Monday, January 28, 2019

Celebrations and Surprises in Seattle

For those of you who don't like cloudy, gloomy days and endless rain, all you would have to do to totally appreciate the Pacific Northwest is roll into Seattle on a sunny day. That's what our arrival day looked like when we traveled from Portland to Seattle in mid-November. ALL the mountains were out - Hood, St. Helen's, Rainier, Baker. Just stunning, and one of the things we loved most about living in the Pacific Northwest.

Unfortunately, we didn't get many of those days during our six weeks in Seattle. Instead, we got more rain than we've experienced in the past four years. I mean, that probably has something to do with our lifestyle being one of chasing the sun, but still, we were a bit annoyed at the seemingly constant deluge. How spoiled are we?

    This was pretty much our view out of Scoopy the whole time we were in Washington (mostly without the sun)

Family Affair
Weather aside, we had decided to spend the holidays in the PNW for a variety of reasons, but mainly so we could be with our oldest daughter, Zoe, during the holidays. She works at Sephora and as a retail worker, it is nearly impossible for her to get time off over the busy holiday season so we just decided to come be near her since she as unable to travel to Texas to be with us, as Zac and Tara have done every year since we began traveling. This year, Tara came to Seattle from San Diego and Zac joined us from Bellingham. This is the first Christmas we have spent together as a family since 2013 and it made me very, very happy.

Is There A Doctor In The House?
One of the most difficult things about going fulltime is giving up your established medical care. Since we returned to the PNW every year except one we try to see our personal physicians when we can. This year, we both managed to schedule our annual exams, as well as colonoscopies and a mammogram for me. I had my colonoscopy in June, Steven was looking so forward to his, he saved it for December.

With exams and bloodwork complete (all good!) and other tests scheduled, we headed out to the restaurant Bonefish to see what all the fuss was about. Zoe is particularly fond of their Bang Bang Shrimp. So that's what Steven and I ordered, along with a lovely glass of wine.

Steven had a bite or two and a sip before he became decidedly unwell. Was it gas or a heart attack? He couldn't tell, so off we went to the Emergency Room. One GI cocktail later, and he was fine. But just in case, they said, let's do a couple of EKGs. Uh, oh. Something was not right. Better schedule a stress test and see the cardiologist, they said. That's all well and good, except Steven had a colonoscopy scheduled for mid-week and had to do the prep, too. So they scheduled his stress test on Monday. So far, so good. Then . . .

    At the emergency room waiting on a diagnosis.

He failed! He failed the bloody stress test! So off he went to the cardiologist's office to see the doctor, who said he needed an angiogram and if blockage was discovered, then he’d need a stent. Of course, we were desperate to get all this scheduled before we had to leave Seattle but also before a new year's deductible went into effect on our insurance. It sucks when you finally meet a huge deductible in December, but it’s even worse when follow up appointments rollover into January!

After his stress test, Steven went to the pharmacy to pick up the prep for his colonoscopy. I couldn't believe the size of that container! It looked like he was going out to spray crops! It was gigantic. Mine wasn't that big, I only had to drink about four cups of stuff over two days, but wow! In any case, he had to start his prep on Tuesday afternoon and then drink more on Wednesday morning. LOL, just to make all this more exciting, I had scheduled my mammogram for 11:00 on Wednesday morning, thinking we'd just swing by and get it done on the way to Steven's colonoscopy appointment, which was in a different hospital. We hadn't taken into consideration the possible gravity of that prepping situation when we did all this planning, but oh well, he managed.

Of course, Steven was starving after his colonoscopy, and we had just enough time to eat dinner before he had to start fasting for his angiogram the following day at Noon. We had to arrive at the hospital at 10:00 am and ended up staying until nearly 5:00 p.m. But, after all that, all is well. Really, the best of all outcomes is what we got, Steven had no blockage at all. He was put on a tiny dose of blood pressure medication, and that’s it. All that hullabaloo for nothing, except of course, peace of mind. So, we're good to go!

    Complete with stylish hat and snack in hand, Steven enjoys the aftermath of his angiogram.

In between all the unexpected medical issues we managed to connect with friends. It’s always nice to spend time with Dan and Sherrie on Whidbey Island. The weather was picture perfect and we got in a long walk along the coast. We enjoyed lots of great food and wine and, as always, great company and beautiful views.


Enjoying hanging and hiking and taking in the wonderful Puget Sound views with Dan and Sherrie.

    Catching up with Jennie is always fun! Happy Hour out with Rich & Emma was a blast!

    We even managed to go see Ina Garten at Benaroya Hall!

We had a lovely Christmas Eve dinner at Zoe and Dan's place, and as requested by Zoe, we enjoyed Frito Pies. We typically open presents on Christmas Eve which makes for a fun and festive evening. Since Dan's big family gathers for Christmas Day dinner, we decided to have our celebration in the morning and have Christmas Brunch. It was different from our normal routine, but honestly, I loved it. Brunch is so easy to cook, we ate mid-morning and were home by the early afternoon. Zac came over and spent the afternoon with us as this was the last time we would see him before we headed south. What a great time we had with our kiddos!

    Zoe and Zac visit Scoopy and the famous Frito Pie we had for Christmas Eve dinner over at Zoe’s apartment.

   Christmas Eve at Zoe’s place! Tara looks particularly excited to open this particular present!

   What a joy to spend Christmas with my kiddos!

Steven and I had been working since Boise to downsize and get our stuff out of Scoopy. We were really trying to get rid of everything rather than ship it to the ranch and, in the end, the kids took a bunch of stuff. Bless them, they have bailed us out so many times taking stuff they really don't need or want. We lost about a week of work time with all the medical hoopla, so we extended our stay at Lake Pleasant until January 1st. In the end, we FedEx'd eight small boxes to the ranch and stuffed everything else into Toadie. She was filled to the brim when we finally hit the road!

    Scoopy enjoys a rare sunny day at Lake Pleasant RV Park.

NEXT UP: Goodbye, Scoopy! :(


  1. We had 24 hours of rain here in Florida the other day and we thought that was bad! Glad to hear that you two had a great Christmas and have clean bills of health!

    1. Rain in Florida??!!! Ewww. Rain in Florida raises the water level so that the alligators can crawl up into your yard. That's why Florida is not for me. :)

  2. We had several of those cloudless days when we visited the Seattle area back in 1996, Linda. It really is stunning to see all the mountains out! Glad all went well with the tests. Did the doctors check for a shellfish allergy, in regards to Steven’s issue that came on at Bonefish? Darned food allergies can do the strangest things, and they can come on at any point in your life.

    1. I'm sure they asked him about an allergy and he probably just said no. But I don't think he presented with allergy symptoms, so they didn't do any testing along those lines. But now that you mention it, we'd better keep an eye out, right?

    2. A trip back to Bonefish could answer that! 🤢

  3. So, so glad that everything turned out so well!! Those 'surprise' health adventures are not the kinds of adventures any of us want to have.
    Sounds like you had a blast with family and friends over the holidays, despite the rain and the medical detour!

    1. I know you've dealt with some health surprises, too, and it is awful and scary. It makes getting back on the road all that much sweeter, even if it was brief travels. :(

  4. We're in the middle of all our annual medicals and dentals with fingers crossed all the way. Can't believe Steven had such a scare, but so glad it all turned out to be nothing. As you said - the best outcome! Christmas with the kiddos looks like a blast. It's crazy how much we can tuck away in these little homes :-))