San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands are located off the coast of Washington, just south of Vancouver Island (which, confusingly, is not where Vancouver is). There are over 400 islands and rocks that make up the San Juans (just learned that! thanks, Wikipedia!) and the main ones are Orcas, San Juan, Lopez, and Shaw. I also just learned that a group of islands is called an archipelago. Fancy. Another fun fact is that the San Juans are in the Olympic Rain Shadow, so they get a lot less rain than Seattle and most of Western Washington. Not to brag, but I actually already knew that.
Moving on! I picked up my mom in Seattle after a quick stop in Tacoma to have breakfast at Shakabrah, an old Puget Sound favorite. The magic potatoes are still as wonderful as they were five (!) years ago. We ate our way through the South Lake Union, Queen Anne, and Ballard neighborhoods before catching our ferry to Lopez Island.
Our first stop was Lopez Island. It's nickname is Slopez because of how, yup, slow everything is there. We biked all around the southern part of the island, ate luxurious breakfasts at our B&B, kayaked in the harbor (one of us lost our phone in the water....), did some hiking, and relaxed a lot. My mom really liked watching the Handmaid's Tale with me (ahh! that finale!!!) but she also said that she wasn't sure if I looked more tan than the last time she saw me, which was disappointing and hurt my feelings. Maybe I should wear less sunscreen!
After four nights on Lopez, we ferried over to Friday Harbor which is the main town on San Juan. It's a lot livelier than Lopez - more restaurants, shops, and people. They had two (!) bookstores - one with over 64,000 used books. Incredible.
It was a lovely week (ten days?) and came at just the right time in my roadtrip. I was ready to have a camping break and have social time. But the best thing about traveling with my mom is that I can say "let's not talk for an hour" and then we don't talk for an hour - so amazing. Best of both worlds! Love you, mom! Thanks for visiting me!