Yesterday was a pretty good day for me. It was a day full of fun and adventure, sunlight and good food, albeit really cold for part of the morning. Started off the day in a fog filled Auburn where my friend Heidi had decided to take me to the best banana bread in Seattle. I was up for that, I do like banana bread (haven't made any in ages and I needed a good bit to enjoy). What I was really looking forward to was a good brunch as it had been a while. We were having breakfast at the Sunbreak Cafe. A Fitting name considering there was no sun out down that way (up my end of town there was).
From Life in Seattle 2014
Portions were huge but the Banana bread was the star of the show. Soft & pillowy, delciously sweet yet not overpowering. The best part of it though was the fact that it was warmed and they cut a little slot down the middle and dumped in a nice little knob of butter, good delicious salted butter. So when you hit that middle portion as it melted into it, it was warm, and soft and buttery and bannanery (yes I am making up words).
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
Add in good coffee (small cups though... come on!) and it is obvious why they had such a line up on a Sunday morning. We didn't wait that long so I can't give them bad marks for that. The company was good and I enjoyed it (even though the view out the window was all fog). After breakfast we hit the road to enjoy some of the sunshine that was out. While driving north on the 405 and contemplating plans, somehow it came up that I had not been out to Snoqualmie Falls. I had always told myself I would go up there, but it just never happened. The sun was out, the sky was blue, I had good company, why not go up there. So off we went.
From Life in Seattle 2014
The falls were really nice and I enjoyed seeing it for the first time. The falls apparently were not at their peak (At least from what I was told today) but it looked pretty good and powerful to me. Plenty of photos taken and time to do some more exploring. On numerous times I had to stop Heidi from venturing off to explore places we shouldn't (maybe i should of let her loose?) and there was plenty of places where you could of walked off the track to find some small animals to hunt (but you can't hunt up there can you?). By the time we headed off, it was warming up a little so we had to get rid of the jackets and wave bye bye to the falls as coffee was calling out!
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
It was a great day and I had a blast spending time with Heidi. I see some more Breakfast/brunch adventures coming my way soon so I can't wait to get that back rolling again, especially since I need new brunch buddy.

I remember an old Tim Tams ad from back in the day that had a never ending pack of Tim Tams. I know it is not real & I don't really want one, but it is like my work life right now. I have been working super hard the last few months, even more so the last 6 weeks. There has been maybe 2 days so far this year I have left work on time. Most days I am in the office at least 30 minutes early, and leaving around 615 or later. I am working from home a lot on weekends and I am in my emails at the start of each day, before I leave to go to work. I probably look like a workaholic right now, I haven't had a day off in months (even on weekends and time off over Christmas I worked) and my last real vacation was OshKosh in July. Right now I don't know when or where my next break will be because I just can't afford to take the break. Sure someone could come in and handle stuff while I am out, but the problem is that stuff would just not get done. The last few weeks it has been a constant stream and the next two months look to be insanely busy, so much so I have no idea how I will cope (though the money will help) but I have to make it work, keep on track. Life has to fit in there somewhere right? I have goals to work on & achieve, a life to live, a country to explore, friends to see & planes to photograph. Though all my work seems never ending, I need to somehow make that balance between work and life. Where do I draw that line? I have no clue!

It is football season right now and the playoffs are in their final stages but this year the fanaticism seems to be at a whole new level. Living in Seattle means obviously i should be backing the Seahawks, and that isn't going to happen any time soon, but the fans here give die hard a whole new meaning.  There is fanatics then there are Seahawks fans. They are obsessive, a little bit compulsive and slightly insane. They will sit on the open air stadium in the middle of winter in the rain and cold and pay to do it, i mean seriously that's just stupid. The Seahawks dislike for the 49ers though is as close to a local rivalry as your going to get.  Craziness abounds when they come to town and the obsession goes to overdrive, almost a passionate hatred of each other. Today is the divisional play offs and my beloved Patriots play Denver (who I hope will choke and lose) in the Denver snow, and the outcome of that game defines the Superbowl. The outcome of this one game will show if I spend the next two weeks with friends or not. If the Patriots win, and so do the Seahawks, I will be hated  cursed and probably murdered. But the outcome of my game will define who I back in the NFC game. I don't want the Patriots to play the Seahawks, they are to strong and would probably mean a possible superbowl loss, so I want the 49ers to win. But if the Patriots win, I want the Seahawks to win to keep my friends happy and so I can experience a truly epic football experience on Superbowl Sunday. No matter what happens, today could not be better for a football fan at all, no matter what team wins, we all do! Go Patriots!

It has been a busy week back at work so not much to say really. Long hours, stress & the usual commute hassles really means life is back to normal. I have already started working on one of my goals for the year but will keep details under my hat for the moment. I did get a fss comments and emails about one of the goals and all I will say is I don't want to be a Batchelor forever. Might have an interesting tale soon about dealing with the US health insurance system, last time was a hassle, could be happening again. Will wait & see. Pretty much life is back to boring normality. YAY?

So it may have been a failed day of spotting today at Boeing Field while the third Boeing 787-9 flew donuts over Moses Lake when it should of been coming back to Seattle (damn it!). Still managed to get a good amount of photos of what felt like every bizjet coming into Seattle.
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014

Each year I set myself goals for the year ahead. These are not "resolutions" as that is just a way of saying "i should do this" where as a goal to me has an end and feels more like an achievement. I tend to set two different kinds of goals, I have my fitness goals and I have my travel goals. In 2013 my travel goals and my fitness goals were fairly ambitious (at least to me). Some people may not think so but well, they are my goals anyway. So for 2013 I set my goals and to be honest I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. I didn't complete all my travel goals but i did complete everything else. So for my Travel Goals I did requalify for Virgin Australia gold, and managed to do that after 2 mileage runs and a trip back to Australia. I did get to spend a good amount of time at OshKosh and I am extremely happy with that week off in July. A truly happy and amazing experience. Then there was the goal to explore more of my own new home state. I did this in two parts with a trip out to Yakima with Dan & Shawna to go cherry picking and also the last minute (like on Monday) trip on the ferry to the Kitsap Peninsula. I did also drive down to Portland for a weekend back in May but that doesn't count cause it is technically another state 😛 But it was fun none the less. The only Travel goal I didn't complete was to use up the remainder of my Qantas points. I had been banking them for something I have planned this year hopefully but time will tell. I did however complete all my fitness goals for 2014. I had set myself the goals of competing in two 5ks here in Seattle, the 10k at the Marine Corp Marathon and also the Triathlon. All were completed successfully and I was impressed with my times for each and every single one of them. My two 5ks in Seattle: Then there is the Triathlon And the 10K for the Marine Corp Marathon But what about my goals for 2014? Well that is pretty simple, but I am going to break it down to 3 parts this year Personal, Fitness & Travel. My Travel goals for 2014 are: * Return to Japan * Visit Maho Beach * Singapore Suites * Lufthansa First Class Ambitious for the last one, but I have enough points to do it, it is just going to be a matter of timing. My Fitness Goals for 2014 is just one: * Half Marathon It's a big one, and I am sure I can do it, but anything else will just pail in comparison. Essentially doubling my longest ever run and more will be nuts, it is going to take a lot of preparation for it, but I am in for a challenge. Not sure which one I am going to do yet (depends where I am I guess) but I will do it! My Personal goals for 2014 are where what would normally been mixed into one of the other two categories I want to do this to challenge myself some more I guess. These goals are also something that I think if I put them out there it makes me more accountable. So my personal goals for 2014 are: * Jump out of a plane * Go on at least 1 date * Get my weight back to pre USA levels and keep it there! The first one is pretty crazy but I have been working towards it. I don't really want to do it as a tandem but I will do what I have to do. I would rather do it as a Free Fall and deploy my own chute (my friend Dan has done it that way) but I will take it anyway I can. The other two are definately something I wouldn't normally put out there but I need to make myself accountable for it! So there you have it my goals for this year are out there, I can't go back on it now!