Friday, October 18, 2013
Our plan was to take everything off the boat, clean the inside of the boat thoroughly, sort through our belongings and pare down, store what we didn't need, and transfer food and clothing to the camper van for our road trip. Truckload after truckload of crap came off the boat, the basement in Maple Valley filled to overflowing, and it seemed there was no end to the amount of "necessities" we had accumulated after this many years of living on the boat. We don't really have any deadlines for our trip but our projected leave-by date came and went and we were getting nowhere. Somehow we had forgotten to factor in the care of a one-year-old, and it turned out to be one person working while the other watched Madeline. Once the boat was pretty much empty, cleaning became a bit of a half-assed affair, but eventually we called it done, winterized the systems, tarped the boat and walked away. Friends of ours who had stored their boat in Alaska over the previous winter complained of tasting the water tank antifreeze well after they had flushed and refilled their tanks in the spring, so Dave and Judith came to the rescue again and donated a Costco sized bottle of vodka that was left at their house after a dinner party and we winterized the tanks with it. Sorting our worldly belongings became overly tedious after while and we resorted to throwing the last armloads in boxes to deal with when we return.
Meanwhile we were spending evenings and the occasional rest day in Maple Valley, and Madeline was really enjoying herself. Dave and Judith have several cats, one of which took a liking to Madeline and they spent a bunch of time playing and interacting.
Dave introduced Madeline to the bongos, and after several days of practicing she got to graduate to a full drum set. Turns out she not only enjoys making lots of noise (no surprise there) but she has a good sense of rhythm and again enjoyed herself quite a bit.
While Madeline expanded her horizons the adults enjoyed some good social interaction as well. We shared many dinners, watched movies in the evening after Madeline was asleep, and generally just caught up after our several years in Alaska. I fear I may be to blame for introducing Dave and Judith to a "good" gin and tonic long ago, so I thought it only fitting to end our stay with them enjoying an evening of gin tasting including several choices from local Washington distilleries.