August 4th, 2009

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

End of an Era

It's a little late - they closed two weeks ago - but it's still worth a nod. I'm a sentimental sod. So sue me.

We moved to the Pacific Northwest from the darkest deepest hot'n'humid sandy swamps of Florida - about as far away as we could get from FL and still be on the continental United States. We arrived late at night on February 19, and February 20 dawned like only a February 20 up here can be - cold and drizzly and gray and pretty damn miserable, really. We were staying at the Rodeway Inn until such time as we could get the keys to our new house, mainly because we had a cat in tow and they were one of the few places which allowed 'em. She had spent most of the previous night wailing pitifully and climbing all over me in bed ("Hoooome! Take me hoooooome! It's cold and I don't know this place and life is horrible and I want to go hooooooooooome...") but we both survived the night and then rdeck and I wandered down, bleary-eyed, to the so-called free breakfast that Rodeway Inn provided.

This appeared to consist of a carafe of coffee, and a few pieces of wilting toast in a rack with a small basket of jelly to smear on them.

Didn't look too appetizing.

Across the parking lot there was a restaurant - Eleni's, advertising Greek and American food. We ducked across in the rain, wandered inside into the somewhat utilitarian but nevertheless welcoming atmosphere, and had our first real meal in Bellingham.

We've been going back to Eleni's for breakfast ever since. We always had the same thing - Greek omelette with wholewheat toast for him, a couple of slices of tyropita for me (it's a sort of phyllo-pastry cheese pie, very nice), and two coffees. It wasn't long before the waitress who almost always served us would basically call in our order as we pulled into the parking lot and she recognised our car.

We always got a warm welcome, a few moments of catching up, they knew about rdeck's stroke and were always sure to comment on how well he was doing. The coffee ranged from okay to (sometimes) rather indifferent, but hey, it was a place with good food and people who knew our names.

We went back there as a sort of ritual on the anniversary of that first breakfast every year since we began.

And then, on one occasion, I happened to overhear someone talking.

"You're CLOSING?" I asked, when one of the waitresses passed our table.

"Oh. Yeah. On July 15. They're going to open a casino here."

We ate our breakfast in a sort of shock, and went back twice more before they closed their doors permaenntly. It's gone now, Eleni's, a part of our own history. I think we will miss it.

A few photographs Collapse )
Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Just a reminder, before I sail off to Darkest Canada -

Here's where you will be able to find me at Worldcon (I may update this information with changes, but this would be the core info):

When: Thu 12:30
Title: Author Reading
All Participants: Jenny Rae Rappaport, Alma Alexander

When: Fri 10:00
Location: P-Autographs
Title: Alma Alexander Signing
Duration: 0:30 hrs:min

When: Sat 15:30
Location: P-521B
Title: Alma Alexander
Description: A chance to ask those burning questions.
Duration: 1:00 hrs:min
Track: Kaffeeklatsch
Please do come and visit with me at the Kaffeeklatsch! I think I may even have a doorprize...

When: Sat 17:00
Location: P-512CG
Title: Would it Really Help to Get Rid of those Nasty Rough Men?
All Participants: John Kessel, Margaret McBride, Alma Alexander,
Shirley Meier
Moderator: John Kessel
Description: The pros and cons of a single sexed world.
Duration: 1:30 hrs:min

When: Sun 12:30
Location: P-524A
Title: First Contact: Creating History
All Participants: Carl Fink, Cary A. Conder, Daniel Grotta, James
Nelson-Lucas, John G. McDaid, Lev Grossman, Lynn E Cohen Koehler, Mary
Ann Melton, Mur Lafferty, Alma Alexander
Moderator: Lynn E Cohen Koehler
Description: How would you want to remember and record history? Is
traditional journalism obsolete? Explore new media options to record
history; bring your favorite media.
Duration: 1:00 hrs:min
Language: Bilingual
(Bilingual? I wonder how much of rapid-fire French I'll be able to understand... but after being on a panel which was being translated in Japanese at the Japan WOrldcon, this should be a walk in the park...)

When: Sun 14:00
Location: P-513B
Title: First Contact: Changes
All Participants: julie c andrijeski, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Sherwood
Smith, Alma Alexander
Moderator: julie c andrijeski
Description: We'd all like to make the world a better place, but how?
Are you a catalyst? What is? But, what's good about now? What's coming
next? How would finding aliens change.... everything?
Duration: 1:00 hrs:min

I've already got some of my meals and/or other "free time" kind of spoken for - but if you want to make a plan to touch base email me before I leave (i.e. TODAY) or else voodoo me at the con itself and we'll see what we can do...

Hope to see many of you there!