Back at the beginning of the year the sweetheart and I were having a good long grouse about life, and realized that we hadn't taken any vacation time together in a Very Long Time. No wonder we were grousing! This was Terrible, and had to be fixed immediately. Immediately!
So the darling boy (DB) booked us back into one of our favourite accomodations on Salt Spring Island (SSI), and we did a bit of reminiscing about our last few times there, starting with the never-to-be-forgotten craziness that happened the weekend we went there to get married...
Thursday, November 12, 1998. The rain was pelting down in a wind so strong that the driver's side window looked like it was under a garden hose, while the passenger side was so dry you'd never have known it was raining. We were both exhausted and giddy from a long week at the office, an interminable laundry list of Urgent To-Do's, and the stress of the fact that we were Eloping, Sort Of.
It had taken forever to get to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, and we were worried that we wouldn't get on our ferry, even if we did have a reservation. In one of the endless lineups, our destination (the ticket booth) seemed miles away. After an age and a half, we reached it, and the DB explained our situation to the the lady in his most "I'm stressed out but I refuse to take it out on you" voice. We were in luck; she passed us on to a crew person, who, after some harried discussion on the radio and a lot of running about, personally waved us through and into the proper lane, assuring us a spot on the ferry. The DB had an appointment with the justice of the peace (JOP) that night, and he was afraid he'd be late. JOP had seemed nice on the phone, but would he take our lateness as a symptom of a deeper problem and refuse to marry us? After 10 years, we'd finally decided to take that critical step... a delay would be heart-breaking.
Then the unthinkable. Our appointed ferry had taken on saltwater in the engines, and needed some work before it could take on passengers and go about it's delivery job.
Time went by. I was cranky and tired, and my poor sweetheart was no better off. The two of us in this state, (and sans coffee I might add) was the fastest way to each other's throats. So snoozing was preferable to staying awake. Alertness? That was beyond me.
Finally we were given the signal to board. YES! The rain hadn't let up at all and we were feeling cramped, but we were finally boarding,. You know those corny romantic phrases where the heroine's heart is lightened or gladdened? Mine was both light and glad at that moment.
This particular ferry was scheduled to stop in at a number of Gulf Islands before arriving at SSI, so we settled in for the trip, and chatted with a couple on their way home. Regaling us with stories of their different visitors that year, the husband and wife laughed and said that in their own way, their home had become a destination point for friends from as far away as Australia, England and of course, the US. They were, I might add, a great introduction to the friendliness we encountered all weekend long.
Tsawwassen to Galiano Island, Galiano to Mayne Island, Mayne to Pender Island, and finally, Pender to Salt Spring Island. That was the plan. But somewhere along the line, the ferry slowed right down...
Seems the stormy waters had helped some seaweed get tangled in the propeller assembly. We would have to chug along to the next island (Mayne? Pender?) and wait while someone in dive gear went down into that Murky, Choppy, Cold Water and cleared the seaweed.
We were going to be Very Late. Would we miss our Own (albeit tiny) Wedding? Oh, the Stress!
Around midnight the ferry arrived at Long Harbour, and we set out to find our accomodations. The DB was not going to be able to see the JOP until the next morning, but his problem was more immediate; it was the first time either one of us had been on the island, there were no streetlights at all, and we had to go the length of the island down some pretty windy narrow roads to get to our final destination. Mix in the fear of hitting a deer or going off a road and into the ditch or the water, and you can imagine the situation....
Yes there's more, but that'll come in the next installment. I swear.