Friday, August 27, 2010

{ Our First Anniversary }

My dear husband planned a super-special-surprise trip to Lopez Island for our first wedding anniversary in July.

We started with breakfast at the Maltby Cafe, the same place we went for breakfast the day Mike asked me to marry him. It was yum-ola. I'm pretty sure if I ate everything on my plate anytime I go there, I'd die of happiness and gluttony.

We didn't know that Friday ferries are HIGH TRAFFIC during the summer; as a result, we didn't make it on the 2:30 p.m. ferry and instead had to wait in line, in the parking lot, for the 6:30 ferry...which was more than an hour late. BUT we got to ride straight into the sunset on a ferry!!! How cool is that? Wending our way through the islands toward the was breathtaking.

This is the Edenwild Inn, our home away from home. I cannot say enough about the beauty of the inn and the grounds, the hospitality of the innkeepers, and the "ohmygoodness this is one of the best breakfasts ever!" all-you-can-eat buffet each morning. Mike hit it outta the park with this B&B.

Lopez Island is tiny, about 30 square miles and with a population of just over 2,000 people in the year 2000. Edenwild is in teeny tiny Lopez Village, the only "town," and a convenient base from which to explore.

The inn has complimentary bicycles for guests to use, so the first morning Mike and I ventured out on wheels. I felt like a little kid again! We were following a road we'd never been on before, with a lake on one side, ocean on the other, and fog blowing in from the sea.

Later we went on an exploratory auto tour of the island. This is Center Church, located {conveniently} near the center of the island. Isn't it beautiful? We spent a lot of time poking around the cemetery, reading the names of the pioneers who settled here in the 1800's. Can you imagine that? Not just coming west on the Oregon Trail from the flat reaches of the Midwest--coming so far west you pass the edge of the continent and settle on an island in the Puget Sound?! Those were some brave ladies!

One phrase I kept saying over and over all weekend was, "I feel like Anne of Green Gables!" Lopez is a fairly flat island: miles of gently rolling farmland, big old houses, wooded hills and valleys, and around every corner, a glimpse of the sea. Oh my. It was incredibly beautiful!

The photo above is one of my favorite memories of the weekend: Driving alongside a field, we could see and hear the farmer cutting hay. The pasture dipped down toward the water, and though the day was brilliant with sunlight, fog was rolling in from the Sound. The tractor wove in and out of sunlight and ocean-scented fog. Something in me hearkens so strongly to the juxtaposition of farm and sea, working the land and being surrounded by water. I screeched at Mike to stop, and we sat in the middle of the road for a few minutes while I took pictures and reveled in the beauty of it all.

More fog sweeping eastward over the island.

This was my view during dinner on the veranda at the Love Dog Cafe in Lopez Village, mere steps from Edenwild. The clang of buoys, the salty breeze, the riotous glory of roses at my elbow, a delicious meal, my handsome husband--what more could a girl want?

I love seeing that ring on his finger.

Sunday morning, our actual anniversary, we moseyed all over the island. First stop: Shark Reef. No sharks were spotted, but aren't these rock formations cool? Notice the huge seaweed growths in the water--we saw huge swaths of this seaweed all over! And lots of sea lions, or seals, whichever they are. I can't remember.

Next stop: Iceberg Point, the southernmost tip of the island. It's quite a hike to get there, but oh, so worth it!

It was so bright, we could barely see to the mainland. I caught a glimpse of the Olympic Mountains, waaaaay over on the peninsula!

Mike had secretly made dinner reservations at the Bay Cafe. Oh. My. Stars. No wonder it's been voted one of the best places in the northwest to kiss. No wonder it has been featured in all kinds of magazines. Everything is superb: The service, the food, the location, the views {it's literally a few feet from the waterfront!}. It was such a lovely experience. Thank you, my love, for being so thoughtful and kind and romantic. I love you!

The wine needs a little explaining: At a wine tasting before we were engaged, Mike and I discovered a vintner we both really liked: Root 1. The day he proposed, Mike served a Root 1 chardonnay at our beach picnic. That evening, I gave him a Root 1 merlot. Fast-forward to this weekend on Lopez. Somehow, Mike snuck that merlot {we'd been saving it "for a special occasion"} along without my knowledge, got it to our waiter, and convinced me that he'd put in our wine order when he stepped out to use the restroom. Imagine my surprise when the waiter came out with a very familiar bottle of Root 1 merlot!

Gelato, you are the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Unfortunately, as we were waiting for the ferry to go back home later that evening, one of the lenses in Mike's sunglasses committed suicide.

Another unspeakably precious treat: A second sunset ferry ride! Would you believe that, over the course of one weekend trip, I took 367 photos, and the camera battery died on the ferry ride home? God has a sense of humor!


  1. Beautiful Nikki! Thanks for sharing your story. Nothing better than a true love story! I've recently discovered that Root 1 is a favorite of mine. The merlot won at a wine tasting party we went to recently. I'd say we have good taste :)

  2. Beautiful photos, beautiful writing, beautiful weekend! It sounds like it was really lovely and special! You make me want to watch Anne of Green Gables again! Happy one year annniversary!

  3. Oh but that was a dreamy account of your weekend away to celebrate your first anniversary. Love that Mike is so thoughtful and continues to plan these amazing romantic getaways for you...and that Island is truly spectacular!

  4. You went to all my favorite places there! We've never stayed at the B and B but have had a tour and talked about it and haven't been to Bay Cafe but now I want to! We love Lopez so much. The hikes there are just so pretty. I'm so glad you got spoiled! Happy first, lovely lady!