Aug 212012
 

{ Chef Gretchen Allison – Duck Soup Inn, San Juan Island – Washington State }

As you slowly travel down a forested gravel drive meandering alongside a golden sunlit pond, you soon find yourself at Duck Soup Inn.

Situated in a fairytale-like forest setting complete with giant pine trees, twinkling lights and lanterns hanging here and there, you soon realize that your dining experience at Duck Soup Inn will extend beyond your dining table. Once again, we were amazed and rightly so.

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Aug 152012
 

One thing that we have come to learn while spending time here in the San Juan Islands is that people take things pretty slow.  No one is really ever in a rush and for us, that is very comforting.

We’ve spied these cute little candy apple red mopeds and scoot coupes all over San Juan Island and often wondered to ourselves what it would be like to have a ride in one of them.  Taking life slow and really exploring the island is how I always perceived the experience to be.   Of course B was always chiming in with his opinions.

“Oh mommy, it would be so fun!”

Could you guess how happy he was when hubby and I told him that today would be the day we would go and take a scoot coupe out for spin?

Pretty happy indeed. Continue reading »

Aug 092012
 

Today we are on the West Side of San Juan Island specifically at Lime Kiln State Park.   Comprised of 36 acres, Lime Kiln is considered one of the best places in the world to view whales from land.  I will tell you that it is spectacularly beautiful here.  Sweeping views of Haro Strait with the whale’s swimming gracefully through the waters will definitely take your breath away if not put a tear or two of emotional happiness in your eyes.

The lighthouse and park are both run on a voluntary basis thanks to the “Friends of Lime Kiln Society.”  Thanks to the society, the park and light house have remained in excellent condition.  It’s a wonderful thing don’t you think to see people volunteering their time, for free, to help preserve history?

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Aug 082012
 

We have arrived on San Juan Island and I would like to thank you for coming along with us as we begin our second journey in the San Juan archipelagos.   To be able to share with you the adventures, beauty and everything else that this island has to offer makes me very happy (and excited!).

But first thing is first.  A special visit to our favorite beach.  SOUTH BEACH.

“I don’t remember coming here mommy…”

“Oh but we did come here and sooo many times,” I told B as we walked along the beach.

I was glad to have him back here to begin the memories again because this was such a special beach to us. Many memories here.

Years ago we began coming here to the beauty you see before your eyes. Perhaps you remember when we visited in the off season and I made an easy seafood dinner? That was a beautiful day for sure!

Today a celebration of s’mores was in order. It felt good to be back.


~ a very different kind of s’more (assembly instructions below)

If you have not had the opportunity to read my piece on the Huffington Post about Orcas Island you can do so here.  It was a labor of love writing about Orcas.  All of these islands are the same but yet all have very different “flavors.”  I feel so very lucky (and honored) to be able to write about them for the whole world to read and discover.

A Special Kind of S’more

Ingredients

  • Nabisco Chocolate Wafers (instead of the chocolate bar)
  • Biscoff Spread (instead of the graham cracker. If you are unsure of what Biscoff Spread is, google it but be warned, it is amazing!)
  • Jumbo Marshmallows (cut in half, length wise)
  • Currants

Directions

Step 1
Spread the chocolate wafers with the Biscoff
Step 2
Toast your marshmallows and place on top of one of the wafer with the Biscoff spread
Step 3
Sprinkle some tart currants on top and seal this heavenly deal with another chocolate wafer

 

 

 

Jan 072011
 

You have arrived at South Beach. This is one of the most spectacular beaches you will find on San Juan Island. As you drive along the scenic winding roads on San Juan Island you approach a sign that reads, “South Beach.” It doesn’t look like a beach would be there, but as you turn and drive up the (long) hill, all of a sudden, you reach the top and subconsciously take your foot off the gas to slow down and for a moment time stands still and the entire world and the heavens seem to just open up right in front you. You hold your breath and can not believe what you are seeing.  The beauty is absolutely unimaginable here, which is why everyone flocks to this destination and which is why, we towed our Airstream through ice and snow on the roads to get here early and to get a prime spot for a day camp.

 

Jan 032011
 

Friday Harbor here we come! Except forecast is calling for snow, “Don’t worry honey,” hubby says as he hitches up the Airstream. “It won’t stick, it’s too warm.” I knew him and knew him well, there was no changing his mind.

From the looks of these photos of our ferry ride, what do you think? Stick it did and for our entire trip. Melted during the day of course and then froze solid again at night. This song and dance lasted our entire trip although towards the end there was enough asphalt visible on the roads that we were able to negotiate some towing to San Juan County Park and South Beach.

Our first night though, we camped in the parking lot above the Marina. Can’t complain, at least we were safe and made it off the Ferry in one piece.

Here are some pictures of the ferry ride:

Jan 032011
 

This park is where the movie Practical Magic was filmed.  I absoultely love that movie so it was a real treat for me to be there.  After researching a bit on the web I learned that beautiful house in the movie was built just for the movie and then destroyed after.  What a pity — that house was amazing!

This is such an incredibly beautiful park with sweeping views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  At night you can see the lights sparkling from Victoria to the South to Sidney to the North.  Unfortunately we didn’t see any Orcas — the last sighting was at 9 am on October 10th, 2010.

One thing to keep in mind that if you plan on a trip here with a trailer, the maximum (and I mean maximum) length allowed is 25 feet.  I wasn’t sure if our Airstream had 25 feet of living quarters or 25 feet total with the hitch.  Well we found out, it is 25 feet hitch and all (the ranger actually measured it!).

Here are some pictures from our visit to San Juan County Park as well as a quick clip to our surroundings: