Early in July we had a number of friends come to stay with us. It’s sort of a long story, but all told, we had three families getting together for a vacation. Three couples, 3 three year olds, 2 toddlers & 1 infant all together…..how could that not be fun and memorable??
Andrew and I enjoyed getting to play Tour Guide and show off this part of the country a little bit. Carting all the young’uns around proved to be quite a challenge with the two hour time change AND general disjointedness of travel, but I was surprised at how well they all did and how much we were able to see. We didn’t get into the mountains at all, which is a bummer, but there’s always next time…. 😉 The older kids had grown up together <until we were jerks and moved> and it was fun to see them reconnect. Andrew and I got to enjoy the company of some awesome Milwaukee-ans. Win win.
One of the bigger To Do items on the list was an orca watching trip. Andrew and I have a place where we usually go, but given other constraints we tried something new. It worked out better than we’d hoped. The boat was plenty big so sea sickness wasn’t a problem, it had a cabin big enough for us to keep all the kiddos inside during the really cold drive out to sea, yet it was small enough that we weren’t on a giant Cruise Boat atmosphere. The other passengers on the boat were quite pleased at how well our kiddos handled themselves.
We were captained by a guy named Joe who was really knowledgeable about the area and was passionate about wildlife. He had a few great jokes about wanting to help people wake up to the need for conservation and having to find how to do that, as there aren’t a lot of job opportunities out there for EcoTerrorism. Ha. We were also joined by a naturalist who made the mistake of telling my then three-year-old that she was there to answer questions. Evelyn had plenty. “Where are we? What do orcas eat? Why are they black & white? What is that bird waaaay over there? Can I see fish from here? Do you have a snack for me? What is your favorite kind of juice? Do you have any kids? What’s that thing over there? You know, that THING over THERE? Are we almost home yet???” Andrew and I were thrilled to pass Answer Providing Duty off to someone else for awhile.
We did see some orcas, too. Not as many as on other trips, but it was awesome to watch three feeding orcas turn course and come together to play. It’s always amazing to see how big they really are, even when you’re far away. We got a glimpse of a Minke whale, some seals, and Jessie even spotted a purple sea star while we were supposed to be watching for bald eagles.
So – – – some pictures. Some from me, some from my dear friend Erica, who is also an amazing photographer. I warned her early in the trip that I wasn’t going to take many photos since she was around 🙂 Enjoy!