. This plan seemed to work well for all except Tim, who despite the glasslike and flat conditions across the bay, had to spend part of the ferry ride resting in a horizontal position. That said, we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The total cost for the ride for four people and a car was $21.90 (take that Cook Strait) and was seamless, entertaining and saved us the better part of three hours of driving. We simply lined up a half hour before sailing, drove straight on to the bottom level of the ferry, parked the car and set the brake and walked upstairs to enjoy the view for the 30 minute motor across the bay. We docked so that all we had to do was drive straight off onto land again and away we went. Odie later confessed to me that she was sure that in a previous life she had been one of those aquatic car/taxi things, so this trip was a cruise down memory lane for her. The other amazing thing was that when we arrived in Port Townsend and typed our destination address in Vancouver into Bob, he pointed straight across the harbor and told us to take a ferry!!!!
From the mainland it was a straight shot up the coast towards Vancouver, British Columbia and our family!!!! Eli and Lily had been counting the days, hours and minutes until they were able to spend the week with their Aunt Fiona, Uncle Ben, and their cousins Lucas and Felix. We had been given a short grocery list of items to pick up just south of the border at our local, friendly Trader Joe's grocery store
. Ben and Fiona also have a chest freezer so we stocked up on some snack items and meat products in preparation for our week (next week) in the Canadian Rockies. We had also been advised that beer was much more expensive in Canada and since Tim & Ben have been known to indulge in the odd malt beverage and because it made a good hostess present, we loaded up on a variety of 6-packs of beer. It was only when waiting in line to cross the border into Canada that we learned of the import limits of 24 beers and two bottles of wine. We had covered them with a tarp and other groceries, but nevertheless, Tim practiced his line of "24 beers and 2 bottles of wine" ad infinitum until the whole car was in hysterics. We crossed over without incident and didn't even get to answer the alcohol question. Then, as Eli and Lily kept pointing out, on average every 30 seconds, it was only 47…no 46…no 45:31…no….(you get the picture), minutes to get to our cousins' house.
We arrived, Lucas (6) and Felix (3) flew out the door to greet us, Uncle Ben came home from work, hugs were issued all around, shouts of joy and glee could be heard echoing through the neighborhood and the cousins all disappeared upstairs to the room where they were all staying. Uncle Ben had brought home some fresh and yummy pizza and we had a quick bite to eat before all heading out to watch Lucas's final t-ball game of the season. This was special on many counts, one to support our Nephew, two for him to have such a strong and vocal support crew and three, because this was an all-star team that he had been selected to play for at the end of the regular t-ball season
. In fact, there had had three practices in the week just before this final game; so this was serious stuff. I will not explain all the rules of the game, but it was a highly entertaining three innings, filled with big hits, errors, near misses, run-outs, flattened players trying to make a play in the basepath (Lucas) and several runs scored by each team. Lucas impressed us all and when he rounded home, we saw the double fist pump of joy/victory as he celebrated scoring a run!!!Too soon it was time to return to the house and put the kids to bed. They all went to sleep relatively promptly and Tim, Jess, Ben and Fiona got to stay up a bit later, chatting, laughing and in general having a great time while catching up. It is safe to say that all Heidmanns are looking forward to a week of staying in one place, never driving for more than 15 minutes at a time, using public transport and simply being with our family. Roll on Vancouver!!!
Well, all of our preparations achieved their desired effect and we only had a few spits of rain over dinner last night and none during the night. The preparations included purchasing and hanging the new giant tarp over the tent as well as anchoring it to the ground with some well placed stakes and ropes. So, while the kids were disappointed to not be sitting in the car while Jess and I dashed around in the rain breaking camp, we managed a quick up and away and were on the road before 8am as we had pre-booked a ferry to take us, Odie and Bob from Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula to Whidbey Island, which is connected to the Mainland north of Seattle by some strategically and scenically placed bridges. We enjoyed the drive up and around the peninsula and we made it to Port Townsend with enough time to spare to stop in at a little diner for a quick lunch. However, the waitress who was working at the restaurant for her very first time that day, slowed down the delivery of food just enough to ensure that we had to scoff it down in order to make the ferry