As we approach the island on the ferry, I notice how dark it all is. The water, the island, all of it. Now we get to find our “cottage” in pitch black middle of the night.
Truthfully, I’m so tired right now I can’t even remember getting to it. I think we actually managed a straight shot from the dock to the spot. The party was just getting started because once we walked in to check the place out, we had to go back outside to completely understand what we were looking at! It was a bungalow of sorts with the entire front patio/yard area covered like a greenhouse. They had made it private with ivy and trellis work. This helped to hide the 5x5ft room that was The Cottage.
Y’all, there was a boat-esque small ladder up to the loft where the bed was. The loft-going wasn’t even an option. We HAD to get up there to get to our bed! Given that my feet are a women’s size 12 on a good day, this was going to be a very creative and persevering weekend. Less than half of my foot fit on each step after factoring the overlap between rungs. Given my recent diagnosis of tendonitis and bone spurs in one foot, I was less than thrilled at having to deal with this reality.
And it only got more fun after a few drinks and having to go down the ladder to get to the micro closet of a bathroom.
But it DID have a toilet and a shower. I was so jazzed I didn’t need to be vigilant to put the toilet lid down since there were no kids or dogs around. There was, however, a kleenex box positioned just above the commode. That sucker took a dive after pulling out the first tissue. Lid shut for the rest of the weekend.
So we unpacked what could fit in the loft beside the bed, and we made do. We went straight to sleep in the hopes we didn’t miss the boat for whale watching the next day.
Miraculously my husband and I both managed to sleep right up to the alarm. We were so happy about that we almost forgot about the death plunge down to the bathroom and shower.
After a hurried and rushed breakfast, we boarded our whale watching boat eager for the day to get started!
It was amazeballs. We had an awesome boat captain and his wife and another woman were our Naturalist Guides. They had binders of the pods and showed us the identifying marks, etc etc. No one was really listening. We just wanted to see some action. I felt like a boat of recent soldiers coming into port for the first time in years just jonesing for some action. Show us the WHALES!
They did! About 40 minutes out we found the first pod! Everyone is standing there with anticipation just hoping for a peek. A fin, a blowhole, a tail, didn’t matter. Just something! You could feel everyone leaning against the railing in complete absorption of the ocean’s surface. And then;
And the whole boat gasps. This went on for about 40 minutes. Varying glimpses of spouts and fins and occasionally a tail. We were sharing the pod with about four other tour boats, so we all shifted and took turns. One thing was for certain. We had the BEST boat. The other suckers were packed in like sardines! I don’t know how the other boats didn’t capsize when there was a shift for everyone to go to one side to watch.
It was so magnificent, in fact, the closeted man making out with his girlfriend the whole time didn’t even wreck the experience for us. There were 2 kids running around the boat and even they did not diminish the awe and amazement. .. because they weren’t ours to manage!
At one point we hit the jackpot. We had been ‘watching’ for about an hour. My husband went back into the cabin and I stayed on the bow. To the left of the boat we saw a fin. It was maybe 50 yards away. The closest we had seen all day. The water was so clear we could see the orca go under the water and were able to follow it around the front of the boat and then he came up on the right for air. It was incredible!
That was followed up by a drive by of Stellar Sea Lions and a few bald eagles. All in all it was incredible and something I hope will never be forgotten. … if the mom brain doesn’t degenerate any more!
That night we had a romantic dinner at a place on the water. After trying to sit on the deck for twenty minutes, I decided I had had enough of the open air for a while. My husband and I were both sporting some very attractive forehead burns from a day on the water without sunscreen. We went inside and scarfed down our second meal of the day. Upon leaving the joint, we got a glimpse of a beautiful crescent moon above the hills. After taking this picture, an otter popped up by the shoreline! I couldn’t believe it. It was all I could do not to run down and try and lure him into my purse to take home.
After dinner we decided to go for a walk around the town. We found a very romantic patio at the local Mexican restaurant. After waiting ten minutes to speak to the hostess, we began comparing ferry stories with another couple. While we were all waiting for a table, we heard their story of waiting from early morning and not catching a ferry until that same night. They waited 8 hours for their ferry. My husband and I decided to shut up about our complaints. This couple tried very gallantly to give us their table to which we declined.
We found our seat outside on the deck. At this point the sun had gone down and the whole patio was surrounded by gorgeous foliage and trees and white lights strung all about. We dived into our drinks and salsa and ordered THE most heavenly dessert I have ever wrapped my mouth around. It was a specialty and not actually on the menu. It was a sopapilla but not like any sopa I had ever had before. It was a triangle completely enclosed around vanilla ice cream. The whole thing dusted with cinnamon and sugar and a small jar of scrumptious melted chocolate to pour over it all.
It was a doughnut/churro/crepe all wrapped into one life-altering dessert. The pic does NOT do it justice.
My husband was speechless at this, and nearly annoyed with how nice that gesture was. He didn’t quite know what to do other than go and thank them. He is still gobsmacked at how we could earn such niceties.
All in all, the very early morning we had following this incredible day was well worth it now that i’m home and unpacked and have had two nights in my own bed to recover 🙂 A great birthday was had by all!