Weekend reset: mountains and flowers and cycling and a baby tapir!

I took a four-day weekend this week. My time on the covid-related project that has been keeping me so busy at work is coming to an end and my replacement is fairly well onboarded at this point, so it seemed a good opportunity to take a break and (at least start to) reset.

Only, what to do? I found myself missing my long weekends in the pre-pandemic UK. I wanted nothing more than to take the train out to the countryside to potter around some National Trust garden and take occasional breaks in the cafe to read while fortifying myself with shortbread. Sigh.

Seattle has little of that, and what it has is closed for covid. But travel teaches nothing if not flexibility and resourcefulness, so I headed for . . .

. . . the zoo! I was literally the only person not accompanying a small child, which meant I was unencumbered and able to beat the crowd to see the baby tapir. It was adorable and looked like a frolicking watermelon with legs.

The rest of Thursday I frittered away with odds and ends that included picking up a yearly pass to the national parks, because I wanted to spend Friday . . .

. . . climbing a mountain! The weather was cold and cloudy (but not wet) and I hazarded that the trail for Mount Si wouldn’t be too crowded—and indeed it wasn’t. Eight miles round trip straight up the mountainside through lush forest and a view on top (glimpsed ever so briefly through a thinning in the clouds) was perfect.

The sun came back on Saturday, and I spent the bulk of it gardening on my roof. I deadheaded the spent roses, gardenias, salvias, and yarrows, hoping to coax out another round of late summer blooms. And I took the clippers to my little euonymous topiary that I use to give structure to my delightfully English rose garden.

I set aside today for a long bike ride. Cycling had been the staple of my summers in DC, but having not taken my bike with me to London I’ve done none of it these past three years — and oh, how I do love it. I did fifty miles round trip, from my house out to Redmond and back. The weather was perfect and route around the lake and along the rivers just as beautiful as could be.

And of course the reward for a fifty miler is getting to rest the weary legs in the sunny garden on the roof the rest of the afternoon.

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