Fourth All Week Long

We had a really great week with the parents in Seattle and the San Juans.  It went by so quick, as it always does, but never did it feel like a rush or a blur.  I remember every moment pretty darn well.  One minute I was surprising them at the airport to ride home with them in the rental car and the next minute I was giving them hugs to take themselves back to the airport.  But all the moments in between were very memorable.

After a late night welcoming them to Seattle we woke on the 4th to no plans in particular.  We spent a long morning catching up over coffee outside on our deck before finally dressing and deciding on plans for the day.  We made our way to South Lake Union for lunch al fresco at the relatively new White Swan Public House.  A limited menu but good nonetheless we all enjoyed our fish and chips, salads and sandwiches along with some local brews.  We then changed into our bathing suits to move to the water with Bryan and I on stand up paddleboards and Mom and Dad in a tandem kayak.  I’m impressed that we spent two hours on the water circling Lake Union but there were just so many sights to be seen with the lake astir with boats big and small all donned with red, white and blue garb, music at Gasworks Park, and all of the houseboats along the way.  Upon return we headed back home for a quick break before coming right back to Lake Union to have dinner and drinks on the patio at Eastlake Bar and Grill in anticipation of the 10:20 pm fireworks show on the lake.  The fireworks show was fantastically bright and loud and full of awe as they should be.  We headed out as soon as it was over as Bryan and I had to work the next day.

Fireworks from Eastlake Bar and Grill

So while Bryan and I went to work Wednesday and Thursday, Mom and Dad headed out to San Juan Island.  Unfortunately, Mom was not feeling well at all on Wednesday so their first day on the island was spent lying low inside.  Bryan and I had an equally low-key night by picking up a free pizza thanks to T-Mobile and watching PBS.  Thursday was more eventful for us both; Mom and Dad got to do some of the sightseeing they didn’t get to do the day before on San Juan Island and Bryan and I left work at 1 pm to drive to Anacortes before boarding by bike on the 3:45 pm ferry for Orcas and finishing the trip with an 8-mile ride to our airbnb rental in Eastsound.  It was an enjoyable but hilly bike ride and Mom and Dad were already there waiting for us.  Our rental was spacious and comfortable and the kitchen was conduscive for making a meal at “home”.  We headed out by car to the much-reviewed Buck Bay Seafood Company for some fresh Dungeness crab for the four of us, then picked up the rest of the groceries at the market for our dinner.  It was fast and easy to make some salad, corn on the cob and the steamed crab and we enjoyed a long dinner with a bottle of Novelty Hill Cabernet Sauvignon.

Friday morning we woke up to gusty weather.  The winds were howling through the window panes but the sun was still out and the temperatures were still pretty warm.  We were doubtful that our 1 pm whale watching trip was going to happen but we pretended like it was going to for a bit.  We made breakfast at home of bacon, scrambled eggs and yogurt and fruit parfaits then set out to explore the beach and parks around Eastsound.  Our walk was pleasant along Crescent Beach and then we found the trail through the reserve that was a pleasant short walk back to town.  Once back we learned that our trip was indeed canceled.  Plan B had to get into motion.

We quickly decided that we would head out for the Mount Constitution hike that we were thinking of doing the next day.  Something that wouldn’t be deterred by high winds.  We packed chicken salad sandwiches and cherries and drove to Moran State Park.  Our planned hike was a 6.7 mile loop with about 1,500 feet of elevation gain.  The first few miles to Little Summit were fairly steep but through beautiful forest.  About 2 miles in the trail became much more gradual and we now had peekaboo views every once and a while.  Nearly 3 miles in we knew we were close to the summit but found an amazing opening that allowed for a private lunch in the sunshine overlooking the islands and sound.  We enjoyed our sandwiches and the break before finally continuing on to the summit.  We reached the summit where the crowds that drove up were taking in the view.  We snapped some photos and walked up the old tower before started our hike back down.  New trail and new views; this time of thick woods, a deer merely 50 feet away from us grazing without a care about us, and finally spitting out to Mountain Lake which we followed the shore of for the last little over a mile.  Back to the car we were all feeling the hike.  Mom and I had hoped to enjoy a nice hot soak in some hot tubs that we had found only to find out that the entire property was reserved for a wedding.  We all drove back to the rental to shower and clean up for dinner.  We set out on foot to explore our options and then decided on the Madrona Grill and Restaurant for their outstanding views of the water.  Mom and I shared the crab cakes and a salad with grilled salmon.  The crab cakes were outstanding, as was the salad and salmon and everyone else’s food too.  We walked to get some ice cream before heading back home for a quick sleep.

Saturday was our last day on Orcas.  Mom and Dad were waitlisted for the 1 pm whale watching trip while Bryan and I were heading back on the 2:20 pm ferry.  We walked to a cute café called Mia’s for brunch.  All around the food was good and the ambiance was nice.  We walked through a few of the shops before packing up the rental and Bryan and I getting ready for our return bike ride.  We enjoyed the park for a little while before we split ways.  Our bike ride back to the ferry dock was no less hilly but more enjoyable and shorter it seemed.  We had a good hour to kill at the ferry docks where we enjoyed just sitting in the sun, just long enough for Bryan to get a pretty bad sunburn.  Our ferry arrived and our ride back to Anacortes was again enjoyable.  Back to Seattle around 5:20 pm we quickly showered and changed before heading downtown for Luis and Carina’s goodbye party.  We enjoyed the party and our friends for several hours.  Mom and Dad returned home just before us, around 11:30 pm.

Mom and Dad ended up all the way in Victoria to see whales.

Sunday was our last day together and was a nice, relaxing day.  We got ready for church and enjoyed another great service about hope, optimism, and realistic expectations.  After church we made our back to Capitol Hill and dined on the rooftop terrace at Terra Plata for the first time.  We had a fantastic brunch.  Baked eggs for me, smoked salmon scramble for Dad and two braised pork with eggs and arepas for Mom and Bryan.  Everything was delicious and every plate was licked clean.  Stuffed now we headed home.  We spent the afternoon watching some Wimbledon, reading in the sunshine, and talking.  Late afternoon we made our way to Seward Park to play some tennis doubles at the new tennis courts with views of the lake and Rainier.  We had some great games and it was really fun to play.  On our way back we stopped at the new Woodchuck BBQ for brisket, brisket sandwiches, and sides.  We enjoyed these back at home and thought it was really pretty tasty.

Monday morning we said goodbye to Mom and Dad and had to head back to work.  It was not a fun transition but I have some great memories of the week spent with them.


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