We are back from another trip to visit the home state! Current goal is to post two a day — one from the current day, one from a prior week — for the next week. The week looks to be a busy one, though, so who knows.

This is a phone-cam drive-by from our first stop at Cafe du Monde.
We had a batch in Sprizee's birthday honor

Trout - Steelhead
Mr. T’s grandpa is visiting again. We went out with his parents, grandpa, aunt and cousin to the Steelhead Diner in Pike Place Market. His cousin ordered this while I got decent gumbo followed by spicy salmon followed by a light Theo Chocolate Mousse, as part of the Dine Around Seattle special they have right now. Fantastic evening.

Busy day, but found out in the early evening that I wouldn’t be on call overnight. Relief. I went to pick up Mr. T later in Fremont and noticed the progress on upcoming Homegrown. It’s next door to Lucky Pho and in the old Steve’s Fremont News which closed several years ago.

They are not open yet, but I’m looking forward to it:
Not yet homegrown

Coldkilla: Veggie Pho
As demonstrated by yesterday’s gentle reminder, I’m surrounded by sick folks. In the morning I felt plague-ish, so Mr. T and I headed to Lucky Pho for an antidote.

This is the veggie pho with tofu.

Hint, hint
Most of my colleagues have been knocked out by a dreaded illness. It’s been a bit lonely this week, but I had a solid laugh when I spotted this outside our floor’s loo.

Editor’s Note: I’m a few days behind in posting. Will catch up by end of week.

Rock Garden
This group spent hours in the Rock Garden mid-afternoon with umbrellas and cameras and whatnot. Turns out they were in the midst of a photo shoot. I learned that hours later; I’d figured Spring was here and with that, tourists with cameras by the canal. People from around here don’t generally sport umbrellas.

Vanessa hosted book club this month at her Alki place. It’s the first time I remember being on Alki in the light of day in months — her neighbor displays this distinctive blue bottle bouquet out front.

Tonight’s discussion was The Watchmen.

Near the corner of 36th and Phinney, we found these two dogs. Ian joined me for a quick walk around Fremont, to break up the afternoon. Discovered three new places beyond my usual zone, including a taco truck & a soup house. Saints & Sinners will also be arriving soon.

Much later, Mr. T & I joined up with his colleagues for a moving-to-Zurich Redux. Elysian Brewing Co for a Hot Babe sandwich & divine Steak Frites, then the Satellite for awkward standing around, then Barrio for the capper.

Mr. T has been working on the Eastside all week, but this morning we got to commute together. We walked to Skillet for their burger and the Moroccan Sloppy Joes: lamb with mint, pistachio, golden raisins, cucumbers, and kalamata olives. Very good.
We're Walking
Moroccan Sloppy Joes on Texas Toast

Mr. T has been makin noise about Latona Pub all week and on our way home, stopped for dinner. Our friends Eric & Anne live up the street so they joined us. Afterward, they came over for cake. I have to admit, I will be back to the LP very soon for more grilled cheese. My BLT was great, but Mr. T’s sandwich was something else.
Latona BLT
Latona grilled cheese

So sunny!
What a difference 15 feet closer to a window makes. I keep thinking we’re having a spectacularly easy slide into Spring and then remember it’s a) super cold outside b) only a day or so out from the last drizzly showers. The window seat is making all the difference in the world. I love being able to observe the quick weather change, along with the light change.

And yes, I did go back for more pho today. Yesterday was #1, today was #2 – meatballs. I brought almost all of the meat home for The Baron and then remembered dogs and onions are not bueno. Ah well, I’d say it’s the thought that counts but he probably doesn’t see it the same way.

I’m thinking Friday will be Veggie pho as Thursday will be all about Skillet.

Yes, I am always pondering my next meal or three.

The Butcher wuz here.
Today’s highlights: lunch with Maya! She is planning a long road-trip across the US from DC to the South then all the way west. We lunched at Tawon to catch up and to talk travel. I’m so envious of her epic undertaking.

Tonight, my ol’ pal–commonly referred to as the Butcher–came for Happy Hour with folks from my day-thing. After the group disbanded, she and I spent 4 more hours in the lobby chatting away like we hadn’t seen each other in months. (It’s been 10 days, since trivia I believe.) She left some graffiti for another friend.

Sometime in the last year, Mr. T learned some good old friends from his childhood time in Kaiserslautern are now in the Seattle area. They & Mr. T’s parents & sister caught up over Sunday Night Dinner. We went out for Indian but finished with dessert at our house. Mr. T’s parents brought it from Kirkland’s Hoffmann Bakery.

Surprise! Today is bubblegum day. Some renegade had baskets of bubblegum in common areas today. By mid-afternoon, I was trying to recapture childhood glories of giant bubbles and mostly succeeded. Mission accomplished, mystery bubblegum supplier.
Happy bubblegum day!
Further explanation here in this handy chart.

Sax & the Ship Traffic
Shortly after lunch, I noticed a saxophone player out by the ship canal. I told someone nearby that with all the goings-on down there, I’m gonna hafta pick up a pair of binoculars and/or a telephoto lens. The rock garden is quite a gathering spot.

Where they have deep-fried Mac 'n Cheese
Mr. T’s boss is moving to Zurich. Tonight, he had his going-away party at Vessel in downtown Seattle. We had a great time trying all sorts of concoctions. As that party wound down, our gang wandered to Belltown’s 5 Point. For months, I’d been wanting to go there to wrangle me some Deep Fried Mac ‘n Cheese. My dreams came true! The wedges of goodness were everything I wanted and more. A smudgy smidgen-sized picture:
Blurry Deep Fried Mac 'n Cheese

Three weeks til Spring
Over the weekend, the fine folks at my day-thing upgraded my old desk for a new location. This was the sight directly above my monitor screen most of today. I use a lightbox most mornings, but with this sunshine (early Spring tease!) I nearly blinded myself by lunchtime today. The clouds get amazingly bright. At one point it took nearly five minutes to regain normal vision when I finally left my seat. I AM NOT COMPLAINING. There will just be a little adjustment phase.

I lunched with a former colleague at Tawon Thai. On our way back, we discovered Fremont Baja Fresh has closed after nearly 5 years. My patronage has dropped off as I’ve been brown-baggin’ it when I don’t meet friends for lunch or get talked into Skillet. When I do meet friends at lunch, most non-Fremonters talk me into Thai.

I realize an elitist attitude’s nearly expected these days & I should shun such establishment chains but I will miss the good folks there. It might ‘as well have been a mom and pop shop, the way the long-time regulars treated guests. I used to order this off-menu salad that I could load up with jalapenos and cilantro and pico de gallo. Healthy for fast food. I could call in when I was in a lunch rush and when I came in, those who recognized me would greet with “Hola, Rrrrraquel!” As it goes, it’s great where they know your name. Or give you a pet nickname.

Ruby's Slippers
Mr. T & I went to the Eastside today for his younger sister’s birthday dinner. As we were packing up to go, we noticed his six-year-old niece walking around in her “heels.”

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