First Look

As many of you know who have followed my blog, after 18 years in Panama we decided it was time to downsize and go on a new adventure. In spite of my aversion to winter and my bougainvillea standard of living (if bougainvillea, that tropical vining plant grows there, I’ll grow there), with both our kids and our grandkids living in Washington … well, here we are in the Pacific NW, four seasons and all.

We ended up in Panama because I had worked on a cruise ship, met the Embera Indians and fell in love with the tropical paradise. Interestingly I discovered Anacortes, the small town on Fidalgo Island in the Puget Sound, when I was working on a river cruise ship doing a Puget Sound and San Juan Island cruise. So here we are!

Anacortes is a cute little town, influenced through the years by New England whaling and fishing ships that called on this tiny port first for fuel and wood, and later for cod and crabs. Today some of those 19th Century buildings still line the streets downtown filled with cute touristy shops, there are still maritime and fishing industries, and the multiple harbors are jammed full of yachts and pleasure craft.

We had a rude awakening just after we arrived when the area was hit by the biggest snowstorm in 15 years, which folks assure me was an aberration.

But spring has sprung and the tulips are blooming. One of the big products grown in our area are tulips and flower bulbs. And this is the week of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival when thousands of folks come from all over to see fields of daffodils and tulips in full bloom and tour the display gardens of the major growers. So this weekend our daughter Rebecca took us on a tour of the tulip display gardens.

RoozenGaarde [] is one of the largest producers of bulbs and flowers.

So, for those of you who are interested, here is our new home, really just a “cottage” since it is one-third the size of our house in Panama.

It’s taken us a while to sort out the mass confusion of our move and begin to settle it, but it is starting to look like home. Although we’re living in the region of four seasons, I at least wanted it to feel a little tropical with our Marco Polo theme of decorating.