It’s been an age and a half since I saw the Olympic mountains for more than a minute in the car, pushed even further by a dark, grey fall. But today was very cold and very clear and even if I wasn’t needing a chance to stretch my legs and listen to myself think after our trip home from PA last night, the mountains were calling. 🙂 So when the kids went down for their nap, I walked for a bit in the neighborhoods above our old apartment before heading to the grocery store.

The Olympics were out, and perfect. Lake Washington was glassy-still except for the occasional boat. The barges off to the left are for the 520 bridge construction.

The Brothers:

Seattle and a blue, blue sky.

I walked back to my car along the converted rail trail. It has deep gullies on either side, and they were full of iced-over moss. It was very pretty.

One last panorama.

If anything, the Cascades on the way home were even prettier, and deep with snow.

Wedding Dress (by which I mean mountains!)

I finally made my appointment at Blue Sky Bridal to consign my wedding dress (a mere 14 months after originally intending to do so). They seem great and cheerful and professional (and such a pretty location!) and said nice things about my dress: that it was “everything people want in a gown” with the ivory color, lace, button detail up the back, size, and unchanged length. I enjoyed hearing them rave about it. I couldn’t agree with them more. 🙂 They’ll list it for half of what I paid (rounded up to the nearest hundred) until July (apparently their busy season is in the Spring so the timing was ideal), and if it sells, I get half that. They said they sell about 70% of their gowns, and since we’re entering the busy season and it’s a great dress, they have high hopes. Fingers crossed! The weather was cold and a bit hazy, but both the Cascades and Olympics were out in fine form. I took the long route to 520 through Kirkland so that I could gawk at the Olympics.

A few hours later after the appointment, here are the Cascades from the top of Phinney Ridge.

And on the opposite side of the main drag, a few blocks down, here are the Olympics in the winter twilight, looking down over Ballard – sensationally lovely.

These houses all stand sentinel way up on their hill facing that view, and zillow thinks they’re all roughly the same value as our house.

That stopped me in my tracks for a moment – I’m nothing if not enamored with sunset mountain views over the water. (And old, character-filled craftsman things, to boot!!) From a reality-based perspective, the commute would be utterly horrendous (twice every day! across the soon-to-be-tolled 520 bridge.) and we’d never trade our neighborhood. Perhaps we’ll just swing back by for coffee in three months, as an excuse to gape at the view again.

Holiday Weekend

We decided to make the most of our three day weekend by taking a trip into Seattle to explore a new-to-us neighbourhood. We chose Madison Park because it had a beach in close proximity to restaurants. Between the holiday and the gorgeous weather (80s and sunny), we weren’t the only ones with that idea. (This picture looks like it was merely sort of busy, but there were hundreds and hundreds of people, both in the water and with spots staked out on the grass.)

We still managed to get a table with a great view for lunch. I checked out the fabric store next door while Kevin paid the bill – quite the hodge-podge, with bolts stacked everywhere and a very chatty owner who kept bringing over fabrics and offering baby advice. A bit overwhelming. It was a relief when Kevin appeared a few minutes later and I could make a fast exit. We walked around the neighbourhood and checked out real estate – quite the pricy little places, but loads of character so it made for a fun walk. Then we stopped by the beach to enjoy the view and so that I could put my feet in the water. So cold and wonderful.

(34 weeks pregnant – getting closer, but it feels like I’ve completely run out of space in the last week or so. I’m a bit anxious about where six more weeks of baby growth will go.) We stopped for ice cream before heading back home – delicious.

Then on Saturday, Larry had us over to his place up on the hill in Kirkland for fireworks. It was the perfect spot – a clear view of the Lake Union fireworks across the lake, plus most of the Medina and Kirkland shows, and a great panoramic view of the lake. I love watching the boat traffic (esp when everyone’s zooming home in the dark), and it’s fun to see everyone setting off their own private fireworks. Some of the Evergreen Point and Hunts Point ones were particularly spectacular. Plus, no problems with parking and Larry had brownie sundaes, so all around a wonderful evening even though we were too busy gabbing to get good sunset photos before the colors all faded to muted.

Sunset at Larry’s

Larry seemed to feel that his wine collection was taking over and it was time for a group dinner, so he invited us over for baked ziti, fondue, and a sunset. Shawn, Sanna and William came too. The view (Olympic mountains, seen over Lake Washington and Seattle) was great. Hazy around 8 pm, then misty with great mountain differentiation –- usually the Olympics look like a solid block, but every now and then you can see which mountains are close and which are more distant.

The clouds made for a great orange sunset – peaceful and spectacular.

Kevin and I have made a pledge to intrude on Larry more often. I miss seeing the Olympics and the lake (one of very few downsides of our current house).

ps. We spent a while driving through our old neighbourhood. Building has not slowed down a bit. There’s a new three story condo development on our old block, two entirely new monster houses in place of the old 800-sq-ft postwar variety, and five or so finished (and sold, moved in) houses where there were construction sites back in November. Crazy.