Having an excuse to ferry out to Bainbridge Island is nice enough. While the rest of Seattle is scurrying through the morning mist to work, there's a noticeable lack of anxiety amongst the travelers headed out across the sound. And that includes the school buses full of kids yelling, "Field trip!"
So while an old-timer settles in for a short nap in the front seat of his station wagon, I head up to the restaurant for an early-in-the-day cup of clam chowder and an even-earlier-in-the-day beer: a Sound Brewery American Pale Ale called Kanacitra. This slightly hazy, bright copper Pale Ale finishes with a classic PNW bitterness and a bit of orange marmalade and caramel malt that's delightful against the slight brininess of the chowder and the cold gusts of wind off the sound as we pull anchor.
When I get a beer like this in such an unexpected place, I'm reminded of Louis C.K.'s "everything's amazing and nobody's happy" bit—a retort to us douchebags who feel entitled to critique a thing we didn't even know existed until a minute ago. So while I'm eating chowder out of a paper bowl with a flimsy spoon and the beer is spilling over the lip of an impossibly thin plastic cup that buckles under the delicate pressure of my nervous hand on the rail, I remember to express nothing except wonder at my good fortune.
"This a one-way fare or round-trip?" the toll booth attendant asks.
"Maybe?" I eek out.
"Don't worry, hun, it's good for 90 days."