Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Weekend in Seattle

The girl's weekend was a success!  It wasn't successful in terms of activities done, or sights seen (although there was plenty of that) - it was more in the quiet moments and talks from the heart, and listening with your whole spirit.  First of all, I have to be perfectly honest in saying that I still haven't seen the true face of Seattle.  It was gloriously sunny with piercing blue skies the entire time I was there.  Not a rain cloud to be seen.  And I hear that today it's raining again.  So I was lucky, or perhaps I brought the luck - who knows? All I know is that you couldn't find a thing to complain about weather-wise.
Our first night, we stayed in Seattle.  Marion had made reservations at Ivar's, and we dined looking out at the water and a beautiful sunset.  I had salmon, which was perfect.   We talked in that excited, disjointed way we do when we haven't seen one another in awhile, and we're trying to remember all of the things we wanted to tell each other.  After dinner, we got lost trying to get back to the hotel, but we are modern women, and we called upon the almighty iPhone's GPS to guide us safely to our overnight haven.
Safely back in our room for the night (we are such party animals...) we checked out each other's makeup, and skin and hair care.  We are girls, after all.  We bemoaned wrinkles, and rosacea.  Getting old is not so much for us, but we haven't found a way around it yet.  Finally, we were gabbed out and we fell into deliciously soft beds and pillows, and I'm quite sure we both snored.
SATURDAY: Up early - no sleeping in!  The weekend will be gone before we know it.  We ate breakfast at the hotel, and packed up, ready for a day in the city.  First stop: Queen Anne's Hill.  Beautiful homes, gorgeous expansive views of the sound, and cute shops.  How would it be to have a view like this every day?  They're a little far away in the picture, but look at those mountains in the distance!  Breathtaking...

Or how about this view?  Seriously - I could get used to this.

We walked around the neighborhoods, and wound up at a little neighborhood park.  I loved the juxtaposition of these two houses.  One so modern, and the other so traditional and Leave It To Beaver.
And I even caught a little plane streaking across the blue, blue sky.

Right in front of the traditional house, there was a little botanical garden.  Most things were just beginning to wake up in the nice weather that weekend.  I don't know what this tree was, but it was promising some beautiful blooms later on in the spring.
We walked until my feet hurt, (which, sadly, doesn't take all that long) and then we went along the main street that had the cutest little shops.  We stopped last at a cupcake shop and got ourselves a little treat for later that night.  Oddly enough, we are both lemon freaks - lemon over chocolate! - and chose lemon cupcakes that had lemon frosting good enough to eat with a spoon.
On to another park that overlooked the Seattle skyline:
I don't know if you can see it very well, but to the right of the skyline you can just make out Mount Rainier.  It was high noon by this time and it wasn't showing up well in photographs.  Late afternoon is the time to catch it - the setting sun shines on it, and it's a wonder to behold.
On to Pike's Marketplace.  I love this place - so much to take in, so many things to look at and, perchance, to buy.  Today being the amazing blue sky sunny day it was, all of Seattle was out en masse. You could hardly move through the marketplace.  We ended up going across the street to a French bistro and ordering a bread and cheese plate.  And juice - orange for me, grapefruit for Marion.  It was just the thing to revive us.  We talked and talked, and then we trekked off around the corner to Sur le Table.  We shopped the gadgets and kitchen lovelies before walking across the street to the marketplace once again. We bought some crab to take home for dinner, and I had to get 2 cakes of some incredible lavender soap from one of the vendors.
By now, my dogs were whining and barking, and it was time for me to stop walking.  We headed back to the car and headed for home in Lacey.  All the way home I couldn't get enough of the beautiful Washington scenery.  So many trees!  Big ones!  And at last we turned into her driveway, and I saw her huge pine tree in the front yard.  I think she could sell that thing to Rockefeller Center next Christmas.  It's ENORMOUS, and her house is so tiny next to it.  I hadn't seen her house for almost 3 years now, and she has done some beautiful things to it.  New tile throughout the living areas and kitchen, and a new huge flat screen in the living room (!!!!!)  She says her house is too small, but I think it is cute and cozy.  And the shower never runs out of hot water.  Her cat greeted us at the door, and I was able to get to know Mia the Cat.  I am going to send Mia the Girl a picture of Mia the Cat.  And vice versa.  Because they have the same name and they are just about the same color - don't you think?
Mia the Cat
Mia the Girl

After unloading our bags and shopping loot, we set to work making a delicious crab salad.  It was so good, and it was a treat to be in my good friend's home.  We talked and talked some more.  Suffice to say Marion has had a tough year, and I am in awe of the grace with which she carries on.  She talked and I listened.  I talked and she listened.  It was a symphony of two good friends catching up and licking our wounds, encouraging each other forward, and laughing at our silliness.  Two girls who are completely sympatico. Except in politics.  We agreed to disagree there, and avoided that particular hotbed.  Instead, I shared my views of Why We Are Here and Where We Go From Here.  Marion lost someone dear to her recently, and her heart is lonely and in pain.  I hope what I had to say helped.  I love her and wanted to give her something hopeful to think about and consider.  After awhile, I realized that I am allergic to Mia the Cat.  Itchy, itchy eyes and much sneezing.  I took some allergy tablets and we went to bed.
Sunday.  Superbowl Sunday! We had some breakfast, made ourselves beautiful, (I can dream, can't I?) and took ourselves into Olympia.  We did a little shop wandering - there is no end to the interesting nooks and crannies of Olympia.  We stopped at the market and got some vegetables, and various items to make our dinner with.  We stopped at a bakery and got a baguette.  At home we sauteed zuchinni, butternut squash cubes, and mushrooms with butter, garlic and olive oil.  We glazed it all with a balsamic  reduction sauce, and splashed in a little white wine (taking care to cook out the alcohol!) and served the whole mess over pasta.  Bread slices and a wedge of Brie as an appetizer.  We dined like the royalty we are.  We watched Super Bowl commercials, and Madonna's half time show.  (I liked it, didn't you?)  We talked and ate and talked until we were tired.  Tired, but heart healthy from sharing views and opinions with each other.  So satisfying.
Monday.  Time to pack up and head home.  Marion had saved a big treat for the last.  As we made our way back to Seattle, we made a pit stop in Tacoma.  There is a courthouse there that used to be a train station and it houses some amazing blown glass art in it's huge lobby.  I think the artist is the same one who did the blown glass in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.  The courthouse is next to the Museum of Glass.  Sadly, we didn't have time to go to that.  Next time.  But we wandered all through the historical train station that is now a courthouse.  This is what we saw there:
An amazingly intricate piece hung from the center cupola

The cupola with the center hanging artwork, and against the far window, "sticks" of blown glass

Against the back window overlooking the bay, was this blown glass field of poppies
The entire window as a sort of silhouette

Overlooking another side of the lobby was this blown glass "dream catcher..."
...with Marion posing in front of it.  Unwillingly, I might add...

And finally, against the remaining side, a "basket weave" of painted papers.  Gorgeous!

This is coming to an end very soon, I promise.  But I did say I would have pictures, and I aim to share them!  Now, the last thing before leaving Tacoma was to go outside the courthouse to the Bridge of Glass.  This is a structure flanked on each side by a tower of turquoise blown glass nuggets.

And then, as you walk across the bridge, there are shelves encased in glass that have fantastic blown glass vases on two tiers of shelves.  I wish I could have one of these:

As you are passing by these beautiful works of art on the side, you can still look up and be rewarded by even more fanciful shapes and colors of glass encased in the ceiling of the bridge.  The whole thing was absolutely incredible.  Here are just a few sections:

I could spend hours looking at this.  It was like being under the sea.  It was one of the most beautiful works of art I've ever seen.  Too bad - it was time to go to the airport.  We walked to the car, and even though I'd missed L and home, I knew I was going to miss this time with Marion.  I need to be a better friend - a more attentive friend.  We are both getting older, and I don't want to miss out on any more of her life.  As we'd talked over the weekend, I realized how much of her life I'd missed while I was busy raising kids and figuring out my own crazy life.  I don't want that to happen anymore.  I want to be more involved.  Closer.  More available.  We need to be a part of the remaining events in both of our lives.  That's the good thing that comes from weekend epiphanies with dear friends: the desire to improve and be better.  The certainty that we are capable of great things.  The knowledge that we must cheer each other on and encourage those great things to become realities.  We have been given a great gift in the responsibility of our friendship, and I intend to make it grow and blossom.  Because by caring, loving, and nourishing, we both become stronger and better.


  1. What a GREAT weekend! How fun! LOVE all the pics :) Now when are you coming back to Worcester?

  2. So grateful to see photos of Seattle and hear your take on a city close to my heart. My hubby and I lived there for six years as newlyweds and new parents. (We are from New Zealand and I found you through Jen Dentons blog). I had to laugh when you mentioned Ivars as when we were engaged, and I visited my then fiancee for a month (as we spent the year-long engagement apart while he studied at UW), he took me there for a treat. I ordered steak as I had not had positive experiences with salmon previously. Now I can't get enough salmon and certianly nothing as good as Pacific Northwest salmon - still it makes a good memory for us!

    Love seeing the Chihuly artwork too.


  3. I felt like I was right there, enjoying it with you both! What a terrific weekend! Seattle is one of the most gorgeous cities I've seen and I loved revisiting it through your words. Thank you for taking us with you through your post.

  4. I would move to Seattle right now if Brad would. You saw stuff we didn't, awesome adult stuff. Glad you had fun.

  5. Sounds like a mutually healing and rejuvenating weekend for both of you!

    And that cut glass is AMAZING.


    PS. I love your observation that Mia the Cat and Mia the Girl are "about the same color." That made me smile.

  6. Ivar's changed a lot after Ivar died in the early 80s. He left it to the University of Washington School of Business. They changed the food some and stopped the practice of hiring Native Americans only. That was my favorite restaurant when I lived near Seattle.


  7. The glass is beautiful! Breathtaking even!
    What a wonderful best friends kind of weekend. There are only special people that that happens with and those are moments to be treasured!!
    Seattle is fun!

  8. What a wonderful weekend. You made it a real vacation. I do like my job, but it was so nice to have a bit of freedom from the stress. Your photos are fabulous (except for the one of me). I especially like the glass art work. Please come back soon and we will go to the museum. You are fabulous! Mia (the cat) misses you...

  9. What a great trip! I'm glad you were able to enjoy each other and have a fun weekend. The glass art was just amazing...so beautiful! I hope she can come and visit with you on your turf....maybe she'd better leave Mia the cat at home!

  10. I can't believe you got to see so many neat places and go to so many cities and towns in just one weekend. Of course you were on the go almost all the time. It is wonderful that you got to take in so many of the sights. And, to top it all off, the sun was shining all the time. How really lucky you were.

    I did enjoy reading about all the neat places you went and the pictures were fantastic. I love cut glass and enjoyed seeing that too. I have been in Seattle a couple of times and didn't see much of anything. When we went to that fish place on the bay, it was so cold that my lungs absolutely hurt. There is just nothing more miserable than being cold in Seattle. I would NEVER want to live there but having said that, I did enjoy all you had to say about it and of course the pics. Thanks for this great post.

  11. That trip looks so inviting. I've always wanted to visit the west coast, in fact any part of the west coast is appealing to me in my imagination. I don't know why I feel drawn to it; perhaps it's just the open minded vibe, or the art, music and culture. I think it would be really neat to see the forests in the north too. Thanks for sharing the pics, I enjoyed them!

  12. I love all the great pictures you've posted here. I too could look at some of them for a long long time.

    I love lemon flavored stuff but it's definitely chocolate over lemon if I have to choose. I would rather not choose. I would rather have one of each. But then it begs the question, which do you eat first? :)

  13. Beautiful pictures! Sounds like you had so much fun! That sky, that probably isn't seen so much in Washington, really is pretty!


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