Once on the ferry, it wasn't long before our Marie-and-Mike traveling magnet charm began working. What I mean by that is that often when we travel, we run into people we know...it's really quite amazing. For example:
1. I ran into a guy I knew in college at a bar in Japan--he was flirting with me, and it was probably the only time in my life I've ever seen Mike jealous!
2. Our first day in Delhi, India, we ran into a Scottish friend from Japan--who had been traveling around Asia for 6 months, and who had just had her money belt stolen. She was relieved to see some friendly faces, and we traveled with her for a few days before diverging into different directions.
3. We ran into a good friend of ours at a market well 20 miles or so from Oaxaca, Mexico--and we enjoyed hanging out with her for a few days in town.
4. In Paris, France, in front of the Eiffel Tower, we encountered another good UK friend from Japan, who was there with his wife and son. We had no idea he was in Paris at the time, and it was quite a shock!
5. On the Victoria-Port Angeles ferry, we headed to the back of the boat, where we immediately encountered Mike's friend Cliff, from his children's writing group! Cliff had traveled to Victoria with his wife and son for a few days.
So there you go--isn't that remarkable? Beyond those encounters, we also tended to run into the same travelers over and over again while we were traveling through India and Indonesia, but those don't really count.
Upon arriving in Port Angeles, we headed off to Woodinville (via another ferry from Kingston to Edmonds!). Here are the boys on the Edmonds ferry:
We were headed to Woodinville to stay the night with my dear friend and birthday sister Nancie and her wonderful husband Dave. It was an adventure getting there, however, as although I printed out AAA TripTiks for all the legs of our journey, I failed to get directions to their actual house. Mike had assured me that he would be able to find their house (he has the better sense of direction)...however, they live outside of Woodinville--quite a ways outside of Woodinville--so we were completely lost.
It was a comedy of errors, because although I had my Blackberry with me and could theoretically Mapquest directions, we also could not find our address book with their address. We called Nancie repeatedly, but no one answered at their house or on her cell phone. So we drove...around and around. Nicholas had fallen asleep in the back, and Chris and Kieran were incredibly patient. It was just the two adults who were getting frustrated!
Adding to the stress was the fact that a notary was meeting us at Nancie and Dave's house so we could sign the paperwork to refinance our house!
Fortunately she called to let us know she was on her way, and we asked HER the house number! And then Nancie called at last and was able to direct us to their house. (She had been running on the treadmill and then cooking dinner, and she completely lost track of time...and then looked at her cell phone to see we'd been trying to call!) We were about 10 miles out of the way, nowhere near their house.
We spent 20 minutes signing the paperwork as soon as we arrived, while Nancie entertained the kids by making virgin strawberry margaritas with them. (Our kids LOVE Nancie and Dave.) Phew! The notary was nice, but Mike and Dave laughed when they saw the right-wing bumper stickers on her car: "Rush is Right" and "Obama Bin Lying"! Not exactly the kind of person we would hang out with...although she did compliment our children's behavior!
We spent a great evening with Nancie and Dave...and Nicholas especially had a wonderful time. Dave is a talented musician, and Nicholas loves everything related to music. He spent quite a bit of time jamming with Dave.
Nicholas on his "tamborine," as he called the ukelele for some reason...
Kieran playing along on the piano
And more jamming on Sunday morning!...
I finally persuaded Nancie and Chris to get in the photo:
We left for home a bit before 10 and drove straight down to Portland, where we had 1 hour to pack Chris for outdoor school. Poor kid didn't have much time at home before leaving on another outdoor adventure!
It feels really odd without him here this week. As Nicholas was getting ready for bed tonight, he said "I miss Christopher!" Isn't that sweet?