Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reminiscing Young Love

I arranged to travel to Puyallup on Friday to spend time with my friend, Suzi, for the weekend.  I took a couple of days off work.  I am not going to be able to take much vacation time this year because of several projects going live at work.  I hadn't seen Suzi since the wedding and really wanted to spend some time with her.

I decided to head up early so I could have some me time to revisit all the places I remember as a young woman.  Lakewood was my first home away from Wisconsin.  Steilacoom was Bill's first home post-West Point and Infantry Basic course.  My first stop was Steilacoom.  Love it there.  It is one of the oldest towns in Washington State and is the home of lots of first.  First incorporated city in the territory in 1854.  First jail.  First sawmill.  First county seat for Pierce County.  Was almost selected the first territorial capital.  There are so many wonderful old buildings there.

It is also the place that Bill and I first fell in love.  Bill lived in a pretty crappy apartment right across from the train station and ferry dock.  But the view was fantastic.  There was a view of Ketron and Anderson Islands which is where the ferries go.  You can also see the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from there.  There is a view of the prison on McNeil Island and there is a boat that takes workers and families out to the prison from the ferry dock as well.  On a good day, there is a great view of the Olympic Mountains.

E.R. Rogers was the place Bill took me on our second date.  I had never been to such a beautiful restaurant before.  I was impressed.  It was a frequent spot for us to have many a romantic dinner or Sunday brunch.  And where we decided to have our rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding.  It was built in 1891 and has been a private home, a boarding house, a rock museum and a restaurant.  It is currently an office building with a law practice and counseling practice there.  So sad that is isn't a restaurant anymore.  I have such wonderful memories of the meals the we had there.

This is what it looked like when we lived and ate there.

Bill and I liked to eat at Bair Drug and Hardware on occasion as well.  It is a living history museum.  It was built in 1895.  It is a great place for breakfast and lunch and has a soda fountain.

Bill and I used to like to go to breakfast at the restaurant at the ferry dock.  That restaurant has since burned down.  They do have a little bit of a snack shop in the lobby where you buy the ferry tickets but it isn't the same as the old place.

I arrived right as they were getting to load the ferry.  Walked around town a bit.  And then went to have a light lunch at Bair Drug and Hardware.  I had a fairly large breakfast to I wasn't that hungry.  But I wanted to soak in the place and enjoy reminiscing our time there.  So I just ordered a cup of homemade chicken noodle soup.

The next thing I did was drive around to various spots in Lakewood.  I went to see my old apartments.  Hunter's Glen was closest to Steilacoom so I went there first.  Then I headed to my first apartment at Amber Court near McChord AFB to check that out.  Then just drove down Bridgeport Way and some other streets to check the place out.  Seems more run down than a remember from 30 years ago.

Bill and I actually met through church.  There was a College and Career Group for young adults to get together for fellowship.  We went to plays, played games, went bowling, watched movies and had Bible studies.  It was a great place to meet people.

I also looked for the place we had our wedding reception--at the Lakewood Community Center.  Looked for a few other restaurants we frequented.  It was such a great afternoon to just drive around and remember a time from my young adulthood.  The only thing that would have made it better was to be able to go onto Fort Lewis to see Madigan, old Madigan, the Post Chapel where I had my wedding, and other places that I remember from that time when I was stationed there.  But too hard to get on base since 9/11.  Hopefully one day I will be able to spend more time with Suzi and she will take be on post again.

All and all it was a great couple of days.  Got to revisit old haunts and see my oldest (or should I say my longest) and best friend in the world.

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