A few weeks ago, my brother officially received his promotion and the family and some friends went to celebrate. He lives on Whidbey Island, which is an island off the coast of Washington State, just below Vancouver. I'd only been there a couple of times, and didn't have a very good sense of where things were.
One thing that really helped was that Mike commissioned a colleague with a schoolbus (retrofitted with a couch) and gave us a tour. Here's Mike, explaining the new airplanes.
Here's us, dutifully looking out the window every time one screamed by.
Ace and I were looking forward to nothing so much as Pacific northwest berries. We bought quarts of raspberries at a roadside stand and plowed through them all weekend.
Then Mike got his new shoulder boards, and passed out cigars to all and sundry.
One person in our group had never been off the left coast, so we went whale watching. I joined reluctantly. I'd only whale watched once, in Bodega Bay several years ago, when six freezing hours produced no sightings. As my dad remarked, "it's kind of like watching a submarine race."
Still, we rallied. I had bought tons of (Ranier! of course!) cherries, which kept me content for hours.
It was hot, hot, hot...until it was suddenly cold, cold, cold.
Tasterspoon's family...on a windy day. But guess what!
The next day we had brunch with the fam, but then Mike had to work so we wended our way down to Seattle to see what there was to see. Went to their famous farmers' market, but had just missed closing time. The flower stalls were incredible. We saw the original Starbucks, mostly because there were lots of people taking pictures. We walked down to the aquarium, which was closed. Then just kind of meandered. I decided new cities aren't as fun if you don't have an agenda or know a local. Also when everything is closed but the tourist traps.
We determined that Native American tattoos are to Seattle what Chinese character ones are to San Francisco (although those have been Over for some time; I don't know what is current. Sleeves? Or is that more L.A.?). We counted just one Twilight fan, knew her by her t-shirt. And also because she was kind of sulking along beside her mom. We didn't get any souvenirs, but joked that we'd pick up a bag of Seattle's Best when we got back to the Safeway for anyone who seemed to be expecting something.