Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Plan A Weekend on Whidbey

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For the readers who are admirers of the Puget Sound but not residents, it may surprise you to know that the Olympic Peninsula is host to the world's northern most rain forest.

Huge weather systems dump rain upon the Olympic Peninsula year-round. Thanks to the mountains and a natural occurrence called orographic lift, the Puget Sound is saved from most of the down pour. When the clouds have lost enough water-weight to ascend over the Olympic Mountain Range they may dwell for some time in the Seattle area (you can thank the Cascade Mountain Range for that).

As a result of this weather pattern residents suffer from an average of 200 overcast days a year. The months of January, February, March, and some of April are usually the darkest days of an everlasting winter. How do we cope? Weekend vacations, novels, and coffee.... lots and lots of coffee.

I am not immune to the dark days in Western Washington. My emotional well-being decays within two weeks of glum cloud cover. So, with a coffee in hand, I'm going to make a game out of planning a weekend on Whidbey. Not because I have the time or the money (on the contrary) but because mere thoughts of sunlight on water make for a happier state of mind.

I started my game by Google searching "vacation rentals" and after toying with each site's criteria-search engines I have decided that I prefer Perfect Places as a vacation rental source. I focused my search on Island County (the islands of Puget Sound). I've decided that, for a weekend (two night) vacation, Whidbey Island is easiest island to reach and offers a combination of variety, quantity, and affordability concerning rentals.

My favorite rental is Glendale Beach Cabin based on these facts:

Its pet friendly
Its on the water
Its semi-affordable ($125 nightly)
I found a list of very positive guest comments.
Homeowner took a plethora of photos so I know exactly what to expect.

I'd spend my first afternoon/evening on Whidbey Island clamming at Double Bluff State Park which, as you know, is already one of my favorite places. Dog-lovers remember that Double Bluff is an off-leash dog beach. If I managed to harvest some clams I'd cook them in butter and home grown rosemary in a boat made of foil (as instructed by the creepy guy from the Safeway seafood department), and make a cranberry salad from a recipe I copied off of All Recipes. Its called Jamie's Cranberry Spinach Salad and even Timothy enjoyed the home-made dressing.

Dog-lovers with no dogs: don't you wish they had rent-a-dog companies? "Excuse me, can I borrow your canine for the afternoon? I want to play frisbee with it, let it ride shotgun in my truck, and then watch it dig up clams on the beach." Wouldn't that be nice... "Welcome to" Haha...

Have you ever tried Sea Kayaking? Does a two hour guided tour by the Whidbey Island Kayaking Company for $49.00 per adult sound appetizing? The company provides all necessary gear. To increase your chances of a whale siting, I think its best to plan this vacation in March and April. The Whidbey Island Kayaking Company will tour the Saratoga passage, in spring, where the Grey Whale is known to feed. I really appreciate this informative video WIKC embedded on their website:

Ever since Seattle Times published an article entitled "Whidbey Island's Got Grape Expectations" with a section dedicated to good eating, I've wanted to visit Prima Bistro in the picturesque city of Langley. I just love how highly Prima Bistro thinks of food. Their menu features a quote by J. R. R. Tolkien, "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

With what time I'd have left I'd find a new fantasy book series, curl up on the Glendale Beach House's inviting window sill and zone out..... I might come up for air if enticed by coffee with cream or a wildlife sighting. I admit, I'm rather intrigued by the idea of exploring the wooded canyon of Glendale Creek (although I think I read somewhere that the creek flooded this year). I might grow tired of the window sill and move my reading pile to the back yard fire pit. By the way, don't forget to add me as a friend on GoodReads - I'm always looking for good book-suggestions!

That's my idea of a weekend on Whidbey Island. What's yours?
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