Three Perfect Days

Thursday was a perfect day of relaxing. We spent it at Blue and Louise’s place in Kirkland, joined by Howie and LeAnne who flew in from Boston for the festivities. The house is on the shore of Lake Washington, with its own little dock and boat, and is two blocks away from Juanita Park, which has turtles and herons and hundreds of ducks. Nobody could tell us who Juanita was. She figures in many roads and business names, though. We walked around in the park, and then walked around in downtown Kirkland after having Thai street food at Isarn, a popular local spot. I don’t know how Thai street people afford those prices. Maybe Blue pays for them, too. The promised crowds didn’t really materialize, though — everyone was at Burning Man.

Friday was a perfect day of working. Ray drove to see a friend recovering from a stroke, and most of the others went to the new Chihuly glass museum by the Space Needle. So I was able to use Blue’s nice fast Internet to fix several bugs, and even to update the source code. Louise fixed delicious salmon with a sauce invented by Dean, and a fruit tart.

Saturday was a perfect day of celebrating. We picked up Kent at the train station, our friend David met us there, and we had dim sum nearby. Harbor City Restaurant is OK but they don’t offer their good stuff to foreigners. Next time we go there we will be more aggressive about ordering. We drove to the wedding venue, and strolled around the south end of Lake Union. We passed a group of formally dressed guys in kilts posing for pictures, who turned out later to be the groom party for the wedding we came up to see. We checked out the Historic Boats and the Wooden Boats; one of the historic boats was the 1904 lighthouse boat Swiftsure, with two beacons helping sailors find their way several decades ago. It is currently undergoing restoration: you can buy a bolt or a plank to help and they will put your name on it, at least conceptually.

Then it was time for the wedding, which took place in a church/coffee house. The church was not particularly denominational; there were no crosses or anything. The wedding was very religious, but mostly the “God loves you” variety instead of the “you must love God and hate all these other guys or else”. Katie and Andrew met in Scotland, where Katie was attending seminary school, and was some kind of Christian camp counselor to Andrew. They waited a respectable number of years before having a public relationship. Andrew is probably one of the most bubbly enthusiastic people I’ve ever met — the whole wedding was about fun and games, which I hope their marriage turns out to be, all.

It turns out that all the dances that Baby Boomers did in 4th grade P.E., when it was raining, were Scottish wedding dances, and we all should have paid attention.

Sunday began a brutal and imperfect day of traveling. We dropped off Kent, and whiled away a couple of hours at the Chihuly museum, and visiting our friend and erstwhile neighbor Callum. At 4:30 PM we began a 7-hour flight to Reykjavik, with a 1-hour layover; then a 3-hour flight to Gatwick with a 6-hour layover. The first two segments were on Icelandic, a quite decent airline compared to easyJet, which provided the 2-hour segment to Venice. We got up at 7:30am on Sunday, and it is now 1am on Tuesday.

After hauling our luggage across Venice because we were too proud to spend 7 euros each on a vaporetto and we couldn’t buy the five-year passes in the middle of the night, it was thrilling to say to the lady where we are staying that we will be here for six nights. A week of no airplanes or cars, only boats and lots of walking.

Aside from some napping on the plane, we have been up for 32 hours. So I will conclude this post and get some sleep.