Category: Our Life

Eric & Sandi’s wedding

The trip I’ve been dreading for two years of Covid delays finally arrived…
I know what late August on the east coast is like: heat, humidity and mosquitoes. We don’t have these problems in Seattle so I was not looking forward to them but I was wrong —the weather turned out to be comfortable and mosquitoes weren’t noticeable. Air-conditioning was still necessary for the end of the trip when we got to Manhattan.
We took a red-eye on jetBlue Mint, my favorite domestic way to fly, to JFK, landed after 4am east coast time (1am to us), picked up the rental car, a massive Ford Expedition, and drove 2+ hours to our Airbnb in Livingston Manor where we all took a 2-3 hour nap that gave us a reset to get us over jet lag.
Eric’s “bachelor party” was at The Arnold House just steps from our Airbnb. Our kids came with us and then Eric, Steve, Jimmy, Nikki, Jacques, Peter, Cindy and her boyfriend, Ben, arrived and we had cocktails and a nice dinner on the deck.


Friday morning, we took the kids to several stores in Liberty to buy some food for snacks, ice and all the beverages for the wedding. The kids helped us fill cart after cart with cases of water, sodas, mixers, etc. The back of the Expedition was full, it’s a good thing we rented such a big car. We dropped all of it at the wedding site, Timberlake West, took our Covid tests, checked into our cabin that we shared with our London friends, Mark and Lee and their kids, Henry and George. We went back to our Airbnb to change for the barbecue dinner that night.
Havana recognized Clementine, the daughter of friends of Gay’s from college who live in New York, who she first met 2 years ago at Camp Orkila. Small world! They spent the weekend hanging out together.


We spent the morning and afternoon at the camp where the kids raced Go Karts, went to the pool, canoed in the lake, etc.

After cocktail hour the ceremony started and Eric and Sandi were finally married. Dancing and dinner followed. And then more dancing.
Gay gave a fantastic toast to Eric & Sandi right after the mothers of the grooms.


It took over 4 hours, twice as long as to get there, to drive back to Manhattan due to traffic. Ugh! I can’t complain about Seattle traffic!
We dropped Hudson and our luggage at our apartment in Midtown and me and the girls dropped the car off at Avis and walked through Grand Central station and back to the apartment.
Another of Gay’s friends from college, Ned Baldwin, owns Houseman, a restaurant in SoHo. We had a great dinner there. Mike Florio, who I recognized from football TV. was there too and I saw him as he was walking out but I wasn’t quick enough to stop him to meet him. Too bad for him.


We would have liked to go to Barney Greengrass for bagels as we did on our 2019 trip to NYC but it wasn’t convenient so we went toEss-a-bagelinstead and it was great.
We spent a couple hours at Spyscape which was interesting and educational but the Batman/Gotham thing was weird and confusing.

We took the subway to Chelsea and walked around, stopped for a late lunch at Pastis. We ordered a feast of random things to introduce the kids to new foods. We ordered pate de campagne, steak tartare, salade niçoise, a croque madame sandwich, a cheese plate and a lobster salad. Eva had mac & cheese. 😏 The kids are getting much better at trying new things. I didn’t know about any of these things, much less eat any of them, until I was well into my 20s or 30s.
Little Island was just a few blocks away so we walked the trail to the top and down again. Then some window shopping on our way back to the apartment to get cleaned up for dinner. Manhattan is hot, muggy and dirty (and loud!).
We had dinner at Gramercy Tavern and the kids had their first tasting menu meal. Everything was perfect but I don’t think all the kids liked everything.
We all did 15,000 steps!


Time to go home, we packed up and took an Uber to Brooklyn to meet Eric, Eric’s mom, Sandi, Mark, Lee, Henry and George at Eric and Sandi’s house they are renovating to see the progress.

Then we all had brunch and then ice cream before we Uber’d to JFK. After a 2.5 hour delay, we arrived in Seattle after 9pm.

Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island

Winslow Wharf Marina

All of us plus Hannah, Megan and Emmarie took the boat to Poulsbo on Thursday, Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island on Friday, picked up Jon at Elliot Bay Marina on Saturday and then to Port Madison on Bainbridge Island for Saturday night.

Thursday was Megan’s birthday so we could celebrate it with her while Jon was still on his 10-day rafting trip in Idaho. She and Emmarie met us at the marina in Lake Union at 1pm, we were on our way by 1:30pm, to the locks by 2pm, an hour and a half wait and then through the large lock by 4pm – the locks are unpredictable. We went across the Sound to Agate Pass quickly at 24 knots and then took it slowly all the way to Poulsbo. Docked sometime after 5pm, settled in, walked around Poulsbo and to dinner at The Loft which was great.

Friday morning, Gay and I waited in line at the popular Sluy’s Bakery to get pastries, including the best lefse I’ve ever had. After noon, we cruised to Eagle Harbor and found an empty dock at SYC’s outstation. Havana and Hannah immediately went into town and Gay, Megan and I walked around Winslow before picking up some stuff at The Chandlery. Hudson and I took the tender out around Eagle Harbor before we all went to dinner at The Harbor Public House which I just loved for its old charm.

Saturday morning, Gay, Megan and some of the kids went to the market for groceries before we took off to go get Jon at Elliot Bay Marina. We docked right next to Hodor (Game of Thrones reference!), Jon got aboard and we went to Port Madison, another SYC outstation. We barbecued burgers on the boat while the Steelers-Seahawks preseason game was on, had dinner and played games with the kids after dinner.


Exiting the Ballard Locks (Gay, Havana and Hannah)

Hudson, Emmarie and Eva on the tender

Cocktail hour at Port Madison

Mt Rainier

Arriving at Port Madison

Herons are huge

Crossing over to Bainbridge Island

Uff da (Poulsbo WA)

Docked at Port Madison

18th Wedding Anniversary

A college friend of Gay’s unexpectedly died a few months ago and the “Celebration of Life” service was coincidentally scheduled on our anniversary date on Vashon Island at Vashon Field & Pond, This would only be our second return to Vashon — Kelly’s wedding was the first — since we moved in 2011. So we took the opportunity to also celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary.

In 2004, our rehearsal dinner was at The Hardware Store Restaurant. so we made a reservation there for brunch and invited our Vashon friends. Several have since moved off the island but John & Deborah and Heather showed up and we were able to catch up on the past 11 years.

Camp Orkila Week

Getting the kids to Camp Orkila is a long day with the drive to Anacortes, the ferry ride to Orcas Island, the bus ride to camp is not a fun ordeal for the parents. For the kids’ week at Camp Orkila this year, we could take the boat straight to Camp Orkila and have a lot more fun doing it. So we took our kids plus Ohana, Bowie and Iris on the boat.

I spent the night on the boat the night before and got up at 6am and prepared the boat so we could leave as early as possible. Everyone started arriving just before 7am and we got everyone on board and left the dock at 7:30am, went straight through the Locks and after a very foggy and slow trip through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, arrived at Camp Orkila just before 1pm.

Going through the small lock
Camp Orkila

After getting the kids registered, Gay and I took a slow cruise to Deer Harbor to spend the night.

The next day, we went to Roche Harbor for two nights. The first night, Gay’s cousin and his wife, who were staying at their vacation house on Henry Island, came over to Roche for dinner with us.

We went back to Orkila for a night and to drop our crab pots, then to Eastsound for a night where we had dinner at the Outlook Inn.

Eastsound Bay on Orcas Island

The next day, we went around the east side of Orcas Island and north to Sucia Island for a night. The next morning, we continued our circumnavigation of Orcas back to Orkila to pick up the kids.


The Schuberts acquired a hard-to-get reservation for the SYC’s Henry Island July 4th (HIJ4) weekend but needed a boat to get there. We volunteered our boat or they invited us, depending on how you look at it.

All 12 of us — the 5 of us, Ken & Karen Schubert, their daughter Caci and her friend (Tobin was away at camp), Havana’s friend Mira, Hudson’s friend Bowie and Eva’s friend Iris — left Lake Union at 7:30am and arrived at Henry Island around 2:30pm, just in time for the wine-tasting.

Gay & Figurati at Henry Island

Sunday, July 3rd was a rainy day so all the outdoor events were canceled and we all spent the whole day on the boat playing cards, chatting, making lunch and dinner, me watching the TDF, etc. 10 people on the boat all day was not crowded.

On July 4th, before the fireworks began, Ken and I took Eva and Iris and hitched a ride on someone else’s tender to Roche Harbor to watch the traditional “colors” ceremony, which is the taking-down of the flags. There were so many boats in the harbor you could walk from boat to boat to get ashore!

Eva and Iris
Colors ceremony at Roche Harbor

The tender captain had drank a bit too much and he agreed to let Eva drive the boat back to Henry Island. She did just that, for the most part, despite the chaos of getting out of the harbor.

Fireworks at Roche Harbor

Figurati on its way!

The boat was loaded on the cargo ship, Glen Scotia, today.

Our boat being loaded on a bigger boat

I learned about the Jones Act, a 1920 US protectionist law that makes it illegal for a foreign-owned shipping company to both pickup and drop-off within the US. Because the boat was picked up in Florida, the cargo ship has to deliver it to Canada, meaning Victoria, BC. Hamid also sold a Cranchi 52 located in Miami to a buyer in California and it is going on the same boat today and will be delivered to Ensanada, Mexico. It’s another example of a law meant to help US workers but has the opposite effect – trying to keep foreign companies, who can pay low wages, from “unfairly” competing with US companies, they prevent American ship and dock workers from earning a wage, make it easier for foreign companies to continue to pay their workers low wages, send what would be US import taxes to other countries, increases enforcement costs in the US and harms the companies who it’s trying to help by preventing them from competing and getting better. Politicians should not pretend to be economists.

I also learned why cargo ships are registered in unusual countries, i.e., they sail under a “flag of convenience”. This cargo ship sails under the flag of Liberia. To avoid US labor laws, shipping companies register their ships in countries that don’t have strong labor laws, like Liberia, which is an interesting story. Liberia is a tiny and poor country and doesn’t have much of an economy and the workers on these cargo ships don’t have great wages or benefits, but at least they are paid more than they’d make at home and Liberia has a significant (for them) source of revenue.

I’m guessing it’ll take 4-5 weeks to get to Victoria. When it arrives in Victoria, we will go with a captain to pick it up in Victoria and drive it down to Seattle.