So, after 10 years we decided it was finally time to get away for a night. Alone. Shane gave me a trip to the Salish Lodge, along with lots of extras for Christmas/Anniversary and since Cyprian is finally not nursing at night we decided to give it a go. Ron and Trudy bravely offered to watch the kids, which the kids were very excited about. They would live there if they could so of course we knew they would be well taken care of and we'd be able to relax, not worrying about the kids.
It was sort of last minute but everything seemed to align for that Friday so I booked the room and dinner reservations and spa treatments. Which we'd never tried before. Anywhere, so I was looking forward to it with anticipation. We dropped the kids off around 3pm and headed for Snoqualmie.
I can't express how excited I was. I was giddy packing our bags and envisioning a night of uninterrupted sleep in our own bed with a crackling fire and uninterrupted conversations.
We went to check in, where the attendant wished a happy anniversary and reconfirmed our other reservations. I felt very strange walking to our room. I was waiting for someone to stop me and say,
"You don't belong here. Go home to your kids. Fold some laundry. What are you doing here?'
No one did, so I kept walking. I still felt a little unnatural and like I didn't know what to do with myself. After we got to our room it came to me that all I had eaten that day was a breve latte. I knew that couldn't be good. Our dinner in the main restaurant was not until 6:15 and it was just after 4. We decided it might be a good idea to stop in at the Attic Bistro for some pre-dinner snacks and wine. It was heavenly.
I was chilly from being hungry so I picked a table in front of the crackling fire. As I felt the heat I started to melt. Then they brought the bread and creamy European-style butter with fleur-de-sel and glasses of merlot. I was completely over any feelings of not fitting in. I didn't even worry about Pippin. I really need to be more careful about my eating habits. We didn't want to spoil dinner so we looked for a tasty appetizer and fixed on a meat and cheese platter. It was very tasty with creamy bleu cheese and cute little kalmata olives with three kinds of thinly sliced meat and artichoke hearts and stone-ground mustard. I think I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
We sat for awhile and enjoyed the warmth and tastiness until it was gone. Then mosied to out room to get ready for dinner. They seated us in our own private room up against a window. It was dark out but it had a nice view of the water in the daylight. We first had to tackle the wine list, which was very extensive- 6 pages of reds. I told Shane he would have to pick. There were too many choices. He picked a Snoqualmie Cabernet Reserve. 2003. It was a very good choice and the bottle was really neat. I forgot to ask to keep it though.
After we had tackled the wine choice we had the dinner menu to go over. There were too many tempting choices so Shane suggested we try the 6 course dinner so we could try a variety of dishes. I am so glad he did. It was spectacular. Each dish that came out was more impressive than the previous one and the presentations were amazing. As were the descriptions.
As the waiter presented each new course he gave us a rundown of what we were about to enjoy. Each dish had its own litany of words. I think I caught frissee, compote, reduction, cappuccino and a host of others. He rattled them off so quickly and I expected him to end each time with "and spam."
ONe of my favorites- they all were- was the kobe beef cheeks served over creamy mashed potatoes and alongside a horseradish cappuccino. It tasted rich and buttery and creamy and not very horseradishy, which I'm not fond of anyway. YOu were supposed to sip it with your meal because the beef and potatoes were not rich enough. The beef was the most tender meat I've ever eaten. They'd serve little pallette cleansers and starters and by the time we got the the "chocolat bombe"- because it tastes better spelled that way- we could only eat a couple bites. It was presented on large plates with chocolate scrolled letters around the border that read "happy 10th anniversary". I thought that was a really neat touch.
Then feeling quite content and cozy and completely at home we headed back to our room. First Shane got a fire going and then we ran a hot relaxing bath. It had lights in it that flashed green, yellow, red, and blue. Everytime they turned on we expected a mariachi band to jump out of the closet and start playing "Feliz Navidad". I could picture it in a movie. But they didn't.
After we got out we noticed the fire wasn't drawing well and the room smelled a little smokey. Shane stirred it and tried to get it going more. It did but it didn't help the smoke. We found ashes spread all over the room. So we opened the window but that almost seemed to draw more smoke than it let out.
Soon we discovered the next surprise feature of our room. An intermittent screeching sound like metal scraping against metal. Shane removed the screen, which was not the right size and was just leaning against the window anyway, and popped his head out. He could see a down spout which had broken loose and everytime the wind blew it scraped and made the horrible noise. We figured it might stop eventually. We left the window open to help alleviate the smoke and were then able to enjoy the sounds of cars and semis careening down the highway. I thought counting them might help me sleep but it didn't. I woke up Shane to say I couldn't sleep and we lay there for awhile listening to the romantic sounds all around us as we filled our lungs with air heady with ashes and smoke. It was so riciculous all we could do was laugh. We were in hysterics imagining the cleaning staff finding us unconsious in the morning, maybe with the Christmas-bath lights going. I tried as hard as I could to sleep- which only mades it more impossible- and finally I called the front desk, described our current conditions and asked for a new room. A little later we were told the hotel was booked but they coul send up a fan and that we should close the damper on the fireplace to make sure wind was not bringing in the smoke. It seemed a little unsafe as the fireplaces have a glass screen but are not completely air tight, but it was either that or try sleeping in the hall. Which I was actually quite tempted to do.
The fan did help with the noise and we kept to window open so I felt a little safer of not expiring due to smoke inhalation. We were both very surprised the fire alarm in the room never went off. At that point it would have just been another thing to contend with getting to sleep.
So, around 4am we were finally able to sleep but were exhausted when the alarm went off to wake us up for an 8am spa appointment. We considered missing it but decided it might be better to move into a smoke-free area for awhile. That fact and a massage I think would be the only reasons for not sleeping more.
We were glad we went. It was very relaxing in a cozy room with a non-smokey fire burning and calm music playing. I wondered why they didn't just let us sleep there. And it really helped with the side-effects of the night. As relaxing as it was she was not very strong and I knew I'd need Shane to take a turn on my shoulders but we picked up some new techniques and it inspired us to get a massage table and work on creating our own spa nights at home.
Afterwards we quickly got dressed and out of our room. It was not really a pleasant place to stay in still. Breakfast was tasty and the breve latte was very strong- which I really needed. And the views were so pretty. We thought of walking down the look-out point but we were both very tired and just wanted to get home.
Unfortunately, we did not get pictures of anything at all. I really wished we'd taken the camera to dinner but oh well.
So now we are home still in the process of sleep recovery.
Oh, and I forgot. As a final farewell gift this week-end we got colds too. We'd been staving off the kids bad colds with zicam, and pretty sucessfully. But Saturday afternoon we both felt the cold was winning. I'm sure the bad sleep was the culprit.