Our Vancouver post left you with a cliff hanger photo. Where were we going next?
The answer… San Juan Island.
We spent a couple hours in the car, made a stop at a local grocery store for a couple things to bring to the cozy abode that awaited us on the island, and headed for the ferry.
We had to take a ferry to Mackinac Island where we were married, but it wasn’t near as big as this ferry. Now that I think of it I’m not sure I’ve ever been on this big of a boat. The ride over was serene and beautiful, but of course the thought of sinking crossed my mind… several times.
We arrived to the island and drove to our next Air Bnb.
We rented a little room off of the side of this darling little place nestled back into the woods. Absolutely lovely! But because I can’t lead you to believe that we visit darling little places without normal life getting in the way, I must remind you: my anxiety disorder is real. We drove in the dark, down dark back roads, down a long dark driveway, and entered a strange, dark, empty house. I was in a state of panic for at least half of the night wondering if the host of the home was going to shank us in our sleep, or if a bear was going to attack. I even refused to go in the outdoor hot tub the first night because I was that freaked out. (Please, people of San Juan, I ask you for a little grace; I didn’t know the largest animal on the island was a deer until the next day.)
Eventually I got over my fears and kicked it back with the hubs.
See, here’s me getting over it. (Pretty sure it took a glass of wine or two.)
I surprised Bear with a fancy coffee press the next morning. This is the joy of my spouses birthday landing three days before our anniversary. Those of you with kids born on Christmas and the like, you know how it goes: You have to keep things exciting for everyone. That’s why every year (when we try to get away together over our anniversary) I say to him, “Hon, it’s your birthday. Let’s take a trip.” He usually laughs in response… which is why I like to find random things to surprise him along our travels. We like birthdays around here.
The great thing about this entire trip (Vancouver included) was that we had no idea where we were going from one day to the next. We didn’t even decide on San Juan Island until two nights before. Who knew not planning could be so relaxing, says The Planner.
We had a small breakfast at Cafe Demeter. It probably mostly consisted of espresso which they are known for. After we walked up and down the small streets of Friday Harbor. As usual we found ourselves in the children’s books nook of Griffin Bay Bookstore where we read and carried on about illustrations for probably an hour. (We definitely own this book now.)
We stumbled upon some really cute little places – one being a children’s boutique and toy store. I wanted to buy everything in there but instead left with a simple book for my nephew. We got a sandwich from some hole-in-the-wall place which we would totally visit again if ever in the area and ate it close to the dock.
Bear got yet another latte from The World’s Skinniest Latte Shop. And when we felt the urge to explore elsewhere we did! Our next stop would become one of my favorite places: San Juan Island National Historical Park. San Juan Island is famous for The Pig War – the war where the only casualty was a pig. (Basically it was a territorial confrontation between the States and the British Empire.) So, it would only make sense that guests can visit both American Camp and British Camp while on the island.
And then we continued to explore the peninsula.
I am no professional photographer, but if I were, this fox photo would have been epic… because I was standing directly in front of it. I probably could have reached out and touched this fox. It was like that scene from season 2 of TWD. Carl sees the deer and starts to walk towards it. He’s absolutely captivated by it. That moment in time freezes and he just takes in the beauty. Thankfully the scene ended quite different for us, and I did not end up hospitalized back at Hershel’s farm.
Dinner was Van Go’s Pizza.
And then we saw The Judge at the local movie theatre. It was adorable. We had to purchase the tickets outside at the old school ticket booth, and they only accepted cash so obviously we had to find an ATM.
The next morning we paid a visit to The Bean Cafe. The island was a miserable fail for cage free eggs so eating breakfast out didn’t really happen. But the chai was decent if I remember correctly.
Pelindaba Lavender Farms. Oh, it was lovely.
Lime Kiln Point State Park. If you go at the right time of year it’s the perfect place to see whales from the shore. Early October is just pushing it so we didn’t get to see any. Our time spent was still worth the ridiculous parking fee.
Next, we took a scenic route to a darling little farm we’d heard about.
Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm & Country Store. We gazed while the alpacas grazed, and we peaked inside the country store. It had everything made from alpaca you could think of. We bought alpaca socks. Very warm indeed.
After the farm we drove over to Roche Harbor where we had a meal, walked the pier, and sent some post cards to our “daughters” (former exchange students.)
We also stopped in a small grocery store where we scored a super high quality pair of gloves for our excursion the following day.
Next we wanted to see British Camp.
These shoes were the absolute worst to wear in the upper Northwest. My feet were soaked basically the whole trip. Not even the alpaca socks helped during those times.
A few hours later we were in the mood to eat some dinner and went over to Cask & Schooner Public House & Restaurant. Lots of local eats. Good stuff.
The next day was our last, and we thought it was one of the most necessary parts of our trip: whale watching. We took a boat out with Captain Maya and his marine ecology assistant, Jeannie. It was a great tour. Again, if I were a professional animal photographer I can guarantee you the shots would have been awesome, but apparently I’m not great at taking photos of whales jumping out of the ocean.
This water creature was enjoying the wake of our boat. Too bad I can’t remember what it was called…
And that about sums up our trip to San Juan Island. Amazing. We’d go back in a heartbeat. Please, Cascadian Faultline. Do not wipe out the Pacific Northwest and put this beautiful place underwater.
So, there was one last stop to this trip. Can you take a guess where we were headed next?