Tag Archives: thai

Interviewing and a Ragnar relay

It was amazing having a week off of work while my friend Lia was here, but my life got back to being crazy right after she left.  As mentioned in the last blog post, I was interviewing for jobs lightly in June, and it become more intense towards the end of June.  Typically with tech interviews the first couple of interviews are phone interviews which are relatively easy to work around your schedule, although they require some prep.  Then if you make it through those, you start getting full day interviews scheduled, and those require a lot more prep and are a lot harder to work around your schedule.  So I had a one-day interview the day before Lia flew in (see previous blog post), and I had another one the week after Lia left, and those were the two primary jobs I was considering.

The interview before Lia came went well, but it honestly didn’t feel like the right fit for me.  The work was all work that I already know how to do (and have been doing) for the past couple of years.  It honestly didn’t really feel worth it to me to change jobs just so I could keep doing the same thing… I really wanted some opportunities to grow and do something totally different.  The job that I was interviewing for a week later at Sonos seemed much more in line with my goal to learn and grow.  The “gotcha” there is that it of course meant that I wasn’t uber qualified for the job.  Oh, and the second “gotcha” is that most of the team was located in the Boston Sonos office rather than the Seattle Sonos office.  So a few *slight* roadblocks.  However, the first two phone interviews went really well, so I found myself with a full day interview scheduled in Boston.  I flew out on Sunday afternoon and got to Boston around 6pm.  Ideally enough time to get to bed early and adjust to the time difference since Boston was a three hour time difference from Seattle.  I interviewed all day on Monday, and then flew back to Seattle on Tuesday at 7am (4am Seattle time!).

The interview itself felt like it went really well.  I got good vibes from everyone on the team, as well as the hiring manager, and the other people on the interview loop.  Of course, I didn’t have much domain knowledge for the job (embedded software team lead), but I was very up front about that before the Boston trip, so everyone was on the same page as far as my knowledge went.

After the interview, the hiring manager invited me to dinner with himself and a few other managers.. super nice of him!  I was honestly exhausted after the trip and the day of interviewing, but it seemed like a good sign that I got a dinner invite and I wanted to spend more time getting to know the people at Sonos.  We went to a tapas place with an outdoor patio and sat outdoors during dinner… the weather was just perfect!  After dinner, I went back to the hotel and decided that I REALLY needed a run to wind down and calm my adrenaline-filled day.

The St. Charles River that runs through Boston is just gorgeous!

So pretty! And calming!

So pretty! And calming!

 

The sun set while I was running, and it was just so peaceful.

Lovely

Lovely

And then of course there was the 4am alarm the next morning (1 am Seattle time!) so I could catch my 7am flight.  Kind of an exhausting trip, but such a great interview experience!

Long story short, I got a job offer, accepted it, and started at Sonos on Monday (7/31).  Super excited to be there, and I’m already learning so much!  Ready for the journey!  🙂

So… what else has been going on?

Well, two weeks after the interview, I had a big team relay race (Ragnar Northwest Passage) that I had signed up for back in December.  Basically, a team of 12 people split up into two vans run a 200 mile relay race over 1-2 days.  I honestly was feeling like I already had so much going on that I wasn’t sure about doing the race, but I had already signed up and it definitely wouldn’t have been fair to bail on my 11 other team members.  So I went into it with the goal just to get through it.  And of course, as is the way with many things in life, I had such an amazing time!!  I’ll detail how it all went.  I apologize in advance if you have no interest in running.  But for what it’s worth, Ragnar isn’t a normal race, and you may read this and decide that you want to run one too.  🙂

I was in Van 2, which meant that the six runners in Van 1 started running the relay first.  The race started up by the Canadian border around 10am, and the six of them had to cycle through their legs before my van started.  Our van met them about thirty miles south of the initial starting point at the start of Leg 7.  We arrived there in plenty of time to pick up our Ragnar shirts, decorate our van windows (which seemed to be an exceedingly popular thing to do) and “tag” other teams’ vans with our team’s magnets (another exceedingly popular thing to do).  I also learned that you mark the numbers of people that members of your van pass on the van as well, so you can keep track.  It’s all in fun though… everyone who passed me was really nice and encouraging to me, and I did the same when I passed others.  And then around 2:30pm, we got word via text message from Van 1 that they were close to the exchange point.   So our first runner, Alex, queued up at the exchange point, ready to grab the baton and start running.  The first exchange point was really busy… lots and lots of teams waiting for their first set of runners coming in.  When the sixth runner from our first van streaked up, Alex grabbed the baton and took off, and then Van 1 got a break for several hours while our van of 6 people cycled through their legs.  The members of Van 2 piled into our van and started off to the exchange point between Alex (runner 7) and Anna (runner 8).  It was HOT.  And most of the roads weren’t shaded.  A couple of us in the van checked the weather and saw that my leg (9) and Drake’s leg (10) were going to be the two legs during the hottest part of the day.  And I really wasn’t trained for this with all the interviewing prep I’d been doing.  Ugh.  Oh well.  Time to put my running shoes on, pull a Nike, and “Just Do It”.  Alex handed off to Anna, and we piled back into the van and drove to the next exchange point.  I had time to do a few stretches and use the porta potty before we saw Anna coming down the road.  The sun was very hot on my head.  This was going to be rough.  I grabbed the baton and started off.

Starting the first leg after taking the handoff from Anna

Starting the first leg after taking the handoff from Anna

My first leg was 6.6 miles, which isn’t a ton but felt like a lot in the hot sun.  I hadn’t brought a water bottle with me, because it wasn’t hot in Seattle, so I didn’t realize how hot the race was going to be.  Fortunately one of the other runners (Ken, who really ended up being our hero) lent me his.  The van passed me around mile 3, and they offered to give me water, but I shook my head.  I had made my legs find a groove and didn’t want to risk stopping.  Plus I had the water bottle that I was carrying with me.  After what seemed like a really long time, I finally saw the “1 mile left” marker by the road and picked up my speed a little (even though Anna had warned me that sometimes those “1 mile left” signs were a little inaccurately placed).  A mile later, I approached the hand-off, gave the baton to Drake (who was already sweating just standing in the hot sun), and then he took off.

Checking off my first leg on the van window

Checking off my first leg on the van window

I was left standing there with my other van members literally dripping sweat.  My average pace was 7:54min/mile.  Fortunately we had tons of baby wipes in the car.  Most of the runners in our van were veteran Ragnar relay runners who knew the value of baby wipes in the absence of a hot shower.  I wiped off as best I could, and we headed for the next exchange point.  Nick started stretching.  His leg was fairly short, so he wanted to run it fast.  Drake came in hot and breathing hard and handed off to Nick.  Back in the van, we were already starting to plan.  Anna’s achilles had been bothering her a lot in the few weeks prior to the race, and it was really hurting after her first leg, so we were trying to figure out a way to minimize her running by trading legs.  My next leg was 2.2 miles, and hers was 5.5 miles, so she and I decided to swap.  And Ken, our 12th and final runner, who is a running monster, said he’d take her third leg in addition to his own (which meant he was running four legs instead of the three everyone else was running).

Nick came in fast, and Ken took off fast (they’re both 7 – 7:20 min/mile runners).  When we picked Ken up after his leg, we had about four hours off while Van 1 took over for the next six legs.  We found our way to a grocery store that had a buffet in the deli area and we all got some dinner.  I didn’t want to eat anything that might upset my stomach since I knew we’d be doing our night runs next, and night running definitely wasn’t something my body was used to.  After eating, we drove to the exchange point where we’d pick up from the Van 1 runners.

Driving to the next exchange point in the fading light... the number of people we passed marked on the van window

Driving to the next exchange point in the fading light… the number of people we all passed while running aggregated and marked on the van window

A bunch of vans were already there and many runners had sleeping bags laid out on the grass to try to catch a few hours of sleep.  Unfortunately there was a giant Ragnar party going on at one of the houses across the street from the exchange point, and they were blasting loud music and had a lights show going on, even though it was already 10pm, and the sun was setting.  The six of us went to a grassy area and foam rolled out our muscles to keep them from getting stiff before we started our second legs.

Waiting for our night runs

Waiting for our night runs… Drake out cold

Drake wrapped himself in a sleeping bag and enviably fell asleep immediately.  The rest of us just foam rolled and talked as it got darker and darker.  Around 11pm we got word that the Van 1 runners were just about done, so Alex got ready to go and got to the exchange point.  There were still quite a few runners around us, but definitely not as many as there were the first time we exchanged between Van 1 and Van 2.  Our team was surprisingly fast (certainly not the fastest, but faster than we had expected to be) and had started putting some distance between us and other teams.  Alex took off, and I (taking over for Anna) would be going next.  I had originally been dreading the night leg, but after the super hot sunny weather earlier, I was actually very excited to run in the cool darkness.  With the sun down, it was 55 degree running weather… completely perfect!  And my night leg would be along the shore of a lake, over the lake on a mile-long boardwalk, and then along the other side of the lake to the hand-off point.  I was definitely shivery as I waited for Alex to show up at the exchange point.  Running in 55 degree weather is perfect, but just standing there waiting isn’t quite as perfect.  Finally I saw Alex’s swinging hand lamp (almost everyone else had headlamps, so Alex was easy to spot) coming down the road.  He was running fast and almost missed seeing me until I yelled his name.  And then I was off!  The van wasn’t able to stop to give me any water or anything on this leg because it was on trails by the water (and on the boardwalk bridge over the water), so there wasn’t any access for cars.  But I didn’t need water.  I didn’t need anything.  The weather was cool, there was no hot sun beating down on my head, and I felt like I was flying!  When I hit the mile-long boardwalk, I completely zoned out and just focused on the rhythmic thud-thud-thud of my footsteps on the boards, and I came off of the boardwalk at a dead run.  Half a mile more, and I’d be at the exchange point.  I even managed to pass a few people as I emerged from the trail at the exchange point.  I handed off to Anna for her 2.2 miles, and then I was done with the second leg.  And it felt great.  Well, great is a little strong of a word.  My hip flexors were kind of sore.  But overall I felt great.  It’s that runner’s high that everyone talks about.  The night runs were tough on our team, because there were some really long ones.  Alex had a 10 mile run, Nick’s was 9 (and went over the huge Deception Pass Bridge to Whidbey Island), and Ken’s was 9.  So we were driving most of the night.  Around 3:30am we handed off to Van 1 and went to get a few hours of sleep.  We had less of a break this time, because the lengths of Van 2’s last legs were pretty short, so we knew they wouldn’t take more than three hours or so to get them all run.  We drove to the final exchange point hoping to get a little sleep since (with the exception of Drake) no one had slept yet.

The last exchange point was at a school, and runners had the option of sleeping in the school if they wanted.  Sleeping in a room with a couple hundred other people on a hard gymnasium floor didn’t appeal to me, so I decided to sleep in the van.  Eventually, Nick, Anna, and Alex went into the school to sleep, and Ken, Drake, and I tried to find comfortable positions to sleep in the 15 passenger van… so nice that we had such a big van!  We all got our own row!  Definitely not like the crowded car trips you may have taken in the past!  I still ended up mostly curled up in a ball against some of the luggage though (probably not the best thing for my already-sore hip flexors, but oh well!  It was an adventure!).

I had set my alarm for 5:30am so I could have a little time to clean up in the school bathrooms before we would be taking over from Van 1 for our final let around 6:30am.  However, I ended up waking up around 5am without the alarm for a grand total of 1.5 hours of sleep.  I grabbed the container of baby wipes, my last change of running clothes, and headed into the school.  I looked and felt like a mess.  Almost no sleep, sweat from two runs still sticking to me, my hair pointing every which way.  There were already people up and moving around in the school, so there was a line in the women’s restroom.  While I waited for a restroom stall, I used one of the sinks to at least brush my teeth and wash my face.  Then, when I got into a stall I pulled out a bunch of baby wipes since that was all the “shower” I was going to get.  I found myself in that little bathroom stall staring down at my bag of running clothes, and my meager bag of toiletries and feeling like a total mess, and it felt like such a deja vu moment of Lia’s, Mike’s, and my experience a few weeks earlier when we got rained on during our several hour hike and ended up cleaning up afterwards in a Walmart bathroom.  I couldn’t stop myself from laughing.  Was this a new pattern in my life?

I emerged from the bathroom stall feeling a little cleaner and a lot clearer headed.  Interestingly, my most tired point had been around midnight, but my run at 1:30am woke me up and got me going again.  And that 1.5 hours of sleep really seemed to have brought new life to me.  Alex was already awake and getting ready.  Apparently the Van 1 runners were running even faster than we’d been anticipating, and they were going to come in 15 or 20 minutes early.

Van 2. Drake, Nick, Alex, Anna, me, and Ken

Van 2. Drake, Nick, Alex, Anna, me, and Ken

Everyone in our van got roused, got ready, and prepped for our final run.  Alex took the hand-off a little after 6am.  The nice thing about the early runs is that the sun wasn’t fully up yet, so it wasn’t as hot as yesterday.  My run wasn’t until 8am or so, though, so I fully expected that the sun would be fully up and it would be hot.  But definitely not as hot as the afternoon run the day before!

Alex came in strong, despite the hills that were the hallmark of the final legs, and handed off to Ken, who was taking Anna’s last leg.  He took off like he had a bear chasing him, and we drove towards the next exchange point.  I stretched as much as I could, but at that point I was stiff and sore, both from the two previous runs and from sitting in a van for 24 hours.  So I honestly wasn’t really trying to optimize my general muscle soreness… I was just trying to optimize my last run.  I figured if I could get through that, I could take the whole week to recover if I wanted to.  Ken came in strong (as always), and I picked up from him.  It took me a mile just to get into a rhythm.  My stiff legs were rebelling.  I kept waiting for the van to pass me, but it didn’t.  I wondered if they’d given Ken some extra time to dry off and stretch out, since he still had one more leg to run.  My last leg was 7 miles.  It was definitely hilly.  Up a hill, down a hill, up a hill, down a hill, etc.  Not the best movement for my sore muscles, but at least this last leg was mostly shady.  There was only about a mile that was in the full sun, and I knew that the last half mile was all downhill, so that was good to look forward to.  Finally when I was halfway done with my leg, the van passed me.  They offered me water, but at that point I had my legs in a groove and definitely didn’t want to stop.  When I turned the last corner and felt the final downhill start, a huge runner’s high kicked in.  I was almost done!!  I ran as fast as I could down the final hill, and Drake was at the bottom waiting to pick up from me.  He headed off for his last leg, and I tried to process the fact that I was done running.  However, we didn’t have a lot of time to process, because we had to head to Drake’s hand-off point.  Everyone’s last run was strong, and Ken, our final runner, was really fast (despite it being his fourth leg, and despite the hot sun which was now definitely overhead).  All of us waited a tenth of a mile back from the finish line for Ken to come in so that we could all cross the finish line together.  As it happened, Ken was chasing down the runner in front of him and was running so fast that he didn’t even see the eleven of us (despite the fact that we were all wearing bright turquoise matching running shirts), and so he tore across the finish line with the rest of us running frantically behind trying to catch up to him.  🙂

Official finish line pic for our team of 12

Official finish line pic for our team of 12

 

Because we had more men on our team than women (7 men, 5 women) we were judged in the Men’s Open category and came in 8th out of 162 teams in that division with a final time of 26:38:27.9.  We all ran fast, but we definitely could not have pulled that off without Ken.  He would have won the MVP award if we had one.  🙂  But anyway, it was absolutely a blast!  It took running, which is such an individualized sport, and turned it into a team sport where we all worked together and all cheered each other on.  I am totally hoping to do it again next year (maybe even on the same team if that same team forms again).

And you’re probably all thinking… this job interview stuff is fine, and the Ragnar relay is fine, but where is MIKE in all of this??  I read the blog mostly to hear about what MIKE is doing!

So Mike wasn’t interested in running Ragnar, but he has been going to the gym regularly and lifting lots of heavy weights.  Very heavy weights.  Dead-lifting, benching, squatting… those kinds of heavy things.

Mike has been very work-focused for the past several months.  I suggested to him that he get a hobby, but he is enjoying learning a bunch at work and said he would rather work extra hours than have a hobby (crazy guy!!).  So he has been working, and he also read a really long autobiography of Keith Richards’ life (from the Rolling Stones) that I got him for his birthday last year.  It took him awhile to start reading it, but when he actually started reading it, he literally couldn’t stop.  Some nights he came to bed at 3am, having read for several hours.  Now that he finished that, we bought the biography of Elon Musk for him to read.  And we have been watching Game of Thrones together now that the current season is airing.  And he’s been playing with Piper.  🙂

We still go out for a date night at least once a week.  Last week’s was Thai food in the Queen Anne area of Seattle, and it was DELICIOUS!

Mike and me having yummy Thai food! Mike's with a spice level of 1, and mine with a spice level of 4. Exactly how we like it. :)

Mike and me having yummy Thai food! Mike’s with a spice level of 1, and mine with a spice level of 4. Exactly how we like it. 🙂

 

And…. that’s all that’s been going in our corner of the world lately.  Hopefully now I’ve talked about the big things going on, and the next post can be a more day-in-lives-of-Mike-Karena-and-Piper kind of post.  I PROMISE to get Mike out doing more things so that there will be more info on Mike in the next post… Stay tuned!  🙂

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Filed under Cats, Friends, Pictures, Seattle

Broken eggs and a missing coffee mug

I’ll be honest, readers.  Sometimes I sit down to write a blog post and I find myself with literally nothing to say.  Much of Mike’s and my productive hours are spent at work.  We’re definitely getting the whole ‘working as an engineer’ thing down, him as a hardware engineer and me as a software engineer, but that doesn’t leave much time (or energy) for lots of fun outside-of-work activities that make for good blog reading.  This past few months have been especially difficult since both Mike and I have been completely swamped at work.  We both see lights at the end of our respective tunnels, but we have been working hard.  Thus if you’re interested in hearing about how Singletons are implemented in Ruby, how symbols are basically immutable strings, or how modules are used to create namespaces, I’m your girl.  If you’re interested in hearing the details of the four hours on Friday I spent interviewing SDE intern candidates, I’m your girl.  If you’re interested in anything that’s actually a part of a real, ordinary, fun-loving person’s life, I might not be your girl.  At least not lately.

So where does that leave the blog?  As you may have noticed in the past, most of the things I talk about on the blog involve day-to-day things, which often make up the high points of my day (or even week!).  So today, I’m going to focus on those.  Yay for the small pieces of normal, everyday life that are so wonderful, and I feel so blessed for!

* Mike drank coffee this morning and then went to take a shower.  I washed the dishes while he was showering, washed the coffee maker, and looked for his empty coffee mug so that I could wash that too.  I absolutely couldn’t find it.  Either I’m blind or it’s just not here.  Or he broke it and hid the pieces in the trash?  Or he took it into the shower with him?  He’s never done that… but where is that coffee mug??

* On Tuesday night I made chili.  I thought it was delicious, but despite the fact that I didn’t add the crushed red pepper flakes Mike claimed it was too spicy.  I argued that I didn’t have anything even remotely spicy in it (except for chili powder which is in all chili by definition), but Mike insisted I must have snuck in some additional spice.

* On Friday I stopped at the grocery store on the way home, and one of the things I bought was a carton of a dozen eggs.  As I walked out of the grocery store, I accidentally swung the bag containing the eggs too close to the door, and the bag hit the door.  I cringed, hoping that the eggs were surviving.  I then proceeded to accidentally hit the bag containing the eggs with the other bag (containing heavy stuff like a bag of apples) while trying to do some kind of acrobatic move to switch the bags between my hands.  I cringed again.  This was bad.  It was getting less and less statistically likely that I was going to get all twelve of those eggs home in one piece (or rather in twelve respective pieces).  The bus was completely packed; it was standing room only, and we were packed in like sardines.  I was sandwiched between about four people and had the bag with the eggs carefully balanced on my wrist trying to make sure it didn’t hit anything.  The guy in front of me decided to be nice to the other passengers in front by backing up closer to me without watching where he was going.  While I fully appreciated his altruism in trying to make room for the other passengers up front it was all I could do to keep from shouting, ‘GET AWAY FROM MY BAG!’  The funny thing is that even if I had, I don’t think anyone would have thought twice about it.  If you ride the bus in Seattle, you encounter all kinds of characters, and even yelling in the middle of the bus I probably wouldn’t have attracted too much attention.  Now, if I was yelling in the middle of the bus, wearing a pair of Rainbow Brite striped colored stockings up to my waist, had purple dreadlocks, was wearing a tribal necklace that hung down to my knees, and was carrying a woven basket filled with squirming ferrets, I might have warranted a couple glances.  But as it was?  Certainly not.

Anyway, I digress.  When I got off the bus I managed to hit the bag again against the side of the bus in an effort to avoid hitting it against the other passengers.  Aaaaahhhh!  At this point I was just hoping that my eggs would be broken in pairs and I wouldn’t be left with some stupid number of eggs like nine.

I pulled open the door of our apartment building, and because it is so heavy and hard to pull (particularly when you’re pulling it one-handed as I was), it bumped the bag again before I got myself and both grocery bags through the door.  This was becoming ridiculous.  It was getting into sitcom territory.  I could almost hear the canned laugh tracks as I hit the bag yet again.  At this point I was just viewing any unbroken eggs as a bonus.  The elevator finally arrived to take me up to my floor and I realized I was sweating profusely (whether because of carrying a heavy backpack and two bags of groceries on an almost-60-degree day or because of the stress of worry about my carton of eggs, I wasn’t sure).  When I finally dropped the bags gratefully on the floor of my kitchen I almost didn’t have the heart to check on my eggs.  I finally decided to peek in because my imagination was going crazy with images of yolks dripping all over.  Imagine my surprise when not a single egg was broken.  WOW to the engineering of both eggs and egg cartons!  🙂

* When Mike saw a picture of a regal looking Dominique rooster in a magazine, he paused on the picture and stared at the chicken for several moments.  Then he held out the magazine for me to see.  “That is quite a bird!” he said.  And for some reason I couldn’t stop laughing at his admiration of the humble chicken.

* Mike did some organization in his music room one night this week and he and I spent an hour coiling all of his unused cables.  We spent so much time coiling cables that my wrist was sore for two days afterward.  The joys of being in your thirties.  🙂

* Lately I have been loving Stash teas.  They’re based out of Portland, and I love their holiday teas so I stocked up on some right after Christmas.  (Who cares that I’m drinking ‘Christmas Eve in Paris’ tea in March, right?)

* Piper has been a very clingy cat lately.  I’m not sure why.  It’s almost as if she knows we’ve booked tickets and will be going on vacation in a month.  She also loves laser pointers.  With a passion.

* Last weekend we watched a move called Blue Jasmine with Cate Blanchett.  She is SUCH a good actress.  It was a very interesting Woody Allen movie that told the story of a woman whose very rich husband participated in shady Wall Street dealings and then ended up getting caught and thrown in prison and she suddenly found herself penniless, on the edge of a nervous breakdown, and moving to the west coast to stay with a sister she didn’t really know well or relate to.  There were definitely some interesting elements to the story, and I always like watching Cate Blanchett as well.  I found out afterwards that she just won an oscar for her role in Blue Jasmine, and I can definitely see why.  She played the part to perfection.

* The last couple of mornings when I’ve been waiting for the bus I’ve seen flocks of geese flying over, headed north.  So it looks like the geese have decided that winter is over!  (Take heart Michigan family and friends who have seen enough snow this winter alone to last you a lifetime.)  I’ve also been noticing birds singing enthusiastically in the mornings.  I never realize until spring how silent the birds are during the winter.  But then in the spring it seems like they all awaken as one and start chirping and singing their little hearts out.  Piper is fascinated by them and spends a significant amount of time watching them from the window, I’m sure with less than charitable thoughts despite being an indoor cat with no front claws.

Last Saturday night we took a break from the work we were doing and went to University Village, an outdoor mall near the University of Washington.  We were there to have dinner, and I was considering getting the new iPhone.  We ate dinner at Boom Noodle, one of our favorite restaurants in the area, and just relaxed.  I love the ambience there!  Mike had hardly eaten anything that day because he’d been so busy cleaning and organizing, so he was hungry!  He ended up getting a hazelnut toffee crepe for dessert.  Boom Noodle has partnered with their next-door neighbor Tokyo Sweets to offer a variety of sweet crepes for dessert.  Mike has had a couple of them over the past year or so and says they are really good.  By the time we’d finished dinner, though, I had decided to wait on the new iPhone.  I just bought the plane tickets for England and Ireland, so I decided I still wanted to wait and save up some more money before buying the iPhone.

Speaking of our England and Ireland trip, we have made significant progress in the planning stages of the trip.  For starters, we bought airline tickets (which basically guarantees that we have hard dates we’re going), made sure that Piper’s usual catsitter is available during those dates, and we have both asked for the time off from work.  We’re getting excited and are starting to plan out some things we want to see in both England and Ireland.  We want to balance the touristy things (i.e. Stonehenge) with visiting local places and getting a sense of the culture.  It’s hard to believe that in just a little over a month we’ll be on our way to London!  🙂  We’re flying into Heathrow, which is definitely a great airport… very mall-like with a lot of stores and a lot of restaurants.  Perfect for layovers, as we found out during our Italy trip last year.  The next month we need to really focus at work to get stuff done so that we’re able to get our most critical work done before we leave.  I also need to check the temperatures in England and Ireland as our travel dates get closer so that I have some idea what the temperature will be.

Last night Mike and I were both tired from a long week at work, and it was a beautiful day (a high of 58 degrees!) so we drove to downtown Wallingford and looked for a place to have dinner.  We wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been before, so I suggested Djan’s.

“What kind of food do they have?” Mike wanted to know.

“Thai.  And it’s supposed to be really good.  And it’s supposed to be a really romantic place.”

Mike blinked.  “Is that what we want?  Are we a romantic couple?”

I tried to resist rolling my eyes at him, but I didn’t try very hard.  “Yes, that’s what we want, and yes we are a romantic couple.”

And that’s how we ended up at Djan’s, a Thai restaurant located in an old white house near the outskirts of Wallingford.  Djan’s didn’t have cocktails, but we had some Peter Lehmann Shiraz (me being careful not to have too much since wine doesn’t always agree with me) and just had a really relaxing dinner.  The atmosphere in the restaurant was delightful… very quaint and old-fashioned, while still somehow seeming modern.  There were some actual gas lamps positioned around the room which caused flickery shadows to dance everywhere, and every table was adorned with a little candle and a tiny vase of flowers.  We both ordered wok plates, Mike’s with beef and fried green beans, and mine with an assortment of veggies and tofu.  We got to pick our spiciness level between 1 and 5.  Mike said I should just get a 5 because Thai food wasn’t very hot.  I disagreed and got a 3.  I said Mike should get a 1, because he cannot handle spicy food, but he disagreed and got a 2.  And as it turned out, his food was a little spicy for him and mine wasn’t quite spicy enough for me.  Apparently we know each other better than we know ourselves?  🙂  The food was delicious though!   SO flavorful, and perfectly paired with the Shiraz.  I read the back of the Peter Leymann wine bottle and apparently he was a beloved Australian winemaker who was a huge advocate of the local growers and just passed away last year.  He sounded like a really nice guy, so I was glad we were drinking his wine.  Our server was a very nice young guy.  He seemed young and new to the job and wasn’t sure how to pour the wine and then got a little flustered when the amount he poured for Mike and the amount he poured for me weren’t equal.  I don’t mind inexperienced waiters at all (unless they’re rude or something).  I really appreciate hard work (I feel like hard work has helped me immeasurably), and I appreciate the fact that he’s there working and learning, even if he’s struggling a little at first.

People were out in droves in Wallingford, given that it was the warmest day we’ve had all year.  It was fun just being out and about, even though we really didn’t do anything except go out for a long dinner.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their weekends!

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Filed under Cooking, Food, Random Thoughts, Seattle Restaurants, Uncategorized, Work