Last minute details before our trip

Here we are at (t-1) days until our England trip!  We are excited, but Mike has been working really hard the past couple of weeks, so he is mostly crashing in the evening.  Because of that, I’ve done the planning for our trip so far, but we’re actually not doing a lot of planning beforehand.  We had a great time last year winging it in Italy, so that’s what we’d like to do for this trip as well.

I’ve been trying to get things done like cleaning Piper’s litterbox, setting out her food so it’s available for the cat sitter, getting all of our laundry done, etc, but this has been slightly hindered by Mike’s new obsession: Game of Thrones.  I started hearing lots of good things about this show about a year ago and it sounded like something Mike would like so I bought the first season and periodically bugged him to watch it (with no success).  However, since he was so busy at work last week and had very little energy left over to do anything I started bringing up him watching Game of Thrones again, this time with success.  Except I wasn’t planning on quite this much success.  We watched the first episode on Saturday, three more on Sunday, and then one or two every night since then.  The good news is that he loves the show, the bad news is that I really don’t have the attention span to watch (even a really good show) in a marathon manner.  In addition, the show is extremely intense and isn’t a relaxing show to watch.  Mike correctly pointed out, though, that this is really all my fault since there’s no way he would have started watching it without my influence.  We reached an agreement last night that I would watch some episodes with him and he could just briefly fill me in on the episodes he watched without me, at least until he’s recovered from the long hours at work and has energy to do things other than watch shows.

Apart from Game of Thrones and getting things ready to go, Mike and I haven’t been doing a lot.  We’ve both been busy at work trying to get work stuff wrapped up as much as possible as well.

One thing I finally got around to doing was enabling my iPhone for Europe.  It will be very expensive for me to talk on the phone in Europe, but at least I have the ability in case of emergencies.  The whole thing was more of an ordeal than I thought it would be.  I went to Verizon’s website and tried to set it up there, but I kept getting errors saying that my request couldn’t be completed and that I’d need to call Verizon.  So I called Verizon and after navigating through a complex (and pretty sophisticated) set of voice-recognition menu options I got to a point where I was told by the automated voice that my request needed to be handled by a Verizon representative and that I should remain on the line.  After a pause I was then informed (again by the automated voice) that Verizon was experiencing greater than normal call volumes and that I could stay on the line on hold but that I could get my problem solved much more quickly on the Verizon website.  Well, nope, apparently not since I already tried that.  I tried calling about five different times over the course of two days but just kept getting stuck on hold.  Finally Monday night I decided to do some Nintendo Wii Zumba while waiting on hold with Verizon.  I dialed the Verizon number and then put it on speakerphone so that I could hear when someone actually picked up.  I had just started dancing to an upbeat Latin song when I heard someone picked up.  Well that was a lot faster than the other times I’d called without doing Zumba!  I made a mental note to make sure I had the Nintendo Wii on the next time I wanted to reach Verizon.  The woman on the other end was extremely helpful although she did briefly throw me for a loop when she asked to speak to the primary account holder.

There was a pause during which I tried to come up with something to say and failed miserably.  Finally I settled for “It’s my account.”

“I understand that,” the woman said patiently as though she were used to talking to errant phone callers every day of her life.  “Would it be possible to speak to the primary account holder?”

It took a few back-and-forth iterations of “I am the primary account holder” and “I understand that.  Can I please speak to the primary account holder?” before we understood each other.  Verizon still had my maiden name in their system.  Once that was cleared up the rest of the conversation went very smoothly.  The weather was so gorgeous on Monday that Mike wanted to take some pictures from the roof of our apartment building and from across the street.  We got some good pictures on the roof, but then in a completely uncharacteristic move, Mike accidentally deleted all the pictures while he was trying to modify some configuration settings.  As I told Mike, that’s usually not something he does; it’s usually something I do and he makes fun of.  😉

We had a pretty relaxing weekend apart from prep for our England trip.  I’m really glad I bought us each a bunch of socks last weekend because the one thing you want to have enough of during trips is socks.  For us anyway.  🙂

The one thing I always hate is leaving Piper behind.  Poor girl!  She’s lying on my lap now and I would really like to move but I don’t have the heart to kick her off since I’m leaving her tomorrow.

Piper investigating the area under the bookshelf for mice

Piper investigating the area under the bookshelf for mice

I know you’re all tired of seeing pictures of Piper, but the cute yorkie puppy at work wouldn’t hold still long enough for me to get a picture so you’re stuck with Piper.  After this trip, I should have a bunch of pictures to post that aren’t Piper-related!  (And hopefully work settles down for both Mike and me as well so that we have more time and energy for going places and doing things.)

Piper on the bed... last Piper pic for awhile!

Piper on the bed… last Piper pic for awhile!  And you can actually barely see her anyway since she’s so dark.

On Sunday night I made sloppy joes, and Mike’s been enjoying those each night since then.  Some things he just doesn’t get tired of and sloppy joes always seems to be one of them.  I need to figure out how to freeze the rest before we leave, but that will probably just be something I google tonight.  🙂

Before Mike discovered Game of Thrones but after he was too tired from work to do anything besides watch shows, we watched Rushmore, a Wes Anderson movie.  We had just watched the Grand Budapest Hotel a couple weeks earlier, so I guess we were in a Wes Anderson mood.  It was interesting and, given that it was one of his first movies, it was interesting to get a sense of the early Wes Anderson work vs his current work.  If you enjoy Wes Anderson movies you’ll probably enjoy Rushmore.  Otherwise you won’t.

I have been steadfastly sticking with running even though my pace is still slower than it was in the fall and I typically feel tired during my runs, particularly if I try to quicken my pace.  Tonight though I was on a treadmill in the workroom listening to trance (thank you Armin Van Buuren) and I felt like I was flying.  And most importantly, I felt strong.  Like half-marathon kind of strong (which is probably just as well since I’m registered for a half marathon this fall).  Sure, I was a little breathless and my legs were a little tired, but mostly I was just flying.  That’s a great feeling.  That makes all of the hard runs worth it.  And there have been plenty of those lately.  I did hill intervals late last week, and those were HARD.  Mostly because Seattle hills are intense.  I ran up a big hill and then down a slightly less big hill into Wallingford, through Wallingford, and then back around to the apartment building.  And that big hill was a half-mile steep hard hill.  Here’s a shot from that run:

A night run in Wallingford

A night run in Wallingford

I realize that the picture is not great, but it’s so much better than my old iphone.  With that if I tried to take a picture at night it just turned out completely black.  With this one you can see the mass of lights in the middle that is the lights of Seattle.  You can even see the Space Needle (the small bright light directly above the parked car just above the horizon).

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and a half… Mike and I will take a lot of pictures in England!  🙂

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Filed under Apartments, Cats, Cooking, Running, Travel

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