Emeryville Amy

This blog will be a combination of my favorite places in the Bay Area and abroad, memoirs, recipes, restaurant reviews and travel experiences.

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Location: Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area, CA, United States

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bellingham Bunnells


The train rolled into the Bellingham station almost a half an hour early. Doug arrived a few minutes later and gave me the scenic tour back to his house. It was great to see Doug, Laurie and Zoe again. We didn't stay home very long because it was the first "Inn" of the school year at his church. The Inn is a vibrant 600 person college group. The church was packed with excited students reuniting after their summer break. The evening began with a very funny video introducing the staff followed by a puppet show done with faces painted on grocery bags. Some enthusiastic singing came next and then a talk by a naturally gifted speaker who obviously knew how to relate to college students. It seemed like it would be a wonderful group to be a part of.

I was a little anxious about my cat allergies because the Bunnells have two cats. With the aid of some allergy drugs and being careful to not touch my eyes, I did okay. I have had experiences before when my eyes have swollen shut and I couldn't stop sneezing. Luckily not this time! In the morning Laurie stopped for lattes for us after she dropped Zoe off for school. I took one sip of it and then managed to knock it over, spilling the entire thing all over me and the counter. Fortunately, it missed my computer for the most part. There's nothing like making a big mess in someone else's house. Laurie was very gracious and we got it cleaned up AND she even shared her latte with me. That's just the kind of person she is.

We spent the morning hanging around, doing laundry and I caught up on my blog. It was nice to just have some "down time". Bellingham used to be 4 different towns and the part of the city that the train station is in is the old town of Fairhaven. It has a very cute downtown area with lovely brick buildings and great shops. Laurie and I had lunch at a cafe that is part of a book store, cooking shop and candy store. Out through the back was a courtyard area where they show outdoor movies during the summer and they were setting up a farmers market when we went by.

Laurie drove me all over town, past the university and out to a nearby lake. We drove back in the direction of their house and stopped at Whatcom park. There is a waterfall and some nice hiking trails in the park and so we went on a loop walk through the trees and along the stream. I am a total sucker for streams lined by trees and big boulders with the sunlight filtering softly through the leaves. If I am ever told to picture my "happy place" where I feel peaceful and calm, it would look just like what we saw on our walk.

Doug arrived home on the early side because he had started the day with a 6:30 am meeting. He picked up fresh salmon which he grilled and some fresh corn. I have had many delicious home cooked meals which is an unexpected blessing when you are on the road. I know once I leave Vancouver I won't have anything home cooked for quite awhile. While Doug put Zoe down for bed Laurie and I watched the recap of last season's show "Lost" and then Doug joined us for the season premiere of the show. It wasn't a show that I had seen before but it drew me in quickly. I probably won't have the chance to get hooked on it since I don't really have access to TV on this trip. It felt nice and cozy to sit around and watch TV with them. They really made me feel welcomed and cared for and part of their family for a couple of days. It is nice to be able to picture the church that Doug is the pastor at and their home. Doug said that when Anita came through she said that his church looks so much like the old sanctuary at Berkeley. I had only seen pictures of it before, but now I have a visual image.

I had a good nights sleep in their wonderful guest bed with fabulous feather pillows that Zachary had really loved using. Doug whipped up some eggs and French press coffee and then we headed off to the train station, dropping Zoe off for school on the way. So far the train ride has been gorgeous. The tracks run right along the water (as they did all the way up from Seattle as well). As we passed over the Canadian border and drew up alongside the town of White Rock, school kids playing along the shore greeted us with big waves and grins on their faces. I think trains passing by just makes people, especially kids, happy. There has been incredible bird watching for the past half an hour. Flocks of shore birds lifted into flight as the train drew near. Herons and egrets waited motionless for fish along the shore. And now we are getting close to Vancouver so I am going to stop writing.


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