I turned 36 yesterday, and even though I unmercifully mocked Ian for wanting at least a small get-together with his friends when he turned 34 last month (we actually attended a fabulous wedding on the day) I did, after all, really appreciate all the sweet birthday wishes I received, and, I'm embarrassed to admit, I called out those friends who forgot, or even only appeared to forget. Which kind of makes me cringe right now, because you'd think 36 would be mature enough to act like it.
Anyway, I did have a great weekend. Ian and I took Mom and Marsh to Tacoma for a mini-break.
Now that you've stopped either laughing or waiting, in disbelief, for me to go on and tell you where we really went, I will. We went to Tacoma for the weekend. It was fantastic. The purpose of the trip was primarily to thank Mom and Marsh, and mostly Marsh (because Mom was off gallivanting around Europe for a couple weeks), for watching our dogs all summer while I was either in the hospital or convalescing too much to really want to deal with an exuberant puppy. They refused to let us pay them, and in fact didn't even let us pay for food, or the kennel that was eventually deemed necessary to keep Hoover home. In fact, if you need dogsitting, they're AWESOME.
Anyway, two nights in a nice hotel was way cheaper than weeks of the Barking Lounge (where Hoover likes to hang out for short stays, including this last weekend; Spackle is mature and relatively predictable so we're willing to pawn him off on friends who we believe will still be friends after the experience), so it was a pleasure to be able to give those nights to Mom and Marsh.
We all met up Friday evening (Ian and I, very cleverly we thought, took 509 all the way down and around Dash Point instead of getting on the parking lot of I-5 on a Friday at rush hour—the route was only a little more distance, and much more interesting) and had dinner at Katie Downs on the waterfront at Ruston Way. We had a nightcap in our hotel bar—the Hotel Murano, naturally—afterwards.
Saturday morning we spent some time in the hot shop at the Museum of Glass—Mom and I were both agitated the whole time, because it's really hot down there and anything could happen. Someone kept spraying water from a squirt bottle on people and things, and various bits of damp newspaper that they were using to shape cylinders of glass kept drying out and sparking or even catching fire. In their bare hands. We ate lunch at the museum, had a stroll around the old downtown (including a stop to look at fabulous colored stones at 67-year-old Le Roy Jewelers—that is, Mom and I stopped to look at stones—the boys went to start their naps early), naps, wine hour at the hotel, and a fabulous birthday dinner for both Ian and me, treated by Mom, at the Pacific Grill.
Sunday, my actual birthday, after we checked out, we went on a bit of a driving tour with the destination of Point Defiance Park. We stopped by Stadium High School (set for the movie, which I love, 10 Things I Hate About You) on the way, then made it down to the water at Point Defiance, and then saw the ferry that runs from there to Vashon. Ian and I had a eureka moment—we would go home via ferries and Vashon! We ate a somewhat early lunch at the Antique Sandwich Company—reubens all around—took Mom and Marsh back to their car at the hotel, and parted ways.
We had a bit of time to wait before the ferry, so Ian and I went back to Point Defiance Park and spent some time looking at an amazing duck pond. We recognized at least four different species of duck-like bird (including, of course, the ubiquitous mallards), and a couple different species of sea gull (yes, yes, I know there is no particular bird that is officially called the sea gull). In fact, I was interested enough in all the birds—those who know me well will agree that this was a surprise—that I wanted an information board telling me what the different species were. Alas, there wasn't one, and as Ian said "this was maybe the only time in your life that the universe had a chance of educating you about birds, and it missed out." This is probably true.
We enjoyed our ferry ride from Point Defiance to Tahlequah, stopped once in the middle of the island for a snack of Cheese Mix crackers and chips and hickory almonds, caught a ferry to Fauntleroy, picked up Hoover, and were back home around 5pm. When L&S dropped off Spackle, they invited us to join them for an early dinner at the Palace Kitchen—normally something I would totally go for. But we'd had a really great meal only the night before, and I was in the mood for something simpler. So we went to the Wing Dome instead, where I had a pint of Manny's and 10 (well, 9 because Ian had one) Four-Alarm classic wings with blue cheese and two pieces of celery to round it out. We then took the dogs to Woodland Park to run around in the dark (not the zoo part of the park), then came home and had chocolate rootbeer floats and watched the new Get Smart.
In all, a really really great weekend.
Oh yes—Mom wanted me to say that she really enjoyed the art gallery part of the hotel—each floor features a different glass artist, with a piece of work, plus several pictures of the artist in the hot shop creating.