Whidbey Island | I’m in Love August 29, 2011
I’ve been going to Whidbey Island all my life. You could say this place is a part of me. I grew up digging for clams and geoducks and chasing crab here. I’ve splashed in the tide pools, gone for long walks, and hunted for sand dollars here. I’ve roasted more s’mores than I care to admit. I’m excited to share this with H. So last weekend, we (H, my cousin Presha, and I) had an overnight at Jenne Farm. I always go to Whidbey just for the day, which has prevented me from getting to know the whole island. I had no idea it was so big. Anyway, I came across this amazing farm just outside Coupeville that rents out its farmhouse. I thought staying on a farm would be much more interesting than staying somewhere else. It was definitely the best call.
Jenne Farm is located on Ebey’s Landing, a stunning historical reserve. You see nothing but farms. Jenne’s Farm in particular has a hundred-year-old house with four bedrooms. Dark wood molding. All the conveniences of home in the kitchen and fresh eggs for cooking. H even got to collect some eggs from the coop; how cool is that? They also have a chest stocked with toys. The house has two bedrooms with queen-size beds and two with twin beds. There is also a daybed in its own nook in the master bedroom that could comfortably sleep someone. I could see this house being a perfect place for a holiday gathering, a book club getaway, or a vacation with another family. They host a ton of weddings. Anyway, I loved it.
When we met the farmer, he invited H and me to jump on his tractor (we got to drive it!) and go pet a calf born less than twenty-four hours earlier. H can’t stop talking about cows now. He would love to have one. They have pigs and goats, too. I posted several videos below of our farm adventures. Check them out!
We had two good meals at the family-friendly local restaurant, The Tyee, which offers a big menu, a comfortable setting, and amazing desserts.
This is probably my favorite time of year to go to Whidbey. It’s berry pickin’ time! I grew up picking blackberries here with my grandmother and loved what came from the berries—pies. Mmmmmm! My grandmother Nonnie is no longer around, but as I took H berry picking for the first time, I felt like she was with us. Funny how traditions can make you feel like you are with someone who is long gone.
We also visited the Greenbank Farm, a 150-acre former dairy farm that is now a gathering place for a variety of island activities—organic farm training, art galleries, and a great farmers’ market (where we picked up some fabulous African food, gluten-free cupcakes, and wonderful kettle corn). They also have some shops there you shouldn’t miss—particularly the Greenbank Cheese Shop, which carries all kinds of goat cheeses made by a Whidbey Island cheese company (cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella, etc.). H can’t have cows’ milk, so finding all these cheeses made from goats’ milk was sort of like striking gold. You also have to go to the Whidbey Pies Café; you won’t be sorry.
When waiting for the ferry in Mukilteo, hit Ivar’s for some clam chowder and a gigantic ice cream cone. I love the ferry. H and I had a blast running around checking the boat out.
Here is a suggested packing list for a Whidbey trip:
- Old tennis shoes or Crocs. It’s nice to walk way, way out when the tide is out, but it’s good to have shoes on so you don’t cut your feet on broken shells.
- Folding Chairs
- A picnic blanket. I like the plastic ones you can hose off.
- Tupperware galore to hold all your berries
- Stuff for making a fire
- A good cooler. I recommend YETI Cooler; they are the best. You could have your stuff in there for days and it would still be cold.
- If you have a baby, a sun tent is a must. These are amazing. They fold up flat and are just the right size.
- Please don’t forget your s’more fixins. You can find sticks for roasting on the beach. This is a great task for kids.
- I like to hit up Pasta & Co for a variety of salads to bring. I also get their “Just Chicken”; love it!
- Toys! Frisbee, football, etc.
- One last tip: Have your iPhone handy. There will be picture and video opportunities galore.
I hope that, if you haven’t been to Whidbey Island, you will go. It is special. Do you have favorite spots on Whidbey? Please share; I would love to check them out.