Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Post Valentine's Day and President's Day

Did you know that Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on exactly the same day? February 12, 1809. Kinda interesting, huh? That's a lot of influence and impact on American and global society for one day. Celestial focus like a laser beam, baby!

February is a pretty cool month. It's singularly unique among all the other months in the number of days it has. It's the month all these cool prezzies were born, and it's the month of VALENTINE'S DAY! I love Valentine's Day. I hear people say things like, "it's just another one of those holidays invented by Hallmark . . ." and I think it's sad. First of all, Valentine's Day is a lot older than most people think, AND it's a global holiday - not just something we do here in good ole commercial America. There are several "origins" of the holiday, or really, more appropriately, several religions and traditions honored with this day, and it has melded and evolved over time into a wonderful celebration of love and friendship. The card-giving extravaganza we know today in America began during the mid-1800s. Card and note giving was already going on in England when an American woman glommed on to the idea and used her father's stationery business as a means to manufacture and distribute the new Valentine's Day cards. And the rest is history. I remember that I loved Valentine's Day when I was in grade school, even though I wasn't the most popular little girl. Didn't matter. I still got to use the red and pink and white construction paper to make hearts and cupids and stick them on one of those white craft bags and tape to to my desk. I also got to tear all the perforated valentines with funny sayings and choose who got which - putting a special one for teacher in an envelope first. There were always one to two "Teacher" Valentines in the box. And I still like to celebrate Valentine's Day. And this year, the sweetie and I had a really good one.

We stayed at an old Victorian Hotel in Port Townsend. Here's a picture of my sweetie in the parlor where we were going through local menus trying to figure out where we were going to go for dinner on Saturday night. We got into PT on Friday night and went to The Public House. Kristopher had a steak and I had some fish and chips. They did a great job on both, but the steak was just amazing! It was the best steak I'd tasted since I've been in Seattle. And fifteen years is a long, friggin' time. Anyway, we went back to the hotel early because it looked like PT had gone to bed for the night when we finished at the restaurant about 10:30. When it was officially midnight, Kristopher gave me my Valentine's present which was a beautiful red, velvet heart filled with truffles. Lots of them. Like 50. lol! Maybe I'll have to take them to the office and give them away. That's a lot of chocolate.

The next morning we got up and, after taking our sweet time in the room, we went to a local joint called SeaJ's which is on the working end of the waterfront behind a hotel where I stayed when I had a visit with my friend Laurie Smith. Kristopher went off hunting for the weekend, and used our room as a base camp for his operations, and Laurie and I hung out all day and messed around PT. Anyway, Kristopher and I had a hearty breakfast at SeaJ's amongst the locals. After breakfast we went over to Swain's, an "outdoor outfitter" place which was more of an "everything" kind of store. It actually reminded me of the old-fashioned Woolsworth's store. Speaking of, we also went to a drugstore that still had a soda fountain in the back - old school, with chrome, red-topped stools and pull-handle Coca-cola dispensers behind the counter. I LOVE PT. It's like walking into the past.

Anyway, after quite a bit of shopping (more than either of us generally do in a month) we went back to the hotel for a nap. Well, after we went to the local co-op and bought some water and apples and the two biggest cookies we'd ever seen. After the nap, we got up and got out some more - this time going downtown and walking up and down trying to find places we might want to eat for dinner. We had been out playing and waited so long, however, we wound up going to the Nifty Fifties restaurant for our Valentine's Day dinner. But that was actually great. Nifty Fifties is really a cool place. They've gone to a lot of trouble to make it as authentically 50s as they could. And, we just happened to be in there on the same night as this group of about 15 teenagers who were all decked-out in 50s attire and out for a night on the town. I first noticed them when I saw this perfectly "Fonzie" dude sitting at the soda counter.
When it was getting about time for them to close (unbelievably this place closes at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night....) the whole group got together and had a picture taken. I wish I had been thinkin' straight - I would have gotten a picture of them as well. But I only just learned how to focus my GD camera, so gimme a break. After dinner, we went to the movies to see the new Clint Eastwood flick, "Gran Torino" at the local theatre in uptown. It looked like it used to maybe be an old playhouse, but I didn't read anything on it so I won't say anymore. What I will say is that if you haven't seen Gran Torino, go see it. If you like anything Clint Eastwood has done, go see it. You won't be disappointed.

Next day we got up and got our stuff packed to leave. We went and had breakfast at the Bayview restaurant. How's THAT for a little brand recognition, eh? We both had a special called a "BOB" which is an acronym for "Bayview on a Biscuit". And it just so happened that our waitress, Cinda, was the inspiration for that dish. We got the whole scoop. Seems that when she was pregnant with her daughter (who is now 7 years old), she kept craving a particular configuration of Bayview breakfast items. And, after they'd made it for her so much, and she had turned other customers on to it, they just put it on the menu. It was on there when she got back after delivering her child. So we had a great breakfast there, and went back to downtown PT where the shops were yawning open and we went to the local pagan bookstore: Phoenix Rising. What a great store. She has so much SHIT in there, it's not even funny! Anyway, bought a few things there, then went over to the candle shop, bought a few things there. We went to an antique book store called "Insatiable Books" where I purchased a "Washington Monitor and Freemason's Guide" from 1945. It belonged to a Master Mason who was installed into the order in 1946. Anyway, I found the place to be intoxicating. I was so "crowed" (self-coined term for what happens to me when I go into shops containing items of intense interest such as old books, jewelry, etc...) when I went in there I didn't think to get out my camera and take pictures. But I've got my little book. (Just took a big sniff of those old pages....lovely!)

Let's see...then we went into the Bishop hotel where we met the proprietress and chatted her up about the place. This is probably where we'll stay the next time we go. All of the PT merchants are very concerned about the upcoming bridge closure that's going to start at the head of their life-sustaining tourist season. If you're reading this and thinking about planning a mini-vacation getaway between May 1 and June 20, think about going to PT and staying anywhere. Spend some bux over there. I hate seeing all those empty storefronts and we have to support our local destinations if we expect them to weather this economic storm.

After talking to our friend at The Bishop, we were both pretty tired and ready to go home and see our kitties, we lucked out and got on the Keystone ferry and headed back toward the mainland. Here we are taken at mister man's arm's length:

When we got home to Lynnwood, we topped off our weekend with a visit to the Claim Jumper restaurant where we ate too much and drank too much and had too much fun.

This was a great Valentine's Day. I have to say it was the very best we've had together and I can't wait 'til next year. I hope it's just as good and better. Nighty-night everyone! I gotta go to bed. Another work day tomorrow, and I ever thankful I am among the fortunate ones who can say that. BB!

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