Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Staying Awhile in the Evergreen State-Blaine

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Staying Awhile in the Evergreen State-Blaine

M'A'turn @ Beachwood RV Resort
Our stay in Ponderosa Falls in Spokane was so nice we thought nothing could top it…that is, until we reached Beachwood RV Resort, another K/M campground (K/M stands for Kevin and Mike, co-owners of around 7 sites in Washington). Our stay there was memorable for a nice string of visits, parties, and recreation. So the three weeks we were there I have named our Sing, Eat, and Dance weeks.

Birch Bay State Park
 The Resort has two large pools (one heated and enclosed with a bubble during cold weather), three hot tubs (one of which is indoor), a dry sauna, an adult lounge with billiard, pingpong and other tables and a youth lounge with billiard, pingpong and fusbol tables, a nursery area, and a video arcade. Outside are tennis courts, driving range, and a playground. And the general store is a good-sized grocery.

me on a beachwood at Birch Bay
   A nice 10-minute walk through the beautiful (especially the change of colors in Fall) Birch Bay State Park behind the store leads you to Birch Bay, with lots of big, artsy driftwoods adorning the beach (hence the name). At the bay are various recreational activities with kayak, bike, and golf rentals, and a large mini-golf course. Famous for sinful, tasty fish and chips, Birch Bay is a touristy community of vacation homes.

the Aberions in front of the cabin
  The first week, Deejay’s family (Tavy, his dad, Darlyn, sister, and husband Paolo) and Trisha and the two kids Yeye and Kenji were in a cottage beside our RV. I call the first week Sing because Tavy is an avid karaoke singer and so we had a great time singing at night after the morning sightseeing trips and afternoon recreational activities as the resort. An avid karaoke ‘performer’ myself, I had loads of fun!

the spit that splits
The second week I call the Eat week. Our friends Benjie and Fides Alviar came to visit us again. On the first day we toured them around Birch Bay and could not help but feast on the famous fish and chips! Then we went to Semiahmoo (meaning half moon) Bay. Beachwood is in the city of Blaine whose harbor is separated from the main body of the bay by a Spit, on which is the Semiahmoo Resort. The spit splits the bay such that it looks like a half moon. From there one can see White Rock, a city in Canada.
a view of White Rock from the parkway that leads to the Resort
Blaine’s northern boundary is the Canadian border. The city is home to the two main West Coast ports of entry between the United States and Canada, the Peace Arch Crossing, the primary passenger vehicle port of entry, and the Pacific Border Crossing, about a mile east, the primary point of entry for heavy truck traffic, and thus is known as the Truck Crossing.
admiring the kiosk of the concrete factory

trying to unsettle the pigeons

So the next day we went to Vancouver, BC, only about an hour away where we again could not help but sample exotic fruits and other goodies at Granville Island where my most favorite public market in the world is located. At the boardwalk are dozens of pigeons waiting to be fed. In the middle of one-of-a-kind shops a man dressed in a ballerina outfit was entertaining crowds. We even found a concrete factory that told its story in an interesting kiosk’ near its entry.


the ballerina on Granville Island

with Bolet, in front of Pinpin
   Then we went to meet another friend, Bolet, who lives in Vancouver, at the famous Pinpin restaurant where hordes of Pinoys and Pinays (what we fondly call people from the Philippines) eat because of its many authentic Filipino dishes. And, though we had a lunch that our tummies could not carry, we still went to the Newtown Bakery in Chinatown to buy our siopaos and other Pinoy treats. 

playing billiards???

On the last weekend our guests were Krishna, my eldest grandchild, Randy, her boyfriend, and Diana, his sister. However, the teens were not interested in sites! Instead they frequented the hot tubs and lounges. On Saturday night we all went to the crab feed where I finished two whole crabs and two pieces of roast chicken! But I call this last week our Dance week because after the Feed there was live band music. Bill and I danced the night away with another couple from Canada, members of the resort.

Mt. Baker in all its glory

a sighting of an American bald eagle
 In between these weekend visits were trips to Bellingham, Mt. Baker, and the towns of Concrete (yes, they make concrete there) and La Conner (in the heart of Skagit Valley, the tulip country in America and, although the flowers are not in season until spring, that is where I saw my first bald eagle by the road), Washington.  Bellingham is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Whatcom County. Situated on Bellingham Bay. 

a nice spot on a city ridge overlooking Bellingham Bay
a strikingsculpture on WWU campus
Although Bellingham is smaller than neighboring metropolitan areas such as Seattle, Vancouver, or Victoria, the city and its surrounding region offer many attractions which are popular for both residents and visitors. The city’s scenic splendor is appreciated by residents and tourists, mainly from Canada. Cliffside views of the San Juan Islands and the glaciers of Mt. Baker can be seen from the city. Even Western Washington University is a tourist destination for the countless sculptures around the campus.

the entry to Concrete, Washington
Certainly those three weeks of Sing, Eat, and Dance make it into our book. We were in Beachwood the latter part of October and early November. What more could we have enjoyed if we were there during spring or summer??? But the holiday season (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year) is about to begin so we went on to Monroe, Washington to be closer to family and friends!
the Cascades with an urban foreground


  1. Sounds like you had a lot of family time after all those months of very little. The scenery is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You are welcome. This place just had it all.

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