And the road goes on forever...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Beautiful Life in Washington

With a salt sea breeze wafting by our dockside vantage, we watch the big Bayliner gliding out of the harbor up the channel. The woman minds the ropes as she coils them up on foredeck while her husband ducks inside and takes interior stairways to the fly bridge where he looks for all the world like a king who has just ascended his throne. But I guess that’s probably what one would feel piloting a quarter million dollar yacht. This is a beautiful area in a very urbane, yet small, vibrant city. Every corner is clustered with coffeehouses, small boutique cafes and unique businesses. Flowers and outside tables and chairs grace outdoor spaces and fresh fish and oyster bars and markets beckon.

We’ve just finished browsing the Saturday farmers market in Percival’s Landing, a rejuvenated downtown area only three blocks from the state capital building, filled with condos and warehouse style lofts. We find masses of gorgeous flowers in stalls and the best looking vegetables I have seen since 2006 in Wisconsin. Oh good…the new crop of Washington apples is out and available in bulk!

We’re at the yacht harbor today actually setting foot into a boat brokerage office, still dreamin’ our dreams. Well in actuality, Marc is probably humoring me but he’s a good sport. We tour a few trailerable boats up to 27 feet that appear to need a lot of work. We step aboard an older Tollycraft 30 footer from the ‘70’s, still in need of work but at least offering a smidgen more of the space we figure we would need. Marc gets really intrigued by the screen door; a novelty we’ve not seen aboard a boat before! From the Tolly we sneak aboard a 40 foot Bayliner and indeed find the kind of space we are looking for! From the aft deck I note the harbor view and peacefulness that is part and parcel of such a lifestyle. Hum—this is looking

Once finished at the yacht brokerage, we leave and decide to approach closer to the capital for some photos. Just a few blocks away is a very inviting grocery store advertising fresh Coho Salmon at $2.99/lb, head off. Yeh, gotta pull in here! Inside the place is just brimming with everything quintessentially Pacific Northwest right down to the end cap on the aisle and the smell of fresh coffee from the front kiosk drifting enticingly over the entire store. The vegetables look like a Whole Foods Marketplace and the fresh baked sourdough like it just came in moments ago from San Francisco. We get two whole salmon (fresh in today) and muse that this wonderful store is walking distance from the marina. Hum. Liveaboard status might have just leapt up another notch!

The Capital looks beautiful and enduring above Capital Lake and a special Iraq memorial commemoration is going on. The entire grassy lawn is filled with coreplast gravestones inscribed in marker with every fallen soldier, journalist, and death in Iraq. It says a lot about this city; located so near to Ft. Lewis, now sending the bulk of the force fighting in Afghanistan off to war. Support for the military is huge in this area.

We leave not having had enough. This is a walking town; an interesting town, and I’m sure we’ve only just scratched the surface on this one marvelous nearly fall day.