Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fish and chips

Here's the first attempt at backtracking to some of our Seattle discoveries over the summer. This beach is a recent find - less than ten minutes' drive from home. Our neighbourhood is a lakeside one and that means we have a plenty of waterside places to hang at, not far away.

This particular spot is on a northern stretch of Lake Washington, and has a lengthy jetty walk that loops out from the beach at one end, and all the way to the other side of the beach. A nearby sign claims that to walk it 2.5 times would be equal to a mile, and the water between the jetty and the beach remains incredibly shallow for most of it - Miss Pie can walk out more than halfway, and still only be waist deep. That, and the playground, makes this spot perfect for small kids.

Last night marked our final Friday evening of the summer holidays and it was 27ÂșC, so after I picked up J from work, we made out way to this beach in time to grab the last rays of sun.

The sun is setting earlier these days, and as soon as the shade took over, the girls' lips began turning blue. After a speedy change from swimwear to dry clothes, J took them for a walk along the jetty as I went across the road to grab some fish and chips for dinner.

A strange thing happened on that quick mission for dinner. You see, we haven't had fish and chips at all while we've lived in the US. Not once. There simply weren't any places in our old neighbourhood in L.A. and I suppose we didn't really hang out at the beaches, so this was the first for us in years.

If you're Australian and reading this, you'll understand what a staple it is to have fish and chips, especially after a visit to the beach. Hell, I grew up a good hour away from the nearest beach and we still had fish and chips takeaway at least once a month for dinner - and it was always a treat.

As I set foot into this fish and chips (fries, for you American readers) joint last night, the familiar smell of oil and vinegar stung my nostrils straight away - in a good way. It smelled... comforting. I turned and looked out the window as I waited and was struck by the similarities of the scenery. The frosted pale blue water of dusk, the pink sky, and the silhouettes of pine trees dotted along the beach's park - not unlike the Norfolk pines that are a regular feature of so many of the beaches dotted along the coastline around Sydney.

If I didn't know better, I'd swear I was back in Australia. Bizarre.

When the order was cooked, I watched as a young guy wrapped it into a papered bundle. Then I stepped out into the fresh air and made my way back to the beach. Along the way, I couldn't help but raise the warm package to my nose, inhaling this smell from my childhood. People who saw me must have thought I was a little mad.

It was one of those evenings when your senses are alive, and it feels good to be alive. Gentle beaches, warmth, ducks, sunsets, fish and chips.

Hard to beat.

(Oh, and those fish and chips? They didn't disappoint, and I'm already thinking of an excuse to go back soon...)

PS - I'm working on breaking my lazy habit of iPhone only shots. These were all taken on the 'fancy' camera over the course of several visits to the same beach. It's been fun to pick up the heavy camera again.

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