Monday, May 30, 2016


Got up at quarter to six to catch the first-come first-served free inter-island ferry run to Friday Harbour, where we were scheduled for a nautical crossing back into Canada on yesterday's vessel, Elwha. It was quiet at the ferry landing. The inter-island ferry system is a SWA-style democracy; island living is not for the impatient.

Saw these preserves, made on Orcas. Bought for Nu.

The line for Beecher's was so long at Pike Place that we skipped it- I had wanted to buy cheese curds and some of their Flagship Reserve- but I found the cheese curds at the same little village market. 

On the ferry, we drank coffee in the blush of another oystery dawn.

My pearl. 

London Fogs and an oatmeal raisin cookie at Friday Harbour. 

Cheese curds on the ferry. 

Don't we all need a TPA suit for those "fragile" moments?

Sidney, BC. The customs agent was a sweetheart. Let's just say I calculated poorly and we could've been heavily taxed on some of our cargo, but we weren't. Thanks, guy!

Lunch at Hara Sushi in Sooke. 

Oshizushi again. Pressed eel. 

Pressed local salmon and shrimp. 

Local salmon and avocado. 

This was not exactly my fault. Food fomo can be debilitating- I'm not in control. Our Danish server was fanning her mouth at something spicy the sushi chef had handed her to eat, and she seemed really excited about it. I asked for whatever she was having, but "extra spicy". 

This is basically the "you get what you deserve" roll. 

Sooke Harbour House.

White and milk chocolate chunk cookies. I was tired and don't know how to nap. Sugar and caffeine subbed nicely. 

Cocktails- a Bumble and a Shirley Martini. Thin. Cold though!

I was looking at BC whites but then saw that the only sake they had on the list was Osake Junmai Nama Genshu, which we were not able to taste at the producer's tasting room on Granville Island because it's sold out everywhere on the mainland. They seemed surprised that they were able to dig up the last remaining bottle, since our server said it shouldn't have been on the list in the first place and mentioned he found two unexplained half-empty bottles of it down there while looking. Mmkay. 
So, we did not order any wine from the Cellar of the Unexplained after this 375 ml bottle of sake, but I did rearrange the wine binder for them when nobody was looking (OCD). 

Wild mussels. Peter and I have been talking a lot about what critically defines great dining and what distinguishes a great eating experience from it, mainly in the context of Santa Fe's restaurant evolution and the old days of Coyote Cafe. "You can't eat romance", he said. 

True, but you can eat flowers!

Gooseneck barnacles, fresh linguine and sea beans in a creamy sauce. 

Sablefish. The greens underneath were bitter as pills. 

Finally asked for bread because they were about to clear our bread plates and we had never gotten any. The woman was so embarrassed to have forgotten our bread that the ensuing exchange was straight out of Amy Schumer's "no, I'M sorry" skit. 

It was rye sourdough.

The saddest Dungeness crab. This broke my heart. Poor thing, it was truly gross.  Re-steamed to a state of rigor mortis. We ate it because RIP crab and all, but there is no reason this should be on the menu as a supplement. It's a travesty. 

Local albacore. Mucho overcooked. If this was business-class airplane food, it would still be bad. Bland beyond reproach. 

Apologetic for our poor appetites, we asked if our four-course dinner could be billed as a three-course dinner and got the heck out of there. The cheese course was originally attractive but yeah/no.

Walked through Quimper Park and down Whiffen Spit in the dark BECAUSE WHY NOT. The footing was very rough and uneven. In the morning, we visited the spit again and there was a giant sign warning walkers of "rough and uneven footing". I said it first though. 

You still can't eat romance. 

Spent the rest of the evening reading every entry in these amazing notebooks hiding between visitor's guides:

March 10, 1994
"I came here for a major business negotiation- the place runs fine and my associates love it- I will have to return with my wife." 
-Paul, Seattle (was definitely here with his mistress)

July 30, 1997
Sue and Ray, Del Ray Beach

March 2, 1997 
"Accommodations are wonderful, peaceful and serene. The food however is quite a different story. Perhaps the true meaning of my room's name, 'The Forager's Room', is that one must forage for food!" 

September 6, 1997
"I feel compelled to respond to the entry above. Did you not eat the fabulous breakfasts? Did you skip the luscious  lunches? Only dinner has ever disappointed us here!" 
Celeste and Rich, 6th Visit

30 pages later, I came across the following entry in different handwriting and thought "ooh more trolls!". 

September 6, 1997
"As you enjoy this room, please remember how fortunate you are just to be able to afford to come here. I have read the touching comments but an empty corner of my heart can't ignore the incredibly good fortune that any visitor to this getaway was blessed with. Too bad you have to have money in order to be reminded of the things money can't buy. How about some budget rooms in the new annex?"
Richard and Celeste

No, same trolls, making good use of their 6th visit. Peter says, "people throwing shade is as old as the hills".

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