Friends. Sunshine. Cool breezes. We have had a GREAT couple of days!
The day after we arrived in Oak Harbor, we had lunch with Bill and Wilda, long-time friends who introduced us to Bellingham, Washington, and to clam digging several years ago. We’ve visited them in the southwest, too, but my favorite memories are of digging clams near Bellingham – which Wilda then cleaned and steamed… fantastic! This all happened well before I began blogging, but I DO have photos of that time, and it makes me hungry just to look at those clams and the delicious sourdough bread.
All this is on my mind because we took a trip up to Bellingham today, to visit their great farmer’s market and… oh, but I’m getting ahead of myself!
On Friday, the weather took a turn towards sunshine – perfect timing because we had plans to meet friends Gisela and Bill P. and Chris C. in Port Townsend for lunch. For us, that means a ferry trip, from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend. Right next door to the ferry terminal is Ft. Casey State Park, and our friends Richard and Marlene D. were camped there to attend a family wedding. We had a brief visit with them (we had visited their son and DIL earlier in the week), then hopped the ferry for a 30 minute ride to lunch. A short, three block walk to Fin’s Restaurant, where we settled into an outdoor table and awaited our friends.
Last winter, when I asked Odel what he would like to do during the summer, he said “get a bowl of clam chowder at Fin’s.” Fin’s used to have the BEST clam chowder, very unusual – a creamy broth, clams steamed in the shell, and with a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Simple, rich, and delicious.
Sorry to report that it was a disappointment! Smaller bowl, thicker broth, more potatoes than clams. :( On the other hand, I had a spectacular Salmon BLT – wow! But the service was terrible, so I don’t think we’ll be going back there for while. Lively conversation and perfect weather (along with a glass of excellent wine) redeemed the experience.
After lunch, we all took a stroll around Port Townsend, down to the RV park at the marina to check it out. Then we parted ways so Odel and I could climb the hill up to the Post Office to pick up our General Delivery mail, then rush back down to catch the ferry. Excellent day!
On Sunday, we planned a day trip to Bellingham (50 miles north). It is a scenic drive, and in Bellingham we were able to visit both a Trader Joe’s AND the wonderful Bellingham Farmer’s Market.
And who should we see when we arrived at the market? Bill and Wilda! Another short visit, then we were off to make our selections: cherries, sugar snap peas, squash, and our first fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes of the year – yes, it has been way too cool up here in the pacific northwest for summer’s tomatoes. We had lunch from the prepared food stands, sharing a table with a foursome of friends; one of the couples was extremely interested in our fulltiming lifestyle, as they are considering taking the plunge.
After lunch, we drove to one of the parks along Bellingham’s waterfront to pick up the waterfront trail, spending an hour or two wandering among the sun worshippers along the water, admiring the sight of snowcapped mountains in the distance. No clouds!
Our Jeep’s thermometer on the ride home.
Crossing the Deception Pass bridge.
Instead of returning home via I-5, we took Chuckanut Drive (SR-11), which hugs the water heading south. Built in the late 1800’s , narrow and winding, it is best driven slowly, while only the passenger enjoys the view. We made a few stops for look out over the water, but mostly just cruised along, sunroof and windows open, appreciating the cool sunshine.
This morning? Sunshine all around once again. We have plans to meet Joe S., a friend from our days at Loma Linda, in Coupeville for mussels – a taste-off between those we enjoyed last week at Kim’s on the Wharf and Toby’s, an old tavern. It’s how you spend a Sunday on Whidbey Island. :)