Orcas Island, Hold the Orcas

I spent my Labor Day Weekend with Rach in the San Juan Islands, specifically Orcas Island. Although we didn't catch a peek of any of the Orca whales that frequent these beautiful islands we had an awesome time. Rachel's friend Nicole had her wedding at Resario Resort on the Eastern half of the island. We spent the first night in a "cottage" in Deer Harbor, in all honesty, this cottage was more a big vacation house. It had a two-person hot-tub overlooking the water and one of those cool fireplaces that turn on with the flick of a switch. The next morning at breakfast I was having trouble getting my toast out of the toaster and a big friendly trucker looking guy helped me by jabbing two metal butter knives into the thing. "Ummmm, aren't you NOT supposed to do that?" I said, "You just gotta be careful man, watch," he replied. "Okay, I'll be over here.....far away from you.........and your butter knife experiment......."

After Breakfast we headed out to the resort which is actually the site of a historic mansion built by a man named Robert Moran. I love, LOVE places like this, I eat the history up!! I told Rach I wanted to see if I could figure out how to get to the behind the scenes parts of the mansion.....little did I know.....

After the open bar meet and greet hosted by the bride and groom we headed up to the lounge in what used to be Mr. Moran's living room. Rach and I were on a mission to get onto one of the many awesome sailboats and yachts at the resort marina. We chatted up the boaters and made some pretty good friends, particularly a guy named Aaron and his girlfriend Linda who have agreed to take us sailing sometime soon and were nice enough to buy us more rounds of Petron than we probably needed. Then, just before midnight, this goofy older guy came up and offered to take us on the midnight tour of the mansion to go meet a ghost. Rach, always the thinker, declined so she could stick around and make sure Aaron and Linda didn't escape before promising to take us sailing. I immediately volunteered, knowing this was my chance to see the parts of the mansion I REALLY wanted to see.

So, this guy and I headed up a few flights of stairs and past all of the "employees only" signs until we reached a huge mahogany door at the end of a long hallway. Upon reaching the door the guy whispers, "OK, this is the attic, this is where the ghost of Mrs. Reames lives. She used to like to ride into town on her motorcycle to play cards all night long with the local fellas. She's kind of a wild spirit, hopefully she'll be OK with me bringing you up to see her." I whisper back, "Here's a light switch, can we turn on the lights?" He says "Of course not, don't you know anything about ghosts, they don't like light!" So I grabbed the back of the guy's shirt and we pulled the huge door open and headed up into the darkness.

Now, at this point I am thinking that this guy is probably a hotel employee or something and they like to play this joke on us big city Seattle types. I'm expecting at every turn to have somebody jump out and scare the living daylights out of me. We get to the top of the stairs and there are two chairs on the left. He explains to me that this is where he sits and talks to Mrs. Reames. To my right and left about a hundred feet away on each side are windows glowing with the light from the resort below, everything else is darkness. We sit in the chairs and he tells me she is here tonight and asks if I can feel her presence. I feel nothing unfortunately but he tells me she is very near me and is inspecting me. I tell him I can feel her near me even though I can't, I'm still on guard for the flashlight guy with a scary mask on...he's just excited that he has somebody along who appreciates the history of the place and is open to the idea of phantoms.

We walk down to the end of the attic to one of the windows and pop it open. We can hear people on the patio below so, like all good troublemakers we start hollering things at them... Then we leave the attic, now he wants to show me the basement, cool, I'm game. We sneak through many doors that say "keep out" and finally arrive at the basement where we can hear employess on their break. He explains that we'll have to sneak past them and time it just right so we're not caught. So he gives me a silent count of three and we walk as stealthily as two Petron-happy adventurers can to another door leading to the sub-basement. I close the door silently behind us and we head down to the old cold-rooms where Mr. Moran used to store his meat and perishables. I inspect the double doors that look like the kind you would see on an old-west bank vault and point out the date to him, the doors had been built in 1893!! We go into the coldroom and he tried to coax me ionto stealing something nice for my girlfriend, I take a small orange ticket from a roll like you might see at a county fair or something just to make the guy happy.

We close the cold room door and head back up the stairs. After gracefully sneaking past the employees again with our best "what? we belong here." walk. We head up a narrow staircase about as wide as my shoulders and emerge into a fancy hallway, He says "look where you are!" with a big smile on his face. We're back where we started in the first floor lobby of the mansion. We head back to the lounge grinning from ear to ear, pleased with our own bravery and sneakiness. Rach explains that she just overheard the front desk calling security and telling them to investigate some noises in the attic. We're safe and sound back on our barstools again though.

After saying goodnight to our new friends, Rach and I headed back to the room and got some shuteye. The rest of the weekend was fun, the wedding was lavish and gorgeous, all of the people were very friendly and we took a little sidetrip to the top of Mt. Constitution, the highest point on the island. On our last day there we saw my midnight tour-guide's wife on the boat docks and she explained that he had been kicked out of the kitchen and the wine cellar the night before and was caught trying to steal a nice bottle of wine for them. She was so funny, she said it with the tone of a woman who has been putting up with her husband's mischief for decades and has long since given up trying to change his ways. A picnic on the ferry dock and a long boatride home and our adventure to the islands was over........for now........we will be heading back up in a couple of weeks to join Rachel's parents on Orcas again. I can't wait!!


iworkforagangster.blogspot.com said...

Sounds freaking great....I love the san juan islands


Baby Sis said...

Sounds like that trip was awesome! Even if the guy was mischievous, I'm sure it was still super spooky and fun!!

Love you!

Anonymous Midwest Girl said...

And with each post you make me hate you and your awesome life a little bit more.... :)