Nov 132012
 

Every. Single. Weekend.

Those are the days over the past summer that I was lucky enough to spend here in the San Juan Islands helping spread the word on J5MM about how lovely these islands truly are.

Hubby and B were even luckier.  They vacationed here all summer and were always on time to pick me up at the ferry landing of whatever island we happened to be on.  Our last island to spend time on was none other than Lopez.

“Mommy do you remember when we made the forts on Spencer’s Spit?”  B asks me this over dinner last night.

Hubby and I glance up at each other and together our minds go back to that wonderful time. Continue reading »

Nov 092012
 

Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands

Ahh, the summer of 2012 in the San Juan Islands.

First Orcas Island, then San Juan Island and now we move forward to our last stop in these emerald green archipelagos:  Lopez Island.

Or should I call it as the locals so fondly do:  SLOWPEZ.

All of the islands share some form of commonality and we have come to the conclusion that a slow way of life is generally it.  However, here on Slowpez – it is really just a bit slower. I think ♥

We spend our first Saturday on island visiting the farmer’s market.  Full of colorful, organic bounties from all over the island we load up our sacks with goodies for dinner in the Airstream.

No sooner than we agree it was time to leave and head back to camp we hear in the distance the faint sound of  a helicopter approaching.  We look up into the blue sky and could hardly believe our eyes — a big and beautiful red, white and black Airlift Northwest helicopter (air ambulance) is making a landing right here in the village!  All at once everyone from the market approaches the street to watch.   The street is blocked to traffic and we are told to “stay back” as this beautiful helicopter comes in for landing.

We came to learn that these amazing Airlift Nurses and Pilots spend their weekends here, alternating between the islands to be “on call” for any life threatening emergencies.  This gives the residents and vacationers of the islands peace of mind knowing that help is there if needed.

As I help B into the helicopter, I can tell he is in complete awe.

“Mommy — I feel like I am ready to take off!” he tells me as he is strapped into his seat.  He. Is. Beaming!

Just outside of the helicopter there is a darling little girl with pigtails who is trying her best to be patient (while hopping from one foot to the other) to have her turn to sit in the helicopter.  B notices this and she smiles at him at which time he decides it would be a good thing to be polite and let her have a turn.  Out he goes and in she climbs full of excitement as we make our way back to camp at the Lopez Islander Bay Resort just a short minute drive away from the village.

We have a great spot up on the grassy hill where we are plugged in with our Airstream.  Campers surround us and new friends are made.  Down the hill to the left is the recreation facility which has a fantastic pool with sweeping views of Fisherman’s Bay and if you are in the mood, a state-of-the-art workout facility.  Bill, the fun loving and easy going guy who runs the place here tells me with pure excitement that he has “big plans” for it here.  He shows me the architectural drawings  of what’s in store and I am blown away.  Fully paved sites are coming along with some darling cabins that will be built.  It will be quite the place I can tell, but for now — we think it’s wonderful as it is and honestly, we wouldn’t change a thing.

We spend our day here playing outside, swimming and just soaking in the sun ♥♥

We have enjoyed many fun filled days here at the Islander from delicious dining at the restaurant to crabbing in the bay.  At night this resort can really rock with live music.  On one particular evening hubby, B and I listened to the band “Temporary Moorage”  where Bill himself enjoys playing the guitar.  I can tell you that we danced the night away!

Here’s a video from Temporary Moorage performing at the Tulalip Ampitheater

The following morning after a breakfast of baked eggs in the Airstream which I prepared in my kitchen with the most lovely view of the bay down below, we headed over to discover Iceberg Point.  It was here many moons ago when hubby introduced me to this part of our world and now we were looking forward to introducing it to B.

If you are a regular reader of J5MM and have been following our journey through the San Juan Islands I am sure that you can agree that there is so much one can do and see on these islands that even an eternity would not be enough time to explore everything.    It is with a heavy heart that I only have one last story about the San Juans to share with you.

♥ Please stay tuned ♥

Coming next :: A day at Spencer’s Spit and a Farewell Dinner ::

Dec 082011
 

Breakfast on Lopez Island, WA State

What a beautiful morning.   The sun was rising like a brilliant gem in the sky lighting up our surrounding landscape with beautiful hues of yellow and orange.

Breakfast on Lopez Island, WA State

Breakfast this morning was a warm bowl of steel cut oats, to eat outside. I followed my recipe here and added 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie filling while I was warming it up. I folded in a handful of white chocolate chips too.

To finish off this decadent breakfast, I pulled out my brand new kitchen torch so I could melt or “Brulee,” some sugar on top.

The result? An amazing hard-shell candy top to a heavenly bowl of sweet and rich steel cut oats.

To me? This was dessert.  B must have felt the same. He devoured the entire bowl, and asked for more.

Success!

Breakfast on Lopez Island, WA State Odlin County Park

Dec 052011
 

Sometimes it’s nice to take life easy and enjoy the simple things.  That was the theme for our Thanksgiving holiday weekend getaway in the San Juan Islands.  Roast a simple turkey in the Airstream’s oven, enjoy some gourmet cheese along with a rustic loaf of bread and we’re set.

Since we had plenty of leftovers it only made sense to pack them up in our picnic basket and go for a hike the following day. Our destination?  Shark Reef Sanctuary on Lopez Island where we experienced magnificent sweeping views of the San Juan Channel and the Olympic Mountain range in the far distance.

The weather seemed to be cooperating.  It was rather chilly, but we were not worried, we had our blankets.  Oh, and hot cocoa too.

Picnic with a view at Shark Reef Cove, Lopez Island, WA State

We finally found the perfect spot to enjoy roasted turkey with stilton cheese and cranberry chutney on “pillowy soft,” brioche buns.  Honeycrisp apples to accompany the sweet creamy cheese (complete with flower).  Buttery, rich pecan pie and hot cocoa completed our seaside picnic.

Picnic with a view, Shark Reef, Lopez Island

Soon it was time to turn back and retreat to our warm and cozy Airstream where we would have our campfire (complete with s’mores) and light up the living Christmas tree.

Picnic with a view, Shark Reef Cove, Lopez Island, WA State

Watching the Washington State ferries pass by was such a pleasure . . .

An Airstream Thanksgiving Holiday, 2011

Nov 292011
 

Hubby, B and I awoke Thanksgiving morning to awe inspiring gale-force winds that literally shook the Airstream like a maple leaf being torn from its tree. The Doe Bay Resort retreat tearfully was at a seasonal transition to winter destinations. We were both honored and grateful to be their guests for one of the most memorable times in our lives. I don’t think there is one particular highlight one can single out about Doe Bay. It is the synchronicity between all its moving parts. The spectacular coastline exposure, inspiring views, hot pools, sauna, yoga facilities and classes, the culinary artistry at the Cafe, and most importantly, its friends and family. We will miss you dearly, Doe Bay.  Thank you for the incredible, life changing experience.  Heaven on Earth this is. xoxo.

We now slowly make our way back to the mainland. Our very last stop in the San Juan Islands is Lopez Island.  Odlin County Park, to be specific.  To celebrate Thanksgiving.  A simple meal prepared on our Airstream.  Just the three of us.

Here we are in the Orcas Island ferry line on that stormy morning.  What a peculiar sight!  No one here but us . . .

Orcas Island Ferry Line Thanksgiving 2011

Orcas Island Inter Island Ferry to Lopez

Odlin County Park, Lopez Island

The ferry you see in the distance, stopped to enjoy the view of our Christmas tree and our silver, shiny Airstream as well, I am sure . . .

Thanksgiving on Lopez Island, Odlin County Park, WA State

Wishing everyone a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.