AndyO Blog

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Getaway - Orcas - Day 1 - Seattle to Orcas

This weekend, Brenda and I traveled north of Seattle to Orcas Island, which is located in the San Juan Islands. What made this trip different was going without our two boys, thanks to my brother and his wife Helen. (It's not that we don't love being with our kids; but, as Brenda pointed out, this is the first two-night getaway we've had since Cameron was born 10 years ago.)

We left Seattle a lot later than Brenda wanted and drove up to Anacortes. Before we left, we stopped at McDonald's, Starbucks, and the gas station. At the gas station, I saw a few interesting signs at the pump:

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As soon as we drove closer to the ferry terminal in Anacortes, the line of cars became like rush hour in Seattle (and it was only 11:45 a.m.!). This is when Brenda turned to me and said, "And now you know why I wanted to leave at 8:30."

As with most things like this, Brenda was right.

It took us an hour to get to the toll both, where we paid $57.00 to wait in line for our boat. But instead of getting on the 12:30 boat, we were scheduled for the 3:45 boat.


Fortunately, this was the kind of day you dream about in the Pacific Northwest: 75-degrees, clear blue skies, sparking water. We got out of the hot car and went to the Ferry Terminal for lunch.

Photo of ferry terminal

We bought sandwiches and chips, and sat on stools that faced the ferry dock area. But after about 10 minutes, we were kicked out of this area when the Sidney, British Columbia, ferry came in from Canada, as they use this lunch room for U.S. Customs.

Photo of ferry dock

Later we returned to the car, where we both worked on our laptops, which must have looked funny to people walking by. With all the windows rolled down, it was a little cooler, but my computer's fan was whirring louder than usual, and I was sweating.

As we sat there, they made announcements over the loudspeaker system. At first, they said something like, "We're now loading for the delayed sailing to Friday Harbor. All aboard!"

But when a new announcer started his shift, he called it what it was: "We're awaiting the arrival of the late ferry to Orcas and Shaw Islands."

The ferry was indeed late. It was supposed to sail at 3:45, but we didn't leave the dock until at least 4:45. For some reason, I didn't mind all that much. 

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Even though the boat was full, there didn't seem to be as many people in the passenger area. Brenda said that this probably was due to fewer people walking on the boat as "foot passengers" (you really need a car to get around on Orcas Island).

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After 7:00 we finally arrived at our destination on Orcas, Cascade Harbor Inn. This hotel sits at the end of Eastsound Bay, across from Rosario Resort. Here was the view from our deck:


There was also a doe hanging out under another deck:


After unloading the car, we ran off to dinner at Cascade Bay Grill next to Rosario Resort, as it was closing at 8:00. As we sat outside next to the boats, Brenda mentioned how incredible it was that we had a place like the San Juan Islands so close to Seattle. Having traveled the world a little, I had to agree that it was a special place.

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posted by AndyO @ 10:24 PM   0 comments