a few weeks ago we made a somewhat impromptu escape over to whidbey island. it was such a relaxing, low key, and beautiful trip, not to mention it was a good experience for us to finally take our car on the ferry. (we’ve somehow managed to avoid that for the last 2 years.) we got super lucky on the way over and managed to drive right on, but noted reservations are advised in the future.
once we landed in coupeville we headed over to the inn at langley to check in. we selected this hotel in part because it was pet friendly, and i have to say of all the pet friendly hotels we’ve stayed in this was by far my favorite! it was centrally located downtown, they provided fire logs for the fireplace in our room, a bowl of snacks and some complimentary drinks, a really nice breakfast each morning, a dog bed and bowls, and most of all it was extremely quiet, which kept tavi much more calm than usual. this probably also had a lot to do with the time of year we chose to visit.
j and i discovered the genius of february vacations a few years ago - it’s during the school year, but before spring break so most families aren’t traveling yet. it’s close enough to christmas that a lot of people aren’t ready to take a trip, and it’s the off season for most locations so destinations tend to be more affordable and pretty empty. another awesome example of this was our trip to sonoma 3 years ago - we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. the downside of course is the weather can be chilly and/or rainy depending on where you’re headed, but so far we’ve been able to prep accordingly, bundle up, and get over it.
some fun places to eat and drink we discovered along the island:
whidbey island distillery
ott and murphy wine tasting room - edit*: we just finished our bottle of posession wine we purchased here, and i’m debating ordering more. it was so. good.
braeburn cafe - this is a super cute breakfast and lunch spot with a variety of cocktails that is closed on tuesdays, open until 3 on other days, and reopens at 5pm for dinner on thursdays, fridays and saturdays. it took us about 2.5 days to figure out when we could go, but once we got in it was perfect.
saltwater fish house
the two main things we wanted to accomplish on whidbey were visits to ebey and deception pass, both of which were the highlights of our trip. these were gorgeous parks with tons of natural beauty and both were relatively easy hikes. i was a little surprised at the fact that none of the reviews i saw mentioned how parts of the trail at ebey are pretty high up and there isn’t much space between the trail and the bluff’s edge. (or maybe i’m just the only former city slicker that didn’t occur to. //derp) i have a definite fear of heights, which usually tends to be more of an issue in buildings/on man-made structures. in nature it doesn’t tend to be an issue unless i’m right next to a precipice, but i totally need that buffer zone! watching j try to walk tavi ahead of me, who was jumping all over the place and off the trail was enough to give me slight heart failure in some spots. [i thought that was relevant information for anyone with pets, small children, or who happen to be unsteady on their feet. but in that case, why would they be hiking? nevermind.] long story short, the view was totally worth my discomfort, and we hiked over the bluffs on the way out, and then walked on the beach on the way back to get the full effect.
fort ebey state park
deception pass state park
the other place we stopped i’d be remiss not to mention is the bayview farm and garden store (+ flower house cafe). we discovered this on the way to our return ferry so we only had about 20 minutes, but i could have stayed here all afternoon. they have the sweetest home and garden items, and the flower house cafe served up my favorite latte of the trip.