Last week, my sweet man and I spent a dreamy five days getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Instead, we took on the slow paced culture of island life that I've come to know and love over the course of my life in places like Beaver Island, the Dominican Republic, North Manitou Island, and more. When there is only so far you can get without boarding a boat or a place, everyone seems to look at life just a little bit differently. And that paints the picture for a perfect setting to relax, let go, and not be burdened by knowing what time it is. 

Orcas Island, one of the larger of the San Juan Islands, was our destination. 

We stayed in a particularly magical spot, at Doe Bay Resort. A few days camping out in the woods, and a few days settled into this heavenly campsite known as Sea Sparkles for the sparkling of the sun reflecting on the water seen from this spot. If you're ever in the area, I couldn't recommend staying in this place enough - just the right amount of amenities to inspire perfect relaxation (like soaking tubs and a sauna overlooking the ocean!), without taking over the magic of the natural surroundings. 

I have to admit, I'm not a fan of oysters... as a food writer and generally adventurous eater, I always feel like it's something I should be in love with like so many others. But for me, there is something about the texture that I just can't get over. My babes, on the other hand, can't get enough and living in the Pacific Northwest means we have ample access to fresh oysters! 

Buck Bay Shellfish Farm proved to be a regular stop, as we had to drive past it to get most places from out little spot on the island. A folding sign out by the road states "wanna shuck" and a cheerful staff happily lets customers choose their own oysters from bins full and sets you up with a shucking tool and a few accompaniments. It doesn't get much fresher than this. 

I wasn't left out of the fun though - fresh clams from their bay were enjoyed in a decadent soba soup we made for dinner one night! 

Much of the rest of our vacation was spent hiking to stunning views of the islands and the ocean, and relaxing in our hammock or the soaking tubs. 

With picture perfect views from our oceanside campsite, we cooked quite a few meals over our trusty backpacking stove as we so love to do. The shot below is of a dinner of shakshuka - a classic Jewish dish of spiced tomatoes and peppers with eggs. We of course tossed in a variety of farmers market veggies we had brought along! 

I'll leave you with this - a view from the top of Mt. Constitution, the highest point in the San Juan Islands.