As a thank you to Mauri on his retirement, the NFC elders and pastoral team gifted him with two nights at The Salish Seaside Escapes on Orcas Island, one of the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound. It took him a while to decide who to invite to share it with him, then finally settled on me!
First we had to get there. It isn’t a terribly long drive up there, but we needed to time our arrival around the ferry schedule. There are no bridges to and between the islands, which means to get there you either fly or swim or boat it. We chose the latter.
So we drove up to LaConner for the night, but arrived around 3 to enjoy the richness of the small town. That’s our hotel on the other side of the street—Hotel Planter.
We schlepped our stuff up a long flight of stairs because who needs an elevator? That factored into the charm.
We were assigned a room at the end of the hall—#13 of 13 rooms.
It overlooked the patio.
Rather than treat you to the traditional view-from-our-window shot, I thought I’d treat you to my view from the toilet. Ha! These rooms are built for very tall people.
On our walk through town to our chosen restaurant we had to stop and admire this doggie in the window. You’re singing the song, aren’t you? Me too.
I need to remember to go to Yelp and write a review on this restaurant. High marks!
How often do we get to eat authentic Italian food?
The next morning we were on our way in. . .rain! We’d expect nothing less.
Plenty dry inside, a pleasant and peaceful ride through the sound.
Off the ferry and now for a drive up to Eastsound.
The Salish is on the topmost edge of the island.
The Salish Seaside Escapes is owned and run by the Leonard Sweet family. Leonard Sweet is a prolific writer; you might have heard of him. You’ll see Leonard there greeting Mauri as he checked in.
We were cheerfully directed to Heron Cove—a remarkable cottage designed and built by California architect James Hubbell—and given a tour.
My pictures can’t begin to do it justice.
Up the spiral staircase.
The upstairs bedroom suite.
Yes, I took a picture from the toilet but decided not to include it. I wouldn’t want that to become my MO.
Oh, OK. You talked me into it. But you also get the traditional . . .
. . . view from the window.
Right behind our hot tub* is this enchanted garden intended for all the guests to enjoy. I think ours was the only of the six cottages occupied. (*Yes, we actually took our suits and enjoyed some time in the hot tub. No chance for photos of that!)
Our breathtaking surroundings.
We settled into our comfortable and magical space.
A rare treat (no bedroom TV at home).
If not warm, at least it was cozy and artistic.
Even did some cooking.
We took a drive all the way to the top of Mt. Constitution, elevation 2,409 feet, but were underwhelmed by the view. No surprise, since we drove half way up through the clouds.
Thanks to the Internet, I got to see what we missed.
And then it was time to head home.
These fuzzy friends waited with us for the ferry.
Proof that I was there too.
Safe arrival in port.
Before heading down the road, we enjoyed some people watching at a nearby Starbucks while we waited for our friends Wally and Ridgely to drive down from Bellingham to eat lunch with us.
Such a lovely bonus to get to see these dear friends, even if the time was short.
And a delightful end to our Orcas Island getaway, thanks to the good folks at Newberg Friends Church. For me, it was thanks for Mauri for choosing to invite me to go with him.