I stayed close to home for the first part of the week so that I could get everything done before the end of the week/weekend activities. I finished gathering the things I needed for Sophia's birthday and the care package for February, got the household chores out of the way, and shopped for the bags I was putting together for the horse show. I offered to make up the bags that would be given to each equestrian team participating in the show - a few things that they might enjoy and/or need on show day. My plan for the contents was bottled water, breakfast bars, mints, and a small cosmetic bag with hand wipes, Kleenex, bobby pins, and a lint roller. I asked Target for a donation but because the team does not have non-profit status, they were unable to help me. Sophia was able to obtain a donation from the Western bookstore of eight bags so I packed up all the items and planned to put the bags together when I got to Bellingham.
Tasks all done, I got up on Thursday eagerly anticipating my day out with my Ladies of Leisure group. I've mentioned before that my friend Christine set up the group for those of us who don't work and don't have to juggle babysitting and/or school schedules. Our outing on Thursday was a trip to Seattle. We took the ferry from Bainbridge Island and walked to Pike Place Market.
|Our view from the ferry - the Space Needle and Mount Rainier|
We had hoped to stroll through the shops on the Waterfront but they are making some modifications to the seawall so the whole area is a construction zone. Never mind, there was plenty at Pike Place to keep us busy. By the time we got there, we were ready for lunch. We stopped at Lowell's and had a delicious lunch while enjoying the amazing view.
|Lowell's Famous Fish and Chips on top and Dungeness Crab Sandwich (below left) and a Blackened Cod Pasta (below right)|
|Glorious produce, sustainable seafood, flowers (dried now but fresh when available), and other Pacific Northwest delights - Pike Place Market is seven acres with more than 600 merchants|
After lunch, we walked around the Market for a bit before heading down Western Avenue to admire all the eateries and little shops that were there.
|Piroshky, Piroshky - the Russian Bakery|
|Parisienne delights from Le Panier|
|The Crumpet Shop was closed for renovations but only for a few days - I'll be back!|
|The Original Starbucks|
|Pike and Western Wine Shop|
|Sur la Table, an amazing kitchen store|
And around the corner on First Avenue, the delights of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory:
|Apple Pie Caramel Apples|
|Mountain of Fudge|
We had a wonderful day out and enjoyed slices of a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory apple on the ferry ride home. Love my Ladies of Leisure!
As if that wasn't enough activity for the week, it was up early and off to Bellingham for Western's IHSA Horse Show. I can't remember if I've explained IHSA, the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. IHSA enables college students to compete against students from other colleges without having to own a horse and the expenses associated with transporting a horse to the various locations. Some participating colleges have riding as an official sport and often have a riding facility on campus. Others are a club sport which means that they are not an official sport and therefore fund (through fees/dues, donations and fund-raising) all of their expenses. In Western's case, riding is a club sport and the riders take lessons and practice at local riding facilities, one for English and one for Western. The instructors are the coaches for the team. Each college is obligated to hold a show (I think it's at least once every two years) and they provide the horses for the visiting riders. In Western's case, there are not enough horses at the facilities they use, so they arranged to borrow horses from friends, family, and other facilities for the show. It's a lot of work to put on a show and they did a super job.
Last weekend, the following colleges were participating:
|One of Sophia's teammates made the posters|
It was a two day event with English on Saturday and Western on Sunday.
I dropped MudLynn at the kennels and headed up to Bellingham. I was able to meet Sophia and her roommate for lunch during a class break and then I headed to my hotel. I finished putting together the team bags and headed up to the venue to drop them off. The horses were arriving so the team was busy getting them settled and organizing things for the next day. There wasn't anything I could do to help so I grabbed some dinner and headed back to my hotel.
Up the next morning and off to Sophia's dorm to pick up her roommate, Johanna. Sophia had gone ahead early with the team. Sophia was riding in the last class of the show so we enjoyed watching the jumping and the flat classes and finally, it was her turn to ride. Sophia and two of her teammates (in the same level) were within reach of enough points to qualify for the Regional competition. Sophia had a good ride and placed third which earned her the points she needed. Her two teammates were victorious as well. We're off to Regionals!
There was about a three hour break until the banquet that evening so I took Johanna back to the dorm and went back to my hotel. After picking up Johanna (and dropping off some birthday packages with her), we headed back to the venue to enjoy a delicious pasta dinner and watch a demonstration of various riding techniques. When that was over, it was a back to the dorm for them and to the hotel for me.
I got up the next morning, called Sophia to wish her a happy birthday, checked out, and headed home. Sophia was working at the Western show and would call me when she got back to the dorm to open her birthday presents. Love that I was able to be there via Facetime! I picked up MudLynn and we spent the afternoon watching the Super Bowl. A tough loss for the Seahawks but Sophia got, in her words, the best birthday present ever in the New England Patriots victory. If you read my Happy Homemaker post, you'll know that I went to bed (after Downton Abbey, of course!) and fell asleep watching Grantchester. Another busy week.