A New Tradition

When I started working downtown, G and I agreed that we would meet for lunch once each week. It took a while for it to get off the ground, but we finally seem to be in the groove of actually doing it! At first, we ate almost exclusively in the International District, near G’s old office. Now that he’s working on South Lake Union, the tables have turned and he’s coming to meet me near my office. In the last 3 weeks we’ve eaten at Matt’s and World Class Chili (both in Pike Place Market). Today, we had a charming lunch at Tom Douglas’ Lola, the newest, Greek-themed restaurant of his empire. G had never been before and I’d only been once for brunch. It did not disappoint.

We scored one of the outside tables and sat in a sun-dappled square of the patio while eating. G had a glass of sauvignon blanc and we started with 2 of their dips and pita. The pita was freshly grilled and dusted with kosher salt. We opted for the Kalamata-Fig and Cauliflower-Anchovy dips. Both were very good, although perhaps not exactly what we expected. Following the starter, we each had a kebab (which was actually 3 skewers of meat-perfect for sharing) with a side salad. G’s lamb was chewy and flavorful, my chicken was heavy on the fresh dill and yogurt. Both came with a side of tzatziki- I literally scooped this up with my fingers it was so good; incredibly creamy and garlicky. There was more pita, and a lovely Greek salad with mounds of feta, fresh mint, tomatoes and cucumber (no lettuce here).

Everything we had was excellent and we left feeling quite stuffed. Not so full that we couldn’t meander across the street for a peak at Dahlia Bakery’s selections. I ended up with a Chocolate Truffle cookie and lazily wandered back to my office after seeing G off. Good thing these lunches tend to fall on Friday!

Kicking up a Storm

After anxiously awaiting the baby’s first kick, I finally started to feel movement a few weeks ago (around 19 weeks). It’s become more and more noticeable and in the past week, I can actually see my belly move when he/she kicks. G felt it for the first time last weekend. Now I can feel movement seemingly nonstop. Yesterday afternoon I sat in my office and watched my belly move for 20 minutes, complete with big grin on my face. I wonder what’s in there? Future dancer? Soccer player? Runner? Whatever the case, this baby sure isn’t letting me sleep much!

Trip Planner

This is a really cool resource from the folks at Google. I’ve used King County’s own Trip Planner for years to map out bus journeys. Google’s version gives you the option to compare a driving route versus a bus route between two locations. It also gives you a map, which KC’s site doesn’t do. (Note KC’s version has quite a few advantages too.) The Seattle Times article has more details.

The “Deep-Fry Guy”

A dubious distinction at best, this guy falls into a group of “practicioners of extreme fair food”. He even calls himself a fried-food innovator. Yeah, sure, if you call deep-fried Oreos and avocados an innovation. His latest creation: a Krispy Kreme Chicken and Swiss sandwich. Prepare to be completely grossed out.

I’m Lame

OK, 11 days after returning from vacation I will admit that I’m lame. I haven’t properly blogged about our vacation and I don’t think I’m going to. G wrote a lovely synopsis already and frankly, there’s not much more to say (note: his blog post contains links to various photo albums of our trip). Normally, I might expound in great detail about our various meals, but in this case I don’t think it’s worth the time. You’ll surely be bored with yet another average burger description.

Instead, I’ll tell you what it’s like to be back in Seattle:

1) The food’s a whole lot better. In 11 days back home (the same amount of time we were away), we’ve had numerous stellar meals both at home and out including the nearly perfect pastries at Besalu, a sunny luncheon on the deck of Ray’s Boathouse and a star-studded weekday lunch at Matt’s in the Market. The eggplant sandwich at Matt’s is pretty close to my favorite thing to eat right now (it has melted cheese on it, of course). We had a surprisingly good piece of cheesecake there too- Key Lime and White Chocolate. We also had an excellent dinner at Monsoon last week with the addictive and greasy Drunken Chicken. Delicious green beans with butternut squash too. OK, maybe the meals I’ve cooked at home haven’t been as exciting but they were STILL better than the ones on vacation.

2) It’s fall weather for sure. We lucked out with some glorious late summer weather on our trip and well, those days are over. It’s cold, rainy and windy in Seattle. Oh well, you can’t have everything. I suppose we need the rain, so I’m not going to complain about it.

3) I love my bed. It’s a little smaller than some – I enjoyed the king size hotel beds quite a bit!- but it’s mine. Maybe it’s not just the bed. I love being home. Is that nesting kicking in?

4) No port-o-potties. OK, I actually did use one once (this past weekend at Discovery Park). But by and large, my use of port-o-potties aka Honey Buckets aka Johnny-on-the-Spots has greatly decreased now that I’m home. Given the frequency with which I currently need to use a toilet, I’m most grateful to be back in the land of flushing toilets, soap and hot water.

5) Last but not least: I’m happy to have consistently good drinking water (one of the places we stayed in Montana has a permanent boil order for all drinking water!), an excellent, nearby grocery store with lots of organic yummies, a wonderful farmer’s market, and wireless internet.

Cheese and Chocolate

One of the most interesting aspects of being pregnant is witnessing other people’s reaction to learning of this fact. Most people express congratulations upon first hearing the news and then ask a series of similar questions. “When are you due?”, “How are you feeling?” and perhaps most importantly, “What are you craving?” or “What have you been eating?” For some reason, people seem particularly fascinated by the cravings, aversions and general food consumption of pregnant women. Maybe it’s because we hear all sorts of tales of women eating pickles, ice cream and any number of obscure foods.

In any case, I’ve been having a couple particular cravings of my own. Notably, cheese and chocolate (preferably milk chocolate). I’m fantasizing about macaroni ‘n cheese, and have been gravitating towards anything that includes melted cheese. I can polish off substantial amounts of milk chocolate (in just about any form), although thus far have been doing pretty well at limiting myself to smaller portions. Our kitchen is well stocked with multiple varieties of cheddar, asiago, parmesan, cream cheese, gruyere, goat cheese, Ritter Sport/Milka chocolate bars, Double Chocolate Milano cookies and Haggen-Dazs Triple Chocolate ice cream.

Add to that, my current hunger for plain old milk, yogurt, bread, crackers, peanut butter, pasta, pizza (again with the melted cheese), bagels, French fries, and cereal. That’s my diet in a nutshell. I guess I’ve been eating some fruits and vegetables too, they’re just not high on my list of hankerings. My only lingering aversion is fish- shrimp is OK, but fish isn’t doing anything for me.

Note: a couple days shy of 23 weeks along and I’ve gained about 13 or 14 pounds. I’m OK with that, but the way my appetite has been increasing, it could easily ramp up significantly.

Still Got It

I went for a run this morning for the first time in about 3 weeks. I was worried after such a lapse that I might have the throw in the towel for the rest of my pregnancy. On the contrary, the run felt pretty good. Sure, my muscles were a tad sore- despite all the hiking we did on vacation, you still use different muscles for the 2 activities. My heart rate shot up to the 170s pretty much right away but then settled in to the 150s and 160s for the rest- I’ve noticed this is a pretty common pattern.

Total distance was just over 2.5 miles in 26 minutes. So I’m still running about 10 minutes/mile. Not half bad! Funniest part of the whole affair was my belly, which was poking out underneath my top (it’s not long enough). No way am I going to buy maternity workout clothes so I’ll just have to live with that. It does wonders for my outlook to know that I can still run. Not like before of course, but I’ve still got it.