Spring in the San Juan Islands
After a dark, rainy, and cold Winter being able to see all the blossoms dotting the trees and feeling the sunshine on our faces made us endlessly happy. Last week, we spent a long weekend on San Juan Island. Some highlights of our weekend included a relaxing stay at Bird Rock Hotel, an epic whale watching trip with San Juan Safaris, and memorable and delicious meal at Coho.
We have regularly visited the San Juan Islands for the past five or six years and I get such a kick out of Jasper as he says, “I remember this or that”. Family traditions needn’t be lavish or expensive to be memorable. Hopping aboard a ferry, walking up and down the docks at Roche Harbor looking at yachts and getting a big old basket of fish and chips is enough to keep our little guy happy.
When getting there is half the fun. The ferry ride is long enough to enjoy a meal, take a nap or just run around getting all the brochures and free magazines.
The San Juan Islands although only a couple hours from Seattle make you feel like you are a million miles away. If we were in Seattle these beaches would be crowded and all of our favorite restaurants would need a reservation way in advance. Whenever we visit I feel like we have the island to ourselves and that feeling simply never gets old. When you don’t have to deal with traffic there are just so many extra hours in a day.
Roche Harbor bursting with Spring time blooms. Summer gets all the attention in the San Juan Islands, but Spring is really when it starts to hit its stride minus the crowds.
Being silly as we waited for our meal in Roche Harbor.
While Seattle was experiencing a weekend of rain…….. we were soaking up the sunshine. Fact: It rains about 100 less days a year here than in Seattle.
Although we live near the city I think I am a country girl at heart. I love the idea of our children being able to run wild and free around acres and acres of land. But for now this will have to be reserved for weekends.
Me and my ever growing baby bump attempting to keep up with Jasper.
We stayed at the Bird Rock Hotel which is one of our favorites. From its central location in the heart of Friday Harbor to the intimate experience of being only one of a handful of guests. We keep coming back here for their service, delicious breakfast and who can forget afternoon cookies and lemonade. It was not until we had children we quickly learned the value of having healthy food readily at our disposal. Being able to stick with our routine and start the day off with full tummies instead of standing in line at a restaurant for a heavy breakfast is in my book- priceless.
This time we stayed in the Marrowstone Suite complete with its own private courtyard and hot tub.
On our whale watching trip where we spotted orcas no less than five minutes into our trip. We endured a wild boat ride (due to the wind) and were the closest we have ever been to orcas. Currently seventeen weeks pregnant, I was delighted to not be among the seasick passengers but the best part was Jasper’s affinity for the onboard naturalist and how he wanted to monopolize all her time. I also loved how he kept repeating, “this is one crazy boat ride” as our boat bobbed up and down in the water. As easy as it would be to leave Jasper home I love being able to experience all these little adventures as a family.
Spotting all the wildlife on our whale watching tour with San Juan Safaris.
One evening, we enjoyed a fantastic meal at Coho. Coho is an intimate, locally owned restaurant in downtown Friday Harbor. We dined on harissa prawns, the most delicious nut bread, halibut and an orange cake with fresh whipped cream I am still daydreaming about. Coho is a small restaurant which I love because you can actually hear your own conversation and you are never left hostage at your table with your waiter nowhere in sight. I really appreciate the inventive flavors and the use of local ingredients whenever possible. For example, I was happy to spot the same micro greens I saw at the market end up atop my sun choke soup.
His little face says it all. Young, old and everyone in between loves this place!
After our early dinner we headed to Lime Kiln State Park to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, the clouds rolled in right before we got there, but it was beautiful nonetheless.
If you want a restful, rejuvenating weekend away the San Juan Islands are the perfect spot to reset and recharge. And if you like to visit places without crowds now is the time to go!
This post was sponsored by Bird Rock Hotel. All opinions stated here are my own and I was under no obligation to write anything other than my personal experience. I will never write about anything I did not enjoy or find to be a valuable experience.