July 4th Weekend. Hmmm. I saw a trip to Vancouver, Seattle and The San Juan Islands and since I had never been to the Pacific Northwest I thought, “Hmmm, Why Not? 🙂
So I flew to Vancouver where I met the group in the middle of the night (So Ugh!) and our hotel was www.hotellesoleil.com
It was a nice hotel and in a perfect location, not far from Stanley Park, the Seaport (think fireworks) and the largest mall in Canada (Yeah!!). While in Vancouver, I celebrated Canada Day on the 1st at the Sea Port.
and took the City’s Hop On, Hop Off bus where I saw
the Waterfront, Yaletown, the Olympic Village, Chinatown, Gastown, and City Center.
We also took a Food and History Walking Tour in Gastown (think Soho and/or West Broadway Area)where we sampled Japanese Kar-Age style chicken, tasty Carolina style pulled pork sandwiches, BBQ crispy beet-battered fish with hand cut fries, local craft beer, delicious chees and posciutto with wine tasting, award-winning cheesecake, organic soft ice cream and chocolate from Canada’s oldest chocolate ship.
Here’s a photo of Gastown and my absolute favorite tasting which Sicilian Ravioli at the Brioche Urban Eatery.
The next day we went to Bowen Island which was a 30 minute drive to the Ferry and then a 20 minute ride on the Ferry. Bowen Island is known to be a forested paradise (which it was!!) and a lovely artistic community.
Now the following day was fun because it was July 1st and Canada Day and for that we walked to the Ferry to get over to Granville Island. Granville Island had tons of entertainment, artwork and food, and I toured the so fun and interesting Granville Island Market where below you can see what I bought, ate 🙂 and got stamped with 🙂
What I bought 🙂
What I ate 🙂 A combination of Vietnamese Chicken Salad and Vietnamese Pasta.
and what I got decorated with 🙂
On the following day I had Free Time in Vancouver- so I decided to go shopping at the mallSoLol and then took a taxi to the Museum of Anthropology which sounded great and which was!!
The two most interesting exhibits were the exploration of traditional and contemporary art from Northwest Coast First Nations and other cultures across the world. That in addition to an exhibit on Puppetry was really great–
That evening we drove to Seattle(took about 2 hours which included going through Canadian border) and got to our next hotel stay which was at Hotel Five in downtown Seattle.
The next morning we left with our luggage and took the Ferry to Orcas Island which is one of the San Juan Islands.
We checked into The Inn at Ship Bay and all I can say is that I fell in love with Orcas Island…
The Island stores just run a few blocks and how could you not fall in love with a place where there’s a general election for an honorary mayor and the candidates are all dogs…
Now the following day we changed hotels and stayed at a beautiful place called The Rosario Resort and Spa.
The Rosario Resort had a very old world charm about it and the grounds were also magical…
And here I am in all my 4th of July gloryLol and Flashing Head Lights…
And here is a video to show you another reason why Orcas Island is so magical. The 4th of July celebrations were held at the Island’s Church with backed cookies and tea and the entire community was on the church’s lawn. I really thought that I was watching a Hallmark Channel movie. It was simply magical. The church, the community and the fireworks. Enchanting…
And so now the next day we packed up and got ready to go the next San Juan Island which was Friday Harbor Island. We drove to the harbor and the ferry was only a 15 minute ride.
Before we checked into our hotel The Earth Box Inn we did a Wine Tasting at The San Juan Winery and visited The Sculpture Park (150 sculptures on 20 acres-see one of the sculptures below-a fabulous experience of art meeting nature!!!).
Then the next day we took The Friday Harbor Jolley Trolley which was a lot like a Hop On, Hop Off bus but was really just a very fun trolley.
The three stops that I enjoyed the most were Roche Harbor (an upscale, harbor resort), English Camp (an area where both the British and the English kept camp) and last but not least the Lavender Farm also named
The farm grows the Lavender and created a whole line of Lavender Products including Lavender Vanilla Ice-Cream(so Yum!!!) and Lavender Chocolate.
Below is a video to let you see the farm for yourself…
And then-it was time to get back to Seattle to catch a late night flight. I had a few free hours before it was time to head to the airport and so I got to check out the Seattle’s Farmer’s Market.
So I totally recommend a visit to the Pacific Northwest and make sure to include The San Juan Islands. You’ll love them!!