My friend Daryl (whose husband was in NavyGuy’s old squadron) asked if I’d be interested in joining her on daily walks. She had a baby (Mae) last August, and decided it was time to get serious about getting back in shape. Tally should get exercise daily, and Daryl has a yellow lab (Angel) who loves walks. Mae luckily, loves her stroller, and is very content to people-watch or nap while we stroll. Obviously, it’s more fun to have someone to talk with while you’re walking, but I think she was also hoping that we’d both be less inclined to bail on the exercise if we knew someone else was counting on us to show up! So, for the past six weeks, we’ve been fairly good about meeting up around lunchtime. We’ve missed weekend days here and there (I walked with Andrea when she visited; Daryl was away a few weekends, etc.), but otherwise, have walked nearly every weekday – even on the few icky days there have been. Anacortes has been lucky weather-wise recently. Since the beginning of May, we’ve had very few rainy or grey days (and I think we only cancelled on one rain day, when it was just entirely too “sporty” out for any of us). Temps have been in the high 50s or 60s, with actual sun many days, which has made it very easy to want to get outside. I’ve even had to bust out sunscreen a few times!
We have a great trail that we walk – the Tommy Thompson Trail. I found this description:
The Tommy Thompson Trail follows an abandoned corridor of the old Burlington Northern Railway and is named for a man who ran a narrow-gauge railway along the Fidalgo Island shore. Parts of the track are still visible in places (northern section of the north trailhead). Begin the trail at the port in Anacortes, heading through a business district and industrial area. After passing through the urban landscape you are rewarded with more a pristine view of Mount Baker rising over Fidalgo Bay. The trail’s highlight is the railway trestle, nearly 0.5 miles long, across the bay to March Point.
Daryl and I meet where the more scenic portion of the trail begins.
Angel and Tally are always the first ones ready to go.
There are benches at scenic spots along the way, and several informational bulletin boards with notes about the environment, animals, and landmarks. We start at 34th and V, and go to the end of the trail at March Point Rd, turn around, take a water break for the pups, and make our way back the way we came. The total distance ends up being a little over four miles; it takes us about an hour and a half total (including water breaks and puppy potty breaks), and it’s delightful. And a decent workout. I can tell that my legs are stronger and a bit leaner from all the walking.
One of the views along our route. When it is clear out, you can see Mt. Baker.
Looking toward Hwy 20 as it comes into Anacortes.
A seal! (You can just see his tiny head in the middle of the picture.) The most we’ve seen is four seals at once. We’ve also seen geese, ducks, herons, cranes, feral cats (two live along the trail), a raccoon, and even a coyote once! The coyote was a one time thing thank goodness, cuz we’re not interested in making those kind of friends.
The final portion of the route is a trestle. It used to be a railroad track, but the city realized it could make a beautiful trail. There are always lots of walkers and bikers, families and tourists. The trestle spans Fidalgo Bay.
Daryl and I have been having a great time with our daily walks. She’s a wonderful person, and we love chatting about babies and dogs and Navy life and West Wing quotes and dinner recipes and the meaning of life… and occasionally coyotes. Here’s to a full summer of strolling the Tommy Thompson trail!
2 medium zucchini
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 chopped tomato
1/4 cup mixed chopped parsley and dill
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 minced garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Split the zucchini and scoop out the seeds; season with salt. Combine the breadcrumbs, tomato, parsley, dill, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper (to taste) in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini boats; drizzle with a little more olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
This recipe came from the current Real Simple magazine, (I can’t find it on their website yet) and has now made it into my recipe binder. The zucchini boats are a little messy to eat (the stuffing doesn’t always want to stay nicely in the scooped out cavity), but the flavors were nice. A little more work than I typically put in for a mere side dish, but definitely more interesting than plain grilled zucchini. In the photo above, there was some leftover “stuffing” mixture so I just cooked it up as well and served it on the side of the cute veggie boats.
While NavyGuy and I were outside doing yard work this afternoon, the “neighbors” decided to come over to help…
I was shocked that the one deer came so close with both of us in the yard, until one of the cars that had stopped on Oakes Avenue inched forward and pointed out to us that a fawn was trapped on the other side of the road. Mama was getting desperate to get back to her little one! Poor little thing. All ended up fine – mama and baby reunited and headed down the hill safely to the water.
It was quite the little nature show!
I just don’t ever seem to get tired of this face.
> We’ve been on a West Wing kick, rewatching the amazing episodes from the start of Season 1. It’s making me wish that I didn’t have to wait another six weeks for the new episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s current show Newsroom. It’s not equal to WW, but it’s an excellent substitution.
> The sunshine has arrived! We’re on Day 2 of 5-6 (predicted) continuous days of sun in Anacortes. I could squeal with glee.
> I’m debating whether or not to buy a pair of toms. My sister is a huge fan, but I don’t know anyone else in real life who wears them. Are they comfortable? I’d like an easy slip-on type shoe that’s nicer than flip flops, etc., but not as fancy as all of my current flats. Also, are they completely two years ago, now?
> NavyGuy found a great place nearby to get fresh fish. It is a small little shop off the highway into Anacortes. We’ve been to it twice now, and both times, walked away with beautiful salmon (copper river sockeye, I think), at a really good price. Most impressively, NavyGuy has gotten really good at preparing it! He grills it in a basket thing, with yummy garlic and spice rub and butter. I’m quite excited about a summer of tasty seafood!
The fish “shop”
> One of the “gentlemen” that we lived with in our rental house the first year we were in Anacortes popped in to visit yesterday. He’s back in town for a few days to complete some training at Whidbey. I was not a huge fan of his after living with the fool for a year, but after visiting with him for a little bit on Sunday afternoon, I’m happy to report he’s matured (slightly). Apparently, four years will do that to a Marine. ;) NavyGuy was happy to catch up with Krueger, and it seems like he’s doing really well.
> While I love the sunshine, it’s also a bit weird because we’re at the time of year when it doesn’t set until almost 10pm!!! Meaning, when it feels like it’s only 5 o’clock, it’s, in fact, already 8:30. Wholly unsettling. We end up eating dinner much later than normal, and have difficulty convincing ourselves to go to bed at a decent hour. I suppose I’ll take it though, over the November days when it’s dark by 4 o’clock.
College Andrea visited this weekend, and she, NavyGuy, and I enjoyed three days of pretending that we were still college juniors whose biggest dilemma was deciding whether to eat at the dining hall or the campus union The weekend had no major plans or events. We rewatched (and endlessly quoted) West Wing episodes. She got us started on the cult hit Arrested Development. Andrea, Tally, and I took walks in the sunshine. Friday night, we went out to dinner and ran into our good friends Daryl and Jlo… which led to me having to hold their nine-month old during part of dinner… which led to all of us deciding to stroll down to the Mad Hatter for ice cream after everyone had cleaned their plates. NavyGuy and I showed off our unstoppable charm.
Saturday, we checked out the Anacortes Farmer’s Market, and the Waterfront Festival downtown. We wandered around the mix of craft and food booths, saw the corvettes lined up for the car show, drooled at the everything-fried-food-stands (oh, mini donuts, how I love thee so), and eventually ended up back at the farmer’s market for some lunch. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate… minutes after we’d ordered our wood-fire pizzas from one of the market stands, the sprinkles began. And by the time the pizzas were ready, it was full-on raining, with no end in sight. So, a pizza picnic in the car it was!
The only thing missing from the weekend was Ben, who was in Montreal and Vermont, selling his beer and picking up French beer awards. Alas. In the meanwhile, Tally was particularly happy to have her Auntie Andrea visiting. Almost as happy as NavyGuy and I
Don’t believe this face… she’s just ticked Andrea won’t give up the chair.
NavyGuy and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary last week. We were not able to celebrate on the actual day of, because I had been invited out to dinner with the girls from our old squadron. Their dinner plans were already set, and it’s been way too long since I’ve seen most of them… so, NavyGuy gladly took a raincheck on our anniversary dinner. While I was out with the gals, he happily ate pizza and watched End of Watch. We celebrated the following evening, with dinner at A-Town Bistro, followed by a walk downtown to the Mad Hatter ice cream shop. Very low-key, but perfectly lovely all the same.
The traditional gift for year four is either flowers or fruit, which NavyGuy’s parents took care of. They sent a beautiful vase, and a gift card for a flower shop in town. NavyGuy and I opted to loosely interpret the modern gift for a fourth anniversary – appliances – and get a new television set to replace the old, small set in our bedroom. NavyGuy found a great deal on a “refurbished” tv on woot.com, so now one can actually SEE the tv from more than two feet away.
Four years. It feels like our wedding was just yesterday, yet it also feels like a million years ago. We still have no wedding photo album, after our idiot wedding photographer went out of business. Luckily, we have a CD of all of the edited images. Perhaps by our 5th anniversary, I’ll have finally gotten an album of some sort put together! I think we’re going to go with a flush-mount book from an online company – Picaboo – but I’m also still debating finding a photo studio or reputable photographer who will create a professional album from the images. Worst case – I print the best of the pictures and throw them in a typical photo album so there’s at least something to show for our day!
Here’s to many, many more years of laughter and love.
Summer movie season is in full swing! And with NavyGuy having a very light work schedule lately, we’ve had lots of time to hit the theater (or laze on the couch with a rental):
Iron Man 3
Having loved the first two films in this franchise (and The Avengers), I had high expectations for the third movie. Unfortunately, I left a bit disappointed. Robert Downey Jr. was his usual great self, but, there was just something off about the movie. I’m not quite sure how to describe it… I still enjoyed seeing the movie, and will surely see it again when it comes out on DVD, but I didn’t have the same feeling of satisfaction that I got from the other Iron Man movies. It’s worth seeing in the theater though, as a fun popcorn, summer, blockbuster movie. Just don’t expect the magic that was The Avengers. (But be sure to sit through all the credits for a cameo from Mark Ruffalo.)
Star Trek Into Darkness
Shockingly, I enjoyed this more than Iron Man 3… and I am no trekkie! My Star Trek knowledge is references I can glean from The Big Bang Theory, and whatever NavyGuy has told me enough times to have it stuck in my head. (For example, there’s a thing about the person in the red shirt being the one who inevitably dies, so I understood a random joke in the movie about a character putting on a red shirt.) Anyway, my point being, I’m not a trekkie, but you don’t have to be to enjoy the movie. The characters are fun, the actors and actresses do a good job playing them, and they provide enough exposition for newbies to be able to follow the plot. Though I will admit that NavyGuy – a moderate trekkie – did wish he had seen the film with his childhood best friend instead of his wife; apparently, he and his buddy could have more thoroughly enjoyed the geek experience together, as compared to NavyGuy having to see the film with me, and my occasional questions of “why is everyone laughing at that?” when I missed some inside joke.
A cop drama(ish), set in LA, 1949, with Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone. It was fine. NavyGuy likes cop movies, I like Ryan Gosling, so win-win. NavyGuy did admit that he finds it annoying that he likes Ryan Gosling as well… that some silly hipster heartthrob would have the nerve to actually be a good actor
Behind the Candelabra
This is the Liberace movie that premiered over the weekend on HBO. We’ve been seeing the commercials for it for weeks, and honestly, I’m not quite sure why we watched it, except we had this feeling that it could end up being really well done. There were a bunch of good people in it (Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Rob Lowe, Dan Ackroyd), it was directed by Steven Soderbergh (supposedly, his last movie before retiring), and well – it aired instead of a new episode of Game of Thrones, so what else were we going to do? The movie – and Liberace’s life overall – was crazy. Good, but crazy. Neither of us knew much about Liberace before the film, (except that he was gay, and played a piano show in Vegas), so we each spent much of the movie Wikipedia’ing things. Apparently, he grew up in Wisconsin! It was a really interesting look at this man’s unusual life.
NavyGuy just got back from a cross-country flight. And by cross-country, I mean from here to Boise, ID. With the funding issues the Navy is facing, cross-country flights (intended to help student aviators accomplish numerous events and qualifications efficiently), are now limited to locations within driving distance. Should the jet break, the Navy wants to be able to simply drive maintainers and possible replacements parts to the jet. So, NavyGuy and his pilot flew to Boise on Friday during the day, enjoyed the town on Saturday, and then flew back late on Sunday night to fit in a “night flight.” For as much as he loved (and will always love) the Prowler, NavyGuy is definitely falling for the shiny new toy that is the Growler.
I had a good and bad weekend. The bad part is the unfortunate return of my unwelcome friend, anxiety. We’ll chat more about that later, because I’m still in the denial / ignore phase. The GOOD part of the weekend was spending much of Saturday with a couple from our old squadron. They have an 8 month old daughter who smiles and giggles and generally lights up all rooms. The couple invited me to join them at a couple town events, and then stay for dinner at their house. We wandered through a gardening expo and learned about bonzai. One of the presenters vehemently corrected our pronunciation… BONE-zai, not BAHN-zai! We met up with another friend of theirs and then checked out an antiques/shabby chic fair that was also going on downtown. The weather for the whole day was miserable – rainy, windy, bitter cold – so we abandoned our third plan of taking the dogs to the beach. Tally still had a great time hanging at their house and playing with their dog (and cats and all other humans that would love on her). Dinner was delicious grilled chicken and halibut, and a wilted Romaine salad. The couple is doing a “conscious cleanse” for two weeks, so they’re diet was pretty limited (hence the very basic menu). It was hilarious to watch them both salivating over every carbohydrate or sweet treat we saw while out and about… but good for them for trying to be healthier! D and J are a great couple, and really fun to hang out with. They’re so laid-back and have just a really great energy. I definitely appreciated being able to spend most of Saturday with them. It made the weekend go by much faster
NavyGuy and I spent his birthday weekend (4/12-4/14) in Portland, visiting our good friends Andrea and Ben. It was a blissfully low-key weekend – lots of eating out, hanging out, and a trip to the Gigantic Brewery Tap Room. Ben’s brewery has been open almost a year now, and it’s doing really well. I had seen the space while it was being built, but NavyGuy and I hadn’t been to visit since it actually opened in May 2012. The beer is spectacular. We tried all of the ones they have currently, and every one is delicious. The tap room has a great vibe – and we got to spend time with April and Jacob, two of Andrea and Ben’s good friends. After dinner that night, we ended up back at Andrea and Ben’s house to eat ice cream cake for NavyGuy’s birthday. Inexplicably, we watched Croctopus vs. Mega-shark, a horribly schlocky film (staring Jaleel White!), and nearly lost our minds laughing at the terrible special effects, the horrible dialogue, the complete lack of reasonable plot, and the painful acting. It was quite fun. I wish Andrea and Ben lived closer… four years of living on the same campus with her spoiled me!
Andrea and NavyGuy, at Gigantic. Ben is in the green flannel shirt behind the bar.
Enjoying our beer samples. (We also came home with a case of beer… benefits of knowing the owners
NavyGuy’s ice cream cake with a whopping 31 candles!