Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Extra Ferry Runs

At the worst possible time – just before the huge Thanksgiving rush to the ferries – cracks were discovered in the hulls of four of the ferries in the transportation system. Once the cracks were discovered, the four ferries had to be taken off the runs – they don’t take chances here on people’s lives.

Ferry boats that can carry cars take specialized care to build and to repair. It will be a while before they are back in service, or replaced.

Meanwhile, people are on their way to grandmother’s house – by ferry. Cars are lined up for miles, waiting to get on. They have a strictly enforced system; there is no cutting in line, no going to the front – you get in line when you get there and you take your turn. Being Seattle, there are multiple places along the lengthy lines where you can buy coffee, and places where you can make a pit stop, to dump the coffee.

Families bring books and puzzles, and just plan on the wait. They build the ferry-waiting time into their schedule. Thanks to mobile phones, many families walk on (no waiting to walk-on, and it is a lot cheaper) and have people pick them up on arrival on the Winslow/ Kingston/ Whidby Island side.

The transportation officials also put on extra ferries, so just about as one loads up and leaves, another arrives. You may have to wait a while, but it is about as efficient as it can get.

And then, after dinner, it all reverses, and people come back on the ferries. I try to imagine the revenues those ferries bring in on this one four day weekend, and I can’t begin to imagine.


November 24, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Community, Family Issues, Holiday, Living Conditions, Seattle, Social Issues | , , , , | Leave a comment

Jack Frost Nipping

When you think of Thanksgiving in Seattle, you usually think of rainy and stormy. Everyone has a tale to tell about the year the electricity went off just when the turkey was cooking and 22 people were coming for dinner.

This year, however, was picture perfect.

It is COLD (brrrrrrrr, shiver, brrrrrr) Morning and night, you either have to scrape the frost off the windshield, or wait long enough for the car to heat up and melt it off. (Brrrrrrrr, shiver)

It is GREAT sweater weather.

In Seattle, this is what you say “Look at the mountain!” Everyone knows which mountain you are referring to – Mt. Rainier.

Look at the mountain!


November 24, 2007 Posted by | Local Lore, Seattle, Thanksgiving, Weather | , , , | 6 Comments

Mom, Please Don’t Leave Me!

I am taking care of my sister’s cats while she and her husband are on a short vacation trip. As they were leaving, Wally, the diabetic cat, begged her not to leave him with me:


He is one of the easiest cats in the world to take care of. He knows when he needs his shot and he doesn’t run and hide like my own sweet little cat used to do when it was time for her shot. Wally hangs out around the refrigerator, where his insulin is kept, around time for his shot, and purrs when you give it to him. What a sweetheart.

Once my sister was gone, he got along with me just fine. 🙂

November 24, 2007 Posted by | Diet / Weight Loss, Family Issues, Health Issues, Humor, Pets, Seattle | 9 Comments