Always Walk To The End Of The Dock

Winter Romance, 48hrs on Orcas Island.

48hrs, just us.  A quick escape to the islands.  A cozy island inn, amazing food, inspiring local businesses, lots of snuggle time, and walking all the docks.  Time to relax, together.  Taking it all in. 

I have these moments when this little voice inside me whispers "oh my gosh do that!"...and so often it's ignored.  The hustle and bustle of daily grind brushes aside the silly adventures, acts of kindness, moments to grab my husbands hand.  I'm grateful for vacations to get us out of the noise of daily routine to hear these quiet requests.  What seems so trivial, like walking to the end of the longest dock I've ever seen, just to walk to the end of the longest dock I've ever seen, it just had to happen, according to that quiet voice inside me.  Luckily Nick knows this little voice inside me that's not so often great at being heard, but is a sacred piece of my heart.

So we stopped, and we walked it.  It was incredibly long, and peaceful.  We looked back and dreamed of a life when we could buy the local general store and our kids could adventure, and we would live on an island?  Perhaps.  Hmmmm seems like we've dreamt a similar dream before.  But fun just to have the conversation and walk.  Just because.

There is something about no agenda that settles our souls.  A quick escape to the islands, especially during the off-season, gives us the space to dream and be in each other's presence.  That space between us that ebbs and flows, and is so often filled with the responsibilities of our day-to-day.  It's so paramount to take the time to cultivate this space.  When we don't have to have an agenda, this space decreases in distance but increases in intensity.  I think after 17 years that is the definition of romance for us.  Cultivating that space.

So if you have 48hours to adventure, here's what to do....

Reserve a ferry to Orcas Island.  There are rental cars available on the island, or you will want to drive on the ferry.

Book a room at Kingfish Inn.  This cozy historic Inn is located in the quiet West Sound.  There are just four suites and an amazing restaurant space below.  You'll find board games and books.  I recommend booking a room with the covered deck facing the bay.  It was perfect for cozying up in a blanket with champagne as we watched the rain fall.  This historic Inn recently got a refresh and just reopened this month!  Perfect timing.   

Make a reservation at HogStone.  Order the pizza, make sure it includes salt-cured egg yolk.  Our combo also had kale and a smoked cheese.  It was phenomenal.  Also order the Mangalista, their own island grown pork.  Oh my gosh I'm torturing myself as I type this because it's all I want now.  The perfectly chewy, slightly charred crust was legendary in my book.  One of the best combinations of memorable and laid-back meals I have ever had.  During the summer months Hogstone relocates outside and it's sister restaurant Aelder reopens inside.  

Visit Girl Meets Dirt.  This local island preserve maker is definitely worth visiting.  Besides her own selection of cutting preserves, jams, and shrub and bitters - all made from island foraged fruit, she has a wonderfully curated selection of other goods she's discovered along the way.  Grab some cutting preserves, to go with the cheese you will later collect, for that picnic back at the Kingfish Inn you will have.

Visit Orcas Island Distillery.  This will require an email to make an appt.  And then a drive up a windy forest road.  It's worth it if you like Whiskey, and Gin, and conversation.

Stop at Roses Bakery Shop for everything you need for a charcuterie picnic of my dreams....cheese, crackers, olives, chocolate, bubbly.  Baked bread and local wares make this tiny spot rival my favorite neighborhood specialty store in the city.

Walk the docks.  Deer Harbor and Olga in particular are quaint, lovely, majestic and worth a walk.  Olga is where the longest dock was.  Also Sip the coffee.  Chase the Sunset.  Hike Turtleback Mountain - ok that did not happen but I highly recommend if it's your thing.  Snuggle by the fire.  Listen to the rainfall, if you're lucky enough to have rain of course, thanks to the "rain shadow" location of the San Juan Islands they average 247 days of sunshine.  That's twice as many as Seattle if you're keeping track.

Hold Hands & Cultivate That Space.  Take The Time.

Orcas Island during the off season, to reflect and reconnect.  It's a very favorite for us.

thank you for reading.



This post was done in partnership with San Juan Island Visitors Bureau.

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