Whidbey Island


Showing a friend pictures of Whidbey Island, Washington, where I lived before moving to Europe, got me feeling a little nostalgic, as Whidbey is just a gorgeous, gorgeous place.  I am really glad I had a chance to show Dario this little corner of the US during our whirlwind trip last August!

The weather in the Pacific Northwest is not entirely unlike Ireland.  Certainly, some of the same plant life grows and thrives in both places, including daffodils, tulips, blackberries (delicious!), and foxglove (not so much!).


Mmm…  I can almost feel the seeds stuck in my teeth!


I hear that Seattle actually gets more rain than the Emerald Isle.  This is especially true in Co. Cork, where everything is vastly superior to the rest of Ireland!  My extremely scientific research into this matter has revealed that there are definitely more umbrellas in Seattle, which proves that the rumors are true.  (It matters not a whit that the population of Co. Cork weighs in at a tad under 500K, whereas King County has just under 2 million.  Not a whit!)

I will say that the clouds in both places lend themselves to some spectacular photo opportunities.


That's Ireland, in case you were wondering.


But let me show you the photos that got me all waxed up — er, waxing nostalgic, that is — about Whidbey Island.  I only had the little camera, but it was sufficient to capture the glory.  It was one of those extremely rare (you have NO IDEA how rare) occasions where I, for some reason, got up before the sun.  This is totally against the wishes of the gods and nature, so I don't do it very often.  However, I think it's clear that this sunrise was divinely orchestrated, so it was probably ok.  Just this once.




Cue the angelic choir music.


So you see, I wasn't exactly running away from a scene of urban horror when I left the States.  Other than the predictable loss of power and heat during the annual snowstorm, I was quite comfy with my little doggy and my 2 kitties.  I lived within walking distance of work, too, though I still managed to be late sometimes.  (I took the picture below to prove to my boss that I wasn't making it up: I'd been trapped by a tractor.)


Objects in mirror are more inconvenient than they appear.


I even liked my job doing tech support.  I mean, who doesn't like throwing Nerf toys and operating radio controlled helicopters between calls?  Yet it simply didn't pay enough to allow me to travel.  Even taking a ferry to the mainland, which we affectionately called "…taking a trip to America," could sometimes be outside of my financial reach.  And one direction was free!


This is Mukilteo, the mainland side of the ferry route.  Sooo cute!


Despite that, I still sometimes miss the place — and my friends!


L-R: Mario (the doggy, not the man), Dario, Aristana, Linden.


In August of 2010 we stayed with my friend, Aristana, for a few days.  Among other cool things, she rescues greyhounds, whippets, and even Italian Greyhounds.  That's not a comment about my hubby, or even about the name she gave to her whippet (just barely seen above).  It's a breed of teensy, tiny greyhounds.  So cute!

I got a few pictures of Aristana and her awesome athlete daugher, Linden, as well as the doggies.  Unfortunately, I did not manage to snap a photo of her son, Rowan, who stopped by for dinner one of the evenings we were there.  It's too bad, because Rowan probably saved the lives of several Whidbey Islanders one day after we'd all been picking flowers.  We were about to sit down to eat when he pointed out that we'd been handling foxgloveD'oh!

We quickly washed our hands.  Several times.  Then maybe one more time, just be safe.  …And then we ate.  (Thanks, Rowan!)


The deceptively passive Deception Pass at the north end of Whidbey.


So, yes, sometimes I miss Whidbey.  Lovely place, lovely people.  If you get a chance, go visit!  Take a camera, say hello, and pick some flowers.  And be sure to wash your hands before you eat!


[Edit: here is the link to the greyhound rescue organization Aristana uses: http://www.royalhounds.org/ If you know someone who might like to rescue one of these lovely, graceful, sight hounds, please forward the link!  Thank you.  :D]




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  1. Aristana says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the Royal Hounds Greyhound Adoption link, and for all the great (and so very true) things you said about Whidbey Island! I wonder how we might get Langley to consider becoming sister cities with Cork? :)

    1. Hmm, that’s an interesting idea. Aren’t sister cities meant to be of a similar size? Though still small enough for nearly everything to be walkable, Cork is still quite a bit bigger than Langley. I do know a few people at City Hall, though, so I’ll ask. :)

      I am typing this from Portree, Scotland, on the Isle of Skye. I’ve only seen it at night so far, but it immediately reminded me of Langley. I think you should talk to the Langley folks who decide these things and tell them you need to go on a fact-finding mission to Ireland and Scotland. ;)

  2. Carolina Girl says:

    I’m a displaced Whidbey Islander too. I miss the island terribly and fervently hope to move back one day. Your photos really made me homesick, but you’ve definitely found a suitable substitute: Ireland! I do envy you that. My perfect dream would be to live on Whidbey island and regularly visit Ireland.

    1. I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner, Carolina Girl. I don’t know how these things get away from me!

      I agree that having a home base on Whidbey would be fantastic. I rarely get homesick as an expat, but when I do, my dreams are all about my wonderful apartment on Whidbey. :)

  3. These pictures are so beautiful! I will definitely try to make it out to Whidbey on my trip! I’ve heard that the ferry ride alone is worth it.

    1. Well, the ferry ride is only about 10 or 15 minutes, so I don’t know about that. I mean, I enjoy it, but probably you are thinking of Bainbridge Island, which is a great day trip from downtown Seattle. There is a ferry that goes from the middle of Whidbey Island to Port Townsend, but unless you are staying on Whidbey or on the Olympic Peninsula, it would be a serious trek from Seattle. It IS lovely, and Port Townsend is adorable (and has my favorite crystal and gem shop in the whole world — Phoenix Rising), you just need to plan for it being a whole day’s trip on its own. :)

      Anyway, do have tons of fun and take lots of photos! Cheers and happy honeymooning. :D

  4. Lisa Theirl says:

    I enjoyed reading about Whidbey Island. I haven’t been there myself although I’ve been fortunate to have visited Seattle several times. Washington State is truly one of the loveliest, most serene places in the U.S. And, yes, each time I visit Seattle it rains. I enjoyed visiting Cork County as well although it was many years ago. Thanks for sharing your experiences and I am delighted to come across your blog.

    1. Tour Absurd says:

      Thanks very much, Lisa! I really appreciate the feedback. How does the weather in the Pacific Northwest compare with your favorite places in the UK?

  5. We have more in common than we thought! I grew up in Spokane, went to UW for 4.5 years and used to babysit for a family in Whidbey (horrible life, I know!). These are great shots and they make me just a little homesick… but not too much! :)

    1. Tour Absurd says:

      The world gets smaller every day, Annie! *high fives* from another west coaster. Maybe we can meet up on the west coast of Ireland and keep it going, eh? ;)

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