Turns out that the lineup at the border was excessive and I spent one hour wondering about the value of getting a Nexus card for the two times a year I cross into the states.
I pulled into the marina at 5:15, only a quarter hour late, and grabbed my backpack, overnight bag, blanket, pillow and purse out of the back of the truck and with all the engineering skills I possess, I was able to walk through Gate Three, down the gangplank and onto the deck with ONE ARM FREE. I made my way to the C's slip at the end of the first row at found an empty boat-parking-spot (aka a patch of water).
They had left without me?
Maybe their slip wasn't at the end of row one? I walked to the end of row 2. Then row 3. The Royal C was nowhere. Maybe Al just went to fill up with gas - and he'd be back to pick me up?
I went back up to the parking lot to see if I could find any familiar vehicles and alas. I did not. I called Shelly's cell phone, but there was no answer.
There seemed to be some activity happening over at Gate Two, so I trudged my lard butt and all my luggage over there and went up and down each deck row, checking out each slip but not finding anyone who wanted me and all my stuff for a weekend boating trip.
Still considering that the 'going out to fill up with gas' idea was a viable option, I dragged my stuff back through the parking lot, down the ramp and over to the spot where their boat was parked last summer. It was just a plot of waves.
I pulled my stuff back up to the parking lot, and with clearly no other option, and much trepidation, I called Clint.
"Hi Sweets. Where are ya?"
"What does it matter?"
"Just wondering if you're on the boat?"
"No. I haven't even crossed through the border yet."
"Uh. I can't find the boat..."
"I did, but Shelly's not answering."
"I'll call Steve."
"Thanks. Call me back OK?"
We hang up and my phone rings a few seconds later. It's Shelly.
"Hi! Where are you?"
"Down by Gate Three, wandering around, looking for a sailor to wisk me away..."
"Didn't Clint tell you? Steve told him our new slip is at Gate One. Right at the end. I'll meet you in the parking lot."
"I'll drive over. I'm down at Gate Three. And have walked a couple miles back and forth between gates two and three..."
So I stuff all my crap into my truck, get back on the main road, and go down two driveways.
I park, yank everything out, go through the gate and walk down onto the dock. I go up and down the rows, looking for Shelly and her blasted boat.
"Where are you?"
"At the First Gate... Where are you"?
"In the parking lot. I don't see your truck. Are you sure you're here?"
Turns out I had to drive down ANOTHER driveway. And yank my crap outa my truck again. All the while, still waiting for Clint to get through the border.
Finally, one hour later than planned, we got underway.
Al, Shelly, Sophie, Marissa, Amy, Kyle, Scott, Jordan, Clint and I on the yacht. Steve, in James-Bond-like fashion following behind in this:
Shelly took a turn captianing:
After we got out to the open ocean, we let Steve come aboard and tied up his speed boat to the back of the big boat. This is us getting ready for dinner - we had the chicken-rice-broccoli casserole that Sophie made at 6:30 am BEFORE she went to school:
We anchored in Echo Bay with dozens of other boats at sunset. Yeah. It was pretty. PRETTY FREAKIN AWESOME. The kids (everyone under 40) used the little boat to get themselves and their camping stuff over to the island where they set up tents. They came back for homemade apple pie (made by Shelly), visited with us for, oh, 37 seconds, then they skidaddled back to the island for night.
Al set up the projector and big screen and we three watched the movie, Taken. (We need to talk about that movie sometime. I kept the C's up til after 1 am trying to process that industry.)
In the morning, the kids came back for breakfast:
Afterwards, Al used the dustbuster to clean up. Shelly and I watched:
Early in the afternoon, with Clint sleeping in the aft-stateroom, and the rest of the kids on the "roof", Al took Shelly and I for a ride in the speed boat around the islands:
When we got back, the kids had taken to cooling off in the ocean. Clint was still sleeping:
Once Shelly and I decided to take advantage of the sun-tanning opportunities available on the top deck, the kids decided to go back to the island for a hike:
They came back with their camping gear two hours later:
They did a few more jumps. Steve:
By the way, this is the staircase to the mid-ship stateroom (mine). I tried to capture the narrowness and steepness. Trust me when I tell you it's like walking down a ladder. The steps are 3 inches deep, so one must tippy toe their way down. On a boat the rocks. Carrying stuff.
This is the most comfortable bed on the whole entire ocean:
Clint, now, awake, was the BBQ-er. We had steaks wrapped in bacon with peppercorn sause, baked potatoes and corn-on-the-cob fresh from their garden.
After dinner, we chilled. Because, you know, we needed to relax.
Outside, the sun was starting to set:
And it was the perfect ending to a perfect trip.
Oh my goodness, what an awesome, incredible, wonderful, fabulous trip.
When I got home, I changed out of my shorts, zipped over to the theatre and met some friends. We watched the late showing of ALL ABOUT STEVE. Which was worth no more than the 1/2 star People magazine gave it. However, because we were all in good moods, we laughed ourselves silly. I'm not a Sandra Bulluck fan. There I said it.
My day to not-be-busy?
I went to White Rock Beach and walked and talked with friends for three hours. Then I met my dad and mom at Spaghetti Factory for dinner.
Today is Monday. I should be doing laundry and dishes and housework and such. Know what I'm doing? Blogging on an antique laptop (so it's taking HOURS) and playing facebook Scrabble because it's fun.
I am so going to need to grow up soon.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. When thieves came by to steal something from our home this weekend, they didn't try the house. They "just" took the stereo "deck" from Drew's car.
2. I'm thankful that God has blessed me with friends who love to talk. Sooooo lucky.
3. Laughter. Tears. Emotions.
4. Rachel came through surgery okay. Read this.