What happens on Orcas....should not stay on Orcas!
Have you ever heard of the San Juan Islands or Orcas Island for that matter? I know I hadn't when one of my clients decided to purchase a home there. Over time I witnessed them come and go from visiting the island, sharing their stories with family and friends and more and more I became interested and intrigued by this mystical and magical place near the Canadian border, home to some amazing food, a beautiful state park and resident Orca whales.
In June I had the the sweetest invitation to vacation there for a weekend and I came back only to count the days until I returned again. It was that GORGEOUS. Flash to this past weekend when I was given the opportunity to take some members of my family up there for 4 days. Talk about excitement. My husband had no idea what to expect and frankly, he was probably tired of me asking him if he was looking forward to the weekend and wishing I would stop going over our 'intended' itinerary with him.
Despite the adventure in meeting up with my younger cousin at the airport, picking up the rental car and driving through Seattle traffic, not to mention the wait for the ferry...it was a long day. Allen and I got on a plane at 7am that morning and it wasn't until 4pm that we set sail from Anacortes to Orcas island with Sonora, car and luggage in tow.
Needless to say it was worth the wait.
Over the weekend we walked to the local farmers market and sampled the food being cooked fresh on site. "Divide and conquer," my husband said to the group before walking off towards the smells of carne asada and grilled onions. From wood fired pizzas to salmon tacos to falafel, this market was bouncing with cultural food fare.
While on the subject of food I must give shout outs to some of the restaurants on the island. We never had a bad meal or better service.
The epitome of our trip though, all of us would have agreed, was our Whale Watching Tour led by Captain Sky of Outer Island Expeditions who just so happens to come from our home town. Did someone say small world? I mean, come on, what are the chances of that happening?
I will admit I was hesitant at first, not having the greatest set of sea legs, but that fear quickly subsided once on the boat. The water was smooth and glassy. The three of us opted to sit at the bow of the boat for a better viewpoint and my goodness was the view absolutely gorgeous.
We traveled North towards Vancouver settling in off the coast nearby to some resident Orca Whale pods. Having only ever seen Humpback Whales and Grey Whales in their natural habitats it was a sight to behold, watching Mother and Baby whales swimming next to each other, breaching, spouting, playing and above all else - HAPPY. (No thanks to you, Blackfish)
On our way back to the marina we stopped by Patos Island for a look at their lighthouse and Mt. Baker situated to the East. Again, I was speechless at the natural beauty of my surroundings....
....A little stop long enough to raise the curiosity of the local seals and sea lions....
and we took foot on the island once more, a very happy trio.
Thank you for the amazing weekend Washington. I am now not the only one counting the days until we return again!