Friday, July 1, 2011

How I Spent My Spring Break

I'm guessing you guys are getting pretty tired of staring at pictures of me looking shocked at two in the morning.  So here are the pictures from Washington I keep promising to put up.  I know I always say I'm going to blog when I travel.  That's what blogs are for, right?  But it's way harder than it sounds.  Especially when I'm visiting my BFF.  It's a miracle that I managed to blog my way through Paris.  Of course it helped that I had several people at home messaging me demanding pictures and waiting for the next update.

In all fairness, I actually did start writing as soon as I got to Skeeve's but then...stuff happened.  Elsa, the dog Skeeve had been fostering for her sister, got into a fight with Peach.  Not once, but twice.  The first fight was the reason Skeeve couldn't come with Jerome to pick me up at the airport.  The second fight led to the three of us taking Elsa to the emergency vet for what we all thought would be a couple staples but turned out to be "surgery" involving anesthesia and several stitches.  I put surgery in quotes because I still feel that the vet's office went way beyond what was reasonable and necessary to make sure Elsa was ok.  They really overcharged Skeeve and Jerome and I still feel kinda bad about suggesting that we take Elsa to the vet in the first place. 

I'm not a veterinarian, but I've raised enough animals and been to enough vets to get an idea of what is essential to the health and well being of the animal and what is blatant overcharging.  I understand that veterinarians have demanding jobs and deserve to get paid.  Some of them just seem to go about it a little bit better than others, that's all.  

There were only a couple wounds that were larger than a nickel that we felt might need a staple or two to make sure they closed up and healed properly.  The vet did a physical exam and decided that all of Elsa's cuts needed stitches, even the small lacerations that probably would have healed up fine on their own.  Not only did everything need stitches but Elsa had to be put under anesthesia which, if you've ever had a pet go in for surgery, you will know is very expensive.  I'm pretty sure I asked at this point why they couldn't use a local anesthesia and staple the wounds instead.  It's been a while and I honestly can't remember what the answer was.  The vet might have felt it was safer.  By the time they were done it was three or four in the morning and every single tiny laceration Elsa had was stitched up.  They also put a drain in the one larger wound we were concerned about and prescribed antibiotics and pain medicine.  

We wound up taking Elsa to a neighborhood vet when it was time to have her drain removed.  The neighborhood vet was VERY nice and seemed confused as to why they'd put a drain in at all.  He removed it for free and everyone, including Elsa, was very happy.  He is now the primary vet for all of Skeeve's animals.

It was decided that Elsa would go back home to live with Roxzi.  Elsa is a very sweet mama, but Skeeve understandably couldn't have a dog in her house that kept getting into fights with Peach.  As of today, Elsa is back with Roxzi and doing well and is very, very happy.  Needless to say, our list of things we had been planning to do shrunk substantially as Skeeve and Jerome figured out what they needed to do to make up for Elsa's rather large vet bill.

Mostly Skeeve and I just hung out.  We watched a lot of TV because Skeeve had all these shows she wanted me to see.  She got me addicted to Misfits, an awesome science fiction/superhero British television series and Pushing Daisies, which I am also falling in love with.

We talked, we went to the PX, we played Monkey Island on Skeeve's iPad, we watched Blueberry make tribble noises as she coped with being in heat.  It was a lot like being at home.  But with your best friend, which is 100 times better.

This is Blueberry in heat.  I swear she kept making these tribble noises and nothing could console her.

One of the things we were planning to do and that Skeeve had already bought tickets for was the underground tour of Seattle.  We went on the adult tour--which comes with stories of hookers, murder, drugs, and free booze!  Our tour guide was fun and the tour itself was both fascinating from an historical perspective (you are actually literally underground exploring the streets of old Seattle) and entertaining.  There were dirty jokes aplenty.  Did you know that back in the day prostitutes would use a silver dollar as a makeshift diaphragm?  That's not a dirty joke, that's actually true.  Something to keep in mind in the event of a contraception emergency.  Though I wouldn't recommend it.

Here we are at the start of the tour...

...and here's Timmy by the end of it.  

When the tour was over we all went back to the bar where the tour started and everyone got a free drink.  Skeeve and I had some kind of tropical thing and Jerome wound up ordering this very bitter beer.  Skeeve and I finished our drinks and then downed the rest of Jerome's, making faces the whole time.  I don't know why we did it other than we saw it as a challenge.  I think we drank enough that it actually started tasting better by the time we finished it.

One of the nice things about Washington is that, while you do get a lot of rain, you also get rainbows.  Sometimes you even get DOUBLE rainbows!  ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE SKY!

I snapped this photo from the window of Skeeve's kitchen.  What does it meeeeaaan?

On Jerome's day off we decided to make killer cake.  Well, Jerome did.  He tends to take control of any cooking going on in the kitchen unless one of us is making something that he doesn't know how to cook.  Even then, he still tries.  The killer cake came out delicious and we ate it for breakfast the rest of the week.

Note: for those of you who don't know what killer cake is, I will explain in another post.  Someday.

The other big thing Skeeve and I did was take the bus into Seattle.  Oh, and Seattle?  You have some nice public transit.  Seriously.  Congrats.

We spent the entire day at Pike's Place looking at all the goodies and eating all the foods.  Skeeve took me to Starbucks.  THE Starbucks.  As in, the first Starbucks.  The one that started it all.  Yeah, I know, cheap thrills.  Cut us some slack, we're broke.

Sure doesn't look like much from the outside, does it?

Here's something I like about Seattle.  People here know how to spell my name.

They didn't even ask!  They just knew!

After breakfast coffee we began our journey through the market.  Timmy, of course, made time to document the moment.  

Inside is a land of mystical wonders!

But wait...what's this?

It's Rachel the pig!  She's famous and stuff.

And here is the inside of the market.  See?  I told you it was magical.

There were many neat shops in addition to all the foodstuffs.  We found an antique poster/magazine shop that had an amazing selection of prints and original works for sale.  I wanted to buy almost everything in there.

 It wasn't long before we were hungry so Skeeve and I stopped to nosh on some fresh made mini doughnuts.  They're amazing when they're still warm from the fryer and slightly crispy.  Skeeve got powdered while I went for the classic cinnamon sugar.

Sooooo gooooood.

We also found a rather large Italian market and had fun peeking through the shelves and exploring all the different things.  The sandwiches smelled really good too.  Dad will definitely have to visit this place if he's ever in Seattle

A classic Skeeve pose.

Wandering around some more we found this.  We kept hoping someone would put in a few quarters to see what it did.  We weren't brave enough.

Well there's certainly something interesting in there.

Oh yeah, and the Doctor was there too.


And then guess what we found!

Another Timmy!  OMG!

This is Timmy's brother, Toby, lately of Seattle.  He's now living in San Francisco as my dad's new roommate and may even make a few appearances on my dad's blog.  They are getting along just smashingly.

We started getting hungry for lunch and I knew exactly where I wanted to go.  We went to Beecher's for some of their famous mac and cheese.  Skeeve had a grilled cheese panini, also good.


The best thing about this place is they make their own cheese on site.  Like, right there in front of you.  We sat and watched the process and Timmy was fascinated.

Just lookit all that calcium!

Timmy approves, gentlemen.

 So after lunch we walked around some more until we had finally explored every corner of the market.  Except one, that is.  I found some stairs and decided that we were going down them.  What could be down there?  Who knows!  But we were going to find out.

Instead of leading us to another dimension, the steps took us here to this rather interesting alley.

You never know.  Maybe the TARDIS is parked there somewhere

Aaaaaaaaand this.  The world's grossest landmark.

Yes, that is what you think it is.

This, my friends, is the gum wall and it too is famous.  It's also really gross and I don't recommend standing next to it for long, even though I made Skeeve do just that.  That's what best friends are for, after all.

While this picture gives you an idea of scale, it does nothing to capture the look of disgust and slight trepidation on Skeeve's face.  Here's a closeup we took with Skeeve's phone:
"Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww," is right.

It's not so much the sight that gets you as the smell.  The moment we stepped into that alleyway we were hit by the overwhelming smell of gum.  All kinds of gum!  Fruity, minty,'s all there.  A terribly unsettling bouquet just wafting through the air assailing your nostrils.  And yet, it was also fascinating.  Much in the same way as an episode of Hoarders in that it's the most disgusting thing you've ever seen and yet you find yourself unable to look away.

Eww, eww, eww!  Gum icicles!  Omg, ew!

And that's how I spent my Spring Break with my best friend.

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