A Day in the La Push, WA area 7/20/22

We start the day by having a vacation from our vacation. We work on our puzzles and I read a book. It is nice to just sit around, have a second cup of tea, and just relax. Our vacation has been very busy with lots of driving and sightseeing. We can take half the day off.

Around 1 PM we drive over to Forks, WA, the nearest big town about 10 miles away, to pick up some lunch sandwiches, a bag of chips for later, and a bottle of wine. After lunch we walk around the property.

The marine layer has burned off and the flowers are looking beautiful

Closer look at the flowers

The Quillayute River runs right behind the resort

The confluence of the Sol Duc and Bogachiel Rivers just to the north of the property make the Quillayute River which runs out to the Pacific Ocean

I love the woods here. Everything is so lush and ferny.

The ocean is about four miles from here and we decide to drive over and see what it is like at the beach. It is part of Olympic National Park. What a difference four miles make! At the beach the marine layer gives everything a gray tone although both these pictures are taken in color!

No bathing suits at this beach! It is pretty chilly, probably in the upper 50s. There are the bleached out remains of trees that have washed ashore and the ground is covered with pebbles.

Cold man and the sea
Carcasses of trees

Pebbles not sand

We take some pictures but it is too cold to stay very long.

A Mary bump on a log

Selfie time!

We are making dinner again tonight and after some wine and chips we get down to business. Our meals here have been really good!

Whole grain penne with broccoli and tuna

Richmond, BC to Oak Harbor, WA 7/18/22

We do not have very far to travel today but I am always leery of the time it might take to cross the border. We have sat at the Peace Arch crossing for three hours in the past. So I leave a lot of time and it takes 20 minutes, of course. Since my bites have become very uncomfortable due to my wonky immune system that seems to be working overtime, what is foremost in my mind is just enduring the rest of the vacation and getting home. So we are no longer following THE PLAN. This trip with all my research and detail is no longer appealing to me.

The first thing we do after crossing the border is find a Kohl’s so I can try to replace some of the stuff I threw out. I get a new pair of sneakers. I desperately want to replace my black warm-up jacket which was my favorite but we try Kohl’s, Macy’s, Champs, and Dick’s Sporting Goods to no avail. I guess they just are not making them anymore. This does not improve my mood.

We stop in Anacortes, WA for lunch at Taqueria Mi 5 Estrellas. The people there are so nice and the food is great. We both have the shrimp taco combo. Oh, it is so great to back in the USA!

Shrimp tacos, refried beans, rice, and salad

We stop at an overlook to view Deception Pass. (Okay, I am still doing some of THE PLAN.) Here we learn about George Vancouver and his expeditions to plot the coast line of the northwestern part of North American. He did this in 1792! How come we know everything about Lewis and Clark and nothing of George Vancouver who preceded them in this area? Plus he got to the Pacific Northwest by sailing around Cape of Good Hope and even stopped in Hawaii! Anyway, George and his sidekicks, Joseph Whidbey and Peter Puget, got fooled into thinking that they were in a bay instead of a passage between Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island. They named it Deception Pass when they realized their mistake. They also named everything around here after themselves and everybody they knew.

Info about the sailings of George Vancouver and his crew in 1792

The bridge at Deception Pass (Why do I seek out these freaky bridges? I have no idea.)

We see some odd looking small planes in the sky as we near Oak Harbor. John says these are “scout” planes that are used by the Coast Guard. And what do you know, two minutes later we pass by the Coast Guard Naval Station, home to the “world famous Golden Eagles.”

Coast Guard Naval Station

We check into our hotel and John suggests we go and have a look around Oak Harbor. It is supposed to have a cute downtown. He is apparently still following THE PLAN. Reluctantly I come along and do not bother to plug in the coordinates to where said downtown might be. We end up driving around a lot, missing the downtown by a block because there in a phenomenon that we have not seen in a week!

OMG, blue sky!

Eventually we find the downtown and it is indeed cute with murals, statues, and amazingly beautiful flowers.

Large mural welcoming us to Oak Harbor

Oak Harbor Pioneers

The very ripped ”Island Spirit”, he is obviously impervious to how chilly it is

John and some ducklings that he thought we penguins.
Octopus on the side of an abandoned gas station

Beautifully vibrant purple flowers

More flowers!

Mary and the mermaid both inadequately dressed for the weather (I wish I still had my jacket!)

Later on we go to dinner at an Italian restaurant named Rustica. John orders a bottle of wine. Oh, sorry we do not have that. He settles on a local wine called Deception which really captures the reality of this dinner. I order mussels. Sorry, all out. John orders grilled octopus. Sorry again, we are all out. Then he tries calamari. Nope, all gone. Why not have the salmon, the waiter suggests. Sure, whatever. The service is terrible due to the fact that the only waitstaff they have is the bartender. Their accountant is also pitching in. The whole dinner is like Monty Python’s Cheese Shop.

This would be an apt name for the restaurant, Rustica.

Happy 50th Anniversary! 7/17/22

I do not think that my parents or John’s parents were in favor of our getting married. The idea of a Catholic and a Jew getting married was not even covered in the pamphlet on intermarriage that I picked up at the local Catholic church. It seemed impossible to make anyone happy so we just decided to make ourselves happy. I looked in the yellow pages under Justice of the Peace and called to make an appointment on the first day that we could both take a week off from work, Monday, July 17, 1972.

I told my mother on the Sunday before the big day. I assume all hell broke loose at their house because I get a call back from my father saying my mother is all upset that I was getting married and she would not be there. Thus, they were taking the shuttle from Newark to Boston and would we pick them and my younger sister up at Logan Airport at 9 AM the next day. Quickly we re-arrange our appointment at the Justice of the Peace from 10AM to noon.

To make a long story short, we picked them up, went to our appointment to get married, ate lunch, and they left on the 3 PM shuttle back to Newark. John and I left for our honeymoon in Montreal which makes our 50th in Vancouver a full circle.

With that inauspicious start we made a life together that has now lasted over 50 years. We traded the hoopla of a big wedding into a little hoopla every day.

As I mentioned in my last post we spent our anniversary day making sure that the bugs have been eradicated. We did go out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Maenam. The cuisine is upscale Thai. We order the tasting menu with wine pairings. It was delicious and we had a wonderful time.

Amuse bouche of tuna on chip and chicken on pineapple

Steamed mussels with nam jim

Chicken and lemongrass soup

Sweet and sour ling cod

Salmon salad

Penang duck curry

A semi-freddo with crispy rice noodles

As a treat afterwards they gave us each a glass of the digestif, fernet branca. It is apparently very trendy and also vile.

Nanaimo, BC to Richmond, BC 7/16/22

Things have definitely gone down hill since Port Hardy. When we arrived in Port Hardy I was itchy and it turns out I had around fifteen welts caused by some sort of bug. We were concerned that the cot in the ferry had bed bugs. John was not bitten. So when we got to Port Hardy we put all of my clothes from my hat to my sneakers in a plastic bag and threw them away. I showered but we could not do more than that until Sunday when we had a non-driving day. So on our 50th anniversary we spent the day getting supplies from Home Depot so we could wash all my clothes and spray the car and suitcases with bug killer. Not the way I had planned our special day. I think we are bug free now but all the bites I got are swollen, itchy, and sore.

Needless to say I am grumpy, paranoid, and uncomfortable on our second ferry ride from Nanaimo to North Vancouver. I take no pictures. There is not much to see in any case since it continues to be foggy and rainy. When we get to the hotel I shower again and put the clothes I am wearing in another plastic bag. We have dinner at the restaurant next to the hotel.