Vashon Island

One of my FAVORITE places in the Pacific Northwest is Vashon Island. On my family’s last full day here, we took a ferry over to enjoy as much as we could in one short afternoon.

First of all, ferries. LOVE THEM. Can’t get enough. A ferry ride is an adventure in and of itself, regardless of where you’re headed.


The last two times we’ve gone to Vashon, our first stop is a little beach we happened upon once. At the time, I think we meant to head to Maury Island (not really an island), but got sidetracked by this beach. Now it’s a favorite place. (I believe it’s calledΒ Tramp Harbor, or KVI Beach.) We could (and do!) explore here for hours. Bring an extra set of clothes AND shoes for the kiddos! And maybe even extra socks for yourself. πŸ˜‰

Besides being a beautiful place to simply sit and be, it’s also fun to tromp around, searching for crabs (there are thousands!), getting squirted by clams (hilarious!), and searching for pretty rocks, shells, and sand dollars.


After getting good and dirty, it was time for lunch. We love grabbing picnic food at the Vashon Thriftway – it’s the best grocery store ever! … Side note: my new favorite thing is rosΓ© in a can. Life. Changing. πŸ˜‰

We asked the cashier where to have a picnic (I was thinking on the little patch where they host the Vashon Farmer’s Market), but she recommended Ober Park just a block away. It was the perfect picnic and play spot! We had a blast!

After lunch we went to see the bicycle in the tree, and putzed around in some stores.

Thank you, Vashon, for being so lovely. We’ll see you soon. πŸ˜‰

Langley and Ebey’s Landing

What a FUN way to spend a chilly, drizzly day in August! We lived out our previous plan to visit Langley and hike Ebey’s Landing.

Along with Papa and Grandma Jane, we hopped (well, drove) onto the ferry to Whidbey Island.

Our first stop after landing was Langley. Langley is a super cute waterfront town. You can dilly dally your way through 1st and 2nd St, meandering in and out of shops and galleries.

After exploring for awhile, we visited the Star Store Market to stock up on picnic goodies — meats, cheeses, crackers, olives, and drinks. Then we headed down to the waterfront for a picnic. I had hoped to play on an actual beach, but the water was so high that our only option was grass and a picnic table. No matter! Still a beautiful place to have lunch!

After lunch, we drove north toward Coupeville to hike Ebey’s Landing. We parked at the seaside parking lot at the end of Ebey’s Landing Road to do the short version of the hike. This is beautiful and mostly flat, perfect for little ones and beginners! And the view at the top of the bluff is just incredible.

After our hike, we were quite wet and craving hot chocolate. (Thank goodness I had packed extra clothes for Olivia!) We drove back down to Langley to be closer to the ferry, and by the time we got there, decided we were in the mood for ice cream instead of hot chocolate. πŸ™‚

The one thing we forgot to bring was a stuffy for a car nap on the way home. Luckily we had a roll of paper towels and a marker, and “Towely” was born. #momoftheyear

Lake Sammamish

A few months ago, we began personal training the sweetest couple (parents of another long-time member), who quickly became two of our favorite people ever. One weekend, they invited us over to spend the afternoon on their private beach.

Twist my arm… πŸ˜‰

They own paddle boards, so we took those for a spin. And then we just relaxed and built sand castles and let them feed us pizza and watermelon.

It was lovely.


Dash Point

We had a busy weekend with work, a wedding, and flipping the AirBNB, so we had to stay close for this outing. Luckily Washington is FILLED with beaches and parks and as much outdoor beauty as the heart desires.

Yesterday we drove just south of “Ooma and Bobby’s” house to Dash Point where there’s a beach and hiking trails.

We got to the beach while the tide was low and we RAN and dug for clams and built sand castles and ran some more.


Then we snacked.


Then we found a nice little 1.5mile hike… which Olivia walked the entire way UP on her own. It was actually legit. We were proud. And thankful since we didn’t have her backpack for her to ride in. πŸ˜‰ Even with the dense tress, there was plenty to look at and explore. It’s fun to experience such a variety of natural settings. I think I’ve explored more in the last three Sundays than I have in my last decade here!

And honestly, the hike reminded us of Hawaii. It was peaceful and warm and smelled fresh and earthy. A lovely afternoon getaway. πŸ™‚

Des Moines Beach

Not all family day adventures will take place on a mountain. Today we decided to stay close and drove South till we found something that looked fun.

(Darrick and I used to do this when we were first married. We called them “adventure dates.” Hop in the car and pick a direction. Choose a random exit off the freeway, or jump onto an upcoming ferry. Without worry of time or distance, see where the day takes you. There are many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered!)

Today we made it to Des Moines, and Darrick remembered playing at the beach as a kid. Perfect! First we stopped for breakfast at a cute cafΓ© and then headed to the water.

I love watching her learn how to talk to people and make new friends. I love her mini sense of adventure and exploration.

And my favorite thing about these photos is this little shock of pink against the cool blue water. My firework. πŸ™‚