We planned to stay in Oak Harbor, on Whidbey Island, for 5 days when we arrived. Now, two weeks later, we’re finally leaving Staysail RV Park to ferry over to Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula. What kept us so long?
While Oak Harbor is lacking in charm, its central location made it an excellent base for exploring many interesting and beautiful areas of Washington, either by ferry or by car. As it turned out, it also was a great base for socializing – we saw more friends here than we knew we had! Let’s see if I can remember everyone…
We began with lunch in Mt. Vernon with our clamming friends, Bill and Wilda, who we saw again on our visit to the Bellingham farmers market. Diana and Steve (we last saw them in Yellowstone National Park) invited us over to their temporary home near Coupeville as they prepared for a family wedding, and the next day we saw Steve’s mom and dad, our friends Marlene and Richard (Quartzsite last winter) in the Ft. Casey campground as we caught the ferry over to see Gisela, Bill (our neighbors at the Elks Lodge in Napa early this summer), and Chris (last seen in Yuma?).
The day we visited La Conner, we stumbled not only upon the arrival of the Indian canoes, but also friends Dan and Jenny (Yuma in January) – as we walked along the sidewalk, they turned in front of us in their big Alfa motorhome. We walked a couple blocks to surprise them and chat awhile as they backed in to their site for the next couple of weeks.
Our local friend, Joe (last seen in Loma Linda a couple years ago), met us for lunch in Coupeville one afternoon… was that the afternoon we came home to find Ann and Mick (AZ this past winter, I think) parked in the site next to ours? It was just a day after that when I responded to a knock on the door to find Donna and Bob (saw them near Yellowstone last fall, and again near Quartzsite last winter) wondering if the Boomer sticker on our rig meant they’d found someone they knew.
With Ann and Mick, we ferried over to the Mukliteo to meet Vicky and Terry (we’ve seen them since, but they also hosted us in their street for a short stay a couple years ago) for lunch one day, then had lunch the next day with Mary and Elaine (I know we saw them recently – must have been AZ last winter) back at Kim’s Café in Coupeville.
Yesterday, Linda, Steven, Zoe (their oldest daughter) and Anita (Linda’s mother) came to visit – meeting in person after a long acquaintance on Facebook. In their company, we made our last visit to Kim’s Cafe, getting to know each other over bowls of mussels and Thai curry.
Ann joked on FB today that the economy of Coupeville will plummet when we leave the island, all thanks to Kim’s Café at the end of the wharf. The food there is outstanding; you have your choice of indoor seating when the weather is gloomy, drippy or windy with outdoor seating when sunshine permits. Highly recommend by us and the many friends who joined us there!
Just about a year ago, I looked back on our years of traveling and the friendships we have made (click here to read that post). I can still clearly recall setting out on our travels in 2003, wondering how (or if!) we would form new friendships. Believe it or not, that was before blogs! Before Facebook! Before air cards and easy internet access! Though the ease of electronic communication has made maintaining friendships easier, it is the human connection that we all seek – and we found it in abundance here in on Whidbey Island.