August…was one busy month.We kicked off the month by crossing off a major bucket list item – going on a hot air balloon ride! Continue reading
It is pretty ridiculous that I have decided to finally tell this story almost a year after it happened…I guess I got caught up in everything pretty quick and the idea of posting the story just got away from me. Plus, I think for awhile I wanted this blog to be strictly recipes + travel + dining out, but I find myself more and more wanting to document life in general…Since this time has already gone by so quickly I need to stop and document a few things because it’s all happening too fast.
Last June my friend Annica and I decided to visit Jordan on San Juan Island. It was a very exciting weekend, because Annica had recently moved back home from Buenos Aires and I was so happy to have her back in this hemisphere. I couldn’t wait to bring her to the island for a fun weekend.
It started out as your run-of-the-mill Friday Harbor getaway. We went to the bars on Friday night, woke up the next morning and went to the farmers market for a casual breakfast, bought some stuff to BBQ on the beach, and were just going to explore. You can’t really go wrong with this on San Juan Island. The weather was beautiful, and it didn’t hurt we had this tiny new pup named Otto tearing around with us.
We BBQ’ed on the beach and things didn’t seem too weird. I was pretty much just loving life. We drove to the lighthouse to show Annica the views and take a few pictures, then on the way back Jordan pulls over out of nowhere without saying anything. I’m thinking, “Ok, I guess we are just pulling over to take some pictures…?” So I get out and immediately start taking some photos of flowers, you know, to Instagram. Annica says, “Hey Lauren, look at that guy down there on the beach…” I look down, and not only is there some random dude on the beach, but written in driftwood is “Marry Me Lauren.”
Good thing nobody was taking video, because I just started screaming like a total weirdo, “OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD.” I turn around and there he is on one knee, giving some sweet speech about our relationship and wanting to spend the rest of his life with me. I really wish I could remember what he said better, but I think I may have blacked out for a few seconds out of shock…Instead of saying yes I blurted “Absofuckinglutely” (you know, keeping it classy) and we were engaged.
The funniest thing is even months later I can explain to you detail-by-detail the rest of that weekend…As the story unfolded there were some funny details, like how Annica nonchalantly suggested I paint my nails on the ferry, how she distracted me with pictures on her iPhone as we DROVE BY the driftwood…they wouldn’t want me noticing it before the proposal, which is hilarious since I was so oblivious even after getting out of the car. I was so happy she was there, since she was the person who introduced me to Jordan. I was able to ask her on the spot if she would be my Maid of Honor.
Leading up to the proposal, Jordan had asked a bunch of the guys from the jobsite to help him assemble the driftwood. He paid them in beer, naturally. What I couldn’t believe was HOW BIG the pieces of driftwood were up close! We went to look at them the next day, and the message stayed in tact for several weeks. Then a month or two later we took my mom out and brought some pieces of the driftwood home to keep forever.
I could go on and on with more details, I can’t believe it was last June. It truly warms my heart to actually be writing about this and just saying screw it and putting it in the public blogosphere domain. I’m getting a little teared up here, and it only confirms the fact that I want to document more of my engagement, wedding, and rest of my life with the best friend I’ve ever had.
This is a long overdue post. Let’s just say I had a wonderful Friday the 13th a few weeks ago…Beautiful weather, an awesome surprise at work, and having a blast with people I love. I left work early and went to Friday Harbor (big surprise!) where I continued to have a great weekend…
To start off my wonderful evening, Jordan and I went to The Place for dinner. It’s a place (ha) we’ve saved for a special occasion, and it was worth the wait! Wonderful views, wonderful food, perfect atmosphere.
Did I mention flowers and wine were already awaiting me when we sat down to the great view? Sigh, at this very second I wish I could go back to this night right now.
When I think back on it, this was a perfect meal. Not too heavy, fresh, local, light…and ended with a perfect surprise dessert (by then it was too dark for a picture, but if you must know if was lava cake with a salted caramel sauce, aka heaven).
I seriously want to cry, writing this almost a month later. It was just so.good.
The special that evening was halibut prepared two ways. One Thai style, one Italian style. I went with the Thai and Jordan went with the Italian. Both were so good – one of those things where you take a bite of one and say, “I think this one is better.” Then you take a bite of the other one and say, “No I think this one is better!” It was a total tie.
Seriously. Such a great night. Several friends caught a later ferry and met up with us that night. We hit two (out of about 4 or 5) downtown Friday Harbor bars. Haley’s and China Pearl. I don’t really have any photos to share of that…unless you want to see lots of karaoke and shots of Fireball.
The next day we did the usual Island routine – driving around and exploring on a beautiful day. One great place to stop at is the Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm. Most people discover it by mistake when they drive by a field with tons of cute little Alpacas just hanging out in the grass. You can drive down, park, and see them up close. Plus there is a Country Store with goods made from Alpaca Fur…and then there is an interesting gun store next door which is totally weird. But don’t you want to go after seeing how cute the guy is below?
Dinner @ The Place
Exploring the island and stopping @ Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm
The San Juan Islands are a major tourist destination for many who are local to the greater Seattle area or Canada. There are several islands – Lopez, Shaw, Orcas, and Friday Harbor, which is the largest town on the biggest island, San Juan. My first visit was during my freshman year at UW for a geology field trip, and all I could really remember was spotting an eagle from the giant school vans we were riding around in.
For whatever reason, I never paid much attention to the islands after the geology trip, and I even forgot that I had been up there. As luck would have it, fate stepped in last June and I realized I would be getting to know the town of Friday Harbor and San Juan Island very, very well.
Out of the blue Jordan got a job in Friday Harbor that would span about 18 months. Suddenly I was stressing over ferry schedules and wondering if my car would make it the 160 mile round-trip every other weekend. It hasn’t been easy, I’ve missed a few ferries and gotten a new car since all of this started about 9 months ago. One thing is for sure, I have become an island expert with my numerous visits (true locals would probably roll their eyes at me saying that). There is a lot of fun stuff to do on the island, all of which I will probably share over numerous posts until Jordan completes the job this December.
To start things off, the basics…
Always research the ferry schedule. It’s imperative to starting your weekend off right and stress-free. If you are walking on, you can always arrive about 20 minutes early and be good to go. Driving on is another story. Either get to the Anacortes ferry dock several hours before your anticipated ferry or expect to be bumped back due to high volumes in the summer. It’s the main complaint you hear from everyone who tries to travel to any of the islands.
Once you make it to Friday Harbor, the rest is up to you. There is the choice to do nothing or do everything. I have done both. Here is one recent weekend…
Eat at Cask and Schooner. I avoided this place for months because it looked “too touristy” and is one of the first places you see when you get off the ferry. I finally went, and boy, have I been missing out! Great place for brunch, lunch, or dinner. I am so sad I do not have pictures of the steamed clams or crab risotto specials Jordan and I had when we first went. But we went back for brunch on another occasion…
Get ready, I will be back with more posts! By the end of the year, I will show you everything San Juan Island and the town of Friday and Roche Harbor have to offer!