Dec 262013


Ever since bringing home our Airstream in 2010 it has somewhat become a tradition to spend the cozy Thanksgiving holiday in the San Juan Islands – specifically Orcas Island.   Year after year we return with the longing of peace, relaxation and just taking things easy next to the Salish Sea.

There is never a dull moment when spending time in the islands . . .

Things to do on Orcas Island

This year we chose to leave Seattle rather early in the morning on Thanksgiving day instead of the day before (it was an epic heavy traffic day according to the news).  We rose at 4 am, to leave by 5:30 and hubby and I both agreed, it was a great idea.  I woke up B and put a warm robe on him and tucked him into the truck with his pillow.   I put Oliver’s warm Moose sweater on him (much to his dismay but this little dog shivers and he needs it).  I had a breakfast burrito on the ready for B when he got hungry and Oliver had his breakfast too in his “to go” bowl. We were pretty much the only ones up and at ’em that early and to our advantage, we cruised peacefully straight up the I-5 highway in the early morning darkness to our destination of Anacortes where our ferry awaited.

And as we got closer the sun started to rise.

Early Morning Sailing From Anacortes to Orcas Island

Waiting in line at the Anacortes Ferry Landing with our Airstream


Sunrise was still in the works when we arrived on Orcas Island.  West Beach Resort — our destination was absolutely beautiful and we felt right back at home.  We unhitched and went for a walk to reacquaint ourselves and recall the many sweet memories we’ve had here.

After a short time I started to think about dinner.

Our Thanksgiving feast:  Roasted Turkey, Cranberry Chutney (which I added a diced pear too this year) and Cinnamon Brown Sugar Roasted Pumpkin Wedges (recipe coming soon for that one).

I was a little concerned because I had never roasted such a big turkey in my Airstream oven and I wasn’t sure it could handle the job.  After all, the bird was 18.7 pounds which at the time seemed like it would fit into the oven no problem.

And luckily, the bird did fit (and I was pretty nervous for a moment there) but it barely fit, and in the end, he turned out golden brown, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.  Delicious :)

It was a beautiful day carefully tending to the bird and enjoying just being at West Beach.  The boys spent their time chopping wood for our campfire that night and exploring West Beach too as well as taking a soak in the hot tub.

And our night spent together was pretty awesome ♥

I hope your Thanksgiving was full of happiness and peace XOXO

Thanksgiving at West Beach Resort on Orcas Island with our Airstream

Orcas Island Thanksgiving at West Beach Resort on Orcas Island

The next morning, we decided to head out for a hike in Moran State Park that is home to Mt. Constitution which at the top, is the highest point in all of the San Juan Islands.

Mt. Constitution is a definite must see when visiting Orcas Island.  The sweeping views from the top are breathtaking and there are many hikes down below that wind you through ancient forests and waterfalls.  If you are an extreme hiker, there are many heart pumping trails here for you — or if you rather prefer a peaceful walk through the beautiful forests — that too has many options such as the Cascade Falls hike/walk.  It’s really quite beautiful.

Mt Constitution Drive Up Scenic Stop

Click Me ♥

I also wanted to celebrate a bit with B on this trip.   Hubby and I feel very fortunate to have such a great kid — he’s really so so caring, respectful of others and does so well in school.

So since it was a time for thanks, I wanted to thank him for being all that he is.  I surprised him with an afternoon sweet treat with these cupcakes back at Airstream after our hike.

And he was very surprised!

I made those cupcakes at home before we left and brought them along topping them with our most favorite popcorn ever and some small chocolate candies.  It’s popcorn from Tommy’s Gourmet Popcorn and I will tell you — if you prefer popcorn that isn’t overpowering yet brings you all the unique flavors you crave.  This is the popcorn for you.  Light, crispy and SO flavorful !!  Please visit Tommy’s on Etsy and order yourself a bag (or two) ♥

Airstream Cupcakes

Cascade Falls and top of Mt. Constitution Moran State Park Orcas Island WA

Top of Mt. Constitution

You Can Click Me Too :)

In the late afternoon hubby and B did their favorite thing to do — crabbing!  The season just opened for Dungeness crab so down the pots went . . .

This year B was really into it.  He wanted to bait the pots and get the crabs out.  He loved identifying the males from the females (females go back — no question) and seeing if they were big enough to keep.  He even caught a star fish too!  I guess that’s not good for catching crab because they scare the crabs out of the pot and eat all of the bait — ah well.

But he did catch a crab — even two and he was so proud when he did ♥  And when I watched him on the dock with his dad from afar, I had to smile because one day I knew, he too would be doing the same with his children.


Orcas Island Crabbing Season

When visiting the San Juan Islands you must visit San Juan Island.  If your rig is less than 25′ stay at the San Juan County Park (they do break out the measuring rolling thing, fyi), you’ll have sweeping views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island in the distance with the twinkling lights of Victoria and Sydney at night in the distance.

Make sure to stop by the docks of Friday Harbor and say hello to Popeye.  She is a sweet harbor seal that you will fall in love with forever.  I promise.  You can feed her scraps of fish that the fisherman will give to you.   There is even a statue of her above the Marina.

Then on the day that you will be leaving, make sure to take your trailer/rig to South Beach and “day camp,” there.  You can walk on the sandy beach for miles and explore forever there . . .

Popeye the Harbor Seal on San Juan Island

Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year xoxo

Thank you for coming along on our Airstream adventures {{hugs}}

~ Monica ♥


  13 Responses to “To Be Thankful”

  1. Beautiful!!! Just amazingly BEAUTIFUL!!

  2. Beautiful photography as always. Please tell me how you attached your spice boxes to the wall of your Airstream. I think you’re kitchen area is so user friendly and want to copy some of your ideas in mine!

    • Hi Sandi — so flattered you like my little kitchen :) I actually attached (hope hubby is not reading this, lol) the magnetic spice board to the wall with double sided command strips and some dabs of silicone glue/sealant. The spice boxes themselves have a magnetic backing and work quite well — purchased at the Container Store. Hope that helps you and Happy New Year xoxo

  3. Beautiful photography! I always enjoy reading your website. We have a 30′ Airstream Classic. We never thought to take the trailer on the ferry to the Islands. Any suggestion on where we can stay? Looks like our 30′ trailer is too big for some campgrounds.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Yolanda — I simply adore the Classics and 30 feet must give you so much room! In my opinion, there is no better place to stay in the islands but at West Beach Resort on Orcas Island. You will have no problem whatsoever pulling her in there with plenty of room to spare. Honestly — it’s such a great place. Hope you get to go — it’s one of our favorite places on earth xoxo

  4. Hi Monica, fantastic pictures! I, too, was checking out your space-saving spice rack. Do you have a post from earlier that you show other features to save space? If not, can you do one? LOL! We recently sold our live-aboard sailboat and are thinking of getting an airstream. Perhaps Tillie will meet her “brother” Oliver one of these days on our travels. ;-)

  5. Well, I found it! Handy-dandy video, too. :-)

  6. Beautiful pics!!!! This post makes me super excited to visit Orcas this weekend! Thank you!

  7. Thank you for the great read, beautiful pictures and tips! My daughter and I are about to make our 1st trip there in August. I was so excited to go and now I’m even more!

    Thank you :)

  8. Loved this blog! Can you adopt me for your next adventure :)

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