Thursday, September 07, 2006

Take The Long Way Round 

...see the sights, hear sounds. Where you’ll go, nobody knows.

I woke up and I was forty. And I’m still not going bald yet. Hooray.
We checked out of the inn, then returned to the lighthouse in the hope of spotting more whales. We didn’t see any, and by the look of it, the last sighting of any had been those we’d seen on Monday, so we must have been pretty lucky.

We had a look around Friday Harbor, population 1,989, a quiet, pleasant town, and caught up on writing postcards in an unassuming little coffee shop - the girls behind the counter were re-arranging the shift rota to work around their new college timetables - before returning the car. The island seemed to be winding down after the summer. The guy from the car hire firm gave the impression he felt torn between living here and being somewhere with a bit more going on.

It was another travelling day, back to Seattle. An eerie fog descended. We felt kinda sleepy.
It was a treat to see the city swing into view again. A small crowd gathered on the deck, excitedly taking photos of the skyline, which was even more spectacular than the last time. Dusk was falling and the lights were coming on. I couldn’t have wanted more.

This time we caught a cab. The driver, a thoughtful, quietly spoken young man, asked about our travels.
“Vancouver is the San Francisco of the north,” he said. “More international than Seattle. Americans are very insular.”
He’d majored in urban planning, and said we’d like Portland. He spoke highly of the work of it’s city planners.

We stayed at the Andra again and had a nice meal in the hotel restaurant, enjoying some quality people watching. We felt like regulars - they even gave us a bag of sweets when we checked in, a welcome back gift.
But I didn’t mention it was my birthday. I didn’t want them thinking they had to sing for me or anything.

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