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.
And WHAT A VIEW.
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.
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!
And we had (a very late!) dinner waiting for them :D
No TV, no wi-fi, but Tate brought his computer because he likes writing.
We did a whole lot of nothing.
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!