Summer Travels Part 2: Whale of a Tale Edition

The end of summer is nigh…and there is so much to catch up on from just a few days of traveling!  And since a picture is worth a thousand words, probably the best way to tell you what Chris and I have been up to is to show you what we’ve been up to.  How’s that?  This post will be mostly about the trip we took at the end of July, which we split between Seattle and San Juan Island.  Ready for the recap?  Swell!

First up, Chris and I stayed at Tulalip for three nights so that we could [both get pedicures and] attend his high school class 20th year reunion in Seattle.  It was weird – even though I didn’t know anyone there, I could still see all the cliques and kind of tell who was who.  Everyone was trying to impress everyone else.  I can’t say that I’m terribly disappointed that I missed mine last year; between Chris and me, one 20 year reunion was enough!  But Chris was happy that he went because catching up with a couple of old close friends was worth it.

DSC00756The next day was Chris’ 38th birthday.  Now he’s only two years younger than me and can’t make fun of me for being super older than him.  I took him out to a really nice dinner, because I’m sweet like that ❤

We spent Sunday traveling over to the San Juan Islands.  We caught the ferry at Anacortes and took it to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island proper.  The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful!  We stayed at a nice little bed and breakfast right downtown, where we had our own little apartment complete with private hottub and magically-appearing fresh-baked cookies.  And the breakfasts were Ah. Maze. Ing.  Nom nom nom!

One of the highlights of our trip was taking a five hour sea-kayaking tour.  There were only six of us on the tour, plus our guide, Owen.  We left out of Roche Harbor and kayaked completely around Henry Island, which was about 11 miles in all.  The weather was completely fantastic – sunny, a slight breeze, and warm.  We saw a pair of bald eagles, and a little red fox joined us on our lunch break.  We also saw plenty of harbor seals, but whenever I got my camera out, they dunked underwater.  Why do they have to be such camera haters?  The most amazing part of the trip happened about halfway through our day when we saw approaching orcas – K-pod, to be exact.  I don’t know how many we saw, but they did come fairly close; one female swam under our kayaks to get to a younger orca that was headed toward us along the shoreline.  It was really cool being so low on the water, watching them surface and blow, and even breach.  It was Chris’ first time kayaking (my second) and I’d say it was a success!

But wait!  There’s more, yes, still more!  The final full day of our vacation was spent driving around the Island, stopping wherever we thought would be interesting.  We saw both English Camp (hip hip hooray!) and English Camp (sad) AND I got my NPS passport stamps at both places, we stopped for an unexpected visit to some tidepools, said hi to a few shy alpacas, were astounded (and slightly dismayed) by the gastrointestinal parasites of pinnipeds at The Whale Museum, and bought a few treats at a lavender farm (the lavender ice cream was nom-tastic).  Here’s a quick tour!

Thanks for joining me on my little vacation retrospective.  We had a great time, plus I got to meet this guy and his dog!


12 thoughts on “Summer Travels Part 2: Whale of a Tale Edition

  1. Love it!! Great photos.

    I went to my 20th and heard all the “Impressives” and haven’t been to another reunion since 🙂

    Have always wanted to visit the San Juan Islands, and kayaking sounds great but I think I would have been terrified a whale would upend me (too many unrealistic movies!!)

    So cute with antler man – the wats humans choose to present themselves to the world 🙂

    Hugs! Sammy

    • Oooooh – Sammy, you have GOT to go to the San Juans! It was so beautiful. And don’t be afraid of kayaking and the whales – it truly was amazing. My first trip out, about 15 years ago, an entire pod of orcas came right at our kayaks and several of them swam right under us, and in front of us…they were so close. It was terrifying, but utterly incredible…the most wonderful encounter of wildlife I’ve ever had. And that guy with the antlers – Chris and I saw his motorcycle with his helmet and crate on the back the night before, and we stopped to ponder what he carried around in it. I thought it was for a dog, and I was right! We saw him the next morning and I asked if I could take a picture with him. I think his dog’s name is Uma.

      I hope you are having a great summer, Sammy! I’ve been horrible at keeping up with reading blogs and am way behind. I know I have a lot to catch up on…perhaps now that the summer is almost over I’ll have a little more time to read through my favorites, yours included! 😀

      • Is late summer the best time to go? I can’t believe your stories! I will be brave and try kayaking if we ever get to the San Juans!

        We’re leaving tomorrow for Lubbock, TX because Hub’s 90-year-old Mother is in her last days. She’s comfortable, without pain, not conscious, so it’s time. But still, always hard to say goodbye to parent.

        • I went to the San Juans in July, both times I visited. Both times the weather was awesome! But book your trip and lodging reservations early, because they fill up fast (and are a little pricey). Kayaking is a MUST!!! There are shorter tours that are available, but time flies…I’m glad we did the longer tour.

          Sorry to hear about your mother-in-law; that is always difficult, no matter the circumstances. At least she is not in pain, and you and your hub will be able to say goodbye. Safe travels to you – I’m sending you a virtual hug right now ❤

  2. So glad you visited Pelindaba- it’s where we always take visitors on San Juan Island. I have kayaked in the San Juan’s many, many times and am thankful to have never seen whales from my boat. I get freaked out when the seals and porpoises come close! I prefer watching the whales from the shore. Speaking of shore whale watching, make sure you go to Lime Kiln Point next time you visit the island if you haven’t been there before. It’s our other must see on San Juan. Even the county park to the South is a great picnic spot and the sunset cannot be topped.

    • Pelindaba was amazing – I had no idea so many things could be made with lavender! We bought a few bags of lavender cookies for friends but I *might* have eaten one or two of them myself (and also maybe the lavender chocolate bars…) 🙄

      On our tour around the island we were going to stop in at Lime Kiln Point but it seemed like it was a fee area, and we just wanted to stop briefly to check it out. We were continuing south and stopped just after the point and pulled off the road (it seemed like other cars were doing that) and there was a trail that led down to some tidepools and there was a beachy area a little further. I wonder if that’s the county park that you mentioned? The tidepools were really fun – exploring tidepools is one of my favorite things, and it was an unexpected treat that day. The entire time we were there the weather was beautiful – couldn’t have asked for a better trip! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! 😀

      • That was indeed the county park! I am so glad you found it and enjoyed it. They do charge a fee at the state park (Lime Kiln) but when you have the time to hike and check out the awesome lighthouse it is well worth the money.

        • Cool – I will keep that in mind for next time! We only had one day to drive around the island and didn’t have a whole lot of time for hiking and stuff, but I’d like to see the lighthouse. And it sounds like the view is amazing! 🙂

  3. Sounds like an awesome time was had by all! My Man is 20 days younger than I am and he gives me crap for cradle robbing.

    Your vacay sounds awesome. We did some tide pooling at Acadia, stamped our NPS passports and roasted marshmallow peeps for crazy hyped up s’mores. Though we didn’t meet anyone as fascinating as that dude and his dog.

    p.s. From a never-ever-had-a-pedicure point of view, that picture of you guys getting one looks like you’re soaking your feet in a ginormous toilet bowl. Just my impression. lol!

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