The Neighborhood that Sings to Me

The weekend couldn't come fast enough.  Even a leisurely and what would be a normally relaxing Friday night dragged on and ON.  Restless. I couldn't find any good reruns on TV or even any good hockey as it was the break for the All Star Game.  A co-worker gave me an old DVD that she'd received from another co-worker (one of those long story/inside joke things that would take too long to explain)...10 Things I Hate About You.  And I'd thought I'd kill time watching it Friday night but I didn't. Nope - didn't have it in me to plop in a movie.  I'm a little weird in that I'm movie challenged.  That's fodder for another post perhaps.

All I could think about was spending the next two days with G.

So after a giddy night's sleep and some blissful sleeping in, he picked me up and we were on our way.  Some things we'd planned and some (well, most) other things were up in the air by design.  This is my idea of wonderful - have a couple ideas planned but be ready to improvise.  And so we did.

First, a surprise.  I got a Valentines Day gift - a pair of gorgeous, red high-heeled pumps that fit like a dream.  And HUH???  A Valentines Day gift - in late January?  Trust me, people, Valentines Day to me is usually totally meh.  So the fact I got this wonderful gift from a wonderful guy a couple weeks ahead of time is pretty dang amazing.  [He's going to be out of the country on the actual day turns out].

We headed out to Discovery Park in Seattle.  Good Lord I cannot explain how near and dear this Park and the surrounding Magnolia neighborhood is to me.  A quiet, delicious neighborhood tucked a few miles outside of Seattle proper.  Glorious in its beauty; pain in the ass for commutes.  And this time of year the weather is grey and rainy.  But when you live in the Great Northwest you don't let the unpredictable weather stop you from having fun.  We could have easily just slacked around and watched movies in our jammies all day, but we headed straight into the rain decked out in polar fleece, windbreakers, hats and all.

I'm sure I talked a blue streak the whole time and G was a good sport and great listener as I reminisced.  For this neighborhood does, literally, Sing. To. Me.  The happy vibes are so strong it's indescribable.  I lived in a crappy apartment a short walk from the ship canal and Ballard Locks back around 1992 to 1997, so when I wax nostalgic about my time in this neighborhood I have to check myself, realizing I'm blabbing about stuff from nearly 20 years ago.  I'm too young to sound old...right?  Hopefully G can both appreciate it and laugh along with my quirks here with random-ass storytelling. My gut tells me he does.

My apartment back then was a 1 bedroom 1 bath with no dishwasher or washer/dryer.  Laundry meant a short drive to the do it yourself carwash to plop a few dollars in the change machine to get quarters and dash back home with the hope to snag one of the community washing machines down the hall.  No dishwasher?  Well, when you live by yourself doing the dishes by hand can be a somewhat soothing (although warped-sounding) chore.  Kind of like ironing.  It sure saved on the power bill, even though it wasn't super convenient.

The view from that apartment more than made up for lack of amenities.  Sure, the (huge) deck faced north so it was a challenge doing shade-style container gardening, but I had a kickass view of the Ballard Locks to the north and mountain ranges both to the east and west.  Total bliss.  And I took the bus into work by walking through the Locks every morning across the ship canal to catch the bus downtown on the Ballard side.  These things may seem simplistic but the memories run deep.  Not to mention my Mom grew up in this neighborhood too - well, pretty close by - so the family roots run deep too.

Just so much to remember.  My heart is full.

And so many more new memories to come. Fast forward back to 2011 here...G and I heading out on an entirely unpopular Saturday.  Rain. Grey. Fog.  Felt like being in an outdoor black and white TV set it was so grey. The Park visitor parking lot was virtually empty.  And as we trooped through woodsy, muddy trails and later through open meadows sometimes it seemed we had the entire place to ourselves.  How wonderful to steal a few moments for incredible, passionate kisses.  Hugs. In rain when it didn't seem rainy. Talking...words...sharing...things as we get legs under our burgeoning relationship (I'm stealing 'burgeoning' from G as it's spot-on)...knowing we don't know what's to become but mutually knowing THIS is something special.  And precious.

I've been to Discovery Park several times, but it felt new all over again being there with him and experiencing it in the rain...and the tide so high the waves were butting up against the rocks along the landmark lighthouse.  Slippery logs on the beach soaked in rain...with his strong arm and hand to guide me up and over the tough spots.  Watching the white caps, ducks, geese and even a seal make their way over the grey salt water...

We later headed over to In the Red, a wine bar on Phinney Ridge for some vino and puff pastry with brie while we dried out from all that rain.  So cozy.  And as we lingered over our glasses of red and white (him red, me white) we talked about what we wanted to do for dinner and all. 

Do we head back to my place, clean up and head back into the city for dinner?  Or just go a tad soggy and uber casual somewhere?  We opted for the former.  And let me just say it here that I was blown away when days before all of this he'd suggested us going for a walk and then downtown to Nordstrom to get the shoes he wanted to buy for me.  And then, thinking outloud, changed his mind saying that while that sounds fun but wouldn't it be even better to go shopping downtown when we're a little more cleaned up and not so muddy/rainy from an outdoor walk?  HELLO. I could have said these exact same words myself; that was precisely what I was thinking too. Hmmm. 

Couple showers and clothes changes later and we were back in Seattle again - Quinn's Pub had an expected long wait so we went with Capitol Hill Plan B...Via Tribunali - a fabulous authentic Neopolitan pizzeria...a former car bodyshop transformed.  Bring on the vodka martinis, munchies and a couple of fabulous pizzas.  Fun camera shots with the phones...Facebook...gotta love it.

And boy did we savor the food. 

So while our shopping trip post-dinner in Capitol Hill was deferred given the later hours, we'll definitely be back.

Umm...after a stop at Hector's back on the Eastside and one mind-blowing evening later it was time for brunch chez moi.  Coffee.  And more sexy lingering over the Sunday paper.  One of those magical timeframes where the concept of time has no fucking place in your bubble of goodness.

I made us coffee, scrambled eggs, bacon...and waffles from scratch. I was a teensy tad nervous about the waffle recipe for the one I've used for years suddenly disappeared out of my recipe box and I was frantically searching online for one that seemed decent.  Plus I hadn't busted out my Belgian waffler in a year or so, so I prayed all would work out well.  I figured Williams Sonoma online was a good place to search for a recipe.  G and I are not Bisquick people if we can help it.  

OH and yeah...as I came up for air...hockey Sunday too. 

Don't get me wrong - I love my hockey, but this dizzy, lusty weekend trumped any ice time. *blushing*

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