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Dec 4, 2009

Beginners.

 I took a trip to Seattle last week for an appointment, and to do some shopping. I had arranged for my mother to pick up my kids from school, and stay with them until my husband got home from work. So, I was free for the day. Luckily, we have no snow yet, so the towns and highways are still clear and dry. Driving from here to Seattle takes about three hours, so, there and back, you are on the road for six hours. It sounds crazy to drive six hours for a brief visit. Mind you, Seattle is a beautiful city with everything imaginable available. There are many products and facilities that you just can't get in a small, rural town, so sometimes a trip to the big city is necessary. I don't go there as often as I would like, so I decided to treat myself to a day away. Another good thing about taking that road trip is the scenery. It is breathtaking. Most of the journey between Wenatchee and Seattle is through forest. You must go over one of the mountain passes that take you through the Cascade Mountain Range, and then you drop down towards sea level where you find the city. I am not used to driving in busy Seattle traffic. You have to be alert and keep your eyes peeled. Ironically, in the middle of the busiest traffic, two of my sons called me from their school, "Mum, I forgot to bring my homework to class. Can you bring it in?" and "Mum, we're low on lunch money. Could you come in a bring a check?" Sorry boys, Mum is unavailable, she's taking the day off, she is out of the office!

Grammar notes.

 Vocabulary: an appointment, to arrange, available, to keep one's eyes peeled.

Exs:

I have three appointments today, one with the doctor, one with the dentist, and one with a chiropractor.

I arranged a get together with some friends. We had lunch and did some flower arrangements.

The receptionist told me that the boss is unavailable right now; he's in a meeting.

Keep your eyes peeled; if we're lucky, we'll see a deer or two in the field.

Advanced.

 I had a great time in Seattle. I did some shopping in one of my favorite stores, an international import store that carries typical English foods: baked beans, digestive biscuits, and lots of different chocolates. It makes me feel connected with England when I go there, and when I get home, my children always look curiously in the bag at the products that their mum used to eat as a child. Well, I unfortunately, shopped for too long, and so, was late for my appointment. But the day was perfect for this time of year. Seattle, as you probably know is very, very rainy. But this day was perfectly clear, sunny, and the views of the Olympian mountains was spectacular. My day came quickly to an end and I headed home. I had to go East, back through the Cascades. In a town called Cle-Elum, I decided to stop, stretch my legs, and have a bite to eat. I went to the Cottage Cafe. It is a local favorite. It is a combination of casual restaurant, cafe, and truck stop. It has low ceilings, wood everywhere, and the smell of fresh food and coffee. I ordered a 'chop chop' salad which had a bit of everything in it. Typically, it was huge; I couldn't finish it. But I was satisfied. I warmed myself up with a cup of coffee and chatted a little with the waitress. "It is always really clean in here," I said, remembering the times I had been there before and thought the same thing. "Thankyou, we try our best," she said while wiping down the glass of a pie display. It was a cosy stop for me. The hum of conversation, the wood cabin feel, the cleanliness, and the good food, had all made me feel at home. I noticed two wooded plaques on the wall. One said, "Freshly baked pies," and the other said, "Home cook'n". Yes, this place is definitely a good American road-side restaurant.

Grammar notes.

Western American slang: Home cook'n, shoot, yep and nope in one word answers, gee's, to talk someone's leg off:

Exs:

She sure does some good home cook'n.

Shoot, I just broke the last light bulb!

"Do you like beans?" Answer: "Nope!" "Yep!"

Turn the music down! Gee's, I can't hear myself think!

I ran into my neighbor at the store, and she talked my leg off for about an hour!