Sunday, August 22, 2010

Epstein Patriarch Celebrates 80th In San Juans

The day began with Scottish Bagpipes as we celebrated Aaron (Andy) Epstein's 80th birthday. Andy has been a friend of our family since my Dad met him in the Sigma Alpha Mu (Sammy House) House at the University Of Washington. Although many of the participants were over or nearing the age of 80, there were no walkers, canes, or caregivers. The only sign of age their grown children and in a couple of cases Grandchildren as a group of family and friends who really are one family got together to do what we had been doing for decades.
We followed the bagpipe procession from the hotel where many were staying to the Kenmore Air terminal where we boarded three seaplanes to San Juan Island, the main island of a chain in Northwestern Washington known as the San Juans. We landed soon in Roche Harbor as we walked past fishing boats and yachts to board a tour bus. On the bus, we saw the Whale watching point (did not see any whales), a lavender field, and went through the lovely town of Friday Harbor. We learned that Roche Harbor had began as a lime factory and of the skirmishes between the Americans and British to keep to rule the islands which now are mostly known as a vacation escape.
After the bus ride, we went to the McMillin House for a beautiful lunch. Moving tributes were voiced from the group of friends and by the end of the lunch, you could not find a dry eye in the house. We all left to catch the plane home.

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