Mystical Magical Love

14 10 2011

Have you ever been to a place where you immediately thought “oh, I could live here”?  I’m sure you’ll never believe this, but such thoughts occur to me quite often.  Maybe this is why I’ve moved more in the last five years than most people do in a lifetime.

But now I have discovered the magical lands known as the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound of Washington.  Not long after the ferry pulled away from the dock and the majestic islands started appearing one after the other, I realized the truth: I was in love.

I was in love with every island we passed, picking out houses on bluffs and tucked into inlets.  I was in love with the seals we saw playing in the waves under some seagulls.  I was in love with the sights and sounds and smells and we hadn’t even STEPPED FOOT OFF THE FERRY YET!!

Puget Sound in October

I swear this is a real place!

The boat pulled in to the dock, we hurried back to our car and drove on to Lopez Island.  I just fell even harder, head over heels, tumultuously in love.  Beautiful forests opening up to idyllic sheep pastures, giving way to cliffs dropping off to the crashing waves of the sound.  Magnificent farm houses, picturesque old barns, boats both in and out of the water, fields and vineyards and livestock and wildlife – yes!

Fields of Lopez Island

I had reserved a little cabin on the north end of the island, not on the water, but tucked out of the way on a sheep farm.  I guess I should mention that this trip was actually my birthday present to J – one of the few places in Washington he has never been.  So the romantic little cottage was great.

Then we walked inside, and I was ready to stay forever.  I could have sheep and a garden and wear crazy colored galoshes and be a full-time writer – and I hadn’t even set my bags down yet!  It was small, quaint, and absolutely perfect.  A double bed sat in the middle (with a teddy bear, no less), a small table under the window, a fireplace across from the bed, and a little kitchenette in the back.  One door led to the bathroom, the other to the woods out back.  Have I mentioned yet that I was in love?

Lopez Island Cottages, WA

I could SO move in

We settled in a bit then drove down to the village.  That’s right – not the city, not the town, the village.  A bakery here, a bookstore there, a library on the hill, a kayak rental store by the water.  Stinking ADORABLE.  We popped into a little cafe for an amazing lunch.  And all ingredients were probably grown right there on that island, or most of them anyway.  We moseyed down to a bookstore, wandered down the street a-ways, meandered back to the car.  Life definitely moves at a different place here, especially since it’s the off-season.

Spencer's Spit on Lopez Island

Back at my house – I mean our rented cabin, we jumped on our bikes I brought along and headed for Spencer’s Spit.  I won’t go into the geological history behind it, but simply speaking its a sandbar that reaches across the water towards a neighboring island.  It had been a bit rainy throughout the afternoon and the sun was now lighting up the edges of the clouds in pretty pastels.  The sandbar was full of lively birds and several sailboats were anchored nearby.  The whole place had the craziest surreal feel about it.  Maybe just because it was so different from home.

Spencer's Spit, Lopez Island WA

That's what I need - a sailboat!

That night we headed to The Galley for some grub.  Unbelievable food!  And even better than the to-die-for fish was the out-of-this-world sunset we were able to watch through the huge windows.  Vivid pinks and oranges filled the sky and laced the clouds and reflected off the water.

The next morning we woke to thick fog.  Our wonderful patrons had left us a full basket of goodies for breakfast which we gorged on before heading back out to explore.  This time we made our way to Shark Reef on the southwest part of the island.  The more I saw, the more I wanted to stay.  The fog was slowly lifting and we could see seals lounging on the rocks and playing in the water.  The views were beautiful.  And my imagination was running rampant.

Sharks Reef, Lopez Island

Mermaids! I'm sure of it!

I could easily picture mermaids amongst the rocks, ruled over by the great mermaid queen.  I started weaving fantastic tales for Justin, promising to put them to paper once we got home.  Queen of the Merfolk was at war with the Queen of the Mountains, but had thankfully made an alliance with the Queen of the Winds!  Wayward pirates had found their way into the secret oceans and were after the sacred treasures!  How could I not have a pen and paper with me?!

We finally headed back to the car and off toward the ferry, though my mind was still occupied with other faeries…  Despite the crummy weather, the rain during our bike ride, the fog and mist and wind and cold – I would still move there.  In a heart beat.  Anyone want to come help?  😀




Give it to me straight -

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