, so that algorithms that normally can be described in software can now be easily converted to a much faster hardware base, using Xilinx chips.

Yeah. Software modifiable hardware. It's fun.

It was incredible fun to just be able to talk engineering stuff again at a level that was just... fun to think about again.

But it was great to go to their house and just sit and talk with them and see what they're up to and what it is that they're interested in. We pointed them at all of Bob Hamilton's pictures, which Dave was interested in as well. They also looked at some of my paintings, and Satomi had been doing some of that kind of artwork with her high fire glazes on her ceramics. That was pretty fun. They've done pit firing along with the high temperature glaze work... and it's pretty amazing seeing the results.

Satomi had collected a lot of Japanese maple leaves from the neighbors, which she used to resist some of her glazes. She had a pile of them in a bowl for decorations as well, and I laid a few out on a white background and took pictures of them so that I can paint them when I wish do.

We had coffee and Jet played with Julian and a couple of his friends on the Wii. And after seeing my paintings, Satomi offered half a dozen books from painters that she really loved, and I was really wow'ed and there's a lot of great ideas in there for paintings of my own, now.

That should be fun.

We left in the rain, and found the Trader Joe's and John ran in to just get the citrus cranberries and another bag of the Gingeroos because I have been craving Gingeroos and one bag taken home could be tucked in the freezer until I really wanted them again.

Then we went back home, picked up George and Isabel and went to Yeh's Wok at 5:30 before it got too crowded and we got the camphor and tea smoked duck, the dry cooked string beans, the walnut shrimp, and a vegetable scallop dish and stuffed ourselves happily. The camphor and tea smoked duck is one of my favorite dishes, ever, as the skin is crisp and smoky, and the duck, on the bone, is tender, flavorful, and they cut it in just the right pieces to get every single tender shred of meat. I probably ate half of that half a duck quite happily and the rest of the family was nice enough to let me.

Amusingly, what made my evening was going to the restroom and as I was coming out a lady came in and peered at me and asked, "This is the women's restroom, right, not the men's?"

"Yes. It is the women's restroom." I was in a flannel shirt, jeans, and even with my longer hair, I guess my nearly six foot height still had her classifying me as a guy. But that was okay. She was an older woman in a woman's suit with plenty of make up on, and it made me happy, oddly enough.

When we went home, we had a bit of dessert, packed everything up, played Yahtzee, and then Jet had to try and go to sleep an hour earlier than he did the night before. And he did okay for all that.

I had a rather harder time getting to sleep, but once I was asleep, I did really well.

We had to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get to our flight with plenty of time, and nearly everything went really well. The only hitch was that there was a car on fire on the Departure ramp to the airport, so everyone was diverted to the Arrivals areas. That was pretty funny, but no one was coming in. The airport was pretty quiet with all the planes parked patiently in their gates. We knew today would probably be pretty busy so having the earlier flight meant we'd get it out of the way before there could be many delays.

We had breakfast in the Seattle Airport and Dish D'lish surprised the heck out of us with some really great food and the first really hot mocha John had during the entire trip. I went to the Dilettante kiosk for my X'tra Dark (72%) mocha that was rich, decadent and absolutely perfect. It went really well with the rich savory bread pudding of my bacon and cheddar strata. Jet got a lovely toasted bagel, and John had a nicely grilled breakfast sandwich that he really enjoyed. So we had a great breakfast in the Seattle airport, of all things! Quite the trip where even the airport food is good.

Southwest pushed back nearly half an hour early, everyone had arrived, so we just left. We got to DIA early, but the luggage was really late. We got Jet his lunch on the way out, and he ate McDonald's nuggets on the van's table on the way home. On the way was a Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits, so we stopped there and got two piece lunches (no drinks) for when we got home. The house was dead cold as we'd left the heat at 55 while we were gone, but it got started after we did the hour long drive home.

We unpacked, Jet played with stuff. I had a little time with my email and finally got my inbox thinned down from nearly 500 messages to just 20. A good way to start the New Year. We had grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner, and played a new game Jet had gotten for Christmas from his uncle and cousin. Then he and John went into the hot tub while I went to the grocery store and stocked up on cereal, fruit, milk, bread, and all the necessities we no longer had. It was *cold* out, 10° out and it really hit hard after the mellowness of Seattle's weather. I had to cook rice for Jet's lunch tomorrow, so now I can go to sleep. I'll be very glad of my electric blanket tonight.

My pile of origami paper is kind of bemusing along with all the painting paper I now have. I'll have to break out the new brushes for tomorrow, as the new keyboard certainly is fulfilling my expectations happily. I'm pretty exhausted for tonight, but tomorrow should be easier for getting back on track...
Tags: travel

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