I went to the wedding of my niece Sarah and her (now) husband Nils. The ceremony was held in Nils' grandfather's back yard, overlooking Puget Sound. There was homemade roasted pork, beef, a "buffet" which included salad, green beans and Cheetos. I liked the Cheetos - quite a homey touch.
The wedding cakes - one a traditional cake and the other a traditional Scandinavian wreath cake (Kransekake) made from almond paste. Nils' aunts made it and it was delicious! It was supposed to be decorated with Norwegian flags but, given that my nieces (all of them) are avid soccer fans, the flag of the Seattle Sounders would have been more appropriate.
The next day was a birthday party for my great-nephews. Multiple cousins attended and I lost track of who was related to who (whom?). But it was a heck of a lot of fun.
The festivities were a bit much for one of my great nephews.
I played tourist in Seattle, walked until my feet gave out and "helped" my sister buy gifts for her granddaughters (my great-nieces).
My brother-in-law went up on the Space Needle. My sister and I sat that one out. We munched on roasted corn, talked family and settled the world's problems. We are good that way.
I became very familiar with "downtown" Bremerton as we went back and forth on the ferry. When the Navy was there in full force, Bremerton was quite the rowdy place - esp for sailors on leave. But the Naval shipyards are much reduced and the town is dying.
Apparently the town council has tried to make it more upscale but has imposed draconian taxes and fees, so no new business will move in. Right now, it's an uncomfortable mixture of upscale stuff (or an attempt at upscale) juxtaposed with the old style blue collar homes and stores. There are some condos with great views of the sound but one block away, it's just dead. I didn't see any markets for real food or even a farmer's market although I read that there was one. It would be a pity if the town were to continue to slide down hill. The site is magnificent and a lot less expensive than the city across the water.
I visited Pulsbo, a cute little touristy town founded around the turn of the last century. Supposedly it was founded by Norwegian fishermen but there is little of the old town left, if any at all. It reminded me a little bit of Mill Valley but with the shops filled with tourist junk, " antique" stores and restaurants. There wasn't even a Scandinavian deli, much less pickled herring (thank heavens!) so my brother and I had a lovely lunch at a Mexican place.
We drove around a lot of back roads and I can't say where I was but it was beautiful. The houses were all kinds, from modest but well kept to a "castle" which is the latest sensation. I could see the sea through the trees; it kept winking in and out of view like an intense blue ribbon, low upon the horizon.
My last shot - or close to it from my balcony in Bremerton, Washington. I highly recommend the Flagship Motel. It is out of the way so you will need a car. Luckily for me, everybody in my family does have a car so I was driven around like a queen. The rates in the motel are low, the beds are nice and they always have chocolate chip cookies in the lobby. Warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate;
And although I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun. (Lord of the Rings).