Friday, August 24, 2012

Change of Scene

Discovery Bay near Sequim, Washington
I was granted some time off for good behavior with the twins, and their parents, and by the grace and goodness of my son-in-law, was provided some transportation to go and visit Sequim, (pronounced SQWIM) over on the Olympic Peninsula, and to catch up with an Intender Buddy there.

Now better known as the lavender capital of North America, it was once the hunting grounds for the S'Klallam Tribe and apparently the word sequim means just that... hunting grounds. I guess for me it was a kind of hunting, looking for a change of scene/pace/sound/energy. You can read more about this part of the Olympic Peninsula here and see some aerial photos.

Hood Canal bridge is a relatively new replacement.
It is, in my opinion, faster to catch the ferry north of Seattle than to go to the port for the trip to the peninsula. The ferry ride from Edmonds is less than half an hour on the water, but the line to get on can take a lot longer. Then the drive to Sequim is about 45 minutes more through some incredible scenic views of the Olympic National Park and harbors. I went over there once when I first arrived, before the babies did, and had a short visit which only whetted my appetite for another one.

You cross over the Hood Canal bridge after leaving Kingston, going toward Port Townsend. Well maintained in its Victorian era housing, Port Townsend is rather well identified as an 'artist's city,' but it also seems to carry some of the taint of artists who aren't doing much more than claiming to be one from what I was hearing by residents of other villages in the area.

Oh well.... I didn't have the time to investigate for myself, so take it with a grain of salt water from the Puget Sound. Passing the Jamestown S'Klallam tribal center and casino going around Discovery Bay is a lovely drive. To be fully appreciated it probably should be done in the fall on a bicycle... slower pace to enjoy all the various colors.

Bond Ranch Retreat is just what is needed for some peace & quiet.
I was booked into a B&B called Bond Ranch Retreat just past Sequim on the road to Port Angeles, which is about 15-20 minutes further along the peninsula. Port Angeles is where one catches the ferry to British Columbia and is an easy cruise for a day trip. What a special place this B&B is!! From the moment you arrive until Tess waves goodbye to you, you are treated as a special person with lots of sweet details.

Lavender in a small vase...
First of all, the beds are incredibly comfortable! Anyone who has traveled knows that some places economize on the beds, but that isn't the case here. Tucked into the Rose Room with a large down comforter over a hand-made quilt in rose and yellow tones, a small bowl of fresh raspberries had been put on the nightstand with a special message and a small sprig of fresh flowers - it made me feel warmly welcomed. I slept almost without interruption... is it possible to hear twin babies crying across the water in Seattle? I woke up at 3 a.m. briefly and realized I didn't have to go to them and went back to sleep.

Campfires are a great way to meet new people, too.
The nights on the peninsula at this time of year are getting brisker, and it was a good reason to snuggle but I'm basically an early riser and was up at 8 to have a 'farm breakfast' of all natural and good foods: eggs, sausage, bagel, yogurt with fresh fruits and orange juice. I was hungry when we discussed breakfast the night before, but my appetite that morning didn't do this wonderful breakfast justice.

I took some time after breakfast to walk around the farm, looking at all the outbuildings and the place where they offer a nightly campfire, a cottage for a family fully self-contained, a chapel, a place for having a cookout and meal as a group, really it seems as if all you have to do is call or e-mail Tess and let her know what you need and she will find a way to put it all together in her unique and artistic way.

One of Bond Ranch's best...
This is still a working ranch as Morris, the founder of the facility, raises Quarter horses. This lovely creature took time out of her breakfast munching to look up at me.
One of several inviting places to sit and enjoy nature.
There are lots of places to gather for conversation, to play cards, to have a cup of coffee or tea inside or out, places to walk or bicycle, and both days I saw plenty of local wildlife, including deer that at first I thought were lawn ornaments, but then they moved!

I came to the ranch, exhausted from too many nights of interrupted sleep, and in just one very quiet evening, I was restored enough to go back for more with these special twins.

I am grateful Tess was such an attentive hostess, checking to be sure all my needs within her purvue were being met, and everything was clean and fresh and pleasant. Go to their website and read their story, and then when you are thinking about a weekend getaway or an event with friends or relatives, consider this treasure on the Olympic Peninsula.
And for me... one night is not enough. I will come back again.


  1. dear sandy, what a lovely respite for you; i giggled about your awakening at 3 am - after a few seconds it must have been a real "ahhhhh" moment. wow - your photos and wonderful descriptions of the gorgeous b&b made me want to jump on a plane and head right there. what an incredible writer you are! thank you for sharing such a delightful get-away. hope all is well with the new babies, their sister, and your children; i am sure they welcomed you back with open arms and a lot of relief! hugs, karen s.

    1. Karen - You are one of my more vocal followers and with your generous compliments, I am spurred on to keep telling it as I see it... LOL! We have celebrated the one-month old milestone of the twins and it will be hard for me to leave them to head back to Colombia... I hope I don't get myself in trouble with the local gendarmes when I go begging in my neighborhood in my poor Spanish to "please let me hold your baby?" Perhaps I will have to let myself out as a alternate babysitter for those who want their kiddos to learn English. Thanks again, Karen, for checking in... every time I see your postings I send out a little blessing to you and your husband.

  2. dear sandy,

    yes, yes! please, do keep telling it as you see it. i love the way you write and always feel that much of your inspiration comes from a heart that is filled with gratitude and wonder at what you are experiencing. it is a lovely quality that enables you to transport your observations and feelings about the subject at hand to your readers. and i learn so much about the people and places and issues you talk about.

    i will keep you close to my heart as you make the transition back to columbia, knowing how hard it will be to leave the new babies and their big sister. i am a mimi (grandmother) of 5, 2 nearby, but an infant, toddler, and 7 year old who live far away. i recall someone using the term, "empty arms syndrome", which sounds like what we feel after big doses of joy at every little thing about being with the little ones - and then, until we see them again, such a yearning and a truly empty feeling. but now there is skype and face time - poor substitutes for cuddles and sweet kisses - but better than nothing, eh?

    i just sent out an update to all our family and friends (kind of fullfilling the wannabe blogger in me!) and along with much good news, tried my best to express our thanks for the out pouring of good wishes, kind thoughts, powerfull vibes for healing, and messages of encouragement and support. but i never feel i can ever thank people enough for how these generous gestures uplift us and keep us connected with such hope, strength, and the desire to pay it forward to others. so, sandy, please know how much we appreciate your sending out those blessings to us, and accept our humble thank you for doing so.

    warm hugs, friend,


  3. Like the bright and colorful pics, so uplifting. Surely being there would have refreshed and rejuvenated you. I can imagine how difficult for you to leave the grandbabies and heading back to Colombia. The twins look so adorable! Even before you leave you are already missing them. Our two grandbabies are coming home, can't wait to hug them.

    1. You are so right, Lileng... today I have the day off to begin preparing for my leaving (running errands, laundry long overdue, etc.) and as I watched the new helper holding them I felt a sudden pang of jealousy that she will see and hold them and watch them grow and I will have to settle for blog reports and maybe a Skype or two until I return. But it is all in Divine Timing and I have to trust in that higher source's guidance.