Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Lake Crescent

We just got back from a lovely day and two nights at Lake Crescent on the peninsula in very Northwestern Washington. We had a lovely Ferry ride and then drive and arrived there very late at night.

I am looking for pictures (have to wait til I get home so I can download my digital pictures, kids, sorry) of where we stayed, but this is where we did not stay, because this is where the beatiful people stay. But we did stop by this morning for coffee and postcards and admired the scenery.

Aha, I found it-- we stayed at Log Cabin Resort. The link will take you to the photo gallery, which does not begin to do it justice.

We got settled in and Carol Ann chose the bed upstairs and I chose downstairs (which I later regretted after seeing the godzilla size ants we had, but I only got bitten once, and I might have imagined it).

We went down and found a big log by the water (which was a mere eight feet away from our door) and sat down and had a smoke (the first of many, I am afraid, from the whole trip).

We actually didn't stay up that night, arriving near midnight. We sat on the couch listening to music for awhile, eating popcorn, and reading bad magazines, but then turned in. I fell asleep pretty quickly, and Carol Ann stayed up reading-- "My indulgence," she called it.

So, what did we do yesterday? As we kept saying, "Whatever the F--- we want!"

And in a nutshell, I would say that we talked all day. We did some other things in the meantime, but mostly we talked.

We talked while having popcorn, chai tea, and water for breakfast, and feeding the ducks who came to our door, and taking photos and having some smokes.

We talked while walking over to settle our bill and hunt down double A batteries for my digital camera (not successful, by the way, with the battery hunt). We talked about taking a paddle boat out, but as Don often notes, I am all talk. They have these crazy paddle boats which are actually bicycle boats, with an actual bike that you sit on and pedal. I thought they looked dangerous.

In the morning, we put on our bathing suits and slathered the sunscreen on. I wore my orange flowered Walmart hat, which Andy (CA's husband) noticed with great glee at Chloe's softball game on Sunday. We hung out in the sun. I brought my book, but I couldn't take my eyes off the scenery, so I talk talk talked to Carol Ann so she couldn't read her book. I drank water all freaking day and had to pee about a million times.

Then, back at the cabin, she started making a beaded necklace for her jazz singing teacher, and I just couldn't bring myself to read or to write. I think I just needed a break from both. Yesterday the only thing I wrote all day was my name on the credit card slip for the room, which I didn't even look at. That is the least I have written in months, weeks, years. So, I gave myself a manicure and we talked about her jazz singing and she played me songs and sang for a me a bit. (Today, by the way, I peeled off all the nail polish on my fingernails at the hot springs, just for fun). Then, back out to the blanket and the water. Carol Ann felt obligated to get into the FREEZING COLD, GLACIER FED, 900 PLUS FOOT DEEP lake, but I felt no such obligation. When I saw the Atlantic Ocean in the dark last fall, I was afraid. I am an excellent swimmer. I was on a swim team. I had private lessons. But for some reason, the depth of that lake just creeped me out. But I have to say that it was quite lovely and clear.

Back to the room to watch Bridget Jones while CA gave me a pedicure. My feet have never known such pampering and they are quite lovely now. She painted my nails bronze, and upon our return this evening, her nine year old daughter approved. The little girl had helped me pick out the polish, and at my enouraging (choose something with a little edge), painted her own toe nails deep blood red. I am clearly a bad influence on the youth of Mercer Island.

Carol Ann wanted to get the last gasp of sun, so we dragged our blanket around several times to get the last little bits of sun, and watched three young adolescent boys slather their bodies in mud and flip each other off, and another set of slightly older boys look longingly at some lightly older teenage girls who were all developing quite nicely and didn't know the boys even existed.

And all this time, we are talking don't you know, about lost innocence, our children, our relationships, the funny things we see, just anything and everything.

You have to understand how lovely CA is, and she doesn't know it. She looks like Demi Moore. And with her current cold, sounds quite a bit like her and like she has a bad smoking habit (not remotely). She is slender and tone and has long hair with gorgeous highlights that she does herself because that is her profession, but which nobody else could afford in a million years. I am definitely the big dumpy other one, but somehow even when I am next to her, she doesn't make me feel less than lovely.

And no, she hasn't done my hair yet, but tomorrow morning she will probably trim it and then we will do color another time (she has to work tomorrow morning from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the salon right across the hall from my room, so I know I'll be up early tomorrow so I can come and hang out).

Tomorrow afternoon, I'll check into my hotel, and Thursday, work work work. But I traveled all day for my conference Saturday, will again this Saturday, so that is two days of work, and then I have my summer furlough (one day off) and the seminar (two days), so it all comes out in the wash. If I had traveled during the week and taken my furlough, that would have been the same amount of time. Gosh, I guess we are doing color tomorrow afternoon... I don't know, have to ask...

Last night we watched Thirteen which neither of us had seen. But before we watched it, we made some chai tea in the microwave, and then I made Carol Ann put her money where her mouth was: she had said we were going to do facials up at the cabin. And when we saw the boys with the mud, I remembered a time in junior high in which I had to wear mud for a girls camp skit in which I was a twig. My skin has never looked so good.

So, I took one of our empty salad bowls and washed it out, and in the dark, with my fear of the water, went out and got us some mud.

When I brought it into the light, it looked slightly green. It wasn't nice. It was nasty. I smelled it, and it smelled like sulfur, but not anything else.

It was cold, so we microwaved it. Added just a wee bit of water. And then, by golly, we slathered it onto our faces. Yes, I have pictures, so I'll post them next week. And we sat and watched the movie like that for quite some time before we washed it off, and my pores were absolutely fabulous. Today we did masks with pumpkin peel. That smells better.

The movie was good, but honestly, I have heard so many things about Evan Rachel Wood's amazing performance, when she was so clearly outdone by Nikki Reed's complexity. Wood hit about one note, and it got to be annoying. I was disappointed in her performance, but the movie, the direction, and the other performances were all good. It wasn't all that shocking though-- I've seen worse. Requiem For a Dream was worse (and better) and so was Traffic. That's my two cents.

Today we got up, hung out, I wrote a little bit, then CA showered and I wrote more, went out to the log for a last smoke, then I took my shower and we packed up and left.

But we didn't come back to Mercer Island.

We went to a nearby hot springs, and a delightful hike that was just so beautiful beforehand. Oh that I were an Annie Dillard or a Thoreau-- I cannot do it justice (at least not this late at night). Yes, I do feel lucky, privileged, pampered, special, honored, blessed, grateful, etc. It was lovely and amazing. And we just feel terrific.

We were practically the only Americans at the spa, so I pretended I was on the Riviera the whole time I was there. An elderly woman passed out in the locker room just as we were arriving, so I kept thinking, "Do they know to give her aspirin if this is a stroke? Should I tell them?" They clearly didn't want us lurking about though, so I just fretted periodically about, "Grandma," throughout the afternoon.

Then, we showered, got back in the van, and drove the two hours to the ferry, and then got on for the hour ride, ate leftover chicken divan from Chloe's birthday on Friday over couscous we made in the cabin, chatted, and then we were back in Seattle.

And ever since we got back, I've been online catching up, beginning with a gazillion emails from work.

Hope all of your weeks are going well. Do I sound better? I feel better.


  1. I know I already told you this, but damn it, I'm jealous! =)

    - Pie

  2. You sound better, Jen!

    6 more days for me till I'm free!

  3. Just imagine how you'd feel if you lived around here all year long.