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Victoria Trip, 12/22



I turned my alarm off when it started yelling at me. We got out of Corvallis before it got light out, though; at about 7am. There was a big train in the way so we sat in Corvallis just a few blocks away from our house for ten minutes; and then there was a smaller train a few blocks further on that we had to wait for.

The drive to Portland was uneventful. We stopped downtown at Powell’s and looked for a map to Victoria but they only had one and it was huge. I looked at crochet books too and Cory looked at new releases but the only thing we found was a t-shirt for each of us. And a science magazine for Cory.

We were out of Portland by 9:30am or so, and on our way to Seattle. We had a quick bite to eat at Burgerville and I started driving. I didn’t drive very long though because we started getting closer to Seattle and we wanted to go get a card to put Cory’s dad’s gift card in and I am not good at driving in an unfamiliar city right before Christmas. We ended up switching drivers again at Fort Lewis, where I had to make a u-turn because we were on our way into the base and that would not have been a good thing.

We stopped again at the Tacoma Mall, and found a Hallmark and got a card. The parking lot was interesting – you’d think people would have a bit of Christmas spirit, but all we saw was Christmas spite. But we got in and out OK, and back onto I5.

The rest of the way was pretty much smooth sailing – I navigated and Cory drove and said “oh yeah, I recognize this” whenever we made a turn.

We got settled in at Dean’s house and I got a little tour. It’s a neat old house – he said it was built in the 20’s, I think, and it’s very nicely decorated. No pictures of family, though, I noticed. Just paintings and things.

As soon as we’d brought our things in from the car, Dean loaded us into his car and we went to the Pike Place Market for lunch. We walked around a little and had Bolivian food for lunch – pork with rice and hominy for me, chicken with vegetables and rice for Cory. And beer. After we stuffed ourselves we stopped by the fish vendor that Pike Market is famous for, and wove our way through the crowd to walk back to the car. I looked for Croshay’s booth, but didn’t see it – I’m not sure if it’s actually within Pike Market or what.

On the way home we made a pit stop at Starbucks, and then we went back home and chatted and read and crocheted and stuff. Right before it got dark we went for a walk up around Capitol Hill and looked at the view between the trees. And the view of the nice houses in the neighborhood. One was for sale for $950 grand. Yeesh.

We spent another hour chatting at home before our reservations for Monsoon restaurant were ready. It was a high-end Vietnamese place, I think – rice and things, but kind of fancy American style as well. Cory had drunken chicken on yo choy, and Dean and I had wild boar with cellophane noodles and lemongrass and peanut, - SO GOOD. My first bite was wonderful, with three different flavors happening in succession. That doesn’t happen so often at Wendy’s. We shared a bottle of cabernet as well, and some snow peas with mushrooms. It didn’t look like much food but we couldn’t eat it all. Yum.

By the time we were finished it was pretty late, but we asked Dean to drive us through a couple of neighborhoods lit up with Christmas lights. And then we came home again and exchanged Christmas gifts. We’d gotten Dean a $50 gift card for the iTunes store, so he could download himself a few songs. He got Cory an iPod and a logic book and a Seattle mug, and he got me a really nice dutch oven and a one-pot cookbook to go with it. It was a very nice haul – Dean was very very generous.

Then it was bedtime. Cory was about ready to go to sleep as soon as we got in bed, but it took me awhile to wind down. And then I woke up several times during the night worrying that we missed the alarm, and hearing the rain slap the windows.

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