View of Hillyard (in Spokane) from Mt. St. Michael's.
We kicked off the weekend with giving our friend Chris her birthday gift a little early. She's into the paranormal like us, so we took her on a Haunted Hillyard Bus Tour. Actually, she's part of S.P.O.T. Spokane Paranormal Observation Team. Our guide is a history professor at Spokane Community College and has written a couple of books on Hillyard and its paranormal/ serial killer history. I was pretty tickled to get a little history lesson along with the ghost stories. I was a little freaked out by the serial killer stuff and seriously unnerved by history of Mt. St. Michaels and its now Catholic School. The tour was a lot of fun, Chris enjoyed it and said she'd always wanted to go on one, and it was storming that night which made it even creepier!
The view in the picture above of Hillyard looks a bit industrial. That's because some of it is. A man named Hill built and brought in a train line and a town kind of grew up around it. You can find out more about Hillyard here. It is just a brief overview.
Anyway, Amanda, Fiona, and I decided to revisit some of the stops along the tour yesterday, in daylight, so we could get some pictures. We also wanted to go up to the school on Mt. St. Michaels to sate some curiosity, because a friend of ours went there, and I wanted to see the architecture. However, while we were up near the school, around the back side, I didn't feel very well. I had a headache that seemed to get worse when on the on the back side of the main building and some nausea. It was weird. When we left, I felt fine. Now I didn't get any pictures of the buildings up there, mostly because it was eerie as fuck and it felt like we were being watched. But I did get some nice landscape pictures of the area around. I also saw pheasants, in person, for the first time in my life and they look like tiny raptors.
A doe on the school grounds.
It was such a lovely, cloudy day with a beautiful view.
Down in Hillyard we stopped by a Vietnamese Buddhist Temple that's we'd seen on the tour as well as a building situated beside the old Masonic lodge/ temple (?). We also picked up some Rowan branches and berries. It seems the Druids believed that Rowan trees were protective and planted some around Hillyard.
Kwan Yin outside the Buddhist Temple!
There was a man doing some landscaping and told me what time the services are, that they are having a little celebration this Saturday, and that I can bring my children for moon cakes. Since my child is my cat, I think I will leave her at home.
I love this dragon!
And this lion.
On to my Graduation party. It was really fun! Amanda themed it as a Paranormal Romance party and asked the guests to dress up. It was fantastic! There were two cakes, one round with green icing and black roses just like I asked, and the other was in the shape of a book. One of my friends and his wife brought two kegs of home brewed beer. One was an Irish stout and the other was a Maple something.
We bottled what was left in the kegs and put it in the fridge to make sure it didn't go bad, but there wasn't much left because we drank a good deal of it.
We talked, I met my friend Rachel's new boy friend who apparently likes YA novels, and is a big fan of Rachelle Mead, an author I like. She wrote the Vampire Academy Series. He even wore a t-shrit he had made that's inspired by the series.
Now I didn't any pictures because I was busy eating, talking, laughing, and drinking. I think Amanda's Mom got some of the cakes and I know she got one of me, but those pictures are on her camera. I also haven't gotten a lot of pictures of the wonderful gifts people gave me. Fiona gave me a cat gargoyle statue. Felicia made me 4 dozen homemade tortillas most of which I need still need to freeze for later consumption. Chris said her gift is coming but honestly it was gift enough that she and everyone else was there. One of my friends made me two loaves of bread, one of them Zucchini, which is one of my favorites! Rachel gave me three paranormal romance novels. Amanda's parents gave me a beautiful homemade card with a promise to do something with me at a later time. Tsuki gave me Fullmetal Alchemist and Bleach figurines. She'd been wanting to find new homes for them and when she learned that I like those anime, she bequeathed them to me. And Amanda gave me a board game, Coven.
This game is rated 14+ and I think when everyone knows how to play it, it takes about an hour to play. However, the first night we tried to play it, we spent over 2 hours trying to figure out the game mechanics. On the second night we actually played. It is a challenge and there is a lot to remember. The winner isn't wholly certain until the game ends and there is a lot that goes into it to determine that. Still, I really like it and would love to share it with my game loving friends. Coven was put out on Kickstarter and there is already an expansion out, which is pretty cool.