Sunday, May 19, 2013

SIFF - 2013! Welcome Back!

It's that time of year again! SIFF is back!

We were in Boise for the first two days but today we took in two gay themed movies.

Interior. Leather Bar.

and Pit Stop.

Two very different types of movies from one another. We enjoyed them both. SIFF goes through June 9th so hopefully we are able to take in several movies.

We got home from Boise last night and pretty much went right to bed. This morning we got up and cleaned the house before heading up to the University District Street Fair and the Capitol Hill Farmers Market. We specifically went to the street fair to see our friends Susan and Steven who own a business called Transistor Sister. They make jewelry out of computer components - very cool stuff. Here's a sample of their work!

Anyway it's going to be a busy week between going to movies and most excitedly getting ready for my parents to visit!

Have a great week.


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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Famous Idaho Potato Marathon

I'm not sure why I think that's a funny name for a marathon but it cracks me up! It's the first time that I've participated in a marathon where participants were provided baked potatoes with all the fixings upon completion! Hilarious and delish!

We got up at at 3:45am Seattle time (4:45 Boise time) to get ready. We had to give ourselves a little extra time since we had all three dogs with us. The race did not begin until 7 but since this was a point to point run you had to catch the bus no later than 6am to take you to the start of the run.

Thankfully things were well organized with plenty of buses so the lines were fast!

We had enough time to get a few pictures of us at the start of the race while waiting for the official race to begin.

Both of us did well and had great runs - Kent ran the half and I ran the full marathon. The shirts that they gave at completion were great! Kent's time was 2:07:48 and I completed in 3:49:04.

There were only 220 folks that ran the marathon but 1362 that ran the half. There were several other running events going on so it was a nice size crowd.

I love the medal! The whole potato thing makes me laugh!

Next up Missoula MT. Looking forward to it!

Also looking forward to a visit from my parents late next week. It's Mom's birthday weekend and they have have not visited our new house yet and the film festival is going on so there will not be a loss of things to do!

Have a good one!


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Friday, May 17, 2013


Boise is an eight hour drive from Seattle. We have come to enjoy visiting here quite a bit. We are in town for the Famous Idaho Potato Marathon!

It's going to be cold at the start but should be a nice day for a run.

Here are a few pictures we took today after we arrived.

More pics tomorrow after the marathon!


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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Asheville NC

It's nice to be home following a week in Asheville NC. I was there for a Reclaiming Futures meeting and helped facilitate the treatment section of the meeting. The meeting was very good and as usual the team from King County accomplished a lot and added a ton to our work plan. I arrived on Monday and Kent joined me on Wednesday.

I've been to NC several times but I've never been to Asheville. It's a beautiful area as I've always been told. Asheville has quite the music scene and I was lucky enough to take in the Wallflowers who played at a club called - The Orange Peel - Social Aid and Pleasure Club.

Several of us from the conference went and had a great time - what an awesome venue!

We ate at several great places but the place we ended up retuning three times was called The Wicked Weed.

It was a local brew pub with terrific food. The name is based on a quote from King Henry VIV in 1519 "Hops are a wicked and pernicious weed" If you find yourself in Asheville I highly recommend you check it out!

We brought our hiking boots so once the conference was over Kent and I took in a couple of great hikes. One to Mount Mitchell the highest peak east of the Mississippi.

The other was at Chimney Rock State Park.

Both located in different areas near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We have come to really enjoy hiking and both these hikes exceeded our expectations. Both were short but challenging based on gain in elevation and altitude.

We also happen to have found a gay French movie playing in town while we were in Asheville called - Let My People Go. It was a lot of fun and its always a treat to find a gay themed movie while on the road.

Saturday morning we took place in a 12K run called the Ramble Run.

It was a beautiful course that was quite a challenge with several major hills. It was good practice for my final long run before the Boise marathon next weekend. Both of us did well and had a great time. I actually did better than I thought I would and came in third in my age division!

On our final full day we were trying to decide between going to Dollywood or take in the Biltmore Estate. We decided to take in the Biltmore and save Dollywood for another visit.

The Biltmore Estates and Gardens were incredible and well worth a visit.

We spent the final evening in Knoxville before flying home. On a final note in Knoxville we ate dinner at a new restaurant called Noodles and Company. It's a chain that has not made its way to Washington. It's like a fast food casual place with various types of noodle dishes from Italian, American and Asian. There are several in Portland area and thankfully there are also some in the Boise area so next weekend I'll be able to enjoy again! Come on - time for some to open up in the Seattle area - they will be very popular!

Picking up the dogs as soon as we land.

It will be great to be home and I can't wait to see them!



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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

I'm sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting to board a flight home and wanted to share this picture of my Mom and I taken in Seattle a couple of summers ago before we took and Alaskan cruise.

A great time was had by all! We have shared many wonderful adventures and look forward to many more! Love you! Have a great day!



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Biltmore Gardens

The grounds of the Biltmore were as impressive as the house itself.

Wanting the best, Vanderbilt employed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to design the grounds, with the immediate gardens in the Garden à la française style, beyond those in the English Landscape garden style. Beyond these were the natural woodlands and agricultural lands with the intentionally rustic three-mile approach road passing through.

Gifford Pinchot and later Carl A. Schenck were hired to manage the forests, with Schenck establishing the first forestry education program in the U.S., the Biltmore Forest School, on the estate grounds in 1898.

Intending that the estate could be self-supporting, Vanderbilt set up scientific forestry programs, poultry farms, cattle farms, hog farms and a dairy. His wife, Edith Stuyvesant Vanderbilt, also enthusiastically supported agricultural reform and promoted the establishment of a state agricultural fair.

The Vanderbilts invited family and friends from across the country to the opulent estate. Notable guests to the estate over the years have included author Edith Wharton, novelist Henry James, H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, and Presidents McKinley, T. Roosevelt, and Wilson.

Vanderbilt paid little attention to the family business or his own investments, and it is believed that the construction and upkeep of Biltmore depleted much of his inheritance. After Vanderbilt died in 1914 of complications from an emergency appendectomy, his widow, Edith Vanderbilt, completed the sale of 85,000 of the original 125,000 acres

to the federal government. This was to carry out her husband's wish that the land remain unaltered, and that property became the nucleus of the Pisgah National Forest.

If you find yourself in the area the Biltmore is worthy of a visit!


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