Friday, September 12, 2008

Summer Vacation, Part 5

Thursday was a very rainy and cold day. It was also the day we took the ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

The ride was smooth and the scenery was incredibly beautiful. We had been hoping to spot an orca, but alas, all we saw were some water birds.

Friday Harbor is a cute little town, with plenty of architectural interest. There are many Victorian Era homes with lots of gingerbread trim. Even the newer buildings look as though attention was paid to the beauty of the final product.

We started at the Whale Museum. There was so much information -- I never knew so much about whales! The skeletons and life-sized replicas really put their size into perspective in relation to us, other marine animals like dolphins, and each other. I was surprised to find how heavy whale teeth are, and how much baleen feels like our fingernails. After the museum we split up again. The men walked around and went to the pier to look at the boats, while Pam and I found a wonderful bookshop. The bookshop was in an old house, and stuffed to the gills with books. There were many treasures there, and Pam came away with a few of them. I could have spent many happy hours there, but we were meeting up with the men and had to cut our shopping short. We all met for brunch at a little diner near the dock, all of us opting for breakfast and having a pretty good meal. Then it was time to catch the return ferry. When we got back to Anacortes, we stopped by the harbor shop and picked up coats for Scott, Jordan, and myself, who were all damp and cold by this point. Of course, shortly thereafter the sun came out. Ah well. We needed new coats anyway. The rest of the day was spent puttering about the house and in the garden, so all would be ready for the 4th.

The morning of the Fourth dawned with a bit of fog which burnt off quickly. We went downtown to look at the floats and find a spot before the parade began. It was a cute, typical, small town parade, with loads of candy and Marti Gras beads being thrown to the crowds along the street. The Shell Oil company has a refinery on the island, and they were giving out rubber duckies in addition to the beads from their many parade entries.

The children were having a wonderful time, and the adults got quite into it as well, and I think nearly the entire town was either in the parade or in attendance.

We followed up the parade with a picnic in the park where the town celebration was also being held. There were many patriotic songs sung, many speeches by locals of importance, and many prayers offered for the town and our nation. Then the games began. There was an egg tossing contest, potato sack race, archery contest, and much more. Jordan participated in several events, and then we called it a day. We stayed in and watched the fireworks displays from the house. We were able to see at least 2 of the official ones, and quite a few unofficial ones as well. We called it a night fairly early as the next day would be a travel day.

Saturday morning was spent getting packed and ready to go. Mike drove us to Seattle to catch our plane, and the rest of the day was spent in travel. We arrived home late Saturday night, grateful to have Sunday back at home. It was a wonderful trip, and I'm so glad we were able to take it.

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