Guess what, ErinLee? It’s Christmas!!

Sitting at ErinLee’s kitchen table looking out big windows over Lake Union and beyond the Space Needle to the Olympic mountains, snow-capped and beautiful against a hazy, but not rainy, sky and guess what? It is Christmas Day 2010; life is very good. Re the title of today’s post, I must have said those words to ErinLee a dozen times yesterday, though she said more like forty times! The trip went well, the only glitch being that my seatmate on the long leg of the flight spilled most of her apple juice on me. But, it’s Christmas and the flight attendant acted quickly and with numerous blankets, the juice was absorbed and I was virtually dry upon landing. Quick break here to hit the floor with a yoga program while ErinLee runs (literally) to a a nearby store. Later, friends…

A great workout and some of the stiffness from yesterday’s long sit and hauling baggage is released. Now a cool glass of ice water with lemon and I”m refreshed. Back to my seatmate – once she got past the mortification of spilling on me, we had great conversation – she’s a 25 year-old Chinese woman here studying medicine at Johns Hopkins University, an only child from Beijing. She was fascinated by my brain challenge story and had lots of questions. We also talked a lot about recovery issues and she had more questions about my working in recovery from a Christian aspect. All in all a very pleasant and informative way to pass the hours on the plane and guess what? It’s Christmas!!

We took the train back to ErinLee’s apartment, dropped off the luggage and headed out for dinner. Two things of note before going on. I packed like a genius this year – my checked bag was just under 40 pounds for nine days!! Compare that to last year when I was over 50 pounds, kept removing and weighing and ended up with a pile that my dad shipped to me; also my computer bag wasn’t overstuffed so actually was carried onto the plane and not left outside the plane on the “too big” cart. I was definitely impressed with myself! The other thing to note is that my ErinLee is not just vegetarian, but vegan. And that segues beautifully into our dinner.

Being a resident here for three years now and knowing her way around, we walked to dinner at a nearby neighborhood place called In the Bowl, a Vegetarian Noodle Bistro. The place was packed, deliveries going out and take-out being picked up in addition to the diners in the restaurant itself. Huge amounts of food all around us all in various-sized bowls. I had something wonderful – noodles and veggies in a delicious sauce. The carrots were thinly sliced and had adorably-cut edges; they looked like little orange gears in among the noodles. And another thing – pasta is for Italian food, noodles for Asian, which sounds weird to me. Anyway, carrots and other veggies plus the noodles covered in a yummy sauce and I had plenty, with leftovers for breakfast. They’re big on soup here, too, and ErinLee had some kind of soup with rice and big chunky veggies, enough for her breakfast as well.

I can tell already that with all the walking we’ll do and eating the way we’ll eat, that I am going to have a great time and not become sluggish from overeating and not enough exercise. We snuggled up and watched a favorite movie and I slept like the proverbial rock – totally worn out from the last week. Woke to a text from Meghan, followed by a half-hour conversation with Meghan and now a Christmas Day with ErinLee and we’ve decided to do a Chinese restaurant she favors for dinner tonight.

I’m excited about exploring this city in the next week; absorbing the different cultures is one of the beauties of travel. This is an old city with lots of water – lakes, the Pacific and Puget Sound so there’s lots to do and see and I’m rested and relaxed and guess what? It is indeed Christmas! May the blessings of this season be yours. More from Seattle as I ponder the wonders of the Greatest Gift ever, celebrated at Christmas!

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