A Series of Lasts

This week as we close up the cabin and make preparations to come home (I typed home and then deleted it, and in the end chose to keep it - it feels as the Island is home now but I guess Seattle remains home...) we are encountering "the Last".  A few of these "lasts" are welcome: the last time bringing the recycling into town, the last time doing all the laundry for a fortune in town, the last time with a 20 minute trip to the grocery store.  But others have brought tears to my eyes no matter how hard I try.  The last time I got to see my mom, the last time watching the sun rise over the Island, the last glass of wine savored, and since this is fittingly Dinner Island, our last dinner here.  

I know we are going on to explore the world and that I won't get much support here, but I have so completely loved our time on Dinner Island that it feels as if I'm getting ripped away, my hands still firmly grasping the formations of the Island.  Our time here has seemed to be in limbo - we are close enough to Seattle that we are not gone - but far enough that to most friends and aquantiences we are already gone.  It's hard to bridge these two locations to come back through the city that we used to call home, but where our house is now rented out.  We used to have our neighborhood spots, but now they are owned by Wallingford, and no longer ours.  And from this we are to move on much further and with people that no longer speak the same language.  What have we gotten ourselves into?

This state is also liminal.  I know that in less than a week we will be on our way to a destination that is completely unknown.  I'm excited to see what that holds for us both individually and as a married couple.  Eric and I have both blossomed in different ways at the Island and I expect this to be quite the same on the road.  Thankfully through all of this we have had each other to bounce these feelings and ideas off of and to grow closer through the process. 

We can only wait and see.  And as we do this I will continue to both savor and cherish these series of "lasts".  

 

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Off-Island Adventures: Lopez and Orcas

Eric and I took advantage of being in the San Juan's without guests and scheduled time on our calendar to get off-island.  Dinner Island looks to the West at San Juan and to the East at Lopez and though we've gone to the odd farmers market on Lopez we haven't spent more time than that on the Island.  We took a day trip by ferry to explore the Island with our car.

The first thing that we noticed on Lopez is how unbelievably friendly everyone is!  Complete strangers wave to you from their cars as you drive by farmland graced with animals.  I texted a friend while there thinking how much her 3 year old son would love all the animals - sheep, deer, cows, pigs; it was like a living zoo!  These animals all live on beautiful sloping hills of farmland where nearly everyone has a their own vegetable garden.  As we made our way around the Island we made a point to stop at the small garden stands to support their efforts but also selfishly as the produce was beautiful!  We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Vito's, a small sandwich, deli on the island that also has a great selection of wines.  Our travel day being on a Tuesday meant that unfortuantely a lot of the other businesses like their amazing bakery, Holly XX, were closed.  We enjoyed some Lopez Island Creamery icecream at the end of town, overlooking the water and enjoying the view.

What I most enjoyed about Lopez was the creativity on every level.  We were delighted by the decorated mailboxes and by another community that had decorated the beach with artwork.  It seemed with every turn of the car there was another surprise.  Even a toilet on a shared trail was painted beautifully!  We enjoyed finding some random trails on the Island and got ourselves a bit lost but in the end the car was found and we headed back on the ferry to San Juan and then back by our little boat to Dinner Island.

 

And then, yes, we added a vacation to our vacation.  At the urging of friends we tried out AirBnB and booked a little studio cottage, aptly named the Rose Cottage, on Orcas Island, for 3 nights.  After an emotionally tearful goodbye to my mom (who I won't see until she meets us at some point around the world) we took off again by ferry to Orcas Island.

We found our little charming studio that was complete with a cat to visit as he pleased.  We settled in and went off to search for a place for dinner.  We found Hogstone Pizza, a delicious pizza place with great wine to match.  Surprisingly, one of Eric's friends from growing up was there with his girlfriend and we joined them for dinner.  It was a great meal with lots of laughs shared over the great food.  I was sorry when the night came to a close.

We spent the rest of our time on Orcas treating ourselves more than we have in the last two months since we left our jobs.  We went out to eat (the little kitchen in our studio was suitable really only for making coffee), enjoyed a massage, and enjoyed hiking around the Island.  One day we set off to Climb Mt. Constitution and enjoyed stunning views as we got a great workout.  Another day we explored the Turtleback Mountain Preserve.  Note for next time, the views and trails are better at the South Entrance versus the North where we were.  The downtown on Orcas was charming with little shops, bakeries, and great restaurants.  The shape of the Island allows stunning water views from nearly every spot around the Island.  One would think the terrain in the San Juan Islands is pretty similar but our time on Orcas proved that to be wrong with the numerous hills and mountains running right into the water.  The views from every point had more land leaning itself into the water than we are used to from Dinner Island.

Another coincidence on Orcas was that one of my best friends was going to be there at the same time, working on plans for her wedding.  Since we will likely be missing her wedding next summer while we are gone it was really special to get to see where their ceremony and reception will be and to hear how excited she is for everything to come together.  Eric and I enjoyed dinner with her and then later cocktails and it was another evening where my face hurt from smiling and all the shared laughs.  It was so special to get to see and spend more time together before we head off.

After stopping by a few more farm stands to get meat and produce we reluctantly took the ferry back to San Juan.  We so enjoyed our time on Orcas and know that it will be an Island that we spend more time on in the future.

 

Dinner Island Olympics

A long-standing tradition on Dinner Island has been the Dinner Island Olympics.  Throughout my childhood I remember playing each summer, competing for the glory of having your name written on the spray-painted beer cans when placing in the top three.   We still have the Olympics every summer for whatever kids can be found on either Dinner Island or neighboring islands, but with the creation of our Cabin Weekends, Eric and I have introduced our friends to the Olympics as well. 

I thought I’d create a post on some of the competitions we have had in the past, in part for other people to create Olympics of their own. 

We find between 6-8 events to keep everyone’s interest throughout.  My advice would be picking some of the following that look good to you and making up the rest as you go along.  Having a drink in hand is also a fun way to get others to relax as they compete. 

Red/Black: Find a deck of cards.  The contestant guesses if the card will be red or black, then the judge flips over said card to reveal the color.  Contestants have 10 chances to score points.  Shuffle the cards so that those card sharks out there can’t figure out the number of red or black in your chosen stack. 

Dice Shoot: Each contestant gets 3 die to either roll together or separately for the highest score. 

Stack Rocks: Send everyone to the beach with a set amount of time to gather 10 rocks.  At said time, have everyone carry back their rocks to a flat surface and start another timer for a minute to have them stack the rocks as high as possible.  Whomever has the most rocks stacked gets 1st place.  If multiple people can stack all 10 then the person whose stack is the highest places wins the tie-breaker. 

Crab Race: This event is perfect to either start or end.  Send everyone down to the beach to unearth their chosen crab.  Everyone can then coddle their crab back up to the table where we draw a circle on a table (use chalk or something non-permanent).  Depending on the number of contestants you have, you can either start all the crabs at once in the center of the circle and the first one over the line wins, or you can do one crab after another, timing each for scores. 

Picking the Page Number in a Book: As this event sounds, you pick the page that a slip of paper has denoted. 

Balls in a Pot: Take some small whiffle balls, or as we always have around, Pickle Balls, and have people take turns tossing 3 into a pasta pot. 

Rock Toss: Head to the beach and have everyone select their rock, big or small.  Have a stick stuck in the sand and have each person toss their rock to try to get it the closest.  Depending on how you feel allow a practice round or best of 3.  Have a tape measure on hand to measure the distance from the rock to the stick to determine each place.  

Beer Can Bowling: Here’s a way to recycle all those empty beer cans from the night before.  Set up the cans mimicking a bowling alley and have the contestants bowl a ball trying to knock down as many as possible in 1-3 tries. 

How many XX in XX: You can do this with about anything.  We’ve done how many beans in a jar, how many spokes on our windmill, how many boards in the walk, etc.  It’s a good event to be done inside and gets everyone to reexamine their surroundings a bit more after the game. 

Scoring:  We create a sheet, see below for examples, that has each event, and each contestant’s name to keep track.  We then assign points for 1st place and so on.  So for example, if you have 10 contestants, the person in 1st would get 10 points, 2nd place would get 9 points, etc for each event.  Go through and score each event.  Decide how to best accommodate tiebreakers.  Then add up the points for each contestant to get the overall winners.  We find it’s best for the judges to do all the scoring with a beer in hand, hidden in a back room away from prying eyes trying to see if they will be this year’s winner. 

The Awards Ceremony:  Medals must be created (note to self: do these before the Olympics!) and awarded in a ceremony.  We award 3rd, then 2nd and then 1st.  This year a talented friend made our own trophies to record winners year after year.  Photos are a must to capture the winners in all their glory! 

What are other events we could incorporate?  Has anyone else done anything similar?  We’d love fore more input as we grow our Olympics.  

Notes on Cruising

After returning from a week on the open seas, going from port to port, we compiled some notes of things that were helpful on our trip.

  • Have some notes and ideas of where you want to go.  My WAC friend Ester had done a similar trip a few weeks before and generously shared her itinerary and trip notes before we left so we had an idea about where to go.
  • Always have up to date charts for where you are going and know how to use them!  We realized ours were from 1986 and the compass headings have changed quite a bit since then!  We used the GPS on our boat and the charts to move around and miss all the hidden reefs out there.
  • Be ready to be really impacted by weather.  I didn't realize how serious fog is until we were surrounded in it without radar (to see where other boats are around us).  It was scary and changed our plans quite a few times so be flexible (I'm still working on this) and have back up plans if you can't get as far as you'd like.  Make smart decisions when fog comes in - we followed a large yacht out of the fog when leaving Victoria.  Their big boat had all the bells and whistles so we knew we'd be safe and we just hoped we were traveling in the same direction!
  • Learn how fast a 3 minute shower is.  That's around the amount of time we had for a shower and surprisingly I didn't even need that much time (including shaving!).  The first go at a timed shower was a bit stressful as I didn't have extra loonies (Canadian dollars for each 3 min time allotment) and I didn't want to come out with shaving cream on my legs and conditioner in my hair.  Have a few trail runs at home before the real thing so you know what you are dealing with.  I went so far as to open all the bottles up and made sure the liquid was at the bottom so I didn't waste precious seconds shaking. Also don't leave home without shower slippers.  One thing that I could have brought, but don't even have now, is a hair dryer.  All the bathrooms have electrical (unlike us on Dinner Island!) so I could have been blow drying my hair!  There were also mirrors and most days I wish I hadn't known what I looked like but good to remember if you want a chance to try to look your best.
  • On the note of showers - the proximity to bathrooms was another important part of our day.  Going to the bathroom meant getting completely dressed to get off the boat in search of relief and trust me that I was completely monitoring my liquids in the evening to make sure I wasn't trying to find reprieve in the middle of the night!
  • While doing dishes in the teeny, tiny sink, we learned the value of water, it being a bit ironic we were surrounded by water we couldn't drink or use for anything meaningful.  Our boat holds 11 gallons and we had to be cognizant of every drop we used when washing dishes.  Even with really great washing skills we went through 5 gallons a day.  I think everyone in America would use vastly less water after having to take timed showers and measure their water daily.  It made us so grateful to return home and will be a reminder to be even more vigilant about water!

Here's more on our packing.  You'll obviously bring your clothes (the less the better if you are on a small boat like we were), shoes, shower staples, bathroom staples, etc.

But here were other things we thought of or wish we had:

  • Bins are great for storage - clothes, cooking supplies pantry
  • Binoculars are a must for wildlife sightings and let's be honest, getting a closer look at gorgeous houses
  • A kayak was great to have not only to get to shore when mooring on a buoy but also as another way to explore
  • Slippers were a nice luxury and I wish I had brought sweat pants for lounging or bathroom runs
  • Bring all the staples - salt, sugar, pepper, ketchup, foil, plates, glasses, zip lock baggies, etc.  It is expensive to buy redundant items while traveling.
  • Ice is key - block ice lasts 3 days
  • Tons of plastic bags and garbage bags
  • Hot plate fueled by propane was key BBQ was nice to have
  • Cleaning supplies were a must
  • Propane was cheaper in the US - we went through 1.5 in 1 week
  • Clothespins to jerry-rig a clothesline
  • Eco-friendly dish soap - everything that went down our kitchen sink went right out the boat so you have to think of what is safe in the water
  • A cooler is also necessary to keep items cold.  Ours didn't drain so it was imperative to have everything sealed in the cooler so water didn't get in

 

Our boat on the water

Our boat on the water

Gulf Islands Continued

Saturday the fog continued to engulf our boat and we were trapped with not much to do.  Finally tired of trips to the end of the dock and back to look at the fog we decided to take a hike to give us some space from the weather and the impact it was having on our trip.

Fog clearing!

Fog clearing!

We had been recommended to Greenburn lake up the road from Poets Cove resort and went in search for the lake and a promised view from a vista that might give us more visibility to the fog.  The hike ended up being straight up (haven't Canadians heard of switchbacks?!) but led right to the lake as promised.  We found a partially hidden bridge and crossed to bush-whack a trail to the vista.  From the highest point we could see that the fog was in fact lifting some and that the sun was trying to break through.  After the damp mist of the continued fog this made us both very happy!  We returned to the boat to have some lunch and to try to make another go of getting to Sidney.

The visibility to Sidney improved and regressed right until we pulled into the marina.  We were happy to have made it and after we had tied up in our slip the sun came out and we were able to see how far we had come. It was a beautiful afternoon and the city was so charming!  I insisted we stay two nights to enjoy not being so tied to the weather and to explore this cute city on Vancouver Island.

One thing we have been doing to save money since we decided to do this trip is having some drinks before going to dinner so we can avoid ordering multiple drinks or bottles while dining.  For our first dinner out since our anniversary (5 weeks ago) we continued this tradition, having a beautiful bottle of Gilbert Cellars Rose on the promanade before going to dinner.  The setting couldn't have been prettier and it was so refreshing to be on solid ground!  We had found a great Thai restaurant to check out and made our way there, enjoying the small town feel of Sidney and still enjoying the sunshine.

 

Sunday we woke up and I was finally able to run.  I found a fantastic trail that went between the city and the water and enjoyed the views on both sides of the road.  Everyone greeted me with a hello or a good morning and I couldn't stop smiling.  

When I returned we showered up and prepared ourselves for the Butchart Gardens and to be surrounded by more people that we have been in over a month.  We connected with some fellow boaters that were also making their way by bus to the Gardens.  The Butchart Gardens were way outside our daily budget but not to be missed.  Knowing the cost  made me even more insistent that we really enjoy ourselves and get as much out of the gardens as possible. This wasn't hard to do with beautifully planned gardens with exquisite flowers and designs.  The only wish was that my mom could have been with us - she loves gardens and flowers more than anyone I know!  Thrifty as we now are, we had packed our lunch, and got to enjoy it overlooking the Rose Gardens.  We had delicious sandwiches and cookies and then continued on through the gardens.  It was such a fun day spent outside, enjoying nature that is more manicured that we are used to.  I would love to return back to the Butchart Gardens in other seasons to see what plantings are coming out then.

 

We made our way back to Sidney by bus and played some cribbage before heading to a Chinese restaurant for dinner.  It was such a fun day!

Monday we woke up and headed for Sidney Spit - which as the name implies is off Sidney city but the Spit is also connected to Sidney Island.  We decided to just cruise around by boat instead of getting off board to hike, we were more focused on Victoria at this point and continuing on for our big city finale.

We followed all the routing plans into Victoria and were rewarded with a slip right in front of the Empress Hotel.  Unfortunately the bathrooms were too far away for me (see my next post on cruising and you'll understand why) so we moved one slip over.  We set off to explore the city by foot - walking through Chinatown, enjoying the best fish and chips we have ever had (I could eat daily at Red Fish, Blue Fish), and exploring some of the Empress.  Sightseeing all day is tiring so a cribbage and cocktail hour was enjoyed before heading back on the town to try to find dinner.  We realized this could be our last night on the trip and wanted to eat out since we don't have the opportunity as easily while on Dinner Island.  We found a delicious restaurant - the Noodle Box - that had the spiciest food we have had in a long time.  We were sweating and in search of milk as soon as we walked out from the restaurant!

We were torn if we should stay another day in Victoria or head back the next day and decided that our time on the boat should end before we were sick of it.  Our last night also ended up being one where sleep was the most elusive with all the seaplanes taking off and birds constantly circling.  I went on another run (photos included below) and we set off for home.

 

 

It was great to get back to Dinner Island and have room to spread out a bit more!  I love having the bathroom in the same cabin and also the waist-height sink!  The trip was a blast, but like all good trips, it's always so nice to come home.

 

Eric spreading out

Eric spreading out

Cruising the Gulf Islands

Tuesday we set off from Dinner Island to cruise up to the Canadian Gulf Islands on my parent's 22 foot Sea Sport boat with some travel tips from my WAC friend, Ester.  We had yet to have much adventure in the past month beyond hosting and were excited to set off and explore. 

The trip so far has been filled with a lot of beautiful scenery but unfortunately a lot of fog that has prevented us from sightseeing as we'd planned.   

Our first stop was Poets Cove on South Pender Island to clear customs and to spend the night in the beautiful cove.  Poets Cove is comparable to charming Roche Harbor and our modest boat was a bit out of place among beautiful yachts.  We found we could rent a car and did so, setting off to get groceries for our week cruising.  We came back to the boat to kayak, admiring spectacular houses and some interesting rock formations.  When returning back to the boat we were surrounded by pink salmon jumping around our kayak.  It was so enjoyable to have the time to sit and enjoy the spectacular scene around us.  Our first night bbqing off the boat was a great way to get reconnected to the Islands.  We were surrounded by beauty in every form and the night's finale was a gorgeous sunset.  It was the first time I could remember sitting still to enjoy the view since we set off from Seattle over a month ago!

The view from Mt. Norman

The view from Mt. Norman

Wednesday we set off to hike up Mt. Norman, the highest peak in the area at 800 feet.  At the top we were rewarded with views of the surrounding islands. 

After showering at Poets Cove we set off for Saturna Island.  The Saturna Island website promised delicious looking restaurants, coffee, and outdoor activities.  We instead arrived to find one store housing the pub, book store, convenience store, and two unhelpful employees.  We moved on - damn marketers!  Plan B was to see the vineyard on Saturna but after realizing we couldn't get there from the water, like we had thought, we continued on to Cabbage and Tumbo Islands - Plan C.   

Cabbage and Tumbo Islands are surrounded by foreboding reefs.  We approached cautiously and picked a buoy to moor on for the night.  The only way off the boat was by kayak so we set off for Cabbage Island to pay our fees and explore.  When we returned to the boat we settled in for a windy night on a rocking boat.  After endless cribbage matches we hoped to sleep without getting sick.  

After a restless night we woke up early to get off the boat and explore Tumbo Island.  Tumbo was covered eerily in fog and all we could find was the creepy old homesteads - the trail leading around the Island was no where to be seen.  Eric and I both couldn't shake the eery feeling on the deserted island and high tailed it back to the boat to get away from these strange islands and to find more civilization. 

Creepy Tumbo Island

Creepy Tumbo Island

Our next stop was Ganges Harbor on Salt Spring Island.  The town reminded me of Eugene, Oregon.  The community was very artsy with galleries all over town displaying creativity ranging from woven wood coffee tables to beautiful ceramic dishes.  We perused the galleries and enjoyed some of the delicious food the town had to offer.  The afternoon rain storm made us re-think our drinking rules and we had some red wine and another cribbage match to pass the time in horrible weather.  

Friday morning we waited for the fog to clear and headed off to Sidney Spit to hopefully moor on the dock for the night.  The fog clearing was fleeting and as we headed out were surrounded quickly by fog again.  The plan to head to Sidney Island was aborted and we headed back to Pender Island and Poets Cove as we could get there safely and it was close by.  The fog was patchy and before entering Poets Cove we were rewarded for our conservative decision by being surrounded by Orca Whales.  I had been disappointed that we couldn't continue on as planned but this view was spectacular and we enjoyed another night in this beautiful cove.

Saturday we awoke to dense fog and rain.  We are currently sitting on the boat waiting for it to clear so we can head off for Sidney Island or we may have to beat cabin fever by heading off in this dreary weather to find a hike of some sort.   

Stay tuned for our next stop!   

 

Being a good guest

We have seen our fair share of guests in the last month - 44 guests sharing 265 dinner meals since we arrived.  I think we've taken over 125 bottles of wine to recycle as well! We have been touched and delighted by our friends and family that have shown us what it looks like to be a good guest. Here are things that we noticed that make everything run smoothly.

Before your arrival:

  • Email your host a few days beforehand with the details of your arrival.
  • Enquire what you can bring in addition to the standard wine/beer contribution.
    If you can afford it, bring the good stuff. One friend brought amazing meat from their cow and also some fun alcohol to try. Another couple splurged and got us tons of champagne (our favorite) and some special port to share after dinner. Trust us, we notice and it's much appreciated. A lot of time and resources go into hosting that people don't see - gas money to move boats around, all the staples for cooking, laundry; etc. Most of all is the time it takes to clean up! It's nice to pay it forward when you can. 
Upon arrival and during your trip:
  • Keep your space tidy and organized. In small spaces try to keep your things out of common areas where clutter can pile up quickly.
  • Jump in and help - start washing dishes, clear plates after a meal, carry in some groceries. Ask if you can help in the kitchen by making a part of the meal. Each time a guest jumps in and starts to wash dishes my heart sings a note of thanks.
  • Be enthusiastic - your host has (hopefully) put forth a lot of effort to make your stay an enjoyable one and having a positive attitude goes a long way in showing your thanks. One of our friends is the most positive person I know. When he visits I am always touched by how happy he is with everything from catching fish to making dinners together. He makes hosting a delight.
  • Have opinions - sometimes I have thought of some 10 different options for my guests to choose from. Instead of acting indifferent, please choose the one that sounds best!  If there are things you've always wanted to do in the area, mention that to your host. No one is psychic so it helps to communicate your wishes. 
  • Bring something to contribute - We have had friends bring up really fun games to play which makes after dinner entertainment and rainy days all the more enjoyable (especially since we have no electricity!). Cards against humanity was a hilarious game to play one night and Farkle is an easy game to play while catching up with friends.
  • When it is time to go, ask the host what can be done to clean up your room. For our guests we love it when they take their sheets off and organize the room back to the condition they found it. After each guest leaves it is then easy for us to go do the laundry and do a deep clean.
After your stay:
  • A note of thanks goes a long way! The Evans family sent over the most touching emails I have yet to receive and one friend left a very thoughtful note the day she left. Knowing that our friends and family have enjoyed themselves makes all the effort worth it and ends the trip on a positive note.
  • If you want to go the extra mile, send something small, like some of the photos you took over your stay or something that the host might like. One friend got us a peach-pit scrubber to get out a stain we had accidentally made on the wood countertop. It worked like a charm and was so thoughtful!  Another couple got us a really nice set of horseshoes to complete our horseshoe pit. 
We are so lucky to have such great friends and family,  it makes our role as hosts much easier and more pleasurable for everyone.

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Sarah unplanned

It's been almost a month since we last walked out of our respective jobs and entered into the unknown of fun employment.  Looking back we have been able to take advantage of not working during the week to see family friends at Dinner Island - one week we had nightly dinners of 9 and the next week we were up to 15.  These experiences would have been completely lost to us if we had been still working as we didn't have enough time off to capitalize on these opportunities.  With the ebb and flow of people visiting we are also trying to figure out how to fill all the hours in the day.  Surprisingly it hasn't been hard.  There's a lot to be done - Eric has manicured all the paths around the island, I've tried my hand at making all varieties of bread, and just this past week we have started exploring by bike on San Juan Island.

Even with all the fun to be had I've been finding myself desiring the normalcy of routine to return to.  We were talking about how sometimes after really crazy weekends it can be a nice comfort to return to work on Monday (hear me out on this - I know it sounds crazy).  When you arrive at work, you have your desk area still situated as you left it, it's quiet and you can dive back in to making decisions and moving things forward.  You know what is expected of you and what you have to do to be successful.

With no set plans we don't have anything that we can define as normal and the standards of success have also changed.  Now instead of organizing POP buys, launching a successful social media campaign, or making new contacts, I'm concerned whether my english muffins are fluffy enough.  I like to keep our cabin very clean and besides my lifelong desire for cleanliness, I think it's just so one thing can stay as I expect it.

We certainly still have a to-do list of things to do, similar to work, but often it's things I've never done before so there's a lot of learning behind each task.  Mixing cement and fixing a crack on the pickle ball court was one project that we did last week.  Each task takes that much longer without electricity and with cabins being a good distance apart. Just doing something simple like a load of laundry included learning how to start the generator, light the pilot light on the hot water heater, and then how to properly hang out all of our clothes so they dry before the sun goes down.  Oh, and if you start this whole clothes cleaning process too late in the day then your clothes won't finish drying and you'll get to re-do the whole hanging-them-out process again in the morning (yes I'm speaking from personal experience).  

 So with all of these ramblings, I have found that I do miss work.  I miss knowing what is needed to define success and what I need to do to get there.  I also really miss the brand I worked on and those around me.  I still see things that I think would be awesome for Tubbs to incorporate - it's been hard to let that side of things all go.

I think as our trip processes we'll get used to the new routines, ways to fill our time, and measurements of what is successful.  I think that routines are so engrained in me that I'll try to find some ways to mark the day and organize myself so I feel I'm accomplishing things other than walking back and forth between cabins and eating delicious food.

 

Dinner Island

When I think about spending time on Dinner Island, relaxation comes to mind.  It might not be the kind of relaxation that most people enjoy, but I can't stay away from the island. When you stay at the island, projects seem to find you, which I love.  I've been known to get into the groove with the chainsaw/ Toro lawnmower and let 4 hours go by without a blink.  I enjoy every second of working under the tutelage of Sarah's dad, Bill. Both of our minds churn to make things better and more efficient along the way.

Dinner Island does not have electricity and I would never want it there. The simple joys of the fire places and propane lamps cannot be matched. Even better, most cell phones don't have any reception. We like to say that it is "luxury camping" with the best food in town.  Everything seems to taste better on the island.  It is truly a magical place that I'm thrilled to start our adventure on.  -Eric