Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Lance and I both took a vacation day today (a much needed mental health break for both of us), dropped the dog off at Petsmart, and headed up north to Skagit County for the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which runs through the entire month of April. We're halfway through April, of course, but the tulips are being somewhat elusive. We lucked out today though and saw some of them in bloom.

We started out with a visit to La Conner, an absolutely enchanting town...I am ridiculously besotted with it. I kept going on and on about how wonderful it would be to own a bed and breakfast there. Everything about it was picture postcard quaint. We stopped into Nasty Jack's Antiques, which was a really awesome shop full of kitschy, quirky, and really unique and beautiful items. We stopped in other charming shops: Next Chapter bookstore, The Ginger Grater/The Olive Shoppe, Cascade Candy Company, etc. You can easily spend a day shopping and eating your way through La Conner, and there are some museums as well.

But we were there to see tulips too, so we left La Conner and drove toward nearby Mt. Vernon, stopping at Tulip Town, which is one of the two major tulip farms in the area (the other is Roozengaarde). You have to pay admission to both of these places, and it didn't seem to me that they were different enough from each other to be worth going to both.

I was told that the tulips would not be blooming, since I had a friend who was just there a few days ago and only found daffodils. So it was with great delight that we discovered the some of the tulips were blooming today. So pretty! I imagine that it will be so lovely in a week or so...everything should be blooming by then.

Anyway, we walked around Tulip Town for an hour or so. And since we were basically just flying by the seat of our pants anyway, we thought we might as well visit Mount Vernon.

The drive to Mount Vernon was pretty. Lots of beautiful old homes, the Cascade Mountains, farm fields as far as the eye can see. We got to Mount Vernon, and...well, a bit of a let-down. I didn't see anything worth stopping for, but I did see something on the map that caught my eye - Little Mountain Park. So we plugged it into the GPS and we were off. It was just outside Mount Vernon and definitely worth a stop, as it offered spectacular views from on high of the Skagit Valley, Mount Baker, the Olympic mountains, and the San Juan Islands.

After that brief detour, we headed back to the Seattle area.

All in all, a wonderful day. A lot of fun. I definitely would like to go back next year, but I'll wait until all the tulips are blooming first.

Click here for pictures. (Taken with my new camera!)

Oh, and there's a picture of "Dirty Biter" in my album...if you want to know the story behind him, you can go to this website:

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