Peacocks and Cheesecake

Friday, May 22, 2015

Exploring Beacon Hill in Victoria and it reminds me of an English seaside. We sat and watched the many whale watching tours head out in the sea.
Brilliant blue peacocks strolling Beacon Hill!
On our walk to the waterfront we stumbled upon Emily Carr's house!
A quick walk by the Fairmont Express on our way to Chinatown.
Stopped for lunch at Cafe Bliss, a gluten-free vegan cafe. Had a delicious fig and nut cheese sandwich topped off with a raw, lime cheesecake.
After lunch we squeezed through the mysterious alleys in Chinatown.

Orcas Island Getaway

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Stay:
I'm always on the search for inexpensive, local getaways that don't involve getting on a dreaded airplane. We stayed in a peaceful yurt located on an organic farm that I found on Airbnb. It's a great option if you want to have a 'camping' experience,' without having to haul lots of supplies and tents. 

The yurt was located in Deer Harbor, but as the island is fairly small it was easy to explore the whole island over a few days. 

On the opposite side of the island, Doe Bay Resort is another great place to stay. They also have yurts, as well as cabins.


Eat:
We bought all of our food from the Island Market and cooked it on a gas stove at our yurt. We found this the most inexpensive option.

If you are want to get away from the dailiness of cooking, there are a variety of dining options. For a post-hike treat, Brown Bear Baking in Eastsound has a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of great food!

Hike:
Mt. Constitution in Moran State Park: This challenging, steep hike is rewarded with breathtaking views over the San Juan Islands. A total of 38 miles of trails are included in this park. I didn't feel quite up to such a steep hike, so we drove to the top. A stone observatory tower is also at the peak of the mountain, which we climbed to the top of. We stopped at the Cascade Falls on our way back down the mountain.


Obstruction Pass: An easy, winding half-mile hike through the cool forest that ends at a turquoise, blue beach. After our hike down, we sat on the beach for a while drinking in the rich hues of the water.

Turtleback Mountain Preserve: 8 miles of trails winding through forests, wetlands, and open meadows with varying levels of inclines. Great vistas!

Visit:
Pelindaba Lavender Farm: We took an afternoon and strolled through the rows of fragrant lavender. It was such an relaxing stroll, and best of all it was free! Afterwards, I popped into the store and stocked up on culinary lavender for scones.

Orcas Island Pottery: A great stop to browse a wide array of pottery by various artists throughout the island. I really enjoyed that the displays of pottery wind through the gardens on the property.

Farmer's Market: A great variety of food, crafts, clothing, and local produce. I picked up some lip balm from the Island Thyme. This market runs from the first weekend of May to the last weekend of September.

Let me know some of your highlights from your latest getaway!

Photo 7:http://www.thesanjuans.com/orcas-island-activities/recreational/hiking-turtleback-mountain.shtml
Photo 8: http://nwescapes.king5.com/pelindaba-lavender-farm/biz/178869