A couple of weeks ago, I packed my bags and headed out of the desert. Towards water and green and family, I headed home. It was just exactly what I needed.
My beautiful mama picked me up from the airport and drove me the three hours to my tiny hometown on the beach. It was two days of sleeping in, reading, watching movies, sitting on the deck, playing with my mom's dogs and talking about life.
Even though I hated growing up in a town that still has almost no cell reception and is only two miles long, there is no other place in the world I can feel as still or as peaceful. I hope everyone has a place like that, a place they can breathe.
Duey, my buddy.
My mom's dog Rusty was once called "a scholar and a gentleman" and the proudest part of his day is when he gets to bring in the paper each evening.
At my mom's house, we sit on the deck, drink (although I stuck to sparkling cider for almost a week after my birthday), eat cheese and crackers, look out at the bay, talk politics and laugh for days. The motto out there on the deck is just what the napkin says - "Why limit happy to an hour?"
After my perfect few days at the beach, my mom and I drove to Seattle where I was reunited with my sister and two of the great loves of my life, my nephews.
Max is almost six and Jude will proudly tell you, "I two half."
The first night I was in my old city (Westport, WA is where I was born, but Seattle is my soul), my sister, brother-in-law, my brother-in-law's brother and his wife all went to a beach themed auction for Max's school. This is a photo from the auction.
These four people are some of my very best friends in the world. Don't they look fun?
That night, my sister Debby came and hung out with my mom, the boys and me. Poor Max was recovering from the stomach flu, but rallied a little watching James and the Giant Peach. As for Jude, well, that little two year old is in love with his Auntie. Plain and simple.
As he was sitting on my lap watching the movie, he would look up and say, "Attie, I happy." I would tell him that I was happy, too, and give him a hug. Then a few more minutes would go by and he would say, "Attie, I love you." He melts my heart. I even taught him to say, "I'm Attie's boy."
Yeah, it's a little love affair between a toddler and his Auntie.
The next day I enjoyed a gorgeous spring Seattle day.
That evening, the ladies in the family - minus my mom who had to go back home - went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant in Seattle, 611 Supreme. Drinks, crepes, laughs.
Pre-dinner photos on the lake
Monica and me
Whenever I eat at 611 Supreme, and keep in mind that I've been going fairly regularly for ten years, I eat the same thing. Le Jardin (sauteed mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and gruyere cheese) - add the smoked salmon. It's just so good. On this visit, however, I tried a new appetizer. And then I had it again for desert. (Which may or may not explain why I need to get back on the gym wagon as soon as possible.)
Le Amandine (almond butter, gruyere - my favorite - cheese and toasted almonds). So odd and so wonderful.
The next day was all about family. More children. More love. Blue eggs (and ham).
Then my Danny came over and filled me in on his recent trip to New York and gave me a (very) detailed account of the Sex and the City tour. Love it... and him.
Overall, it was an amazing trip home. Westport. The beach. Sunsets. Mama. Good food. Great conversation. Seattle. Ceviche. Friends. Rock band. My sisters. My nephews. My family. My heart. Home.