Finally. Sweet, glorious summer. REAL summer.
Excuse my 5th generation Seattle bias, but when the sun shines here, there's nowhere on Earth more beautiful. I snapped this picture with my phone killing time before my pedicure yesterday. One of those blissfully indulgent Saturdays where that was the only thing on my to-do list. Rough life, right?
And look at that view. This is the marina at Carillon Point in Kirkland, WA, just about a 10 minute drive from my house. It was a postcard-perfect day...and while it's hard to see in the picture, you can barely see the outline of the Olympic Mountains along the horizon toward the right. If it was a little less hazy they would have been out and proud, sprinkled in snow. That's Lake Washington, looking west toward Seattle. All glisten-y.
My pedicure was not until 4pm so I had about an hour to walk around and drink in the sun and the view. Carillon Point is a wonderful collection of shops and restaurants along the marina, and there's a very nice hotel and spa too. I grabbed an iced coffee at the Starbucks and just let myself mentally unwind. And remember.
This place is so deeply steeped in memories. How many hairstyles did I go through over the 10 years the hair salon was here? I remember my brother and sister-in-law's rehearsal dinner in 1997, in a gorgeous room with a view just like that picture. And I was chosen to participate in a Neiman Marcus focus group here a few years ago - a bunch of us met in a conference room in one of the office buildings.
I walked out onto the dock as far as I could, looking out over the water, feeling the warm breeze wash over me. Huge boats. This is where I had a first kiss with my then-boyfriend in 2000. Wow...ten years ago! I thought back on all of that, my mind floating, then suddenly heard a large whooping and cheering back on the marina steps. What was it? Oh, there was a wedding going on too - this place is hugely popular for that!
Later I strolled back to the marina steps and watched kayackers paddling along. For all gorgeous the weather was, the lake was pretty choppy. I giggled to myself, remembering probably one of the most original first dates I've ever been on. This was around 2005ish I think. I met D online and after some emailing and talking on the phone he asked me to dinner. But no meeting at the restaurant for us, oh no no no...we met at a boat launch ramp where he was waiting with two kayaks. Yep, we kayaked to Carillon Point, tied up along the dock right near the Beach Cafe and had dinner! Oh, and paddled back too, with a gorgeous sunset behind the mountains as backdrop. It was kind of fun making an entrance to the restaurant via the water. Looking back on it, was I crazy? I mean, a first date...on the water? If I'd been the least bit worried he could have been psycho, meaning that I could have ended up at the bottom of the lake, I wouldn't have agreed to it of course. My gut was right - and he and I did go on a few more dates after that. Nice guy, but the chemistry wasn't quite clicking for us. But I gotta hand it to him for being a perfect gentleman and very funny. And creative!
So I headed into the spa, dizzy with memories and sunshine. This was my second pedicure with S in about two months and I think I will stick with her. That's pretty huge in my book because I probably get pedicures two or three times a year at the most. Not really a priority for me, or I just do my toes myself. But S is amazing. She is absolutely meticulous with her work and it shows. No complaints here. A 90 minute pedicure? Ahhh. Who knew there was topcoat with UV protection in it?
S has a whimsical sense of humor - she just cracks me up. And we can talk hockey too - she's from Vancouver originally (go Canucks!). Too funny how I sit here trying to remember some things we talked and laughed about. My mind is blank, but trust me, we were giggling the entire time.
Oh wait, I do remember one thing. We were talking about travel and I remembered oh yeah, I've got to get my passport renewed. She said oh yes, you better get right on that! Why? She is convinced I'm going to fall in love with and marry a handsome, Swedish billionaire. Named Sven. And a girl's gotta have a passport ready for those spur of the moment trips!
Ummm, I'm OK with this. Really and truly.