While we were on Orcas island, we stayed at a place called "The Gnome House". I found it on Craig's list, choosing it, because the pictures looked beautiful. Also, we could bring our dog....and there was a kitchen, and a hot tub, and it was on an organic farm, that we were invited to explore as much as we wished. I was a little nervous though, having never chose a vacation home this way before. Architecturally, the house was a gem...very cute.
We all loved the cozy wood stove and the well stocked library shelves. We really didn't have any plans, other than to laze about with some good books and to enjoy each other's company, away from technology.
The house was a small A-frame with the living area and kitchen on the lower level and a spiral staircase that led to the bathroom after a couple steps, and a sleeping nook for the kids, that was literally in the wall, after a few more steps. At the top, there was a loft for Derek and I. It was such an efficient use of space! Because we were on an island, we had to be conscientious about limiting our water use and electricity. I am trying to keep that conscientiousness with me, now that I'm off the island. It's a good way to live, even if you don't have to.
Derek taught Trent how to make a fire and we made s'mores at the outdoor fire pit. Genevieve, our poodle, found a friend while she was there...a neighbor dog named Cedar. And Trent discovered Harry Potter on the library shelves. He's hooked. This little squirrel was carved into the banister. The attention to architectural details around the house was amazing. That detail didn't really extend to the cleaning though, or to the grounds. All I can say, is um....shabby. I'm tall, so I notice dust up high. I try to be understanding, that it's hard for some people to clean up high. But I think that gnomes must clean the gnome house. I did love the house, and we did enjoy our stay. But I was surprised and a little disappointed when we pulled onto the property, to drive past junk, just laying about...rusty old farm implements, plastic buckets, gas cans. Our dog immediately fell into a slime pond when we arrived. It had so much green stuff floating in it that I don't think she could tell the difference between it and the grass! I don't like to focus on the negative, but I would feel bad if someone booked a stay at the Gnome house, based on my recommendation, and was subsequently disappointed. I would give it one thumb up. Good, but not perfect.
Close by, was a restaurant called The Deer Harbor Inn. Such a treat! We cooked most of our meals at the house, which allowed us to go for higher quality when we did dine out. I loved doing it this way. We wanted to visit some beaches and weren't really finding any on Orcas island. We were told that we needed to go to San Juan island for the beaches. So we took another boat the next morning, to San Juan island. That was my favorite place. I'll save it for tomorrow...and then I'll be done with vacation posts.