Better Not Straight

liqueurPhillip pointed out that the “wine” I bought last Wednesday in Langley is liqueur, not wine. Even if I had noticed the word “liqueur” on the bottle, I still might not have known. I’m not typically a wine drinker, but I figured that, since I was in wine country, I would be nice to buy wine.

We tried some Friday night, straight. It was delicious, but oh so sweet. It was like drinking syrup.

On Saturday, I tried mixing the loganberry liqueur (not wine) with tonic water. Much better. In fact, it was quite tasty.

I went to the Whidbey Island Distillery web site tonight. (That should have been another clue: It’s a distillery, not a winery.) It has some interesting recipes for their berry liqueurs, including one involving gin and blueberries. So, I learned that this liqueur I bought was intended to be a mixer or ingredient.

I highly recommend Whidbey Island Distillery’s loganberry liqueur. But not straight.

Transit Schedules

There was a guy at the 3rd Avenue bus stop this evening calling out, “Is anybody here waiting for the 3 or 4 bus? Has anybody seen a three or four go by?”

I’d heard that type of question before, in other places, from other people, at other times. I think it’s a fascinating way of tracking the wait time for a bus. I wondered what the guy would have done if someone had told him a 3 had gone by a few minutes ago.

(The 3 and 4 are interesting Metro routes. They are technically two different routes, but follow one route most of the way, only differing at the very ends. They’re even listed on the same schedule. It’s a workhorse route, running every 10 minutes or less, and always full. So, the answer to that guy’s question should have been: There’s one coming around the corner.)

Link light rail stations have a display telling you the number of minutes until the next train. It’s not always accurate. Sometimes, it’s wildly inaccurate. When Phillip and I went to see Jurassic World, the display at Capitol Hill Station said something like 28 minutes until the next train. (Link runs every 6-10 minutes.) The train arrived 3 minutes later.

It would be nice if the Link displays were more accurate, but I don’t see it as a major issue. Knowing when the next train is coming is nice, but what’s really the point? If I go down to the platform and learn that the next train is due in 6 minutes, what would I do differently if it was due in 2 minutes?

So, why do I have the OneBusAway app on my phone? Because it comes in handy for decision-making. Is it a nice day? How tired am I? Do I want to wait 20 minutes for a 47 bus, or would I rather catch a 10 bus in 4 minutes, and have a longer walk?

I’ve observed people, at bus stops and in medical clinics, who seem to measure time by comfort level. They don’t know what time it is right now. They don’t know when the bus is scheduled, or remember when their doctor’s appointment is, so that stand at the bus stop, or sit in the lobby, and when it feels like they’ve been waiting a long time, that’s the indication that the bus is late, or their doctor is behind schedule.

Maybe that guy on 3rd Avenue was just feeling uncomfortable.

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.

Rent And A Movie

Earlier this week, as I was riding home on a bus, I received a phone call from Phillip. He wanted to know where I was. I just got on a bus heading up 3rd Ave, I replied. Want to meet me at 7th and Pike, he asked. Sure, I replied.

(Phillip took all of last week off – a combination of bereavement and vacation time.)

I got to 4th & Pike. A 47 bus was right there, so I got on.

I waved at Phillip as we passed him. He didn’t see me. I exited between 8th and 9th, and walked back.

What was Phillip doing Downtown? He’d gone to see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, in 3D.

We rode the 10 bus home together.

Last night, Phillip asked me if I wanted to see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, in 3D on Sunday (today). I said yes, but I also had to pay rent on the storage unit.

This morning, Phillip and I walked up to the storage place. I paid my rent. Then we walked to Capitol Hill Station and caught light rail to Westlake Station. We walked from there to the theater.

It was a good, fun movie. (Obviously, since Phillip wanted to see it twice in one week.)

I got another free soft drink with my Regal points.

We rode the 10 bus home together.

It’s been a good weekend.