West Seattle’s where it’s at


During my recent trip to the States, I spend my time in Seattle and the San Juan Islands.  Initially I stayed at a friend’s house int he district of West Seattle and sat her cat whilst she was away…how lucky I was: to be able to go out exploring by day and come home to this cutie at night (ensuring I didn’t get too cat sick!) Next, I went to stay in the district of Ballard, slightly more funky and nearer downtown.  After a stint staying in Capitol Hill (not in Washington D.C, but a

An English girl in America


I was so fortunate this summer (2015) to be able to spend most of it in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S, Seattle and the San Juan Islands to be exact.  Do go to the relevant place on my site to read various posts about my experiences and adventures there. I thought it’d be interesting to share my observations about what I consider to be some of the pros and cons of American culture. Bear in mind I was a tourist for about 5 weeks, so I am aware this gave me only a fleeting

Underground Tour of Seattle


Beneath the streets of Seattle lies an underground world – literally.  I was lucky enough to experience these subterranean streets during my trip to the Emerald City. Bill Speidel This was the founder of the Seattle Undergroud experience.  He has a rich history but his passion for preserving the ‘original Seattle’ came about in the 1950s. He is one of a group of visionaries who saved Pioneer Square by mounting a citizen campaign to convince the city to designate downtown’s oldest neighborhood an historic district, thus sparing from the wrecking ball the largest collection of

Wanderlust Glamping – Orcas Island – San Juan Islands


My next stop on the San Juan Islands chain was Orcas Island.  Shaped like an upside down horseshoe, at 57 square miles Orcas is bigger than San Juan Island, but less populated.  It’s rural, hilly and stunning, housing the 5,252 acre Moran State Park, making it a beautiful holiday spot and adventurous for hikers, or rent a car from Orcas Island Rental Cars and be assured of clear roads (except for the odd deer, and a lot of tourists in the summer months). I took the short flight from San Juan Island to Orcas by

Whale Watching off San Juan Island


I couldn’t stay on the San Juan Islands chain and not go whale watching!   This area of the U.S are particularly abundant in wildlife, especially in the summer.  And the summer also brings along the infamous Orca. I’d already been won over by the beauty of the San Juans, therefore was chuffed when San Juan Island Visitors Bureau told me they’d arranged for me to go whale watching with San Juan Island Whale and Wildlife Tours. San Juan Island Whale and Wildlife Tours Operating out of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, this tour

Pelindaba Lavender Farm – San Juan Island


One of the places the San Juan Visitors Bureau took me to visit whilst I was on San Juan island was the Pelindaba Lavender Farm. Barbara Marrett of the Visitors Bureau had it all planned out –  she obviously knows the best spots on the island, and this was one of them. And as purple is my favourite colour, imagine my delight when we pulled up at the farm? What’s in a name? Pelindaba is a Zulu word that translates to “Place Of Great Gatherings.”  The founder and owner of the farm – Stephen Robins

LakeDale Resort – Glamping in style!


Whilst on San Juan Island, where did I stay?  There are numerous accommodation choices on the island ranging from Bed and Breakfasts, Spas, cottages, cabins and campsites.  San Juan Island Visitors Bureau can organise for you. Having done my research ahead of time, I knew I wanted to go glamping. What is glamping? It’s a new(ish) trend (or rather, I’ve just come to discover it) and involves sleeping in a pre-pitched tent, but the tent is all glammed up, just like a bedroom: wooden floors, rugs, chest of draws, settee (or I had a futon)

San Juan Island – Washington State


In need of some nature and having decided to go to the San Juan Islands – the archipelago of islands just North West of Seattle in the Salish Sea (with various Straits separating them), I decided to make my fist stop San Juan Island, the second largest of the chain and the most populated. Having chosen to fly in by Kenmore Air and arriving on a float plane into Friday Harbor Marina, I was met by Barbara Marrett, Communications Manager for the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, who was to be my tour guide for