On Tuesday my friend Tina and I ventured over to Bainbridge Island to visit the the Bloedel Reserve gardens. She'd been there before but this my first visit. The Reserve is 120 acres of formerly private land turned into public garden. Because we stopped to sketch here and there, we only managed to see half of it during our three hours there, so obviously we have to go back.
I left my house at 7:30am to drop Truman off at daycare and then head over to Tina's place. We had an easy commute over to the island, leaving north Seattle at 8am and catching the 8:35 ferry. Here we are arriving:
The first thing I saw at the gardens was a Pacific-slope Flycatcher in the trees by the visitor center.
Next, we went to the Japanese Garden do so some sketching.
Behind the Japanese garden I found a lovely pond.
And on a rock in the pond, I came upon a Hooded Merganser family.
Beyond the pond stood the home that the Bloedel family lived in from 1951 to 1986.
You can go inside and see the ground floor rooms -- here is the dining room.
On the other side of the home is a sweeping lawn overlooking the water.
There's a path along the bluff there.
Another trail leads through these birch trees.
It continues past another pond.
A Bald Eagle turned up.
So did this Cedar Waxwing.
We finished up at 1:15 and headed back to the harbor town of Winslow to eat lunch and to look into a few of the shops. Had we been smarter, we would have packed our food, skipped the shopping, and headed straight from Bloedel back to the ferry terminal -- because by the time we finished all that dining and shopping, it was 3pm and when we checked the ferry wait, we were told "two hours." Aieee!
So we parked ourselves in the very long ferry line, thinking we would miss two ferries, though it turned out we only missed one (though the second one that we managed to actually get onto turned out to be running 20 minutes late). The ferry departed the island around 5pm.
The views of the Seattle skyline are always stunning.
When we got off the ferry at 5:30 or so, we ran smack into both downtown rush hour traffic and sports stadium traffic -- there was a Sounders soccer game that evening. It took until 6 to weave our way out of the mess and onto the freeway, and then we stopped at the doggie daycare to pick up Truman. I finally got home around 6:30pm, very very tired.
Apparently there is a bus on the island that goes from the ferry terminal to the gardens, so perhaps if I go again, I'll just go without a car and not have to worry about ferry waiting times.