Mother and I didn’t truly go somewhere over the rainbow, but I did get to take her to the Emerald City and beyond.
Our trip to Seattle, Victoria and the Yakima Valley was perfect in every way. Mother enjoyed everything and blossomed before my eyes, turning from a grieving, lost lady into an older version of the feisty woman we’ve known and loved.
I’m going to let the pictures and captions tell most of the story, so you’ll see lots of them. But let me add that though Mother didn’t receive any ruby slippers, we both were given beautiful ruby earrings – Mother’s birthstone! – by my friend Julia’s cousin Alyce and her husband, Clay, two of the finest people we’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
Alyce has the fabulous Design Theory Jewelry, an online store that once was a store-store in Ballard, the very neighborhood in which our friends Dave and Nora Nehls live – a store that our friend Nora and I have visited, which is now the website from which I ordered earrings before I knew Alyce was Julia’s cousin.
Small-world coincidence? Fabulous luck? Semi-charmed life? Good things come to open hearts? I hope the latter, but I will say we are lucky in friends and family.
We headed to Canada via the Victoria Clipper, leaving the drizzle behind. We disembarked and walked to our waterfront hotel, the Coast Victoria Harbourside, as the skies were clearing and awoke to this view the next morning.
We just happened to be there for the Victoria Classic Boat Festival, so this was also part of our view.
After an early afternoon at Butchart Gardens,
we hopped off the tour bus at The Empress for high tea. We couldn’t begin to finish the spread, but we took dessert back for a late night snack in our lovely room.
The next morning the Clipper left about 10 minutes late, for which the captain apologized and offered $2 off champagne, which meant we had to have some – and put us next to a pod of frolicking orcas! People pay big money to see what we happened upon by happy coincidence.
Back in Seattle, Dave and Nora met us at the pier and off to Seattle Central by monorail we went. Mother enjoyed seeing the Space Needle, but the coolest things were the singing solar flowers.
The next day it was off to Selah, in the Yakima Valley, where John, Kitty, Dave and Nora grew up and where Kitty lives on a glorious piece of land on a hill. We visited a few wineries. Mother got to meet Lisette, Jeff and Emma (Kitty’s daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter #1) and Kitty and Norm’s friends Nancy and Ron and Pam and Wayne.
Most importantly, our mothers finally got to meet and visit twice. Doris may not remember it for long – she may not remember by now – but it was lovely and they truly enjoyed it in the moment.
And I got to meet our new nephew, Farmboy Westley, the precious labradoodle baby.
Now we’re back. Mother’s doctor’s appointment upon return showed her blood work to be considerably worse in some areas, not so good in others. But she’s still perky, upbeat and seems to have turned a corner. We’ve discussed Italy for her 80th in two years, if her health allows.
But no matter what, our trip showed her to be out of the woods emotionally. She had it in her all along. All she had to do was visit the Emerald City and kick up her heels.