Ballard Bon Voyage
In the beginning, all was simple. Calm, clear, a few friends, warm farewells, quiet plans to meet next year in France. The best martini I’ve ever had, courtesy of Dayne, the best bartender I know.
A gorgeous table,
gorgeous guests, all the necessary elements for a delightful evening.
Dayne keeps a serious working bar,
mixing his excellent potions with considerable subtlety. Treacherous subtlety, as it turns out
since two of his alluring libations went straight to the head of my little camera, which started acting mysteriously impaired.
My poor PowerShot lost its cool at the bar, where it was supposed to be documenting Dayne’s mixology,
nor did it fare much better as we adjourned to the dining room for Wendy’s delicious grilled lamb and vegetables. I swear, the food was all in focus when she served it!
The only food that would behave itself properly was the cheese course, although it too was definitely under the influence
of the several fine reds that had gone before.
As you might imagine, a riotously good time was had by all, and as we had wisely planned to sleep over with our friends, the fact that we were still at the table as the very last ferry home chugged off in the wee hours was of no concern to us, tra la.
When we arose, slightly bedraggled from staying up so late (really, it was only the lateness of the hour, honest) the abandoned dining table looked remarkably peaceful and civilized, only slightly wine-stained, scarcely the worse for wear.
We went out into a sunny Ballard morning, and fell into the arms and charms of
the local cupcake factory,
and the lush gardens of the Locks.
I’m always enchanted by the beautiful classic style of the Ballard Locks,
where visitors come from all over the world to watch
the boats passing from Lake Washington into Puget Sound, a journey from sweet to salt, waterwise.
But it’s not all about the boats, for the surrounding gardens are a magical place, with room for a puppy to pirouette,
and for families to frolic al fresco.
Happily for us, it’s also practically next door to one of our favorites, the Ray’s Boathouse Cafe, which thoughtfully provided us with this succulent smoked seafood salad lunch
and a wedding to peek in on, giving us a glimpse of the happiness and hope borne of a white dress on a blue-sky day in beautiful Ballard.
It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to Ballard, to our friends, to the Locks, but in two weeks, we’ll manage somehow.
We’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, we’re still up in the air.