Monday, March 24, 2008
There Are No Friends Like Old Friends!
Far right: Now that our kids are grown, my long-time good friends Bea and Alice (from left to right) are finally able to aside a little time now and then to just have fun, indulge themselves with an occasional retail therapy date and lunch in a well-appointed tea room.
Below center : Country Village Shops in Bothell, WA has been a popular shoppers destination for years. All pictures that accompany this article are copyright 2008 by Mizu Sugimura.
Getting together with friends for a fancy tea is a rare treat on my calendar. So I truly relished a recent gathering at the Peach Tree Bakery & Tea Room at Bothell's Country Village Shops on Saturday, March 15.
That I'd be sipping tea with two old friends, one of whom goes as far back as my sophomore year of high school in Kirkland, WA in the beginning of the 70's.
Beatrice has been there for me in the subsequent years for most all my ups and down. And I like to think I've been somewhere nearby for most of hers. Alice is our most recent friend. We both met her when our kids were in school.
At one point or another, all three of us spent some of our school years growing-up in Seattle with brothers and sisters. So we have other points of reference that we share as well. When Beatrice and I turned thirty, we went to see the Chippendale dancers in Seattle with her mother and older sister.
A few years down the road she lost her first child, a baby son. She got pregnant again and delivered a healthy baby daughter. Then I had a son and lost my bone density. Things were fairly quiet until she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. We held our breath, but things have worked out for the best. Our mutual wish these days is for good health and days to enjoy it.
Left: The charm of the Peach Tree Bakery
& Tea Room is evident from outside the
Alice was lucky enough to have lived and worked in Hawaii in the years before we knew her. The rest of us know the islands as our most favorite place to visit. One of the most memorable visits I have had with Alice here in the Pacific Northwest was signing up for a weekend workshop Alice and her daughter to learn how to make Korean kimchee at Seattle's Wing Luke Asian Museum about two years ago. At the last minute her daughter could not go, so if memory serves we had some unexpected adult time. Which, in a nutshell, is precisely why it was that memorable!
Recently, she and I shared a good laugh when we discovered that despite our good intentions, to our mutual chagrin - that workshop was the first and only time since we ever tried to make this standard hot, garlic flavored condiment!
During those years since the three of us discovered we had common ground, family life and responsibilities always had to be juggled adroitly in order to meet at all. With our children
now independent young adults - for most hours of the day, Beatrice, Alice and I have far more time which makes a tea room date like this one something at the top of all our lists!
These days our kids thankfully, don't need babysitters. More significantly, they also don't come as a pre-wrapped package with mom! So we've moved from arranging hasty, impromptu coffee and rolls at the nearest Starbucks, to plan something a shade grander along the lines of the St. Patrick's Day holiday themed lunch and scones that we enjoyed the other weekend at the Peach Tree Bakery & Tea Room.
Country Village Shops boast over 40 cottage style stores offering a colorful selection of unique and delightful items for you, your home, your friends or just about anyone! It's conveninently situated along a tree-lined drive just minutes away from Seattle via I-405 at Exit 26. Although the locale for our tea on St. Patrick's Day weekend was determined by its close proximity to Bea and Alice's homes, a second date is now being discussed for an equally charming South Sound venue? Got any suggestions?
Above: The well-stocked bakery lets you bring
home a sample of your special favorites.