Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Left My Heart....

I often use music to relate my feelings.  Songs in my mind the last couple of weeks were "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", and "Piece of My Heart".  But yesterday as we pulled out of Friday Harbor I sang for Al...."So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, adieu..."

Now, I DO love San Francisco.  It is one of my favorite cities, and I have returned seven times to visit that piece of my heart.  Drive down Lombard, take the elevator to the top of Coit Tower, take a roller-coaster cable car ride, eat Chinese food and Ghirardelli chocolate, stroll Fisherman's Wharf and say hello to the sea lions, and visit Pip at the Golden Gate Hotel.

Last summer we truly adopted the cruising lifestyle.  We live on our boat, and move from place to place.  I do enjoy seeing new places, and meeting new people.  But after doing it for an extended period of time, another feeling sneaks up on you.

It hit me first on our Snake River trip.  We stopped at Lyons Ferry on the way up river and we were taken care of very well by the staff of the marina.  But when we stopped again on the way back down,  we were recognized with a shout, "You're back!"  Someone knew who I was.

I think that may be one of the things I miss the most about the cruising lifestyle -- the ongoing relationships that are built when you stay in one place for awhile.

Which brings us to Friday Harbor - We LOVE Friday Harbor.

There are so many things to love about it.  We were first welcomed by the Power Squadron, and the Yacht Club.  The first day, and the last day, we were offered a car on loan.  We did take an offer from a fellow boater we met at church.  We were fed at potlucks, community dinners, and coffee shops.  We got excellent care at medical, dental, and optical facilities.  We attended plays, listened to great music, and went to the movie theater. We shopped new and used book stores. We watched ferries come and go, and we rode the waves at the breakwater.  We used the Give-n-Take shelter.  We met Popeye.  We saw eagles.

And the longer we stayed, the more we liked it.  I even indulged in the fantasy of finding the perfect waterfront cottage  and staying forever.

We recently met a couple on the dock, who HAD sailed around the world, and said "The best boating in the world is right here.  Why would you ever want to leave?"  

And I wonder.

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