“Baby’s Dock-a-Tot, blankie, binky. Got it. Snacks, tell kids to each pick one movie, toothbrushes. Ah. What was the last thing again?” I always have a written list but this one was going through my head as I packed the last things in the trunk of our van. This is a list I don’t mind having in my head because it means it’s traveling time!
Everyone needs some time to recharge and our family really needed some time out from everything. This time we took a trip to Whidbey Island for spring break. The city of Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island is about 2 hours north of Seattle. We chose to drive instead of taking the ferry.
Where We Stayed:
Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, Washington
We stayed at the Best Western because it has a pool and hello, free breakfast! The room was a standard room with 2 queen beds. The beds were comfy. I wish there was a main room so we had a little more personal space and so we didn’t have to go to bed when our kids did. It did force us to get the sleep we had been deprived of though! Breakfast had a good selection- cereal for the kiddos, bagels, yogurt and granola, and a hot option like bacon, eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy. Although I’d skip the eggs… The hotel has an outdoor pool which I did not go in because I am a wuss. It is heated but unless it’s hot tub temperature Momma isn’t going in. Fortunately, the hotel has a hot tub so you know where I was. Plus Washington weather is fickle and doesn’t get warm enough in April to be out swimming. Oak Harbor has a small city center. We didn’t explore that much here but we did eat here a couple of times. It has a Wal-Mart among other chains.
Where We Ate:
We had dinner in Oak Harbor at this place called Rustica. You may have heard me talk about it on scope. Pretty much we looked on Yelp for a pizzeria and it took us here. If you want pizza, this isn’t your place. We weren’t impressed honestly. It was overpriced and the kid’s meals were pricey for about 3 bites of food. Even our pickiest child (who also eats the least) laughed when they handed him his plate. I ordered the spaghetti but got undercooked meatballs and when I sent it back I didn’t get a replacement. So, I wouldn’t recommend it. Sorry guys. For lunch we grabbed some Little Caesar’s Pizza and got sandwich meat, cheese, bread and some fruit at the Wal-Mart. It isn’t a super Wal-Mart so they didn’t have a big refrigerated section. If you want a little treat, you could stop by Donut Masters by the Little Caesar’s. It wasn’t amazing but it was good. For dinner one night the kids wanted Chinese so we went to DH Chinese buffet as it was the only place without a 20 minute wait and we were still salty about wasting so much money the night before on sub par food. Let it be known that while it was ok food, it was a great value….for a while at least. That’s the way with Chinese food though. The kids really loved the free soft serve ice cream though!
Now for the good places we ate. We drove to Coupeville (about 10 min.) which is the cutest little town. I loved it. We had great ice cream at Kapaws Iskreme which fits about 3 people but it is so adorable and was warm enough out that we could enjoy and get messy outside. We also ate at Front Street Grill which is right on the water and I thought the food was fantastic. I got the chicken avocado wrap and it was delicious. Sometimes wraps are dry but this one was not. The kids loved their meals and the clam chowder was awesome. I don’t even like clam chowder but I was starving and it came out first. It is small so we had to leave our stroller outside. But the atmosphere was pleasant and our view of Mt. Baker was awesome.
What We Did:
There isn’t much to do inside here on the island but very low intensity activities outside. While I am not a huge history lover, going to some of these historical forts were pretty cool. My kids loved exploring around the barracks (it creeped me out so I used my flashlight on my phone) and the views were spectacular. We bought the Discover Pass the first day so we could use it on this trip and for the rest of the year. It is only $30 but it gets you into all the state parks.
Fort Ebey: I think this was my favorite fort. It has this beautiful pathway that leads to the cliffside of the Puget Sound. It felt as if the Great Gatsby should have taken place here. Do be careful as it is a freakin cliff and I was getting a little nervous for my kids to run too close to the edge. They apparently have no fear. To be a kid again…. We climbed atop one of the concrete platforms and really got a beautiful view of the Olympic Mountains. It was a little hairy going up only because I had Madeleine in my Ergo carrier.
Fort Casey: This was pretty cool too. There are canons there and you can go down the ladders into what we think may be the barracks. It’s pretty dark. One of our kids thought it was soo fun that they couldn’t stop playing and use the bathroom. You can guess what happened next. So our trip here was cut a little short.
Deception Pass: Ok, guys, I am the biggest scaredy cat ever. I was not going to cross this freakin bridge because I am so afraid of heights and being that close to oncoming traffic isn’t really my jam. However, I was talking to this lady who was hinting that I should be as brave as her 6 yr old nephew because he was scared and then he got brave and crossed the dang bridge. Ok, woman! I get it. I am a grown woman and I shouldn’t be scared to cross a freakin’ bridge. Stop taunting me! She wasn’t really but I put my big girl pants on and crossed that dang bridge…with some minor anxiety attacks. The bridge has rope that goes along the traffic side but that didn’t stop one of my kids from reaching over trying to get a rock to throw over the bridge. I almost threw up. Luckily I was right behind him and I have never ever reacted so quickly as to grab his shirt and pull him back. He was mad because I choked him but I was like, I just saved your dang head, dude. Ah. Pure madness. So, keep your kids close. And then they were trying to see the view so why not just grab on to the side of the bridge and pull themselves up. You guys. I can’t even describe this feeling. My heart lept into my throat. My husband was near them so he got them but I couldn’t even look. Perhaps go over the rules of crossing over a bridge that is 177′ above the water. Maybe? Now onto the not wanting to throw up part- it was a beautiful view. Stunning. Could I get that view from driving over it- yep. So it really is just for the experience. Do it if you don’t want to cry when you think of being up high. There are some little paths you can explore on the hillside but at this point Madeleine was done, I was done and I don’t think my nerves could handle another shenanigan from my kids.
We also relaxed a bit and let the kids play in the playground and ride their scooters around Windjammer Park. That area has two small playgrounds that the kids migrated back and forth from. It was a little windy so I stayed with Madeleine in the car for a little bit. Good news- there are bathrooms available here.
We really loved Coupeville because it was this cute little town right on the water. As we drove around exploring, we saw these colorful homes that were bed and breakfasts. Lorin and I would love to stay in one of those….with or without the kiddos! Plus we really like small towns with cool downtown areas and Coupeville had some cute shops and eateries.
When it warms up we’d also love to to go on a whale watching tour. We thought it might be a little chilly for the kids now. But who doesn’t want to see some orcas up close! I’d love to see the look on my kids’ faces when they see a whale.
Bring a kite. There are lots of places to fly one around here especially near the water.
Tell me friends, what are some fun places near where you live that you like to visit?