Warm beverages in hand and jammy dodgers in our pockets, Bestie and I set off. I took her through a Salish gateway, leading to the pedestrian overpass. I said it was magical; indeed, it tells the story of Moon the Transformer, who entered our world and transformed it forever, but that’s another story for another day.
Arriving at the trail, we decided to head north. Right away, Pooch found a friend, Reina. Reina was chasing after a squeaky blue ball, in and out of the frigid winter water. Bounding with energy, Pooch eventually wore her new friend out, so we continued north, into the falling snow.
Our on the spot decisions took us around the hill and eventually up the hill. Traversing our second overpass of the day, we encountered some strange art on the light posts. Here’s what we thought they might be: swordfish, gorgeous eyes with eyelash extensions, hats, hedgehogs, or ballistic turtles. You might laugh, but it was really hard to tell. It was like telling cloud stories, every perspective gives you a new angle to consider.
Once we reached the hill, we found several items of note: the longest, loneliest slide in the city, a flock of flocked flamingos, and a surprisingly large park, hugging the face of our hill. If I had to pick, it would be the slide that was my favorite, lonely as it was, missing swings and other playground staples. To be honest, I was really nervous to go down it. It was plain sheet metal, shiny and sleek. It looked like it would send you clear into the next week, if you let it. I let Bestie go first. I overcame my inhibitions, and, sliding down, it wasn’t as fast as it looked and I even went down a second time.
At the bottom, after, what we calculated to be about 6 miles thanks to the handy dandy iPhone step calculator, we decided it would be a great idea to go back up the hill. The main enticement was that there were better shops and food at the top.
Our first stop was Queen Anne Olive Company. The proprietor was incredibly knowledgeable about everything olives and vinegar. He also encouraged us to sample everything, even going so far as to provide Haagen Daz ice cream for balsamic vinegar samples. I really enjoyed learning about, that is tasting, dessert ideas, but I wound up purchasing a bottle of Thai lemongrass and mint vinegar. It would compliment my normal menus and I’d get a lot of use of it.
Now that we had slowed to a shopping pace, we realized our tummies were growling. We ate at Homegrown, warming up with cups of thick tomato soup. It was here that Homsey met us and Bestie and Pooch departed. We ducked into Blue Highway Games and, I’m sorry to report, that I was a very sore looser about the game we played, Elevenses. We played again so I could win, but it ended in a tie, which the game instructed was to be ended by a kiss on either check, which we did. But we also played a death match round with the advanced version, which I won, so we agreed that, counting all two games, it was an outright tie, 1-1. We left while we were ahead.
As we were once again at the top of the very same hill, there was nowhere to go but down. We wound our way down the western side and landed at another overpass. The best thing we saw was the real life house from Up, balloons and all. It was snuggled between two large shopping complexes. Unfortunately, the photo didn’t save, but you’d swear it was about to lift away.
Fun fact, restaurant dinners in this neighborhood don’t begin until five. We longingly looked at menus and “dinner begins at five” signs until we found a place. Sexton, a southern establishment with kitschy music and forest wallpaper, was warm and willing to feed the early birds. Our drinks were served in diamond-patterned mason jars and the menu reminded me of home. Homsey’s only complaint was that if you serve fish and chips, you need to serve proper British chips, not fries, and “fish and fries” (what he said they actually were) rolls off the tongue just as nicely.
Still thirsty, we wandered to the oldest house in the city, a new Italian restaurant, San Fermo. The bartender simultaneously shook our drinks, a citrus-forward drink with dark mysterious undertones and a peat-smoked scotch drink that tasted like Homsey’s childhood. After that last drink, made our way home on the bus and were asleep by 8.
Do you ever do so much in one day that you fall straight asleep?