Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas from Oly.

Merry (belated) Christmas! We spent Christmas this year with Josh's parents in Olympia, Washington. This post is a little delayed, but if I procrastinate it any longer, it'll never happen. So, because I am lazy, here are a few pictures from the day and some captions:

As usual, all of the family dogs were present, and Josh went crazy for them...

Josh and his parents' massive Airedale, Teddy.

Josh and Kitt and Arian's dog, Boutros. (Josh really wants a big dog ... can you tell?)

Josh and his mom prepping the Christmas feast.

Josh's grandparents showing off their Christmas present -- a trip with the kids. I love his grandparents so much. They are the sweetest people. And, they are such an inspiration to given they just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary!

Josh's brother, Kitt, and his wife, Arian.

Josh's nephew in a hamburger beret he won in the white elephant gift exchange. (I made away with a bunch of Lindt chocolate -- score!!)

Josh's cousin playing with his new toy -- a car with a balloon on top. He and his sister are so stinkin' cute, I swear.

After dinner, Josh and Jason decided to play ping pong in the garage. Josh found an old Viking hat with braids.

This picture makes me laugh so hard, my side hurts. What can I say, he's special. :)

I hope you all had wonderful holidays, full of family, friends, and good times. Here's to an even better 2009.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowy Seattle.

We arrived in Seattle yesterday morning, bright and early, after missing our flight out Friday night. My saint of a friend, Jackie, drove us to the airport at the crack of dawn, and luckily second time is a charm -- we made our flight.

In case you have not heard, Mother Nature has decided to punish Seattle. She has dumped Upstate-New-York levels of snow on Jet City. Usually, if it snows in Seattle (which is not even an annual occurrence), it melts within a day or two. Apparently, there has been snow on the ground for a week now, and there's no sign of the snow stopping yet.

Josh's big bro, Kitt, and our nephew, Jason, picked us up from the airport and we slowly made our way along a snowy I-5 back to their house. The roads are a bit treacherous, especially considering Seattle doesn't have sufficient plowing equipments and Seattleites drive as well in the snow and Angelenos drive in the rain. (For example, see here.)

Saturday night, we had planned on attending my sorority sister Lindsay's wedding. There was a lot of question whether the roads even would be open, but I did not want to miss it (especially because I was worried that a lot of guests would be snowed in). So, we carefully made our way to the ceremony at Bastyr Chapel. The chapel is beautiful, and they had set up candles down the aisle and on the altar, which was especially cozy and romantic given the weather.

Some photos, courtesy of Taryn:

The altar.

Taryn and the beautiful bride.

After the wedding, the snow was coming down even harder. The word was that there would be additional road closures, 60 mph winds, and another 6-8 inches of snow in the next few hours.

Taryn gave us a lift to the reception at the Hotel Deca, my favorite hotel in Seattle (although I still call accidentally it the Edmund Meany). Because of the weather, we unfortunately had to cut out a little early, but the food, decor, and drinks were all top notch (not that I would expect anything less from Lindsay)!

Taryn drove us back toward her place, and then Kitt picked us up and took us home. The roads were scary, but we arrived safe and sound. We drank some wine, chatted, and then when the power went out due to the storm ... well, we lit a fire and poured some more wine.

I took some pics of the snow at Kitt & Arian's house ...

Kitt shoveling the driveway.

So, we are pretty much snowed in today. The snow keeps falling, and the roads by the house have not been plowed, so we are having a lazy day. I have been catching up on my Google Reader and blogging (as you have, no doubt, noticed) and the boys have been watching movies and playing video games. After this post, I am probably going to curl up with a book. Lazy feels good these days.

Birthday dinner: family, pasta, wine, and ... shaved bark?

Josh and I arrived safely in Washington to spend the week with his family for Christmas. Vacation time means time to finally catch up on the blogging ...

So, here's a post I have been procrastinating writing for a few weeks...my birthday! The birthday was back a few weeks ago. To celebrate, we went to a restaurant I have been wanting to try: Trattoria Tre Venezie in Pasadena. Trattoria Tre Venezie, a Michelin star restaurant, specializes in traditional, Northern Italian food (no eggplant parmigiana or lasagna here).

By "we," I mean the usual cast of characters at these things: (clockwise: Josh, me, Bug, Anthony, Cathy, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma, Dad, Jackie, and PJ behind the camera.)

We piled in our cozy corner of the restaurant (the restaurant is small and has a warm, home-in-an-Italian-hilltown feel), ordered some delicious Montepulciano wine (a little Tuscan in with the Venetian) and had our slightly odd waiter give us a lesson on the menu. At first, this was appreciated. After awhile, it became a little condescending. The best exchange of the night:

Grandma (perhaps sounding a little skeptical): "This pasta is made with cinnamon?"
Snooty waiter: "Why yes. What is cinnamon but shaved bark?"

Jackie and I suppressed a major giggle fit. What is cinnamon but shaved bark? Deep thoughts, indeed.

It turns out the cinnamon pasta was delish. Some pics:

On the left, Bug and I shared Cjalsons for an appetizer, an ancient dish from Cania, Friuli. They are essentially savory and sweet raviolis, filled with up to eighteen combinations of ingredients, prepared for special occasions. This was, by far, my favorite dish of the night. Each little ravioli had so many flavors. The restaurant only serves Cjalsons every week or so, and if you have not been to Trattoria Tre Venezie and want to try it, be sure to be there on a day they are serving these little puppies. Truly delish!

For dinner, I ordered the special, Bigoli with crab (left). It was pretty tasty. Josh ordered the Casunziei all'Ampezzana, a ravioli filled with red beets with butter and poppy seeds. It was decent.

Jackie ordered the Tagliatelle alla Cannella (left), cinnamon-flavored tagiatelle with shitake mushroom sauce (a.k.a. the "cinnamon pasta"). I tried a bite of this and really liked it. On the right is the Ravioli al Ripeni d'Agnello, ravioli filled with shoulder of lamb.

For dessert, Josh ordered a cake from Susie Cakes (yum!).

It was marble cake with chocolate frosting, and it was a huge hit.

It was a pretty great birthday. My sweetheart of a husband did a great job planning the little get-together. Now, I am officially 28, which feels ... eh, the same. Two more years until the big 3-0 ...