Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Ferries and the Seahawks

Basically if the Seahawks are playing in Seattle at any point during a given Sunday and you want to go to Seattle (via the north end ferry dock) on that day- schedule for at least a 2 hour wait (to be safe).  It is not because the lines in Vashon are necessarily long.  It seems to me that the difference is that the traffic from Southworth is so much more substantial.  Thus, the ferry takes on fewer cars.

As if I didn't struggle enough with football.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Island Lumber has Ladies night.

I just need to say that I think this is weird: Ladies Night Event at Island Lumber.  Apparently Children and men aren't just unwelcome. It is "not appropriate for Children or men." I don't even know what that means?!

And what is Family of Women? A band? Then it should say that!

Maybe I would be more into this if I hadn't had more than a dozen overt experiences of sexism at this place.  But I think it is weird. Very Very Weird.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Vashon Halloween 2015

Unlike any of the other years (this is only our 4th) having Halloween on a Saturday is shaping up to be more exciting for the whole community (maybe it's because this is the first year we have had a child in elementary school and a whole different level of excitement is at play)

Trick or Treating is happening Uptown (in Vashon town) from 5 to 7 with many businesses offering candy and goodies....

The O Space doors will be open for dancing and Halloween festivities.

And at a quick glance at several telephone poles when I was in town today there are lots of music venues, lots of specials on the menu, and a lot of fun all around.

Our family costume theme is weather----but trick or treating happens rain or shine.

Spiders and Fog- Autumn

Before I lived on Vashon I had never lived in the rural Pacific Northwest (USA).  And I lived in Seattle for 4 years before moving here.

There is nothing like the Autumn Spiders and the Autumn fog that make things spooky (or mystical?) here on Vashon.  Spiders were never an issue in Seattle.  We vacuum our house about twice a week (though you wouldn't know if you hadn't been here inbetween vacuums) but still the spiders hang out in the corners, on the air vents, behind doors.  I have killed many a spider that is hanging out on the wall.

The fog starts many mornings and can sometimes linger for a whole day.  A foggy day walk through the woods and I see many webs with droplets of water connecting the two.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

"Alternative" Vashon.

Is there an "alternative" Vashon?

In many parts of this country "alternative" would mean things like: creative, free thinking, pot smoking, off the grid, farming, alternative, organic, granola, homeopathic loving.... but on Vashon these are just par for the course.  In fact, sometimes I am irritated by the competativeness on Vashon that people are "more alternative" than others.

So maybe on Vashon being "alternative" is more like being Republican, or pro life, or in the grid, following rules, working in the capitalist economy...  I wouldn't say these adjectives describe me per say, but there are times when I am in a circle of people and I am not wearing enough linen, I am too fat, I would prefer coffee over kumbucha and that makes me an outsider.

What do you think Islanders? Are you alternative enough for this place?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Vashon Fireworks

This is an odd post really.  You see we have never actually spent a 4th of July on Vashon Island.  In fact, we have never celebrated Independence Day in the Seattle area!  Every year, on accident we find ourselves traveling elsewhere.  Without too much recollection we have spend 4th of July in Whistler BC, Wenatchee, Chicago...yup we are always travelling.

Every year though the social media networks of Vashon are loaded with the question, "Where is the best place to watch fireworks on Vashon?"  So based on other people's responses and experiences I offer advice from them!

  • If watching from a distance try KVI
  • Park your car and walk down to Jensen point on the Burton Loop
  • Apparently you can sit on one of the hills on the Country Club Golf course and enjoy the show!

Good luck finding a place to view the show!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Heights Water

Vashon's water supply is divided into districts.  There is water district 19, Westside water, dockton water, Heights water to name a few.  Anyway, yesterday there was apparently there was a water main break in the Heights Water line.

For more information look here.
Apparently they are hoping to get it fixed today (June  25, 2015).

A neighbor mention it to our childcare provider that we were on a boil order. We had a little trickle for awhile but alas for over 24 hours now we have not had water.  This sucks.  I have children.  Dirty children and children who take bottles, and who poop their pants need baths or at least wet washclothes.  Mamas who get spit up on and who are cleaning up children's messes need to be able to wash their hands.

I am also somewhat concerned that if there was a boil order in place for the water that was part of our trickle...that they didn't do a better job communicating that? I mean, was my infant exposed to e-coli??

Either way no on is sick. So I don't need to escalate things but for the first 20 hours it was an inconvenience.
For the last 4 it has been a pain in the A$$.

I hope it gets fixed soon.
For more information look here.

Oh, and of course I realize that water access is a serious issue in many parts of the world and that this is a tiny experience of what many experience regularly in terms of scarcity of water...yes yes. #firstworldproblems

Monday, June 15, 2015

Vashon Realtors

So  I don't know how people usually choose a realtor.  Maybe they read reviews and such, but we received a recommendation from a friend and it worked well for us.  We have only purchased a house- never sold- and when we bought our house there was so little on the market that I just feel like we cannot know if our realtor was good or not- Her job was easy when it came to our house purchase...

But here is one of the best things about realtors on Vashon- a lot of them let you use moving trucks for free! As if moving isn't expensive and a pain enough it's great to save a couple of hundred bucks and have a truck at your disposal. We did all of our move in just one day but I know a couple of people who have borrowed it for a couple of weekends in a row.

M/V Sally Fox- Vashon Water Taxi

So we have a new Water Taxi (as of April 2015).

The M/V Sally Fox is a lovely vessel.
In the past the 5:30 has often been full during midweek rides.  Thus, being turned away after the last minute and having to wait an hour for another boat.  However, with the larger capacity (over 200!) of The Sally Fox  no one will beturned away from a full boat.  Ridership is up (so maybe over time we will fill it??) and I get why.
No more super stinky bathrooms.
No more damp (and moldy?) carpeting.
No more anxious fear that you aren't going to get on.
No more leaving work a bit early to make sure you get in the front of the line...

Thanks King County Tax Payers.
I really appreciate your support!

Want to know more:

King County Water Taxi
Wikipedia link on the water taxi

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tranquil and Peaceful Island life

Sometimes the view isn't so clear....
There is a mythology that people have about Vashon...that is it peaceful & tranquil.  The idea that all your neighbors are nice, all people are watching out for each other, and that kindness abounds is no more true here than it is anywhere.

In fact, when you have relationships with people you don't like here (aka enemies) you are more likely to run into them here than you are in a larger and more cosmopolitan area.  My partner was recently accosted by a former (and probably mentally ill) landlord.  My anxiety skyrocketed when I saw a former employee who I had to "let go" at the park today....all in all it's not perfect.

The reality is that life can be wonderful wherever you are....and life can be miserable wherever you are...and for most if it life is in the middle!

On a greater scale the dysfunction of non-profits, businesses, and other things are more present, simply because in a small town one possesses a greater awareness of their surroundings.

On the other hand the care that neighbors possess for one another reveals itself to a greater degree here on the Island.  On Vashon you wave at your neighbors, you learn the faces of grocery store employees, you trust that you would find each other in the case of an emergency.  All in all though  I think that this is the case in cities as well...we just aren't as aware of it.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Easter Sunday Ferry Traffic

So I cannot say that traffic is always bad on Easter during the late morning.  But I can say that in 2015 we were desperate to get home to Vashon sometime around 11 and the line was long in Seattle. Very long.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday evening Vashon-Fauntleroy ferry Traffic

Saturday evening ferry traffic into Seattle can mean longer lines than usual.

I have learned this intuitively, and am keenly aware of it as we plan to go into the city on Saturday evenings, but it might not be intuitive to visitors or Islanders who typically stick around on Saturday nights.

Keep it in mind, line up a little bit early on Saturday evenings.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Island Boots; Vashon's Feet.

These are the feet of Islanders.

Prepared not just for rainy days but for wet adventures.
For beach walks.
For damp journeys through stands of Western Red Cedars.

 And, for jumping in puddles.
For creating a garden in the lowest (and muddiest) part of the yard.

For a low tide walk.
For finding crabs in the eel grass.

And yes, sometimes for a quick trip to Thriftway.
Or to grab coffee with a friend.
These are the feet of Vashon.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

High School Basketball

I know almost no one who is in High School, but small town life (for me) screams being aware of High School arts and sports.

So one Friday evening, with newborn in tow, we all went toe the High School girls and boys basketball games. Fun and easy leisure.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Vashon Island Weddings- Please shuttle your guests.

So it is the season where people who are getting married this summer start putting together all of the logistics of their weddings.

So as an Islander who has lived here for several summers can I make a recommendation...

Work out some sort of shuttle system for your guests!  Maybe not all of them---but just offer it.  Just think

Your 75+ guests and 2 other weddings on the Island means that hundreds more people are coming on the Island JUST for your wedding. If it is a beautiful weekend hundreds of more folks come to the Island. Then bam most of your guests are late, people are missing things and their are frantic to leave the Island (and your reception as well) because they are nervous about making the ferry to leave the Island as well.

Just a thought.
And I promise, Islanders will appreciate it, we love sharing our Island. We don't like long ferry lines any more than anyone else (we just tolerate them better).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014 Vashon Holiday Boat traffic

Every year around the holiday season people on Island start asking, "what are the ferry lines like on xxx holiday or holiday eve?" And for some reason I don't think any of us can remember.  It's like this big vortex of bad ferry experiences and good ferry experiences and if you are an Islander you have had lots of both.

I figure though, while it is still fresh I would document what I remember about Ferry Traffic 2014 on the holidays:

Christmas Eve Ferry Traffic leaving Vashon going to Fauntleroy:

2014 the boats were on a normal schedule.
No boats were cancelled.
 By 3:30 in the afternoon the boats were very full.

So if you have someplace to be at with a VERY specific time frame then you might want to line up early. Otherwise, just be patient!

New Years Eve Ferry Traffic leaving Vashon going to Fauntleroy:
Normal Workday schedule
No boats were cancelled.
We lined up for our boat maybe 15 minutes earlier than we might have.
I am glad we did the boats were MUCH more full than a normal weekday to Seattle.

New Years Day Traffic to and from Vashon 
Normal Schedule
No boats were cancelled
My partner had to work this day (in Seattle) and got too and from the Island with utter ease!!

Sunday after New Years- the Sunday before schools start up etc. leaving Vashon
We actually went into Seattle on the 8:55am boat and it was unusually crowded for a Sunday morning (without a Seahawks game).
Then when we returned around 2:30 there were pretty long lines to leave the Island.  Later in the afternoon this year some boats were cancelled or delayed but even before they were delayed the lines were long.
My guess is a lot of people who have vacation homes on Vashon were all headed back around the same time and the lines got long quickly.  Keep this in mind for future planning.

It seems to me the crucial point is that when the boats operate a normal schedule things run smoothly, but when things get backed up, reduced to 2 boats or whatever, the systems gets mangled pretty quickly!