Eric, my oldest friend, spent about ten days in Washington visiting me and another of his friends.

Tuesday, 2019 July 16

Eric's flight got into Seatac Airport about 9 PM. I got there early to pick him up but the cell waiting lot was crazy, so I just parked in short-term parking.

After we got back to my place we hung out for about an hour, then he called it a night - the time change meant it was almost 2 AM for him.

Wednesday, 2019 July 17

I took today off work. We left the house and started heading west, although we did stop for a good breakfast at Wild Wheat Bakery Cafe and Restaurant in Kent.

From there we headed towards Tacoma, crossing at the Tacoma Narrows bridge and taking the scenic route, eventually working our way over and up to Quilcene. We stopped at the ranger station for some information. Unfortunately it was a wet and cloudy day so we weren't optimistic about having great views. We did backtrack a bit to the Mt. Walker Viewpoint, but unfortunately it was completely fogged in.

From there we headed north again. We were barely past the ranger station when we spotted the 101 Brewery so we stopped for a drink before resuming our drive. We decided we weren't going to bother trying any other viewpoints, so instead we headed to Port Townsend. We parked in the town and walked up and down the main drag.

Our first stop was the Old Whiskey Mill. We split some appetizers and had a round of drinks. A short walk later, we were at Doc's Marina Grill for another drink. Walking back we stopped at a little shop so Eric could get a souvenir for his daughter. Finally we stopped at Sirens and had another round of drinks plus some more food. We both agreed that for pure atmosphere this was probably our favorite stop of the night.

It was well into the evening by now so we decided to head back. We tried to get the ferry in Port Townsend but the next sailing was full, so we drove south to Kingston. The timing worked out perfect - we literally paid our fare and drove right onto the boat.

Once we were back on the mainland, it was a quick drive down I-5 from Edmunds to my house in Kent.

Thursday, 2019 July 18

I worked today while Eric did his own thing. We met up in downtown Seattle around 5 PM. First stop was Sonya's. We sat in the front bar and had a round of drinks. Eric wanted to see Pike Market, which closes at 6, so we hustled down there and caught the tail end of it. He did get to see fish being thrown.

We then walked down to Pike Brewing and had another round. Eric was hungry for a gyro so we went back to the promisingly-named Athenian in the market. Unfortunately it didn't have gyros, but we did split a couple of appetizers; the elk sliders were excellent.

Eric realized he hadn't documented our stop at Sonya's, so we went back there. This time we sat in the back bar, which was definitely a little more eccentric than the front bar. We had a good time though.

We headed home after that. Eric was still obsessed with gyros, so we stopped at Mecca Mediterranean Cuisine in Seatac on our way home. The food was good, but the place itself was a little sketchy. We both decided we probably didn't need to go back there.

Friday, 2019 July 19

Once again I took the day off work so we could hang out. This time we headed southeast towards Mt. Rainier.

We stopped at Krain Corner for breakfast. This was amazing; the portions were huge and delicious. I think the biscuits and gravy was probably the best I've ever had.

We staggered out of there and got back into the car. Our first stop was the ranger station in Enumclaw for some information. We decided we were going to start with the Greenwater Lake Trail. We did a 6-mile in-and-out hike, which is far enough to see Greenwater Lake; Echo Lake is significantly farther and a) it was getting late and b) I'm old and out of shape, so we turned around.

The hike was absolutely gorgeous; I've been saying for years that I'd like to start hiking, and maybe this will be the thing that makes that happen. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy just being out in nature.

Next we headed to Suntop Lookout. We were able to drive all the way to the top. The view was amazing.

We drove back down and headed to the highway 410 Skookum Falls Viewpoint. Unfortunately at this time of the year there wasn't much water flowing so the view was relatively unimpressive.

Eric thought there might be one more scenic viewpoint along 410 but we didn't spot anything; pretty soon we turned around and headed back. We stopped in Enumclaw for groceries and gas, then headed back to my place.

We hadn't really had much of a chance to hang out with my wife so far, so it was nice to get together at a reasonable time. We grilled supper, had a few drinks, and enjoyed a very pleasant night.

Saturday, 2019 July 20

Eric headed out this morning to see Snoqualmie Falls and anything else that struck his fancy. He was looking for an easy day today since he's going to be camping for the next four days.

I stayed home and caught up on some stuff around the house, plus keeping an eye on a pork shoulder in the smoker for tonight.

After Eric got back (mid-to-late afternoon), we chilled for a bit, then started making supper. This was homemade pizzas - we've been obsessed with this ever since our friend Alicia gave us a sourdough starter. We made four good-sized pizzas, one for each of us plus a shared one. I of course made a meat special; I think I had six or seven different meats on it, including the pulled pork. It was all good.

Sunday, 2019 July 21

Eric packed up my car and headed out this morning to meet another friend for a couple days of camping. They had reserved a campsite in the Longmire area (I think) and were planning on using that as a base of operations for a lot of hiking.

Monday, 2019 July 22 and Tuesday, 2019 July 23

Business as usual, with Eric gone. On Monday Krista and I met after work for what we call "domestic date night", aka Costco and whatever other random shopping we need to do. We tried a new restaurant for supper - Basil's, in the Embassy Suites in Tukwila - and were impressed.

Wednesday, 2019 July 24

Eric got back; both he and my car were in one piece. He'd had a great time and had a bunch of gorgeous pictures. Overall he was quite impressed with the hiking in the area and was looking forward to bringing his wife and daughter back.

We just had a simple supper of sandwiches and got to bed relatively early.

Thursday, 2019 July 25

Unfortunately Eric's visit was over, so I dropped him off at the airport early, then worked from home the rest of the day.

Saturday, 2019 July 13 Saturday, 2019 September 21