Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March On

Well, it's March here in the Pacific Northwest and things are starting to get sunnier and warmer. It's going to be time to break out the lawn mower soon because all the rain from the past few months has begun to really make the grass grow!

I've only got a few things on my to-do list for Spring because I'll be so busy with truck preparation and running the business so I'll keep it short to:

-Clean out the garage 
-Have a garage sale/donate what we don't sell
-Plant new flowers in our pots (which is all I'm spending on flowers this year, not worth it)
-Keep grass cut
-Maybe buy and spread more mulch around if needed
-Clean off front porch and walkway
-Buy a new doormat for the front door 

That's it. We're going to be so busy with the business and making it successful that I'm not going to have the time or energy to devote much to making the outside of this rental look beautiful. It'll have to just look decent this year.  

And also, with Spring comes... Russ' deployment which happened yesterday. I got home from seeing his ship leave, got in my pjs and uploaded the pictures to Facebook so his family could see the departure. It wasn't until then, after a full morning month of holding back tears that I allowed myself to fully cry. 

There are moments in your life that you'll never forget what you've seen and how you felt and I believe that yesterday was one of those moments. I watched as other spouses said goodbye to each other with hugs, kisses and hand holding. I watched children hugging their fathers tightly while clutching a sailor teddy bear in their arms. I saw fathers cradling their babies knowing that the next time they see them will be seven months from now when they've already grown up so much and they will have to witness those moments only through photos or videos.

I watched Russ' ship being pulled further and further out by the tug boat to the chorus of seagulls and seals. The chilly sea breeze whipped my hair into tangles and made my hands numb with cold while in my pockets. 

I don't remember anyone really speaking. There were just silent waves, kisses blown or the sporadic cry from a small child. The families slowly left until I was the last one standing on the pier just barely able to see the white sailor hats lined up around the ship as they manned the rails for departure. 

It was a tough day. I can only look at it as Day One and we'll get to the end of seven months eventually. It may feel like forever now but he will be home. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Left Most Of My Wallet In San Francisco

Hello, everyone! I'm back and here's what I've been up to...

Since Russ is getting ready to deploy, he got to take some leave time and we drove down to Sacramento to visit with his family. While we were there we also hopped on over to San Francisco for a day because I hadn't been there before. 

It looked like this for nearly 10 hours of our drive through Washington and Oregon:

I took these pictures on the way home through the Mt. Shasta area. It was too rainy and yucky on our way down and it was beautiful on the way home (except when we got to Washington and it was completely icky for the last three hours). 

The first thing we did upon getting to San Francisco (besides paying a $4 toll...) was drive to Pier 39 where all the tourists hang out. There's restaurants, shopping, and ferries to catch and it was highly recommended by Russ' grandpa so we navigated the confusing, crazy streets of San Francisco (which nearly left me in tears because they terrified me so) and parked in a garage near the pier. 

You can barely see the Golden Gate Bridge through the fog there in the back. It was very foggy and difficult to see the bridge. 

This picture shows a little how the buildings are stacked on these crazy, hilled streets. 

We took this little boat out to tour the bridge and head out around Alcatraz. 

The Golden Gate Bridge in all it's foggy glory! It's a beautiful marvel but at the same time the bridge and being near it gave me the creeps. Between the tragedies surrounding the bridge and Alcatraz within sight, it really was eerie out on that water. 

Next time I visit I'd love to tour Alcatraz. It was extremely creepy being near it and I can't imagine being stuck there. It would be absolutely miserable... which, I guess is the point right?

Look how the fog climbs the rock just to conceal the prison... so so weird. 

When the cruise was over we had dinner at Chowder's on the pier and had some amazingly fresh clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl and some delicious fish and chips. 

After paying an exorbitant $32 (!!!!) for parking the Jeep for four hours, we headed to our hotel to relax. 

I found Hotel Carlton last minute after the original hotel I wanted to book had a minimum of a 3 night stay! (WHAT?)

The lobby was decorated in a multicultural and worldly aesthetic which I thought was really interesting and neat.

The rooms weren't standard hotel fare either... way different from a Holiday Inn. I loved the bathroom and thought it was decorated adorably with orange, teal and white. Cute, right? 

I did have fun going somewhere new but the pain of navigating and finding a place to park (which the latter is usually my problem in Seattle though MUCH easier there), did disrupt my visit and my opinion of San Francisco. I would like to go back and hopefully get to stay for longer (we ultimately ended up only being there for about 24 hours due to our time constraints) and get to experience more.