Pacific Northwest

Magical Vashon getaway

“I just saw a fin over there!” she exclaimed to the rest of us as she pointed out into the water.

The rest of us responded with “Where?” or “What?” as we looked on in the direction she pointed towards.

We were looking out into Puget Sound so who knows what it could have been. A seal? A whale? A large fish? Perhaps a brave swimmer?

A few weekends ago I went on a Vashon Island Art Retreat with a few friends. I say a “few friends” loosely because really I only knew, Phyllis, who is my best friend. The others on the weekend retreat were friends she has made from journaling meet-ups and then a few of their artistic friends. There were six of us total in the group.


We called it Vashon Island Art Retreat since we would be journaling, sketching and painting on, yep, you guess it! Vashon Island.

I didn’t know what to expect other than a hopefully relaxing weekend of journaling and spending time with people with similar interests. I don’t sketch, but the weekend certainly inspired me to try sometime soon!

The weekend did not disappoint and I am glad I joined in on the fun.

We stayed at an Airbnb right next to the beach. We had plenty of space to spread out on private picnic tables right next to the rocky beach, as well as in the house and on the patio outside of the house.

Did I mention the owners had many animal friends, too?


We left Seattle on a Saturday morning catching a 9:30 ferry to Vashon. I forget how close Vashon is to Seattle because I think the one and only time I have been to this island is when Phyllis actually lived there for a year several years ago. It’s less than a 30-minute ferry ride so most people don’t even bother to get out of their cars!

Once on the island, we did a little exploring in town and enjoyed pastries, window shopping and then spending time at a cafe where some of us journaled while the more skilled friends sketched.


In the evening we enjoyed Thai takeout right on the beach as we later watched the sunset. Meteorologists had said that there was a possibility of seeing the Northern Lights in the area this evening but it ended up being too cloudy. Also, we ended up doing our artsy stuff until well past midnight and never went back outside to check!

When Phyllis and I were about to finally go to sleep, one of us said something about how this was similar to Disneyland — where we get very little. (Yes, we are those people who spend all our time at the park from when the gates first open to when they are announcing over the PA system that the park is officially closing).


Sunday morning Phyllis and I went on a run + walk to the nearby lighthouse while our friends did more sketching at the beach. Did I mention that we really lucked out on the weather this weekend? Because, we totally did. The forecast was for rain but Saturday was sunny and nice and Sunday was clouding and nice — not a drop of rain on either day!

I returned home from this weekend trip with new friends and a fresh take on creativity.

I also returned home pretty exhausted but I guess that also means you had a great weekend, right?

Oh, and, that fin that was seen in the water?


It was what we think was an Orca whale! We did see what looked like an Orca spouting water out of its blowhole! We also saw several seals swimming around closer to the beach. One even kept swimming alongside me as I walked on the beach!

The Pacific Northwest really is magical.


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