With only 10 days of my summer gone, I still had a lot of things to do and people to see. July started in Seattle, when my old friend Ivan came up. It had been over a year since I had been to Seattle and I was itching to get back. With blue skies and a beaming sun, I felt like a lucky girl, considering that weather doesn't grace the area very often. Our first day in teh city included the must-sees of Seattle. We started at Pike Place Market in the morning, to try and catch a glimpse of the fish-throwing spectacle. The funny thing is that IVan and I both worked for CitiFinancial, and in one of thier training videos they focus on teh teamwork of the Pike Place Market fish throwers. Basically, the video is saying that no matter how crappy your job is (I mean, really, who wants to throw fish all day?) you can keep a happy attitude and make your work fun. Looking back, I can see why they showed it to us Citi people haha! The fish were flying and the chants and laughs of the workers delighted the crowd. One man asked if he could catch his own fish! The deal is that if you buy it you can catch it. Qite the tourist experience! He sucessfully caught his Alaska Sockeye Salmon. Other crowd entertainment at the fish stand included a scary looking monkfish. The dead fish was connected to a string that a short man behind the ice controlled. Each time a kid walked by, he would yank the string, causing the monkfish to jump, which of course scared the witts out of the kids! Along with the must-see Pike Place, we rode to the top of the Space Needle, took a cruise on the Puget Sound and got some great shots of the city, put on our best fish faces for the aquarium and of course had tons of sushi! The highlight though was the fireworks over Lake Union!
Being at home for 4th of July was great, as I had missed so many big Americana days in the States: Election Day, Inauguration Day and Super Bowl. Quickly after the holiday though, I whisked myself away to NYC to visit friends. With a cheap flight, I couldn't really pass up the trip and was really looking forward to the city that I so abruptly left one year before.
Arriving on time, I was taken into the city by a rhyming cab driver. Every word out of his mouth was some sort of rhyme or rhyming song. He was hilarious and said when he came to the States ten years ago, he used rhyming to learn new words in English. Hadn't thought of that but who knows, I might make a rhyme day here if I get bored. My personal favorite was something about 'Welcome to the Big Apple, it is almost better than a peach Snapple.' Haha! Regardless of his silliness he dropped me off right in front of my old roommate, Katie's, workplace so I could drop off my bags. Immediatley I met up with some friends for lunch and wandered around Soho feeling refreshed to be back in such an energetic city. I had really missed NYC! Over the course of the next 10 days I met up with everyone I knew, had multiple lunch dates with friends, sipped martinis at happy hours, visited the Guggenheim Museum (I figured I should be able to go to the NYC one since I had been to the Bilbao, Spain one!), ambled around Central Park, drank a pint at the oldest ale house in NYC (McSorely's) and all in all, just had a relaxing although humid time. I planned it so that I could spent two weekends in the city, because I knew that during the week everyone would be working and I would be left on my own. The first weekend consisted of the annual BBQ that the old department I worked for at News America Marketing has. At the BBQ, it was as if nothing had changed since I left except for the fact that I wasn't there. I heard my fair share of the latest office gossip and drama, and was happy that I didn't have to work until September 21st! After the BBQ, I made my way back into the city with Arianna, my friend that was so great to fly from Chicago to NYC to spend the weekend with me. The next night of the weekend, I went with my old college friend, Monica, to an old speakeasy. Called Please Don't Tell (PDT), you can only get into this bar from the inside of a hotdog stand! You literally walk into the hotdog stand, then go to an old telephone booth in the back. You pick up the phone, say the name that is on your reservation, and the other side of the telephone booth opens up and voila you are in the bar! Needless to say, I was rather impressed.
The week passed uneventfully. Having lived there already, The Empire State and Times Square type things didn't draw me. I instead was more drawn to quirky NYC scences, reflections of buildings in other buildings and things that are beautiful if you take the time to see them. I tried some new restaurants and went to some old favorites. I trekked around neighborhoods I had only rushed through when I lived there before. It was great to be in the city and be able to actually appreciate it and soak it up as opposed to rushing from home to work to the gym. The second weekend came with much anticipation, because we had a surpise birthday party in the works. Not only was it a suprise party, but it was a suprise COSTUME party! 70s! Monica and I, along with a bunch of other friends, suprised our friend with a decorated house and...get ready for the best part...a roller skating party!!! Held in Trenton, New Jersey (not the classiest area), our 70s attire was quite shocking! Of course, everyone stared at us for our costumes, but we started right back for thier intense roller skating skills. My skills were not so top-knotch, seeing as I don't think I had been on a pair of rollerskates since what? 1994? The end of the party, along with the trip came to an end quickly. I said goodbye to my little New York apartment for the last time, since our lease was finally ending, and as I took off back to Seattle, I was really pleased that I made the impromtu trip.
Once back in WA, I only had a few days before my next anticipated event - the Gonser Family Reunion! In between my return and the family day, I spent a lot of time hanging out with Mom (going to the delicious Chehalis deli), Austin (never getting over how adorable he is), Grammy (puzzles, puzzles and more puzzles!) and at the library trying to check out as many books as possible! The family reunion finally rolled around and I was so excited to attend. I spent the day before helping Auntie Marilyn make the famous Gonser Chicken and Noodles, which turned out to be delicious. I hadn't been to a family reunion for about 5 years, so understandably people had a lot of questions, but the star of the reunion was Austin! Everyone agreed that he was just so cute!
Although there were a lot of trips, it seemed like July flew by! With a few more trips in my bag of tricks, I was anxiously waiting or the rest of the summer, but at the same time didn't want it to pass too quickly!