M & J were out of town this year for the holidays, so I thought it would be nice to do a little New Years getaway with T. Nothing fancy, just something fun to feel like we weren’t just sitting around the house. I hadn’t been back to Whidbey Island since T and I lived in Seattle the first time, back in the late 90’s, so I thought it would be just the thing.
A quick bit of back story on Whidbey Island, when I first moved to Seattle I thought the locals were saying “Would be” Island and this was only reinforced when I found out there was a bridge to the island, as in it would be an island if there wasn’t a bridge, etc. I later learned it was just the lazy way people pronounce the name, not clever wordplay. We chose a motel in Oak Harbor, a small town at the top of Whidbey right near the aforementioned bridge and Deception Pass State Park.
We left Seattle in the afternoon of New Years eve day and hit the road during a steady drizzle. There was a little traffic getting out of town, but not too bad. I’d made reservations at a place called The Coachman Inn, which turned out to be an older vintage motel right on the hwy heading into Oak Harbor. There turned out to be plenty of vacancy, so we didn’t need to make reservations, but better safe than sorry. We had a momentary stalemate at the check-in desk where “pet friendly” on the website contrasted with their actual pet policy where they charge a pet fee and only allow pets in certain rooms, which didn’t include the jacuzzi suite that I’d booked. Thankfully, a call to the manager from the front desk staff resolved the issue and we could check in to the room we’d booked. (I’m still annoyed by the pet fee, but that’s a rant for another day… )
Our room turned out to be less swanky than we’d been led to believe by the aforementioned website. It was quite an homage to beige, including the toilet:
the fancy jacuzzi tub:
There were two chairs for the dogs to make themselves at home on:
But the bed was comfy and good for TV watching:
The bathroom even came with a little wooden mascot:
I’d stopped at a supermarket in Seattle before we left and picked up a roast chicken and a loaf of bread so we could have a simple dinner in the room. I’d also picked up some yummy Trader Joes snacks and wine, so we had quite a nice feast. I celebrated the end of 2009 with a bath in the giant tub and some tv-watching. (I know, the glamour!)
The next morning, we slept in and missed the free continental breakfast so we ventured into the very odd looking restaurant in the parking lot of the hotel. Here’s a picture of the outside, (I just couldn’t bring myself to take pictures of the inside.)
It’s hard to see in the picture, but in front of the building were a row of flags, a bunch of soldier statues (kind of like big army men) a Statue of Liberty, a bumblebee and a big purple circle thing, in addition to the camoflage wall. It gives a good preview of the decorating style within:
The inside featured all kinds of military memorabilia, a camouflage painted floor and a fiberglass Elvis playing a guitar when you walk in. But we are in a military base town, so the military stuff made a little bit of sense (not so much the fiberglass Elvis… ) But the food was good and the place was packed with locals, which is always a good sign.
Afterward, we headed to Deception Pass State Park with the dogs for a little hiking. It was windy and gray, but otherwise a great day for hiking. We checked out the campground to see what sites we might like to reserve in the future and then hiked to the big bridge across Deception Pass. Here’s the beach where we started:
Here’s our destination:
And of course, my trusty hiking companions:
It was a nice hike. The trail wasn’t too crowded and the views were gorgeous:
When we reached the bridge we couldn’t resist walking across at least partway:
I snapped this shot from the middle:
It was crazy windy and there were a lot of cars on the bridge which were making the dogs nervous, so we turned around at the halfway point. We did hike to the top of Goose Rock which added another mile and a quarter to the hike. The view from the top faced the rest of Whidbey Island and it was also very windy.
Wally met and barked at a few dogs on the trail, but did okay. The hike also tired both dogs out, so they were very well-behaved. We did a little reconnaissance of the downtown area and selected a place to have dinner. We also saw two bald eagles splashing in a puddle in a field, but they flew away before I could snap a picture. Then we headed back to the room for a simple lunch of leftover chicken and bread, plus cheese and apple. Good stuff!
T settled in to watch the Ducks play in the Rose Bowl, while I fooled around on my computer:
Sadly, the Ducks didn’t win the big game and there was much moaning and yelling at the television by T, but he was soon cheered by finding a terrible Resident Evil movie to watch. Then we went out to a Mexican place on the water that wasn’t the best food ever, but had friendly service and a nice view of the water. We finished out the evening by watching “3:10 to Yuma” the Netflix that we’d brought with us. (Pretty good movie!) Afterward, there was another giant bath and general relaxation. A very good day to usher in the new year/decade!