Saturday, July 23, 2016

Island Hopping on Three of Washington's San Juan Islands 1

Day 1 ~ Saturday, July 23, 2016

Arrived Seattle around 1:30 p.m. for the Road Scholar Island Hopping on Three of Washington's San Juan Islands trip, where I should "enjoy art and nature, learn about orca whales, visit a salmon hatchery, discover museums and immerse myself in the history and tradition as I explore the San Juan Archipelago.

While waiting for the shuttle to bring me to the hotel, I saw a lady sitting next to me that had a Road Scholar luggage tag on her suitcase and met Susi Olson who was also waiting for the shuttle to the Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton. Susi said that she had been on this trip before but due to a computer glitch lost all of your photos so she wanted to come back. We arrived at the hotel around 2:30 p.m. and met my roommate, Jackie Seaman.  Jackie said she has been on nine Road Scholar trips and has loved all of them.

We attended a Welcome & Orientation at 5:00 p.m. by Ginger Lowry. This included a little Get Acquainted activity at 5:30 p.m. They did what I do during the first couple of days at school. We interviewed another person and then introduced them to the group. We learned their names, where they are from, how many Road Scholar trips they have been on and something unique about them. I introduced Helene Tighe ("Tie") from Sun City, Arizona. She had been on 22 Road Scholar trips and she taught in a one room school house (taught for 40 years). I estimate that she is probably about 87 years old - way to go! I don't think she is the oldest of our group either I love to see how active these people are -  such an inspiration! One gentleman had been on 70 Road Scholar trips!  They also had us count off so they could make sure they have everyone when we break out into smaller groups. My number was 28. They also divided us out into two groups for some of the activities. You were either in the "Rich" group or the "Famous" group. I was in the "Famous" group. I also received a "listening device" that will be hooked up to the instructor's voice. I think this is a great idea so that if you can't hear the instructor speaking, you can turn up the volume on your headset.

I discovered my roommate, Jackie, is from Evanston, Illinois, and has attended 9-10 Road Scholar trips, mostly to national parks. She is a retired school librarian. Also sitting at our table was Diane Blaisure from Newport Beach, California. She has taken six Road Scholar trips and was a city planner for 21 years. She is currently a student of photography at a local community college. Judi Prickett was also sitting at our table. She was quite a talker with lots of stories. Both she and my roommate were on the Olympic Peninsula Road Scholar trip before this trip. There are 35 people in this group. Ginger said this is one of the most popular trips that Road Scholar offers.

I asked several people which Road Scholar trip did they like the best. I want to keep a list for future reference:

Best of Ireland 
Scotland trip was just okay
Queen Mary trip out of Long Beach, CA
Zion National Park
Alaska Inside Passage
Italy - culinary
Baja, Mexico

Dinner was at 6:00 p.m. and was good. It included turkey, ham, mashed baby reds, season vegetables and mixed greens. This allowed me to stay on the "Whole30" program. I skipped the stuffing and brownie for dessert. :)

Busy day tomorrow. Get up at around 6:00 a.m. Have breakfast at the hotel and take a bus to the Hibulb Cultural Center for a guided tour. After the tour we head to Anacortes to teach lunch at the Majestic in Port town of Anacortes. From there we take the Ferry to San Juan Island where we will be checking into our hotel, Friday Harbor Suites. We should have some free time to explore Friday Harbor - so looking forward to this!

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