Today, Shobhit and I drove up to the Tulip Festival -- semi-spontaneously.
We had long planned on going next weekend, so the fact that we went three years in a row was not in itself spontaneous. I actually would have been perfectly happy to skip a year, after last year was the first time I'd ever gone even two years in a row, but Shobhit in recent years seems to really like going. It was his suggestion to go on my birthday last year as well, and I was all about it mostly because it just happened to fit so well with last year's Birth Week theme of botanical gardens.
That means, actually, that this year marks the first time Shobhit and I have gone both just the two of us and outside of my Birth Week. (The two times we went just the two of us in the past, it was part of my Birth Week: 2011 and 2018.)
Anyway. Rescheduling it from next weekend to today actually does have a connection to this year's Birth Week, and the fact that Shobhit just got a new, second job at Total Wine & More. He's already requesting the day off on Friday of my Birth Week, when we have long had tickets to see Hillary and Bill Clinton speak. We'll probably also take an Argosy Cruise together just before that, which means he'll also already be on at least one boat for my Birth Week's nautical theme. (Also, if I can help it, we'll recreate our third date on the Greenlake Paddle Boats, which will put him on two of the boats.)
Now. For ages I have thought the "official" full day of my Birth Week spent with Shobhit would be on Saturday, May 4 -- taking the Clipper to San Juan Island for a day trip -- something we have never done. (I don't think Shobhit has ever been on the Clipper at all, but I took it once, in 2000, with Barbara to Victoria.) Shobhit's new job needs him for weekends, though; he's already requesting next weekend off for Easter and our anniversary weekend in June; he just did not want to push his luck by asking for more.
So this morning, he suggested we move the Clipper day trip from Saturday, May 4 back two weeks to next weekend, Saturday April 20; and move the Tulip Festival, which we previously had scheduled for April 20, to today. (Shobhit's not working this weekend because they don't do training on weekends.)
I resisted a bit but finally resigned myself to this idea -- marriage is about compromise, right? And as I said, Shobhit's already going to ride two other boats with my on my Birth Week anyway. The Clipper seems like an obvious choice for one of the activities for a nautical themed Birth Week, but I guess I could just call this one being done a week early a "Birth Week Prologue."
The other problem? It was well after I agreed to this new plan, and we were literally on the freeway on our way to Mount Vernon, that I looked up Clipper schedules and discovered that boat run is seasonal and does not start until April 26. Shit!
Well, whatever. We're leaning toward going to San Juan island next weekend anyway, and just driving to Anacortes first and takng the Washington State ferries -- which will be a fraction of the cost of the Clipper. So it'll still happen, just a different way.
As it was, we used today for our now-apparently-annual visit to the Tulip Festival, and also managed to knock out not one, not two, but three venues we got 2-for-1 coupons for from VegFest: doughnuts for breakfast at Mighty-O Dounuts; excellent fresh squeezed juices from Urban Greens in Mill Creek ("They should have called it Suburban Greens," I told Shobhit, which amused him); and lunch on our way back, at Mirkwood & Shire Cafe in Arlington. That place appeared to have been a converted church with a performance stage now where the pulpit clearly used to be. Shobhit asked what kind of music they play and the young man waiting on us said, "Mostly metal, sometimes acoustic." The gargoyles on the outside of the building seemed suitably Gothic for metal; I'm not as sure about acoustic.
Anwyay. Back to the Tulip Festival. This would he the first year we went to only one of the places with a fee to get in and roam around tulip and other flower fields -- we did only RoozenGaarde, which costs $10 per person on weekends. It was somewhat shocking how crowded it still was even though this was the coldest, blusteriest, rainiest day I had ever spent there. I mean, it wasn't pouring -- but it was wet enough and windy enough that we didn't even bother walking through the fields.
And, although Shobhit intended to get plant starts at Tulip Town as he did last year, he decided we'd skip it when we found another nursery to buy what he needed and there was no entrance fee there as it was just a store. Spending another $7 just to get into Tulip Town seemed pointless given how little time we'd actually spend outside among the flowers there -- we barely did at RoozenGaarde. We would have spent a lot more time had the weather been dryer and warmer, but, there it is.
But! In spite of this therefore being the smallest Tulip Festival photo set I've had since 1999, I still got quite a few lovely shots. So you can see those, along with some further detail in captions, here.
We both zonked out rather early last night around 10 pm, and were thus up pretty early this morning by default -- we were on the road by 8:30 and among the tulips before it was even 10 am. It was not even yet 1:00 once we got to Arlington for lunch; it was mid-afternoon when we were on our way back, and we stopped at JC Penney where I spent $130 on clearance items as they are about to close the Northgate store at the end of the month. It was pretty much all just clothes for Shobhit.
Now he's got dinner just about ready so, after spending several hours on these photos and on then writing this entry, I'm going to go eat.
[posted 7:26 pm]