It was more the adventure of seeing new sights, and tasting new foods with good friends, with my one true companion by my side. That's living, my friends. Whether we were hiking along the Puget Sound, wandering through a farmer's market, or cooking dinner to the sounds of Fleetwood Mac, every day was beautiful, and rich in memories.
I found that the area between Olympia and Seattle has a penchant for wierd signage, and funkiness that I found completely charming. You just wouldn't see things like this in my neck of the woods.
Pity really, as it was very entertaining.
But the food - oh, the food!! Seafood in fresh abundance, huge farmer's markets wherever we went, including the huge one on Pike in Seattle. Fresh fish, creamy buttery chowders, and the freshest fruits and vegetables - we spent hours browsing and buying. We were visiting my friend Marion, and her friend Joe. We all love to cook, and cook we did. One night LaMar whipped up his famous stuffed chicken, there was a salad with a medallion of broiled goat's cheese on top of each serving, Marion made her special fresh green beans, and for dessert I found the sweetest peaches ever and made a cobbler. We laughed, and cooked, and ate, and laughed some more. It was kind of like The Big Chill, only everyone was happy.
Marion and Joe took us on a mini hike (for them) along the Puget Sound and up into the forest. It was beautiful. I didn't last too long (not used the the uneven terrain, and my ankle started hurting) but it was wonderful to just walk and talk with my dear friend. The boys were walking behind discussing their sons and past Scouting days. The air was brisk, and everything everywhere was green.
One day, L and I took off for Aberdeen and the coast. The beach we ended up at allowed you to actually drive right onto the sand and up to the water's edge. There were bits of crab claws and shells scattered around, leftovers from the seagulls' meals. We drove along the coast road, taking random roads here and there, and found some beautiful photo ops along the way. We met up with Marion and Joe for dinner again that night, and they had a treat for us: they'd gone back to the farmer's market and brought home fresh clams. A short while later, we had fresh clams, steamed with onion and lemon and served with melted butter. LaMar made his now-famous (in our family) Halloween Soup. With good sourdough bread, a salad, and leftover peach cobbler, we had another feast! I love fresh clams...
On our last full day there, we spent it in Seattle with Marion. We took the "Duck Tour," which gave us a quick 1 1/2 hour tour of the city. There is so much to see, it was hard to take it all in. I loved the idea of living on one of the islands adjacent to Seattle, and taking the ferry back and forth. Probably a lot of work, but it's a romantic notion. We walked up and down, and finally ended up at the Pike Marketplace, where, again, we saw so much beautiful food. At one booth, they had fruit pasta and - get ready - CHOCOLATE pasta. Two of my favorite things all in the same noodle. I brought back four different bottles of vinegars (fig and blackberry!) and oils (truffle and chardonnay garlic). I'm excited to have the time to actually cook something wonderful with them! Maybe this weekend?
We stayed at the W Hotel the last night, and we had a clear shot of the Space Needle from the 21st floor - breathtaking! I can't wait to go back - although we never saw a drop of rain, and I was told that I hadn't really seen the "real" Seattle. (We saw a T-Shirt at the Pike Marketplace that read: Seattle Rain Festival: January 1 - December 31") I guess we got lucky, since our time there was short, but I really do want to go back. Mostly to see Marion - I miss talking to her, and her funny outlook on things. She is so comfortable to be around - it's relaxing to be with a friend who knows you so well that there's no point in being anyone but yourself. Those friends don't come around every day, you know. At least not in my life.
So there you have it - a whirlwind trip. A lot of fun packed into 2 travel days and 3 short vacation days. I try to keep the memories in mind as I once again struggle through work days followed by quick dinners and exercise routines, followed by (if I'm lucky) a good TV show or a book, and bed. Good friends, family, weekends, and getaways make the grind bearable!