A Day of Play

After many days spent moving into our new house and figuring out a routine, we needed a vacation. Living out of a suitcase and traveling from hotel to hotel over the course of the past month had taken a toll and we figured we’d earned a day of play. We had also been introduced to the Pacific Northwest mentality of not wasting a sunny day. So, when we were greeted with a beautiful blue sky and warm (for Washington State) spring temperatures, our minds were made up.

After a morning spent by the glow of the fireplace, discussing our day over a cup of coffee and watching the daily show of local wildlife parading by our window, we settled on a trip to Anacortes. We had to earn it though. First was a quick trip to the grocery store, and a car standoff with a jaywalking bunny. That was followed by a trip to our storage unit, to pick up a mattress box spring we hoped to donate to the local Habitat for Humanity store.

After a brief battle with the box spring, we successfully strapped it to the roof of the car, and made our way slowly, and noisily, to the donation site less than two miles away. We were quite a sight, with the plastic box spring packaging flapping in the wind and our car making each turn at a snail’s pace. After successfully donating the item, we were all set for our drive up north.

We made our way across Deception Pass bridge, taking in the rough water below and settled in for a delicious seafood lunch right on the water in Anacortes. As we ate, we watched as the birds dipped into the water to catch their next meal. Then we went exploring, determined to catch sight of the whales inhabiting the nearby waterways. Unfortunately, there were no sightings, but we did stumble upon a local gem. Nestled into Washington Park in Anacortes was Loop Road. On a one-way path that doubled as a hiking thoroughfare, we drove through the forest, acutely aware of the tight turns as we hugged the tip of Anacortes city limits. The elevation increased steadily and, as we rounded a turn along the 2-mile path, we came to a hilltop overlooking Burrows Island. The emerald water below was tinged with white caps as the weather began to change, but the brilliant landscape shone in the sunlight. We stood there for some time, marveling at our new home, breathing in the cool, fresh air.

Seeing storm clouds and rain off in the distance, we got in the car to finish the rest of the loop and make our way back to Whidbey Island. As we neared Deception Pass, plopping rain drops began to fall gradually on our windshield. By the time we were midway across the bridge, the gentle plops had transformed into sideways rain and, as we neared Oak Harbor, the rain became snow. The beautiful, sunny day had changed to winter-like conditions in a matter of minutes, prompting both awe and a quick evaluation of the clothes we’d decided to wear. Thankfully, the snowstorm (which we naively called it) lasted only briefly.

After a celebratory dinner to mark the six-months we’d spent planning our move to the island, we made our way back to our home in Langley, taking in the beautiful snow on the far-off Cascade Mountain range. After a dessert splurge with a locally baked, berry pie, we settled in for an evening by the fire, laughing over the many stages of our day of play, even more determined to continue exploring our new home.