Last month my sister was, once again, feeling the need for an OCEAN trip! She posted a query to Facebook, seeing who wanted to go. Our cousin Courtney was also down for a weekend at the beach, and we were tickled at the idea of a cousins trip. We excitedly started looking at options in Ocean Shores (as this was just for the weekend, the longer drive to the better Oregon Coast seemed silly). But that’s when we discovered that Courtney’s definition of “Ocean” is much more expansive than ours (including Bays and Sounds and other large bodies of water). And she lives in Bellingham and understandably didn’t want to have a 5 hour drive for just an overnight trip. So we settled on a trip to the San Juan Islands. Which is lovely and great and beautiful, but it’s not walking for hours along sandy beach staring out over the Pacific Ocean. Still, hooray for cousins road trip and weekend getaway! We found a cute rental that was less than a mile from the ferry dock, so didn’t need to bother reserving a car spot on the ferry. Being a “walk on” for the Ferry is always super easy. Reagan forgot we weren’t taking the car, though, which is why she appeared at my house loaded with a backpack and a very large tote bag of essentials (board games like Ticket to Ride), etc. This was great to have with us, but did mean she had a lot to haul around Friday Harbor. I myself had 5 pounds of potatoes, some asparagus, and two bottles of wine in my backpack. Priorities! I also had three games, but I picked smaller more packable card games (Guillotine, Five Crowns, Flux).
The weather in the Pacific Northwest continues to be DREARY. Seriously. As a lifelong Seattle gal, it’s even starting to get to me. We’re setting all these records for rainfall and darkness. Boo! But that’s okay, as lifelong Seattle folks, we were prepared. And Courtney just spent the last decade in Alaska, so she’s pretty hardcore when it comes to outdoors activities.
Landed in Friday Harbor and trying to determine where to grab breakfast when some helpful locals walk past us, gave us directions to the place we’d been seeking, but then volunteer edthat if we walk two blocks further, we’ll come across “Cynthia’s.” And it was super cute and delicious. Thanks for the tip! Then we wandered through their adorably tiny Farmer’s Market, with an eye towards buying a protein for dinner (to go along with the potatoes, asparagus, and wine I was packing). But our checkin time was almost 5 hours away and we weren’t sure we wanted to be carrying meat/eggs around that long. Decided we’d just walk back into town for a grocery store trip closer to dinner time.
Wandered through town, in the rain, with an obligatory bookstore visit. But Reagan was tired of carrying around her two giant bags and it continued to rain. So we found The Bean Cafe, which is everything a great local coffee shop should be (lots of tables of varying sizes, big windows, some cozy chairs, a selection of board games on hand, AND well made espresso. Drank said espresso and played games for two hours. It was great. The barista was super excited that we were going to attempt “The Daily Riddle”, and later he was so disappointed when we couldn’t figure it out. Good thing the Riddle’s stakes were much lower than a Gollum/Ring situation. Got a call from the vacation rental folks telling us we could check in earlier. Hooray.
Off to our adorable rental house (with the promise of chickens/fresh eggs in the back yard, but the coop was empty, so we did not get to make new chicken friends). Still, the place offered just what we needed (3 beds and a kitchen). And a deer visited the yard at dusk, which is always a magical part of a San Juan Island visit for me, even if locals consider them pests who eat up their gardens. MAGICAL!!
Relaxing, chatting, wine, reading our books. Then into town to find the other part of our dinner. But what’s this? A sign for home-made mexican food take out? We investigated and came across the adorable La Authentica Mexicana (tiny storefront off the road among some storage units). Super great idea, as she makes a few items each day (Saturdays are pozole and beef birria). We’d grabbed some fancy cheese and crackers at the store for Reagan’s protein needs, and then got some delicious beef birria and tamales for Courtney and myself. While getting our mexican take out, a young boy came in with a dollar bill, and left with a can of coke and some freshly made warm tortilla chips. Yum! So, our own dinner was an eclectic and delicious mix (as we still cooked the asparagus and potatoes I’d been lugging around)!! And it was so lovely to just have a cousins’ day. Not a thing we’ve done often.
The sun actually came out as we were leaving in the morning. Made for an extra gorgeous ferry ride. Driving back through Anacortes we see a sign for “BURL IVES ESTATE SALE,” so you know I parked on the shoulder of the road and made the girls go to it with me. “Guys, I’d totally make us stop at ‘the world’s largest ball of twine’ or similar roadside bullshit, so this is way better.” Fascinating to wander through the over 10,000 square foot waterfront home. Some cool and expensive stuff for sale (and some really random stuff, the items accumulated over a lifetime). Burl passed away in the 90’s but his wife just recently passed. And the family was very clever in spreading the word/using the celebrity connection to increase traffic. They put a price tag on EVERYTHING in the home, including all of the open/half used toiletries in the multiple bathrooms. Which was hilarious, and a bit sad, but heck, if you can get someone to pay you $1 for a used bottle of Pert Plus because it came from Burl Ives’ house, then I guess it’s worth a try. Doesn’t hurt to ask. *smile* I considered buying one of the christmas wreaths, because having a wreath from the Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’s Snowman’s house would’ve been cool, but there wasn’t any pricing info and the line to the cashier was pretty dang long, and I didn’t care that strongly, clearly.
Even got to see the daffodils and the early red tulips in bloom as we made our way through Burlington/Mount Vernon on our way home, with the sunshine following us for the entire drive. Hooray!