A Long Weekend on the Island

Considering my recent "Frugal, Not Cheap" entry it may seem ironic that Leslie and I spent a three-day weekend at Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands, an island best known as the playground for Washington's rich.

Still, considering Leslie received two nights free lodging on the island from her daughter for Mother's Day and considering we haven't had a vacation that didn't involve relatives for at least five years, it would have been awkward to refuse on principle to go. Besides, I'm sure Leslie would have gone without me.

I'll admit, though, to screaming more than a little when I discovered that the round-trip ferry ride cost nearly $50, and that on top of skyrocketing gas costs.

Still, the ride was certainly more peaceful and relaxing than a trip down I-5:

For me, the best part of the trip was our hike through Moran Park, though I ended up buying a $50 permit so that I can continue to visit state parks for the whole year. Originally we were going to hike to the top of Mount Constitution but ended up driving to the top, only to discover that it was so cloudy that you couldn't see anything from the top. So, we took a side hike to a small lake. The trail was actually quite pleasant

and we particularly enjoyed the

though the trail, as a whole, was quite beautiful.

Unfortunately, the lake at the end was a little disappointing, particularly since it started to rain just as we reached it and someone had left his rain jacket in the car because it was so warm:

Of course, we also had to spend time at the island's shops and restaurants. Amazingly, while browsing a garden shop I found a crooked knife that I've wanted to buy for years, a bargain at $45, especially if I can find a use for it in my carving class.

Dinner was, naturally enough, expensive, but $65 for two margaritas and two Caribbean dinners consisting of lime-marinated prawns and jerked chicken seemed reasonable at the time. The other meals were virtually "free" since Leslie paid for them out of her checking account, not mine.

The highlight of the trip may well have been getting a "good" picture of this

which seems strangely similar to the one I featured a few weeks ago in a picture taken in my front garden. I suspect passer-by's may have wondered why the crazy old guy was laying down on the sidewalk in the middle of the block, but I wasn't going to miss a good shot again.

Of course, the "same" butterfly visited me later in the day miles away at a pottery shop. I wonder if it's trying to "tell me something" since I can't remember ever seeing this type of butterfly before but have seen it three times already this year.

All in all, I'm looking forward to taking another vacation in five years or so when my bank account recovers.

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