Joe and I recently made a small trip up to beautiful Orcas Island for a combination wedding photo-gig/getaway trip. Something about being accessible only via ferry, boat or plane makes the destination slightly exotic. And Orcas has a strong artist community vibe, upping the coolness factor. Arriving at the Anacortes ferry terminal in the fog on a weekday morning increased the allure, the exciting anticipation of travel.
We hadn’t been up to OI, as the local bumper stickers proclaim their name to be, in 10 years. At that time we stayed in a yurt at Doe Bay, which was still a pretty hippie, low key and naked people in the hot tub type of place. We’ve heard it’s a bit more shi-shi now, like, they have Wi-Fi…I guess they grew up a bit. Now, because we waited t0o long to make reservations, we made the Inn at Ship Bay our home away from home. A lovely spot overlooking, you guessed it, Ship Bay, featuring a top-notch restaurant specializing in using their own organic produce and herbs from their on-ground gardens, and orchard – every morning on our way out there were deer nibbling grass and fallen fruit. We had an exceptional dinner there, followed with a shared decadent slice of warm zucchini cake with cream cheese ice cream, nut brittle and a heavenly chamomile syrup, and complimentary breakfasts daily, with the most mouth-watering crumbly scones I’ve ever had. There were two monster-sized bald eagles perched in a tree across a cliff and cove you could see from our room, and we spent about an hour watching them and what we first assumed were baby eagles, several of them, soaring with that eagle insouciance over our heads. After Joe took maybe 80 photos of these show-offs, we discover from a neighbor in passing that in fact, they’re turkey buzzards. An inelegant name for such an interesting looking bird. Sometimes we’re such dorks. The last time we were up here in fact, Joe kept tripping over the same root on the trail to our yurt, whereupon I dubbed him The Dorkus from Orcas.
Wedged between wedding activities, including a BBQ at Moran State Park, (sweaters required), a Seventies/disco themed party at the reception hall the day before the wedding where we wore last year’s Halloween costumes to the awe and delight of all, and the wedding ceremony, reception (where Joe placed first and tied for third on his two entries, Cupid’s Folly and Love Buzz Porter, in the Homebrew Competition—I’m so proud of my beer makin’ man!) and ‘formal’ photo shoot, we managed to dine and shop in tourist-oriented Eastsound, where I scored an awesome reversible Japanese-style jacket in a second-hand store, and picked up Jennifer Egan’s latest book, A Visit From the Goon Squad, at a cozy-yet-filled book store. (Have you read her book The Keep? One of my favorites this year.) On our way out of town we were sure to spend some time at Howe Art, (make sure to watch the movie file of these in motion!)which we visited last trip, and commune with the kinetic sculptures and purchase an addition to our never-ending-ever-growing outdoor sculpture collection. Sculptures, shopping, good food, nature, friends, dancing, dancing and more dancing…Not bad for a working vacation.