Frank (ljtourist) wrote,

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Orcas Island

Another late trip report; this one is from 9/15-9/17.

I'd decided several months ago that I was going to drag Morris to the San Juan Islands (Orcas Island in particular), since he had lived in Seattle for 40 years and never been. I had had the impression that he didn't travel much at all as a child, but I was apparently mistaken. Subconsciously, I see now, my plan was to get Morris to see the awesomeness of this area, and be more motivated to travel with me.

Yeah, *that* didn't happen.

Things didn't start off well. There were lots of problems finding a weekend that worked for both of us, and had rooms available. Plus, I knew how Morris operates, and so while I'd be happy with something as simple as a yurt at Doe Bay Resort, I knew he'd need something more... modern. Finally, I found a place and time that worked, and booked it.

Morris was putting up a lot of resistance, though. He's very much a cave dweller, and is very reluctant to leave his nest (to mix metaphors). When his coworkers found out where he was going, they were giving him some noise (which he was passing on to me) about how it was the wrong time of year, since it was past the guaranteed-sunny weather period, and since it's such a drive, you really want 3 days, and this that and the other. Yes, the forecast was not the greatest, and did include a 20% chance of rain, but it wasn't that bad. Fighting past all that was intensely frustrating; I may have canceled had I not booked the (expensive) hotel. I already paid for it, so I was going, dammit.

The plan was to leave at 4pm, and be at Anacortes for the 7:10 ferry sailing. That allows about a half hour for delays, and the usually necessary half hour wait in line at the dock. Morris had to pick up some stuff, so we left a bit late. Then there was *massive* traffic around Everett delaying us much further. In the end, we got to the dock just as the ferry pulled away.

So, Plan B was to have dinner in Anacortes. Morris vetoed my dinner choice for another place that looked more his speed; it turned out to be mediocre. While we were eating, Morris killed another of my hopes for the trip: a good bit of PDA. He has a real problem with publicly expressing the fact that he's gay. Apparently this was compounded by the fact that he was "the only black guy [here]". I hadn't noticed, but, yes, he was. That made him very uncomfortable. He didn't "want to stir anything up" by having the audacity to be black and gay in public. Now, yes, there were some redneck-ish people there, but the odds of someone or someones attacking two large men seemed... small. I really wanted to have a long talk about the whole thing, but it wasn't the time. The one question I did ask was along the lines of "Isn't being yourself worth the possibility of getting beat up?", and he immediately responded with an emphatic "No".

And that made me sad. That was an aspect of racism that I had not previously considered; an effect I had not been aware of. That there are people who feel, deep down, that they are fundamentally different, completely believing it's expected that they should be apart from everyone else. Internalized homophobia I'm familiar with, but this was my first encounter with internalized racism. It just made me... sad.

That "No" made me realize, more than ever, that he and I have perspectives that are likely irreconcilable. There is no boyfriend here.

But, fine, we were on our way to one of my favorite places, and by the time we were on the next boat I was mostly in a good mood. The sailing was uneventful, and we found our way to The Inn at Ship Bay.

It was wonderful. As good as the website promised; maybe better. I chose it because it had a water view (for me), and all the mod cons (king size feather bed, cable, gas fireplace, &c.) so Morris could feel right at home. It was a huge success on both counts; I recommend it highly. The location can't be beat; right on the water, and just outside of Eastsound (the largest and most central village on the island). Given what I saw other places going for, it was even a relative bargain. The manager was a lovely man who turned out to be family; woo!

The next day, the weather was great: mostly sunny, 60s, slight breeze. Much better than predicted. I enjoyed the wonderful breakfast in the sun-room at the attached restaurant (granola, yogurt, fruit, and coffee; all top notch), but Morris expects something hot and made of meat, so we found a place in Eastsound serving just that, and he was happy. There was a farmers market in town, so we did a bit of shopping (Eastsound is just the cutest town ever!). I bought some locally made granola and lavender syrup. We next drove around the Island for a while, and it was gorgeous. There are lots of artists there, so beautiful sculptures and pottery are everywhere you turn. I saw some amazing glass sun-catchers, but I have nowhere to put them. That was a theme for my shopping.

At this point, Morris decided he needed a nap, as he always does. Drove back to the inn, dropped him off, and I continued exploring. I went everywhere! The lake at Moran State park, the Rosario resort, out to Doe Bay, and hiked Cascade Falls. It was a great, great time. Lots of pictures that won't see the light of day for months.

Back to the hotel to pick up Morris. He was awake, but wanted to see the end of the UW football game. Eventually, we left for Mt. Constitution. This was the real reason I chose Orcas Island as our destination. You get a great panoramic view, and there's no huge trek involved: you just drive up to the top and walk to the observation tower. Getting Morris out of the house was a minor miracle; I wasn't about to push my luck by asking him to hike.

The view was, as promised, spectacular. My hoped-for colorful sunset was not to be, but it was still worth it. Morris' take was: (genuinely) "It's really gorgeous." [beat] "I'm getting cold. Are you ready to go?"

We headed back to town for a late dinner (which was great! He had the oysters and shrimp, and I had a bouillabaisse with tons of fresh shellfish...), and back at the ranch I was hoping for some nookie (I hadn't been fucked in ages), but Morris just went to sleep. Le sigh.

On Sunday, it was rainy. Much worse than predicted. Morris was pushing to get a very early start, which I didn't initially understand. He was hoping to be back in Seattle around 3pm so he could get some stuff for work done before bed (his shift starts at 4am), but didn't really explain that until Sunday morning. I'd been hoping for an hour on the balcony, sipping coffee and watching the waves roll in. I relented, and we skipped breakfast, packed up the car, and headed for the dock, hoping to make the 10:20am ferry.

When we got there at 10, it was already full; the rain seemed to have scared everyone off. However, since there was already a whole other ferry's worth of cars waiting, they had arranged for an unscheduled 11:30 sailing back to the mainland. Score! So we just walked around the area, had breakfast, and waited. The return trip was uneventful, save for some outlet shopping.

Morris did seem to have a good time, and I know he appreciated the fact that I set things up to be easy for him. He was glad he went. And for all my bitching up above, I had a great time too, with lots of souvenirs, and another weekend among the trees and water.

But Morris... I don't think he's fired, but he's certainly demoted.

Tags: dating, food, gay, life, travel

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