Thursday, November 15, 2007

This post brought to you in part by...


In recent years my mom's childhood friend has invited us to stay in her parents' beautiful beachfront house on Maury Island, west of Seattle. Her father made his fortune designing and manufacturing doughnut machines, and one of my mom's first jobs was working his doughnut booth at the Seattle World's Fair.

So thank you to Mary for the hospitality and the fridgeful of delicious food, thank you to Mary's parents for letting us stay in their house, and thank you to America for trading your dough for doughnuts. Y'all got happy tastebuds, and we got a lovely vacation. Everybody wins!

Here is the view from the deck of the beachhouse.

Here is the view from one of my bedroom windows.

And here's the view from my other bedroom window.

Are you jealous yet?

Here is the spider who hung out on the deck the whole time we were there. I called him Irving. He looks less creepy when you call him Irving.

The inhabitants of Maury Island (and its sister island, Vashon) have their own angle on life and sense of humor. The island's mom and pop thrift shop won't take unwanted exercise machines and the mainland is only accessible by ferry, so the residents have started a waterfront gym with their castoff hamster wheels, for any crazies who would rather run in place than explore the beautiful island.

The first night I stayed in Bellevue with my wonderful cousin Jen. We went to a funky Seattle costume shop in search of her Halloween getup.

Satan needs a hug!

Murderous warthogs make fun pets.

Does your boyfriend have a weird thing for Hermione Granger? Then here's the costume for you-ewwwww. (On second thought, just dump him -- he sounds like a sicko.)

Sign o' the times, I'm tellin' ya. Sign o' the times.

Formal accessories: for that final touch of upper class sleaze.

Wynne's blog had a link to a page where you can buy these neat haunted portraits. It was fun to see one for myself. (They seem to be super good holograms.)

And on the way home: the spooky Fremont Troll, lurking beneath an overpass.

We spent an afternoon at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, and got to watch the Venetian artist Lino Tagliapietra work his magic in fire and ice.

Is he really the "greatest living glass blower," as billed? I don't know, but he was fascinating all the same.

And with a name like that, you know he has to be the greatest living something.

Outside the museum, on a bridge over the freeway, are permanent installations of Dale Chihuly's glass work: one of his glass ceilings and a wall showcasing some of his funky vases.

Now let's play a quick round of "Spot the Chihuly Transparent Hermaphroditic Cherub Being Eaten By a Sea Creature"!

This one's harder -- can you see it??

Pike Place had all its regular charms, and a few new ones. Or at least new to me. This is the first street pianist I've ever encountered. I wish I'd asked him where he keeps that thing at night. Does he wheel it up the steep steep hills to his apartment? Or just bike lock it to the street sign?

If there's anything funnier than French people, it's American people who reeeeally want to be French people.

We discovered a Russian bakery, Piroshky Piroshky, that was so so yummy. The others got dinner pastries and I got a whole apple baked in pastry and piped with fresh whipped cream. Might as well crawl back into the womb. Who knew Russian food was edible -- let alone delicious?

We even spotted one of those blessed doughnut machines, spitting out hot little spudnuts for the Market crowd.

Yummy sugar.

Yummy vacation.

All in all, a splendid little trip. I could definitely be a Washingtonian.

'Cause when it rains, I look up, not down.

And when the fish hits the fan, I open my mouth.


Left-Handed said...

I love love the picture of the street piano man

citymama1 said...

mmm...donuts. The sexy Hermione costume is pretty disturbing. Eww. What a fun vacation, though! Glad you're back and blogging.

wynne said...

Not fair, not fair, not fair. I'm still sniffing, and wishing I knew how to take the Vashon Ferry to wherever it was you were hiding on those islands...(sniff, sniff, HOOONK)

Come back soon?

wynne said...

(I can introduce you to Irving's grandmother, and to his dumb twin cousins, Butch and Wally.)

Princess Jess said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely! I could do with a lovely vacation like that. Of course, I could always do with a vacation. =)

i i e ee said...

Mmmm...donuts indeed. I think I'm overdue for a trip to the Northwest, thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm moving to Seattle to play street piano. Come and visit me, Marie. I could use a singer.

P.S. I keep making blogger ids and then they won't let me back in. Grrrr...

sharonsfriendjen said...

Your vacation looks like it was FABULOUS!! I am green with envy :P But I am glad that you got away and had fun. If I ever get a chance to go there, I am going to get on one of those stationary bikes. With a view like that I could bike for miles!! haha!! I am glad that the creepy spider didn't attack, yikes! The glass blower would have been fun to see. Did you make any requests to the Piano Man? Maybe he is the guy Billy Joel sings about? After the bar was closed down, the old Piano Man took his act on the road, quite literally, haha. I am glad your back.

D'Arcy said...

I must be pretty funny, because I have often been an American wanting to be French, especially when I lived in Paris and thought I could pull off a beret, there it was like was trying too hard, and when I tried to wear it here, it was like I was trying even harder. Poor beret, it really does look cute on me.

I LOVE Dale Chihuly!!! If I could marry an old, balding, artist, it would be him. It would be worth it for all of the cool Christmas ornaments I would have, not to mention the soap dispensers i would talk him into making, as well as the fruit bowl I would commission for the center of our table.

I love Dale.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Cool trip! The Hermione outfit picture didn't show for me, though -- how sad.

April said...

I'm totally jealous of those views out your window! Looks gorgeous! Not to mention those doughnuts. Mmmm.

lovestrong said...

I'm jealous of your vacation. I posted a video of that puppet guy on my blog. Check it out if you want. Lovely hanging with you tonight.

Hey, It's Ansley said...

My computer just freaked out and lost my first reply...

Love the glass museum and the Chihuly bridge. Love the smell of those doughnuts at Pike Place even if I've never actually had one. The NW has really been calling to me lately.

Those bikes set up on the island are hilarious as is the "very" French bakery.

Sounds like a fun vacation.