We left early Thursday afternoon for a late Friday afternoon wedding in Mukilteo. There was virtually no traffic and we scooted on through Seattle and the Express Lane in record time. I was checking Google Maps for the location of the Everett La Quinta where we were booked when I realized we had stayed there before. Whenever we are in the area we stop at the Bargreen Ellingson Outlet, where we've bought everything from sour mix to bread knives. Small world and everything is just across the parking lot.
On Google Maps I noticed that there was some sort of bar and grill near the exit off I-5. We've always turned left off the freeway and never gone right, so I suggested to Peg that we try it out. If we really liked it, perhaps we would celebrate her Sunday birthday on Saturday evening. We left the freeway and found ourselves soon turning into the parking lot of Shawn O'Donnell's American Grill and Irish Pub.
The decor of O'Donnell's was interesting, but not "too" cute. There was an old balloon tire bike with hand-painted lettering for Fat Tire Ale. Irish bodhrán hung from the ceilings as well as Guinness banners and other Irish flags and pennants. Books by and about Ireland and every conceivable thing including Presbyterian history were perched between and behind booths and shelves.
It felt homey and with the faint lighting, could well have been a pub in Ireland, but a little larger.
Peg ordered a toasted rasher (streaky bacon) sandwich with Dubliner cheese and veggies. The fries were the only disappointing aspect of O'Donnell's. Peg could only eat half her sandwich. The other half served as a late night snack. I ordered the lunch special, Corned-beef and Cabbage for only $8.99. It was the best $8.99 lunch I've had in decades. A quarter head of cabbage crowded out the colcannon. Colcannon is an essential Irish potato dish. It’s unique and simple and normally includes chopped kale or green cabbage mixed with hot, floury mashed potatoes. The crowning glory of the dish was a hefty portion of corned-beef. I mixed the horseradish sauce with the corned-beef and the colcannon. I would go back any weekday for the special.
O'Donnell's has another site in downtown Seattle - ground-level at the Smith Tower. We enjoyed this restaurant so much Peg and I returned for breakfast and I returned by myself one morning as well. Like the lunch special the breakfast offerings were fairly priced AND excellent. They also did a good job of giving me my "burnt, burnt, burnt" (crispy) hash browns.
The "bangers" tasted like every other banger I've ever had, but I keep hoping they'll be better. I think they're just supposed to taste the way they do, so I just have to get over it. My eggs were perfect and the Irish "rasher" and bacon were also excellent.
The wedding was booked at Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo. What a nice facility. It looks new and beautiful and had a wonderful view. In the hallway to the room, the ramp parallel with the stairs has nice display of artwork. The view from the deck is Puget Sound, the Whidbey Island Ferry and other islands along with the Cascades which stretch from Washington into British Columbia.
Peg's youngest sister Kate grew up in Tacoma, but moved to New York when she married, Bill Steding. Kate visited us about six years ago with her daughter Marie, and her son Tom. Marie fell in love the Pacific Northwest and moved here.
Kate and Bill returned with son Tom to help with Marie and Dylan’s wedding. Kate's best friend Shawna from age four and Carolyn, her best friend in high school were at the wedding. Marie's best friend Kristen from high school was her maid of honor.
Marie's brother Tom was one of the groomsmen. The rest of the groomsmen had grown up with Dylan and had known him for about twenty years.
The wedding was outside on the deck. We worried about the weather, but nothing interfered with the wedding. The ferry to Whidbey Island sailed right by at the end of the ceremony. That was tough to arrange, but nothing's too good for our niece.
Both Dylan and Marie read their own vows. The wedding pretty much ended with a very nice kiss.
The dinner was excellent. Dylan is a chef and everything was tasty.
We got a kick out of the happy couple's first dance as man and wife. Then Dylan danced with his mother Laura and Bill danced with Kate. After Dylan's parents danced, dad Mike was all-in. He'd had the flu just two days earlier and we should have toasted the doctor who had him up and moving for the wedding.
As beartiful as the wedding was, our next favorite memory of the weekend was probably the movie Singing in the Rain, one of Peg’s all time favorites. The movie was shown on the big screen at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. Peg had only seen it on TV and when she finally saw it on a big screen in Tacoma, she was hooked. Tickets were $10 and the proceeds went to ECA's Dementia-Inclusive Series - a line-up of creative and social enrichment programs for people with dementia, their care partners, families and friends.
The entertainment was introduced by Gillian Jones of ECA and Elizabeth Shepherd of The Northwest Film Forum. Singing in the Rain is a family favorite starring Gene Kelly, who had a temperature of 105 during the filming of his famous dance routine in the rain, Debbie Reynolds, who at age 19 was still living wither her parents, and Donald O'Connor who needed four days to recuperate from his Make 'em Laugh song and dance. Of course Donald's smoking of four packs a day may have taken its toll of his body but you wouldn’t know it from his vigor and sprightliness.
To kick the event off, there was a dance troupe of young elementary school girls to possibly college girls. The family sitting in front of us were proud parents of one of the youngest, "She's probably the smallest girl."
There were two or three groups of the girls dancing, by age. They were in step and always had their toes pointed in unison with their gestures and movements. They were well schooled and obviously had practiced.
This was community entertainment at its best. We loved both the movie and the little dancers. Together they hold a special part of our heart.
After the screening we talked briefly with Elizabeth Shepherd, the Children's Cinema Curator from the Northwest Film Forum. Northwest Film Forum is Seattle's premiere film arts organization, screening over 200 independently made and classic films annually, offering a year-round schedule of filmmaking classes, and supporting filmmakers at all stages of their careers.
The audience really enjoyed the movie. After most of the outstanding musical numbers there was applause just as if it were live. During the showing of the film I could hear rain beating on the roof, but no one seemed at all distracted. And, I mean it was loud.
When we left the theatre, the only evidence that we saw of the downpour in Edmonds were raindrops on s garbage can top. Elsewhere it was much different. KIRO-TV showed white water streams cascading down the steps of Stadium Bowl, the football field at Stadium High School, and Monday my friend Bill Nelson of All Transmissions and Automotive showed me images of the flooding of his parking lot. Water had backed up from the drains on Pine Street in Nalley Valley where Bill's Tacoma business is located. It was brief, but powerful. Our son Patrick was coaching Laci's soccer team when it hit. He's always prepared and had a canopy set up. Some of the other teams weren't so prepared. Northwest weather isn't always predictable, but you have to put up with it.
The Irish and the Russians were hard at work impressing us with their food on this trip. There were a number of little restaurants in this neighborhood of inter-connected parking lots. Driving around we found Katya's Bakery. It was a great place for a quick lunch, dessert, and more. We like Hungarian food and German food and one of our favorite stops in the local holiday gift show sells piroshki, a little deep-fried dough ball filled with hamburger and cheese. Peg and I shared a bowl of borscht (wonderful!)and a piroshki. We were disappointed in the piroshki. It was served microwaved, which gave the dough a limp consistency. I think to be fair, it should be warmed in an oven. It tasted good dipped in the borscht. The borscht was different from what I've had before. It has thin shredded bits of beets and carrots with a small dollop of sour cream on top. It came with two pieces of fresh bread. We’ll return for borscht, bread and piroshski to go.
Sitting at the window in Katya's we looked out on the back parking lot of The Maids and Chinook Services. Chinook is one of our Seattle marketing clients. We've driven past their headquarters before, but didn't realize where it actually was in relationship to where we like to go. The last time we visited Edmonds (just next door) Jay Bjorn and his wife joined us for dinner. Jay's parents started the two businesses and now Jay and Kendra run the going concern. The Maids provides housecleaning maid work and the Chinook is handyman services for repairs around the home and offices.
I knew we were going to celebrate Peg's birthday on this trip, but we hadn't decided where. Since we were already hitting the Irish food heavily, we opted for Russian food for our celebration. When we returned late Saturday afternoon we tried out the crepe and the dumplings, pelini. With a crepe you can go sweet or savory, we chose savory. The Russian version of crepe is a lot different from what we were expecting. We were expecting a folded over thin pancake with meat inside. What we got was like a little rectangular pie fried crisply with panko(that’s what it tasted like). It wasn't bad. It was just different, but Peg was looking forward to a savory dish that wasn't fried. The pork/chicken dumplings would have been at home in a won ton soup. Both the crepe and the dumplings were served with sour cream. The dumplings came with a small helping of Korean carrots. Next time around we'll ask for more carrots.
Both times we went to Katya's there was constant traffic, mostly women or girls. For dinner we saw two separate groups of young girls (high school?). One group stayed for coffee and the other came in for cake. Whole cakes were in the refrigerated display case. We must have seen three of them leave while we had dinner. The one man we saw came in for coffee.
We had an éclair (large, delicious with excellent chocolate ) and a slice of poppy seed cake. On our first stop there Peg ordered a cinnamon roll. If we had been at home, we would have ordered that again and heated it gently in the microwave, ADDED butter and dunked it in coffee. As it was we shared the two desserts and still took half home. At $3.99 the cake was a deal. Peg finished it off as part of her birthday breakfast. I don't think she offered me any.
We timed our Sunday around Peg's birthday and the Seahawk game. As we packed up to leave, I watched most of the first quarter of the game on the motel TV and then listened to much of the game as we drove south. We were headed to Edgewood, where our son was preparing Peg and her sister Michelle’s birthday party. The Seahawks were doing well so we finally turned off the radio. When we arrived at Patrick's place there had been a reversal of fortune. As I helped in the kitchen we yelled at the stupid calls and the Seahawks’poor play.We finished preparations for chicken enchiladas in disgust.
The party was a success. Everyone had lots of good food and plenty of laughter. Peg's older sister's Pat’s grandson, Nate, joined us from Bothel as did Peg's younger sister Marie from Vashon Island. Filling out the roster were Patrick and Wendy's (she was away on the annual girl's weekend), daughter Bailee, son Riley, and daughter Laci along with Peg’s younger sister Michelle and her friend, Fred. Peg’s youngest sister Kate and her husband Bill and son Tom came from Edmonds for the party. I think we managed to laugh at everyone, be laughed at and give hugs around a few times.
A surprise at the party was Marie and Dylan Keplinger. The newlyweds stopped by on their way to their honeymoon. I think Dylan had a nice time, but he probably got lost as to who was who . . . or who was with whom, or who was missing. We were glad to see them.
I think they had a nice weekend also at Alderbrook on the Olympic Peninsula. Marie posted this image on Facebook along with this note: When you feel guilty for trying to pull the "it's our honeymoon" card at the hotel, but they crush it and upgrade you to a private cottage on the water.