Monday, April 28, 2014

Savor the San Juans Sweepstakes Winner!

Honestly, I had totally forgotten that I had entered the Savor the San Juans contest, sponsored by Seattle Magazine until a Friday afternoon back in October when I got an e-mail telling me that I had won.

I won, not one of the many prizes they offered, but the Grand Prize, which included two round-trip airfare tickets aboard Kenmore Air, two night's accommodation at the Earthbox Inn and Spa, dinner for two at The Backdoor Kitchen, wine tasting for two at San Juan Vineyards and admission for two to the NW Whale Museum.

On the downside, the package had to be used the month of October (the contest is centered around the Savor the San Juans month of October) and last October was a bad month for Brian and I.  We were set to fly out the last Saturday of October and a fog set in over Seattle.  All Kenmore air flights were cancelled for the entire I called and begged the tourism bureau to extend our trip a few months and they easily accommodated us.

Last Thursday (and on my 45th birthday), we managed to finally enjoy our adventure.

I was a tad bit nervous when I called Kenmore Air and they asked for our weight prior to booking our airfare.  Neither Brian or I had ever been on a De Havilland Beaver Seaplane (you know, the ones that take off and land right on the water).  Needless to say, it was the most perfect way to kick off the adventure.

Our flight left from Lake Union early Thursday morning and it's only 45 minutes to the beautiful San Juan (Friday Harbor) Islands.

Since we had no car, we packed light and hit the ground running upon landing in Friday Harbor.  We ended up walking a bit before finding a place for breakfast, then it was time to tour the NW Whale Museum.  Opened to the public in 1979, it's the first museum in the country dedicated to the conservation and education of Orcas or "killer" whales. 

Then we called a taxi (thanks to Bob at Friday Harbor Taxi) and headed over to the San Juan Vineyards for a wine tasting.  

Established in 1996 the tasting room is located in a 1896 schoolhouse, one of two remaining in the San Juans.

A big thanks to Colleen who introduced us to 8 great wines (one estate grown). Tastings included: 2013 Chardonnay, 2013 Pinot Gris, 2013 Siegerrebe (estate grown), 2009 Sangiovese, 2010 Merlot, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Cab Franc and a 2010 cab-Merlot.

Time for check-in at the Earthbox Inn and Spa where we settled and managed to grab a quick pre-dinner nap before heading off to dinner.

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner for two and a bottle of wine at The Backdoor Kitchen. 

Spending the $100 gift certificate was easy, we ate and drank everything that we wanted and topped it all off with dessert!

Pan-Seared Scallops topped with a Ginger Sake Beurre Blanc

Before we knew was Friday afternoon and the plane came to pick us up and take us back to Seattle (reality).

One last amazing thrill....Brian got to be the "co-pilot" on our flight home. Sitting shot-gun next to Kenmoreair's Will was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

A special thank you to Deborah Hopkins at the San Juan Island Visitors Bureau for extending our trip when October just didn't work!

Thanks to Kenmoreair (pilot Will who flew us up and back)!

A huge shout-out to everyone at the Earthbox Inn and Spa, including Chris (who checked us into our room....super super early and gave me a spa box filled with all sorts of goodies), Stephie (who flew on Kenmoreair home with us) and Rachel who gave me an awesome Swedish massage at the Earthbox Spa next door!

Thanks to the Whale Museum and the San Juan Vineyards for your generous gifts.

Kudos to The Backdoor Kitchen for the gift certificate.  The food was divine.

Also a big thank you to Seattle Magazine for sponsoring such a wonderful contest!  We had a wonderful adventure and came away with a greater appreciation for the spectacular beauty of the San Juans!