Laurie is at a workshop this week at a middle school in West Seattle. A peninsula sticking out of the city’s side, West Seattle is connected to town by a large bridge that used to be called the West Seattle Freeway until they changed the speed limit and the signs.
Iris and I made a plan to borrow my mom’s car, pick up Laurie, and head to Alki beach for the afternoon. But I messed up and told my mom Thursday and Laurie Wednesday, and the car wasn’t available. So we had to reserve a Flexcar.
Because people always ask, I will explain how Flexcar works. If you already know, please skip ahead. You pay a monthly fee (there are many levels of membership; we pay $10) and have access to a couple hundred cars around Seattle, including at least two dozen in our neighborhood. You make a reservation online, and the cars are first-come, first-served. The monthly fee covers a certain number of hours–we get three–and additional hours are extra. Gas, insurance, maintenance, and car washes are included. You return the car to the space where you picked it up.
Most of the Flexcar fleet consists of boring button-down shirt cars like Honda Civic Hybrids. Yesterday, however, the car that was available was a Mini Cooper. Convertible. With 150 miles on it. At no extra charge.
So, not to knock my mom’s minivan, but we jetted off to the beach in a fucking convertible. “This convertible is CLASSIC,” said Iris. Laurie could not have been more impressed if we had arrived in a gold-plated Rolls Royce.
At the beach, we played Stew Pot, where Iris and I dig a hole and pour water in it and make stew. “And you make ingredients like a sand lobster,” said Iris. So I made a sand lobster, and Iris stepped on it.
“Hey!” I said. “Somebody stepped on my sand lobster. Who was it?”
“It wasn’t me,” said Iris.
“Then who made this little footprint?”
“Okay, it was me. I was just making jokes.”
There are a few good beaches in Seattle, but Alki is one of the only ones with a strip of beach-oriented businesses facing it. We got dinner from Sunfish and ate it on the grass near the water. It was beach food: halibut and chips, fried shrimp, and iced tea. Iris gave a crow a french fry. There are two fish and chip places on Alki. The other is Spud. I’ve never heard anyone say they prefer Spud, and it’s not nearly as good, but it has more of a beachy look to it and a better name.
Sunfish also makes fishkebabs, halibut and shrimp on a skewer with onions and green peppers. The grill guy leans on the halibut to make sure it gets nicely browned on the griddle. Recommended.
We headed back to town with a belly full of fish and the top down. Today it rained.