Months and months ago I got a random direct message from my buddy Lauren: “I know we’ve never met but I think we would travel really well together.” Lauren and I have been internet buddies for YEARS but live on opposite ends of the country and had never met IRL. We invited our mutual buddy Beth of 3Up Adventures along to round out our wine and adventure trio. Together we hatched a plan to head north to the islands.
Thursday afternoon I skirted out of the office a touch early to meet Beth and Lauren at Taylor Shellfish for oyster happy hour. Turns out everything we like about each other on the internet translates perfectly to real life. We were laughing, gossiping, and cracking sex jokes in under five minutes. Our server loved us and the nice couple trying to enjoy their oysters in peace shot us some long side eye. We scooted home to my house, dropped our stuff, and cruised over to Ballard where some Seattle-based friends of mine were doing a mini set at the Conor Byrne Pub. Most of our weekend was to be spent outside of the city so I was anxious to share a little city flavor before we busted out of town. Thanks to Tom and Mark for setting up the weekend right.
Friday morning, we grabbed some dim sum in the ID, picked up our rental car, and hit the road! We chatted as we cruised up I-5 SO PUMPED to be getting out of the city on an insanely gorgeous day. Lauren had snagged us a killer rental house on Airbnb that turned out to basically be a fairy wonderland. Built to spec by the owners, the house is all natural light and about bringing the outdoors in….including the giant window in the shower that allows you to admire the scenery as you wash your hair. Prepped some pizzas for dinner before setting out a leisurely wine walk (exactly what it sounds like) to enjoy the sunshine and explore our new “neighborhood”.
Somehow Lauren and Beth convinced me to wake up at 5am (I thought we were on vacation?!) to climb a mountain. God bless them, they are so pretty I would follow them anywhere. Turns out they were right (the worstttt) and we did an early morning ferry two-step before landing on Orcas Island, part of the San Juan Island chain. I spent a far amount of time boating in the San Juans and Gulf Islands (their Canadian cousins) when I was a kid but I haven’t been up there in years. They are even more stunning than I remember. All weekend long Beth, Lauren, and I would exclaim at spontaneous intervals, “THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL!”. We were never wrong.
The hike up Mt. Constitution was bookended by trips to Brown Bear Baking in Eastsound and the Island Hoppin’ Brewery for a post-hike flight. Both were killer and come highly recommended. While standing in line at the bakery, an older gentleman in front of us leaned over and told us “more is more”. His advice was spot on and we happily polished off a small collection of baked goods and “more is more” became the unofficial motto of the weekend.
Our time together was magic. It’s rare to find friends that you instinctively travel well with and these two are my people. Can’t wait until we can be together again!