T minus 9 days to the big 5-0 as my birthday trip begins!

What would our lives be without some drama right before a vacation that we have been planning for about 2 years?

Yesterday, our dog had diarrhea. I know, that doesn’t seem particularly interesting or newsworthy. But it is, trust me.

A few months ago, we gave her a flea medication, and by midnight that day she was in severe discomfort, terrible bloody diarrhea, and we had to rush her to the hospital where she was put on an I/V, clinging to life. The vet didn’t know what had caused it – he said it was highly unlikely that the flea medication had anything to do with it, in fact – but given that the night before last we once again gave her a flea medication (not even the SAME medication, mind you), and she turns up with diarrhea, well let’s just say there was a little bit of panic in the household.

Our first concern was for the dog’s well-being, of course. I mean, this little monkey has turned out life totally upside down since we inherited her from my Alzheimer’s-stricken mother. Speaking of upside down.

2019-07-01 18.52.38
Zoey, in ‘Supergirl pose’

After that, my mind raced to what I was going to have to do if she got sicker and we had to take her to the hospital again. Last time she was in there for parts of 3 days. We were scheduled to drive to Seattle today, and stay overnight at our favorite resort near SEA-TAC. Obviously we would have to cancel that, but we would also have to cancel the flight tomorrow morning, the pre-booked parking, our nights at the Grand Floridian hotel, our dinner reservations, etc etc etc. In other words, we’d have to cancel the entire trip.

Seem excessive? Think about it. So, let’s say the dog is sick again, we take her to the vet and everything goes as well as it did last time, she’s in the hospital for 3 days and she survives and recovers and all is well. What are we going to do, drop off a dog that just almost died at our friends’ place to look after her while we hop on a flight to Florida? Not only would that be horribly unfair to them, we would spend the entire trip worrying about her. No, cancelling the trip (or postponing it for a while, anyway) was the only option.

Thankfully, she never got anywhere near as sick as she was previously. When we got up this morning, she was performing legendary poops, eating well, and generally being a total idiot (which is her trademark). All good.

So…..the trip begins…..

11:30 AM – We arrive at the dog’s second home, drop her off and hit the road. No drama (other than saying goodbye to her for 2 weeks) and no wait at the border. So far, so good.

Oh, almost forgot, we did have to make a quick stop at Save-on-Foods to pick up cheese slices for the trip. You don’t think I’m going to eat that processed American cheese garbage that they serve south of the border, do you? EWWWWWW. We also brought peanut butter, plum sauce and Kraft dinner.

If you want to have a bit of fun, next time you are in the U.S. ask them for plum sauce. They’ll probably call security. But Tabasco sauce is on every single table. These people are so weird.

2:30 PM – We arrive at Cedarbrook Lodge with very little traffic (perhaps the smoothest drive through Seattle we have ever experienced). Man, do we love it here. The resort, yes, but also the city. We don’t get down here enough.

If only their football team wasn’t such a disgrace.

A couple of people reading this just swore at me right now. I am OK with that.

We check into our suite, which has to be the best suite in the joint. Huge and ground level views of the wetlands. We were here about a month ago and brought the dog (we were not flying anywhere that trip) and had this exact room. I am definitely going to request this specific room every time we come here.

I am not sure of the perfect word to describe this resort. Majestic. Serene. Tranquil. We are only minutes from Sea-Tac but you would never know that we weren’t in the middle of nowhere. This is the absolute perfect place to bring a dog who loves to be outside and roll around like an idiot on the grass. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great last time, but we will bring her back here in the spring when we come down for a wine event for a few nights. Hopefully we get a bit more luck with the weather.

From our trip here in August, just hanging out by a huge koi pond taking in the scenery and drinking a beautiful wine

They have a nice restaurant here and a spectacular wine list. It has a little bit of everything, focusing on the Pacific Northwest but they have a lot of odd, eclectic little bottles too. This is a bottle we enjoyed here on our last trip. Ever had wine from Arizona??

Screenshot 2019-11-14 16.27.48

I bet a lot of you didn’t know they made wine in Arizona. In fact, every single state in the union makes wine of some kind. This particular winery has a lot of interesting grapes in their portfolio: Tempranillo, Graciano, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and many others. I’d love to learn more about where the vineyards are that get cool enough at night to ripen the grapes. Certainly the daytime heat wouldn’t be an issue 🙂

3:15 PM – While the wife unpacks (and, actually, repacks our suitcases for tomorrow morning’s flight), I head to the lounge to pick up a bottle of wine for our evening. Room service doesn’t start until 5:30 so I have to go get it myself. I find Stephanie, our favorite server, who recognizes me instantly (I think she has served us every single time we have been here) and she remembers that we are serious wine people. She brings us special glasses to go with our wine, and even remembers that we had ordered this bottle before several trips ago. Servers like that is another reason that this resort is really special. All the staff here is terrific, but Stephanie is particularly spectacular. It probably doesn’t hurt that we tip her really, really well.

Note to servers: Treat us really well, and we will treat YOU really, really, really well. Treat us poorly or just OK, and we will treat you accordingly.

I decided to go with a nice little Rhone-style blend from Washington State that we have enjoyed here previously (Stephanie’s memory was correct).

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4:50 PM – Tracey is sitting in bed, doing a little bit of work in preparation for leaving work mostly behind for 2 weeks, and perusing the room service menu for her dinner choices. They have a bigger selection if we actually go to the restaurant, but she wants to stick to room service.

I mean, once the bra comes off, it stays off….amiright ladies???

5:30 PM – I call and order our room service, including my wife’s favorite sandwich of all time, a BLT that features, and this is no exaggeration, about half a pound of bacon. And I might be underestimating it. I am looking forward to posting a picture of it.

5:32 PM – Our phone rings. They have taken the BLT off the menu.

5:34 PM – I am successful at reviving my wife who went into cardiac arrest.

5:36 PM – She decides to order the substitute sandwich, a Squash Grilled Cheese. Hopefully it is good. I can’t imagine it will live up to the BLT but we’ll see.

Squash Grilled Cheese with Fries
Salmon with dill sauce

Tracey did not enjoy the sandwich at all. So disappointed that they took away that ridiculously good BLT and replaced it with this abomination. My salmon was quite good, no complaints there. The wine that went with it:

Screenshot 2019-11-14 19.12.29

7:00 PM – The wife is just not feeling well, still. It has been a really rough week for her. We are sure hoping she is feeling better soon; there can’t be many things worse than feeling shitty on a 5.5 hour flight. Hopefully she can get a good sleep tonight and feel better tomorrow. She is currently enjoying the lovely bath tub here, but it’s easy to see that she is not 100%. It is tough to see her like this, so often, for so long.

Tomorrow will be a better day. On to Disneyworld!!






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Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

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