Dancing On My Own

This morning, I did something really strange. I went to a club and danced before work. By myself.

It’s called Daybreaker and it’s an interesting concept: yoga followed by a DJ-led rave/dance party before work. You can buy admission to just yoga, just the dance party, or both. I’d heard about it from a friend and wanted to try it out, so we bought tickets for the February dance party (yoga sold out fast!) and planned to meet there.

Then the Seattle crud claimed my friend and she bailed at 6:45 this morning. I had a choice: forfeit my $15 admission or suck it up and roll solo. Trying to ignore that junior high-level insecurity in my belly, I got on the bus and headed to the club. To dance by myself. At 7am. There would be coffee, at least, so even if I just stood in the corner like Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles, at least I’d have something to clutch. Or maybe I’d find a friend! Even Joan found a friend.

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I got off the bus and walked to Sole Repair, a former cobbler shop-turned-event space. I could hear the DJ from a few blocks away; this part of Capitol Hill was surprisingly quiet in the morning and the bump-bump of techo music announced itself loud and proud.

I opened the door and WHOOSH the humidity of sweat and movement took me in, along with a very tall, beautiful woman who yelled “Welcome!” over the DJ and gave me a big hug. “We’re so glad you’re here!” She stamped the inside of my wrist and pointed me toward the back wall, where everyone had dropped their coats, purses, and extra clothing.


The room was packed with mostly women wearing their best and brightest Lulus and Athletas. There was one gentleman in a Ghostbusters jumpsuit. A few ladies had stripped down to their sports bras and were glistening with sweat; I dropped my bags and headed straight for the coffee, then to the back of the crowd to people watch and send sneaky SnapChats. (Except there was no need to be sneaky because almost everyone was snapping and selfie-ing with abandon.)


And before long, I was dancing. By myself, but also with everyone. It was too crowded for cliques and too loud for conversation, so a lone wolf didn’t look too out of place. My spot on the periphery eventually closed around me and soon, I was in the crowd. I started with some head nodding and hip swaying, but then a remix of Whitney’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” came on. I slammed the rest of my coffee, put down my cup, and danced.

And then: Hall and Oates “Can’t Go for That” accompanied by brass and drums. What!!

The rest of my hour consisted of more dancing, more coffee, bubble machines, giveaways, happy birthday to the gorgeous woman who hugged me at the door, and free samples of all kinds of bars, juices, and even canned iced coffee. And a random woman just painting away in the corner.


As I was checking the time and feeling kind of sad that I had to leave for work soon, I heard a group of women next to me say, “This is [blergh blergh]. She came her by herself!! Isn’t she so brave and amazing?!” And the group embraced her into their dancing circle.

HEY! I wanted to say at first. I came alone, too! I also deserve your hugs and validation. Pick me, choose me, accept me, I am worthy of your attention even though I don’t know you and will never see you again!

I let that feeling pass and instead, smiled and did a sweet spin move* (being very careful not to spill my coffee or bump into the woman dancing next to me who wore elf ears) and realized: I am just fine dancing on my own.

*the spin move was probably not all that sweet

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Ohio to PA: The PA Part


Continuing our adventure and quest to see as many people as possible, on Wednesday around noon we hopped in a sweet rental car and drove from Columbus to Hershey, where we stayed with some old friends in their lovely new home. While there, we killed some wine, whiskey, and beers, had a great dinner, and broke into some late-night snacks.


Larry performed his best Will-Farrell-as-Little-Debbie impression and it was such a joy.

The next morning, after a fantastic breakfast at the Hershey Pantry, we drove 2 hours for more food – lunch dates with our old coworkers. Lar dropped me off in Swarthmore and headed to his man-date, and we both dined with our people. No photos from lunch, but it was so great to see my girls as we stuffed ourselves with Pei Wei and Yogurtland (an old lunchtime tradition).

Next, we returned to our second home in PA: CrossFit Delaware Valley. It was awesome to see so many of our friends, especially as we sipped beers while those chumps worked out! Also wonderful to see some janky bootleg Zimas that I’d made for a Ladies Night a few years ago were still hanging around the gym fridge. #neverforget

Yes, that is candied bacon in the background, and yes, SnapChat does know Delco. Wins all around!

From CFDV, we drove out to Collegeville to stay with Larry’s brother, our sister-in-law, nieces and nephew, and puppy nephew for the next two nights. It was such a great visit! The kids are 10, 8, and 6 and full of energy and hilarity. We always learn something new from them. Uncle Larry learned the Whip/Nae-Nae:


And I learned that Ariana Grande is the queen of everything, all hail her beauty and magnificence. #preach

On Friday, we set off on an adventure in fruit-picking at Weaver’s Orchard and came home with over 20 pounds of apples, nectarines, and plums for Kathy to deal with. You are welcome!


  

That night, we were treated to a fabulous dinner followed by an awards show, The Rammies. I was nominated for many things but ultimately received the title of Best in Pink (despite wearing blue that day) and Larry received Best Volleyball Player. I will try to get over losing the title of Best House Decorator to Kathy but may never recover. As part of our award swag bags, we received signed copies of our niece’s album cover, PLUS a meet-and-greet with the star herself! We were absolutely losing our you-know-what.


  
On Saturday morning, we had to take off again. It was hard to say goodbye, especially to sweet Tucker, who fit so nicely in Larry’s sweatshirt and in my arms.


Thank you for a wonderful visit, Schaffners!! We’ll see you soon (Seattle 2016?!)!

We drove into Philly to return the rental car and check in to our hotel before rushing to brunch with some more friends at the incredible Dandelion Gastropub. Then, it was back to the hotel for power naps before getting ready for the nuptials of Travis and Emily!


  
  
  

It was a gorgeous evening where the booze flowed like water and soon I was waking up with a terrible hangover. But it was on to the next brunch date, hosted by our good friends out in Ardmore! Our other good friends were kind enough to pick us up and drive us to the ‘burbs, with a drive-by of our old house first (it looked so shabby! what in the world?!). And then it was a lovely few hours of catching up over delicious quiches.

Too soon, it was time to call an Uber to the airport. And this is always what you want to see when you get in your Uber:


After mainlining Emergen-C and enjoying a few movies on our flight, we were home with our baby girl.

  
We were exhausted, pickled from too much alcohol consumption, and ridiculously bloated from all the glutens. But we were SO happy to have seen so many of our wonderful Ohio and PA friends and family over the week. We are very lucky to have you all.

NOW COME SEE US!! xo

America’s Birthday

It was a festive, all-American 4th in these here parts. Just look at all the super American things we did: 

Larry worked at Peddler. Beer! And labor on a holiday! That’s so American.

I ran a hot 7.5 miles by the waterfront. Fitness! America! 

I watched the naturalization ceremony at Seattle Center. Nothing more American than citizenship! 

  

Except maybe for this: A couple on bikes decorated with giant American flags rode up blasting country music as the ceremony was starting. Some people in the crowd politely asked them to turn it off. The man said: NO! I’M NOT GONNA, I’M A F*CKING VET! And his wife screamed WE’RE THE ONES WHO F*CKING DESERVE IT! And they rode off in a blaze of country music and f-bombs.

I’m so puzzled by this. What was it the wife thinks they deserve? Country music? A ceremony celebrating their citizenship? Let me know if you can figure it out. 

Back to our American things:

I saw this couch on Instagram! Wooo davenports of freedom!  

 

I used my new hair appliance, The Wand, to make my straight-ass hair kind of curly. Beachy waves and a mirror selfie (making that face because my mirror selfie game is so weak), yay America! 

  

We went to a friend’s lovely home for an enormous smorgasbord of delicious food and hard-to-open pink wine. The evening was set to an all-American Pandora mix, to which one of our hosts did a rave-inspired flag dance…while wearing leather pants and cowboy boots. Overindulgence! Leather! Flags! America!

   
    
 

Hope your 4th was every bit American as ours! 

  

Dog Tales

I met the UW mascot, Dubs, at work yesterday! She is just the sweetest and so good at posing for pictures with millions of strangers.

  
Tippy was not having it and woke me up at 3am with a paw-slap to the face for my indiscretions.

  
I apologized and we’re friends again. 

It’s been a pretty uneventful week here otherwise, which is nice after the craziness of last few weekends. We’re staying in, cleaning, doing laundry, and resting up for tomorrow’s long run. Hoping to get in 10 – gulp!

#AWKeattle

My two special lady friends Amanda and Wendy gave me the greatest gift of all by dropping mad cash on plane tickets and coming all the way from Philly to see me this weekend. We’ve been looking forward to this for what feels like forever and now that it’s over, I’m very much suffering from post-AWK stress disorder. I’m also still hopped up on about 100 pounds of sugar thanks to these broads. #lovethem

They arrived Thursday evening on Alaska Air’s one and only nonstop from Philly. Since they’d been on a plane for six hours, I made the romantic gesture of waiting at the gate with a sign. I saw them come around the corner and frantically jumped up and down with my bright pink #AWK over my head. From my angle, it appeared that they looked right at me, then turned and walked the other way. I was confused and embarrassed, as the people around me clearly thought my friends were imaginary. Allegedly, they had not seen me and went to find a bathroom. Mmm hmm. Here’s a dramatic reenactment so you can judge for yourself.

Once I had the chickies in my grasp, we unloaded at the apartment and went straight to our favorite dive bar for tots and shots. Ok, no shots but at least two orders of tots, one with cheese! The girls were total troopers and stayed up until 3am their time.

Then, after Tippy had inspected our visitors with her tongue, she allowed us to sleep.


We started Friday with a lot of walking: first through Seattle Center with Tippy, then up to the roof deck to drink our classic Seattle Starbucks beverages, and finally up the Queen Anne Hill to Kerry Park because fitness is our life. Orrrrr because we wanted to earn a little Top Pot doughnut action? You decide.

  

After a stop at home, we were out for more walking; this time to Pike Place, where we sat on a pig, saw a fish get tossed, oogled the gorgeous flowers, drooled over cheeses and sweets, and finally ate an insanely good lunch of Le Panier sandwiches (I had a shepherd’s pie from a deli because the glutens were killing me) and desserts, with a side of Rachel’s Ginger Beer cocktails.

  

After more shopping and walking, it finally did that rainy Seattle thing, so we headed home to prettify ourselves for dinner at Westward. But first, we had a hot date with a troll.

I LIKE my Sketchers, but I LOVE my Prada backpack.

  

Westward is a lovely little spot on Lake Union with a cozy firepit and fantastic views…when it’s not gray and pouring, womp womp. We still had a wonderful time: A got to rock her rain boots, Larry and Wendy shared oysters and became besties, and we shared some insanely good desserts.

Amanda taught us that eye contact during toasts is NECESSARY.

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Saturday dawned bright and sunny, and after breakfast at home (pimp-your-oatmeal style), it was time to eat more at the Theo Chocolate Factory tour in Fremont. We hairnetted up and enjoyed an educational and fun morning with our guide Aaron, who is so dedicated to chocolate that he sometimes eats 99% cocoa to get pumped up before a workout. FITNESS!

    

We next headed to Ballard for shopping around town and lunch at King’s Hardware (where we drank Maxxines – grapefruit vodka, lime, and Vernor’s Ginger Ale – and they were to die for!), then made a few other pit stops before heading home for happy hour on our roof deck.

  
The rest of the evening progressed in debaucherous form, complete with singing, stellar dance moves (“is she serious right now?”), and a showing of the classic film Mean Girls. Obviously there are no photos, because what happens on the roof deck stays on the roof deck, until it moves to the couch to pass out.

Sunday, we took our hungover selves to West Seattle for a fitness walk on Alki Beach before hitting the world-famous toppings bar at Portage Bay Cafe for brunch. Amanda won the prize for most whipped cream!

  

We walked down to Lake Union for the Ice Cream Cruise, where we snuggled under blankets and enjoyed the water views.

The afternoon was spent relaxing. I took Wendy to the International District for a shady yet wonderful massage while Amanda, Larry, and Tippy stayed home for book club. Then it was time for our final dinner at Local 360, where we ordered pretty much one of everything on the menu and enjoyed every bite. And YES, there was a rat sighting, but we chose to stay because it’s not their fault; it’s Bertha’s!

We closed out the trip with more drinks and highly competitive skeeball at Rabbit Hole. We all had our shining moments and the games were intense, as you can see from our game faces.

    

Larry took the girls to the airport super early on Monday for their flight back east. I managed to keep it together during our goodbyes but may have sobbed into my coffee later that morning. (It was probably just sugar withdrawal.) I can’t thank these wonderful women enough for spending their hard-earned vacation days and money to come see me. These two were a huge part of my five years at my previous job and even though they were fantastic coworkers, they are also fantastic friends. Mush, mush, mush.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things 2

Not a lot happened this week so here is some more stuff I’m loving lately!

-Running home from work. I’m still in a love-hate with the bus and being able to run the 4 miles home is such an improvement over sitting in traffic with 50 of my favorite strangers. Although one of them smelled of Fruity Pebbles yesterday, which was a pleasant surprise. My new hot-girl safety vest works like a charm. I haven’t yet made it home before 6, but I’m getting closer.


-My job. One month in and I’m still clueless most of the time, but I am loving the work. This week featured a 3-D printer demo, a Skype call with Korea, and learning a bunch of interesting stuff that I never knew existed. We live in the future!


ClassPass. I signed up for a second month and am loving the different things I get to try, although the 3x/month per studio isn’t enough (why not 4 for once a week COME ON GUYS). Faves are FlyWheel and CorePower Yoga, both of which are total sweat fests. Today I’m trying FlyBarre with my Seattle bestie and we are confident we will look graceful and elegant and just like this:

However… I finally have started to miss CrossFit. I’m trying out a new gym on my bus route soon. But for now, ClassPass gets it done!

-Race pics. I mean, this is the real reason we run, right? For the overpriced pics that we’ll never buy?

And look, we even made the live stream of the starting line, which our saintly mom stayed up to watch instead of going back to sleep in the wee hours of morning. Love you ma!!

-Seattle. I’m so happy we made the move, and not just because it’s snowing balls back east. It’s beyond gorgeous here. Every day I see a new, amazingly beautiful thing and I know that all the stress of moving was totally worth it. And it’s sunny! We are hiking tomorrow and then have a fun weekend at Mt. Rainier next weekend. Adventure!

-And finally, wine in grocery stores and cranky dogs in pigtails.

Happy weekend!