Island time

On a gorgeous summer weekend, who wants to work on a renovation project? Not me, man! Which explains the general work stoppage we’ve been experiencing around here. Who wants to spend the day on an island in the Pacific? I do, I do!! Let’s go to Whidbey Island! Okay, it’s not exactly in the Pacific … it’s in Puget Sound, just off Everett. But Puget Sound is connected to the Pacific … so, close enough.


Eric lived on Whidbey Island for several years before we met. We have property there, just north of Freeland (where the 525 sign is on the map), where we plan to build our dream retirement home in a few years. Any day we visit the island is a good day. There are two ways to get there: a 45-minute drive plus a 20-minute ferry ride to the south end, or a two-hour drive from our house to the bridge at the north end. Of course, the ferry ride is much more fun than all that driving. But … as we headed north, we read there was a two-hour wait for the ferry, so we opted to drive around. It still took over two hours, but at least we were moving.

Our destination was the annual Coupeville Arts and Crafts Fair. (Coupeville and nearby Langley—and indeed, most of south Whidbey—are home to many artists, writers, and actors, something that I find appealing. I think we’ll fit in.) Coupeville’s streets were crowded with vendors’ tents and bustling with visitors, like any good summer street fair.

coupeville art fair1

We were thrilled to see tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain circling each other in Penn Cove, firing cannon shots at each other and occasionally toward the crowd at the end of the dock. (You might recognize the Lady Washington, right, as HMS Interceptor in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.)

Hawaiian Chieftain and Lady Washington tall ships

The old warehouse at the end of the wharf now features a coffee shop, restaurant, kayak rentals, and a whale skeleton.

Coupeville wharf

It was a perfect day to stroll through the art fair, but we didn’t buy any art. Our art budget for the year has been spent—I’ll show you how in a future post.

We continued our journey south down the island, stopping at Greenbank Farm, a community-owned, not-for-profit historic working farm. In addition to the farm, Greenbank offers several art galleries, a café, wine and cheese shops, an event venue, and various gardens maintained by the Greenbank Garden Club and WSU Master Gardeners (one of my retirement goals is to become a master gardener).

Greenbank  Farm 1

Greenbank Farm garden

Greenbank Farm barn entrance

Still further south on highway 525 is the community of Freeland where, on the seventh fairway of Holmes Harbor Golf Course, our little piece of island waits patiently for us to retire. That’s our lot to the left of the “for sale” sign—the one covered in brambles and trees.

our undeveloped lot on Whidbey island

This bad patchwork photo will be our view: Holmes Harbor Golf Course in the backyard, Mt Baker to the north, Mt Rainier to the south, Holmes Harbor below, and the Cascades in the distance. Nice. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Whidbey view

Want a peek at our future? Our inspiration building is Windy Point Vineyards in Wapato, Wash.

Windy Point

Inside Windy Point

Windy Point is a large commercial building that we would need to scale down for a private residence, but as soon as we walked in the door, we both thought, “I want to live here!”  That glass wall would make us feel like we were living ON the golf course (to me, there’s no such thing as too many windows), and the interior is so open and airy. Yes, it’s very different from a Craftsman bungalow, but that’s the point. Looking to the future and aging, we want single-level living, a smallish house, and easy-to-clean surfaces. As heart-wrenching as it will be to sell our bungalow, I’m equally excited to dive into building a new house and creating our island life. A new blog opportunity!!

But, back to reality. And back home, this time by ferry. No matter how many times I ride a ferry, it’s always a treat.

Washington State ferry

Ferry Kittitas

Bye for now, Whidbey Island … see you soon!

Ferry stern






18 thoughts on “Island time

  1. Carmen Tamayo

    What a beautiful piece of property. I can’t wait until you begin building your new home. We will be neighbors…….well, almost.

  2. Anita

    Are the pictures above of your lot’s view of the course and water? It’s beautiful! The house is amazing and I hope you can pull it off to make it look like this!!!!!

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Yes, the panorama shot was taken from our lot. I hope we can pull it off, too–although I don’t think our house will be *quite* as grand as the winery.

  3. Karen B.

    What a wonderful spot for retirement. I’m afraid I’d be very impatient if I had that lot to look forward to. Our good friends live on Bainbridge Island. Mr. B. and I think we’d love to live in that neck of the woods.

  4. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    Oooohhhhh how embarrassing! I KNOW that Seattle is in Washington, but somehow in my mind I always mix those two states up! Bad!!!! That just confirms that I really do need to visit that region so that I stop confusing it so.

      1. Jessica@CapeofDreams

        Yes. You don’t think that I would go all the way out to Oregon without meeting up with you, do you? 😉 Just kidding that time. About Oregon, not about getting together with you!

  5. Africadayz

    Hi D’Arcy. Just read and enjoyed your ‘porch’ post and then scrolled back to find this one which I somehow missed. Like you, I too believe there can never be too many windows! I do think you must live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. I love all that water and those islands up the west coast of North America and Canada and still hope to get there sometime. And what an amazing piece of ground you have waiting for you too; that will be another exciting project to look forward to.


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