Open House Road Trip

On Saturday we set out to the Northern end of Whidbey Island with Fort Ebey State Park our destination. We had to be out of our house from 1 until 4pm so a drive was a good option for us.

Set on the western side of Whidbey Island, Fort Ebey was constructed as a coastal defense fort during the Second World War.

The bluff trail overlooks Admiralty Inlet and offers peek-a-boo views of Point Wilson Lighthouse across the bay. Douglas-fir and hemlock provide shade along forested trails sprinkled with pink big-leaf rhododendrons in season.

We took a short loop that took us to Lake Pondilla and were rewarded with a viewing of this bird. Is it a Golden Eagle, a young eagle, or some kind of hawk?

Next time we visit we’ll take the Bluff trail to the Gun Battery.

From Fort Ebey we drove the 5 miles to Coupeville and Penn Cove which are set on the Eastern coast of Whidbey Island. We enjoyed some Penn Cove Mussels and these views.

Our Discover Pass expires the end of the month so we’ll have to take advantage of visiting some more Washington State Parks.

Summer officially begins this Thursday. Do you have any special summer plans?

Quaint Langley on the Island…

On Black Friday we hopped on a ferry from Mukilteo to Clinton on Whidbey Island for a visit to the quaint and picturesque town of Langley on Saratoga Pass.

While waiting in the ferry line I took a photo of this sign. I guess the people in ferry line-ups can get a little feisty.

Once off the ferry we found a parking spot in Langley and headed to Prima Bistro for lunch.

My brother Tim with his wife Letty.

Whales have been spotted in the Saratoga Passage. Saratoga Passage lies in Puget Sound between Whidbey Island and Camano Island. Saratoga Passage extends about 18 miles in a northwesterly direction from its entrance between Sandy Point on the Whidbey Island side and Camano Head on the other. I liked this sign that says, “Spy a Whale, Ring the Bell.” We didn’t hear the bell during the few hours we were here.

Overlooking the passage from First Street in Langley.

Dear and me. Dear’s facial hair is gone as of today.

Some quirky things that we saw along 1st Street.

After our delicious lunch we walked along the streets of Langley shopping in the Star Store and our favorite thrift store in Langley. Oops, I ended up buying some dishes at the thrift store. Letty bought some nice leather gloves at the Star Store.

I’ll also be linking up to Signs, signs by Lesley later on Wednesday of this week.

Our long Thanksgiving weekend was filled with lots of great fellowship and great food. We are so thankful for all the gatherings and fun times we had and are having. Our Thanksgiving company leave on Tuesday. Today we enjoyed a small Thanksgiving feast at our house and now the table games are happening while I watch Soccer with some Jalapeno chips. I’ll share more from our Saturday and Sunday Thanksgiving happenings later in the week.

Coupeville and Langley

When traveling on Whidbey Island we like to stop in Coupeville for Penn Cove mussels, Freeland for antique shopping, and our favorite town on the Island, Langley, for shops and a nice stroll.

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On our trip last week after exploring Deception Pass we headed south to the Island County seat of Coupeville. My plan was to have lunch at Front Street Grill and introduce Lenny and Debbee to Mussels. Coupeville sits on Penn Cove which is known for their mussels. I forgot to take a photo of those mussels. Both Lenny and Debbee didn’t think they liked mussels but after they tried them they became fans.

Front Street Grill offers a whole page of mussels in different sauces that are delicious. This photo is from our trip to Coupeville with my cousin and we had the Coconut Green Curry Mussels. This time around we chose the Rockefeller sauce because someone in the group detests coconut! How can you go wrong with a sauce described like this “Spinach, bacon, Pernod, shallots, garlic and cream. The great thing is that all the sauces for the mussels were Gluten Free.

Whidbey Island 034Debbee and Lenny with Penn Cove in the background.

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Whidbey Island 044I thought this was a creative name for this stand located at the end of Front Street.

Whidbey Island 045We headed south again to our final destination on the island, the little town of Langley. We stopped at this garden store hoping some flowers would be blooming on these great trellises. The greenery was nice but we had missed the blooms.

Whidbey Island 050Langley

Whidbey Island 047Langley sits above Saratoga Pass.

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Whidbey Island 048My brother in law, Steve, sits on bench.

Whidbey Island 051We got a refreshment here and then headed to the Cinton Ferry Dock.

Whidbey Island 054I think this was Lenny’s first ferry ride.

Whidbey Island 058It was a still glassy day on the Sound. Another great tour behind us we headed off the ferry to meet Josh, Laura, and Dear for dinner on the mainland. After dinner we said our goodbyes to Debbee and Lenny since they’d be headed back to Southern California the following morning.

We had a busy weekend around here and Dear didn’t get as much done as he had hoped to on the bathroom. You know how it goes with projects in old houses you end up finding things that need to be re-done when you open up walls and take a good look at old pipes. I have a couple days off before I put my tour guide hat back on and I’ll be sharing later in the week about the largest tour group I’ve been responsible for to date.

What’s on the list for your first full week of summer?

Deception Pass

On Tuesday of last week I put my tour guide hat on yet again and picked up my group to head to the north end of Whidbey Island. You can access Whidbey Island at the north by crossing a couple bridges and when you travel all the way south on the island you cross the Salish Sea/Puget Sound via a car/passenger ferry from Clinton to Mukilteo.

Whidbey Island 006We stopped on the north side of Deception Pass on Fidalgo Island before crossing over the Deception Pass bridge.

“A group of sailors led by Joseph Whidbey, part of the Vancouver Expedition, found and mapped Deception Pass on June 7, 1792.George Vancouver gave it the name “Deception” because it had misled him into thinking Whidbey Island was a peninsula.The “deception” was heightened due to Whidbey’s failure to find the strait at first.” I thought it was called Deception because of the whirlpools and strong currents that can give boats quite a run for their money.

You can read the history of this Bridge and area if you click here.

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Whidbey Island 003We crossed over the bridge and found a parking spot at the State Park property on the Whidbey Island side of the bridge. I was happy I zipped over to Fred Meyer to pick up a Discovery Pass before I picked up my passengers. You need a Discovery Pass to park at the State Park lot.

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Whidbey Island 009On this side of the bridge there were several trails you could hike to get down to areas below the bridge with nice beach areas.

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Whidbey Island 020We had some fabulous weather and views for our “Island Day”.

Whidbey Island 030We headed up on the bridge deck to get to the center to get more views of the Skagit Bay and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

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Whidbey Island 029The North end of the island is also home to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor. Oak Harbor is the largest city on Whidbey Island. We stopped in two cities on Whidbey Island, Coupeville, where we had lunch and Langley, my favorite city to visit on the Island. That will be another post.

It’s Sunday afternoon and just about 20 minutes until the U.S.A. v Portugal game kicks off. I’ll be glued to the t.v. hoping for a good result. The bathroom renovation continues, too, around here. I have told you in the past that I’m the sports fan at my house not my Dear. He’s putting in can lights and a bathroom fan and heater today before he seals up the ceiling with drywall. Fun times. Hope your Sunday is going well.

To the Island!

We have several islands to enjoy in our area. One of our favorites is Whidbey Island. On Saturday we caught a ferry in Mukilteo that took us to Clinton at the south end of Whidbey Island. We drove up to the ferry line and were happy to make the ferry that was already loading. We were the last car on…

It was a blustery day. We braved the outdoor deck for long enough to take a photo. This is my cousin Jim, his wife Jeanie, and our daughter Katie.

Our first stop was up the island in Coupeville. Coupeville is located on Penn Cove. Penn Cove is known for mussels. This coming up weekend is Penn Cove Mussel Fest. Coupeville is the 2nd oldest town in the state of Washington. We ate at the Front St. Grill. They had a page full of mussel offerings to enjoy. We chose the Coconut Green Curry Mussels. Delicious!

We walked along the Front St. and enjoyed perusing the shops.

We hopped back in the car and returned to the southern end of the island to visit our favorite town of Langley. This is our traditional photo spot on 1st. St. in Langley. Saratoga Passage is behind us. We spotted a whale in this Passage last year. Saratoga Passage lies in Puget Sound between Whidbey Island and Camano Island.

After walking through our favorite shops we headed back to the ferry dock. When the ferry rolled in I saw these two seagulls perched on the lights above the pilot house. It made me chuckle that they chose the first class perches to roll into the dock.

We were quite pleased that the weather was nicer than what we expected for Jim and Jeanie’s visit and for our adventures. Last night we had a farewell meal together with our company plus my sister, her husband, our son Josh, our SIL Laura and Katie. Hope your week is going well…

Saratoga and Beyond…

On Saturday when we checked into our Inn before heading to the wedding the weather was looking up!

You could see the Saratoga Passage  and Camano Island from the Inn.

We had a warm welcome.

After the wedding when we got to our room we had a sweet treat on our turned down bed.

On Sunday morning before breakfast we headed out for a misty walk. I already posted the photos from the Eagle we spied.

There were pretty tulips still blooming around Langley.

We drove north up the Island and after our stop at the Meerkerk Rhododendron gardens we enjoyed a little antique shopping.

We headed south again and saw a sign on the side of the road advertizing that Gerry’s had the best crab cakes around so we decided to see if that was true.

They were still only serving breakfast at 11:45 A.M. so we had our crab cakes in Benedict form. They were very good.

Our last stop in the island before the Ferry landing was this lovely garden store. In a few weeks these arbors will have beautiful blooms hanging down. I can only imagine how breathtaking they will be.

Time to head to the ferry landing.

Adios to Whidbey Island and Happy Cinco de Mayo to all of you.

The Eagle

The Eagle

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.
~
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

We spent the night on Whidbey Island and in the early morning we headed out on a walk along the Saratoga Passage. In the distance we saw a bird with a white crown and knew it was an Eagle. We were hoping it would stay put until we made our way down to the landing.

The Inn where we stayed is up on the bluff.
It always amazes me how feisty crows can be around Eagles. The Eagle gave one screech at the crow and the crow backed off.
Before we headed back for our breakfast at the Inn we were alerted to the fact that a whale was making it’s way along the Saratoga Passage. I couldn’t get a great shot of the spray because it was hard to predict. It was still exciting to see.
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After breakfast we checked out and had a couple adventures on the Island before we headed to the Ferry Terminal for our ride back to the mainland. I’ll show more photos from our adventures and from the Inn soon.