Days 3, 4 and 5 of our vacation were spent on San Juan Island. Traveling from Portland to Friday Harbor (the main harbor town on San Juan Island) was somewhat complicated. It required renting a car at the Portland airport (the only place in Portland where you can rent one way cars), driving to the Seattle airport to drop off the rental car, picking up the shuttle to Anacortes, Washington at the airport and catching the ferry from Anacortes to San Juan Island. Getting from point A to point B took the better part of the day. It was absolutely worth the effort, however, because it is easily one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Incidentally, there are much easier ways to get from Seattle to San Juan Island, but for logistical reasons we had to do things the complicated way.
Coincidentally, we happened to be on the same ferry from Anacortes to San Juan Island as Richmond, who had just returned from a weekend in Whistler. The ferry ride was beautiful and provided great views of Mt. Baker.
We arrived in Friday Harbor, checked into our hotel, and met up with Richmond for dinner at the local Royal Marine brewery, followed by coffee at one of the many great coffee shops, The Doctor's Office:
Me, at the Bird Rock Hotel:
Here is a picture of the bikes at the Bird Rock Hotel. The first night we arrived I was astounded to find the bikes unlocked. The second night bike #2 was noticeably absent and the bikes were locked up. Maybe everything is not always perfect in Friday Harbor.
Outside of the Doctor's Office:
The following morning Richmond picked us up for our sea kayaking expedition. This is precisely what he does all summer so I felt bad making him spend his day off working, but he didn't seem to mind. Sometimes I think he actually prefers paddling on water to walking on land. The sea kayaking adventure was great. I was only a little freaked out at one point when Christian and I got stuck in a nasty current/tide. Once Richmond threatened to tow us out we figured out how to break free. The highlight of the trip was watching the harbor seals sun themselves on rocks and swim close to the kayaks to check us out.
Richmond, getting everything ready for our morning in the sea:
After a much-needed lunch in Roche Harbor, the fancier harbor on the island (where people like Sean Combs dock their yachts) we were exhausted.
We managed to muster the energy for an evening outing to Lime Kiln Lighthouse where we watched an incredible sunset and drank some local wine. It was lovely.
Friday Harbor is the perfect mix of sleepy, sea-side town and bustling port city. There are tons of lovely restaurants and shops and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view (and it never gets old). I would have liked more time to explore the island and check out some of the other islands in the area. There is plenty to do in the San Juan Islands and I am already looking forward to a return trip. I can definitely understand why Richmond is always anxious to get out there at the start of the summer.