Jan 302017

Early morning sailings to the San Juan Islands are such a treat (once I am fully awake) (and after plenty of coffee).  We rise at a ridiculous early hour to make certain we catch one of the first ferry sailings from the mainland to the islands.  A schedule like this ensures that we #1, do not get stuck in awful traffic and #2 we have the first full day all to ourselves.  The night before I am busily preparing breakfast burritos for the boys to enjoy on the drive up where it’s only us on I-5 and not another single soul in sight — it’s rather bizarre to have the entire interstate to yourself, but I love it.

Once on board the ferry, we sleepily make our way up onto the main deck and seek out some comfortable seating where we can catch up on some zzz’s while being rocked to sleep by the gentle swaying of the ferry and the rhythmic hum of the powerful engines.  The ferry sailing is around an hour and a half which gives us a good snooze window.

I simply adore weekends like these, where we have plans to explore and there is no rush.  Taking Matia to Blind Bay where we’d drop some crab pots and hope for the best, was “the” trip for the weekend.  But first we needed some supplies from town for the trip — so while hubby and B went to the hardware store I went to visit two of my favorite shops in Friday Harbor.  First is Griffin Bay bookstore and second is Deer Hazel and of course they were both closed because it was just still a bit too early, but I wanted to take some photos to share just how adorable their storefronts are.  Deer Hazel has some serious cute clothing and accessories from popular designers but even better is they also carry clothing and accessories from local, on island designers.  Really darling items in this boutique, if fashion is your thing.  Griffin Bay bookstore is just about the most charming bookstore you will come across — it’s no doubt one of my favorite bookstores along with with Darvill’s on Orcas Island.  Full of great reads, stationary and little goodies scattered throughout (they sell the cutest socks!), I am always in awe when I walk in and could quite literally spend a good solid day in this bookstore (and one day, I will most definitely do that).

. . .  underway to Blind Island . . .

B is an excellent “first mate” alerting his dad to ferries and other boats that we are approaching.  The boy really enjoys the boat and I am so happy that he does.  It’s also a nice new chapter in our lives where B is now the first mate while mom can sit at the table and watch the beautiful world go by.  Our boy is growing up.  Hard.  To.  Believe.

We dropped some crab pots and made out like bandits and I learned something new about B — and that is, he loves to crack crab!  An excellent first mate and now a professional crab cracker.  I tell you, this mom is one lucky mom, no doubt!

During our stay in Blind Bay, we dropped crab pots, enjoyed the views and just relaxed.  Every now and then we would take the dinghy over to Blind Island so Oliver could have his walk and we could explore. I also prepared breakfast on the Sea-B-Que grill (I would be lost without this grill since I only have one burner in the galley).  Having this grill has allowed me to expand my cooking repertoire — I can cook on the single burner and keep things warm on the grill — or simply cook everything on the grill.  Either way, I have more options now and I am very pleased. 

After our limit of crab was met we decided it would be best to come back to Friday Harbor since the forecast was calling for some wind.  Wind above 10 knots makes me rather nervous and the forecast was calling for 25 knots.  Yeah, it was definitely time for us to head back.

{ Kenmore Air sea planes taking off near the breakwater in Friday Harbor }

In addition to boating in the San Juan Islands, we very much enjoy seeking out nature and getting to know local hiking trails.  There is so much to see and do in the islands and if you enjoy mushroom hunting, I think you would really like it up here.

{ Pappa, mamma and baby Shaggy Manes }

{Red Band Conk}

I will admit —  actually, Hubby, B and I will all admit, we do miss a serious campfire and since we’ve been spending time on the boat, we’ve been missing out.  I had forgotten about the fire-pits at South Beach and the realization hit me when I was in the local market and saw the stacks of wood for sale.  “Oh right!” I thought to myself as I grabbed a bundle — a campfire at South Beach tonight would be magical!

Thinking it would be a fabulous idea to bring along some crab cakes I had prepared, to cook over the fire — I had forgotten about that high wind forecast and let’s just say that the romanticized idea of cooking our precious crab cakes over the fire, didn’t happen.  Ah well — I did end up cooking them up in the boat galley when we returned and  let me say, they were quite delicious!  

. . . heading back home to the mainland . . . 

. . . back at home, future trip planning in the Airstream and proudly wearing my new socks from Griffin Bay Bookstore ♥ . . .

Trips to the San Juan Islands soothes the soul and if you’ve never been, I highly recommend a visit.  There is just no other place on earth that can compare to the archipelago’s of the San Juan’s in the Great Pacific Northwest.

~ Monica ♥

  16 Responses to “The Great Pacific Northwest”

  1. Spectacular photography and can’t wait to get back to the San Juans. We spent last weekend at our friends’ new home on Lopez Island. Cold and rainy but still so beautiful and tranquil this time of year. I made clam chowder and chipotle fried oysters from our little beach in Olympia which we enjoyed with a bottle or three of PNW wine in front of a blazing fire. We are so lucky to live in such beauty. I spent the morning drinking coffee in bed scheduling our summer trips in Glinda Glamper. Thanks for all the Airstream design inspiration!

    • I’m like you, can’t wait to return either. I find as soon as we board the ferry mainland bound, the longing to return floods my heart. You painted such a beautiful picture of your trip to Lopez and I read your comment to hubby this morning and he would now like me to make chipotle fried oysters and clam chowder! Thank you for the inspiration and your sweet words ♥

  2. Always enjoy your trips! Didnt realize you also have a boat, what fun! Love the photos too.

  3. Hey Monica
    I love your blog, it is always entertaining. I am really liking that magnetic spice holder. That is a great idea, where did you find that and how is it attached?


  4. Awesome trip and super pictures, San Juan Islands are definitely on my “to do travel list”; thankyou

  5. Swooning over your beautiful pics & you look so cute & comfy in your new socks! Cannot wait to see & read about your next adventure…

  6. Beautiful pictures…and yes, your little boy is growing up…really a handsome guy. What a great weekend get away. Hope we will be able to see this area sometime soon.
    Thank ypu for sharing another one of your wonderful trips.

  7. Hi Monica – Brilliant as always!
    Btw, which camera do you use, and what lens? Do you stitch photographs or use a wide angle lens for vertical shots as well?

    • Ha Harish! So sorry for the delay — nice to be back in this space reading/replying to all the comments. To answer your question, for the longest time I shot with a Canon t2i but have since upgraded to the Canon 5d MK3. My favorite lens is the 24-70 and I find that it is wide enough to capture what I need — sometimes I will stitch photos together but I haven’t done that in quite a while. Thank you for being here and asking me these questions — always love to chat about camera gear and photography :)

  8. I just stumbled on to your blog today. Your photography skills are amazing! Love the stories and adventures! You are doing a great job selling me on Washington! Great work

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