When Sander found cheap tickets from DEN to SEA, he asked me, "Would you be willing to go to Seattle with me? Just you and me, with...

An Airbus, a Mini, and the French Chef of Orcas Island

Monday, November 07, 2016 , , ,

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When Sander found cheap tickets from DEN to SEA, he asked me, "Would you be willing to go to Seattle with me? Just you and me, without the kids for a few days?" And I said, "No." But I thought about it and it seems like most wives would jump at the chance to get away for a few days with their hubby, especially when they're stay-at-home-moms who homeschool. So I battled my anxiety disorder and told him to buy the tickets. Then I told him to return the tickets, then I told him to buy the kids tickets too or I wasn't going. Then I sucked it up, and left my babies in the care of their grandparents, and told myself everything would be fine and that we would enjoy ourselves.

{I also might have told myself that this was the last time I'd ever see them.}

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And we boarded a plane that is the newest, largest Airbus and my husband thought he did good by grabbing seats in the exit row where we'd have more leg room. Sweet of him. Except the newest, largest Airbuses don't have windows in the middle exit rows.

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And I wondered if this was a bad omen, a start to a terrible trip? But hey, lots of leg room and the seats on these newer planes don't recline and so that is a win-win.

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We landed at Sea-Tac and waited for our Turo rental {which is like Uber but for car rentals, way cheaper than the rental companies} and we waited and waited and stressed because the guy was an hour late. Sander had planned a really nice dinner at one of the best restaurants in Anacortes, but we had almost a two hour drive to get there! And we had to board the last ferry of the night to get to our bed and breakfast on an island! So dinner was ruined and I wondered, again, if this trip was off to a bad start.

But we did get to ride in a Mini {Cooper, not van}{50 points if you know which famous blogger I just referenced}. I've always wanted to try one of these cars. {And now that we have, we would never buy one.}

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So our dinner plans were ruined, but we did rush up to Anacortes in time to check off some Washington style teriyaki for dinner instead. Quicker and cheaper, at least! Sander and I went to one year of college up here in Tacoma, and there is a large Asian population up here. Basically, what street tacos and Mexican places with awesome green chile is to Colorado, teriyaki and seafood is to Washington. There are a few good teriyaki places in Denver, but in Seattle every strip mall has one or two. And it's REALLY YUMMY. Also after a long day of travel, when I'd planned on having Starbucks no later than 10 a.m., I finally grabbed a cuppa at 8 p.m. This is Washington, birthplace of Starbucks, and yet there were no Starbucks where we were going. Dun dun duuunnn!

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Have you ever been on a ferry at night?

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It's freaky. It's like being in the underworld. We came up to the San Juan Islands when we were in college in 2002! We also took the night ferry, and it was foggy out that time. So creepy! This time, the night was pretty clear, but you still can't see much. Here, we approached one of the ferry ports on one of the islands:

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And since it was the last ferry of the night, also during the time of year when tourism is down, we felt mostly alone on the huge vessel. Most riders are locals who do this daily, and so they take the opportunity to nap in their car. Doesn't this photo kind of remind you of Edward Hopper's Nighthawks painting?

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We disembarked and drove up the road to a bed & breakfast on Orcas Island. We pulled in and saw a house, and right away a figure approached our car with a flashlight. We'd warned the Frenchman we'd be coming in late. The couple who runs the bed & breakfast was an elderly French couple with thick accents.


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He showed us to our little cabin, just a stone's throw from his house that sits above a pond and has two more suites for travelers.

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In the morning, we got a better look at where we'd slept! It was darling.

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But before taking off, we had breakfast served to us by our French chef hosts. Their handmade croissants and egg & cheese souffl├ęs were amazing. Also apples from his own trees, fruit spread they canned themselves, and garnished with mint from his herb garden. It was hospitality like we've never experienced. All while overlooking a pond covered in lily pads and trying to make sense of a delightfully thick, soft spoken French accent. 

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Our little house had its own privacy fence, hot tub, and kitchenette. It was full of guestbooks from the past 15 years in which guests gushed about seeing stags in the yard and loving the experience of the French couple's bed and breakfast. 

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We were really eager to get out and explore the island, but we took time to explore their property first. 

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Typical Washington. Green, green, green!

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We were blessed also to have the sun out for most of our day on Orcas Island. 

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When Sander first planned this trip, and insisted on taking me back to the San Juan Islands for two nights, I moaned about, "What are we going to do on an island all that time? I want to see Seattle!" But he knew what he was doing, and I was about to find out. We got in the Mini {Cooper, not van} and hit the road to see what this horseshoe-shaped island is all about. 

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Boy, do I have some {mostly all green} photos to show you. 

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Au revoir!
Heather



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