Back in the Saddle

Or should I say, back in harness! Either way, I’m definitely wishing I were still on holiday!

We continued our tasting experiences with a trip to a local cheese shop, The Farmer’s Daughter, whose name elicited some joking among the guys. But it was quite elegant, with wine and cheese flights served outside on the patio. This was my younger son’s first experience legally being served alcohol, having just celebrated his 19th birthday. The fromagerie was located in a little alleyway of shops which we explored briefly before enjoying Brooklyn-style pizza across the way.

The next morning, I was up early enough to see the water across the street at low tide — looks like you could walk out and commune with the geese, but I was not that energetic!

Later in the day, we went on a whale-watching excursion. It was a great afternoon to be on the water. We saw seals (it looks like rocks on the rocks, but they are actually well-camouflaged seals!), cormorants, a heron, fallow deer and big-horn sheep (on Spieden Island, which back in the day was apparently stocked for safaris and hunted by the likes of John Wayne), an eagle, and a pod of four orcas. Orcas are also known as killer whales, but are actually dolphins. In any case, they put on quite a show as it looked like they had acquired a meal of one of the seals and were cavorting merrily in the water. (Pictures are of course with an iPhone in the distance, but if you enlarge, you can see everything except for the sheep, which I didn’t manage to capture. I have some better shots of the orcas, but for some reason, my computer doesn’t want to read them.)

It was a little cold in the wind on the boat, so I put up my hood, and with the mandatory mask, I thought it made for quite the selfie! If you look in the background, you can see one of the group of five behind us without his mask. Once we stopped to look at the orcas, all five of them took off their masks. I do hope they weren’t sick, because the woman and boy behind me were very close. My own mask would of course protect them, not me. Even outdoors, being that close with all the strenuous oohing and aahing is probably not the best situation. Masks were required, but our guide at the outset said, “I’m not the COVID police, so it’s up to you.” Really, his fault.

On the final day before coming home, we took a foot-passenger ferry to Sidney Spit, which is a narrow strip of sand and vegetation stretching from Sidney Island into the sea. I spent a very relaxing couple of hours reading and listening to the water lap at the shore.

Finally, and all too soon, it was time to take the ferry for home, with Trevor doing his best to prevent me falling over the front of the boat into the ocean or running into any blood-sucking leaches or other creatures. Always good to have a vampire hunter at hand!

As a final note, for any Royal-watchers out there, I realized when I was on the Island that we were staying only a six-minute drive from where Meghan, Harry, and Archie had stayed during their Christmas hideaway — but, unlike our place, their vacation home was a mansion in a gated community!

I do love a man with a beard!

16 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle

  1. Sue wow pics really speak a thousand words!!
    Is that a bald Eagle I spy in one of the pics ?
    It does look a bit nippy there on end boat and the whale watching excursion minus the eating of the seals (😢) sounded great!
    Nice to know you were in a place of royalty too
    I love a man in a beard ! 😉🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure you’ll rent the mansion next time [j/k]. Sounds like a very laid back time, and all the wine and cheese would have definitely contributed to the haze of good feeling. I hate people who are always looking on the bright side, but I suppose the current situation has made us more grateful for simple pleasures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I married someone who is always looking on the bright side — so annoying! We call him delusional. 🙂 I’ve been thinking that I’m posting an “Instagram perfect:” vacation. Not that it is not true, but just that you don’t see the other side with stress, arguments, and even tears. I’ve been trying to think of if there’s a way to talk about that without feeling disloyal.


      • Someone recently introduced me to the idea of “toxic positivity” and every cell in my body jumped for joy.

        You know, it’s funny because I was reading this post and thinking about when I used to go on organized vacations with my SO. (It’s been a while — since 2010 I haven’t really gone on organized vacations to destinations, just the two trips to London –have done staycations and last minute excursions and so on.) It was always the first or second two weeks of August — the point just before I’d have to be back in the US to start the term — and we always picked a part of Europe neither of us had seen — and we had some really fantastic vacations: Alsace, Burgundy, Belgium / Netherlands, once we did a tour of central German Romanesque cathedrals. I still have many pictures and memories and some of those trips made it into lectures I still give. But they were also really stressful and they often did involve fights and tears. I think we were relieved when they ended in the same measure that we really looked forward to them before they started. I could list some of the stressors without too much difficulty still, because they were also stressors in our non-vacation life, but I think in a situation where you have to make such constant negotiations as a vacation involves, it would be surprising if there weren’t “issues.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Interesting concept. I found that this link explains it well. . I used to work with a guy who when you said “how are you”, no natter what was going on, his response would always be “excellent, thank you.” He had been to the Disney Institute to learn excellent customer service management and I assume that was one of the teachings. My husband, on the other hand, is genuinely positive, but after 31 years has, for the most part, learned not to negate our feelings. Now, that’s not to saying that positivity doesn’t have its place for resiliency. Mostly every day, I wake up thinking that today everything will go well, because it’s the only way I can go on when times are tough.

          As for vacation planning, we only planned a couple of days ahead, not knowing when my younger son could join in because he had remote classes part of the time and assignments. There were other stressors than just vacation negotiations, although they were there too. The first time we went out, I drove and asked my husband to navigate. Big mistake… I actually ended up with all three men vociferously voicing conflicting directions throughout the drive! Also, I’m the one who is always wanting to make sure everyone is happy with the choices, which in itself causes some stress. The only truly non-stressful vacation I’ve had was the two-day mini-vacation I took in March. No one to take care of but myself. After a while, though, I’m sure I would have missed the companionship!


          • Wow, okay, definitely keep the navigating under your own aegis. Three guys fighting about the way to go is three too many. I’m also totally with you on the problem of how other people feel about the choices — tiring / stressful. (Also, as much as I’ve tried internalize the lesson that I’m not responsible for how other people feel, it is a hard lesson to operationalize in a situation like the one you’re describing. I always end up feeling like that makes me vulnerable, i.e., if someone thinks i need to respond to their dissatisfaction.)

            i could write a book on the positivity problem (so I won’t) but i agree it’s a complex problem. I, like you, start off the day energetically, figuring I can surmount all the obstacles. I guess I’ve been stung enough in life by situations where people used positivity to hide serious problems that I’ve become a very strong adherent to seeing and describing things as they are. (Not that this itself doesn’t create issues. I think I read at some point that mildly depressed people may not actually be experiencing effects of a mood disorder — they may simply have a more accurate assessment of their circumstances.)

            Liked by 1 person

            • The next time I drove I turned on the Google Maps voice… MUCH more soothing! But as for feeling responsible, that is really my own issue, as I have a need to make sure everyone is okay. On the other hand, they don’t have to project their dissatisfaction, either. Regardless, for the most part, we had a good time and the food, drink, and excursions were great.

              I agree totally on the mildly depressed people actually having a more accurate assessment of their circumstances. This is the case, I believe for myself and my two sons, which is why we half-jokingly say that my husband is “delusional”. But sometimes I envy him is “delusion”.


              • I’m perhaps overly hostile to attempts at emotional manipulation, but I do think people need to take responsibility for their own feelings and ask themselves why they’re dissatisfied and if that really isn’t their own fault. I think the pictures definitely show that you enjoyed your vacation and probably that’s what you’ll remember (since I assume you didn’t take pictures of the tears). When you look back you’ll have them and the memories associated with them.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue here’s some ABBA from this bright side person 😉
    All those rude negative ninnies can go sit with Trump

    And of course some Rob “always pleasing to the ear” Thomas for you



    • Michele, I don’t appreciate you leaving an insulting comment like that on my blog. You intentionally insulted a commentator on my blog and inadvertently insulted me, because I would most definitely not characterize myself as a sunny person. Don’t do it again,


  4. Oh my goodness, that looks absolutely beautiful! I would love to do such a boat trip and see Orcas like that. I’m glad you had such a good trip.
    Good luck with settling into work again. Hope you can hold on to the holiday feel for a while.

    Liked by 2 people

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