Farts and Fens – Whidbey Island Halloween Weekend Days 2 & 3

A foggy, overcast day greeted Trudi and me on day 2 of our Whidbey Island weekend. Our AirBnB, Kate’s Cottage, was right on Maxwelton Beach. Even though the fog completely obscured our view of Puget Sound, we were excited to venture out and explore more of Whidbey Island.

Day two brought a tour of Langley, a quaint seaside village on the southeast side of Whidbey Island, with seafood eating and wine tasting. We hiked around a Buddhist retreat where we got our Zen on and pondered the complexities of farts. Wrapping up the day with drinking wine on the beach, we headed home on day 3 after exploring Maxwelton Beach.

Brunch and A Morning Walk in Langley

Normally, we would have made breakfast at our AirBnB and drank coffee overlooking the water. But the fog, chilly temperature, and the fact that we hadn’t gone to the grocery store the day before, inspired us to find a cute brunch place in Langley.  Useless Bay Coffee Company had plenty of yummy options and a cozy, eclectic atmosphere.

After brunch, we explored Langley’s small downtown area.

Langley Washington garden Whidbey Island
A garden in Langley
Langley Washington garden archway Whidbey Island
Imagine town cookouts here in the summertime
Bunnies Langley Washington Whidbey Island
Island inhabitants
Langley Washington Pier Whidbey Island
Trudi on a Langley pier
Fall colors Langley Washington Whidbey Island
I love fall colors
Foggy day Langley Washington Whidbey Island
Foggy day

Wandering through Music for the Eyes, a shop with all kinds of interesting goods from Central Asia, Trudi and I both randomly pulled cards from a box of quotes and sayings. Here was mine. What do you think?

Bob Dylan quote
Does Bob have a point?

Getting Deep at Earth Sanctuary

The sun broke through the clouds and we moved on to our next stop, Earth Sanctuary, a 72-acre privately owned nature reserve and Buddhist retreat. The 3 miles of trails were peaceful and easy but kept you interested, meandering through forests, ponds, and meadows accented with Buddhist sculptures and vibes. The entrance fee is $7.

Earth Sanctuary Directions on Google Maps
Trail Map

Wetland Wonderland

From the Earth Sanctuary parking lot on the west side of the reserve, we started out on Wetland Trail, winding around West Pond and Middle Pond.

Earth Sanctuary West Pond Whidbey Island
West Pond at Earth Sanctuary
Earth Sanctuary Middle Pond Whidbey Island
Middle Pond at Earth Sanctuary

Celestial Meanderings

On the other side of Middle Pond, we took Celestial Trail which left the wetland area and entered the forest. Everything was dewy and mostly green, with shades of fall popping through.

Celestial Trail Earth Sanctuary Whidbey Island
I wonder what’s hiding under the tree?
Celestial Trail Earth Sanctuary Whidbey Island
Forest tranquility
Celestial Trail Earth Sanctuary Whidbey Island
Touches of fall amidst the green

Chill Out and Crack Up

Coming to the southeast side of the park, we found meadows and clearings dotted with Buddhist sculptures, prayer wheels, and a stupa. We really dug the calm, quiet, Zen-infused atmosphere. But for some reason we kept finding reasons to crack up.

Sculpture garden Earth Sanctuary Whidbey Island
Sculpture garden near the Fen Viewing Spot
Stupa Earth Sanctuary Whidbey Island
The stupa at Earth Sanctuary
Bog Earth Sanctuary Whidbey Island
Lush quiet of a marshy bog
Quiet Earth Sanctuary Whidbey Island
Quiet, there are nesting birds nearby!

From Hushed to Hilarity

Connecting back to Wetland Trail, we discovered the Fen Stone Circle in a meadow near the bog.

Fen Stone Circle Earth Sanctuary Whidbey Island
Fen Stone Circle
Fen Stone Circle Earth Sanctuary Whidbey Island
Is it safe to come out?

Besides the stone sculptures, there was also evidence of many other meditative, contemplative souls having been there. Small rocks, shiny pebbles, and other trinkets were scattered on the ground around the stones. Looking at a particular flat stone on the ground, Trudi said, We only FART to meet again??? How is that inspirational?!??”

I said, “PART!! It says “We only PART to meet again!”

“Oh OK!”

Earth Sanctuary Whidbey Island
Because I bet Buddha cracked up sometimes, too

How can you keep quiet after an exchange like that? We laughed our way around the bog. Remembering the “Quiet!” sign, we felt sure we’d get scathing looks or even verbally chastised by the couple coming our way. But the guy said, “It sounds really good to hear your laughter!” Wasn’t that nice? I figure, being Zen doesn’t exclude laughing your ass off.

Because Laughter Works Up An Appetite

With brunch hours earlier, and all that walking and laughing, Trudi and I were ready for some seaside sustenance. We headed back to Langley and hit the Saltwater Fish House and Oyster Bar, a tiny restaurant and bar with amazing seafood. We tried an assortment of raw oysters as an appetizer. For entrees, Trudi had mussels and I had the seafood boil. With beer, of course. Everything was delicious!

Saltwater Fish House Whidbey Island
Raw oysters and Tecate…..yes, please!
Seafood boil Saltwater Fish House Whidbey Island
You seriously can’t go wrong with the seafood boil

Wine Tasting On the Water

After an amazing seafood meal, we went next door to Ott & Murphy Wines, a winery with a great view of Puget Sound. It was Sunday afternoon and only a few people were there, friendly locals we chatted with. Trudi and I splurged on a wine tasting of 4 different wines. We bought a bottle to take with us. Later that night, we drank that bottle of wine on the beach in front of our AirBnB while simultaneously listening to the waves crash and Tom Petty on my Bluetooth speaker.

Mist Langley Whidbey Island
Mist on the water
Ott & Murphy Wines Whidbey Island
Ready for the wine tasting, glasses still clean and sparkly
Sunset Puget Sound Whidbey Island
Sunset over Puget Sound

Do We Really Have to Go?

On our last morning on Whidbey Island, the weather was absolutely perfect and we finally got a walk on Maxwelton Beach by Kate’s Cottage. The water was calm and the beach nearly empty. Searching for keepsakes amongst the shells, rocks, and driftwood, we wrung every last second out of the short weekend, right up until we had to leave to catch the ferry back to Seattle.

Maxwelton Beach Whidbey Island
Ripples in the sand
Maxwelton Beach Whidbey Island
A meeting underway
Maxwelton Beach Whidbey Island
Old piers?
Maxwelton Beach Whidbey Island
Yikes, a jelly fish!
Maxwelton Beach Whidbey Island
A hideaway
Maxwelton Beach Whidbey Island
Too big to take home?
Kate's Cottage Maxwelton Beach Whidbey Island
Our cute beach cottage
Clinton Ferry Whidbey Island
The preferred way to commute to Seattle, the Clinton Ferry

What’s your favorite island getaway?

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