Langley, Washington

Kelly’s birthday was a few days ago, and Phillip had a brilliant idea, right out of the blue: Let’s take Kelly and her mom on a ferry ride.

We decided that today would be the day, and we decided on the Mukilteo – Whidbey Island ferry run. I was given the task of finding us a place to eat for brunch.

None of us knew the island well, and there was the additional challenge of it being the Fourth of July. I found a nice-looking diner in Clinton, a town just on the other end of the ferry, but it would be closed on the holiday.

I couldn’t find anything else suitable or open in Clinton, so I started scrolling around Google Maps and found a nearby town named Langley. I found a little place named The Raeburn Restaurant, and it would be open on the 4th. I made a unilateral decision that this would be where we’d eat. I studied Google Maps and memorized our route.

This morning, Phillip drove us up to Everett. We’d been concerned about holiday traffic, but I-5 was light and moving swiftly. We even had time to stop into Safeway for cash before we got to Kelly’s place.

We picked up Kelly and her mom, I took over driving, and I drove us to the Mukilteo ferry terminal. It looked as though we were going to have to wait for the next ferry – there were already several lanes of cars being loaded on. The ferry runs every 30 minutes, so the wait wouldn’t be too bad. But we ended up being the second-to-last car loaded onto the ferry.

The only negative of today was that the ferry run is short – just twenty minutes from Muliteo to Clinton. The view over the water was amazing, as is the case with all Washington State ferries, but we had barely enough time to enjoy it.

Since we were among the last to board, we were among the first to de-board.

I got us to Langley, and to the restaurant, from memory, without getting lost. Kelly’s mom was impressed. I admit it: I have excellent geographic memory. It helped that the one major turn I had to remember, the road north to Langley, is conveniently named Langley Road. It also helped that streets in Langley are numbered, and the restaurant is on 2nd Street.

We did some shopping before going into the restaurant. I bought some wine. (There are several wineries on Whidbey Island.)

There was an hour wait for a table. (Not surprising, since it was one of the few restaurants open today.) I gave them my cell phone number, and the four of us explored Langley.

It was a beautiful day today. Langley is a beautiful, pedestrian-friendly town. We explored little landscaped walkways lined with little shops. We bought chocolate. I bought a mermaid-shaped bottle opener. We bought handmade soaps.

After about forty minutes, we checked back at the restaurant. They claimed they had called me, and had left a message. They could seat us in a couple of minutes. (There was no call recorded on my phone. It was no big deal. As busy as they were, they’d probably mis-dialed.)

The food at The Raeburn Restaurant was delicious. It was fancy diner fare without being too fancy. The prices were reasonable. I had coffee, and everyone else had cider. I had wonderful biscuits and gravy. Kelly’s mom had the daily mac &cheese. (Phillip and I both call her Mom, but I’ve been writing about my own mother lately, so I’m avoiding confusion here.) Phillip had corned beef hash. Kelly had a crab and cheese sandwich.

After brunch, we explored the north end of Langley. We shopped in a thrift store, and just wandered around aimlessly.

That’s when I discovered the bunnies. Phillip had seen one earlier, before brunch, but it was gone before he could point it out to me. I love bunny rabbits! There were bunnies everywhere. There were skittish young bunnies. There were adult bunnies lounging around without a care in the world.

We made our way back to the car, and I drove us to Clinton. We had a short wait for the ferry. Kelly directed me to her place. Then I drove Phillip and me home. Traffic was starting to get heavy, but still not too bad.

It’s been a wonderful, amazing, delightful day with good friends.