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    Monday, October 27, 2014

    My 4th Seattle Birthday!

    Today was my 4th birthday in Seattle!

    For such a momentous occasion I took a holiday from work and spent my morning reading in bed, then a late breakfast/ brunch at my favorite local pastry shop - ( Fuji Bakery on 15th, I don't want it to close - so SHOP THERE ) then scooting about the city going to various home building supply stores.

    I'm not an online purchaser. I like to see it in my hands, feel the texture and weight, and haggle about the price before buying something. Online offers none of that experience to me. So, I went to all these stores - stroking counter tops, opening and closing cabinet doors, curling up in tubs, etc.

    I visited - the Re-Store, Morgans, Seattle Homes, Builders Hardware & Supply, Greenhome Solutions, Keller Showroom, and Home Builders Center. Not bad for a few spare hours.

    Best customer service goes to the Re-Store - they were the friendliest and most helpful - letting me borrow tape measures and showing me where to find things. They had some options, but it is a re-store so the options may change pretty fast.

    Greenhome was... well I wanted to like it. I went that direction just to go there and the showroom is nice and there are lots of options... but NO ONE said hello to me. I don't know if it was the way I looked (riding gear and messy hair from my helmet), but it felt like I was being purposely ignored. I made eye contact and smiled at one guy and he just kept walking right past me. No hello, no are you looking for something, nothing. I was invisible. So that was pretty shitty and I'm not planning to return.

    Morgans knew their stuff. Decent customer service, fast, efficient. I got an older guy... that seems to be important to Yelp.

    Everybody else was okay - friendly, fast and helpful. I'd go back to anyone but Greenhome Solutions.

    After tub-hunting, I went out to eat with D and Hubs at one of our favorite Mexican spots in Ballard and then to Hot Cakes for dessert.

    Also -

    Green apple peridot ring! I love this shade of green! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Where did I go?

Oh my! Where did all the time go!?

The SugarSpoon Kickstarter didn't work. Although I learned a lot and raised some awesome funds, it didn't make enough to finish. SugarSpoon is still rockin' it'll just take a little bit longer to get all the permitting done.

In the meantime - I took a trip out to a farm about 40 minutes north and found the most delicious apples! I brought a box home and made applesauce, apple pie filling, and apple jelly. The skins from the apples turned the jelly a rosy shade of pink. The jars look like pale pink tourmaline gems - it also tastes delicious :-)

Out in the fields of that farm there were hot air balloons going up. Once at a certain height, the riders jumped parachuting out one by one. D and I leaned against the fence sucking on honey straws and watched the colorful demonstration as the sun set.

Other fun adventures include Macrina Bakery and also I bought a scooter.

Macrina Bakery first - We went to the one in Belltown on First Ave. The inside was pretty dark and cozy but I wanted to eat out in the fresh air so we sat at the metal tables provided outside.
While the plum roll was ok - a little denser than needed and more prune than plum, the apple pie was pretty awesome. The apples were light, thin sliced, and not too syrupy or sweet. The crust was thin but flaky and substantial.

Ok - now for the Scooter! I was looking at scooters for a while - thinking that they might be a good alternative mode for transportation since I sold my Buell. I wanted something I could be a little lazy with - you know, less repair hours and more on-road hours. I'm also notoriously thrifty and so I didn't want to spend 10k of a BMW F650. (although...if one fell into my lap I could always be tempted)

Anyways, I was looking at a Buddy 170i. It is cute, spiffy, came in a style and color I really liked, and had been sitting at Scoot About for about 3 months (since the first time I saw it) without selling. The Buddy 170i also says it can hold two people, claims 90MPG, and has really good reviews online.

I went to Scoot About to try it out for a test drive before buying it - I was pretty sure that it was going to be mine but I just wanted to make sure cause I knew it wasn't something I could return later. So, I go in, ask to test ride, and ... no. It wasn't set up to run. So, I ask if there is another 170i I can try... no.

Now I feel a little weird. I mean, I don't buy jeans without trying them on, I don't buy a book without looking through it, I don't buy a car without taking it for a spin first...why would I be expected to buy a scooter without being allowed to test ride?!

The sales person - who was super nice by the way, explained that they had sold their only 170i scooter earlier and hadn't set up a new one yet. I asked if I could come back when they set one up. It didn't have to be the exact one I wanted, but that it would be nice to try out a scooter and since there were no other scooters in the store that were set up - they would have to set one (at least one) up anyways.

Another sales person came over and did a little high-pressure on me about okay well if we set it up are you prepared to buy it. Of course, if I like it, I will! I didn't appreciate the pitch though.

So I came back the next day and took the Buddy 170i for a spin. It was peppy, light, and had enough oomph that I easily kept up with traffic. It was also tiny, hard for me to see the controls while riding, and jeez did I feel every little crack in the road!

The max capacity of the Buddy 170i is about 320lbs. That's everything. That's me, my gear, anything in my topcase, and another passenger - max out at 320lbs. ouch.

I didn't like it.

I decided to check another shop for a brand comparison - Big People Scooters in south Seattle.

There, I really liked a black and white Piaggio Fly 150. I asked if I could try it out ... no.

He did explain that a lot of people will buy a scooter without an endorsement and without an endorsement you cannot test ride. Ok - I get that. But I have an endorsement and I'd like to do a test drive. The guy happily took my name and number and said I'd get a call when it was ready. No hassle. I liked that.

Two days later (it was ready before then) I came back for a test ride. The Piaggio was longer and I didn't squish my knees against the handle bars. The ride was smoother, easier, comfortable, and down right sweet.

I didn't notice any real difference between the 150 and 170. I rode through south Seattle at 35-40 easy, kept up with traffic, braked well, and I liked that I could read the dash while riding. Also - even on south Seattle roads my tailbone didn't hurt as there was a lot less vibrations coming through.

I went back to the dealership, the customer service was very nice, paperwork went through without causing too much wrist pain and so....

Say hello to my new scooter!

I haven't come up with a name yet. Scooter plates are 6 letters or digits -
WHTRVN? 2-CUTE? ABROOM? GHOSTY? I can't decide. But I can tell you I'm having a great time riding this thing!