Sunday, October 27, 2013

Friday Harbor! Bucket List #9 & #53 | Lime Kiln Point + San Juan Islands

I know I sometimes complain about Landon's travels for school...the truth is, I'm totally jealous that he globe trots without me. Luckily, some of the time I am invited along, and those times pretty much make up for the other times when he leaves me home.

Last weekend, we were invited to a retreat for Landon's lab crew at the university. "Retreat" in this case, was code for "all expense paid weekend at Friday Harbor with two hours of work thrown in."
The San Juan Islands are famous around here for being gorgeous - and for whale watching. So obviously we've had them on our bucket list from the beginning. We leaped at the chance to explore, especially with our accommodations and meals taken care of! We're on a student budget, what can I say?

We elected to go Friday night so we'd have a little more time on the island. Walt is really starting to love riding the ferry! He calls it the "big boat" and loves that he can run around and look out the windows. I'm with him there - I'm starting to realize that air travel is the least comfortable and most expensive way to get around. Trains and boats are pretty much awesome.
We treated ourselves to a nice seafood dinner right on the shore, picked up a few groceries and headed off to our cozy cabin in the woods.
I wish I had more pictures of the facility, but I guess I was just enjoying myself too much! UW owns a pretty big patch of beach-front property on San Juan Island, with condos, lab space, offices, an indoor tide pool, a private pier with rowboats and kayaks, a full-service dining hall, game room, outdoor playground, and lecture hall. There is probably even more there that I just didn't have time to notice...they even have wi-fi in the cabins!
We spent Saturday morning just exploring and wound up at Lime Kiln Point, another item on our bucket list. This is a famous whale-watching beach where you can often see orcas. Sadly for us, October is not the prime season to find them, and it was too cold to stay all day. :) We'll definitely be back and hope for a peek! This is the part of the trip where for some crazy reason, Walt decided to be a grump. He wasn't seeing the awesomeness of our trip, and just wanted to hunker down somewhere and play with the cell phone. It was kinda cold, I'll give him that. Mostly, it was a good reminder for me that you can't control your kids' attitude or force them to have fun. You can only offer experiences and hope they soak up something, and have good memories when they look back someday. I imagine that my childhood was somewhat less idealist that I recall. My mom probably has many stories just like this one - but I don't remember it that way at all.
Sometimes it's good to capture these kinds of memories, too :)

We also found a random alpaca farm on the island. It was a little taste of Peru in almost Canada. Good times. :)
It was a short weekend, and we only caught a glimpse of what the San Juans have to offer. We'll definitely have to plan another trip in the spring. But we were grateful for the opportunity to spend some time together and see some more of Washington. Walt was just glad they had chocolate milk in the cafeteria.

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