La Conner and Anacortes, Washington

Brian Hoole and Gianna Holle visit La Conner Washington

La Conner and Anacortes, Washington

The reason we traveled all the way up to Washington was to visit family that we haven’t seen in many years.  Leaving Seattle, Jessica, Gianna, and I headed north to La Conner, WA.  My Mom and step father Bob, moved there last month from South Carolina and we were looking forward to staying with them for three days.  As we arrived, Bob gave us a warm welcome down the street and when we pulled up to the house, Mom gave us another big welcome. It’s been two years since we last saw Mom and Bob and we really felt like we were home.  To our surprise, our tiny house fit nicely in their driveway.  After several hours of catching up, Mom cooked a great dinner and we all spent the rest of the evening talking and enjoying being back together again.

Anacortes, Washington

Friday, my sister-in-law Chris took the day off (yeah!) and we took a trip to the Art Festival in downtown Anacortes.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle are looking down the main street of Anacortes

Brian Holle, Gianna Holle, Jessica Holle, Chris Holle, and Barb O'melia visit the Anacortes Art Festival

Chris, Jessica, Mom, and Gianna inspecting some kind of fleece pajamas?

We had a great time hanging out together and Chris kept us laughing with her great commentary.  It was nice to walk around Anacortes again since our last trip up here was five years ago.  It’s a cute town on Fidalgo Island with a rich history and a beautiful downtown. The art festival inspired Gianna, Mom, and Chris.

Brian Hoole's picture of the old hardware store in Anacortes

After a long, warm afternoon of shopping, we headed out of town to the famous Shrimp Shack for some deep fried wonderfulness.

The Holles visit the Shrimp Shack in Anacortes

Jessica and the gang at the Shrimp Shack

As always, the lines were long, but the food was delicious.

Mom at the Shrimp Shack in Anacortes

Mom and lots of fried food

Later Friday evening, we dropped Jessica off at the bus to Seattle so she could catch her plane back to San Jose.


Bye Jessica!

We headed back to Mom’s house to relax and again we enjoyed some great home cooking.


La Conner Washington

On our third day we visited La Conner, another cute small town with lots of nice shops and restaurants.



La Connor also has a very nice brewery so we stopped in to grab a pitcher of beer.



My Brother’s House

On the fourth day we moved to my brother Mark’s house for some more driveway surfing.  Mark and Chris live in a great location, just a block from the water with great views from their living room.  Mark is a great cook (takes after his Mom) and he cooked eight large Dungeness crabs for a real feast.


After dinner we sat around the fire pit and had a great time sharing stories.  As it got dark, we said goodbye to Mom and Bob, Mark, Chris and Ory.  It was a great four days visiting our family after two years apart.


The next morning, Mark and Chris headed off to work. Gianna and I started up the RV and headed south to spend the next two days on Whidbey Island.

Deception Pass

Heading south from Mark and Chris’ house, we traveled through one of the most beautiful parts of the San Juan Islands.  Deception Pass is the narrows between Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island.  The water is known for its fast and unpredictable currents.  The ¼ mile long, 180 ft. high bridges are a beautiful setting against the water and the island backdrop.



This was a sad but happy moment as we turned south back towards Santa Cruz.  Gianna and I did not want to leave our family behind but we know we’ll return to stay much longer next time.

More Family Pictures

Jessica Holle, Gianna Holle, Chris Holle, Mark Holle, Barb O'Melia, and Brian Holle visit Anacortes

Jessica, Gianna, Chris, Mark, Mom, and me

Mark Holle, Bob O'Melia, Barb O'Melia, and Brian Holle in Anacortes Washington

Mark, Bod, Mom, and me

The Dude

The Dude

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle visit family in Anacortes Washington

Me, Gianna, Mark, Chris, Mom, Bob, and Ory

Things we learned

  • We love driveway surfing with family.  It brings us close to family and we have our tiny house to go to at night with no inconvenience to our hosts.
  • Washington seems like the perfect place to live.  Admittedly, we have not been in Washington during the harsh winter months.
  • Buy a $30 annual state park pass, since the daily rate is $10.  Visit the parks three times and for the same price, you could have purchased an annual pass.

Dates Visited

August 4-8, 2016



  1. Barbara O'Melia

    Great job as always on the blog! We have been anxiously waiting to see what you wrote for the Anacortes/La Conner part of the trip and it was such fun to see the pictures and commentary. I love driveway surfing too….easiest house guests ever and of course, so extra good to see you all.
    Love Mom

  2. Mike Absher

    Sounds like a great trip. Visiting family is always great and often hard to leave. Love the Great Northwest and all the islands out there. If you head up there again, there is an animal park called Olympic Game Farm ( in Sequim, WA. It is on the northern coast of the peninsula. Last time I was there, very memorable. Fed lots of animals from the car. Had a bison stick his head into the window and try to lick me. Saw 50 or more wild Bald Eagles flying around and within 20 feet or so of the car. Great experience and definitely worth the detour.

    1. Brian Holle (Post author)

      Hey There Mike,
      Yes, visiting family after two years is a great joy and it was hard to leave them to head home. Thanks for the tip on the Olympic Game Farm, I’ll add it to my list of places to visit!
      Hope all is well.

  3. Kelly McVicar Gordon

    Shucks. We could have said hi to each other at the art festival. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Kelly


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