This past weekend I was able to travel back to Whidbey Island (just north of Seattle, WA) to be with my family for my grandfather's memorial service. (Side note: He passed away three days after my grandmother's funeral in March. He was determined to live as long as she did so he could take care of her to the very end)
I met up with Evan in Chicago and we flew together to Seattle (lucky him - he was in first class!). It had been an eventful morning for me as the taxi I had called for a ride to the airport NEVER showed up! It was more stress than I needed that morning. But, I got to Reagan in time.
When we arrived it was typical Seattle - rainy and overcast. But, we hopped in the rental car (van, actually!) and started up I-5. Luckily, we only had to wait through one ferry before we got on. It was fun to travel this portion with him and it made the travel much more enjoyable!
As always, we got out of the car and went upstairs during the ferry ride. This is a picture of us approaching Whidbey Island. And, as always - it wouldn't be Whidbey Island if it didn't greet me with rain and clouds!
We drove to my grandfather's house and met my dad and step-mom. I was STARVING at this point, so we decided to go to the little town of "Langley" for dinner. It was only 6:30 at night, but it was deserted! Most of the shops and restaurants were closed already. We found an open pizza place, but they only had four tables for people to sit down, so we had to wait about 20 minutes. I went out to take some pictures.
They have this little seating area to overlook the
water right on main street. Very pretty.
This was Main Street. Really, the only street!
And, Dad & Evan below
The next day, the sun came and went, but it was clear enough at times to take pictures. The following are from the porch off the side of my grandfather's kitchen. His house is very cool in that their living room is all window on one side so that it looks out over the cliff/hill and down to the water. On clear days you can see all the way to Mt. Everest!
Another view from his house
This is the road that leads right to my grandfather's house just around that bend. It peaks at hit point and I just love the view!
The trip was wonderful. It was nice to be back on the island again and take in its beauty! There are benefits to rain - nature becomes very green and beautiful! I had fun with catching up with my brothers. We got to look through some things my grandparents had kept for many years and their photos/journals, etc. We also got to spend some time with my 2nd cousins who live on the island and celebrate my dad's birthday with him on Friday!
The memorial service for my grandfather on Saturday was lovely. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The funeral home had created a video with pictures of all of us, as well as a large painting of my grandfather. Roger, my "uncle" (dad of my 2nd cousins) gave the Eulogy and did a wonderful job. Since my grandfather was also in the army for a while in WWII, three National Guard members came over from Seattle. Two of them did the whole flag ceremony thing, while someone else played TAPS. The whole thing brought tears to my eyes... thinking of the service my grandfather did... as well as all of those who serve our country and most of their work goes unnoticed. It was just wonderful.
Evan, Justin and I had to scoot out just after the service ended to get the ferry and get to the airport. This is probably the last time I will be on the island... maybe ever... and it was neat to think of all the fond memories I have had during my visits there.
One last picture of the ferry
And one last goodbye to the island as we pulled away.
Very fitting that it was sunny when we left!
That is how I would like to remember Whidbey. It was a place my grandparents adored and I know it made them smile that those they loved most were able to return to be together one last time in the home they also loved. Their house sits right on the top of that hill by the ferry. I waved goodbye to the island as we pulled away. I'll hold its memories in my heart and cherish it for its beauty and time I was able to spend with my grandparents there.