Ballard Bon Voyage

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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.

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A gorgeous table,

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gorgeous guests, all the necessary elements for a delightful evening.

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Dayne keeps a serious working bar,

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mixing his excellent potions with considerable subtlety.  Treacherous subtlety, as it turns out

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since two of his alluring libations went straight to the head of my little camera, which started acting mysteriously impaired.

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My poor PowerShot lost its cool at the bar, where it was supposed to be documenting Dayne’s mixology,

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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!

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The only food that would behave itself properly was the cheese course, although it too was definitely under the influence

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of the several fine reds that had gone before.

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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.

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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

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the local cupcake factory,

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and the lush gardens of the Locks.

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I’m always enchanted by the beautiful classic style of the Ballard Locks,

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where visitors come from all over the world to watch

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the boats passing from Lake Washington into Puget Sound, a journey from sweet to salt, waterwise.

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But it’s not all about the boats, for the surrounding gardens are a magical place, with room for a puppy to pirouette,

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and for families to frolic al fresco.

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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

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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.

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We’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.  For now, we’re still up in the air.

Explore posts in the same categories: French Letters Visits America

8 Comments on “Ballard Bon Voyage”

  1. Sue Geisler Says:

    you’re making me homesick – I was born and grew up in Seattle and passed through the locks many times – It was always an adventure to tie up and watch the water fall or rise as we made the transition from sweet to salt and back again. A vacation in the San Juans was so wonderful.

    Seems so long ago – glad you refreshed my senses!

    Bon Voyage – them kittties are waitin’.

  2. Barbara Jacquin Says:

    We’ll be waiting for you! Enjoy the rest of your time there.

  3. Wendy Says:

    It was a pleasure having you over, the summer has gone by too fast! We’ll miss you!

  4. Wendy Says:

    It was a pleasure having you over, the summer has gone by too fast! We’ll miss you!
    P.S.: Forgot to mention good post!

  5. Rocky Says:

    I’m sorry I missed you! Fair travels and hopefully a return soon.

  6. Debra Says:

    Ah, my old stomping grounds. I lived there for 7 years. Looking forward to celebrating this weekend and breaking bread with you (low carb that it may be) before you are off to France again!

  7. Why leave Ballard? Sure, France is beautiful, but the Seattle waterfront is….nearly as nice?

  8. cleaver Says:

    great pictures. love ray’s boathouse photos, food and drink in seattle

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