The Art of the Re-charge - Sequim, WA
S E Q U I M , W A
ft. The Lavender Loft
Our everyday is clouded with the word “busy”, so if your family is anything like ours (which, most are these days) you really need a quiet, no expectations getaway to recharge your batteries. Insert, Sequim, Washington.
Since Scott quit his 9 to 5 to pursue a full time career with our energy drink business, Popeye, and my Dad’s diagnosis with pancreatic cancer, we have been exhausting ourselves with a never ending list of to-do’s and constant catch-up.
WE. NEEDED. A. BREAK.
So, when my cousin Dan’s wife Christi reached out and asked if wanted to come stay in their newly listed Airbnb, I’m pretty sure my response was something filled with the words “OMG YES” followed by tears of relief and gratitude.
THE LAVENDER LOFT is situated in the heart of Sequim, above the frame/print shop owned by Dan and Christi. It overlooks the end of town, with views of nearby quiet farm lands and the next door plant nursery.
Sequim is one of those small town gems that feels like you’re far away from the city, yet it’s only a ferry ride from Edmonds (about 30 minutes north of Seattle). Once on the Kingston side of the ferry, you have about an hour drive to Sequim.
It’s definitely a town “where everybody knows your name”. It reminded Scott and I of growing up in a similar community, only this one was still wide spread with undeveloped land and the soft scents of lavender danced in the air.
Sequim is known for being one of the driest cities in western Washington. It has also been noted as being one of the most friendly biking communities. Art and food enthusiasts are drawn to Sequim for the diverse cuisine and artist appreciation. We quickly understood why Sequim is known for lavender. This time of the year, you can find several growers preparing for lavender season and Sequim’s well known Lavender Festival in July.
Upon our arrival to the loft, we quickly dropped our bags and couldn’t wait to examine our charming home for the weekend. Almost immediately, we leashed up Brutus and head back outside to check out downtown, which is only steps from the loft’s front door. Christi left us a dozen farm fresh eggs in the fridge. Our girls enjoyed examining each one, sizing them up, and when we cracked them for breakfast french toast, Savvy asked to crack the largest one. A vibrant yellow yolk fell from the beige shell in to the bowl and she peered over the counter at it. “Now the green ones mom!”
THE LAVENDER LOFT has several thoughtful touches, such as a games and books for kids, fresh local coffee, lots of green plants, a cork board with tips on local adventures and coffee spots, and a vinyl record player with a collection of loved classics. The girls filled their ears with the sounds of The Beatles, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, The Cure, and Simon & Garfunkle. Sav loved ritual of choosing a new vinyl and setting the needle.
THE LAVENDER LOFT is complete with a quaint deck off the back where you can warm up around a fire pit and toast up some marshmallows. Savvy’s favorite activity. A string of Edison bulb lights lines the frame of the deck. Savvy wrapped herself in her newly purchased s’mores blanket we picked up that day from our visit to Hurricane Ridge where snow was very much still covering the ground.
SHOP THE MARKETS - Sequim has no shortage of fresh produce markets and locally baked goods. We visited both Nash’s Produce and Sunny Farms Produce, loading up our arms with local granola, salsa, cheeses, honey, breads, and lots and lots of produce. Bonus is we had plenty to bring home with us for lunches the coming week. It was like bringing back a taste of our lovely stay in Sequim once we returned to school/work.
EAT AT - We stocked our fridge and pantry pretty good so we didn’t have to eat out much, but we wanted to give a few places a try.
Hurricane Coffee Co. - Friendly staff, great coffee and pastries, and the bonus was a wide selection of ice cream. I opted for an afternoon affogato (ice cream with a shot of espresso poured over)
Tedesco’s Italian - This place was the spot! It was busy on a Saturday night, but our wait was only about 10 minutes. We did call in a reservation sort of last minute. Recommend making arrangements prior if you want to eat here. Our family would eat Italian any night of the week so we figured this would be a crowd pleaser.
Other recommendations: Fortune Star Chinese, Adagio Bean & Leaf (in a castle of sorts and we hear they have a bidet for kicks!), Alder Wood Bistro, and nearby Hurricane Coffee is a cupcake shop called That Takes the Cake, which serves up some amazing cupcakes for a sweet afternoon treat!
Upon requesting the check after our meal at Tedesco’s, our server proudly announced “Oh! You’re all taken care of! Enjoy your evening!” I, of course, looked at her with utter confusion and replied with a mutter of something like “Um, we, uh, we….didn’t pay yet?” I looked at Scott, puzzled, and he looked just as puzzled. She then repeated herself “Yes! You’re family has been taken care of! You’re all set!” Still wildly confused, I scanned the room to see if we saw anyone familiar. No one. My cousins didn’t even know we had planned to dine here. Then she leaned in closer to the side of my shoulder and said “There’s a family here who took care of your bill. They are just like that. They’re good people of our community and are local business owners”. My eyes widened and again I scanned the room. She pointed using her eyes and shoulder to a family located in a back corner with a small toddler crawling around them on the floor nearby and what seemed to be other family members or friends dining with them. They were laughing and enjoying themselves. I didn’t know if I should approach them or not, but I thought it better to accept the amazing gift they offered anonymously.
While we drove to the Olympic Game Farm the next day I opened a browser on my phone and searched for this family’s business so I could at least send them a thank you card and let them know how grateful we were for their generosity. After all, how were they to know we are also now a self employed family learning the woes of being business owners, adapting to a one-income lifestyle while trying to enjoy a small weekend getaway? As I searched for their business, the first headline of my search was about a large robbery of their building just a week prior. WHAT? This family just was robbed of tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise and they gifted US our meal? Complete strangers? So, naturally, I began to cry because this is what we hope to give back one day. And this is what small town communities look like. We miss it.
We searched Sequim properties for sale later that evening….
OLYMPIC GAME FARM was a favorite with its massive landscape housing numerous animals from bears, yaks, alpacas, zebras, tigers, lions, wolves, bald eagles and so much more. Brutus received a couple kisses from some very forward alpacas and the girls enjoyed feeding the animals slices of bread which can be purchased by the loaf when you enter the park.
You can circle the park as many times as you wish! When you purchase your pass at the entrance it is good for all day. The second time we went through we saw more animals coming around as the traffic picked up.
Bring a sack lunch to enjoy at the picnic tables near the entry/exit after you’ve ventured through the park. Or, head back up the hill at the start of the park to the lookout tower and take in the beauty of the landscape.
ADULTS - $15
CHILDREN (6-14) - $13
SENIORS 55+ - $13
CHILDREN UNDER 5 - FREE
Hours vary based on season - open 7 days a week
OLYMPIC NATIONAL FOREST & HURRICANE RIDGE - From Sequim, your drive to the Olympic National Forest entry is over an hour and from there you have a windy switch back drive to the visitor’s center. We didn’t come prepared for the cold weather so we picked up a blanket for Sav and a sweatshirt for Holland. Sav choose a Marmot stuffy that she couldn’t part from (typical). There was a fairly light layer of snow still blanketed on the ground. The cold was well worth the beautiful views from every turn. Absolutely breathtaking. There are fantastic hiking opportunities (snow or sun) that we hope to return later in the summer for once the snow clears.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
You will pay an entry to the Olympic National Forest and the annual Discovery Pass does not apply
The weather is significantly different than what you experience at sea level so pack accordingly for your trip
The switch back roads up will make a motion-sick individual feel pretty green - so be aware
The visitor’s center has specific operating hours based on season, but the ONP main gate is open around the clock
My cousins, Dan and Christi, live in an early 1900’s home on 2+ acres where they tend to the land and teach their children a thing or two about living off the fruits of their labor. Their “back yard” is a tall grassy field as far as the eye can see, where our girls and Brutus ran freely with their cousins under the early spring sun. We sat on their porch, overlooked the field, grazed on Dan’s homemade Thai and curry dishes for lunch, and sipped on lemonade, followed later by cold beers as the sun’s heat beamed over head. Christi loaded up a sack with homemade canned apple butter, dandelion wine, vanilla apple butter, pear sauce, and garlic dill pickles. I was in heaven. THEN she opened their pantry where there were shelves upon shelves of jarred goods stacked on one another and fresh bulbs of garlic braided and hanging to dry from the top shelf. I swooned over their pantry while the kids climbed trees in the yard and Brutus chased the chickens. The older girls made earrings, bath bombs, and lip balm. Savvy inspected her cousin’s ant farm with wonder and fascination. They rode bikes on the nearby trails and jumped on the trampoline. We had no interest in leaving, but that lovely Sunday was quickly closing its eyes and we still had a ferry to catch for home. I wanted to cry. This power down break was exactly what we needed.
Small town getaways provide an opportunity to shut down, leave any baggage of the daily work week behind, and grant you permission to rest and just be. Sure, Disneyland is fun and filled with excitement and memories, but it can also be filled with chaos and busyness, stress and hassle, and not to mention a lot of your wallet. Remember that vacation can be anything you need it to be to feel recharged and rested.
peace out Sequim - you were good to us
we’ll be back……