A July Well Spent

It’s August. Uh…..What happened to July?
The bedroom update transitioned into a trip to Seattle, for one thing. It seems that as part of the Corvettes on the Columbia, D&V bid on and “won” 4 tickets to a Mariners game and two nights stay at the Sea-Tac Red Lion along with a print of Jamie Moyer throwing the very first pitch at Safeco Field. D&V subsequently shared the tickets with us and let us have the rooms, as they opted to stay with their daughter, son-in-law, and grandbabies. What a fully packed three days that was!

First was the tour of the LeMay-America Auto Museum. We spent five hours there with the grandbabies and it seemed like only one. If you are a car enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to take the trip and pay the entrance fee. You will not be disappointed. While there we were told a special event is coming; 60 Years of Corvettes. We may be taking another trip in August…Just Sayin.’ We spent the close of the day at Owen Beach; looking a Vashon Island, watching brave souls kayaking, others operating sailboats, and the grandbabies dilly-dallying in the water on this most beautiful beach on this most beautiful day.

It's a Beautiful Day

It’s a Beautiful Day

In case you didn’t know – these days are a rarity around here, with the average of less than 60 days of sunshine.

The next day was spent downtown Seattle at The Market, meeting up with V’s son for the required lunch at the Hard Rock, and a dinner and show at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley featuring “The Father of The English Blues Movement” John Mayall.

File this under “Stuff That Only Happens to B”…We are in line in the club waiting to go down stairs and here comes John Mayall, soft guitar case slung across his back and the band in tow. I am in front of the door and of course I open it and make eye contact with John. John in that very British accent, says, “Make way! The band is coming through!” I cannot contain the laughter! I get to open the door for them guys! Behind John is the guitar player, Rocky. Next is the bass player, Greg. Bringing up the rear is the drummer, Jay. I almost slam the door in his face though as he was wearing a Chicago Blackhawks shirt and the pain of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals is ever present in my heart, mind, and spirit. Just in the nick of time my Better Angel is stronger than my Bad Angel and I continue holding the door as I smile through the pain as if I was Greg Campbell (broken leg) or Patrice Bergeron (cracked ribs and punctured lung). I can only hope to have made them as proud as they did me as a Boston Bruins fan during this year’s playoffs.

Now downstairs and have ordered the Montreux Syrah from Des Voigne Cellars that we normally order. While we are waiting for the wine to arrive and as luck would have it; John is spending a few minutes before the show at a table over by the coat closet selling CDs and posing for pictures. Of course we are going to be there. It is my turn, V readies the dependable Canon, John put his hand on the left part my back where my heart would be and I swear I received “A Wakeup Call.” One simply can’t make this stuff up. Well, as long as the Better Angels are in charge, anyways.

Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call

John and the band had a smoking set; the highlight for us was “Room to Move.” The food was incredible as ALWAYS, and the Montreux Syrah paired excellently. Why wouldn’t it? The refined tannins and silky smooth finish makes one stand up (inside anyways), clap, and yell “More! More!” as we do at the end of any musician’s performance at Jazz Alley. Part of the vision of this winery is that wine is music in a bottle best enjoyed with friends and their suggested pairings have more to do with music than food. That is our kind of focus, to say the least. The Des Voignes are on to something there.

The last day of the trip was spent with V’s son and daughter-in-law enjoying bands playing and sampling brews down in Georgetown as part of the 25th Anniversary of Sub-Pop. At the time, we didn’t know what Sub-Pop was but we wanted to spend time with the young folks and it didn’t really matter to us what the context was. In my naivety I was thinking something like drinking soft drinks down in the underground Seattle tour area. Were we ever mistaken. I personally think the experience was best described as, “aggressive and oblique walls of feral noise.” Oh yeah, some beer thrown in the mix on a warm Seattle day. Not a bad way to go though on a glorious Seattle day. We couldn’t have had a better weekend to enjoy all this with family and friends. However, we do have a baseball game to get to; we bid our farewell to P&J and travel to the stadium via the chosen mode of transportation, the convenient Sound Transit Light Rail. We discovered for $5.50 each for the all-day-round-trip-wherever-the-train-goes makes it ultra easy to get where we need to go. It is simply astounding to be able to travel across the Metro area, from the Airport to the Westlake Mall, for that sum of money and no driving or parking related stress.

What a superb finish to the weekend! This game King Felix is pitching and the Yellow Garbed Triangle is there in full force to support him.

The Yellow Triangle from "K"

The Yellow Triangle from “K”

“The Mariners have a chance to win this game with him on the mound,” V&I eerily say to each other at the same time. Win they did, 8-2 and we watched it all from some of the best seats in “The Safe,” The Terrace Section. Awesome!

The following weekend we celebrated the 9th anniversary of a certain trip to Vancouver B.C. during which I popped “The Question.” V answered affirmatively, then quickly (If my memory serves me correctly within 3 seconds) posed a one word question of her own, “When?” In those few seconds the course of our lives would be forever changed. “The When” in reality didn’t matter, we were married in the moment of “The Question”, all that was left was the formality of gathering a few friends and family to witness the officiant put it in lovely package with a tidy bow at a winery. This year’s celebration of “The Question” included D&V, new friends; J&S, and a very special guest star, Jonny Lang performing at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane. Jonny and band were as good as we have ever seen them, expending every ounce of energy to make sure the folks from Spokane and surrounding area received the show of a lifetime, Red Light, Lie To Me, Give Me Up Again, notwithstanding. The crowd returned their thankfulness in kind. See you next time! That two and one half hour trip back to the Tri seemed effortless, fueled as it were with the adrenaline of a most memorable show.

The following weekend we were included in some of the annual Hydroplane Races frivolity in the Tri. By that we mean we were passengers on D&V’s boat for a couple of sunset cruises of the Columbia River and the race shoreline.

Clover Island

Clover Island

This is getting to be an annual event for us that we eagerly anticipate as we get to see the Hydroplanes and the cranes that shepherd them into the water up close and personal from a perspective most others do not get.
Ready and Set...All That is Missing is "The Go"

Ready and Set…All That is Missing is “The Go”

Adios To Another Day

Adios To Another Day

The annual races include an air show to keep the attention of the 65,000 plus attendees from wandering too far a field. The planes practice on the Saturday prior to the race and most of that day we just spend in and out of our house standing in our yard as they always seem to use the airspace above our house to make turns and head east back down the river. Sometimes V&I have a contest on who can count the most rivets as they pass over head. The planes are that close – no lie. Fast planes in the air – fast planes on the water, in close quarters no less. Exhilarating is the only way to describe the weekend.

Finally, to get “Us” back we snuck away to have a picnic at French Creek. The vineyard was serene and this time of year a verdant green. The carefully manicured vines were laden with grapes in full development, just barely entering verasion,

Verasion - Transition from green to purple

Verasion – Transition from green to purple

and full of promise for the harvest and the vintage labeled 2013. We are a wealthy couple indeed to have that place in our lives! It brings about a visual reminder of the never ending cycle of dormancy, awakening, growth, and harvest. It also serves to get us back to the “What, When, Where, Why, and the How” this marvelous life we share together came about. Moments like these, where we stop all the busyness and refocus on “Us”, seem harder to come by these days yet we take them and relish them when we can.


The picnic included salami from our trip to Napa, flatbread, fresh cherry tomatoes, Alpentaller cheese, prosciutto, fresh Yakima Valley cherries, and a 2012 Kung-Fu Girl Riesling. The suggested pairings for this wine laden with citrus notes, nice acidity, and minerality are spicy Thai or grilled seafood. B&V would add a romantic vineyard picnic to the tasting notes if Charles Smith would let us. Our customary “Clink” was more of a “Clunk” with the plastic glasses, but that hardly seemed to matter to two lovebirds enjoying the tranquil moment.

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