I’m 50

I turned 50 today! I’ve heard a lot of sympathy and jokes about being old lately but I consider it an accomplishment – too many people don’t make it to 50. I’m happy to be 50 and even happier that I’m healthy and Gay and the kids are also happy and healthy. I’ve learned how to be comfortable with a rational work/life balance, the kids get along better than ever, we’ve started to figure out this parenting thing. I feel like I just need to continue doing what I’m doing and enjoy it rather than make changes or plans for some life goal or to achieve happiness.

Enjoying my free birthday beer at Optimism

My birthdays are always the same: dinner, usually steak, and German Chocolate cake for dessert and always at home with just the people who matter most to me. Since 50 is a special one I thought I should do something special. I’d always wanted to go to Salish Lodge since moving to Seattle 22 years ago but never have. It’s not a place kids would enjoy so it’d be the first time I didn’t celebrate with the kids.

We arranged for all the kids to have sleepovers at friends’ houses: Havana at Hannah’s, Hudson at Tobin’s and Eva at Leona’s. When the kids heard that we were going away to celebrate my birthday, Hudson said we are “ruining the sugar trilogy”. Huh? That’s what they call the three days of sugar: Havana’s half-birthday dessert on the 30th, Halloween candy on the 31st and my birthday cake on November 1.

Then Gay and I left for Salish Lodge after stopping at Optimism to drop off the kegs we served for Halloween and to get my free birthday beer (a BierBier) – there are only three reasons that it is legal to give away free beer in Washington State and a birthday is one of them.

A sunny and traffic-free drive got us to Salish Lodge just before 4pm. We checked in and put our luggage in the room, which has a view of the Snoqualmie Falls. Before we lost the sun, we walked the trail down to the river and back.

Before dinner we went to the bar, The Attic, and their signature cocktail is the Salish Manhattan, made with our neighbor Micah’s Copperworks bourbon. So that was an easy decision. The Attic was crowded and loud so we took our drinks to Club 268, a quiet little lounge that our room gave us access to. We had the place to ourselves and the hostess served us champagne when our Manhattans were done.

The champagne made us late for our 7pm dinner reservation. The dinner menu was mostly steak and we decided on the Tomahawk, a 34-ounce steak for two and it was cooked perfectly. Our table overlooked the river below lit up by spotlights.

After dinner and back at the room, we watched the first episode of Twin Peaks, since Salish Lodge and the surrounding area was the setting for the show – the opening scenes feature the lodge perched above the falls. The FBI agent, Dale Cooper, stayed at Salish Lodge, in fact. Gay was a big fan of the show in college.

Coincidentally, Salish Lodge and the Falls were purchased by the Snoqualmie Native American Tribe and announced today.

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