Friday, March 27, 2015

VASHON ISLAND



I have been in the Seattle area all week and I have so many as-yet-unposted photos it's not even funny. Tuesday I went to Bainbridge, Wednesday I hung out downtown, among other places at Pike Place Market, and Thursday I took the ferry with my rental car to Vashon Island.

I was kind of scared of the ferry and actually thought it might be open to the somewhat frigid air but these things are like ocean liners! Huge and unbelievably comfortable, with room to stretch out,  a ledge for your coffee, whole big seats yourself, and time to dream as you gaze out the window at the shoreline and gulls. The one to Vashon (less than 15 minutes) had half-finished jigsaw puzzles on some of the tables! So you could pitch in by placing a piece or two, and commuters maybe work on them each day. Plus a large gruff-voiced woman in a baseball cap who looks like a man takes your money, barks "Lane 1," and off you drive straight onto the boat! Couldn't be easier. Also this is interesting, you don't have to pay to go off the island. You only pay to go on.

Anyway, I've been meeting people and visiting and being taken out to eat and peering over ferry schedules and google maps so have not had time to reflect/report back as I'd like.

I will say, however, that I'm staying at the Betty MacDonald Farm on Vashon and it is probably hands down my favorite place perhaps in the world. A woman named Judith Lawrence runs it and if you want to reserve a room, you have to call and talk to her so she can make sure you're not crazy or a whiner. I had a delightful half-hour talk with her on the phone before coming and she sent me an envelope with a hand-written note, brochures, maps and a ferry schedule with the appropriate routes high-lighted. When's the last time you got that kind of service from oh, say, the La Quinta Inn?

Anyway, I'm staying in the "Cedar Loft." It's the third floor of a gambrel-roofed barn in which one of my also all-time favorite writers, Betty MacDonald, used to use to raise chickens in. An entire wall of east-facing windows overlooks Puget Sound. There's a deck with chairs, tables, and a pair of binoculars. There are daffodils, tulips, flowering Asian pear trees, all manner of things I can't identify on the acres of grounds. The air is thick with birdsong. The loft is filled with kilim rugs, daybeds, stacks of books on Native Americans, gardens, birds, antiques, architecture, and of course Betty MacDonald who I don't have time to go into it but you should love, too!




PLUS A FULLY AND I MEAN FULLY STOCKED KITCHEN,
AS IN PILES OF LINEN NAPKINS, VOTIVE CANDLE HOLDERS,
NUTCRACKERS, CORKSCREWS, ENGLISH CERAMIC CREAM PITCHERS, ET CETERA.
AND CREAM, ORGANIC EGGS, GOOD COFFEE, BUTTER AND ENGLIGH MUFFINS IN THE FRIDGE.
WIFI.. HIGH COMFY BED. MASSES OF EXTRA BLANKETS AND COMFORTERS.
A WOOD STOVE AND CORDS OF SPLIT WOOD. CLOISONNE CONTAINERS WITH BOXES OF CLASSY WOOD MATCHES. TWO HUGE ARRANGEMENTS OF FRESHLY-CUT CAMELLIAS.  A PRIVATE-ISH BEACH.
IT GOES ON AND ON...








BABY FERN AND HORSE TAILS
Crazy, right? This morning I am taking the ferry to Southworth to give a mini-retreat for some mothers in Bremerton, one of whom is offering me (I think) her cabin for the night. And I might come back here for Saturday night before heading back to LA Sunday.

Truly, this is my kind of spot. 

Thank you to everyone I've met this week. So much hospitality, so much kindness and generosity. I'm kind of overwhelmed.

MT. RAINIER/SUNSET.
A BALD EAGLE NESTS IN THE FIR TREE, DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM MY LOFT.


6 comments:

  1. Mrs Piggle-Wiggle's home!!!!! That is all I have to say :)

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  2. "Heaven and hell can be had in this world."

    -Yiddish proverb

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  3. I am so thrilled you get to spend time in my beloved Northwest. I'm from Portland, but my brother lives in Seattle. So beautiful. As usual, I love the photos.

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  4. Wow! I am so jealous! I love Betty MacDonald--The Egg and I was one of my favorites when I was a teenager. So fun!

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  6. Yes, The Egg and I, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Nancy and Plum....I can't say enough about the Betty MacDonald Farm. A splurge but still. Judith Lawrence, the proprietor, is a fount of Betty M. info and has laminated newspaper clippings, old letters, interviews, and photos etc. from the 40s on. I communed with Betty's spirit!

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