I know–I said I’d write this sequel on Thursday, and it just didn’t happen. To all 4 of you out there waiting with bated breath, I’m sorry if the torture of suspense may have elevated your blood pressure or aggravated your digestive issues.
When I last wrote about whales I had you weeping with me, I’m sure of it, when I shared that my failure to thoroughly read directions to the ferry dock resulted in us missing out on the whole cotton-pickin’ thing. If ever there was a time for a superpower, I would have traded in our picnic lunch for the ability to teleport ourselves to the correct dock. BUT–the superpower people passed on our lunch and we were shafted. On to Plan B.
We have no Plan B.
My husband and I sorted through a list of options that all sounded fantastic, but maybe not super-exciting for young families or for our time constraints. The EMP: Experience Music Project looked really cool, but I had read that it was perhaps a more natural fit for teens. We had already been to Pike’s Place Market and the Space Needle, and had gotten a tour of the city in a conspicuous WW2 land-to-water vehicle that sent our kids into hysterics. Olympic National Park would have been a joy, but in five hours, an impossibility. So, we decided to take a $7 ferry ride to Bainbridge Island.
Dragging three kids, a cooler weighing no less than 57 pounds with our lunch safely tucked inside its watery bowels, and my purse which had grown to the size of a small buffalo [minus the hair], we parked the car at dock 48 and headed over to 52 to buy our tickets. We passed a few homeless men and a dead jellyfish on the way to the ferry terminal which had a depressing sort of airport quality: flourescent lights, the unidentified general stink of food vendors, and tile floors. It was new and fairly clean, thankfully, but in comparison to floating dreamlike over the Pacific spotting flukes and water spouts, it seemed like a second-rate venture, to say the least.
The man behind the plexiglass was friendly and helpful, and after we got our tickets we left him in his happy cubical in search of place to eat. I quickly rejected the idea of eating inside the terminal, however lovely their plastic chairs were; it was gorgeous outside and I was determined that we enjoy it. The north doors to our right led out to a cement terrace of sorts with a peek of the Sound. We ignored the imposing view of the parking lot and hum of the nearby interstate and pretended we were thrilled as we sat on the shaded pavement, doing our best to avoid chunks of gum and cigarette butts as we unpacked our lunch:
A bag of icy cold and watery boiled eggs.
Mmmmm. Are you hungry yet?
Crackers in a soggy box. Cheese sticks. Bananas that were bruised and kind of frozen. Peach slices. Juice boxes. Mini Reeces PB cups for bartering and other general emergencies.
Wow. Just reliving the day is a culinary fantasy.
I can almost smell the waft of sulfur emerging from the ziplock bag of eggs. I thought I could do it–I even brought salt! But the smell and the slippery white part holding the now-greenish yolks was just too much for me to overcome. Morgan, my 3 year old, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of them. He was shoveling them in with both fists like Cool Hand Luke, blowing chunks of yellow yolk-crumbs when he spoke with his mouth full (still working on that).
I immediately regretted suggesting we try to save money by packing a picnic. Here we were, a bunch of misplaced refugees sitting on the cement sidewalk, watching ants scurry about their busy ant-worlds, eating stinky boiled eggs and frozen bananas.
Brandon and I looked at eachother and burst out laughing at how ridiculous we must seem to the rest of the world, who, as luck would have it, was disembarking another ferry and streaming past us like Salmon fighting their way up the Columbia. Practically tripping on us and all our stuff, they side-stepped and jostled and kept walking. We just laughed. I joked that we should have brought a hat along that we could set out for donations.
And then it happened. I don’t know if it was a mistake or if it was intentional. Perhaps someone did take pity on us and want to share. Perhaps it was a modern-day Robin Hood. Or a Socialist. Or maybe it was just something that happened when Mr. Daily Commuter reached in his coat pocket for his vibrating phone, only to pull it out along with…spare change…that (I’m not kidding) went rolling right up to us.
This paultry windfall caused us to nearly choke with laughter! We were slapping our knees and wiping our eyes thinking that we were officially tourist dorks. Oh, but it was funny. I never knew you could have so much fun with boiled eggs.
All that to say, we successfully took the ferry to Bainbridge and spent the afternoon walking around. We won’t go so far as to call it a total flop, because it’s always a great adventure to say you visited an island after lunch and before dinner.
And how often can you do that?