Had Fun on Friday!

So this past Friday one of the local parishes (“local” meaning “over in Bremerton on the other side of the Sound, an hour ferry ride away” had a conference.  Our Lady Star of the Sea is one of my fave rave parishes in Western Washington, pastored by the outstanding Fr. Derek Lappe and full of passionate gung ho Catholics.  I’ve spoken there several times and I just love those guys.  Anyway, they had this conference and who should they invite but the storied Fr. Dwight Longenecker and the fabulous Katrina Fernandez.  So they wrote me and said, “We’re coming to your town!  Let’s get together!”  I had another  conference to be at on Saturday, so I couldn’t get to Bremerton.

So we set up a date at Ivar’s, the local seafood spot that is right next to the ferry terminal in downtown Seattle.  I arrived about 45 minutes late due to $#$#%#%$ Seattle traffic.  A great guy from the parish named Josh Johnson had driven Fr. Dwight and Katrina straight there and they had parked at the terminal and then walked over.  They had wisely gone ahead and ordered (since by the time I got there they had about a half hour till the ferry arrived.  Josh took the group shot:

It was a regrettably hurried visit, due to my lateness.  We wound up talking a fair amount of shop as writers, with Fr. Dwight suggesting I give a crack at self-publishing (something I am noodling).  Katrina and I had an interesting but regrettably brief gab about the phenomenon of readers who hate her for frets about Pope Francis and readers who hate me for not fretting about Pope Francis.  (One of the weirder little blog phenomena I’ve noticed are the people who turn up in your comboxes to say, “Let’s you and him (or her) fight”.  People used to do that with me and Jimmy Akin too.  And when you decline to play that game, they often have a strange notion that your refusal to get roped into an engineered slugfest somehow mean that you and the other blogger belong to some elite and exclusive club that all get together on Saturday nights and knock back beers while gossipping about all the people we don’t let in the club.  Such people need to graduate from 7th grade and realize that, for instance, this was the very first time I ever met Katrina and Fr. Dwight and we seldom correspond, much less conspire.)

Anyway, the conversation was regrettably brief and then they had to catch the ferry.  So I bade them farewell and finished off my meal alone, looking out over the Sound at the gorgeous October sunset and feeling generally content with pan-fried oysters, a couple of new friends and living in the place I live.  I ordered a tasty dessert, paid the bill, and headed for the door–and there they were again!  Turned out the boat filled up four cars before  they were to drive on, so they now had an hour to kill.

Excellent!  I took them down the waterfront, past Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe and various restaurants on the piers.  We strolled past the giant ferris wheel and the Seattle Aquarium and finally came to a pier with an unimpeded view of the sun going down over the Olympics.  Unbelievably gorgeous.  Both Fr. Dwight and Katrina were cold, due to their wimpy and thin Southern blood that resembles chicken broth (Washington blood is more like thick and chunky minestrone).  Also, you can see the Space Needle from there and there’s pretty much no point in coming to Seattle if you don’t get to ogle the Space Needle.  So they feasted their eyes and were gratified.  I told them if they ever came back I would take them on the Nickel Tour of Seattle and let them see Pike Place Market, the Science Fiction Museum, Starbuck’s #1, and even Underground Seattle if they liked.  Eventually, we ambled back toward the ferry and stopped in at Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe, where we took a gander at the various oddities such this genuine mummy:

There are also vampire slayer kits, and shells, and vampire blood incense and all kinds of other things which, if we’d gotten photos of them standing next to them, the enemies of Fr. Dwight and Katrina would have all the evidence they need of their monstrous Professional Catholic Evil.

Finally, it was time for them to get back to the ferry and ride off into the sunset, so I accompanied them down to the ferry gate and bade them farewell again.  A lovely evening.  Hope you guys, enjoyed your first trip to Washington!  Next time, come in the summer and get the full blast experience of pure Pacific Northwest beauty!  Be warned though.  You may not want to leave!


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  • frdlongenecker

    Thanks for your hospitality! Your date for Friday night is a perfect match…

    • chezami

      I’m already married to an older woman.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    I thought Washingtonian blood was more like Ivar’s thick clam chowder. 🙂 Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe is one of my best memories of my first trip to the waterfront. I was 12 and we bought postcards of the mummies (Sylvia is the lady. I can’t remember the gent’s name–Max? Sylvester?). We ran pennies through a machine that flattened them out and printed the Lord’s Prayer on them. It wasn’t until we got back to my grandma’s house that she told us the owners are related . . . somehow.

  • anna lisa

    You forgot to mention how the air smells in the Pacific Northwest. I still can’t decide whether God smells more like newborn babies , or the fog rolling through the forest.
    On Friday, I was in Las Vegas, but it looked and smelled more like hell. I’ll never make the mistake of going THERE again. Ugh.
    Anyhow, high five to the bloggers–that’s cool that you were able to meet each other in person.
    p.s. virtual smack upsidedown the head about the older woman comment.

    • Barbara

      It’s that high, sweet resin smell. As soon as you get a bit of distance from the city it envelops you. And I don’t know if Seattle is like this, but in Victoria, especially in summer the quality of the light is different. It’s almost never hazy but always sharp and clear, almost bracingly bright. You can see the veins on the leaves of trees from across the street. I suspect it’s because we get the sea breezes from both the south and west which scour the air. It’s the one thing I noticed the first time I came here, and the one thing I miss whenever I’m away. Now if only the rain would stop…

      • anna lisa

        The light! Yes, you are so right. The colors are so vivid that even my children remark about the difference.
        Alas, we are in Southern California now, where only in the most bracing *weeks* of winter does the pale blue whitewash go away. Rain? I can hardly remember what it’s like–it is “fire bug” weather.

        Our children won’t forgive us until we return home. Two of the older ones have already left, returning without us.

  • B.E. Ward

    I’m perfectly willing to accept the possibility that I’m the only one bothered by it, but they really need to get some Lysol or something into the YOCS and the other touristy places on the piers. The aroma is.. more like an odor.

  • Stu

    Aside from my current parish (FSSP), in my entire time in the Navy, Our Lady Star of the Sea was by far the tops during my naval career.

  • I did make it to Pikes Place, Space Needle, Chihuly Museum, toured the Underground, rode a duck, and got drunk on a ferry the size of a cruise ship. I stayed till Monday. When I got back everyone kept asking me what you’re really like. I was kind and lied, because I am a good person. 😛