San Juan Island, Washington

The San Juan Islands in NW Washington are comprised of 172 named islands and reefs.  San Juan Island is the second largest island.  Ferries serve the 4 most populous islands.  We could’ve taken a one-hour ferry ride to San Juan Island from Anacortes, but we live 80 miles from there.  Summer traffic and long wait lines can make this a 4-hour trip.  Instead, we drove 20 minutes and took a 50-minute floatplane flight.  Just right for a day trip. 

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Kenmore Air operates out of Kenmore, at the top of Lake Washington, north of Seattle.  They also have a dock in Lake Union, right in downtown Seattle.  Our flight left from Kenmore mid-morning.

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Friday Harbor is the commercial center for San Juan Island and the county seat.  The harbor was filled with boats!

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Downtown has everything you might need if you live on this island and there are shops and restaurants for the tourists.  

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After we explored the town we took a break for coffee, tea and a cookie.  Then we did a little shopping in a lavender store.  Pelindaba has a lavender farm on the island.

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We watched the ferry arrive.  Walk-on passengers, bicyclists and motorcycles get off first.

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It was time for us to catch the trolley to Roche Harbor located at the north end of the island.

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It took about 20 minutes, traveling through farmland and forest, to get to the small town of Roche Harbor.

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A lime mining operation was developed here in the late 1800s.  In 1956 Roche Harbor was sold and developed into a boating resort and marina.  Some of the old kilns from the mining days can still be seen.

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There was a small craft market.

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On the dock is the Lime Kiln Café.

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Great sandwiches and mushroom bisque soup.

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We flew back to Kenmore from Roche Harbor around 3:00. 

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Exploring the San Juan Islands by boat is probably the best way to visit.  If you don’t have a boat you can take a ferry to the four largest islands and enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and even whale watching.  If you only have a day or two, flying is a pretty cool way to go!

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Posted in San Juan Island, Washington | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Cruising from Rome to Ft Lauderdale

Last fall we finished up our Italy trip with a cruise back to the U.S.  Although we’ve stopped in these ports before, it’s fun to revisit and go at a slower pace!

Alicante, Spain

You can see pictures from our past visit here.  I love the tiles they use on the walkways.

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And the pretty doors.

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Malaga, Spain

This was our third visit to Malaga.  See pictures here and here from prior visits.  This time we ate Churros and chocolate, then had lunch!  Sardines (for Will), fried eggplant, hummus, potatas-aioli and fried artichokes.

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The Malaga Market has a beautiful window.

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20181031_225613684_iOS C  It was close to Halloween.

And they were decorating for Christmas.

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Cadiz, Spain

We’ve stopped in Cadiz 3 times.  You can see pictures here, here and here!  This time we took a free walking tour and saw a church we had missed before.

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It is the oldest church in Cadiz.  Built over a mosque, it became a cathedral in 1263.  It was modified over the years and a new cathedral was built next door in 1838.  That’s when this became the Parish Church of Santa Cruz.    

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Funchal, Madeira

We’ve also been to this port three times.  You can see those stops here, here and here.  We had gorgeous weather, so this time we took the cable car up to the Monte Palace Tropical Garden. 

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Our ship is the black-hulled ship in the distance.

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The Monte Palace garden is over 17 acres and is nestled in the hills above Funchal.  The estate was started in the 18th century. 

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In 1897 a palatial house was built which later became the Monte Palace Hotel.  The hotel was closed in 1987.  It was donated to the institution that continues to care for the gardens.

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A large collection of Hispano-Moorish tiles is placed along garden walkways.  Some are from the 15th and 16th century.  The larger panels were produced in Portugal in the 19th and 20th century.

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This was a lovely place to end our visit to Europe.

Posted in Alicante, Cadiz, Funchal, Madeira, Malaga, Portugal, Spain | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments