Tuesday, July 26, 2022

San Juans + Seattle

I've heard about the flyability of going up to the San Juan islands since I started flying 25+ years ago (I'm getting old).  It's been on my list of places to visit but I've just never gotten around to making it a priority.  This summer we decided to take a visit and I'm sure glad we did.  The scenery is stunning, it's an awesome spot.  We flew up to Friday Harbor KFHR with nary a burp of turbulence.  The marine layer was just starting to burn off so we shot the RNAV approach in and since the wind was only 6 kts tailwind I just landed straight into runway 34.  I was only in the clouds for a few minutes, and maybe 20 minutes later it was clear and a total blue bird clear blue sky everywhere.  

The awesome thing about FHR too is that the runway is walking distance to the harbor.  We parked, got out our bags and just strolled our rolling suitcases the 15 minute walk to our hotel at the Friday Harbor House.  We checked in and went down to Downriggers for crab deviled eggs and blackened Salmon burgers.  Yum.  Then we hopped on a boat at Maya's legacy whale watching and headed out into the Fjords to try to spot some Orcas.  Unfortunately we came up empty handed and never found any whales but it was still stunning scenery and super fun. 

We got back with an appetite and ate great fresh Italian food at Vinny's.  Crashed out and got up in the morning for breakfast overlooking the harbor watching the boats heading out and the sea planes come and go.  We took a walk around the town and the pier.

You could easily spend a lot more time in the San Juans but this was just a quick weekend jaunt, and so we fired up and headed to Seattle to check out the city.  We landed Boeing field except the fog hadn't quite burned off so we flew the ILS 14R approach in there without issue.  The Seattle approach controllers are good and sequenced us in nicely following a PA32.  We went to Modern FBO which was great and they even gave us free tickets to the Boeing Museum of Flight. 

Downtown Seattle was a quick Uber ride. Stunningly beautiful city and the weather was perfect. There were no issues whatsoever with homeless issues I'd been forewarned about, hey I've lived in SF so felt confident ignoring all that.  However it was all much ado about nothing anyways...  of course we saw a few homeless here or there but no worse than any other city and never felt the least bit unsafe even when walking around at night or any other time. The city felt very clean and was hopping, people everywhere, restaurants were great, lively scene. SixSeven at the Edgewater is a great restaurant, the food was phenom and the views. We went sailing in the harbor, did all the touristy stuff like the space needle and the Chihuly museum and Pike St, etc. Boeing museum was a hit with the kiddos too. Easy flight home as well and barely a ripple of turbulence the whole way. Will be back. Always great to use our magic carpet Airplanes to turn a weekend into an epic adventure and explore new parts of the country!