One of the things my mom’s untimely passing made me aware of was how much time I was wasting. Mom worked hard all her life. She scrimped and saved so that she could have enough money after retirement to be comfortable and still indulge in her love of travel. She was able to visit Italy and Austria only a few weeks before the terrible accident, but she had so many more places to go. Mom had never been to New York City, for example. She loved travel so much that she chose a teaching job out of college that took her to Okinawa where she met my dad. When they got married she put those travel dreams on hold. Seeing the world was going to be her retirement “thing”. She waited 45 years to do it, and ended up missing her window of opportunity.
You all know how it goes. We have dreams but think we have no time or money to see them through; so we leave it for some future date. “One day I will see the Grand Canyon.” “We’ll take a cruise when the kids move out.” “When I retire, I’m going to take up oil painting.” Somehow those things never really happen, and folks end up regretting that they wasted the years when they had good knees and the energy to sprint through the Chicago-O’Hare airport, or they can no longer see well enough to render a sunset.
I don’t want to have regrets. To that end, I spontaneously (for me, that is) made the decision to take a trip to Seattle, Washington two months ago. My husband and I flew out there during spring break last week. Our base of operations was the spectacular Fairmont Olympic Hotel, which I can’t praise highly enough. Honestly, we truly felt spoiled. How can you not when you have a chauffeured town car at your disposal, a concierge to book tickets and make reservations for dinner, and the most deliciously decadent surroundings to live in? Oh, we splurged! If I’m going to make an once-in-a-lifetime visit to the opposite coast, it’s five-star for me all the way! When you go, don’t miss out on the room service. It’s fantastic.
My reasoning for picking Seattle was several-fold. As a glass-worker, I was drawn to the ample glass-blowing opportunities, and the Chihuly glass garden. Neither my husband nor I have ever been to the West Coast. It was our first true vacation since our honeymoon as well. We have traveled for the SCA, but that’s always a working trip, not a vacation at all.
I also wanted the opportunity to meet some ladies with whom I have had an online acquaintance for several years. We are members of a Facebook group for Adult Starters of the Violin/Fiddle. It’s a bit of a support group for those of us who have picked up the violin for the first time as an adult, or have taken a significant break from childhood lessons. It is wonderful to have people all over the world who share our passion; because as an adult beginner, most of us are too new to be very good, and no longer cute enough to make up for the lack of skill. Although some of us are quite adorable, and more than a few have achieved a remarkable level of ability on their instruments.
The first evening there we found ourselves in the hippest, trendiest bar I have ever been in. It had a sunken conversation area around a shiny, modern fireplace, and was all chromed out, with fringe everywhere. Not Mexican tour bus fringe – more like swingy, single layer 20’s fringe from ceiling to floor. The drinks were excellent, and our appetizers so good my mouth is still watering. BTW, brie and apricot preserves are fantastic together, if you didn’t know.
The next day one of my online buddies picked us up for our violin date. We met at the home of one of the other ladies and spent the next several hours sight reading duets and trios. I had an absolute blast! It was so wonderful to have the opportunity to fiddle around with some of my violinistic peers in a no-stress, open session. We each brought music to share and just played for the sheer fun of it. Playing with others is simply the best. I’m so grateful that these two strangers were willing to take a chance on me and arrange that session. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.
Afterwards Moe and I wandered down to the pier to take in the sights. We chose not to go into the Aquarium, but I really wanted to ride the huge Ferris wheel. The first go round was really scary, but on subsequent ones we relaxed and I got some decent shots.
There’s much more, but this post is too long already. I’ll try to post more later.