Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Orcas Island

Kerry recently did some architectural work for a friend that owns a vacation home on Orcas Island - part of his compensation was use of the (already existing) large home.  So we invited my parents and planned a weekend getaway!

For those of you that aren't local, between Washington State, B.C., and Vancouver Island you'll find a cluster of smaller islands - an archipelago - of literally hundreds of "named islands and rocks", many of them with permanent residents.  Those belonging to the USA are the San Juan Islands.  The Canadians call theirs the Gulf Islands.

Four of Washington's largest (San Juan, Orcas, Shaw, and Lopez) are served by huge car-ferries.
They look like this:

They're double-ended, so they don't have to turn the boats around.
You just drive in one end, and out the other.

Mom and I were able to go out on Thursday - a day ahead of the guys.

There's nothing "luxury" about riding the ferry, but I love it,
and we had a perfect day.

I think this is part of Orcas Island - where we were headed.

For such big boats, they don't draw very much (means they're wide and flattish - not a deep keel).
If often surprises me how close to shore they go!

The Shaw Island landing is directly across the channel from Orcas' landing.
Another ferry was docked at Orcas as we pulled into Shaw.

Not a lot of traffic on and off here - it's a smaller island with fewer tourist draws.

Notice the whitewater in front of the ferry.
Boats don't have brakes.
(You knew that, right?)

The captain was just starting to slow the boat down.

Here he was REALLY pushing back.
It was probably the most perfect landing of any ferry ride I've had - he timed it just right.
We came into the dock with just a little bump.

Meanwhile, the other ferry pulled out of Orcas, making room for us.

This being Kerry's reward, he and I got the master bedroom.
I brought my own bedding, and even my own quilt, to be cozy.
No curtains on those windows, because WHY WOULD YOU???

The living room... 

... and dining room were equally spectacular.

We walked down to the beach and looked back up at the house...

... not a lot of beach at high tide!

Here's next morning's low tide, for comparison.

Loved the evening view :D

What a sunset!

Girls' night out... we nuked Pad Thai and played Scrabble ;D

Cloudy next morning...

Madrona branches on the beach.

Right in front of the house.

 Lots of reading.
And Scrabble.

Kerry, my dad, and the boybarians were delayed about an hour.
The ferries kind of run on island time...
But they sure had a gorgeous ride out as well!

Tate's photo
And we had (a very late!) dinner waiting for them :D

Next morning...

No TV, no wi-fi, but Tate brought his computer because he likes writing.

We did a whole lot of nothing.

And games.

Do you know Balderdash?
We used to call it Fictionary.
Somebody finds an obscure word, that the rest of the group doesn't know, and you all have to write a definition for it, and try to guess which is correct.

Some people take it very seriously

Other people (my dad and Wyatt) play for the laughs.

We can see the highest point on Orcas Island from my parents' house, so of course we HAD to go up Mt. Constitution.

There was too much haze to see their house from the tower, but we know where it is ;D

The boybarians just LOVE having their photo taken...

Tate is more cooperative.

All the land you see is islands.

 LOTS of tourism out here...

And madrona trees everywhere.  Most are redder, but I like this yellow one.

Since the ferries don't exactly run as precisely as Japanese trains, I love that Orcas Island has this little park right at the ferry landing.

You can just park your car in line, hang out at the park, and see the ferry coming in.

Cars (and bikes and foot traffic) gets off, cars get on, and away you go.

Tate decided this was where passengers were assembled, so he was looking for the spare parts...

Another gorgeous day for a ferry ride!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Thursday, May 24, 2018

Outside my window...  cottonwood snow, can you see it?

It looks a bit like a fairy-land at times.

Thinking...  the boys are turning into men, right before my eyes, but still...

... moments of goofiness.
The "Bro-hirrim" doing dishes.

You'd have to be a LOTR nerd to get that...

Praying...  for good attitudes about an upcoming room-swap.

Thankful... we had a great weekend away - pics coming soon - with the Grasshopper Five and Grandpa and Grandma Grasshopper.

Creating... looking through a new quilt book and dreaming of different projects!

Going... next door, to my neighbors', to "push Ralph's button".
It's time for his once-a-month test of his
"help-I've-fallen-and-I-can't-get-up" button.

For real.

I know, try to control your envy of this exciting life I lead.

Looking forward to...  the end of the school year is sooooo close!

In the kitchen... marinating some pork to grill tonight.

Around the house... the boybarians got all the screens back on (windows and doors) so we can have All The Fresh Air blowing through.

Noticing that... I often walk the same route in the morning, and try to take a picture at this spot every time - fun to watch the changes, day to day.

The Mother Load... fits on one page again.
So, success, right?

A favorite quote for today...
Gunnar and I are reading/discussing through Kevin De Young's Just Do Something.
The writer of the foreword says something to the effect that the book will smack you upside the head once or twice...
"But you'll be better for the smack."
Having read the book before...

Need a gift idea for a high school or college grad?
Get them Just Do Something.
It's a winner.

One of my favorite things... the days that all the boys are out of the house.
Is that awful?
I LOVE the boys.
I love being with them.
And I've loved homeschooling them
for the last eleven or twelve years.
But the few hours (every other week) when the schedules align,
and they're all out, going and doing at once...
it's pretty awesome.

A peek into my world... here's a preview from our weekend getaway!