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Who do you look like?

When I was in high school there were times when my friends tried to “hook” me up with a girl they were sure was “perfect” for me. The process always started with a “virtual” introduction — in the early 90′s “virtual” meant phone.

The question would always come up “what do you look like?”, but as much as you described yourself, there was always the follow up question “what celebrity do you look like most?”. Well I am happy to share that I can now answer that question.

Thanks to MyHeritage I now know that I look like these celebraties:

Seriously! look at the list of names of the one I resemble the most is Mao Zedong the communist leader.
I don’t know what to say!

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Thanksgiving Moses

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For me this thanksgiving marked the beginning of the holiday season, and this time the season is going to be full of “first time” events for me and Beth. We will have the first thanksgiving dinner as a family, the first family Christmas, the first New Year ‘s celebration as Romeros’. Yes, this year we will have plenty of reasons to be thankful for, but we will be particularly thankful for a peculiar experience we had with a kitten.

We named him Moses. We found him in the middle of the street on thanksgiving weekend. Tiny and helpless, he was at the mercy of anyone who would have enough compassion to take him in or take him out. He wasn’t the cutest kitten, his face was dirty, his breath smelled a little bit funny, he was a bit too skinny for his size and his eyelids would seal shut with all the dried slimy build up in his eyes. But we took him home and grew very fond of the little guy very quickly. For the next couple of nights Beth and I found ourselves praying for a way to keep him or a good home — mostly for a way to keep him. On our own the best we could come up with was a trip to the city’s animal shelter where Moses would surely end up being euthanized.

So what was it about this little kitten that tucked at our heart’s strings so much? I think in part it was because Bethie and I were involved in caring for something/someone other than ourselves together, but for me Moses became a little symbol of how easy its become to do away with what we no longer want. We give away what we think is old, or ugly or what we have little use for, an old coat, an old friend or a helpless kitten.

So often I have felt very much like this little kitten — unwanted and uncared for. I think that for this reason I wanted to care for little Moses so very much. You see the fact is that in one way or another we all take turns feeling like “the least of these“, unwanted and uncared for. Moses reminded me of what it has been like to be at the complete mercy of someone else when my turn has come.

In the end God helped us find a home for Moses, in a very unlikely place — our Dentist’s office. I doubt that Moses will go on to part any bowls of water let alone a sea, but we will remember him nonetheless.

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Seattle Honeymoon – Day 8

We’re home. We have replaced the clear blue Seattle sky with our “lovely” L.A. smog. Our honeymoon is over and we are ready to start life. First order of business for Beth, chiropractor. First order of business for me, try to enroll in a class — update: couldn’t get into the class I needed so it seems that I will not be going to school this summer, which means more time with my wife! — and hope it’s not too late.

The kitties were happy to see us and looks like mom’s place is going to need a couple of really good cleaning days.

We’re still getting adjusted, but we anticipated that.

The wedding day blog is coming — a bit late, but we’re waiting for some pictures.

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Seattle Honeymoon – Day 7

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We’re feeling melancholic even a little sad. As much as we have enjoyed life on pause, we are both ready to be back home. This is the longest we have been with each other. For the exception of a few hours on Sunday before our flight to Seattle, a short walk to the market and laundry this morning; we have spent every minute — awake and asleep — together. We are not complaining, but we have been single and alone for a long time so living together and being together a lot of the time will be something both of us will need to adjust to.

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The evening was good. We had planned and were anxious to have dinner at the space noodle (as Mercy calls it). I had stake and Beth had Salmon. We also had a signature desert (an ice cream Sunday served on a plate, on top of dry ice) that made heads turn.

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The restaurant sits on top of the space needle and a 1 horse power engine rotates the restaurant so you can have a nice view of Seattle from all angles while you eat. We were told that it takes 47 minutes to make a complete turn, but we made 3 complete turns while we were there and it hardly felt like it.

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So this is the city where a man and a woman met, became friends, decided that men and women couldn’t be friends and then fell in love. Still, as much as we like Seattle and could possibly see ourselves living here, deep down we could never stop being a “sleepless in Los Angeles” couple. Los Angeles is the city were we met, dated, broke up, cried, repented, experienced forgiveness and God. So despite the many violent stories in the evening news, Beth and I have made L.A. — at least for us — a holy place.

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Happy Honeymooning to us!

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Seattle Honeymoon – Day 6

The long awaited “Rest and Relaxation” day was here. We had planned and looked forward to today for at least a few days. We did nothing but sleep and rest, and watch t.v. The only few interruptions we allowed for were breakfast, lunch and a 30 minute break at the pool. Personally I have to confess that it was very nice to plan on doing nothing. I wasn’t bored because I was doing just what we had planned — nothing. I have never had a vacation where I allowed myself to do just that, vacation.

We watched “The Mormons” tonight and I am convinced of two things:

1. I am not the epitome of orthodox Mormonism

2. We (the LDS folk) have a lot of hard historical realities that we need to face. The church has done very poorly in this area, but over the last 10 years or so — under President Hinckley — there has been a subtle shift in the attitude of the church towards our past. I hope it continues.

    No photos for today, but happy honeymooning to us!

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    Seattle Honeymoon – Day 5

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    On the suggestion of a good friend we decided to go kayaking. We were looking forward to it because kayaking is something that we would want to do, but would be to lazy to do on our own. After breakfast we took the ferry to Bainbridge Island and then walked over to Exotic Aquatics where our guide Alissa was already waiting for us. She had a waiver to sign in case we drowned or were run over by a boat so we wouldn’t hold Exotic Aquatics liable.

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    The weather was perfect, and after a 10 minute instruction session at the public docks we were in the water kayaking to Blakely Rocks. In my mind Blakley Rocks were a part of the island full of trees and very forest-like, but no, they were literally an exposed rock mass full of knats and Geoducks — pronounced “gooey ducks”, some sort of clam thing delicacy to the folks here in Seattle/Bainbridge. We got to see a few seals poke their heads out of the water, we took some pictures and had a nice sack lunch. At the end of the day we had kayaked about 4 miles — not bad for our first time. As we walked back we reminded ourselves why we don’t do this type of stuff more often; we were beat, could hardly put one foot in front of the other and couldn’t raise our arms above our shoulders to save our lives. It was great!

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    We looked forward to the rest of the day because it was full of lounging around, sleep and room service.

    Today marks our one week of being married. What do we think? WE LOVE IT!

    Happy honeymooning to us!

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    Seattle Honeymoon – Day 4

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    This morning we spent some time hanging out with two of our very favorite adult people (Doug and Erika) and two of our favorite kid people (Mercy and Aaron). Mercy and Aaron are two of the smartest children we know. Apparently Aaron knows how to count to 10 in Spanish and loves to end in “taco”. We met them at the Seattle Aquarium and then had a very good and heavy lunch at Red Robin. The Aquarium is small, but they had a cool octopus and we got to see puffins, which are Beth’s favorite birds. We were glad to hang out with Erika and Doug; they were part of our wedding and now part of our honeymoon.

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    The day was somewhat long. After saying good bye to our friends we walked to the Seattle Center for a ride on the Ducks. The tour bus/boat was a type of land/water vehicle used in world war II by the marines to transport supplies and medicine, so we got to ride in it and then float in it. That took an hour and a half, but it was well worth it.

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    We walked part of the way back to the hotel and on our walk we found my Seattle counter part — that was kind of fun. We also found a graffiti mural that almost makes me re-consider my original thoughts about Seattle graffiti. It took took 45 minutes to get back to the hotel. I gotta tell you we felt almost at home with all the traffic. The downtown streets are narrower in Seattle than in L.A. so it wasn’t surprising, but apparently it wasn’t the norm — to have so much traffic.

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    We were finally glad to be back in the hotel for a much needed R&R at the pool and hot tub.

    Later while we were “preparing to order dinner” we were startled by the fire alarm.

    “Did we do something?”

    “No, I don’t think so”

    “Fire?”

    “let’s go!”

    So we grabbed our key and money and followed the crowd down the stairs. We didn’t see any smoke so I was relieved; having left Carmelo in the room. We decided for an hearty dinner at ihop and then back to the hotel to finish what we left pending before turning in for the night.

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    Happy honeymooning to us!

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    Seattle Honeymoon – Day 3

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    We spent most of the day in the hotel today, we were tired and worn out probably from walking so much yesterday. We decided to plan an easy day and so a late lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and a Movie were the ticket.

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    We watched “Ratatouille” and had so much fun. We thought it was just appropriate for a couple who enjoys the Food Channel so much. We took the hotel’s shuttle to the Convention Center — right across from the restaurant and movie theater. All of a sudden Seattle seems really hot! Where’s the rain Seattle is known for?

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    So why do we feel so tired? we headed back to the hotel right after the movies. We have a couple of full days (at least one) coming up — we’re going kayaking on Friday — so we decided to take it easy and rest some more; so some more T.V., some more sleeping and all of a sudden it was time for bed.

    We heard from Erika who isn’t in the hospital like we were afraid she was. Instead she’s at home with “a backyard and a breeze calling her name“. We are going to hang out with her, Doug, and the kids (i think) — we’re excited to see them. Beth and I are so very grateful for having them be part of our wedding. Doug leading worship and Erika praying a blessing over us and introducing us for the first time as “Mr. & Mrs. Manuel Romero” — I loved that she paused for a moment before she introduced us; THE DRAMA! — Thank you both.

    We have so much to thank God for. He’s given us so much joy.

    Happy Honeymooning to us!

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    Seattle Honeymoon – Day 2

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    We walked over to the Seattle Center, and you know what? for a place that has a few different tourist attractions, there didn’t seem to be too many folks around. The carnival-like game seats were empty to the point that we noticed the guy working one playing the game itself because there was no one there. It might get busier during the night time, but we were glad that it wasn’t in the afternoon.

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    We were glad to have walked; it made lunch and a smoothie a whole lot more enjoyable. We stopped by the Science Fiction Museum and although we managed to take a few shots outside and in the lobby/entrance, we were not allowed to take a camera — we were bummed about it. Still it was fun to see how very much Star Wars dominated the place; of course there were other bits and pieces from movies and shows like “Star Trek”, “Buck Rogers”, “Blade Runner”, “Alien” etc.. One of my favorite parts was a display of original science fiction book cover art and a few of Ralph McQuarrie’s original Star Wars concept paintings.

    We also got to check out the “Experience Music Project” — a museum housing items that go back to the early 19th century. I was surprise to know that Seattle had quite a happening Jazz scene, and that bands like Heart and TKO had their start here in Seattle. We were definately tired by the time we were done, but the museum was a bit interactive and we stood in a booth playing/banging a half drum machine — rather Beth stood by while broke one of the drum sticks while I banged away. I was impressed — and told Beth it was good — by a graffiti mural set up to look like it was painted on a New York style subway, maybe Seattle graffiti isn’t as bad as we thought.

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    The weather was a bit hotter on our way back so we stopped by to cool off our feet, but it was still nicer than expected.

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    We didn’t go up the needle, so we will definitely be back to visit the needle before the week is over. We are having so much of fun!

    Happy honeymooning to us!

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    Seattle Honeymoon – Day 1

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    Well our first impressions of Seattle are good. We love the architecture of most of downtown. Unlike L.A. we got the impression that the Downtown area grew around the infrastructure; L.A. builds infrastructure around the city — except for a few exceptions like the 101 or the 110 fwys. Business is pretty much closed after 7pm in the area we are staying. There is a hospital across the street so We get the feeling that most businesses cater around the hospital staff. We are also across Washington Seattle University and so we expected to see more college kids, but it’s summer so I suppose it’s normal that there are none to be seen.

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    We walked a lot today. Eventually we took a bus from the free zone of Downtown to just a few blocks from the Silver Cloud. There is a Baptist Church a block away. We can see the steeple from our room and we wanted to walk by — once again we were impressed by the architecture.

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    One thing we noticed right away was the amount of folks on the street smoking. Walking to downtown we passed two men within half a block looking for a smoke, and everywhere else people were smoking left and right. It didn’t surprise us by the time we were on our way back to the hotel that only a few blocks away was a “smokes store”.

    Tattoos are also very common and although we are not sure if it is the touristy part of Seattle’s crowd in which case the tattoos are not Seattle-ist, but if they are locals, there are more folks with tattoos than in L.A.

    Seattle graffiti is also not quite up to par with L.A. graffiti, most of it is sloppy and old — you can tell by how faded the ink looks. Over all Seattle is a great place so far. The weather? LOVE IT! it was suppose to be in the 80′s, but it felt very much like low 70′s, with a nice breeze. The sky is blue like it aught to be, and there is much to be said about the visible snow in the mountains especially because it is July!

    Now the one thing we were really excited about was finding a great little old van parked outside a clothing store of some sort with a vintage looking star wars theme. It was great!

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    Happy Honeymooning to us!

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