Day 18: Day of Rest and Relaxation

We resolved not to set the alarm this Sunday morning, enjoyed the second cup of coffee pour-over style, and managed to have our first lazy meal around 2:00pm. The city of Seattle has been hit by a heat wave, topping out in some places at over 100F. Consequently, physical exertion sounds less appealing than a boat ride. We took Captain Larry’s Ice Cream Tour around Lake Union, within the Seattle city limits and home to several interesting features including, the Sleepless in Seattle house boat, turn of the century fire boats, current fire boats, bridges, spy ships, and a gazillion paddle boards, sail boats, water planes, large boats, and floating craft of all other variety. Out on the lake, Seattle felt euphoric.

Union Lake. In the distance, a fire boat cools down Seattle’s lake children during a drill.


Downwind of a fireboat that was shooting water 100 feet into the air as a drill, we enjoyed a cool spray as we licked ice cream that melted faster than we could consume it. It’s hard to feel guilty about ice cream when it’s 100 F. After the boat ride, Linda suggested a view of a local waterfall called the Snoqualmie Falls which was beautiful and very active. A debate ensued as to how this falls compared to Niagra Falls.

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Snoqualmie falls.

All in all, we three amigos enjoyed each other’s company and endured the heat. In the evening, we settled in for a feast of fresh veggies, hummus, cheeses, basil, and Linda’s special extra-gooey balsamic reduction sauce (the secret: there’s no such thing as too much reduction).

Today, also, Jackie and Steve made a tentative plan (all plans are tentative when you are on a bicycle tour) for the rest of the week. Now I’m not going to spoil it for you now, so stay tuned as the adventure evolves. However, the process of making plans revealed some observations I (Steve) would like to share. I’m going to call this next section “Inertia”.


I have inertia in my thinking. Jackie has less. When early on in our tour, we decided to change the nature of the tour from a major ride from Vancouver B.C to Albany, OR, into a more exploratory discovery tour of different islands and local destinations, I had a hard time saying OK to that. This is true even though I was the one who was more reluctant to stick to our original plan, due to the exertion that would be required. Jackie was able to change gears, figuratively speaking, instantly. When we began to make a tentative plan for this week, I was struggling with all the possible options. Jackie was flowing seamlessly from option to option. Maybe I’m getting older and having more difficulty with change. Jackie is a long way from this paradigm. Armed with an i-Phone or i-Pad, an active wi-fi or LTE network, she can whip out potential plans with dizzying adeptness. Perhaps its because she is a millennial. I am clearly not, but I have learned from her on this trip. I have learned to stress less as our changing plans evolve. 

– Steve

As my dad said, the modern millennial is certainly far more willing to change plans at a moment’s notice, because as long as there is internet connection, we have at our disposal a whole set of apps that help us tap into all of the information we need to reroute and optimize. Want to head to that island instead? My friend just texted me with a suggestion for a cool hike. Want a cafe? I’ll check Yelp. How can we get there fastest on a bike? Let me consult Google Maps. What if we miss the ferry? Let me check the schedule online. All of this can happen in the span of two minutes, as our bike speeds towards the critical traffic intersection where we’ll decide to stick with the old plan, or improvise a new one. I’ve grown up this way, and I’m thankful for the ability to access so much information at once and the flexibility to act on it. At its best, it leads to super-efficiency in our travels. 

However at its worst, it can be a curse. On the one hand, when you’re always looking to get the cheapest deal or the fastest route or the coolest photos or the most unique experience, you become obsessed with optimization. You’re always on your phone, checking up on the best way to do the next thing. It can be hard to just sit. 

Secondly, get two millennials and two smart phones in a room, and suddenly you may find yourself in the throes of a crippling paralysis. Too many options! How will we ever make the most of our time and money! How can we be sure we’ve optimized best!

Perhaps my dad and I have discovered the secret recipe: 1 old fart who’s willing to consider new options within reason, 1 millennial, and 1 iPhone (recall: Jackie stepped on Steve’s phone on day 3 of this trip). Plus limited reception and a bad phone battery, so that the millennial is frequently forced to take a chill pill and enjoy the view. 

– Jackie

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