Signs from Whidbey Island

Washington State has a few islands to enjoy. One of our favorites is Whidbey Island. The Bible camp our kids have attended and served as directors at is on Whidbey Island. When we have out of state company we try to include a trip to Whidbey Island. Our favorite town on the island is Langley. The Star store and the Saratoga Inn is in the little town of Langley. We stayed at the Saratoga Inn when we were attending a wedding on Whidbey.

We ate at Gerry’s kitchen in Freeland and had a great breakfast and I’m sad to say that they are now closed. There are a nice little collection of antique shops in this town.

Another town we like to walk through and eat their great Penn Cove Mussels is Coupeville. This visitor information center is in Coupeville. The town’s Main shopping street, Front Street, borders Penn Cove.

I had to include a nice bowl of mussels. We had these at Front Street Grill, Coconut Green Curry Mussels…delicious.

And here’s a photo of Penn Cove from Front Street.

I’m linking up with Lesley’s Signs Signs weekly meme.

Gatherning the Moments ~ June

Looking back at June and all that took place around this old house and beyond.

I’m joining Cheryl at Thinking About Home for Gathering the Moments.


Trees came down, firewood cut, patio covers went up, peonies bloomed and were enjoyed, hydrangeas just started to color.

2014-06-29 Nate's wedding3Main floor bathroom renovations began with the gutting process, removing everything to the studs and car deck, adding a new window, adding recessed lights and a fan/heater, replacing the ceiling dry wall.

2014-06-25 The Girls1Visitors came from the South and visitors came from the North. Tours commenced. The Market, Kerry Park, the Troll, Ballard Locks, Ste Michelle Winery, Whidbey Island, Queen Mary Tea Room, and University Village just to name a few destinations visited.

2014-06-29 Nate's wedding4Celebrations in June included a retirement, combined Mother’s Day/Father’s Day dinner, and a wedding in the Portland area.

USA WC -winery1World Cup fever began and continues!

10409158_10204426113958769_2066162454929421190_nIt’s been a while since I shared a photo of my dear old Pop on my blog. Most every week my sister Lana and niece Melissa join him for dinner at his apartment. This last week my niece Debbee and sister Kathy joined in the fun, too. They are getting real good at taking these selfies. My pop still has his ups and downs with his loneliness but he can still move around well and gets out to his church services and a Bible Study weekly. I appreciate seeing the weekly photos on Facebook since I live so far away…

I have to say that June just flew by this year. July holds many new adventures for us. We are looking forward to a trip to England to celebrate our 40 years of marriage, and when we get back the Bathroom renovation will be completed. What are you looking forward to in July?

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.

God Holds the Future in His Hands ~ Hymn

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God Holds the Future in His Hands

Dread not the things that are ahead,
The burdens great, the sinking sands,
The thorns that o’er the path are spread,
God holds the future in His hands.


God holds the future in His hands
And every heart He understands.
On Him depend, He is your friend,
He holds the future in His hands.

We know not what tomorrow hides,
Of sun or storm or good or ill;
We only know His dear hand guides,
And He will be our father still.


His hand created earth and sky,
The zephyrs and the storms that rage,
And years to come and years gone by
To Him are but an open page.


Live close to Him and trust His love,
Assured that while on earth we roam,
Whate’er may come, He bends above
To guide His children safely home.


Words: James Rowe, 1922.

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…

Favorites Into May!

Attending a wedding of forever friends is special but it’s a double , triple, quadruple blessing when you get to celebrate it with family and more friends, new friends, friends that are yours for eternity.  The fairy tale wedding of Lucy and Kris tops my favorites for this past week.

1. We traveled to Whidbey Island on Saturday, checked into our Inn, had a light lunch in Langley and headed to the wedding at a garden destination minutes from our Inn.

2. The weather held for the bride’s dream of being able to have the wedding outdoors. Our son and daughter in law were in the wedding. Our son is like a brother to the bride who is one of 3 girls in her family. We met the bride and her family in 1984 in Ventura, California and have been good friends since that time. Our boys and daughter and the 3 girls in this family have always gotten along brilliantly.  The bride’s sister was our daughter’s maid of honor a month ago in her wedding.

3. Our son Josh gave a wedding toast to the Bride and Groom at the reception. We were so pleased with his encouraging affirming thoughts and wishes for the new couple. We love to hear a toast that honors instead of demeans or makes fun of the couple.

4. It was so nice to have a short drive to our Inn after the reception looking forward to one more day on the island. We had a restful sleep, a nice early morning walk where we got to observe an Eagle and a whale, a tasty breakfast and a nice drive to some beautiful garden settings. Oops…we had 2nd breakfast, too.

Crab Cake Eggs Benedict!

5. Its always good to come home to all the familiar comforts. My last favorite for the week was a fun evening at Century Link field watching the Seattle Sounders gain a victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy. The weather was good for the game and the drive to the game with my son and daughter in law gave us time to get caught up with life.

So what were your favorites this week? You can link up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story to share…

Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens

Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens was founded by Ann and Max Meerkerk in the early 1960’s. Enchanted by Whidbey Island, they began these Gardens with 13 acres.

The Meerkerks began hybridizing rhododendrons and collecting unique specimens of rhododendrons, flowering trees and conifers. They planted the first five acres, known as the “Secret Garden” as a miniature arboretum.

Before Ann passed away in 1979, she bequeathed the Gardens to the Seattle Rhododendron Society to care for as a “peaceful woodland garden with an emphasis on rhododendrons and companion plants.”

Today Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens is an independent not-for-profit organization open to the public. Fifty three acres of inspirational woodland gardens and a forest preserve offer over 5 miles of trails to breathe in the serene beauty and nature here.

We were so fortunate to be on Whidbey Island during the gardens peek blooming season. The day after the wedding we enjoyed a drive up the island to this garden and to another garden center plus some antique shops and we had some good eats, too.

Whidbey Island is a lovely getaway island in the Great Northwest. I hope you all have a chance to visit! Happy May everyone!

Grub and Goodies from the Island ~


We ate dinner at the Front Street Grill on Penn Cove in Coupeville. We had Penn Cove mussels and Coconut prawns with very yummy sauces to start off our meal. Dinner was really good and we had a nice chat with the Chef since we ate early and there weren’t a lot of customers.


The next morning we had our breakfast at the B & B and enjoyed the company of a younger couple who were staying at the Inn.


We found a few fun treasures to bring home. The hanging candle holder is from a thrift store on the main highway. It was $1.75 and I saw it at a nice gift shop for $16.95. I found the Christmas dinner plates at a shop in Langley. I paid $25.00 for 10 of them. The 4 red heavy glasses were $12.00 at an antique mall in Freeland.

So after a trip to good ole Fred Meyer today I’m pretty sure I am all done with my Christmas shopping. I was happy to find out that Fred Meyer is giving a 10% discount to 55 and older customers on Tuesdays up through December!

Hope you are all doing well while counting down the days to Christmas…

Photobucket replaced all my photos with ugly black and grey boxes and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.

The Island Life…

Some people love it, some people thought they’d love it. We love to visit and stay awhile.


The town of Langley is one of our favorite towns on the island and the Star Store is always a fun stop. We were happy it was open because all the other shops in Langley didn’t open till 11:00 a.m.


We stopped for photos before the rains came down and kept coming down for the rest of the weekend.



Greenbank was our next stop going North up the island.


Our destination was Coupeville. We stayed at the Blue Goose Inn. Is anyone wondering why it’s painted salmon?


Our lovely room.


We drove along a lot of back roads and saw some nice sights. We want to visit again in dry weather so we can get out and about more.


Thomas Coupe, a sea captain, took up a claim in 1852 in Penn’s Cove and from there the town of Coupeville grew.Coupeville is one of the oldest towns in the State.  Coupe has a distinction of being the only man ever to sail a fully rigged ship through Deception Pass. Penn Cove Mussels were a must for us to try while staying here.


On our way home the wind had really picked up and there were white caps on the Puget Sound. I’ve got a few more shots to share of our dinner and breakfast later this week.


Have a great day everyone!

Photobucket replaced all my photos with ugly black and grey boxes and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.