Postcard from Sequim

Hello from the Mecca of lavender!

I planned this trip months ago, when I was going through the most stressful months of my career. In June, during the height of craziness for an elementary school teacher, my vision of this trip kept me going. It was the light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course, the trip didn’t start out in the idyllic way I had imagined. I had imagined frolicking around with my camera among rows of lavender in the warm sun. Instead, the forecast called for scattered showers. So I traded in my sandals for my cute red wellies.

Oh, and when I said I imagined frolicking, I meant I imagined being able to flit around pain free. But instead, the night before I went to sleep early with a pulled muscle in my lower back that brought me to tears. I couldn’t roll over or get out of bed without grabbing onto the side of the mattress, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me. A trip to the store got me some Alieve and some Thermacare heating pads. I’d be hobbling through those fields. Maybe it’s a good thing my body slowed me down.

As I pulled off the ferry to embark on the hour drive from Kingston to Sequim, I put on Mom’s Mix and the good times began. Mom’s Mix is a playlist on my ipod that I put together of songs that remind me of her. It’s complete with some of Richard Marx and Kenny Loggins’ greatest hits, a little Mister Mister, Queen, and some other rogue singles (think Bryan Adams and Amy Grant). And the fact that I was listening to said playlist for my road trip was no coincidence. My mom was queen of the road trip.

Road trip snack to eat between farm visits – strawberries and carrots picked from my garden that morning. Sweet and delicious!

I have many fond memories of road tripping with her and my sister down the Oregon coast. She would blast her music and sing while I pretended to be too cool. Now who’s the one belting it out to Kenny Loggins? That’d be me. So it was with those happy memories that I embarked on my day-cation.

I was going to go to the lavender festival in Sequim – something I’ve wanted to do for ages. But instead of going to the festival when there’d be huge lines at the ferry and big crowds of people, I planned to go the Wednesday before lavender fair weekend. I printed out the farm tour map in the lavender festival program and used it to create my own little tour.It was just an overnighter, but it was for sure, one of the most fun days I’ve had in a long time. It was all about me and what I wanted to do. And I did a little bit of everything.

I had a lavender earl grey steamer at a coffee shop and did a little window shopping (ok, and real shopping) in the town center.

I got on my knees in the dirt and wet grass and watched bees pollinate lavender blossoms. I took more photos than you ever need to see.

I sat and zoomed in on some peacocks, Bob, Shirley and their babies, that were coexisting with a flock of chickens at Purple Haze lavender farm (my favorite farm all around – the nicest people work there too). Really, is there anything cuter than a baby peacock with its adorable little head feathers?

I stood in the fields and inhaled lavender.

I cut a bouquet of dark purple and pale pink stems in the U-pick rows at Purple Haze. They were a natural air freshener for my car all day.

I walked through an English hedge maze at Jardin du Soleil and made it to the center and out the exit. Success!

It’s amazing how many of your senses are engaged when you stand in the middle of a field of lavender. Your eyes are filled with visions of different swaths of purple. Especially when a light breeze passes by, your nose takes in the intoxicating smell of the lavender oils. And you can quite literally hear a buzz as bees pollinate. I watched bees land on lavender blooms and watched hundreds of worker bees bring pollen back to their hives. I sat on the warm grass (yes, the sun came out for a few glorious hours) watching the hives for a long time.

I ate the obligatory ice cream cone you eat on these kinds of trips, although I went for the root beer float flavor instead of the fruity lavender variety.

And I just had to visit Nash’s farm store since I’ve bought countless organic vegetables from the Nash’s farm booth at the U Distict Farmers’ market over the past few years. The store was adorable and awesome, inside and out. All the fresh, local produce you could want. Plus locally sourced grains and flours too!

I could not help but buy a few packets of local, heirloom seeds for my fall and winter garden (I know I said I wasn’t going to be a fall gardener anymore, but I just can’t help myself!). I love, love, loved the home-grown look of the seed rack and the seed envelops these awesome saved seeds come in. I bought a pack of lacinato kale, cherry belle radishes (homemade butter time), bull’s blood beets (yeah, I know! More beets!), and cilantro (for my Indian food obsession).

I ate a local, seasonal dinner at the Alder Wood Bistro. My mixed green salad, which included some tender kale and beet greens, with hazelnuts, bing cherries, and some delicious sheep’s cheese was beyond delicious. Items on the menu are marked with an S if the ingredients are from Sequim or L if the ingredients were sourced within a 100 mile radius of Sequim. I was so glad the owner of my bed and breakfast was gracious enough to call ahead and make me a reservation.

I sat in the beautiful gardens of that bed and breakfast and walked down the private stairs to the rocky beach below. Can you see the Dungeness Lighthouse in the distance? You can rent it out and be a lighthouse keeper during your stay! Please, please, please invite me if you do!

I slept in the most comfortable bed, in the most luxurious sheets I’ve probably ever slept in and I ate breakfast. A breakfast to write home about of fresh grapefruit served with chocolate mint, potato pancakes, english muffins with local jam, and the most rich and delicious crab quiche, which was made with crab that was freshly caught that morning. I kid you not. It was quite possibly the most lovely b&b experience I’ve ever had and when lavender calls me again, I’ll stay at the Dungeness Barn House again, without a doubt.

According to The Herb Companion,

The genus name is derived from the Latin lavare (to wash), from the Greek and Roman tradition of adding lavender scent to bath water. Medicinally, lavender has a long history of use as an antiseptic and for treating headaches, insomnia and digestion ills.

I don’t know if it was the lavender that had such a medicinal effect over me or if it was the entire relaxing experience as a whole. But whatever it was, I’m coming home content as can be. Like the b&b owner’s friend noticed this morning, “Well, you’ve got a big smile on your face and you’re glowing. So I guess that means you had a nice stay.” He was right.

Wish you were here!

10 thoughts on “Postcard from Sequim

  1. radhi

    beautiful post and pictures, stace! you completely deserved this kind of staycation. so glad you got some relaxation and hope that back pain disappears fast!

    1. stacy Post author

      Thanks, love! My back is feeling much better! Thank you so much for the pain relief recommendations! Alieve is the best! 🙂

  2. Jackie

    That sounds like the most fantastic mini-vacay ever! I’m starting to worry that I’ll like Seattle so much I won’t want to come back….

  3. Holli

    What a lovely trip, beautiful photos! I used to live in Port Angeles, and enjoyed Nash’s produce from the farmer’s market.

    Another fun time to visit the Sequim area is during their Farm tour usually in October.

    Hope you’re back is all better after the trip and a bundle of fresh lavender.

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