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Six Months Living on San Juan Island as Innkeepers

Woman holding a breakfast tray at the bottom of a set of stone stairs

What??? I’m living on an Island, impossible!

Well yes, I, or should I say we, live on an island….San Juan Island…Not only are we disconnected from land and surrounded by water, but we work in the bustling hospitality industry. We are innkeepers on San Juan Island. So just when you think you need time away, you can’t just hop in your car and get a good fix from Costco or Macy’s.

Alright alright, it’s not that bad. Our new home I speak of is located in Friday Harbor of the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest. Ahhh. Crisp, clean air, no sirens, leave your bike unattended at the coffee shop, head for a hike, sit and gaze out into space, or should I say sea—the opportunities are endless! I don’t know if I would have ever thought this is where my heart would land.

My husband and I are innkeepers at the San Juan Island Inn Collection. In this collection there are 19 units, each having their own design. Everything from bed and breakfast rooms to a private self-contained apartment. It is a menagerie of magic if you ask me.

But let us go back to life as innkeepers on San Juan Island shall we?

We are blessed to have lived in many places and do many things along the way. Our memory book is full of adventures, laughter, great times, and amazing experiences. So perhaps it is time to finally slow down and smell the lavender as we walk to work each day with Socket and Korbel, our “kids”.

innkeepers on san juan island

Friday Harbor is where we now call home. With so many things to do and see, including going whale watching for orcas, had to fit that in…it’s well, pretty amazing. What makes me feel like I’m really in a special place is when I converse with our wonderful guests and they tell us that the San Juan Island was on their bucket list. Really, how can I take this time for granted?

It’s a different way of life here.

The people are genuinely happy and you can feel their positive attitudes when you bump into them on the street. Sure, the summers are full of excited, overzealous strangers with a time stamp in the back of their minds. Remember, that time stamp is the ferry schedule they must abide by if they want to make it back to their regular lives. There is so much hustle and bustle to get as much in as possible while on the island. A tourist dance card is certainly a busy one, or it could be the most laid back hour-long waltz you will find. You pick the music and go with it. Choices are plentiful on the island, and it’s your choice.

I just wanted to share with you my thoughts of island life. Short, but I think sweet. Am I excited and happy to be here, heck ya! It’s the off-season now and a chance to digest it all. Slow evening walks around town and smiling at the ferry horn that sounds like it’s right out of a movie. I think it’s time to take a breath and get a sense of my surroundings because not even a novelist could paint such a beautiful picture.

Friday Harbor, Washington. That alone sounds like fiction.

Wishing you an exceptional winter and hoping you come by for a visit!

~Susan the Innkeeper (and Glenn I suppose)

Glenn, the innkeeper, delivering breakfast

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