I was born in one city, raised in three more, educated in at least three, and upon my college years, arrived in Seattle for a sweet 15 years of college, friends, jobs, and overall I would say some of the best years of my life. For my 40th birthday, my Mom, sister, and sisters-in-law flew me out to Seattle to celebrate with a "Girls' Weekend", and what it was was one of the most wonderful weekends I've ever had.
To say it was "touching" would be an understatement. It was full of surprises, and just to see how many people love me that much -- to make a weekend of fun for me, feeding me at all my favorite restaurants, and following me all over as I drove and stopped and drove and stopped to see something else -- it was just plain perfect.
The BIG surprise was was that my friend Deb McCormick from high school, and my friend Teri from my old Seattle Times days (she now lives in Utah), flew in to join us girls for the weekend. My sister-in-law Stephanie said when I saw them and shrieked, that she'd honestly never seen me so shocked and surprised in my life. While I'm not unflappable, I'm also pretty gullible -- like when someone tells me it's just us family girls for the weekend -- I actually believed my lying sister!
After the screaming, crying, hugging and laughing at the Starbucks near the hotel -- a clamor that made the hotel security guy from the Grand Hyatt come over to "make sure everything was ok" -- we headed down to the Pike Place Market a few blocks away. From Left to Right is my posse: Stephanie, Jill, Mom, Teri, Judy & Debbie)
It's Springtime in Seattle, which translates into rain & tulips! The market was GORGEOUS with so many flower vendors, it looked like they had completely taken over. I took in the sights & sounds, the smells and the odd feeling of being a tourist in my own home town. I'd have that feeling a lot this weekend!
Then it was time to go to lunch at my FAVORITE RESTAURANT EVER: THAI HEAVEN. My three best friends from my years at the University of Washington came to meet Teri, Deb & I for lunch. It amazes me how neat it is to hook up with old friends -- you know them so well -- and yet our lives keep moving forward and we spend a nice long leisurely lunch catching up. That, and the Paradise Chicken, it's by far the best way one could spend an afternoon. From Left to Right -- Shan Pie, Jules Pie, Jess Pie, and Kim Pie. Yes, that's an old college thing. We still haven't dropped it.
A little time hanging out downtown, and it was time to head to dinner! We made reservations at Arnies on Northshore. Or at least we thought we did! The downside of being gone so long is you don't realize your favorite restaurant may have closed! Arnies, just above Gasworks Park in Seattle, is no more. But my sister did, by mistake, make reservations at the Arnies up in Edmonds.
Well, of course that wouldn't do. We came to the city, not to eat in the 'burbs. Not tonight anyway. My other choice (and I'll never call it my second) was to call Salty's on Alki Beach in West Seattle. Thankfully, the kind folks at Salty's had room for us. This photo is one of the views of downtown from Salty's. Stunning, perfect, and one that kept drawing comments all night as we cornered a perfect table with a view of the water, my beloved Space Needle, and ferries coming and going.
The seven of us first had appetizers and drinks in the bar, then we moved to our lovely table, where I ordered Alaskan King crab for dinner. A full pound of crab -- and it was only TWO pieces (check out my plate!). The legs were so big, I swore they killed THE King Crab, not just "A King Crab." Now, there's good eatin'
It took a million tries, and I know this isn't the best photo ever, but I took my new camera out onto Salty's deck, in the wind and rain with no tripod, somewhere between dinner and dessert to get this photo. I took a lot, and I'm still not through them all, but this gives you an idea of the view.
The next morning, after saying goodbye to Teri & Deb, the family headed up to Anthony's Homeport on Shilshole Bay in Ballard for brunch! My little brother Jeremy (pictured here) took the train all the way down from Bellingham to have breakfast with us, my brother-in-law John brought my nephews John M. & Erik, and my niece Miriam up from Gig Harbor, AND
My in-laws (Bev & Armin) came down from Mount Vernon to have brunch with all of us too! In all, 12 of us at a classic P-M get-together with lots of talking, eating and laughing. Someone at a table near us said how we were "obviously a very happy family". Amen to that!
The rest of the afternoon I spent with my sister, her family, and Jeremy & Stephanie, as we wandered through some bad art downtown, over to The Seattle Center for lunch, and one last peek through the trees at my beloved Space Needle.
Thanks guys. I've never felt so special, and enjoyed so much time with so many beloved friends and family. I love you all.