Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Paradise found in Port Townsend, Washington
Looking to get away from the triple digit heat, the wife and I traveled up to the Evergreen State and boy is it sure evergreen! We stayed at a B&B in Port Townsend named the Holly Hill House. Our hosts, Greg and Nina were wonderful. After staying there and sampling Nina's great gourmet breakfasts, I'll never look at that morning meal in the same way again. If you're a history buff, Greg has the parlor decorated in WW II aviation memorabilia. He also has a website about WW II combat aviation books from his private collection.
A great town with lots of history. We used this time to not only relax and sight see, but to check out a few other towns and cities along the Olympic Peninsula.
The views of Puget Sound were spectacular! Not far from our stay was Whidbey Island, Marrowstone Island and Indian Island. The San Juan Islands are not too far away either. Whidbey Island is accessible from Port Townsend via a ferry. Being my first visit to this beautiful state I learned that it really helps to make a reservation for the Port Townsend to Keystone ferry as they fill up fast. I figure not making it to Whidbey Island is a good excuse to "have" to travel up there again.
It's nice to wake up to the sound of crying seagulls, looking out my window and seeing the blue waters of Puget Sound. The Town is not really big, but it sure has a lot of character. The uptown area is filled with many historic Victorian era homes which are beautifully maintained. It's referred to as "uptown" due to this part of the town is located on a bluff overlooking the downtown area (although I'm sure the uptown reference was related to the influential and affluent folk who settled here).
There's a weekly Farmers market held in the uptown neighborhood. Great tasting goodies, fresh organic vegetables grown locally.
The Town is filled with Artisans. If you ever want to see what happened to some of the Woodstock generation, some are living right up there which gives this place it's unique flare.
The downtown area still holds that 19th century charm as most of the buildings are from that era. Great restaurants, shopping and oh yeah, sea kayaking!
I'm used to seeing the murky waters around the Sacramento and San Joaquin river deltas as well as the Carquinez Straits. It was different for me to see such blue and clear waters. I can't explain what my attraction to water is. Maybe it was from growing up in Southern California and playing in the surf at the local beaches, or maybe it could be from my Navy days. Either way, I have a yearning to be on and near the water.
The days are longer there being much farther north than we are here in the SF bay area. It was still light out past 9:30 PM. The drawback is during the winter according to the locals, it's dark by 4 PM. Not everything or place is ideal. You give and take with different geographical places. I think I could deal with it.
We do plan on visiting the area during the off season, just to give us a better idea of what it is like there with the summer tourist season over.
To drive down a two lane road with towering evergreen trees surrounding you, makes you feel like your driving through mother nature's "sky scrapers". It definitely is a sight better than driving down a two lane road with towering concrete buildings surrounding you. While driving on these roads, you have to look up to see the blue sky.
As usual with "get aways", the time passes much too fast. It was nice though, not to be a "slave" to the clock, to breath clean air and not have to deal with the urban hustle and bustle.
I know there are plenty of other beautiful states and places but I was drawn to the area for it's slower pace, scenery, weather and yes of course, it's spectacular local sea kayaking destinations.
I found myself really relaxed and not really wanting to leave such a wonderful, beautiful place and would not have if it wasn't for those things in life such as a mortgage, career, children, school, etc., etc.
So if you find yourself planning a trip up to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, specifically the historic seaport town of Port Townsend, consider staying at the Holly Hill House B&B. The hospitality is first class, the historic Victorian "Hill House" is beautiful inside and out. Your just a short walk down the steps from uptown to downtown. Greg & Nina will make you feel welcome. And if you're a history buff as I am, you'll enjoy the WW II military aviation decor.
Take a look at their websites; www.hollyhillhouse.com and www.dortchsmilitarysales.com
What a nice break from the daily grind, now it's back to "meeting and greeting new and some old 'friends'".