Thursday, July 29, 2010

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 20

Foggy day and quite cool. The kids had planned on going swimming today but it was just too cold. They were quite disappointed.

Jim and I borrowed the truck and drove into town to run a few errands and get some groceries. Later, Jim and Cathy W. went to finish their shopping. We only have one more day before heading home and tomorrow will be a laundry and packing day. Jim wants to pack the van tomorrow night and then he’ll drive it into town early Saturday morning and park it in the ferry line so we’ll be sure to get on the 10:55 ferry. Jim C. will follow him into town and bring him back here until it’s time to go and then they’ll drive us back to town to catch the ferry.
Today Jim (papa) walked down to False Bay and collected some sea glass. On the way there he took some pictures of a Madrona Tree. This tree has two layers of bark and it sheds both of these and then the trunk and branches turn red. It stays green all year but some of the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. This tree is very common here and can be seen all over the island. Also, the island is covered with Blackberry bushes and the berries are just starting to ripen. You could have all the Blackberry Pies and Jam you could ever want.
        Jim C. has a coffee roaster and today he’s roasting some coffee beans for us to take home. Tonight we had another cook-out with bacon cheese burgers, hot dogs, baked beans, and Papa’s potato salad. Tonight we are going over to Cathy C’s parents house for awhile and then we’ll probably finish the card game we started last night.

Friday Harbor Trip-Day19

                                                                                                                                                          Cloudy cool day this morning with the temperature only in the 50’s. Cleared up later and went up to the low 70’s.

We had a lazy morning just hanging around the house. After lunch we went to town to run some errands and then went to the winery here on the island to do some taste testing and, of course, buy some wine. Next we went to the Alpaca Farm to see the animals and check out the gift shop. The Alpaca yarn is beautiful but very costly. It’s $25.00 for about 250 yards-enough for a pair of mittens or two pair of socks. Most of the yarn there is imported but they did have some that came from their own Alpacas and those skeins have a tag on them showing which Alpaca it came from.
Tonight we had a chicken dinner with tossed salad and coleslaw and Cathy Cole’s parents came to eat with us.
After dinner some of the kids got in the hot tub for awhile. This was the first time they have used it this visit.

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 18

The day started out quite foggy but cleared up by mid-morning. Jim and Cathy C. and Jim and Cathy W. rented a boat today and spent the day together cruising around the islands.

Jim (papa) and I stayed here with the kids and had a great day. The kids were exceptionally well behaved and most of the time we didn’t hear a sound. Jim made crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese for supper and after lunch we made some Chocolate Chip Cookies and asked the kids to be our tasters. They enjoyed that part.
The two couples returned home in time for dinner and enjoyed the Mac and Cheese dinner. They had a great day on the water and saw a lot of whales-some up really close.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 17

Today Jim and Cathy W., Cathy C., Chris, Ryan, Jim (papa) and I took the ferry over to Orcas Island for the day. We had to be at the ferry by 7:30 am to be sure and get on the 8:30am ferry. The ride over on the ferry takes about 40 minutes. Once we arrived on Orcas Island we stopped at the market for some drinks and then headed to Moran State Park where we drove to the top of Mount Constitution. The mountain was 2,409 feet up and the views were spectacular. We spent about an hour here enjoying the vistas. Next we drove into EastSound to check out all the local shops and have some lunch. They had a lot of artisan shops with local artists works displayed. They also had many unique shops such as the Tibetan Shop, vintage clothing, etc. One of the shops had these baby dolls that a woman makes and they were so real looking it was amazing. There were also a lot of real pretty flowers around the town so I took quite a few pictures of them.We had lunch at the Bayside Café which overlooked the water. We had a great waitress who was probably in her late 60’s and she lives on another island called Shaw Island. She flies her plane to Orcas Island every Saturday and works in the restaurant until Tuesday and then flies back home. She said she got her pilot’s license when she was 50 because if she drove to Orcas she would have to take two ferries and it would take 5 hours. Waiting for the ferry is one of the “joys” of island life.We went back to the dock at 3:45pm to catch the 4:30pm ferry. You always have to arrive early to insure you’ll get on or else you will have to wait for the next one which is about 3 hours later.We arrived back in Friday Harbor at 5:15pm, picked up a few groceries and are now home relaxing after a busy day.

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 16

Another beautiful sunny day. Today was a lazy day with no sightseeing planned. Jim and I borrowed Jim and Cathy C’s truck and drove into town to do some shopping and have breakfast. We found a café that had tables overlooking the harbor so we had a great view while eating. After breakfast we did some shopping and then we drove around the island and saw some of the areas we hadn’t been to yet. There was one house that was by the water and they had all sorts of flowers and plants growing on their roof. It was really unique.

We are amazed at how brown the grass is here and hardly anyone waters their lawn. The island has a real prairie look to it with all the grasses and such and so little green.
This afternoon Jim and I went to Lime Kiln Park to whale watch but we didn’t see any. Some man told us that the whales had been sighted north of us and would be in our area in about an hour but it was getting late so we didn’t stay to see them. Maybe we’ll be able to go back again before we leave.

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 15

Jim W., Chris, Josh, Meghan and Liam all went to the Air Show at the local airport.While at the Air Show the rescue Helicopter had to air-lift a patient off island. They seem to do that a lot but within the next two years they are going to build a 10 bed hospital here and will have a CAT Scan machine here on island which should cut down on a lot of the air lifts.Tonight Cathy C’s parents are coming over for dinner and we are planning a quiet evening here at the house.

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 14

We all went downtown around 11 am and toured the Whale Museum. Very interesting. After this Jim C., Ryan, Meghan and Liam went to the War Museum while Jim and Cathy W. and Jim and I went downtown to do some shopping and check out all the little shops. We went to “Down Riggers” for lunch where we were able to eat out on the porch and watch all the boats in the harbor.

After lunch we did some more shopping and then, just as we were getting ready to head for the car, we got to see Jim W. put his Paramedic training to use. An 82 year old woman tripped on the stairs right beside where we were standing and fell backwards down the stairs and hit her head on the cement. Jim tended to her while we called 911 and got some towels from the nearby store to stop the bleeding. Once the Island Paramedics arrived Jim helped get her ready to transport in the ambulance and then we went on our way.
Tonight Jim and Cathy C. hosted a Geocaching party here at the house and quite a few people showed up. Some of them they knew and others had responded because they are avid Geocachers. It was very interesting to hear where some of the caches are hidden and the adventures when hunting for them.

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 13

This morning we went to see the Cattle Point Lighthouse. The kids had fun climbing on the rocks. The ocean was rough and we watched some small boats wondering if they would make it through the waves ( they did ). Jim found some wooden pieces from a really old boat. The kids tried their hand at skipping rocks. It was a fun morning
This afternoon we went to Lime Kiln Park to watch for whales and we were treated to quite a show. The whales were feeding and they were very active. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures to put on the blog tonight because my small camera didn’t get any good pictures and Jim W. didn’t have time this evening to download some of his for me. Hopefully I’ll have some for tomorrow night.
Tonight Jim and Cathy W., Papa, Cathy C., Christopher and Meghan have gone Kayaking. This will be the first experience doing this for all but Cathy C. so they are very excited.

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 12

Our first stop today was the San Juan Island EMS station ( to see where Jim C. spends his days. While there we had our blood pressure and carbon monoxide levels checked and all were in the normal range. We saw the ambulance and all the equipment used in rescue work.

Our next stop was Roche Harbor which is on the north end of the island about 10 miles from Friday Harbor. We walked along the dock and were able to tour some fabulous yachts that range from 2-4 million dollars and would cost about $10,000.00 to fill the gas tank once!!!!After having lunch at the local café we walked through the gardens in front of the Hotel de Haro and later had some ice cream. ( The De Horo Hotel was originally a log cabin built in 1845 and then the existing structure was built around the log cabin in 1886. The hotel was closed in 1942 due to the war and reopened in 1960. During the early years famous people such as Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and John Wayne stayed there
Our next stop was the McMillin Mausoleum. It was built during the depression at the cost of about $30,000.00. The McMillin family made their fortune with the resort and the Limestone business.

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 11

On the island there is an American Camp and an English Camp. These were formed when the Americans and the British were disputing the border lines between America and Canada. These were the encampments for the American and British soldiers during the Pig War of 1859 to 1872. This war started when an American shot a pig belonging to a British company. Negotiations were started between the Americans and the British and after 12 years the boundaries were settled with the San Juan Islands going to American and Vancouver Island going to England. The only casualty of the war was the pig. Today we visited both of these camps ( the camps are located on opposite ends of the island). For more information go to:

While we were at the American camp we walked down to the shoreline and Jim found some sea glass for Cathy C. who collects it. Most sea glass is white but occasionally you can find some colored glass such as green, amber or blue. Rare finds are orange, light blue or red.
Our last stop of the day was the Pelindaba Lavender Farm. There are over 40 varieties of Lavender grown here and they extract the oil and make a large number of products such as bath oil, body lotion, room spray, soap, dog shampoo, cookies, ice cream, and on and on. To check out this store go to

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 10

Jim C., Jim W., Papa and Cathy decided to go to the downtown area and scope out some of the stores. Jim (Papa) especially liked the used book store that boasted having 45,000 old books. They also checked out an Antique store and a used clothing store where Jim (Papa) found some flannel shirts and a Friday Harbor jacket. The evenings get really cold here and the Coles usually have a fire in their outdoor pit so he’ll really put these to good use. Tonight we had Kabob’s done on the grill with fresh vegetables and Bratwurst, rice, bread with dipping sauces and fresh fruit. After supper Jim W. and Papa went to Limekiln State Park to take sunset pictures. When they get back we’ll be doing S’mores in the fire pit.

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 9

We were on the road at 8am this morning, passed through the mountains where we were actually up in the clouds. We made good time and were able to catch the 11:55 am ferry instead of the 2:45 pm. We surprised Jim and Cathy when we drove in their driveway about 3 hours earlier than they expected. The ferry was huge but there was a long line of cars waiting to get on so we were lucky as we were one of the last cars put on before they closed the gate.There was a Summer Arts Fair in downtown Friday Harbor so after grabbing a quick lunch we all went down to check it out. After that we returned to the Cole’s house where we were treated to a delicious Rib dinner followed by a fire in their fire pit where the kids roasted marshmallows and made S’mores. Cathy Cole’s parents also live here so they joined us for the evening.

Friday Harbor Trip- Day 8

We reluctantly left Yellowstone this morning and drove over 500 miles to Ellensburg, Washington arriving at the hotel about 7:30pm. This was our longest day yet but the reward will be a very short day tomorrow. We are only about 3 hours away from the Anacortis where we’ll take the ferry to Friday Harbor where we will stay for almost 2 weeks.
The boys jumped right into the pool while we settled in and then Jim and Papa went next door to get some supper for us and we ate in the breakfast room of the hotel. After supper the boys went back to the pool with Papa for a little more swimming.

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 6 & 7

Yesterday ( Thursday) we drove the South Loop where we saw Hot Springs, Cascades, Geysers ( including Old Faithful), Mud Volcanoes, Canyons, Lakes ,and some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. We’ve seen a lot of Buffalo, Deer, and an Elk but have yet to see the elusive bear. We stopped at a picnic area for lunch and were entertained by a family of Chipmunks. At the end of the day we ate dinner in a 50’s café near the visitors center and then we attended a Park Ranger Presentation on Fires in the Park. It was 11pm before we got back to our cabin.
                                                       Today (Friday) we drove the North Loop and went to Mammoth Hot Springs to see the Terraces ( rock formations built up through the years from the Calcium deposits in the water). This is probably the fanciest resort in the park and we were so surprised when we got there and saw a whole herd of Elk grazing in the front yards of the rental homes. There were signs up all over warning people that it is dangerous to get too close even though they seem unconcerned by all the people taking pictures. We had our lunch with the Elk at the picnic area here. As we were leaving this area we came across a Coyote in the field and Jim was able to get some great pictures.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 5

Today we drove to Yellowstone National Park , stopping to see the Medicine Wheel along the way. We ate lunch in the Big Horn National Forest. While driving to our cabin in Yellowstone we saw Buffalo and a large Elk. We'll be here for two exciting days before we move on Saturday morning.

Friday Harbor Trip-Day 4

We started the day with a visit to the Circle B Ranch where the boys took a trail ride. They loved the horses and want to do it again. Next we went to the Crazy Horse Monument followed by a tour of Mount Rushmore. It was a long fun-filled day.

Friday Harbor Trip--Day 3

Today we passed through the Badlands and toured Teddy Roosevelt National Park. We saw some spectacular scenery as well as Buffalo, Praraie Dogs and a Fox. We arrived in Sturges, North Dakota where we'll spend tomorrow sightseeing.