Saturday, August 16, 2008

Restaurant Review: Azteca

Being that we live in a new town, and that I love me a good mexican joint, we decided to apprise ourselves of the local fair. To that end we tried a place called Azteca. It was by the grocery store, so don't think we went through a selection process of any kind.

Anyway, the food was fantastic. I was hungry because I hadn't eaten lunch so I destroyed the chips and salsa. I ordered a "Grande Combo #2, with a chicken chimichanga and a chicken burrito besided rice and beans.

What followed can only be called betrayal. Only a third of the way through my plate I already started to feel full. My own stomach betrayed me. How do you like that. The silver lining is that I get to nibble at it later tonight and I get it for lunch tomorrow.

If you are ever in the northwest definetly look it up.

Jake Monster

The first week with Jake has come to a close. The first two days went fine, but on Monday the movers brought all our stuff and Jake's world came unglued. There was just too much changing without any time for his little mind to sort it all out. Apparently, strange boxes can scare some puppies. What must that mean for an empty room going to packed with strange boxes in only a couple of hours? Poor guy. That day was when Chelsea and I got "My Smart Puppy" and things have been improving daily.

Also this week I've been using my nickname for Jake: Jake Monster. I don't know where it came from, but it's fitting, isn't it. See, ferocious.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jake's New Lifestyle

Jake has been home now for four days. It has been a time of adjustment for all of us but things are going really well. Since this is our first experience with a puppy we needed some help, so we went book shopping. We found a great book that came with a DVD and a website for extra help. It's called "My Smart Puppy". In the book, basic skills are learned as games. I say "basic skills" because they look like tricks; things like sit, stay, come, etc. I always thought of these as tricks and that they didn't have any useful purpose. I was wrong. Those simple tricks are the foundation of the skill set the puppy needs to be properly socialized and controllable.

I've heard people say that raising a puppy is like raising a child, and I can see lots of parallels (although I've never raised a child). For one thing, the importance of structuring the puppies life. You have to plan his day and teach him whenever you are with him. In my inexperience, I don't understand how you could train a puppy without a crate. It is a great way to relax a riled puppy and find a few moments of sanity for us as owners. Puppies also need nap times and get very cranky when they miss them. So the day goes through cycles like this: crate, come out and do your business, play around the grass for a while, work on homework, come inside and chew the rawhide with me (or Chelsea) then more homework and back in the crate for nap time and so that we can keep working on unpacking the house. It seems to be working well.

Jake is a smart little puppy and it's already showing. He'll sit for his dinner, sit to get out of the crate, come (this one needs a little work), and we are still working on laying down. Just a couple of days of working on homework and Jake has showed great progress. He's well on his way to becoming a very well trained dog.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Destination At Last!!!

We won't be getting internet until next Thursday, so you can thank my new neighbor for letting us use their internet for the evening. Nowadays it really isn't a surprise that I can find at least one bar of wireless network for 6 different networks from my living room. Only one of them was open access, which shows that the folks around here are a little savvy with the intar-webs machines. Anyway, to my new neighbor, thanks for the temporary access.

(Que fanfare) We are now in our new home. (Fanfare ends) Here we are, after more than a week of wandering and living in the homes of others we have settled down and are now paying for our own place. As you can see from the picture, there is a lot going on here. Our classy camp chairs and tool box end table really complete the feel of the room. Our stuff won't be here until Monday, so this weekend we get to have a campout without even leaving the house. What's even more fun is the game of making meals without pots, pans, or a microwave. Pretty much we are limited to vegetables or things you make in the oven. Tonight we bought a frozen pizza. So far, so good.

Our apartment feels really good. It's like a daylight basement. Also we have a nice little porch with a nice lawn space. That's our spot right in the middle of the picture on the first floor. I can't wait to do some grilling out there.

This complex is shaping up to be really nice, except for one thing: I can't work on my car here. I'm going to have to press the rules a little bit to get a feel for the enforcement, so I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Stop #3: Spokane, WA

Tonight we are staying in Spokane. It has been fun to spend some time seeing a little bit of this city. This was my first time here, but Chelsea said she might have been here years before as a kid. We gambled a little bit in that we didn't book anything and just hoped we would find a place. Well, we found a place. And since we get some travel per diem we also decided to stay at the Red Lion River Inn. They gave us a river view room (you can just see the river 200' away on the other side of the tennis court), which had just become available. Fortunately we decided to check in then get dinner; if we had decided to do it the other way around we may not have had a room here.

We set out on foot to find some food and to walk off that 8 hour drive we just finished. Spokane has a great park in downtown and we walked through it to get to dinner and to get back. Spokane River forks and forms a little island which, at the turn of the century, was a major industrial area. That little island is now called River Front Park. A space across from the river was formerly a rail depot and is now big civic centers, etc. Spokane has some great views. This picture is the Division Street Bridge just before sunset.

We also walked through a mall which was very vertical. It had a great entry way with these neat escalators.

Now we're back here in the room for the night. Hopefully we should be leaving for Silverdale pretty early tomorrow morning, then it will be back to life as usual. Well, as "usual" as it can be for big changes like this.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Stop #2: Rexburg/Idaho Falls

The first leg of our journey is now complete. This blog post comes to you from Tara and Spencer's house in Rexburg. Yesterday we were sent off in style by my mom. She made breakfast for everybody (that is my brother, some family friends that were staying at thier house for Shaun's wedding, and us) and after that we jumped in the LandCruiser to get going.

This visit to Rexburg is unusual. We have come here many times since we were married to visit the folks that live here, but we always went back to Salt Lake. So at this point it still doesn't feel like we are moving. Sure, I know that all of our stuff is already well on it's way, and that we are proceeding from here to our new home, but since this feels like just another trip to Rexburg, the reality of the situation hasn't yet fully set in.

So while this reality doesn't set it, we are having a great time playing with the kids and spending time around these parts. Today Chelsea and I took Austin and met Ashley and Kinsey at Rigby Lake to play around for a couple of hours. It was nice to hang out in the water. Tonight we'll have dinner, then the day will end and we will be one day closer to Washington.

While we were driving yesterday I got a call from the travel office at the shipyard in Bremerton. They were calling to say that our stuff was ready for delivery. Now, the truck driver already knew we weren't going to be able to get it this soon, but he still has to go through all the bureacratic steps to get our stuff into storage. Also during this call we were able to schedule our drop off for next Monday. That means we'll just have to live the weekend without our stuff. It's no big deal, though, because we brought sleeping bags and an air mattress along with some cleaning supplies and our vacuum. It'll give us some time to really get the place ready to accept our stuff as well as figure out how we want everything. It's an exciting new start.

Since I'm not at my computer I don't have any cool pictures to post here. I promise I'll get some up next time.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Gypsy Lifestyle

Well, it's done. We're out of our house as of last night. Now the only place we have to stay that doesn't rely on the kindess of others is the Landcruiser. Fortunately, we don't have to sleep in there thanks to the aforementioned kindness of others.

Right now, as we prepare for Shaun and Alicia's imminent nuptials, we are staying at my Uncle Bruce and Aunt Collette's house. Also, this blog is brought to you buy the wireless internet access of the same. (We wouldn't want to have to live without internet for even a full day, now would we.)

Yesterday the packers and movers made short work of the vast majority of our earthly possessions. Ours was the fifth load that was getting loaded on this rig, and after loading it was bound for the northeast. They had loads going to Portland, Kirkland, Silverdale and Bremerton.

So our lives are on a truck headed for Portland then Puget Sound. We will be following but at a leisurely pace. From now until Monday morning we'll be staying here at Bruce and Collettes, then we'll head up to Idaho Falls and Rexburg until Thursday morning. From there we'll split the drive into two parts, stopping in Spokane, Washington. Finally on Friday we'll get to our new house in the late morning or early afternoon. Unfortunately, our stuff will be in Bremerton well before us. The driver wanted to unload on Wednesday but since we won't be there until Friday, the stuff has to go into storage. I guess by Friday he already has to be picking up his next set of shipments. So as much as two weeks could go by without us getting our stuff, but that's alright, we have a few days worth of stuff. And if we get tired of staying in an empty house we can always cross the sound and crash at Wally's for a little while.

I'll keep you posted along our gypsy-esque wanderings.