I Hope I’m This Awesome When I’m 90

Michael and I took the Edmonds Ferry with my parents over to Poulsbo, Washington for my family Christmas party. It was a cold but dry day in Seattle and I was glad it wasn’t raining like it did last year.  I was wearing my new holiday sweater dress (magenta) with gray tights and my new black boots.

The ferry ride was fairly quick. We didn’t stay long outside because it was pretty cold out.  We had some time to kill before the party so we stopped at Port Gamble to walk around a bit.

Port Gamble is a cool little place on the Peninsula. It was founded in 1853 with these quaint, adorable little cottages for the mill workers.  It’s been restored and the houses were turned into stores and restaurants. There were a lot of Christmas activities going on as well.

We walked around a bit and watched the Scottish bagpiper before we headed back to the car. There were hayrides available and caroling.

I bet Port Gamble is really amazing at night when the Christmas lights were on. We headed to my aunt’s house right on the water.

This year’s Christmas party was extra special because it was my Grandma’s 90th birthday party, too! She’s doing great. She even played the harmonica for everyone (and blew us all away at how good she is at it).

For some reason this year turned out to be very musical! People took turns playing the guitar and there was even a ukulele there and an accordion.

This year we did the White Elephant gift exchange first (and sadly there was no Santa or Grinch this year–boo). It was fun and Michael and I got lucky with some pretty awesome gifts.

This year was more about moderation for me. I only had three glasses of wine the whole day this time and I skipped the Gregnog this year. I’m not sure why but I just didn’t overindulge in anything.

There was so much food, as usual! I picked and chose the things I really wanted to eat and skipped a lot of it. I did eat way too much of the garlic dip that my Grandpa used to make. It’s super strong from the garlic but completely addicting. I’ll share the recipe soon.

The food was great as usual. The main dishes were casseroles, dips, pulled pork and brisket, rolls (I skipped those) and several different salads. I took a little bit of everything and called it good (who am I??).

The dessert was exceptional this year too. I brought a homemade pumpkin bread and added some vanilla frosting with Christmas sprinkles to it.

My aunt also made a delicious layered dessert–chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream layers and then topped with crumbled Heath Bar. It was to die for. My cousin also made a raspberry trifle that was light and delicious.

There was so much food to choose from–including a box of chocolates bigger than my little cousins!

It was a long, fun day and I was so happy to see all of my family. Lots of happy memories there.

QUESTION: What is your “plan of attack” when it comes to potluck food and resisting temptations?

Run Buddy

I didn’t stay up too late at the campfire on Saturday night so it wasn’t too bad when I woke up Sunday morning. I was going to go for a run with my cousin Rachelle. She’s new to running, doing a few 5k races and I think a 10k. She’s currently training for her first half marathon. It will benefit Veterans in need of prosthetics.

It was about 9 am when we set out on the street. The temperature was already pretty warm out. The sun was bright and it was a quiet morning. We saw a few other runners on the road but for the most part we were alone on the streets. The lonely country road had rolling hills.

The hard part about running with a partner is the tendency to run faster. Even if both people are pretty evenly matched in pacing, for some reason it’s natural to run faster than normal. Rachelle and I had a pretty quick pace as we ran down the road.

There wasn’t a bike lane or much of a shoulder for us to run on but the road was so remote traffic wasn’t really an issue. Rachelle ran on the edge of the road and I stuck to the sandy/dirt path next to the road.

We could see the Cascades peaking over the trees and it was a clear, gorgeous morning. It was such a scenic run! I love running in new places. That’s the best part about running on vacation. We ran the route that Rachelle and my cousin Kristin often do. Lots and lots of hills. I was feeling okay though. I worried about my body (would my calf start to hurt? was my ankle okay? would my knee flare up?) but it held up great.

We ran passed a farm house to a school before we turned around.

We took a quick walking break up a big hill on the way back. We caught our breath and then started running again. The hills heading back to the house were rolling but short enough that we could do them without issue.

Run Stats:

Time: 45 minutes
Calories Burned: 509
Distance: 3.5 miles 

It felt sooo good to run! We got back to the house and Michael had already packed up our tent, which was sweet of him. I got cleaned up and then grabbed breakfast. A spoonful of scrambled eggs and 1 biscuit with gravy.

The breakfast hit the spot after the run. We relaxed a bit by the campfire.

There was enough time to catch up with the family before we had to get ready to leave.

My grandma is going to be 90 years old this year! She’s doing great and we got some pictures with Grandma before leaving.

We had kind of a long day ahead of us so we said our goodbyes and hit the road.

We had to catch a ferry to West Seattle to meet some friends before heading back to Portland!

QUESTION: Do you look forward to running or biking when you go out of town? How do you run with a buddy?