Birth Week 2018, Day Nine


Okay, it's a quarter till 10 p.m. and I return to work tomorrow, so I have to try and make this quick! Normally I would wait to post about Sunday until lunchtime at work tomorrow, but I've posted about each day of my Birth Week thus far at the end of each day, which means I can't stop now! I'm a little OCD about these things. Also, after a week away from work, I'll likely be too busy to write much. (I'm actually looking forward to getting back to work, by the way. I like being there, and a week away is plenty, really. Also, although it was all fun, the last week was actually way more exhausting than a typical work week.)

Anyway! Boy howdy, did having a theme for the Birth Week increase the number of photo sets (to a record 13) and total number of photos (another record, by far: 494)! This is both because of the large number of places I went that were, by design, very photogenic; and on most days, I did not just one such thing, but two. Instead of separating all my photos only by day, as I always have in the past, for the most part I separated them by event.

Like today!

Shobhit and I drove up to Woodinville to meet up with Shauna at Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, where between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. they do a free tour and tasting. This wound up on my itinerary for the week long ago when I did searches for botanical gardens in the Seattle area, and Chateau Ste. Michelle came up in my searches. In fact, although their website doesn't currently reference any garden so far as I can tell, I could swear when I first did searches, I found pages referencing a garden there. And then when I learned of their free tour and tasting, I thought that would make a fun combo. And I wound up going with Shauna for two reasons: a) she lives north of Seattle already; and b) when I got around to contacting her about what she wanted to do with me for my Birth Week, this was one of the few things I wanted to do not yet claimed by any of my other friends. To my delight, Shauna was very interested.

And, being the friend I went to the ninth garden with on the ninth day of this year's Birth Week, Shauna had already seen eight other "Birth Week Botanical Garden" posts on Facebook. She actually beat me to bringing up getting a "garden picture" at the winery, which ultimately resulted in the photo above.

That photo kind of shows the extent of any actual "garden" at Chateau Ste. Michelle, but whatever. I still got some good photos, of both landscaping, and of the actual tour we went on; all told it yielded a photo set of 38 shots. Plenty of them good!

The "free tour" concept is obviously a very lucrative one for Chateau Ste. Michelle; much like the Theo Chocolates Tours that end in their chocolate store, it pretty reliably results in participants buying their products at the end. Shobhit fully expected this from the beginning, and, after we tasted three different wines on the tour, he bought a box of four bottles of wine, getting him quite a deal at $66 for the whole set.

We didn't get to spend nearly as much time with Shauna this year as we did last year, when my Birth Week day with her was a day trip down to Wolf Haven. Still, she told me she had a great time and really liked getting to "do something different" -- just as we had last year, in fact. All of us had something else to do with the second half of our day today, though, so we parted ways after exploring the grounds and went back to our respective homes.


No typical "party" ending my Birth Week this year -- this time around was kind of a redo of 2015, which also ended with a Shobhit-catered Indian food dinner with Karen and Danielle. It's just the guests brought by those two were different between those two years: in 2015, Karen brought only her husband Dave; Danielle brought her mom, Gail, and her Aunt Diane. (Sachin also stopped by later that day, but it was after everyone else had left.) This year Dave, who works at the Center for Wooden Boats and this was Opening Weekend for boating, was "dead to the world," according to Karen, who instead brought their daughter, Anita, who was very interested in getting some of Shobhit's cooking; Danielle brought the girls. So, still five guests for dinner this year, just a different mix.

In fact, this year it really was intended just to be dinner with Karen (and her family). When Danielle caught wind of this dinner when I was with her on Friday, though, she said, "Why am I not invited!" And since she was here for that dinner in 2015, I figured I'd tell her she was welcome to come too.

Anyway! Observe the photo above. Left to right: samosas; shahi paneer (my favorite Indian dish, made at my request); bell peppers stuffed with radishes, radish leaves and mushrooms (which I frankly did not expect to be nearly as good as they turned out to be); eggplant squash (also made at my request); rice with peas and coconut flakes in it; spinach lentils (also better than I thought it sounded); and above the lentils, baturas (scratch-made deep fried flat breads). All of it was delicious, and, since we told both Karen and Danielle to bring containers for taking leftovers, not nearly as much was left at home in the end as usually is. Karen forgot to bring containers but we had plenty to give to her.

We told them dinner would be at 6:00 but they were all welcome to arrive early. I should have just told them all 5:00 so they would arrive early, but, whatever. Karen and Danielle arrived within minutes of each other. Karen and Anita parked in the lot across the street on Pine, and I parked our car on the street with our parking pass so Danielle could park in our garage. (And in case you go wondering why I didn't offer it to Karen -- first, Danielle usually gets it regardless; second, Karen and Anita are both wheelchair users and she needs a handicap space.) And I want you just to take a brief moment and check out ny rocking job of parallel parking the car in a really tight space, which Shobhit would never in a million years even have attempted. I slipped right in there. I win! (Getting back out of there proved surprisingly challenging, but I still managed. Whatever.)

In any event, the evening was as pleasant as any of us could have asked for -- even Shobhit said, right after everyone left, "That was a nice visit." Indeed it was.

I haven't been able to caption any of this evening's photos yet, and will probably have to get to that tomorrow; I'm only maybe even a third of the way through captioning the Chateau Ste. Michelle photos. Considering the week yielded 13 photo sets, though, that's a pretty good track record, I'd say. I never even had time to see any movies this week, and since Shobhit works a late evening shift tomorrow, I'm hoping to get to a movie then.

As for now, I really need to get ready for bed.


[posted 10:24 pm]