car trouble

King Tut

This weekend, I went up to Seattle to stay with my parents because my brother Andy and his wife were visiting from Philadelphia. Since they live so far away we only see them once or twice a year. The way up to Seattle was probably one of the more memorable road trips. We were literally in the middle of nowhere when the muffler on the car in front of us fell off his car. Michael had nowhere to go, with a semi truck on our right and a cement wall on our left. You know what happens when you drive over a muffler at 80 mph? You get a shredded tire. And Michael’s car is a 3 ton tank! Luckily there was a Les Schwab in the middle of nowhere and we were able to get it replaced (AND it was still under warranty so it only cost $17 instead $200+!!).

Saturday morning I got up a little bit early so I could get in a gym session before we started our day. It was weird going to the old gym I used to belong to when I was 18 years old. It took me back to a time in my life when I was half-assing trying to lose weight (i.e. going to the gym once in awhile but still eating like crap).

After the gym, all 6 of us headed toward downtown Seattle for lunch at Dick’s Drive In. It’s a Seattle landmark and a must-visit if you’ve never been. I hadn’t been to Dick’s since I was a teen! Talk about walking down memory lane. It opened in 1954 and has been a popular place ever since and you may or may not have heard the lyrics “We’ll stop and eat at Dick’s–Dick’s is the place where the crew hang out–” by Sir-Mix-A-Lot in my Posse on Broadway. Ahem, I KNOW I am not the only one who knows all the words to this song….!

I got a standard cheeseburger for lunch and a diet soda (total for lunch: 340 calories! Not bad!). Michael got a deluxe, fries and a float. They are also famous for their amazing shakes.

After lunch we went downtown to the Seattle Science Center to see the King Tut Exhibit. If you live in the Seattle area, I highly recommend the King Tut exhibit –the first time in Seattle since 1978 (On display for the last time in North America! Egypt has decided this is last time they will allow the artifacts to leave Egypt). We meet again, dear friend!

The last time I went to a museum to see the King Tut treasures was in Chicago. It was a fun trip and the exhibit was definitely worth seeing. Quite a difference in those photos, huh? I love Egyptian history. To see the exhibit you had to buy tickets in advance and make a reservation for a time. They were only allowing a certain amount of people in each tour.

We had some time to kill before our reservations for the museum so we walked around the area. I felt like such a dork for playing tourist in the city that I spent 19 years in! But honestly, it was making me a bit homesick and I loved walking around and seeing everything I took for granted as a kid when I lived in Seattle.

It was so much fun and so great to see my brother. I hate that he lives so far away. Can you tell which one of us was blessed with the tall gene? I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun in Seattle. While we were walking around the Science Center, the Blue Angels were flying overhead. Apparently it was Seafair weekend.

Now for the exhibit! If you can’t tell, I am totally into Egypt and I took hundreds of photos, but I will only share some of my favorites from the exhibit. The picture below was a canopic coffinette jar made of gold, jewels and precious stones and held King Tut’s stomach after he died.

You could get really close to most of the pieces in this exhibit, which was nice for taking photos. Of course the items made out of gold were behind glass.

I’ve seen many Egyptian artifacts over the years. My favorite exhibit was the British Museum and the current one in Seattle is probably my second favorite. It was put together very well.

This is a replica of the King Tutankhamen mummy. I already knew he wouldn’t be there (learned that in Chicago!). King Tut’s mummy, sarcophagus and death mask are not allowed to leave Egypt–which many people don’t know and I overheard several people complaining at the end that they missed the mummy. The replica was cool to see, though.

One of my favorite pieces in the exhibit was the statue of the Pharaoh Akhenaten.

Akhenaten was a fascinating character in history. He tried to change the traditional religious beliefs of polytheism (multiple gods and goddesses) to monotheism (a single god). It was not a popular change and after he died, the Egyptians went back to the old ways. Akhenaten was also King Tut’s father and he was married to the beautiful Nefertiti. Seeing his statue in person was crazy because it was so big and domineering. What is fascinating is the theories around this Pharaoh. The people who believe in extraterrestrials believe that aliens bred with the pharaoh and that’s why he looks so alienlike. Another theory is that he suffered from various genetic diseases (the one I find most compelling is Marfan’s syndrome).

I’ll finish up this post with some photos I took of the tropical butterfly exhibit at the Science Center. It was a beautiful (and muggy) experience:

The butterfly exhibit was fun because you walked into a room with them fluttering around, sometimes landing right on people! I hope you guys enjoyed the pictures. It was a fun day and I’m happy to share my adventure with everyone.

QUESTION: What is your favorite historical time period? And have you ever eaten at Dick’s?

Haunted By Phantoms

Monday was a decent day for a Monday. I met my good friend Star to get pedicures. It was so needed. The pampering (and vibrating chair) felt great. I got my toes done in hot pink–not my usual color but I thought I’d do something different for a change. After our pedicures we went back to the house and Michael and I made her dinner. We’ve been telling her about our favorite steak dinner for awhile now and she was dying to try it.

Yep, it’s our steak with caramelized onions and Gorgonzola cheese. As a side we baked zucchini strips with a little grapeseed oil, salt, pepper and topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

Dinner was a success. Star said it was the BEST steak she’s ever had in her entire life. Fat Kitty was dying for a bite.

He was so persistent! He doesn’t really like people food (except fish and shrimp) but he thinks he does.


I marinated the steak all day long: Worcestershire sauce, balsamic, salt, pepper, splash of soy sauce, freshly sliced garlic, fresh rosemary from the garden and onion powder. So good!

Remember how it’s taper week and I was going to avoid dessert and alcohol? Yeah, that didn’t happen on Monday. The car trouble Michael was having this weekend was not good news and we were both mentally and physically tired. There’s no excuse for me giving in. Michael was going to drink wine no matter what because of the bad news but I could have said no. I didn’t. I had half a glass of red wine with dinner. I didn’t have seconds though. Then I had dessert. Major fail.

I had one of the Trader Joe’s mini ice cream cones. It was 70 calories and I only had one, so there wasn’t calorie damage done for my day. But I am disappointed that I gave in to two of my vices when I’m supposed to be avoiding them this week. The only good news to report: I did not eat any chocolate or candy at work. At all!

Mr. Goofball was back at it. He wanted tons of attention (I think it’s because Star spoils him so much 🙂 ). He was full of it all night.

So what are these phantoms I’m talking about? Phantoms pains–the worst part of Tapering. I hate them so much. My mind can convince me that I am totally injured for no reason. My lower back has been bugging me. Not enough to really be anything, more of like a dull ache. It feels like cramps–but not the right time for them. I don’t know what’s up with that. Is it real? Is it in my head? Am I totally injured and going to be ruined for Sunday’s race? UGH!

I had dreams all night of injured body parts. One specifically was a dream about how I saw a doctor and she said my hips were the problem. I tossed and turned all night, waking up feeling uncomfortable in the lower back and hips. I was hoping I’d wake up cured but I didn’t. The ache is still there and it’s stressing me out. I’m using the foam roller like mad and stretching a lot. I think I’ll try to hit a yoga class this week too.

QUESTION: What do you do about phantom pains?