Picking up my Kid at the Ferry

The Story

School has started again, so I am again picking Trenton up at the ferries on Fridays. It kind of sucks for me because it is hard to work out how long it takes to get him. Seattle traffic is horrible or brilliant, Fridays generally be more extreme one way or the other. It can take me 30 minutes or an hour and 30 minutes plus to get to the ferry from my work on a Friday. I do my best to be there when Trenton gets off the ferry, so I end up leaving work about 2 hours before I need to be at the dock to allow for traffic fluctuations. I always check the traffic website before hand, but my options to get there are limited and things can change quickly so that often times does not help much. Other than to let me know what I might be in for, Some days I end up freaking out in traffic hoping that I get there on time, and other days I end up taking an hour nap at the dock, reading a book in the park, or going for a walk on the beach while I am waiting for him.

It does not physically save me time [1] to get him on via the ferry, but it does save me frustration in traffic, wear on my car, and it often times gives me some much needed down time in my day where I can relax with some me time walking, reading, eating or emailing. The ease of frustration and chance to relax is the major reason that we do it this way. It also gives Trenton some personal time on the ferry to relax and have some time with himself. This week I am having a friend pick Trenton up for me due to some work issues. I had to work out some directions to the ferry for the friend and I figured that I might need these again someday, so I figured I would make a quick [2] blog post out of them.

The Directions

I don’t know the address of the ferry dock, but I do know the GPS coordinates 47.523183, -122.396097. I assume that one could enter the coordinates, or put in Fauntleroy ferry dock into a GPS and get there. If I was looking at Arial map I would look at this maps.live link and figure out where the dock is and maybe how to get there. I normally come across I90, get on I5 south, get off on the West Seattle Bridge Exit and follow that to the dock. if I was coming from the south end I might come up 518 to 509 and take a surface street or I could come up I5 or 99 and take the West Seattle Bridge Exit. Lots of options, I leave it up to the pickerupper to figure out how to get there with the provided hints.

Once you get close to the dock you need to know what to do. There is a parking lot to the south of the dock that is designated carpool only after 3pm. I normally pull in there, and pull like I am going to leave the parking lot into the ferry exit lane and look down the dock at the ticket house. I look to see if one of the 3 parking spots near the Ticket house are open. If one is open then I drive the wrong way down the exit lane and park in one of the spots. Always be ready for the ferry staff to ask what I am doing. I tell them that you am parking if they ask. It helps too to make sure that a boat is not unloading. They get mad at you if you get in the way of offloading traffic. If those spots are not open then I park in the carpool spots where I am not supposed to park and I nap in my car. Trenton knows to keep walking up the walk way if he does not see me at the bottom. If those are full then I head north up Fauntleroy way to the first parking lot for Lincoln park to the left and I park there. From there I to walk south to the dock and get Trenton. The following picture illustrates where the parking spots are at the ferry dock.

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[1] ok maybe a half an hour. 1.2 to 2.5 hours to get his school, and 1.7 to get home vs. 2 hours to get to the ferry, and 1 hour to get home. An average of 3 hours either way.
[2] maybe quick was not the right word here

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