Posted by: sunnyharvy | November 19, 2015

Lovely Langley on Wonderful Whidbey

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Al and harVy enjoying a well deserved break from life on the road.

We’ve now been house sitting in Langley, WA on Whidbey Island for nearly a month, so it’s beginning to feel a bit like home. Langley wouldn’t be a bad place to call home, if they just received more sunshine. The locals tell us the summers are great, but we are ready to leave the dreary gray winter skies behind in favor of sunnier more southerly climes. That next leg of our adventure should begin next week.

Langley really is quite lovely. The population of just 1200 is well served by a charming and historic downtown area along the Saratoga Passage where local businesses thrive. We frequented the friendly grocery store, yoga studio, hair and nail salons, bakery, movie theater, art center, galleeries, thrift shop, plus a few restaurants and cafes.

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This building, originally erected to house the Olympic Club has served many purposes over the last 100 years including post office, mercantile, auditorium, confectionery, and saloon.

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Local gathering spot for great coffee and good eats. The cafe takes its name from a nearby bay found “useless” by early explorers who could not navigate its shallow depth.

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Not very pretty to look at, but this movie theater has entertained all ages since 1937. Today they charge just $7 for first-run movies shown on one big screen. The popcorn is cheap too! In addition to the movie theater, the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (WICA) presents a variety of live programs.

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How many towns have you visited that invite one to eat the landscaping?

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How about free telephone calls and free transit across the entire island? There are also two vending machines full of free fresh food for those in need.

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Whales migrate through the nearby passage, but not at this time of year.

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Public art appears all around town.

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Small local marina originally built in 1902. Cordwood was stacked along the wharf to supply the steamships that provided transportation around Puget Sound.

Today Langley supports an interesting mix of local business people, artists, writers, off-island commuters, and retirees. Offering stunning views of natural beauty and retaining the look and feel of its past, Langley remains a quaint, “Village by the Sea.”

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Progeny of European hares that escaped from the Island County Fairgrounds decades ago are everywhere around town. The controversy over what to do about them even made national news. Local video about the situation here.

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We arrived here in time for the last two weekends of the bountiful Bayview Farmer’s Market.

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Best Ever!

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Signs of the season.

45-mile long Whidbey Island snakes through the northern half of Puget Sound. It offers wide-open beaches, scenic vistas, outdoor adventures, great art, food, and a lot more.

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My childhood friend Nancy rode the ferry over from Port Townsend for a day hike along the bluffs of Ebey’s Landing National Park.

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Jacob and Sarah Ebey House.

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Benton and Al out for an afternoon romp.

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Picturesque farmland overlooks the sea.

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We had lunch at the Whidbey Pie Cafe at Greenbank Farm on somewhat sunny afternoon.

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Hmmm…what’s this?

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We spent a rainy weekend with a few other Westy owners at Fort Casey.

The house we’ve been inhabiting for the past month belongs to Ed and Fran who also own a Westy. Fran found my blog and initiated some email correspondence. They spent a few months traveling aboard “Thistle” last year and plan to do more soon. You can check out her blog here.

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Their unusual home was designed and built by their son Brad a few years ago. This small 870 sq. ft. home is made up of three buildings – the main living area, a bedroom bath combination, plus an ingenious layout encompassing an office, guest quarters, workshop, and car port. Sustainable building practices and recycled materials were used extensively throughout. If you want to know more see the blog here.

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Rainwater feeds the water garden directly from the roof gutter.

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Fran, who worked as a landscape architect did a fantastic job on creating an oasis around their house. The yard also contains some interesting lawn art.

**WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG POST WITH NEWS OF A

VIOLENT WIND STORM.** 

Just as I was about to finish this post on Tuesday afternoon, we lost power for 41 hours. We stayed in the house the first night, but high temperatures in the mid-40’s and no heat, it got pretty cold inside the next day. We decided to move out to haRVy and crank up the diesel heater. We also transferred our perishable food into his refrigerator. Nice to have a comfy vehicle in this situation.

The storm was pretty wild, almost felt like a hurricane. Huge trees were bending dramatically and branches were falling everywhere. The morning after the storm we took a walk around the neighborhood.

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Almost next door to us, this tree fortunately fell in an open field.

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Don’t think anyone will be playing on this anytime soon.

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These branches just missed this house and car.

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These homeowners were not so lucky. This massive tree fell right through their roof causing extensive damage.

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I am happy to report that the property in our care survived the storm unscathed. Photo above shows Al walking across the bridge from the bedroom/bath to the living/kitchen area. Although we will miss the house, Langley and Whidbey Island, we are ready to head south for some warmer weather and sunnier skies!

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Responses

  1. Wow – village by the sea looks fantastic w/ help yourself edible landscaping (LOVE that), European hares, and that fantastic home-oasis. You are fortunate to have enjoyed this for a month, and to have weathered the big storm. I can appreciate you would miss the sun. Happy Thanksgiving you two! I’m thankful for your stellar blog. 🙂

  2. such a fabulous house! I love the free food for those who need it – we should all do that, fresh food going to waste while people go hungry is insanity. What a lovely lovely island xo

  3. We liked Whidbey Island a lot…..looks even prettier now……,

  4. It was a lot of fun, but hopefully our next get-together will have more pleasant weather!


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