My favorite spot, Waikiki Beach, at Cape D State Park, Ilwaco, WA on January 13, 2015
This Lookout, called Bell’s View is one of the prettiest in the State of Washington with the Olympic Mountains in view way up north!
Blue Skies on January 13, 2015 at the North Head Lighthouse
Bright winter sunshine at Boreas Inn!
The Long Beach Peninsula had a fine summer and winter is looking much the same. These images of “January Spring Days in Long Beach, WA” prove my point! This winter has hosted monsoon days interspersed with perfect blue skies, warm temps, flat surf, modified by some big gust days creating huge surf and more warm temperatures. Sure we had a little freeze a month or so ago… but really, I think I like the changes in our weather patterns.
These January Spring Days in Long Beach have raised my mood considerably and made life more bearable. Of course Vitamin D is still in my daily repertoire, a necessity for many reasons, but it is possible to get some safe sunshine on our bodies. The other day at Waikiki Beach, we could have sunbathed! Guests of ours have pictures over New Years of their young daughter in a tank top at Cape D State Park. Christina prefaced showing me the picture with “Don’t think we are into child neglect but it was very warm at Waikiki Beach today!” These pics were taken by me playing tourist with Linda Hanlon, former peninsula resident now living in Seattle. We captured the beauty of January 13, 2015. Almost too warm for a jacket and offering perfect images of Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco, WA. Come take photographs of our beautiful area, stay at Boreas Bed & Breakfast Inn in the lap of luxurious surroundings and fine breakfast dining! If you’re looking for things to do, drive for 10 minutes and see Cape D for yourself!
Seeing and hearing whales always causes an inexplicable joy in me. Humans are fascinated with their fellow mammals. Whales breath air, have hair, are warmblooded and give birth to live offspring that suckle milk from their mothers. Gray whales range in length from 40-50 feet and can have flukes (tales) that can measure ten feet across. Females are usually larger than males . The Gray whales weigh 50,000 to 80,000 pounds and can live up to 50 years. They can start growing barnacles even as youngsters. We’ve seen Grays rubbing their barnacles on the North Jetty at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco, Washington, 10 minutes from our B&B, Boreas Inn.
On occasion you can see a Gray whale fluke off the Long Beach Peninsula!
Two times each year, the Gray whales cruise by the Long Beach, Washington Peninsula. After spending summers feeding and fattening up in the Arctic waters, the Gray whales head south cruising off the Pacific Coast to the bays in Southern California and Baja, Mexico. You can witness this migration starting in mid-December and it peaks in early January and can usually be seen into early February.
When Gray whales are cruising by the Long Beach Peninsula, whether heading north or south, the whale’s goal is to get where they are going and generally they do not hang around and feed–except for maybe some shrimp-like creatures and a fish or two. In fact, they are known to go without food for 3 to 5 months, which is why they must fatten up when in the rich Arctic waters before heading south to play in Baja. While in Baja, the whales mate and nurse their young. The gestation period for Grays is 11-13 months. When nursing, Gray whale moms can produce up to 50 gallons of milk daily containing over 50% fat. Calves can gain 60-70 pounds a day and build up their blubber quite quickly.
The Grays begin their return journey back north to the Arctic from Baja starting in mid-March. The immature whales, adult males and females without offspring head north first cruising by our coast in March and April. Then later, females with calves head north at a slower rate, passing the Long Beach, Washington Peninsula in May. So there is the possibility of seeing whales on and off for about six months of the year. We have seen gray whales in the surf-line from the lookout on Loop 100 in September leading us to believe that some Gray whales must be hanging out on the Washington coast much of the year. So maybe there are now “home” pods of Gray whales.
The best spots here to watch for whales is from the North Head Lighthouse and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park, a 10 minute drive from Boreas Inn. The whales can spout up to 15 feet in the air through their two blowholes, so that is often what we see when we watch for whales at the Park. When we have gray skies, the whales water and skies are fairly close in color so the spouting is sometimes all you can see. Bring your binoculars or borrow ours–there’s no guarantee you will see Gray whales, but it is fun to look. With the fabulous weather we’ve been having all fall and winter, this is a great activity on the Long Beach Peninsula! It’s much easier to see gray whales when there is blue sky!
This is more likely what you will see–the spout! Thrilling!
So what is the Innkeeper’s #1 New Years’ Resolution? Here we are on day 8 of 2014 and I’ve already blown my #1 2014 New Years Resolution–which was to work out three times a week at SNAP Fitness, our great new local 24 hour gym. It is not that Boreas Inn is slamming busy this time of year. Being overwhelmed by lots of guests, unfortunately, is not a good reason not to work out three times per week like it is in the busy season. So what is it that devastates my #1 New Years’ Resolution? Each day seems to evaporate. Poof! And the gym isn’t a part of it.
I do not think I will lift large weights. Maybe just some elliptical and circuit work?
Twenty four hours per week really do evaporate at DaVita, my other job that has re-immersed me in clinical social work, my first passion. Intense, necessary, important to me and hopefully my patients and it is very worthwhile work. When one is accustomed to working seven days per week for 18 years, cramming in another 24 hours in the work week at DaVita is no big deal, right?
Let’s see, other impediments to me keeping my #1 New Years’ Resolution….The Visitor’s Bureau Executive Committee and Board. Some hours in the first two weeks of the month, then email…not such a huge time commitment, right? Right. The Washington Bed&Breakfast Guild Board of Directors meetings. Quarterly meetings, email, love the organization, 2.5 days this week. Completely mentally and emotionally satisfying teamwork with a fun, interesting, inspiring group of committed entrepreneurial innkeepers.
Ahhh…that’s what happened to my #1 New Years’ Resolution for 2014. It’s day 8–I’ve only worked out twice. But I have worked out my brain on a daily basis. But that does not register on a FitBit! And not to forget, we have had a few guests at Boreas Inn too.
Now that I’ve analyzed and viewed in print what’s been up in the first 8 days of 2014, I understand why I have not kept my #1 New Years Resolution for this year. And I WILL meet my commitment to myself and work out at SNAP Fitness three times per week. Or maybe two… :-)
Putting my #1 New Years’ Resolution aside, there is good stormy weather and high surf predicted for this coming weekend and nowhere is better than Boreas Inn and the available Yett Beach House to watch a winter storm on the Long Beach Peninsula! Boreas Inn has beautiful beds, cozy fireplaces, and a fine breakfast befitting a King and Queen (which are also our bed sizes)! Bill and I will be here in fine form with nothing but time to devote to showing our guests the best B&B experience on the coast. ( The extra special treat this weekend is the Seahawks game at 1:35 pm on Saturday, the 11th. Our guests will be invited to watch the game with us, dressed in our Seahawks jersey finest, at The Lost Roo. Seven giant TV’s should be adequate for viewing!
And hopefully this weekend, maybe we can walk in the rain…to SNAP Fitness to work out!
Stay at Boreas Inn this month! We have some availability for Christmas and plenty New Years and all you need for Christmas are gifts for under the Boreas tree. A ready-made holiday is yours complete with decorations! Just bring your toothbrush!
Our Crab Cake and Champagne Brunch on New Years’ Day is about as delectable as any breakfast you’ve ever had because we like to start the year out right! The Depot, Pelicano, The Shelburne Inn Restaurant, 42nd Street and Jimella and Nanci’s are open for New Years’ and if you would like to dine out on Christmas, many of these restaurants are open–we will set up your dinners!! There will be fireworks on New Years’ Eve sponsored by the City of Long Beach!
Readers of this blog and Facebook friends can go for our Walk-in Rate ($150 for $179 rooms and $170 for the $199 Dunes Suite) if you can book at least two nights! Just mention it in your online reservation notes and we will fix your rate in the system!
The Inn was decorated by our guests and family last weekend and we had such a relaxing time time doing it–that in reality, it didn’t get completed. So Bill has hung the fresh cedar boughs and new lights outside this week!
This weekend is the annual B&B Open House with The Shelburne, Charles Nelson Guest House and Boreas Inn participating Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 pm. Come by and see us and taste some great cookies baked by Bill and Susie! Open House Visitors are encouraged to bring along non-perishable food items and canned foods to donate to our local food banks. It’s a hungry time of year for many of our neighbors, so we hope we can make a tiny difference!
The Port of Ilwaco is again hosting the World’s Largest Crab Pot Christmas Tree. How many of you have seen one of those? Many of the Saturday Market artisans have moved indoors on the Port to sell their wares for the holidays and are open on the weekends until Christmas. Shopping on the Peninsula is very good–I used to come here from Portland, before I moved here, just to shop before the holidays!
For even more activities this weekend and over New Years, there are razor clams to be harvested this weekend, December 14th,15th,16th and then over New Years on December 29th, 30th and 31st! These are late afternoon tides…easy and fun. The clamming has been great this year.
Once a year we do a Holiday Newsletter, “The Boreas Barometer”. We will do them more frequently in the future, but do not want to be nuisance emailers! I have no way of attaching the entire newsletter to this blog post, but do have a picture of the masthead! It is a pretty newsletter..produced with my own pics by Reservation Nexus, our reservation system webmasters. Boreas Inn is fortunate to have a few thousand people on our email list and we hope that the newsletter is informative and lets readers know we’re thinking of them! If you’d like one, just drop us a line to email@example.com and we will send you one!! We wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Years full of love and friendship! Your innkeepers, Susie Goldsmith and Bill Verner
Our holiday newsletter is out today!
Christmas is mellow…and delicious!
Curl up by the fire and celebrate!
New Years’ Day Brunch–5 Courses of Luscious! Included with your room rate!
At Cape Disappointment State Park, a few miles down the road from Boreas Inn, in Ilwaco, Washington, there are two lighthouses, both enchanting, rugged and enduring, The North Head and Cape Disappointment Lighthouses. Lighthouses are among our favorite buildings–hardy, yet vulnerable to the hurricane force winds we infrequently have along with those driving rains we frequently experience. The lights project about 20 miles to the Pacific Ocean to guide vessels into the proper channel and hopefully away from the deadly rocks and spits of the mighty and fearsome Mouth of the Columbia River. 2,000 vessels have sunk and many have died at the “Mouth” and along the Long Beach Peninsula; more disasters than the infamous Cape Horn!
As a child, my father would take our Lake Oswego, OR 16 foot waterski boat over the Mouth of the Columbia during larger than logical seas in an attempt, I believe to drown the family. (Just kiddin’–sort of…) The waves instilled a life-long fear into this sea-loving woman. I still have dreams about my father sitting atop the seat of our ski boat crying “Wahoo! Wahoo!” as waves crashed over us. We bailed and bailed to keep from sinking. The Coast Guard would shudder, I’m sure, whenever they saw my father, who occasionally needed towing over the Bar. (I was not there for that–I would have been mortified!) I remember seeing the lighthouse beams during foggy times at sea and they were oddly, a comfort, while I tried to be brave…with my father.
That aside, this weekend, on Saturday, June 8th, there will be a long-awaited title transfer ceremony of the North Head Lighthouse from the US Coast Guard to Washington State Parks. There will be lighthouse tours, open houses at the innkeeper’s residences and refreshments. The views are stunning, whales may be sighted, and a good time should be had by all. So come visit the North Head Lighthouse on the SW Washington Coast, near Long Beach, Washington and celebrate 115 years of maritime history at the North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park. If you’re lucky, you might snag the last room open at Boreas Bed & Breakfast Inn!
The North Head celebrates 115 of guarding the Mouth of the Columbia.
Personally, New Years’ Eve isn’t my favorite holiday. I think of doing taxes, of what I haven’t accomplished this year, what I need to accomplish next year… but every year, our guests jolly me into appreciating the holiday more than I would were we not innkeepers. After all, 2012 sounds more well-rounded than 2011. I like even numbers. THERE WILL BE FIREWORKS at the beach, in view from Boreas, on New Years Eve!! I almost forgot!
The Christmas tree is still fresh and lovely for some reason (Bill takes good care of the tree!) and we haven’t tired of the decorations so prettily placed by our decorating crew the first weekend in December. We had a great time decorating this year. This year was extra special with a sweet blend of family and beloved guests who are now family too. We are hoping that we fill up for New Years’ weekend. We are always filled up after Christmas but not this year! Groupon and Living Social may be the reason—people shopping for bargains. Frankly, for what Boreas offers, we are a bargain! But we’re offering the Carpe Diem, Walk-in Special rate starting today. $150 for luxury and pampering! Even the cottage is open this weekend.
Our guest list so far is a fun one and Odell will be here to help us dismantle the decorations if we can work around our desire to watch football…at Mark and Helen’s Lost Roo, of course! Go DUCKS! Everyone is invited to take DOWN the decorations with us and go to The Roo!
Fresh Dungeness Crabcakes and Champagne on Sunday morning, New Years’ Day, sounds pretty perfect for one of our FOUR courses, and Bill will do beautiful work on the crab cakes as always and I will bake pastries, whip up sauces and make the fruit entrée glow so that consuming all that vitamin C seems very sexy. Well…it is! But I hope that if it’s going to be cloudy this week end, that it is also stormy so we can feel comforted by the fireplaces. But I also hope that there is a break in the weather so we can go for a fresh walk to start the New Year. We have been fortunate with fine weather this fall.
Come stay with us this weekend at the prettiest inn on the Long Beach Peninsula—featherbeds, down comforters, fireplaces, fine and fancy breakfast fare, freshly baked brownies, and the incredibly-wonderful-almost-brand-new hot tub for two with a little aromatherapy—mint and eucylptus, to soften your skin. Boreas Bed & Breakfast Inn is posh but hip, fun, but mellow and very food-crazy with a great location on the beach in Long Beach Washington. Relaxation is the best way to start the next banner year—2012! Happy New Year!
Bill and I just returned from our brief weekly disappearing act to eat Serious Pizza at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco on the Long Beach, Washington Peninsula. First of all, this park is NOT a disappointment–it is our favorite Washington State Park. It was named “Cape Disappointment” because in 1788, Captain John Meares, a fur trader, was disappointed because this was not the opening to the river–and is, in fact, is located just north of the infamous Mouth of the Columbia River! Cape Disappointment is also home to the National Park housing Maya Lin’s “Confluence Project” honoring the Indian tribes Lewis and Clark encountered at the confluences of the rivers on their journey west. Captain Clark and 11 of the “Corps of Discovery” hiked all over the land that is now Cape Disappointment State Park and from McKenzie Head, saw their first panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean! Then they proceeded to hike north up the Peninsula, right across the property that is now Boreas Inn, located on the 1805 high water mark. So you get to sleep right on the Lewis and Clark Trail!
Of course, one of the most scenic parts of the Park are the two lighthouses, The North Head Lighthouse and the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. The North Head is easily explored by parking in the lot and walking down to the lighthouse on a road alongside the rock face overlooking the Pacific Ocean and just north of Benson Beach. This is a place to linger. All day. The waves, huge in the winter but omnipresent, are hypnotic. The color of the water seems to change from blue to green to gray in a storm, but always a stunning contrast with the white tips of the peaks of the waves. Whale watching from the North Head is often rewarding. We look for the clumps of kelp offshore and occasionally see the spouts. The pelicans, eagles, many varieties of gulls, terns and a huge array of seabirds make this spot make for some of the best birdwatching in the West. Cape D lighthouse is a hike from the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (in winter and anytime, the best view of the Mouth of the Columbia and the jetties), around Dead Man’s Cove. Our guests come from around the world to see these two lighthouses, within miles of Boreas!
I mentioned Serious Pizza! Well–seriously now, take the combination of a wood-fired pizza oven, burning cherry and apple, the “00 fino” flour imported from Italy, imported cheeses, meats from a great Seattle butcher chop and a location at Waikiki Beach at Cape D (as we call it), and you have not only the recipe for the best wood-fired pizza in Southwest Washington, but a spectacular setting near the amphitheater at Cape D State Park. With eagles flying overhead (perhaps looking hungrily at your pizza-or maybe at your dog) and osprey circling around with crows and gulls harrassing them, you have an experience you will never forget. Our favorite pizza is, you guessed it, “The Boreas”–the vegetarian pizza with garlic olive oil base, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives and pepperoni. How special is it to have a pizza named after Boreas Inn? State Parks built Jim and Chi, the purveyors of this fine pizza, a permanent structure so that visitors to the park, including campers staying in the 240 campsites, can have pizza! We call ahead to avoid waiting perhaps an hour for the most memorable pizza. It’s truly Neopolitano–a thin delectable crust and just the right amount of cheese for a non-guilt producing light meal. They also have wood-fired oysters and mouth-watering wood-fired wings. Homemade ice cream and brownies….oh my! Watch for Jim and Chi’s Serious Pizza to come soon to the town of Long Beach!
I have attached a very fine video about Cape Disappointment State Park to this blog! It stars a few of our favorite State Park employees and some of the best scenery this area has to offer. The Park is located 10 minutes from Boreas Inn. We are soooo lucky to have Cape D State Park in our backyard. So come to Boreas Inn and we will direct you to our favorite park, Cape Disappointment! Enjoy the YouTube about Cape D.!
Bill and I take a lot of pictures of sunrises and sunsets wherever we happen to be. Bill is the sunrise and I’m the sunset specialist. He’s the more alert morning guy and I’m the evening person. We each think that the pics the other takes look a lot like the myriad of sunset and sunrise pics we’ve each taken, but to us they all look different and fascinating. So–this time of year at the beach is perfect for taking pictures–the light is beautiful, the rainbows sometimes are doubles and on the rare occasion, we have seen triples. We pull off the roads and whip out our cell phones if that’s all we have, and take pictures. We can’t help ourselves. From Boreas Inn decks and windows, if you have your camera ready, you can catch the eagles flying by and the marsh hawks cruising the dunes looking for prey. Wait for sundown, my favorite time and capture the beauty of the sun leaving for the day. At this time of year, the rebirth of my precious flowers in the (currently wild-looking) gardens , the wild weather and the promise of warmer days lift my spirits. Do you feel the same?
The Sky is on Fire!
Born in the Year of the Dragon, sometimes I see them in the clouds…
We’re almost out of the woods on the Pacific Ocean having spent the entire night up and high on adrenaline. No big waves seem to be coming and we have survived (we hope!) the aftermath of the most devastating earthquake Japan can remember. Our Tsunami Tspecial is a once in a lifetime (hopefully) event–$125 per night for all the goodies and we will supply the complementary Tsunami Tsauce (Mimosa’s)–or you can have your champagne straight up! Come celebrate the ocean, from a distance, and please say prayers for our Japanese friends who have endured and are continuing to endure the worst disaster in recent history. Take advantage of your exhausted innkeepers–come cheer us up!
We promise you a beautiful, lazy weekend at Boreas if you decide to visit us. We have room for you and would love to cook up a storm in the morning if it’s not stormy enough outside–and even if it is. Don’ t listen to the weather guys–they are usually wrong, unless they tell you it’s going to be wonderful–because sunshine, rain, wind…it’s always wonderful here. The fireplaces beckon and we’re offering our Walk-in Special at our romantic getaway by the sea. $150 a night including our “perfectly plated” 3 course or more breakfast (plus tax of course). We don’t want to be lonely–so come to Long Beach and we will fix you up with two fabulous dinners out at our fine dinner houses and promise you the most relaxing weekend with fireplaces blazing and our new hot tub beckoning. We hope to see you soon!