I'm still in Seattle, helping Lovely Daughter #1 pack up all her earthly possessions. For the last two days, it's all been about bubble wrap, newsprint, cardboard boxes, and "give to Goodwill" bags. We've packed her portable storage unit so beautifully that you can hardly slide a credit card between the boxes:
But we've also ventured out to the city to complete a few errands. Along the way, I've admired the city's unusual bus shelters:
Hey, look at that! My initials, almost:
We spent part of a cold, windy afternoon doing errands on a busy street near the University of Washington. To warm up, we ducked in to a little Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall restaurant to have a bowl of "Pho" (Vietnamese soup). Pho shops abound in this neighborhood. The food is inexpensive and delicious--perfect for students on a budget.
First, you pick the size of soup bowl that you want. Then you pick whether you want vegetarian, chicken, or beef pho. Then you play "spot the typo" in the menu:
Before the soup arrives, you are handed a plate of yummy things to add in to your soup. There's green chilies, fresh basil leaves, bean sprouts, and lime wedges:
You choose your weapon to attack the soup: chopsticks, forks, or little ladle-shaped spoons. I started out with chopsticks, which I can handle pretty well.
But this soup is soooo delicious, and so stuffed with rice noodles, that I didn't want to wait too long in between bites. I settled for a fork to deliver the goods, followed by a spoon for the broth. This was a small bowl, by the way, and it was easily 8 inches across and 3 inches deep:
For dessert, you get a free little cream puff in a pleated cup. The French influence over Vietnamese cuisine yields some wonderful results!
Lovely Daughter #1 also had time for one last ballet class at her favorite dance studio. I sat and watched and had a great time capturing some shots:
This is A., my daughter's beloved teacher. She is fantastic artist. I quite fell in love with her spirit, her lithe dancer's body, her high-arched feet, and her gorgeous, silver hair:
The periphery of a dance studio's floor is an in-between land, where all sorts of things live. There are always shoes:
There are always water bottles. There are usually bits of clothing cast off as the dancers warm up:
In this studio, there also was an alcove for visitors to wait. One of the dancers brought her daughter to class and tucked her into the alcove:
This little sweetheart had an arsenal of things to keep her occupied:
And if she grew bored with what mom packed, the studio provided some entertainment, too:
As she played, the dancers pushed on:
Near the end of a ballet class, the dancers execute jumps and turns across the floor on the diagonal. I camped out in a corner, which gave me an excellent spot from which to see their hairdos. It's traditional to wear the hair up so the nape of the neck is exposed. Beyond that, in this class at least, anything goes:
This gal's hairdo was my favorite. she had braids, both tiny and large. She had smooth bits and nappy bits. She had many colors, including a hot-pink stripe in her bangs. To top it all off, she sported a crocheted headband and an earful of earrings:
On each arm, she wore a pile of gold bangles:
Normally, jewelry is kept to a minimum in ballet classes, but this woman clearly had style. And it was an adult ballet class. In funky Seattle. Led by a woman who has no lack of style herself. So, yeah. Rock the look and let's keep going.
And to the lady who said she wasn't photogenic? I beg to differ.
You are beautiful.
So thank you, A., for letting me watch and photograph your class.
And thank you for giving my Lovely Daughter #1 a wonderful place to dance and express her soul.