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Last week L invited me to join him out on the Long Beach Peninsula for a quick weekend getaway.  He had a client photo shoot lined up and the use of a very nice vacation rental.  But plans changed and he wasn’t feeling well, so that got scrapped.  No worries there…for some reason as the week unfolded I was not entirely on board with getting out of town this particular weekend.  Not sure why as I didn’t have any real solid plans save for catching up on sleep and getting outside for a walk if the weather held up.

We decided to postpone the almighty popcorn ceiling scraping project at my townhouse yet another weekend and just hang out over at his place.  I reminded him that hey, dude, it’s been over a month (6 weeks?) since we got started and we still haven’t finished the upstairs.  It was Super Bowl Sunday, in fact.  And I joked that Whitney Houston and Davy Jones were still alive when we got started, teasing in a warped sense of humor moment.  But it’s all good.  I know we’ll eventually get it done.  I think we agreed on June as a deadline, but given our pace that will likely just to get all of the upstairs scraped, sanded, primed and painted.  Downstairs is going to be a whole other hairy beast.  I’m getting tired just thinking and typing about that road ahead.

So the plan was to chill out and watch hockey (when it’s Saturday that means Hockey Night in Canada – can’t beat that for a TV doubleheader).  Tacos, scratch margaritas and hockey.  Sign me up.  I don’t know L’s secret taco recipe, but I’ll share my margarita recipe here at the end of this post.

Holy damn, I slept in until 11:00am Saturday.  Even me, a notsomuch morning person, felt a little guilty as if I was wasting the day away.  But I know myself well…I needed that sleep.  I had thought I would have the energy to schlep into the gym – a place I haven’t visited in, gulp, over a year – for a much-needed workout, but somehow that didn’t happen.  Laziness.

I trotted off to L’s place that afternoon with a bag full of tequila, triple sec, limes, a cocktail shaker, a shot glass and a couple of margarita glasses carefully wrapped in towels.  He had an amazingly large bowl of scratch guacamole already made – enough for 20 people – but we sure chowed it down – with chips and salsa.  Ole!  Now when I say “trotted” I mean probably a 40-45 minute drive.  L lives in the Sunset Hill area of Ballard in Seattle, a quiet neighborhood in the city which is really busting out and growing, at least in its core.  And I thanked myself for filling up my car prior to that drive, for the main route to his house through Ballard is now all torn up with major street construction.  One lane roads with flaggers everywhere.  Brutal, especially for all the businesses along this street I’m sure, despite the myriad of “we’re open during construction” signs pleading down the street.  I remember crawling along in my car and seeing a reader board on one of the cafes:  “Free monster truck show with every meal.”  I wondered “HUH?” for a few seconds before I finally got it.  Aha – at least they’ve got a sense of humor about all of this.

L and I chugged down a few margaritas, devoured chips and guac and later some tacos.  After a beer nightcap and watching a GREAT Vancouver Canucks OT victory over Colorado, we were both pretty tired.  And it was barely 10pm!  L insisted I stay over and I was grateful for that.  I had a little buzz going on, so driving home that night was totally out of the question.

Now, for those of you tuning in fairly recently, L is my guy BFF.  Everything is totally platonic so crashing at his place was not a loaded big deal.  He let me use his bed while he crashed in the next room in his new guest bed.  I couldn’t believe I was going to bed so early, especially on a Saturday, but I guess I really needed the sleep.  It always takes me awhile to get to sleep even when I’m at home – I usually like to/need to read something light like a magazine no matter how late it is or how tired I am.  And I typically sleep in my own bed, so this was a change having immediate pitch black in a strange, new bed with no reading material.  And the silence.  I giggled to myself at the irony…the utter silence at L’s house in the city (he lives near the end of a dead end street) compared to the gentle roar of street noise I am now used to hearing around the clock – like nice white noise – at my suburban townhouse.

By around 8:30am or so he and I were both up, dressed and ready to take his friend M’s dog for a walk.  What a glorious Sunday morning!  We made the short drive to Golden Gardens Park, one of the few waterfront parks in Seattle with a sandy beach.  Oops, I was in high-heeled boots – and my sweater and jeans from the night before – and not in any condition to walk in the sand, so we stayed on the asphalt paths. 

How’s that picture at the start of this post for a morning welcome?  A cool, brisk morning and the sun beaming down on the Olympic Mountains, looking west.  We passed countless walkers, joggers, dogs…even saw a woman in the sand doing a slew of yoga poses.  So while I wasn’t wearing the best shoes for a brisk walk, it felt good to get one in.  And the salty air and breeze is the best soul therapy I’ve ever experienced.

Then it was off to brunch at The Blue Glass, one of L’s favorite spots.  I get giddy trying new places to eat so I could not wait to try it…and could not believe I was hungry after last night’s taco feast. 

Behold, their breakfast burger…sausage, egg and absolutely nothing McDonalds-ish assembly line about it.  A few dashes of hot sauce and some fries with their house-made ketchup topped off with a few cups of coffee and I felt totally refreshed.

We even made a quick stop to the nearby Goodwill store.  L has this uncanny knack for finding great things there at a steal of a price.  At the risk of sounding, well, how I don’t wish to sound, it’s not my first choice for places to shop, but admittedly if you take some time and dig around you CAN find some really great deals.  Voila…I found two pairs of pretty much brand new Adidas sweatpants…for $15 total!  Perfect for the rink or just lounging around. 

So, for the second weekend in a row, the Ballard neighborhood delivers.  It’s another world compared to my suburban haunts, and that’s exactly how I like it.  A touch of salt air, a slower pace with a slice of city vibe injected…and continuing to discover it with a great friend – this is what I adore. 

Oh, and almost forgot – here’s the margarita recipe!  Bring a couple cans of limeade to make more and additional limes for garnish.

  • 3/4 can limeade, thawed in the fridge
  • 4 shots Tequila
  • 2 shots Triple Sec
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt
  • Beer (optional…couple swigs to cut the ‘tart’ to taste)
  • Crushed ice

Mix all ingredients except for the salt and crushed ice in a cocktail shaker.  Salt the rim of each glass and pour the mixture over the crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.  Serve to good friends and have fun.  CHEERS!