Sunday, December 16, 2007

Spending my Winnings

On Halloween, JBelle hosted a Mad Lib inspired contest at Huckleberries Online. With DD's help I was able to conjure up one of three winning entries. I had a blast laughing over the silliness and that would have been reward enough, but JBelle was generous in handing out fifty dollar bills to the winners.

When I picked up my prize from DFO at the Spokesman office, I already had plans for it in my mind. I had a list of household supplies I could spend it on, charities I could donate it to and other people I could buy for. DFO put an end to all those plans when he gave me strict instructions to spend the prize money only on something fun for myself and DD.
It didn't take much convincing, but it did take a lot of thought as to what fun thing I would do with my money. The bill sat sealed in it's envelope in my car for about 10 days before I could settle on a plan. I decided the money would best be spent on a spur-of-the-moment, last outing before winter, trip to Seattle.

DD and I love to travel, but it's usually well thought out and planned for weeks in advance. This time I planned the trip in two days and sprung the news on DD 12 hours before our departure. I had the suitcases packed, the car loaded and hotel reservations made. DD was shocked, but game for adventure.
Munchkin's always ready for a vacation with Mom and Dad, so he happily settled in to the car for the drive. From our garage to the time we were sitting in the House of Hong watching the dim sum carts go by was four and a half hours. A temptingly short amount of time in the car to experience the best dim sum I've had so far. The House of Hong was decorated in an upscale version of the expected Chinese/American decor. The dim sum carts were loaded with delicious looking steamed and fried small plates. We sampled the barbecued pork, pork dumplings, vegetable egg rolls, barbecued pork buns and pork egg rolls. The flavors were so fresh and good that my mouth is watering just writing about it.
We spent the afternoon wandering through the tourist shops on the waterfront. We won a plastic shark from the arcade on the pier. We watched container ships pass through the bay with the snow capped Olympic Mountains as a backdrop. Most importantly, we didn't have a schedule or rush around. We took our time and enjoyed being in the city.

After a night in a hotel, we browsed through Pike's Place Market, enjoying the crowd free shopping of late fall. We bought croissants from La Panier and munched them as we walked. Munchkin truly enjoyed his first real French treat, refusing to share a bite. The Space Needle caught the attention of Munchkin and he had to know it's location during our whole visit. We stood underneath and were awed by the space-aged architecture. Tears were shed by our three-year-old as he had to say goodbye to the Seattle icon.

Our final stop in Seattle was Steamers on the waterfront. Munchkin and I dined on clam chowder and fish and chips while DD had chicken strips. I'm not sure I would enjoy a steak while overlooking a cow field, but fish and chips sure taste better while looking at salt water. It must be the fresh sea air.

We all were a little sad to say goodbye to the city as we headed home. We didn't go up in the Space Needle or any major attractions. We didn't rush around cramming all of the sites into one day. We just all enjoyed being away from home and spending time together.

Obviously my prize money didn't cover all the costs for the trip, but what's important is that it inspired the trip. Thanks, JBelle, for the inspiration, the good laugh and the prize.

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