Birth Week 2018, Day Seven


I'm not sure how much I'll manage to get written in today's entry, given how tired I am, even though it's not quite even 10 p.m. as I write this. But, when I went to bed last night, near midnight, it took what seemed like forever for me to fall asleep. Maybe because I took a nap in the afternoon? I have no idea. I just know that having to get up early-ish this morning didn't help. I deliberately did not look at the clock while I lay in bed awake for probably an hour or more last night, just so I would not fixate on knowing exactly how little sleep I was getting. And I have functioned fine all day -- another rather long day, perhaps the longest of the entire week thus far, in fact -- but now my eyelids are heavy and I'm tired as shit. I think once I finally get to bed tonight, hopefully in little more than another hour, I should zonk right out.

Today was another day with two separate gardens, the key difference between this and the two I went to on Tuesday is that they involved meeting with different friends at each one. And I did a lot of traveling around today.

Danielle picked me up at Tukwila International Boulevard light rail station at 9:30, which meant I left home at 8:35 to go catch the train at Capitol Hill Station, which meant I got out of bed at about a quarter to 7 a.m. This is pretty early for a day I'm not going to work. Danielle then drove me to Highline Seatac Botanical Garden, which turned out to be quite pretty -- the full photo set on Flickr (including the one of Danielle and me, above) containing 45 shots, 43 of them actually at the botanical garden.

It was while I was there, by the way, that when I mentioned I had never been to Bellevue Botanical Garden before meeting Auntie Rose and Valerie there on Wednesday, and Danielle was like, "Yes you have. You went to see the Christmas lights with us." Oh, right -- I had been there! "Garden D'Lights," in December 2012. Jesus Christ. I can't remember anything! I need to stop insisting I've never been, well, anywhere. Rylee was with us and she was only four years old.

Anyway, you can click through to the full photo set on Flickr to get any further details in captions, although only a few of them offer any more detail than "At Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden." There's a lot of pretty great pictures, though.

I brought two more of the seven "free sack lunch" coupons Scott gave me at work, and we had a free lunch at the Grand Central Bakery location in Burien. I've now used five of those coupons, all of them this week. I also had two Zevia Soda cans in my bag and we had those to drink, so we really paid zero for our lunch today. Danielle seemed pretty grateful, and I guess it was a tiny bit of payback for the year, many years ago, that she chose to take me out for her birthday, and we went to the Pink Door.

We're talking about going to Vegas sometime next year. Quite out of character for her, she actually bought a vacation package from a cold call she got on the phone. I asked if it's all confirmed and everything, and she said yes. She said she usually hangs up on such calls, but they kept lowering the price and sweetening the deal, until she got a trip to Florida and the Bahamas she plans on taking with the girls in February for several days for less than a thousand bucks, but I guess she does have to sit through a time share presentation. I was like, "Oh..." -- thinking of the time Shobhit and I got duped into that shit once the first time we visited Las Vegas. Danielle doesn't seem to mind the idea of it, though, especially since the deal was sweetened with another trip for two nights at the Excalibur Hotel in Last Vegas -- at no extra cost! (Aside from airfare: flights still have to be purchased separately.) I guess she can't take the trip to Vegas until she's taken the Florida trip, but after that, sometime next year, I may go with her. Apparently Jeanna wanted to go with her, but Danielle was like, "We could all go together!" and stay in the same hotel room. I'd be fine with that. I'd love to go to Vegas again; it's always so different every time I go, and always fun.

After lunch, Danielle drove me back to the light rail station and I took the train back to Capitol Hill in Seattle. I finished my library book literally the moment I then reached the library on foot, so I returned the book. And then I caught a bus north to Pike St from there, then walked home. I then spent the couple of hours I had to spare this afternoon at home, editing, uploading, and captioning the photos from Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden.

Then, just as I had yesterday, I took the bus to Northgate, and met Shobhit when he got off work. The difference this time was we immediately then had to travel back to South Seattle, which took us a little more than an hour, because traffic was terrible -- in large part because of a "suspicious package" closing down Seattle's main ferry terminal, leaving many common ferry commuters no choice but to drive around, either down to Tacoma to go across the Narrows Bridge or, I suppose, north to Edmonds to wait eons for a ferry there. While Shobhit and I were working our way down toward Kubota Garden, where we were meeting both Mimi and Claudia, Claudia texted me: Traffic from hell

Mimi, for her part, had left home in Shoreline at 4:00, just so she would have no stress in getting down to South Seattle. She got to the Kubota Garden area an hour early, and had been killing time reading in the parking lot for a while by the time we arrived.

Shobhit rather annoyed me on the way down, I must say -- he loves to plug in directions on the phone's GPS to see what it says is the fastest route, and then ignore it. Over and over, he would do the opposite of what GPS said to do, convinced that he knew better what would be fastest, and guess what? The ETA time would add minutes. It drove me fucking crazy, although I must say my bitching about it was pretty minimal. I had no idea at that point how late Mimi and Claudia might be themselves, after all. Still, what the fuck is the point of using GPS if you're just going to ignore it?

The GPS recommendation was to take 15th Avenue NE down to the U District and get on the freeway there. We almost certainly would have reached Kubota Garden by 6:00 had he just done that. Instead, he took Roosevelt Way, which -- shocker! -- had quite a lot of traffic on it, then cut through Capitol Hill, and did not bother to get on the freeway until he was well south of downtown. He was convinced freeway movement would be even slower than GPS seemed to think it was. I find all this fundamentall ridiculous: the GPS is doing all sorts of automatic calculatons based on estimated travel times coming from far more known traffic data than Shobhit could possibly know. But somehow, he actually knows best? Jesus fucking Christ.

But, you know, whatever. In the end, we were't that late -- we got to Kubota Garden at 6:07, and Claudia pulled in literally two minutes later. So, it all worked out. And then we all went into the park -- where, as it happens, Gabriel and Stephanie got married in 2006. I'm pretty sure I hadn't been there since. I didn't have any photos uploaded to Flickr since then, anyway!

In any case, Kubota Garden is very pretty. It may be the prettiest of all the (now seven) Gardens I've visited this entire week. These ones aren't captioned yet, but once they are, they won't vary much more than the ones at Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden had. Still, I took 42 photos there. The full photo set is 53 shots, because of several shots taken at dinner after, making it 8 photos larger than the SeaTac one, but it actually has one fewer photo of the actual garden. Still, I would say that overall, Kubota Garden was the prettier garden today. I might have taken a few more photos than I did at Kubota Gaden, actually, but this was the largest group outing to a garden this week, with two friends and Shobhit joining, so there were four of us, and lots of chatting, so more distraction.

Claudia is apparently driving to Olympia in the morning and taking a cake she needed to bake this evening, so she could not join us for dinner. Mimi was all about dinner, though, and so she and Shobhit and I went to a nearby Pizzeria that Shobhit found with an average 4.5 out of 5 star rating with more than 300 reviews on Yelp. It's called Pizzeria Pulcinella and really was excellent -- I should have taken a picture of the freestanding structure in an otherwise barely developed part of South Seattle, but for some reason I never thought to. I did take several photos inside, as we were seated at the bar due to how busy they were, and the chefs were preparing all the pizzas right in front of us. Their giant brick fire oven was something to behold, and so effective, we were told, the pizzas only have to be left in their, heating at 900°, for ninety seconds.

Everything about the place exceeded my expectations, even the salad we all shared. I was truly impressed by the pizza, and would go out of my way just to go back and eat there again. It was close to 9:00 by the time we were done there, and saying our goodbyes to Mimi, who was herself so impressed with the place she mentioned more than once she wanted to come back with her husband.

We spoke briefly with the owner as we left, and when asked about the building, she told us it has been standing since 1911 and used to be a mill. Also, the table next to us had been full of Italian people, and it's a pretty good sign when Italians come to your pizza joint. I should go back there with Gabriel sometime.

Shobhit then drove us back home, and I went to work on this batch of photos, and here we are. Seven days of Birth Week 2018 down, two to go!


[posted 10:43 pm]