Orcas Island, Washington

Orcas Island 2016

Hello, June! I can’t believe you are here, already, again. They tell you life moves faster the older you get. They were right.

Nick and I spent an evening last weekend looking at our photos from the last year-and-a-half living in Washington, and we were quite surprised. “We’ve done so much!” Sometimes it doesn’t seem that way, but it’s nice looking back and remembering all the sights and sounds we’ve experienced. That’s one of the main reasons I want to maintain this blog: to document all those things we do. So we can piece together the past through pictures and captions and really actually remember all those good and wonderful times. And know for sure what we were up to. Without having to guess at the places and moments based on snapshots viewed out of context.

My dental hygienist told me about Orcas Island last June. She also told me that she’s been here 20 years and just now feels like she’s seen enough of Seattle and the surrounding area to feel satisfied, like she knows it. Boy, do I believe her. I’ve been here a fraction of the time and am certain we’ve only scratched the surface.

I can’t say for sure since I haven’t visited the other San Juan Islands (yet), but Orcas was the most perfect getaway for us. Ironically, I learned that the NY Times wrote a feature piece on Orcas (as one of the top islands in North America for “ideal escapes — into the past, into nature, into luxury”) as we were on the ferry there. When we arrived, we stopped for a bite of lunch at Brown Bear Baking (mentioned in the article), and locals were buzzing about it. Jokes were made about wanting to keep the secret of the island just that, a secret. “Don’t write about it, then they will come!”

It really was a special place to escape to. Not a single traffic light or fast food chain in sight. The air was fresh. The buzz of cars and sirens from the city quickly forgotten.

Nick and I stayed at The Tiny House on the beach in the center of the island for 4 nights. Thank you AirBnB. It’s always amazing to see a listing, with just a couple photos, really come to life as you pull in.. and park on the grass 20 yards from the ocean. (Probably less: I am bad at estimating distance).

We made one plan: a 4-hour whale watching excursion off the northern coast of the island smack dab in the middle of our stay. The rest would be left to exploring, sans hour-to-hour, day-to-day itinerary (sometimes I really get too intense with my itineraries!).

We actually did want to do a bit of island hoppin’ to visit trendy Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, but plans were shifted and ferries non-existent on a holiday weekend Sunday, so we ended up spending the entire 5 days on Orcas. And I’m completely okay with that. Because I can say with certainty that we got a good and thorough taste of the island. I already want to go back.

Our favorite photos from the trip are below, captioned for your viewing pleasure! Enjoy.

Orcas Island, Washington