Summer Vacation in Port Townsend.

What I Did on my Summer Vacation
by Lisa Klein

It was some time in 2018 or 2019 and the folks at the Port Townsend Film Festival asked if my husband, Doug and I would like to be their Artists in Residence in 2020.

That was a resounding yes.

And then we started to discuss the details — how long, where we would be staying, potential curriculum for the documentary class we would teach – that kind of stuff. We were pretty excited as Port Townsend – a peninsula about two hours from Seattle by car and/or ferry — is one of the most beautiful places on earth, with a welcome mat the size of the Puget Sound (where Port Townsend is nestled). I could continue to gush because it’s not just the beauty of the region, it was our experiences during our brief visits there in the past. Everyone we’d ever met – aside from being instant friends (not a common experience for a jaded city dweller) – would tell us Port Townsend is the best place to live. The happiest place on earth. So, clearly we were very excited about the prospect of being there for an extended period of time.

Then came March of 2020. I think we all remember that time. RECORD SCRATCH – a lot of dreams withered back then and this was one of them for us.

2021: They asked if we should give it a go – it was the “Got Vax Summer,” and midway through thinking about it we all realized it wasn’t going to happen that year. So, we did a virtual doc story lab class that opened up some future possibilities, although everything was still uncertain travel-wise.

Cut to:

August 2022:  We departed for Seattle – we were picked up and delivered to our host’s home in Port Townsend and the dream residence became a reality. The way the residency was explained to us, we would be in this idyllic place and all we had to do was be inspired to create. As I write this I realize we got really lucky, because having the opportunity to ‘just be’ doesn’t come along too many times in one’s life. We knew we had to work – we wanted to work. And work we did. I wrote more there in those two weeks than I’d written here at home all summer. Maybe it was the surroundings. Maybe it was the lack of pressure – whatever it was I highly recommend it, even if it’s for an hour, a day, a week – because it’s effective.

We went whale watching and I was naive enough to believe that a killer whale was an actual whale. Nope, it’s an orca. We were deceived, in a good way I guess.

We also went to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, even went for a spin in a bi-plane.

We ate a lot, walked everywhere and oh — did I mentioned we worked? We polished a couple of documentary trailers and started developing a project that we want to film in Port Townsend. We’re pretty excited about that, plus it’s like leaving your scarf at a place where you really want to return – gives you an excuse to go back. We sure do.

Also, we were able to teach a doc story lab – this time in person. We did a three-day intensive story development class with people from the community. Pretty much everyone in the class was brimming with ideas and we talked about how to turn those ideas into films. Sounds simple – it’s not – it’s only the beginning of a very long process. We plan to go back for the sequel next spring. We are brimming with ideas about what to do next because we really, really, really want to return. We can’t get enough of that place.

The only thing missing was our dog. Next time the plan is to drive up with her and hope she doesn’t eat our host family’s furniture.


    Leave Your Comment Here