Friday, June 8, we got up at 5:00 am to take the Anacortes ferry to Friday Harbor. We got there just in time to see the earlier ferry take off. We parked the car and waited, walking onto the ferry with all of our gear. We had tons of room to move around and it was a very pleasant ferry ride, I think taking around an hour to get there. Friday Harbor was a quaint island town with lovely shops and restaurants. We checked in and only had about 30-45 minutes to eat and get back down to the dock for boarding, so upon the owner's recommendation, we trudged up the hill to "Kings Market". We thought it was going to be a sandwich shop, but quickly found out it was a grocery store. I'm thinking he (or a family member) must have owned the joint, seeing as how we passed several burger shops/cafes on the way there. We got some expensive grocery store sandwiches, clam chowder, chips, and chocolate and headed back down to the dock to eat at a picnic table there. After slurping down our food, we walked down the dock, admiring all of the yachts and sailboats, and even listened to a high school orchestra providing some beautiful seaside music. By that time, it was "all aboard" for The Odyssey, the whale watching boat. The boat (somehow) holds 97 people, but thankfully we only had 28 on our cruise. We moved around freely, at times enjoying the cool sea breeze and then heading in to warm up in the cabin. The cruise was 4 hours and we saw the "J" pod of whales, totaling about 25 swimming up and down the coast line. One even breached for us, making a big splash, the latter of which I got on camera. We didn't actually see the entire pod of 25, but we saw several, including a mother and calf. It was so cute, surfacing right after its momma every few yards. They were beautiful. We even saw a few seals basking in the sun and a bald eagle perched in all its glory on Eagle Point while trolling back. None were in camera-shot, but they were brilliant through the binoculars. We were exhausted by the end of the day, and a little pink from the warm sun. We were very blessed with a gorgeous day.
Saturday, we took our time getting up and eating breakfast before we headed off to Tulalip Casino. It was a drizzly and overcast day, so this was the perfect day to go. Nathan played a little poker (which he hadn't done in ages) and walked away with $225 more than he went in with. I played the slots a bit and eventually won $3 over what I started with, so all in all, it was a good day. Mom and Eddie weren't so lucky, dropping some coinage in the slots, but I think they had fun, despite their loss.
After church on Sunday, we ate sushi, which was quite an experience for mom. She said it wasn't as bad as she thought it was going to be, but she didn't eat much and I don't think she'll try it again! Unfortunately, the sushi wasn't very good, so she didn't get a great taste for her first try. :( The weather was gorgeous, so we made our way out toward Issaquah to try to find our way to the road that goes up to Poo Poo Point. Our internet (plus phone and cable) was out when we returned home on Saturday, which was puzzling. We found out on Sunday that the neighbors had installed Dish Network on Sat and he had ignorantly disconnected our service. The Comcast guy fixed us up first thing Monday morning and mentioned the "dish network guy" before I could tell him. Apparently this happens frequently. Anyway, with the internet out and the atlas in the truck, we had to rely on unreliable people to get us to the road...which never happened. We finally happened upon the field where the paragliders land, so we stopped in and went for a short hike up the side of Tiger Mountain. It was a great trail and I was proud of mom and Eddie for making it as far as we did. There were still quite a few slugs out which were cool to see. After working up an appetite, we headed back to Kirkland for our favorite restaurant: Royal India. Once again, this was another first for mom and I think this was a better experience for her. She loved the naan!
Since this was their vacation, they chose to relax on Monday. We spent the day lazily lounging around, watching TV, playing internet poker, eating leftovers, and napping. It was a hard work, but somebody has to do it.
Tuesday was departure day. :( Mom and Eddie got up early and got packed before walking to Starbucks. Once I saw they were up, I went back to sleep, as I still had my headache from Monday. It was a beautiful, clear day and as we drove up to the terminal, we saw the snow-covered Mt. Ranier in all its glory. What a beautiful send-off. As of last night, they barely made it into Atlanta, their scheduled layover because of a bad storm. Their flight to Austin was cancelled, but thankfully, Nichole lives there (Eddie's younger daughter), so they were able to spend time with her before their flight this morning.
I'm glad they finally got to come. We had a fun time together. :)