San Juan Islands

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.

 Hello from  Seattle ! This was taken at Kerry Park, in the Queen Anne neighborhood. One devastating thing that I  just  learned is that Meredith's house on Grey's Anatomy is located on this street. We could have taken a picture in front of it! That would have been.... (mc)dreamy. 

Hello from Seattle! This was taken at Kerry Park, in the Queen Anne neighborhood. One devastating thing that I just learned is that Meredith's house on Grey's Anatomy is located on this street. We could have taken a picture in front of it! That would have been.... (mc)dreamy. 

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!

  Ursa Minor:  the best meal we had on the island was on our first night at Ursa Minor. everything was locally-sourced and delicious and i loved the decor the most. 

Ursa Minor: the best meal we had on the island was on our first night at Ursa Minor. everything was locally-sourced and delicious and i loved the decor the most. 

 From one of our bike rides! Lopez is the flattest island in the San Juans, so it's perfect for bike riding. They even have an annual bike riding tournament, with a very original name of  Tour de Lopez.

From one of our bike rides! Lopez is the flattest island in the San Juans, so it's perfect for bike riding. They even have an annual bike riding tournament, with a very original name of Tour de Lopez.

 Baby goats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Baby goats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

 Baby bunnies!!!!!!!!!! The entire island is "infested" with bunnies. They consider it an infestation, I consider it a blessing. 

Baby bunnies!!!!!!!!!! The entire island is "infested" with bunnies. They consider it an infestation, I consider it a blessing. 

 This is pretty much what the entire island looked like. Incredibly picturesque and charming. 

This is pretty much what the entire island looked like. Incredibly picturesque and charming. 

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. 

 From 1859 to 1872, San Juan Island was jointly occupied by the British and Americans. English Camp (pictured here) was on one side of the island and American Camp was on the other. English Camp was considered a lot more beautiful than the American Camp, because they got funding from nearby Victoria. The site is now taken care of by the National Park Service and is a really beautiful place to go hiking and walk around. 

From 1859 to 1872, San Juan Island was jointly occupied by the British and Americans. English Camp (pictured here) was on one side of the island and American Camp was on the other. English Camp was considered a lot more beautiful than the American Camp, because they got funding from nearby Victoria. The site is now taken care of by the National Park Service and is a really beautiful place to go hiking and walk around. 

 Another random highlight was visiting the  San Juan Museum of Art . This piece is made from salvaged wood from Hurricane Sandy.

Another random highlight was visiting the San Juan Museum of Art. This piece is made from salvaged wood from Hurricane Sandy.

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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! 

The Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula