Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Port Townsend, Where Have You Been?

We spent this past weekend in Port Townsend, WA with our friends Jason & Duana. One of our first thoughts, upon seeing this picturesque town, was "Why, after living in Seattle for 10 years, have we never been to Port Townsend before?" We LOVED Port Townsend! We rode the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island on Saturday morning (about 35 minutes) and then drove the 1.5 hours north to Port Townsend where we met up with our friends. We stayed at The Tides Inn, which is where "An Officer and A Gentleman" was filmed and is just outside the downtown area. Our room was fantastic and super cheap, at only about $90 for the night. It was right on the beach and our view (below) was amazing! Our reason for being in Port Townsend was to participate in the Rhody Tour, an absolutely fabulous 44-mile bicycle ride with a challenging 2030 ft. elevation gain. It was the first time we have done an organized ride with friends and the first time on our new bikes. We had a blast!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Gift of Time

We heard back from the University of Edinburgh regarding their definition of “one year’s worth” of credit and, although they don’t confirm the actual number, they do tell us that Mike “can still be in the process of gaining these credits when he applies. If he does not have the requisite credits on application, it is possible to make a conditional offer based on achieving a specified amount of credit, which he will have until June to meet.” 

Basically, this gives Mike another quarter to accrue the necessary credits. This is VERY good news.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bend Today, Gone Tomorrow

For Mike's 33rd Birthday Celebration, we spent this past weekend in Bend, OR. We originally chose Bend because we wanted to stay at the McMenamins Old St. Francis School, since Mike enjoyed their Kennedy School (Portland, OR) so much, but a 6-hour drive can be pretty long for a Friday night. However, once we arrived, around 9PM, and after some shock at the size of the hotel (super small) and the size of the crowds at the hotel (super crowded) we were glad we came.
Bend has the beautiful Deschutes River running right through it. There's a trail system that runs along side it for portions at a time that we utilized quite heavily while visiting. It's a shame the river trail isn't more developed or continuous, however, but it was nice and fun to ride our bikes around the town and walk along the river.
We left around 11AM this morning and took a lovely scenic route back home, through The Dalles and along the Columbia River. We stopped at Multnomah Falls for a quick walk and some pretty scenery, but quickly got back on the road and arrived home around 6PM.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Taiwanderful!

We're going to Taiwan! Mike's brother and his family have lived there, and in China, for over 12 years and we're finally going to visit them in their native habitat. We're super excited and can't wait!

Our flight leaves 12/16 and we arrive in Taipei on 12/18. We fly back on 1/6. We're flying on both Alaska Airlines (Seattle to Los Angeles) and Cathay Pacific (LAX to Hong Kong and Taipei). No layovers in any of the cities, really. Maybe next time we'll ask for a day or so in Hong Kong, but I'm pretty sure we'll be visiting the city while in Taiwan anyway, so no loss.

It'll be great to have Chad and his family there to help acclimate us to such a hugely different culture. We're going to have the best time ever!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why Are Hams So Cheap?

We're grocery shopping on Saturday night at the Ballard Fred Meyer, shopping in the meat section, when we see a bunch of our favorite spiral cut honey hams for super cheap. What's usually $40 was only $13 which made us wonder, why are hams so cheap? The last time hams were this cheap it was Christmas. Thus, we deduced a holiday must be near. Lo and behold, Easter was the next day.

Mike busted out an amazing Easter dinner with the ham and some amazing home made Mac 'n' Cheese, the first non-box attempt in our home. The meal was lacking some Pillsbury Grands biscuits or croissants, but our oven doesn't really work and relying on it too much for one meal may have been asking for trouble.

Having no kids and not being religious, Easter really took us by surprise this year. There was a lot of talk about Seders and Passover, but we're not really clued in to the chronology of the various religious calendars and had forgotten that Easter follows those events. The only thing that kept us from thinking it was Mardi Gras was that we were both pretty sure that happens in February. Regardless, our Easter was spent the same way it would have been had we been given more notice. It was good times and good eats!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Two Year Plan Redux

We're back on. Though we haven't received confirmation from University of Edinburgh regarding their definition of "one year's worth of credit, " our panic has subsided. Once we hear back from the university we'll be able to make concrete plans but until then we'll assume that Mike should enroll in one of Evergreen College's summer Saturday classes for the extra 4 credits.

One good thing from this little exercise is that it has forced us to have a backup plan in case this situation arises again since we can't manage any more of these types of surprises. By the way, we're now only 16 months from August 2010, which is the month we plan on moving.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"Two Year Plan" Panic

Mike didn't get into his Mon/Wed drawing class due to capacity issues. Apparently, due to the recession and subsequent budget cuts, there are some classes at the community college that were eliminated. Among these were the day drawing classes. Students that enrolled in the day classes were automatically enrolled in the evening class as default. Thus, what is normally an easier class to enroll in became near impossible and Mike missed the window.

If Mike doesn't find another Mon/Wed class to take then he'll be 5 credits shy of what we think is required in order to be accepted at University of Edinburgh. Thus, panic. However, we have a few contingency plans.

#1 Bellevue Community College has a Mon/Wed evening drawing class that started 4/6. We've got an email in to the instructor to determine if he has capacity for one more student. If so, Mike needs to enroll at BCC and register for the class.

#2 Mike may be able to enroll in Desi's Mon/Wed English Comp class, though the class is at capacity. The instructor did suggest that Mike join the class on Wednesday, just in case a vacancy occurs.

#3 Evergreen State College offers 8 and 12 credit evening and weekend classes that Mike may be able to take during the summer and fall to make up for these credits lost.

We also have an email in to the international student recruiter, whom we spoke with back in September, to clarify what the "one year's worth of credit earned within the last 3 years" actually means. Hopefully she'll say something favorable to our situation. But, until we hear back from her, panic. If Mike doesn't get these credits then our plan is pushed another year. Right now, that's not an option.
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