I am just back from a 3 day weekend in LaConner, Washington. I haven’t even unpacked the cooler yet but, hey, there’s still ice in it and the kids’ naptime is too good a writing opportunity to pass up.
Years ago Tech Guy and I drove through LaConner on another trip and I looked out the car windows at this charming fishing village loaded with classy shops in old Victorian buildings. [ I know, that spells Tourist Trap.] But, as I whimpered while we drove by without stopping, I made a mental note to go back there again someday with my daughters and have a girly shopping weekend. So you can imagine my delight in June when an Amazon coupon appeared for 2 nights in a deluxe beachfront cabin in LaConner, WA. The photo was of a glorious sunset over the waters of the bay. The cabin slept 6 and was offered by a management company, not a private party, so I figured there was some protection built in.
I’m not TOTALLY impulsive. I called one daughter to see if it sounded like a good deal and she agreed it was greatly discounted. We talked about having a girls’ weekend but the problem is that most of the “girls” are working mothers and don’t want to leave their kids and husbands on the weekend because it’s their only quality time together. And one of them is nursing and wouldn’t want to leave the baby….But it was a good deal. And it was in LaConner. In a deluxe cabin. So I bought the coupon for 2 nights planning to decide later who would go with me.
Then I started to read the fine print. The management company website led me to a website for Thousand Trails Campgrounds which alarmed me greatly, having done quite enough camping already this season. I could just imagine being in a yurt surrounded by motor homes. I followed the links to the LaConner campground map and saw that they did have some cabins, both deluxe and otherwise. I called them directly to find out what I had gotten myself into. True, they did sleep 6 bodies but there was only one bedroom and a futon in the living room and bunk beds in the one bedroom. And to get bedding and towels was an additional $12.00 per person.
Since I did not wish to sleep on a bare mattress and did not wish to spend extra for someone else’s sheets and blankets I opted to take our own, which put it back more in the category of a camping trip than a deluxe cabin affair. Not knowing the condition of the beds, I took our cushiest bed pads and pillows and comforters. I was taking them for our guests as well, so the living room was piled high with bedding and towels and beach towels before we packed the car. Knowing it wouldn’t all fit in, I had the sudden idea to use the big vacuum sealed Ziploc bags I had purchased a while back (another coupon) and never used. It worked! Enormous mounds of bed pads and towels shrunk down into oversized parcels resembling Top Ramen noodles. We got everything into the car.
After learning about the bedroom and futon arrangement we dismissed the idea of taking non-family members. I had already given up on the idea of a weekend with just my daughters as being too hard on their families at this point in time, so we invited the daughter I had first consulted about the Groupon. They accepted, but I’m not sure we did them any favors. They have a 2 year old and it was a long drive and naps were shorter and later than usual, plus they are very recent graduates of potty training. Our schedule tended to revolve around her naps and potty breaks and shopping endurance, and we whispered in the living room after she had gone to bed for the night.
However, it is a great privilege to see a 2 year old discovering sea shells or taking her first ride on the ferry (“not the kind of fairy that flies”) or jumping in puddles with her boots on.It is an honor to have grown kids who are willing to take a weekend to go away with you, especially if you are still on a learning curve about beach front cabins, travel times, ferry schedules and futon sleeping.
We had gorgeous, unbelievably beautiful weather for October in Northern Washington. I think it was 72*, shirt sleeve weather! We enjoyed seeing an unusually low tide. We drove up the Hood Canal and took the ferry from Port Townsend to Coupeville in order to bypass Friday traffic in Seattle. It would have been a good call except that there were many reservations for the 3:15 and 5:30 ferries and though we were there in the ferry line in plenty of time, the locals and commuters with reservations came later but got on first and we missed it by 5 cars. So we went shopping in Port Townsend while we waited for the next one, and held our breath that we would get on it. We did, narrowly.
The drive home on Sunday afternoon confirmed my feelings about Seattle traffic. It seems like no matter the day or time, Seattle is always jammed up for one reason or another. On Sunday there were two lane closures due to stalled cars and another accident that stalled traffic for 45 minutes (made longer by a little voice in the back saying, “I have to pee.”) But we met up with some of our son-in-law’s family for lunch at a quaint place and had a nice visit.
Next time, I will:
- Read the fine print before buying a Groupon.
- Choose a place closer to home so there is less travel time and more shopping/playing time.
- Check the ferry schedules and make reservations if advised.
- Not forget my boots and other shoes.
- Have a non-leaking air mattress
- Have one more day to spend there
- Plan to spend some time in Port Townsend
Things I did right:
- Took a crockpot so we could come back to the cabin after a day out and have dinner waiting
- Drove up the Hood Canal (Lilliwaup, Dosewallips, Hama Hama, Duckabush)
- Had a ferry ride
- Used Ziploc vacuum bags
- Took charming companions
- Went on an adventure
- Asked for a fire