tdjohnsn: (Default)
Thursday evening

It was not a dark and stormy night. For a change. It was actually a pretty pleasant evening as early spring evenings that are just warm enough to trick you into leaving your jacket at home go. The traffic maps on the other hand were dark and stormy. It took Ron a long time to fight his way through traffic to home, then it was stop and go on the freeway all the way downtown to pick Jerry ( [livejournal.com profile] kung_fu_monkey ) up at the train station. I couldn't help but wonder what being late would have been like 20 years ago. I could sit in traffic and text Jerry that we were on our way. 20 years ago he would have had to wonder if we had forgotten about him and how long he should wait before he found a pay phone to call. Though, at the same time, travel arranged by phone call and letter would have seemed more solid so he probably would have assumed we were just running behind for some reason. It is weird the way I have already forgotten what life was like before being able to text people.

We wisked him off to the waterfront for hamburgers at Red Robin. I feel bad about always having to drag people off to Red Robin or another chain restaurant, especially given that in Seattle even the dive tavern's have an executive chef and there are so many great places to choose from, but I have enough food allergies, and hate asking for something special badly enough, that I just feel better going someplace that makes a big deal out of being able to meet different dietary needs, and RR does a good job of that.

We were so distracted by chatting that we had just gotten our food when Ron remembered that he had not actually -paid- for parking, so he ran back to the car real fast but otherwise we had a nice dinner in a table by the window with a view of Elliott Bay.

Our reason for staying downtown for dinner rather than heading home was so we could go to Bearaoke at the Cuff. We used to have a big crowd we hung out with at Bearaoke, but they have all moved on. We only recognized a few people (and the adorable Jonathan Jones the DJ of course) from the old day, but we did run into [livejournal.com profile] tbass who texted the sleeping [livejournal.com profile] shirtlifterbear to get his butt down to the Cuff 'cause Ron and I had made one of our infrequent appearances on the scene! Then [livejournal.com profile] bearfuz scooted up the hill after the show was over and we got to visit with him.

It was a fun evening, though, I could swear my stomach was still a little off from the drinks clear until Saturday. I just can't drink as much as other gay men.


Friday

Friday we had reservations at the Space Needle Restaurant. It is kind of pricey, but just going up to the observation deck is almost $20 dollars, so we figured we might as well have lunch too. It is not like going up in the Space Needle is optional when you come to visit Seattle and we didn't want Jerry to miss anything! I realized that while Ron and I had decided it would be our treat since Jerry is still on a student budget, we hadn't actually shared that with Jerry when I could see the look of, "how am I going to politely order crackers and water?" on his face. He was quite relieved when he found out it was our treat. I talked him into the Copper River Salmon since he had asked me many, many e-mails ago what constituted regional cuisine for Seattle, and Copper River Salmon sums it up pretty well.

We had intended to drive down to the Pikes Place Market after lunch to show him that, but as we were walking back to the car a little light went on over my head. The monorail! Duh. We should take the monorail downtown. Another tourist thing checked off the list, and we wouldn't have to pay for more parking.

We explored the market, making sure to show him the fish stall were they throw the fish, (they didn't) and the comic book shop, as well as [livejournal.com profile] badrobot68's shop, the Great Wind-up.

Then we went to buy chocolate for Jerry's guys and ended up at Fran's in the base of a new and extremely swanky Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences next to the market where there used to be a parking garage.

Saturday

Saturday we took the ferry (they don't have very many of those in Denver) over the Kitsap Peninsula to see Port Townsend.
Ron and Jerry on the deck of the Walla Walla
Jerry on the deck of the Walla Walla
Port Townsend
It turned out to be a perfect day to see Port Townsend with the sun out and mild temperatures and Ron and Jerry are super fun to hang out with. And unlike some people, Jerry actually supports and encourages our needing to stop for a latte every hour or so, so that made it fun too. Jerry bought a game of Zombie Fluxx which he taught us to play after dinner and we proceeded to play long into the night.

Sunday

At the Cuff on Thursday, Chip ([livejournal.com profile] bearfuz) had mentioned that he would really like us to come to see Marry Poppins (which he is playing in as part of the traveling company) and would see what he could do. Then, while we had been driving around on Saturday, Chip had texted me that he had secured us tickets for Sunday. We were pretty darn excited since we hadn't been able to afford to go and hadn't been to a show for a long time.

The day on Sunday was spent laying around the house. I did a bunch of gardening stuff and cooked for the boys (corned beef hash with beef I corned myself!) but it was mostly layed back. When we were getting ready to go, I loaned Jerry a sport coat that I had been hanging onto for a bunch of years. It was a really nice one that my dad had given me and it had never fit me very well. It fit Jerry very nicely, and he was totally able to pull off the black t-shirt with a sport coat look that I could never pull off in a million years. I think you must have to be really athletic to pull off that secret agent/movie star casual look, and when you see Jerry move you totally get why he looked so good in it. He has that sort of coiled energy that panthers have.

No, I'm not drinking while I write this, I'm just a little tired, why?

Jerry, Ron, and Chip just before the show.

Anyway, the show was very fun. The stage was cool without being obnoxious, and the special effects were handled really well. All the actors were really high quality, and of course the music was a great deal of fun. We were all incredibly grateful to Chip for getting us in.

Afterwords we went to Dragonfish for cocktails to wait for Chip to finish packing up (it was the last night of the show so he had to get bits and pieces of the music stuff packed up and ready to go on the -18- trucks it takes to move the show around.) Then we met up with him--

Ron, Troy (that's me!), and Jerry after the show

--And headed up the hill to Tango for more cocktails and nibbly-bits to go with them. It was a wonderful evening.

Monday

Monday we head down to the Ballard Locks to show Jerry the locks and the fish ladders. We had another gorgeous day for tootling around.
Ron and Jerry at the Ballard Locks.

Then we went to the Freemont neighborhood since you can't really visit Seattle without seeing the center of the universe. We were bummed that Theo's chocolate was closed, but we did go to Pete's for latte's so not all was lost on the food front. Jerry bought a utility belt at a cool shop and we poked our noses in a few other places, then we took Jerry to see the Freemont troll, which he promptly killed. Bad Monkey.

And then it was time to head home. I grilled steaks for Memorial day and they turned out nicely if I do say so myself, and there were fresh greens from the garden to go with them, the first of the season. We were all kind of bummed that the weekend was coming to and end, but at the same time, Jerry was really missing his guys back in Denver.

Jerry in the mirror

It was a very, very fun four days. Ron said it, and I agree. We have awfully nice friends.
tdjohnsn: (Default)
Ron took the day off work today and we went up to see the tulips in bloom. He had not been to the Tulip Festival before, so that was fun. It is amazing how much color a field of tulips can create.

I thought of commentary all day, but now I am tired, so you just get pictures:

Here is the photographic evidence )

brrrr....

Dec. 30th, 2005 12:31 am
tdjohnsn: (Default)
We're home. It is 54° in the house.

Update tomorrow.
tdjohnsn: (troy and ron)

happy, but sticky, holidays! happy, but sticky, holidays!

The gingerbread show at Fiesta Inn.


Sorry I haven't responded to any comments. We are on a dial-up connection, so I just stay on long enough to post and read mail. I will try to respond to people if we ever find an internet cafe.

Food in Phoenix )

Today we went to Taliesin West. I have a great deal of respect for Frank Lloyd Wright, but I am not a worshipful disciple like some people. I think it is because I am a designer so I am aware of all the other amazing people who were working at the same time but are not marketed as successfully. As a result, I took a great deal of amusement in how different the story of his involvement with the Biltmore hotel is depending on whether you hear it on the Biltmore Tour or the Taliesin tour. Short version is that according to the Talieson people, he was an instrumental part of the process, according to the Biltmore he was a pain in the you know what and got kicked out. In any case, Taliesin is a really neat place, full of amazing architectural experiments and it sounds like the school is an amazing place to study as well.

We poked around in old town Scottsdale for a little while. I used to love doing that, but I have been down here enough now that kokopelli is annoying rather than a "spirited symbol of the southwest." And exactly how many Gilbert Ortega's are there in Old Town?

Tonight after dinner (which upset my stomach, again...yeesh) we went looking at Christmas lights and to a gingerbread house display at a local hotel. I was kind of excited about that because in Seattle they have one at the Sheraton that pairs up area chefs with local architects. The results are amazing. This show, not so much so. Lots of entries from area K–12 schools. There were one or two cool entries, but there was not really enough room to display everything so they kind of got lost in the crowd of frosting. Ron's mom liked it a lot which was what mattered.

Then we went and looked at lights. First in downtown Tempe, then someplace else. I never did figure out where. I had to go to the bathroom and I felt like barfing the whole time, but considering how long we drove, I think we were in New Mexico.

I was very proud of Ron. When his mom said, "I don't care which way we go home, but if you want to take the freeway, I'll understand" he was able to translate that she meant, "please take the freeway home."

We are both in desperate need of being around guys for a little while, but we didn't bring any clothes that we don't have to wear again and they smoke in the bars here (we got spoiled fast when the anti-smoking law went into affect for us a few weeks ago...I totally disagree with it on civil liberties grounds, but it is so nice!) so now we are both updating our journals and planning tomorrows fun filled day of adventure.
tdjohnsn: (troy and ron)



It is worse than we thought. By twilight, the car is powder blue. In the full light of the Arizona sun, it is Bridesmaid Seafoam green. Also, did you know they still make cars where all the other doors don't lock automatically when the driver locks his door?

Last night was difficult. The bad Mexican food did not rest comfortably, and Ron's mom keeps the house at 75°so we somehow had to be comfortable in a full size bed with me having an icky tummy's and Ron being too overheated to be touched. We finally figured out that since the door was closed, we could open the window without the heat kicking on, so that helped a lot.

Today was mostly running around getting last minute gifts. That is always fun. I had my mocha from Starbucks iced. Ron was appalled. "It's winter! You can't have an iced drink."

"It's 40° at home, we might as well be in Australia here it is so warm, and it is summer there!"

Navigating is fun since it has been long enough since Ron lived here that he is not sure what is still there or not. I try to help by assuring him that the place we are looking for is in a Southwest theme strip malls with stucco walls and spanish tile roofs. I'm always right!

We ran into [livejournal.com profile] ubermunkey at the Borders in downtown Tempe which was very fun. I am bad at recognizing people from their pictures, but he was instantly recognizable (and as cute as he is in his pictures, he is way cuter in person!)

We went to Serenity at the two dollar cinema tonight after dinner. We had not seen it yet, so that was a lot of fun. It is a really good movie.

That is it for now. More adventure tomorrow!
tdjohnsn: (troy and ron)

hats
hats

Our hats sit on a shelf awaiting the trip home...



We left for Christmas with Ron's family today. Normally I like to travel at a time of day where there will be the least number of people and I can stay as relaxed as possible, which means early in the morning. If I am not sitting right next to Ron when he books the flight though, he books it sometime in the middle of the day so he doesn't have to get out of bed.

I don't like flying. Part of it is just basic fear of flying. I used to chant to myself "you are safer in an airplane than you are in the bathtub, you are safer in an airplane than you are in the bathtub," though now I just picture a science magazine diagram of arrows on a wing showing the air pressure. Really, once the plane is going fast enough, it -has- to fly. Really.

Ron on the other hand, loves to fly. I used to always sit on the aisle so I could go to the bathroom without having to bother anyone, but now I always end up in the middle seat so Ron can have a window. My favorite planes are the ones with a row of three seats on one side, and a row of two on the other, then we both get what we want. Actually, considering how jammed together we were today, this may have been one of those plane only with six seats rather than five. There seems to be less room in the seats every time we fly.

Ron also enjoys the big crowds and all the drama and pageant of humanity you find at the airport. Big crowds of stressed people make me feel like I am getting hit repeatedly in the stomach with a stick.

The flight itself was okay. Lots of babies and small children, but aside from the repeated and overwhelming wafts of poopie diapers, there weren't any problems. Well, except for the couple that decided to keep their two year old amused with a small portable DVD player which they played Sesame Street videos on without any sort of headphones so we all got to listen. I'm not sure what made them think it would be okay to invade everyone's aural space when we are already jammed together too tight to breath (I couldn't even type this on the plane...my elbows would have been jammed into Ron and the guy on the other side's ribs.)

During the landing I commented on how small the part of Phoenix that has tall buildings is. "It looks more like Spokane in size than a city bigger than Seattle."

"And the tallest building is older than me," Ron said.

"Wow! It must be on the national register of historic buildings."

Now, Ron has a habit of not really listening when I talk (and having met his mom and sisters, I understand why) so I he smiled and nodded in agreement.

Pause, 1, 2, 3. Dirty look. "I love you too dear...."

We arrived in Phoenix around 5:00 and I went to get the luggage while Ron went to get the rental car. He couldn't remember who he reserved the car through, so he just guessed. They didn't have a record of our reservation, so he must have guessed wrong. For some reason he was reluctant to wander from counter to counter saying, "did I reserve my car through you?" so he just went with the first one he tried.

We are now driving a powder blue Chevy Aveo. I pull my hat way down over my face and sit real low in the seat. Its really embarassing. It makes our Honda Civic look like a Z3 by comparison. I'll have to buy the Honda a nice gasoline additive when we get home to let it know its appreciated.

We were really hungry by the time we got to Ron's Mom's house so we went right out the door to dinner. Once again I was struck by how much easier it is to get good Mexican food in Seattle than it is in Tempe. My enchiladas had the pre-digested taste that you get in TV-dinner enchiladas and I think the salsa was Hunt's Fiesta Flavored stewed tomatoes. To be fair, it is that bad at chain restaurants in Seattle too, and Ron's family only goes to chain restaurants, so I actually don't know if there is any good food in the entire Phoenix metropolitan area. If lived here, I would be able to search out the small, owner run places that we love in Seattle, but I don't so I'm not.

Ron's Mom asked us if we had any plans for the week. Ron told her we were thinking of going out to Taliesin West since we had not been there before. "Oh, that sounds nice. There is a new Western store in Scottsdale too."

Right now I am hiding in the bedroom. Ron's Mom is chatting and Ron is reading something and saying, "hmm" or "huh!" in all the pauses. (He tries that with me, but I'm not a good Christian woman, so I call him on it...)

We are staying in his old bedroom, which is kind of fun, though most of his stuff has been gone for years. The bed is only full size which is a challenge, but I like snuggling, so that is okay.

More excitement tomorrow!

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