Wash / Van Trip [part 2]

Normally we spend a few days on Orcas Island, but for this trip there was so much else we wanted to see that we decided to keep our time here short. This means we had only one full day to do everything we had planned. 

For breakfast we ate at Cafe Olga. Finally. We had tried to go the last time we were on Orcas, but they had just had a fire a few months prior. 

After breakfast we headed to Moran State Park. We made the drive to Mount Constitution, the highest point in the San Juan Islands. The view on the top is fantastic and a must visit for us. 

We didn't have much time before whale watching, so we kept our trip short so we could drive to Deer Harbor in time. Of course we made a quick stop at Brown Bear Baking to pick up an orange morning bun for later. 

We arrived 30 minutes before our whale watching tour with Deer Harbor Charters and unfortunately found out we had accidentally scheduled it for the wrong day. Luckily two others didn't show, so we were able to go! 

This was our third time whale watching and the most successful. Our first time we saw a few orcas and even had one swim under the boat we were in. Our last time, we saw many marine animals, including minke whales, but no orcas. 

I took plenty of pictures of all the whales we saw, but also did put my camera down to enjoy the moments we had with the beautiful creatures. 

[I'm still trying to identify who we all saw from the J, K AND L pods, so I'm limiting my pictures for now and will do another post just about whales later.]

After our time with the orcas, we stopped at Island Hoppin' Brewery. It was a nice way to relax, as well as try some new beer. 

As dusk began to creep up on us, we made our way to Rosario Resort. We stayed at this resort a couple times in the past and it's my favorite place to be before sunset because of all the deer that make their way out around the grounds. 

My deer friends did not disappoint and I got to hang out with a few of them before heading back to our favorite spot to watch the sun set. 

Eric especially wanted to visit this particular spot since the last time we were on the island we got to watch a couple of silly otters sitting on boats. I honestly didn't think we get the same show as last time, but one was waiting on the pier for us...until I scared him off [by accident of course!]. 

We eventually headed back into Eastsound to have dinner at Mijitas, however, not before I took a picture of the yellow building I take every time we visit our favorite island. 

Wash / Van Trip [part 1]

It had been far too long since we traveled to Washington, so earlier this month we made our way once again to places we love as well as new places to explore. 

We arrived in Seattle and before heading to Anacortes to catch our ferry, we met up with an old friend to borrow a bike. He gave us a tip to check out Tweets Cafe on our way since we had a few hours to spare. 

Tweets was the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat in the little town of Edison. It had a great atmosphere and fantastic locally sourced food. After we ate we walked around the town [all three or so blocks of it!] before continuing on our way to Anacortes. 

The drive out of Edison was beautiful. Plus, it was so nice to have fresh air after a 4 hour stuffy flight. 

We arrived plenty early for our ferry to Orcas Island and were greeted by deer. We parked the car and took a walk on the trails that lead to the beach. We reminisced how last time we were here we were calling people to announce our engagement. 

Taking the ferry at 7:00 PM is equally awesome as it is terrible. Leaving that late means you get to the island when it's dark and there's not much to do [except go to the only place serving food and get stuck sitting next to people singing karaoke]. But on the other hand, watching the sunset from the ferry is one of the best things ever.

We walked in circles around the ferry for most of the trip taking in all the views. As we did so we wondered at what point this ferry ride would ever become dull. Do locals just sit in their cars bored by the view? I hope not.

sam + drew get married, part 1

Over the next few posts I have quite a few pictures to share from my cousin Samantha's wedding. Sam and her fiancé Drew got engaged in northern Wisconsin so that is where they decided to get married, among close family and friends. 

I was thrilled to be asked to help with her invites as well as photograph their wedding! Below are the Save the Date postcards the couple sent out. 

Unfortunately because of work obligations my husband was not able to attend. Instead, I spent 5 days being the third wheel with my cousin Katie and her husband Andy. We drove up the Thursday before the wedding to spend our first night at Katie's family's cabin in St. Germain, WI. Growing up, my family would join Katie's and we'd spend some time at the cabin almost every summer. It had been quite a few years since I had been there, so it was nice to be back.

We arrived and immediately saw a deer! Best welcome ever.  

Before setting off for our first big adventure, we took our luggage inside and showed Andy around as he had never been to the cabin before. 

What was this big adventure, you are wondering? Sand collecting. 

Collecting sand sounds easy, correct? Yes. But not when there is only wet sand and you need it to be dried within a day. Because the couple had been engaged in St. Germain, they wanted sand from the local lake to use in the ceremony [to be poured together with another sand, instead of a unity candle]. 

As we went to collect the sand, we realized there was no dry sand to be found. Being the good sister Katie is, she collected said wet sand. We then headed back to the cabin where Katie and Andy laid it out on paper bags in hopes it would dry. 

This may have seemed like a good idea if it was around noon on a very hot day, however, it was not. Since the sun would be setting within an hour or two we thought there'd be no chance of the sand drying in time. 

Our next plan was to go find dry sand, even if it wasn't from the specific beach we were told to gather it from. So, off to another lake we went to get dry sand. 

Did I mention that Katie is a good sister? Of course, and that's why even though we now had the dry sand that we could have EASILY said was from the correct beach, Katie couldn't do it. 

We went to get supper and discussed our next move. Upon arriving back at the cabin, Andy tried to use a hair dryer to dry the sand. As you can probably guess, this was a mess.

We then decided we would bake it. I asked the Twitter world for help and no one out there had suggestions for me. [Thanks for not being there for me Twitter!]

Finally Katie just set the oven to 300 degrees and what would you know? DRY SAND! It took a few batches and the cabin ended up smelling a little bit like fish, but otherwise, SUCCESS! 

I really should think about putting that on my resume. Assisted in drying wet sand in a time crunch.