Tag Archives: Seattle

The Boy In Science Class

11 Jan

Caution: This post is sappy, cheesy, and totally gag-inducing for those who don’t enjoy hearing about the love lives of other people. You have been warned!

One day in Ms. Czajkiewicz’s (I will never forget how to spell her name) seventh grade science class, a friend of mine pointed out a boy she thought was cute. He was sitting two rows in front of us, on the other side of the classroom. I knew his name and the back of his head, but that was about all – he was shy and didn’t talk much in class.

Two years later, it was freshman year of high school and everybody was in a tizzy over who was going homecoming with whom. Boys were  buying flowers, leaving notes in girls’ classrooms and girls were strategically planning their dresses, dates, and dinner reservations. Two different friends were discussing which one of them would go to homecoming with the shy, blonde boy. One of them eventually mustered the courage and asked him to go. We all went in a group of twenty-something and had a massive pasta dinner at Buca di Beppo’s before the dance.

After freshman year, I got to know the boy a little better. We had the same friends and were always at somebody’s house together. He ran cross-country the same seasons I played volleyball so we would hang out by the locker rooms before practices. As a young idealist who wanted to save the world, I convinced him and some of our other friends to join a school group called Creating a World of Difference. We would go on retreats and strategize how we were going to eliminate racism, sexism, and all the other ‘ism’s.

stefsaracwdSophomore year flew by and before I knew it, I was a junior in high school, an upperclassman with the stress of college applications looming near. Sharing AP classes, the boy and I spent many a late night with our friend Stephen reviewing US History flash cards. And by that, I mean I spent many a late night reviewing US History flash cards, while they played soccer in the downstairs playroom.

juniorspiritAt this point, my relationship with this blonde boy had developed from a mere curiosity, to friendship, to a full-blown crush. As passive-aggressive high school girls do, I kept it a secret. I helped him ask other girls to homecoming and played the part of the best friend.  It wasn’t until a snow day (remember those?) our junior year after he finally caught on that he told me the feeling was mutual and made it official.


Shortly after said snow day. Seattle weather, at its finest!

I would say from that point on we were inseparable, but the truth is that we had been inseparable long before January 11, 2007.

richmondbeachparkAnd so junior year passed. Senior year came…

prompand went.

boutenniereBefore college, we sat down and talked about whether we should stay together or see other people. I cried, he panicked, but we decided  to stick with it and see what college at the University of Washington would bring.

Freshman year and dorm life…

This picture about sums up the dorms.

This picture about sums up the dorms.

…fast forwarded to the day our senior year when I decided to leave for Italy. He said we would make it work. And we did. We Skyped, he came to visit me halfway through my stay in Rome, and we enjoyed every single minute of it.


When it came time for college graduation, I surprised him by flying out to Seattle.

graduationIt was hard to get on the plane back to Rome, but I knew it would only be a short time until we started a new adventure together.

whitehouseSince arriving in Washington, it has been one adventure:

IMG_1337[1]After another.

IMG_1091[1]After another.


And there’s nobody else in the world with whom I would rather be adventuring. Happy sixth anniversary, Stef!



28 Dec

We are coming up on the last few days in Seattle and I am scrambling to see everybody I haven’t seen in awhile, while juggling family time. Luckily, my step-siblings are in winter break so I have been able to spend lots of time with them as well.

The other day, my dad and stepbrother were playing soccer in the house.

My stepmom hates that. I caught in on camera.

After getting the boys in trouble, I scurried off to Stef’s where my mom and I were having dinner that night. His mom was testing out the Christmas present Stef and I bought for her: a Moroccan tagine.

She used lamb as the protein and added all sorts of yummy things to the sauce, like chestnuts and tons of onions.

The pomegranate seeds on top added a gorgeous pop of color. It was the perfect meal when accompanied by some buttery couscous and a fresh salad.

I am headed out soon for a double-date with Stef and our good friends, Chris and Valerie. They both go to school at USC in Los Angeles right now, so we haven’t seen them in awhile. On the agenda is dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Seattle, a Greek place called the Continental, followed by a movie. We agreed on Lincoln, though there are a million others I am impatient to see!

I am looking forward to catching up with old friends! Hope everybody else has a wonderful Friday night.


27 Dec

Good morning, readers!

Boy, is it nice to be back home in Seattle. Time is flying and I can’t believe Stef and I are halfway through our trip! It has been such a pleasure to spend time with friends and family and I’m not ready to go back to real life when I could do this:


or this:


I have been forgoing my usual diet and exercise routine in favor of family time and scrumptious meals like this:


and this:


and plenty of these:


I figure I’ve got plenty of time to hit the gym when I’m back in DC. For now, it’s all about the precious time with loved ones.

Food For Thought: Does your diet/exercise routine change when you travel?

Tickle My Francey

21 Dec

The day is finally here! I only have to get through one more work day until I get to hop on a plane and go back to Seattle!!! I am really having a hard time containing my excitement, at this point. Before that though, Stef and I are meeting up with his cousin and girlfriend to go out to dinner and then go to Zoo Lights at Woodley Park Zoo. We are going to Medium Rare, which is supposedly a steakhouse that keeps bringing you steak. Um, what? The first thing my roommate said was, “you and Stef are going to do some serious damage at that place.”

He knows us well. Maybe it was because he watched me eat an army’s worth of roasted sweet potato medallions last night.


While those were baking, I made up a mini pizza with a piece of lavash bread. I topped it with some leftover pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese, then added artichokes and sun dried tomatoes for my own personal pizza.


Remember the cinnamon apple chips from the other night? I brought them in a Ziploc bag for lunch yesterday, along with a hummus vegetable wrap and lots of red grapes.

IMG_1667[1]It was a pretty tasty lunch and the wrap looked super fancy because I took the extra time to wrap it in parchment paper and aluminum foil, just like real food places do. I am really moving on up in the culinary world. It was funny how good it was, given that it was just my usual salad in wrap form. Still, nice change!

IMG_1669[1]I ate lunch at rapid speed and had time left over to walk over to a nearby salon and get a much-needed manicure. Most of the time I either paint my nails myself or, more commonly, not paint them at all, but they were very long and I panicked and didn’t know what to do with them, so I enlisted the help of a professional. It would have been awesome, had she not realized she had a waxing appointment with someone halfway through and left me to fend for myself. Seriously. All was going well until her appointment arrived and then she sped through the rest of my manicure, not even trimming my cuticles or bothering with any of the lotion on my hands. Then she turned on the fan, told me to dry my nails, and then left. What? $25 later, I think it’s worth contacting the salon. I’m not a confrontational person and I never complain about service anywhere, but I feel like it’s justified in this case.


Upside: the nail color I picked out is amaaaaazing! I love the color and the name, Tickle My Francey by OPI. I might have to buy it myself, which would bring my nail polish collection up to three. I’m so ladylike.


hours left until I am on a plane! I am definitely planning on unplugging when I am at home so you’ll have to excuse me if my posts are few and far between. No doubt, most of you will be spending time with your families and will be more removed from technology than usual, too. On that note, I want to wish everybody a very happy holiday! If you’re traveling, I hope you have a very safe trip. If you’re driving, please be careful! I know the storm is making the roads a little hard to navigate. Wishing you and all your loved ones a peaceful and blessed holiday. Much love from over here

Ghost Office

8 Oct

Happy Columbus Day, all! Here in the nation’s capital, people actually celebrate it, so my office is dead today. I volunteered to work, because it meant that I could get an extra vacation day and really, who actually celebrates Columbus Day? Silly Washingtonians.

Hope you all had a great weekend – I had a wonderful time on Friday at the 90s cover band concert. My housemates and I rocked out to Spice Girls, N’Sync, Madonna, Eve 6, and plenty of other 90s classics. I can’t believe we are in an era where that music is old – it means I’m getting old.

I spent most of my Saturday here, at the Newseum in downtown Washington. It was Teacher’s Day, which meant that all teachers (meaning Stefano) were admitted for free and their guests (meaning me) were admitted for $10. Considering the normal price of a ticket is almost $22, it was a really great deal.

The museum itself is one of the best things DC has going – seriously, if you’re a tourist in the city make this museum a priority and be prepared to spend all day there. It has so much to do and see (a reflection on some of its contents will be posted tonight) and thoroughly covers the history and evolution of the news and press in an interactive, engaging way. Doesn’t hurt that there’s a fabulous view on the roof deck.

After spending most of the day at the museum, I spotted this shirt on our way out, through the gift shop. I was really, really tempted to buy it.

Any other Big Bang Theory fans out there?

Stef and I went straight from the Newseum to Founding Farmers, a really well-known and well-liked restaurant in the city. They are all about sustainability and buying local, so I was looking forward to trying it out. Our reservation was for 4:45 PM (I swear, the only time you can get a reservation for this place is at 4:45 or 10:15) and we met up with Stefano’s aunt, who was visiting from California, along with his cousin and girlfriend. The daughter of one of Stef’s aunt’s closest friends goes to school at Georgetown, so she joined us as well!

The atmosphere at the restaurant is very lively and it was busy when we got there. Who eats this early? Apparently, everybody who is trying to eat at Founding Farmers. The staff were all very friendly and we were seated almost immediately. I have to say, everything on the menu looked so tasty that I had a difficult time deciding what I wanted to order. Not a bad problem to have.

I ended up going with their classic cheeseburger, because I’m a fan of classics and it was so delicious. The meat was cooked just right and was locally and sustainably sourced, which always makes for better eats. On the side, I selected the roasted root vegetables which were also well-cooked and delicious.

Stefano ordered the Enchilada and Steak, which was exactly what it sounds like – an enchilada and a steak, with corn on the cob as a side. Of course I had to steal a couple of bites. The steak was perfectly cooked, but I could have passed on the enchilada.

We tried to stay up late on Saturday night in order to watch UW play Oregon, but it didn’t even start until 10:30 PM (7:30, Pacific time)! We made it to half-time but then we were exhausted and had to call it a night. They ended up losing pretty badly (hey, Oregon is #2 in the country right now!), but Seattle made up for it by a winning Sunday – both the Seahawks and Sounders won!

Stef and I are huge Sounders FC fans (the Seattle soccer team) and we even had season tickets when we were living in Seattle. Last night’s game was against Portland, our biggest rival and we thrashed them, 3-0. Cascadia Cup, here we come!

Anyhow, it time to get going on some editing, but I will leave you with this motivational message to wipe out any case of the Mondays you may have.





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