Monday, November 10, 2014

Whidbey Weekend

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!


25 comments:

  1. I am green with envy, what a wonderful weekend! I must urge my children to grow up more quickly to be able to have similar weekends. I am also beyond exited about you travelling to Scotland! It would be just amazing if you and your friends stopped by for coffee (at the very least) and a spot of knitting. x

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  2. What a spectacular place, and with a lovely yarn shop as well. The photobook looks wonderful, what a great way to preserve your memories. CJ xx

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  3. You're coming back to the UK, hurrah! I vote for Scotland because if you're on the mainland we should get another chance to meet up!

    Love the book, what a fabulous memory keeper :)

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  4. That bridge is freaky high! Beautiful walks and views. How exciting to plan a trip!

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  5. What an great weekend, planning a trip is always exciting. Where ever you decide to visit have a great time, there are some beautiful walks both In Ireland and Scotland.

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  6. Such gorgeous photos, and that book looks like it is gorgeous too! How exciting planning your next trip, I can't wait to travel vicariously through you!

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  7. Your book is beautiful, what a wonderful memory. I love the woolly sheep, how cute is that. I don't have any suggestions for walks in the places you mentioned, but.... if you do go to Scotland, depending on where you are it isn't far to go to the Lake District, it is one of the most beautiful places I think and has lots and lots and lots of opportunities for walking - mainly up hills and mountains it has to be said, but around the lakes as well. Wherever you go I hope you have a great time. xx

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  8. What a gorgeous book for your memories.

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  9. What a magical place to stay lucky you! The South West Coastal path around Cornwall is absolutely beautiful. Not where you were thinking of going but worth a look :)

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  10. This looks like such a beautiful place, I'm so glad you were able to spend time there, and in the company of good friends! How exciting to be planning another big trip together. I've never been to Scotland (or any part of the UK or Europe), so I have no advice but I can't wait to see what you do when you go. The book they made looks wonderful, what a great memento of your trip.

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  11. The scenery is incredible. What a beautiful place to grow-up. Lucky cousin! The yarn shop sounds absolutely charming. I've never heard of yarn that is dyed to order. There is a shop in Portland, Yarnia, where you can create your own custom blend yarn. I went there on a vacation a couple years back. That's really my only experience with a custom yarn creation.

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  12. What a lovely weekend with the girls. Sounds wonderful to me and planning a trip away too. I'm very envious. I've never been to the Highlands in Scotland so can't comment but the Lake District is beautiful. The book looks great too, what a lovely surprise. P x

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  13. What a perfect location for a weekend away, Kristie, and a yarn shop to boot. :-) The Highlands of Scotland are truly spectacular. It's what keeps us coming back north year after year. If you go in September you'd better pack your midge repellent though...

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  14. What a wonderful weekend! That yarn lamb makes me think I (or anyone with the craft skills of a 5 year old) could make a lamb out of a pine cone. :)

    You w probably been to the site already, but walkthehighlands has good information on places to hike.

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  15. What a special weekend, among the beautiful scenery, and with a wonderful agenda: planning another trip to the UK. Lucky you! The woolly lamb is priceless - so cute and appealing. Hope this posts, as I have been having trouble with commenting on Blogger - grrrr

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  16. I've always wanted to do one of those English hikes where they take your luggage to the next B&B every day for you. Do you plan to do something like that, or are you camping out? I've driven onto Whidbey Island in order to take the ferry to Vancouver Island. Lovely place! Making a book of your vacation was a fantastic idea!

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  17. The book looks great, such a lovely memento.
    We do have a lot of rain in the UK but we also have many days when it doesn't rain. I have only seen a little part of Ireland - it rained but it was still beautiful. I'm more familiar with Scotland having spent many holidays there touring around and the scenery is amazing. Midge alert on the west coast though!
    Wherever you decide for your walking holiday, you will have an amazing time!

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  18. It is so wonderful to have amazing friends you can gather with and travel with, with such ease and love. You are blessed.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  19. Your trip to Whidby Island looks so appealing - must add it to my list of short trips to make from Vancouver. If you enjoy very friendly people, easy hill walks and lots of sandy beaches with hardly any tourists around, I recommend Northern Ireland. County Down and the Mourne Mountains are spectacular - also County Antrim. Here are some links to entice you to this best region in Ireland: http://www.walkni.com/ and http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/walking/ We visited this Spring and again in the Fall, enjoyed surprisingly good weather and loved it. From what you say about your friends, I think you'd really enjoy it too.

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  20. Wow, I think I will have to visit Whidbey Island sometime--looks so beautiful! Looking forward to hearing more about your planned trip!

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  21. I love Whidbey Island! I went there one weekend when I lived in Vancouver, so beautiful! Green with envy you are going to the UK, sounds wonderful and how lovely to have all of those memories in a photo book like that x

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  22. What a beautiful post! The scenery of Whidbey! The yarn shop! The friendships! We took our first hiking vacation last year to the HIghlands of Scotland and loved every second of it. We went with "The Wayfarers." I imagine you and your friends are planning your own itinerary? If not, we thought our tour group did an outstanding job and wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

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  23. There is a famous walk near to Kate Davies' new home. She often posts photographs of her walks on her blog.

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  24. Spectacular weekend! What a fabulous way to remember your holiday together. Have you looked at the coast to coast walk in England? There is even a company that will Sherpa your stuff along for you, so that you can just walk :)

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  25. That's a wonderful location to visit and start to plan your next holiday. The locations of Ireland and Scotland would be on my list of places to visit too. We visited the Ring of Kerry when the children were younger, it was beautiful and I don't remember any cliffs like you find in Wales. We also visited Scotland a few years our tour took in Inverness and Fort William and the spectacular scenery. Sarah x

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