Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lopez Island - Deer Harbor

I apologize in advance if this trip is reported out of order, and the pictures are of different anchorages than I say. You see I have 1000 pictures and they are four different sets. When every sunset is magical, and each sunrise full of promise, the days flow into each other in a blissful blur.... Ok, wine and rum helps with that I suppose...

But this I recognize as Spencer Spit on Lopez Island. On the spit there is a plentiful supply of driftwood . Some industrious folks have fashioned them into structures and art.

Barbara, me and Patti
We decided to walk over to the town, across the island. It was a way to explore the place, but also sneak in a training walk.

The island started my imagination running. Could we actually live on a little island in the middle of the San Juans. What would it be like to live on this friendly island where they are known for waving at everyone.... Yeah, maybe I could.

Patti and Barbara

In town we went into a fudge shop. There was an amazing woman there who was scooping ice cream and telling us the story of Miss Fudgey her prize winning pig. Her pig just was anointed champion at the county fair. The pig had been scheduled to be turned into bacon the next week. She said she had hoped someone would want to make Miss Fudgey into a Mommy pig instead, so she had offered to give her pig to anyone who would do that... Luckily for Miss Fudgey one woman took her up on her offer. She now is living on the island safe at last. The great thing about this story was the woman. She had a folksy country accent like she should be on Lake Woebegone on PBS. I wished I could have recorded her....

This sign in town make it look like a metropolis!
But it was about two blocks long. We had lunch and began our walk back....
2009 walkers, Barbara, Patti and me. We will miss Barbara on the walk this year.

Look at that weather. Tell me, does it really rain in the San Juans?
Curtiss ferried us back to our boat

Glenn took a shower and bath al fresca!

We decided to head off to Deer Harbor for the night, where there was water, showers and a pumpout.....

La Vida flying along.....

Another rotten sunset.... as the moon rises over the water.

Off to..... Roche Harbor and Garrison Bay the next day!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Our Northwest Passage

Coming home from a great vacation has its challenges. But none of those is as daunting as telling the story. Especially in today's digital world, people expect to see photos instantly, and blogs should stream like consciousness in a beautiful coherent structure that rivals Hemingway. But... trust me, I do not feel up to the task. The next few entries will be my best effort to get a few of the pictures out, and some of the stories.

Katie, Dom and Blixa

Chris and Allison

Glenn and I decided in order to take all our stuff to the Northwest, a drive was in order. That would allow us to also stop and see my family on the way to our charter in Anacortes. Allison and Chris had driven up before us and Katie and Dom along with his daughter Blixa were going to come by my sister Vicki's house in Gig Harbor. We hadn't met Dom or his daughter yet and since they are such an important part of our daughter's life we welcomed the opportunity. To join the fun my niece Laura and her son Owen also came by, making the perfect play mate for Blixa.

Blixa, Owen and Dexter

After our family event, we headed off the next day to pick up Patti and John at the airport. Stowing their bags in the packed car, we drove the 2 hour drive up to Anacortes. Our friends Barbara and Curtiss had already arrived in the area with their boat La Vida, a 26 ft Macgregor sailboat "with an attitude". Luckily the truck Curtiss had used to tow it was repaired in Ashland after a breakdown... and he was able to make it to Anacortes in one piece.

Before we made it to Ship Harbor Charters, we stopped at a winery/cidery place outside Anacortes for a pre party....

Once at the harbor, we checked in and was shown where our new home for the cruise, Wave Dancer, was sitting. We were not allowed to check out until morning, so we called Barbara and Curtiss and arranged a rendezvous at Brown Lantern Ale House. Patti also called some Sausalito neighbors, also up in the area for a vacation, Stuart and Emily Riddle who met us there too.

Emily, Stuart, Patti and John

The cruisers

Ready to set sail? Or power up?

We slept on the boat and settled in. The boys set a time for checking out at 9am, so Patti and I met Barbara in Anacortes to go shopping and provision the boat while they "worked".

John, our captain, checked out the engines.... Once we were ok-ed to leave off we went on our San Juan adventure, heading to Spencer spit on Lopez Island...

One of the many ferries...

The boat felt like it was 10 stories high. For people who usually sail, this Bayliner was huge, and somewhat sluggish to respond. The currents in the San Juans make sailing in the area "challenging" so we broke our resolve not to be power boaters, in favor of getting from place to place on the same day.

But Barbara and Curtiss on La Vida had their own solution for getting around...an outboard with HORSEPOWER! They looked like a ski boat as they flew through the water.

But they told us they were able to sneak in a little sail time on the way.

Their dingy motor had a little starting issue, but after a tow and some suggestions from John, it was all better....

The vacation on the water has a wonderful effect on type A busy people like Glenn. His eyes begin to crinkle into a satisfied smile. His shoulders came down from his ears to their rightful position and the smile spread over his face... "I remember you..." I thought

For people like Curtiss and Barbara, this cruising lifestyle is not foreign. They took many years off to sail around the world, raising a daughter on their boat. They are ready to do it again, with Barbara set to retire at the end of the year.

This is the second cruise we have taken with John. He is a mechanic in his "real" life so he was the ideal person to appoint Captain of Wave Dancer. And Patti, why Patti and I and Glenn have sailed in other foreign lands...Thailand, Spain, Greece.

Me.... I am a party planner in my alternate life, so I planned one for our first night "out there".

The typical suspects began to arrive and the pre-party began.

Pasta and Pistols was one of those mystery games you play over dinner.
I will have to guess at everyone's names, after several days and many bottles of wine that night.

Terra Misu

Mama Rosa

Rocco Scarfacci and Mama Rossa

Terra, Beau Jalais, Angel

There was also John's character who was a wanna be soccer player. John wore his England soccer shirt. I guess he didn't get the message it was an Italian theme!

As the sun set, the views began to take center stage... we all slipped away to our respective berths to wait for the sun to rise. Tomorrow we had exploring to do.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Playing catch up

I have just spent the last several hours trying to catch up with my blogging. The week has had so many thing going on. Guests, parties, work getting ready for our vacation in the San Juans. I have a nagging fear that if I let this lapse, I will never be able to get back to it. And I am told, some people find some tidbits of worth here... so, if you haven't ready the last couple of entries, back track and then... here we go on to Sunday.
Our guests had left for home. Gretchen and David back to Jackson. Katie back to Seattle. The remaining guests were staying only because we had tickets to the Giants.
If you are a Giant's fan you know that we have been nipping at the heels of the San Diego Padres. Chris and Allison are Rockie's fans who are hoping they can slip into the wild card position to get into the playoffs. What was to happen in this game mattered more than most, since we were playing the Padres, and our ACE Tim Linnecum was pitching.
Other things were at stake too, like Allison and I getting back to training after a too long hiatus.
So we gave Chris directions to the ferry and Allison and I took off on foot to walk to ATT from the SYC.
Immediately I could tell I hadn't been walking. The shoes didn't seem to fit right. my feet were aching. My breath didn't come as easily. I thought about stretching more than usual... and I instigated more stops than I usually do. But we were determined on this cook SF day to make it all the way in time for the first pitch at 1:05pm

Along the way, I got to recreate those oh so bloggy moments like... the self portrait on the bridge.

and the bridge photos

(These are some kids in costumes, don't know why... but there they were so I tried to catch them....
I also got to show off some shopping opportunities. Sadly Allison didn't think the pig hat was worth the $19.95 it cost.

And soon enough (really more like 4.5 hours later...) we were at the park.

In time to have a bit at Mijitas and a watermelon Aqua Fresca!

And hurray! Chris found us....

All in time for the first pitch.

It looked promising int he first inning with Timmy striking out three batters....
But then it fell apart with 4 runs scored by the Padres in the 2nd. I have to give Chris credit for not puffing up too much with glee.

The section we sat in was great. Full of true fans. Showing good spirit.
Who knows maybe they compensated for the bad attitude Chirs and Allison saw the last game they attended from the bleacher drunks.
It is such a kick for me to have things we enjoy together. Who would have thought Allison would be a baseball fan? But we all can take a back seat to the baseball nut Chris. He is a wealth of statistics and information. I just know I love the GIANTS and ATT park.
After the disappointing 8-2 loss, we took the ferry back to Larkpsur together.
The packed Ferry carried the same kind of great fans we saw at the park. Made me proud to be a GIANT fan. When we got back home Glenn gave Chris a ball holder for his new Benji Molina ball that Allison won for him at Wine Wars.
Now they have headed on their way.
I ache after the girls leave for a time when we aren't so far apart.
These days, when our lives go so many different directions, it is so unusual for a family to stay close. In the end there aren't to many constants. But family, you are family for life. Ahhhhh for the days when I always knew just where they were..... But such is life. Katie has her own life. Allison has hers. And Glenn and I, well it's time to pack because we are going on vacation!
While I am away I have no idea if it will be at all possible to update the blog, although I will bring my IPAD and I hear we will be seeing some rain. Walking may be challenging (we are on a boat), but trust me... we will be having a great time.
SO SURPRISE me make a donation to the walk. Wouldn't that be remarkable if you all could make me the top fund raiser? A double tent at camp might not mean anything to you, but it would make me VERY happy!