Weddings and Vacations

Not to jinx ourselves, but our vacations often turn out better than we plan them. It didn’t look that way at first, when we had our flight cancelled and had to stand in line for an hour and a half to figure out a different flight. But United pulled through, put us on standby, and we got onto a flight just a couple of hours after the original one. After that, it was smooth sailing.
We flew into Seattle, picked up our rental van, and drove to Spokane. We stopped at Issaquah first to get some food at Trader Joe’s and Chipotle. That drive is really something, starting off in the Cascade Mountains, driving through the arid desert of central WA, and finally into the Spokane valley. We only stayed for a total of about 16 hours in Spokane, but it had been about seven years since we’d been there, so it was nice to see. Oliver, the cat we got as a kitten when we first got married, still lives with my dad and has grown into an enormous tank. I joked that it wasn’t Oliver, but the cat who ate Oliver.
We drove down to Walla Walla the next day, past the rolling hills of wheat and other grains that characterize eastern Washington. It’s really lovely. Very pastoral.  We met mom at Clara’s Cottage, the gorgeous, three-bedroom Victorian home that we rented for the three days we were there.

We found it through, and it was absolutely awesome. The couple who owns it have a really neat story, and you could tell they put a lot of heart and thought into the place. They literally thought of everything we could need, from a highchair, to stain treater, to scotch tape. It was also just a block from Pioneer Park, which boasted a humongous play structure, beautiful walking paths, and an aviary complete with a fanned-out peacock. We loved it—if you ever travel to Walla Walla, that’s the place to stay. Splitting it between us, my mom, and my dad ended up cheaper than a hotel, too.

The wedding was very sweet. And short. Bahá’í weddings are nice that way. J An old family friend officiated the ceremony, which consisted of a prayer, a reading, a poem, and the vow/ring exchange. Good thing it was short, because it was outdoors and it was quite warm and sunny. Deva’s dad owns a really good restaurant, and he provided the food. Yum yum yum. In lieu of a traditional cake, they served these cute little desserts from a local patisserie. Deva, who is always gorgeous, looked like she had stepped straight out of a classic romance, and Terran was dashing (and so grown up!) in his tux. I sometimes forget he’s a full-on adult.

They looked so happy, and it was fun to reminisce about those early months of marriage when all you see and think about is each other. This stage of marriage (the sleepless dirty-diaper phase, LOL) is good, too—it’s just different. It’s comfortable and cozy and secure instead of gushy and flittery and all-consuming. I don’t wish for those early days back, but it was fun to relive them for a moment.

The day after the wedding we said our goodbyes to the rest of the family and drove to Seattle with Mom. We rented a 2-bedroom condo in Belltown, and were determined to spend two days as if we lived there. The condo was nice, but it almost seemed as if they weren’t totally prepared for us. There weren’t many towels, some basic kitchen stuff was missing, that kind of thing. But after the first night, the lack of air conditioning or fans prompted a call to the owners. We can’t sleep well unless it’s a bit chilly, and it was warm and muggy up there on the 6th floor. The ad had said the unit had air conditioning, so I called to ask about it. The owner actually stopped by and asked if we would like to be upgraded to a larger unit down the hall, 2-beds and 2 baths, with a panoramic view of Puget Sound from every room. Uh…yes we would, thank you very much!
So the next two nights were spent in the rockin’ awesome condo, with many many minutes spent staring out the window at the ferries floating across the sound. We walked five blocks to Pike Place Market, bought a fresh Copper River salmon and some veggies, and cooked it right there in the condo. We have always dreamed of doing that, so it was a big “bucket list” moment. The Mariners were playing on TV that night, and I thought Havarti might just die in ecstasy, shifting his gaze back and forth from his favorite team and sport to the fantastic view of his favorite place. Truly an awesome site to behold.

The first morning in Seattle, we stopped at the Starbucks a block from the condo. It’s actually the same Starbucks that’s on one of their gift cards—very pretty. And I got interviewed by King 5 news about the new Starbucks recycling program! So that night, we got to see me for a few seconds on the news. That was exciting.
We went and visited the Ballard Locks and fish ladder, which was pretty cool. Puget Sound and Lake Washington are at different elevations, so boats going from one to the other have to be raised or lowered. Pretty spiffy. And the fish ladder helps the salmon do the same thing, only they have a lot more work to do. There weren’t a ton of fish climbing when we were there, but we got to see a few jump up a step or two. There’s also a botanic garden there, which gave me another opportunity to see what the camera can do.

And here’s a random squirrel picture, because what kind of a vacation would it be without a random squirrel picture? Actually, this squirrel was a bit of a spotlight hog. He kept getting closer and closer and closer as we were taking his picture. No fear at all.

So, good times all around. Other than the jet lag, which takes a ridiculous amount of time to overcome coming east from the coast, it was a great vacation.

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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