Friday morning I drove down to Whidbey Island to meet my cousin Kath and friend Melissa for a weekend getaway. Melissa grew up on Whidbey, and her parents had very kindly offered us the use of their home.
Here we are on the first day, hiking near the bridge that connects the island to the mainland. This bridge was built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), a relief program set up to provide employment to young men during the Great Depression. Melissa's grandfather was one of those young men who took part in its construction.
The view along the path was spectacular. The dark things in the water are kelp beds.
Saturday morning we headed to Coupeville, a picturesque town that has several great features. The first is it has lots of cute shops filled with everything from Japanese antiques to Dutch treats. The second feature, and the main reason we were there, is it has a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi (Melissa's parents have a dial-up Internet connection, and we needed something faster).
Normally we could have survived without Internet for a weekend, but the thing was, one of the reasons for our getaway was to plan our trip for next September. We spent an hour and a half at the coffee shop, Googling and checking out ratings for various walking tours. The first hour we were thinking Ireland. We were a bit concerned about the rain, but when we read they normally don't get any more than Seattle we figured we could live with that. But another problem emerged. After last year's experience on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path we are sort of off the idea of doing a hike that involves cliffs. We can handle a few cliffs no problem, but five days straight seems a bit much. A lot of the walks in Ireland seem to involve the coast. And cliffs.
So, after spending all that time talking about Ireland we decided to check out Scotland. This made me happy. I could go to Scotland every year and never get tired of it! We scrolled through lists of walks and looked at picture galleries and comments from people who had completed the various walks. The one that looked the most intriguing was the Great Glen Way. We haven't made a final decision, and are open to ideas. If you have suggestions for walks in Ireland, Northern Ireland, or Scotland I would love to hear them!
One of the other nice bits about Coupeville is the yarn shop, Whidbey Island Yarns. It's a lovely little yarn shop, and the owner offers something I've not seen anywhere else. You can choose the colour of yarn you would like and she will dye it for you. If you are interested you can get more details by clicking the link.
Then we did another hike. This path goes along the top of some bluffs which overlook the water, then winds down to the beach and back to the starting point. It brought back lots of good memories from our walk in Wales last year.
We finished just as the sun was setting.
There was another reason we had gathered together for the weekend. Actually, it was the main reason we had gotten together. Kath and Melissa had been working for months making a book of our trip to the Cotswolds and Wales, and it was finally finished. Saturday night was the great unveiling, and I could tell they were a little nervous when they pulled the books out of the box. It was going to be the first time they had looked at the completed books, so they had no idea if they had turned out. They needn't have worried. They were works of art! Here's the cover, which has the upside down acorn that was the symbol of the trail we walked on in Wales.
Here's a glimpse of the inside.
So many beautiful pictures, and so many wonderful memories. Thanks Kath and Melissa for all the work you put into the book. It's perfect!