After one night in Seattle we set out early to catch the ferry that would take us to Orcas Island. If we had any plans for sight seeing along the way, they were gone given the dense fog that covered the whole area. We arrived at the terminal early to make sure we could catch the ferry at the right time (our whale watching tour left only 45 minutes after the ferry was scheduled to arrive) so we had some time to wander around.
We took a lot of pictures of the dock so we could show the kids, but it must be one of those you-had-to-be-there types of things because they just weren't interested at all.
In our wandering, Sean discovered blackberry bushes (we soon discovered that there are blackberry bushes all over the area) full of, you guessed it, blackberries.
He ate some. I'm sure it's my city-kid childhood that leads me to believe that if it doesn't come from the grocery store it's not edible, but I just couldn't partake in the wild blackberries. Because, you know, what if they weren't...
After what seemed like hours waiting at the ferry terminal, we finally drove on and claimed our spot on the car deck. I say that as if we had a choice in where we parked. We didn't. You pretty much just do what the men in orange (yellow?) vests tell you to do.
Then it was time to head upstairs to check out the views. You can see how foggy it was still when we left.
Further away from land, the fog lifted and we were able to see some beautiful scenery. Lots and lots of little islands.
As we floated along, you could actually see where the fog ended.
Though I should be able to tell you what mountain this is, sadly I can't. I don't think it's Rainier, though.
Due to the fog-related ferry delay, we rushed to the west side of the island to catch our whale watching tour and zipped past our bed and breakfast along the way. I'm going to wait to post pictures of whale watching and move along with the rest of our Orcas Island experience.
We stayed at the Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast, which was a wonderful first-time-B&B experience. The owners were super friendly and very flexible. The rooms were nice, breakfast was delicious and the host and hostess were very knowledgeable about the island.
We spent the majority of our time just exploring the island. There was a dock across the road from our B&B so we spent one morning just looking around. It became clear to me from whom our children get their endless curiosity.
We found these things on rocky beach:
And this in the water:
He was not in the water or on the beach. He was on the dock.
The blackberry bushes lined the main road near our B&B (remember how I said there was an abundance?).
I think it's a requirement when you're in the Pacific Northwest to spend at least one day hiking and enjoying God's creation. We spent one morning in Moran State Park making our way up to Mt Constitution. We were rewarded with breathtaking views of the multitude of islands scattered across the area.
Sean was practicing the art of "fitting in" on Orcas Island. Okay, not really. I made him hug this tree because I thought it would be funny, but he ended up with super sticky sap all over his hands which was not funny all...to him.
That afternoon and evening we explored one of the towns on the island
and returned to a great Mexican restaurant where we'd had dessert the night before.
Our final morning was an early one that consisted of a quick (but delicious) breakfast, packing and a short drive to the port. As Orcas Island is a popular spot for weddings and there were at least two the night before, we were sure the ferry back to the mainland would be full. We were right. Two (yes, two!) hours of waiting allowed plenty of time to explore the shoreline and shop for the same souvenirs in all the little shops.
When our ferry finally arrived, we were one of the lucky ones to secure a spot for the trip back.
The rest of our trip was filled with travel time: what seemed like a very long drive back to Seattle, a short shuttle ride to dinner that evening (we stayed by the airport so returned the car early), a long-ish walk back to our hotel and finally our flight home to reunite with our three most precious blessings.