Orcas Island Family Getaway

Let's rewind for a minute, shall we? It may seem like a long time ago now, but really December was just last month. And I have to tell you about Orcas Island. I just HAVE to because it was too beautiful and too fun not to tell you. 

My parents and sister all flew into Seattle to spend my mom's birthday weekend here in the Pacific Northwest. Then we all went together up to Orcas Island, which is one of the San Juan Islands. 

Remember when Josh and I went to San Juan Island (oh wow, that post was pre-blog refresh)? Well, yet again the San Juan's swept us off our feet. We had such a great time, and we lucked out with beautiful, sunny weather...in December...yea, lucky. 

We started out the trip by jamming all five of us into my car. It was a wee bit tight but we made it work. Sometimes it's lucky to be the driver.

Then, like all good Washington trips, our trip started and ended with a ferry ride. Ferry rides are awesome. They make me feel like little kid again - running to the front to catch a mountain sighting or just standing in the front with the wind in your hair. Or, to just chilling inside on your phone - cough cough (ha! caught ya mom & dad).

We stayed the night at Outlook Inn, which was an adorable hotel. With it being the low season, the prices were great. I'd definitely recommend it. It was decked out for the holidays, too. Love it. 

We arrived late in the day, so it was practically dark already. Being more north, it tends to get dark around 4pm in the dead of winter. UGH! Honestly, it's the worst thing about winter. But on the island, it was sort of cool since it was so dark the sky was super clear and the stars sparkled. It was weird to have to use the brights on my car; I do that so rarely so when I do, I get sort of excited. 

Dinner was at Sound Bite, or at least that's the name during the winter. Normally, it's Westsound Cafe. Actually, a fair warning, if you go in the low season, a lot of restaurants close. I tried two other restaurants before getting reservations at Westsound. I was nervous about everyone liking it, but it was really delicious. 

Josh and I capped the night with a drink at The Barnacle. It's a great bar...go if you ever visit Oracas Island. Do it. Do it. 

When we woke up in the morning, we looked out the window to see the fog resting over the water; it was magical. Then the sun started to break through, and the water shone with blues, pinks, and greens. I have to say, it's not a bad way to wake up.

One more photo of the morning fog for good measure.

Breakfast was equally as good as the view at Brown Bear Baking. Oh man, the orange sugar bun was killer. So So good. I'm drooling.

With full bellies, we headed out to Moran State Park and Mount Constitution, which boasts the highest point on the San Juan Islands. Admittedly, the views were awesome.

In good ole John O'Neill style, we stopped at many viewpoints. If you know my dad, and have traveled with us, you know what I'm talking about. I drove, so I had to take on the Captain duties. 

While on the mountain, I convinced a random guy to take a family photo. The sun was a bit harsh (oh boo hoo, the sun was shining), but you can still see how beautiful my family is...we're like models really.

Sure, okay, I'll show one of just the view. It was hard to get the photo to match what we saw. The fog was like blankets in the valleys. 

We went a little photo crazy at this viewpoint. What did I tell you? A good looking family. 

After Mount Constitution, we spent some time at the shops in Eastsound. It's a quaint town with fun shops; my favorite was Darvill's bookstore. Then, we caught a few tastes of wine a the Orcas Island Winery. And that was about it. We had to catch the ferry back to the mainland.

The ferry ride back caught some great views of Mount Baker. Well, that is what I believe it was...definitely not Mount Rainer, though, I know that one.  

As we rode the ferry, the sun started to set. Sooo pretty. Boats and sun and water.

Ah, I almost forgot, on the way to Orcas Island, we spent a few hours in Anacortes. It wasn't really planned, but we had to kill a few hours until the next ferry. My sister found entertainment in taking photos with all the sasquashes. Oh, there are more than just these three my friends. We roamed some antique stores and grabbed lunch at Gere-a-Delis

So there you have it. A good weekend getaway to Orcas Island with the family. I can't wait to go back!