Guests from the West

29 05 2012

That kind of rhymes, doesn’t it? Guests, west…..

Anyway, not the point. The point is that my pals from the west side of the state made the trek up and over the North Cascades to pay us a visit. And on a motorcycle, no less! Talk about numb butt-cheeks….

Hans and Elizabeth are actually friends of mine from Bend. Not long after I moved up here, Elizabeth moved to Seattle and Hans soon followed. Now I have friends to see when we go to the big city! Makes me feel very worldly.

Saturday evening: enter Hans and Elizabeth. I was cooking dinner for their arrival when they pulled up on Hans’s sweet little BMW motorcycle. They made such a cool picture, tugging off their helmets, unzipping their jackets, stretching their legs. And here I come, bounding across the yard with my bare feet, smelling like Mexican casserole. It was so great to have their familiar faces in my front yard!

dressed up for a party Bend OR

Elizabeth and I at a company Christmas party a few years ago – it was tough to even stand next to this hot mama!

After a quiet evening, I was ready for a Sunday full of sight seeing. I really love my little valley and love even more when I get to show it off. (Which rarely happens since no one ever visits. Hint hint.)  Being a busy holiday weekend, J had to work, so it was all up to me. We cruised down the bustling main street of Twisp for a little brunch at the bakery while I filled them in on town gossip.

Next, we headed out for a hike. Nothing too strenuous, just a little tour of our neck of the woods. Sadly, this is a hard thing for me – deciding on a good trail for my visitors. J suggested Patterson Mountain. I wimped out on the mountain and decided to take them around Patterson Lake. Still a beautiful hike, but less vigorous. (Ok, let’s face it: by the time we got out there, I realized I did not think through my clothing choices and I was roasting. So hot. I opted for forest and breeze off the lake over baking sunshine and mountain. This was for the best, for all parties involved.) Thankfully, my pals are real sports and didn’t even get mad when I sort of got us turned around. Twice. We did a little back-tracking, but we did finally make it to the lake!

mountain bike ride in Bend Oregon

After an especially muddy bike ride – we had so much fun together in Bend!

Hans and Elizabeth are fascinating to me. We’re from totally different worlds. They both exude sophistication and culture and class. I, on the other hand, am the po-dunk country counterpart to their chicness. But man is conversation just awesome with these two! Elizabeth is a professional dancer and is currently with a ballet company in Seattle called Sixth Day Dance. She blows me away with her talent. I took ballet as a youngster and I feel this gives me the credibility to say, not just anyone can be a ballet dancer. Like me. I’m not built for it, nor do I possess the discipline. But Elizabeth is and does and it is a real pleasure to watch her perform. And talk about going after what you love! Inspiring.

Then there’s Hanzy, one of the most laid-back people I’ve ever met, and probably one of the smartest, too. He used to work with me in Bend, but has since moved on to greener pastures as a web developer for I can’t ask him much about his job because it all starts going right over my head. The three of us put our heads together on our little hike, trying to come up with our billion-dollar idea so we could all quit our jobs and move to the Caribbean. Unfortunately, the details of said conversation are highly confidential. I can’t have any of you fine people hijacking our ideas and getting rich before us! So you’ll just have to take my word for it that we should be able to hit the beach in no time at all!!

crit party Bend OR

Hanzy and I at a summer crit party – too cool for school!

We headed back to town and hit up some wine tasting at the Lost River winery. Hanzy even bought us a bottle of wine that we all managed to agree was at least our number 2 favorite. Sadly, we didn’t get the chance to drink it, so it’s hanging out in the wine rack for our next reunion. Next we crashed a friend’s birthday kickball party, then wandered into Winthrop for lunch at the brewery. What pals these guys are! Classy wine tasting to sweaty kickball with a bunch of people they didn’t know, to beer and pub food at a little local joint. They’re both always up for anything, making them super fun to hang out with. We treated ourselves to ice cream before heading home to squeeze in a nap before the night’s festivities.

In Bend, Hans and Elizabeth lived just a few blocks from me. They often came by and just knocked on the door, dropping in to say hi. I wish this was still the norm – it was always such a great surprise! We spent a lot of time out and about together, with other coworkers, my roomies, mutual friends, whoever. McMenamins was within walking distance for all of us, and their outdoor bar with the firepits allowed my under-age sister to go with us. Elizabeth and my sister became good friends, and of course Ashlee and Nicole (my besties and roomies of the time) completed our little family. Family dinner nights were the best! Hans is quite the cook and would make awesome homemade pizza. The rest of us would contribute desserts and beverages and we would stay up late as we all slowly slipped into food comas.

No Pants Friday 2010 in Bend OR

After work drinks in Bend – a favorite past-time of ours

Saturday night, we hit up the Twisp River Pub for good eats, fresh root beer, and live music. We slipped out during the opening band to share the experience of the B.I. (Branding Iron during the day, Bad Idea after dark…) – classiest joint in the Methow! (Pardon the sarcasm.) We toasted each other and chatted while enjoying a drink, then headed back for the main band, Sunz of Sound. They’re a couple of local guys that crank out some amazing hip-hop. I don’t really even like hip-hop, but these guys are talented. And I dig their lyrics, which are much more happy and one-love and sunshiney than other hip-hop. If you know Mosley Wotta, they’re a lot like them. They make it work and it rocks. By the time we made it home, all four of us pretty much passed out. So much fun!

I whipped up some biscuits and an egg scramble for Monday brunch, then Hans and Elizabeth had to hit the road so Elizabeth could make her shift that night. I was sad to watch them cruise out the driveway and wished there was room on that bike for me. They took highway 20 going back, and I’m sure it was crazy-awesome from the back of a motorcycle.

So now its our turn to visit! The country kids need to head to the bright lights and city life. That’s just the way I like it – the city is fun to visit, but I prefer my quiet country life to the hustle and bustle and traffic and noise. But it’s even more fun when there are great people to hang out with!





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