Sunday, August 1, 2010

Island Escape

Vashon Island is so near, and yet so far. A 20-minute ferry ride from West Seattle, it seems like a world away. The pace of life is slower. "Civilization" is the town of Vashon with its quaint, old-timey downtown. Outside of Vashon, you see farmland, wildflowers, and a lot of nature areas.

Lisa and I took the ferry today so that we could visit some of the lavender farms. The town of Sequim in the Olympic Peninsula usually gets all the glory - with its lavender festival being a large summer attraction. But Vashon offers lavender too, and it's just right for a day trip from Seattle or Tacoma or anywhere in-between.

Our first stop on the island was at Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie. Housed in a century-old building, this is a popular local spot. Not only do they have excellent coffee (I also rather enjoyed one of their huge, chewy molasses cookies), but they have a coffee museum and coffee-related antiques throughout the interior. This isn't one of your stale, identical-looking coffee shops that sit on every corner in Seattle. This place is special.

Fortified with caffeine and sugar, we started driving around Vashon Island with a horrible map and the GPS from our cellphones to guide us along. We kind of got lost. But that's actually ok. Vashon Island is good-sized, but it's not huge. You can only go so far, and eventually, you'll find your way back to where you were before.

We stopped at two of the island's three lavender farms - Fox Farm Lavender and Lavender Sisters - before heading back into the main drag in Vashon, where we ate lunch at The Hardware Store (which, as you can probably guess, isn't actually a hardware store). Fish and chips for me and a cheeseburger for Lisa, and we browsed some of the shops before heading back toward the ferry terminal.

Just a mile or two from the ferry terminal is Palouse Winery, where we stopped for some tastings before heading back. We were greeted by the owners' dogs, and as we were kicking back with some wine, Lisa happened to mention that her turn signals were no longer working on her VW Bug. So the owner actually came out to look at her car and check the fuse to see if that was the problem. So darned nice! And excellent wine too! I definitely want to stop back there if I'm on Vashon Island again.

A short while later, we were back on the ferry heading toward West Seattle, where we stopped to walk around Lincoln Park before heading back to our respective homes.

Want pictures? I have them.

How about some links?

- Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie
- Fox Farm Lavender
- The Hardware Store
- Palouse Winery

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