Sunday, April 29, 2012

Taking the deck apart

This is how we spent our Saturday morning.  We are ready to start construction and we wanted to move the deck out of the way so we could save the wood for future projects.  There were some stubborn screws that wouldn't come out because of the multiple layers of paint that flattened the top, but we enjoyed the chance to be out and work together. 

Here is the big mess starting in our back yard, which is sure to get bigger as we keep taking things out of the kitchen. 


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Floor choices

We had been pretty sure that what we wanted on the floor was dark stained bamboo from Cali Bamboo. (pictured in the middle on top of the cabinet door) We had soaked the sample piece in water over-night, and it didn't change it's shape even a bit. It only discolored a tiny bit on the end that was cut. It is solid, heavy, and just feels like a great product.

Yesterday, after Scott got a quote from Cali Bamboo, I went to the local floor company to see if there was any cheaper alternatives, just to do my due diligence before we made the order. What do I know? I came back with three laminate wood samples, and they look pretty good! The store clerk kept saying it is not your grandmother's laminate floor any more. At the price point being almost a third of what the bamboo is, I can't see why we wouldn't.

The top right one is a little dark and sucks in the light. The bottom one is pretty and we like the distressed detail, but it looks too red at night. So the top left is our favorite.

How does wood laminate do in the kitchen? Any experience?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Break in Seattle- Part three

Pentel Granite and Marble was one of the stops Scott and I were really looking forward to going. We know we want something light in color for our counter top, but we had no idea exactly what. We thought walking around and looking at actual slabs may help us get started on narrowing down the options. But when you take your kids along, you get distracted easily because you have too much help. Here are our children's top picks.

And here are ours. Jerome and Asha wonder how we could possibly spend money on something so boring.

Spring break in Seattle- part two

After Archie McPhee, we went to Gasworks Park, which was on the other side of Union Lake from our hotel. There were many people out enjoying the sun and the park was lively. We watched people flying kites, kids roll down the grass hill, while we threw a frisbee and a parachute ball.

We rode the street car to Pike Place Market once we parked our car back at the hotel. Pike Place Market is one of our favorites as each of us has something we look forward to.

First stop was the Pike Place chowder. It was past lunch time but the line was still very long. We got in anyway and was pleasantly surprised at how fast it moved. I guess pouring soup in a bread bowl doesn't take much time. We had our favorites, clam chowder, seafood bisque, and salmon chowder. I usually double or even triple the amount of clam when I make my chowder, and theirs is just that way. So much seafood goodness in every bite!

From there we visited the coin shop for Jerome. He carefully made his picks after admiring all that the shop offers. There was this wall right outside the coin shop that showed how tall the world's tallest man, Robert Wadlow was. 8 foot 11 inches. From the opening above Asha's head, you could sea the actual shoe he wore, size 37.

We stopped at the magic shop for Kai. He loves everything sold there. This time he got a small box of fireworks. I can't remember what they are called.

Scott and I like Sur La Table, the kitchen store, as they have every gadget imaginable. We refrained from visiting this time. The last thing we need as we go through the reno is more kitchen stuff. We will be back next year.

Scott usually buys fresh ingredients at the fish and produce market for a special dinner, but our hotel didn't have an oven and the stove was very weak, so he gave up on that this time.

We stopped at Bottega Italiana for some gelato after we admired the chocolate making at The Confectional. If you like really nutty flavor, you will like their pistachio jelato. The raspberry that most of our kids got was also very good.

There were a couple police officers on horses that smiled at the kids and let them touch the horse. That was a treat for the boys.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring break in Seattle- part one

Last year we enjoyed a trailer week in this Emerald City. This year we were only there for three days, so we got a suite at Residence Inn on Union Lake with our Marriott points. It cost us a lot of points, but it turned out to be an excellent location for enjoying walking and using public transportation on a sunny and high 65 weekend.

Scott stopped at the Rockler store, the one store he had been looking forward to checking out since he started being interested in woodworking.

When I went into the store to see how he was doing, he had the same big smile as I do when I am in a nice fabric store. He saw some things he wanted, but found out that Amazon prime has most of them for less. Now he knows what they look/feel like and it is easier to make decisions.

We convinced the kids to forget about the museums so we could soak up the Seattle sun. They finally agreed when we said we would take them to Archie McPhee and let them buy some things. It was a strange store full of gag toys and novelty items, just as they claim to be.

They sure didn't lack in variety of weird candy. Wasabi, anyone?

Quinn walked around the store with octopus fingers most of the time.

Sunday was Easter. We didn't want to miss an Easter program, so we chose a 9am church closest to the hotel. It turned out to be Seattle 5th ward in the same building we used to go to when we visited Tom and Julia. What's more, we saw Tanya, Scott's friend from Pullman, and husband with their three children. We also saw Troy and Kathleen with their three children. Troy and Kathleen attended the same branch in Philadelphia while Troy and Scott went to MBA. What a small world! The program was excellent where about ten people from the ward came up to the podium in turns to read a scripture or a poem between musical numbers from different groups. I felt the spirit and really enjoyed it.

I got my "hanami" fix at the University of Washington campus. In 1976, the Prime minister of Japan gifted 1000 cherry trees to the city of Seattle. One of the places the trees ended up was this campus.

We packed lunch and ate it under the tree just like we do in Japan.