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Vacation, part 1
575 CPO
christopher575
Vacation officially began after a 3:30pm conference call last Thursday. It's a call that normally happens on Tuesday, so it was funny that it got moved to when I was trying to get away from my desk for ten days. I was up at my normal time Friday, but stayed in and got ready to head out for our 8am breakfast reservation at Salish Lodge.

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The scenery there is always so perfect.

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I'd already had my normal amount of coffee, but went ahead and had another cup so I could enjoy their lovely accoutrements.

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Their signature multi-course breakfast was delicious, but it was way too much food. If I were to order it again I'd ask for half the amount of pancakes, and skip the oatmeal. There would still be too much.

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During breakfast, I checked the cat cameras for the first of many times throughout the trip. Garrett set up a new spot at their favorite hangout spot, under the dining room table at chair level.

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There was no need for lunch because we had such a huge breakfast, so our next stop was The Reach, which is the new name for the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center. It's a small-but-interesting museum, which is half about the nature and geography of the area, and half about the nuclear production complex. Very interesting stuff. I've been thinking a lot about the thousands of people who worked there, never having any idea at the time what they were actually doing there.

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Thankfully we were able to check in a little early, and didn't have to wait at all to do it. We had a fun early dinner at Applebee's, got mani-pedis, then hung out in the hotel bar for a while before going to bed. By the way, the Springhill Suites in Kennwick is a really cool hotel. Stylish decor, great bar and restaurant onsite, connected to the convention center, and a nice free breakfast. Even some really big air plants in the lobby!

The next morning, we had that free breakfast, then went to the Pasco Farmers Market. It was a nice little market, but it didn't meet up to the expectations you arrive with after reading about it online.

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Downtown Pasco is a little bleak. I could take pictures there all day.

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We went to the tattoo convention right when it opened. Jimmy was out front, and I finally got to introduce him to Garrett and show him Garrett's amazing tattoos. Inside, he introduced us to Catfish! who currently works at Cicada, and had a good story about this rock, which came from a client's butt.

Catfish! and the infamous Butt Rock

After seeing all the booths at the convention, we had a really amazing lunch at Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar. They're a chain out in Eastern Washington and have four locations in Spokane alone. If you ever get a chance to go to one, do it. It's at the mall, so we took a walk around the whole thing to see what stores they had. It was surprisingly full and active! It felt like time travel.

I'd never buy them, but these shoes are so cute.

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Back at the convention, it was pretty cool that there was a seating area right by the booth where Dutch from Skin Wars was doing body painting.

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Nancy finally arrived, and we had a great time hanging out, though she had to take a lot of work calls. She's very important to her employer and I hope they give her a big raise soon. When it was time for the contest we were both in, we couldn't wait in line together because I was number two in the list, and she was 40 or so people behind me. But I was able to get good pictures of her on stage!

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And when they brought us all back onstage, I was able to get a picture of a monitor screen with both of us on it. My hair really looks like a mohawk from that angle.

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Neither of our tattoos won, but Lions Paw placed third in a couple of other categories!

The terrain around the Tri-Cities is unique, and I sort of wish we took a little time to drive some of the roads on these hills.

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We got gas and groceries in Union Gap, then had a long detour around a very dry Rimrock Lake.

Island in a very-empty Rimrock Lake

Check-in wasn't until 4pm, so we had our picnic lunch at the Mt. Rainier National Park. That was my first time there, even though I've lived in the area since 1999.

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The picnic area was snowy and had extremely brave birds.

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Pretty squares.

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To be continued!

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That sounds like fun. I like the idea of all those things with the coffee. Is that chocolate pieces I see?

I don’t think I want to know about a stone and a butt ...

That last photo is cool - I wonder why the did the pipes like that.

Chocolate pieces and vanilla whipped cream!

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