Monday, October 31, 2011

Hometown Halloween

This year, along with some of our friends, we received an invite to an "Outlaween Party" at Outlaws Saloon in Ferndale - Stew's home town! Stew has been working hard on growing his moustache for the past couple months, so of course he wanted to incorporate it into his Halloween costume. Because of his work schedule he hasn't gotten to dress up and celebrate Halloween for the past couple years, so we really wanted to go all out. Remembering that Mario has a pretty intense moustache, we ordered some legit Super Mario and Princess Peach outfits. We loved the way they turned out, and we ended up having a fantastic night out in Ferndale (and it was like a mini high school reunion for Stew!)... Here are some pictures that capture the evening best.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gladiator Tough

I can barely even run (make that jog) a mile, but somehow I got peer pressured into participating in the Gladiator Rock'n Run last weekend with Stewart and some of our friends. I have no idea what I was thinking. They somehow had me convinced that a 5K with 14 military boot camp style obstacles wouldn't be that big of a deal. I almost died. Seriously.

It wouldn't have been so bad, I don't think, except we started off with a straight mile run followed by the first obstacle which was a crazy bleacher stair climb. By the time I finished those, followed shortly after by a polar bear plunge, my body had gone into complete shock. I basically ran the rest of the race and obstacles in a daze, with my teammates literally running circles around me until we raced through fiery flames to the end. Even though it was a pretty nice fall day, we were soaked to the skin and covered in mud, so hypothermia began to set in quickly, exacerbated by free icy cold beer.

But hey, we did receive a "Gladiator Tough" finishers medal and a "Limited Edition" Gladiator Rock'n Run t-shirt by Affliction. A fair trade, I'd say, since we ended up having to throw away our costumes and shoes. After it was all over I was really glad that I participated, and proud of myself that I finished the entire race and completed every single obstacle. Sure it took me over an hour, but the way I see it that just leaves lots of room for improvement for my next race!

Stew & I chose these costumes because we thought they'd be
comfortable - turns out they just soaked up a lot of water & mud!

The Braddocks showed up in some awesome outfits.

Our team getting psyched up in the parking lot.

Waiting for our race wave to start.

It was all pretty exciting.

Pretending I'm not actually having an anxiety attack.

Hans bursting out of his (child's) Captain America costume.

Polar Bear Plunge.
Cargo Congo Climb

Tire Mountain

8 Foot "Wall of Fame."


Do boys ever grow out of playing in the dirt?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Restaurant Review: Bastille

Even though I have lived in Seattle since early 2005, I somehow have never participated in Seattle Restaurant Week, although I've always been intrigued.

"Seattle Restaurant Week is a celebration of food that spreads across King County, inviting people to dine for a deal in nearly every Seattle and Eastside neighborhood. The dining celebration features 150 restaurants offering a three-course menu for $28; some also offering a three-course lunch for $15."

A restaurant in Ballard I have always wanted to try, Bastille Café & Bar, was participating in Restaurant Week, so my old college friend Cari and I took the opportunity to check it out.

It wasn't at all difficult to get a Monday night reservation for two, and we met up after work at the lovely French cafe and bar. We ordered some red wine while we perused the special Restaurant Week menu, which offered a three-course dinner for $28 featuring an appetizer, entrée and dessert (with at least three options under each course). We each chose a different salad for our appetizers, and although Cari's was good I thought mine was a little boring. For my second course I branched out and ordered a duck dish, while Cari went with a delicious seafood plate. Finally, for dessert we had some absolutely amazing hazelnut ice cream. The atmosphere and service were great, and the food was delicious, too. And in fact the regular menu prices were similar to the Restaurant Week deal (not too expensive, considering), so I would definitely go back again.

Butter Lettuces Salad w/ anchovy and gruyere croutons and
pommery mustard vinaigrette.
Duck Leg Confit w/ brown butter white bean puree,
brussels sprouts and piment d'espelette.
Hazelnut Ice Cream.
I'm so glad I finally got to experience Seattle Restaurant Week... Thanks to Cari for being my date!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ladder Truck

Stewart has had some big changes at work this month! He was moved from Station 34 to Station 31 and joined the ladder crew after attending a truck academy that included learning lots of specialty skills (like driving the station's new ladder truck). This will be a much busier station with lots more going on - all good stuff for future career advancement. Believe it or not Stew has been a firefighter for more than three years now! I'm very proud of him...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Restaurant Review: Black Bottle

Stewart and I went to Black Bottle once years ago for my company Christmas party, and we remembered that the food was delicious, so we decided to head there with Tara and Andrew for dinner after the game on Saturday. We ordered four dishes between us and although they weren't quite as amazing as we remembered, we still enjoyed the food and especially the company.

Steamed clams in white wine broth - Unfortunately this dish was
spicy as well as bland at the same time... hard to explain.

Smoked chicken and sun-dried cherries flatbread - A great choice
by Andrew... we loved this one!  

Natural hanger steak and daikon/shiso - This is the dish Stew and
I were drooling over the last time we came here... it was still amazing!

Broccoli blasted - Previously one of my favorite dishes, this time
it seemed a little overdone and had a burnt flavor we didn't love. 
The best part was when the waitress brought all four of us very strong complimentary shots to celebrate Tara's birthday! That absolutely made up for any imperfections in the food... We would definitely go back!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Husky Birthday Party

Happy Birthday, Tara!

To celebrate Tara's 29th birthday we were invited to attend the University of Washington Husky football game -- by yacht! This is something Stew and I had definitely never done before, and it ended up being the most fun day I've had in a long time!

Heading out in the boat on Lake Union - gorgeous views,
and my first time on a yacht!

Drinking some coffee to prepare us for a big day at the game.

Arriving at Husky Stadium - I could get used to this!

The girls getting pumped up for football.

Enjoying the view from the boat's upper deck.

Captain Stewart?

Andrew & Tara - sporting her "it's my birthday!" pin.

Our transportation for the day...

Water taxi to the dock to head up to the stadium.

I always wondered how that worked!

I guess lots of people boat to the game.

We made it to shore!

The Huskies kicked some Buffalo butt!

Stewie and I had a great time at the game.

So did Tara and Andrew.

And the weather even cleared up for our ride home.

Singing happy birthday before we enjoy Tara's yummy cake.

Photo op on the bow of the boat.

Tara was really excited.

Yeah... I'd say overall she had a great day!
If you ever have the opportunity to boat to a Husky game, definitely do it!