Sunday, November 8, 2009

Salish Lodge

We had planned a Red Gate retreat for the last couple days of the week. My group at Red Gate, the publishing group, has 8 people in it, and we rarely get together. Two of us live in the US, so while we talk weekly, we don't see each other often. After the PASS Summit, we planned to spend Fri and Sat morning talking about plans for the next year.

I had thought we'd stay in the city, but a couple people and my boss wanted to get away, so we booked a night at the Salish Lodge, E of Seattle. It's near the town of Snoquamie and built on a hill overlooking a waterfall. It's actually quite picture-esque, but as you might have guessed, it rained most of the time we were there.

It's a little fancy, and isolated. After being dropped off by our van, we spent all day in a meeting with only a short break to walk out to an observation center and actually see the falls. I have a few pictures, and it does look quite nice.

The lodge is undergoing renovation, so some things weren't working. Bad timing for us, and various people had issues with their rooms. One person couldn't get their door open and had to wait an hour for maintenance to fix that. Someone else had an old room that wasn't very pleasant for them.

I actually had a nice renovated room. A huge jetted tub that actually had sliding doors that opened to the room, allowing you to have an open airy feel, or look out the floor to ceiling doors at the river. However things weren't perfect. The cold water for my sink didn't work, and neither did my iHome iPod alarm clock.

It was too fancy for me, with dinner not being overly enjoyable. It wasn't bad, but just not what I'd prefer, with a lot of french, artistic influences. The menu was limited, and the majority of things weren't what I'd choose. There was a tenderloin and a short rib item, plus a mint chicken. The rest of the dishes were seafood, duck, things I don't really like. One of the other guys is a much plainer eater than I, and we were rolling our eyes together.

As a sample, our opener, was a small plate. It had on it 3 slices of radish, a little oil, greens, and a few spices. That was it. I then had a salad is mixed greens, a few drabs of a balsamic dressing, and some nuts and some baby fruit.

We had a sorbet course that was a passionfruit tea, dried out, then crystallized, and frozen. It was pretty good and my steak was nice. Surprisingly I felt fairly full, although I think having a few cocktails helped. It was a silly dinner for me, my portion costing about $120 with wine. Not crazy, although the prices looked crazy at first. However it just was stiff, it wasn't exciting, and it wasn't relaxing. I think that's the problem with this super-fancy dinner.

I skipped dessert, nothing looking good, and since we'd been there for over 2 hours, I just wanted to sleep. No after dinner cocktails. That was another annoying thing, the extremely slow pace of service. It's deliberate, but not my thing. I would have preferred a quicker dinner, and then a drink afterwards.

It was a good retreat, and a beautiful place, though it rained all the time. I skipped my morning run with it cold and rainy outside. I didn't need to slip, or get sick, from the weather. I wasn't prepped for an outdoor run, and so I planned on running at home. I got to do that, but it was late after Tia's accident. So I had an 8:30 at night run.

No comments: