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Where to live on Whidbey Island? (West vs East vs Penn Cove)
My husband and are moving to Whidbey Island from NJ! We're very excited. We need to stay within a 20-25 minute radius of the hospital.
Question: if you could, would you move to the west-facing side of the island (Sea Side Drive), or the east- facing side of the island (Honeymoon Bay Drive)? Alternatively we could buy land on Penn Cove Road and buid facing the town of Coupeville.
It's hard...I don't want to miss the sunsets on the west side, but land is more expensive there and it's hard to find a property with it's own beach access. I'd like to walk down to a small beach and have a row boat to go crabbing. The land on Penn Cove Road would have a little beach so I could go crabbing, but I wonder how fun it would be to see the same view of coupeville with no large ships and such.....just mussel floats...and I guess a few boats....on the east side there are a lot of sailboats and such....
That's a very personal choice, isn't it, and the only ones who know how you enjoy being happiest are the two of you.
I'd never locate on the west side of anywhere here, because during the three hottest months of the year from noon to about 9:00PM the entire house would bake. Absolutely bake, down to the foundation. And if I were looking out at featureless water-sky day after day, I'd quickly lose my mind.
Since my favorite food in the world, next to Pepsi, is mussels, and Penn Cove grows one of the two best mussels in the world, according to international chefs (the other location being in France), I'd be giddy with joy looking at mussel floats and thinking of my next lunch at Mad Crab or dinner at Oystercatcher. Anyway, the view of the water, island, big snow-capped Mt. Baker, close boaters and distant ferries is idyllic. And being on the east side, you'd be just a walk from a grocery store or an ice cream cone.
You are the only ones who know what makes your hearts sing . .
Last edited by allforcats; 08-07-2008 at 09:26 PM..
My husband just saw that you had written and he was delighted! He's read your posts before.
Thank you so much for what you wrote. It means a great deal to us!!!!
I can appreciate that it would be quite hot in the summer months on the West side of the island. One home we're considering is on the west side of the island with lovely views of large ships and that type of water traffic. Another home we are considering is on the east side on Honeymoon Bay and there are lots of little boats to see and that sort of thing. So there would be a lot of activity, but it would be cooler. It has a small beach but my realtor thinks it's erroding at an alarming rate and that the stairs to the beach will be goen in 2-7 years.
The property in Penn Cove is *quite* charming. If Penn Cove is shaped liked the letter "C", the property sits at the top of the C and faces Coupeville. My realtor loves the property and wants me to build a new home on it. My husband and I visited Coupeville for the first time and fell in love with it, (so much so that we're picking up and leaving NJ) -so seeing Coupeville from my home would be lovely. I'm a scientist and I love marine life and seeing the sea otters and birds would be lovely. Also, the property has tideland rights which would be great for a tiny boat. We have two small dogs that would go nuts over a small rocky beach and well this property has jus that!!! Like you, I love shellfish. I love crab and I'm going to try mussels the next time I'm at the Mad Crab. I was so busy eating crab I couldn't fit room for the mussels.
I understand that where you live is a matter of personal preference. I was just thinking that it might also be nice to see the large freight ships and the water traffic that would be dynamic....and the sunsets. Actually, though, in the winter I could see sunsets at the Penn Cove property.
Sorry to go on....just trying to think it out as I write!
Well, it's a lovely situation to be in, that's for certain!!!!!
Thanks again, and any additional information would be so helpful.
Freeland Park just off Honeymoon Bay drive has a boat launch and clamming...
When you pick a place to live, you'll have the whole island to get to know. Everybody does have their own tastes, and on Whidbey for some reason I like the eastern views... I'm also pretty fond of the town of Langley, which may have the best pizzeria in the state of Washington, and as an ex Garden Stater, I appreciate good pizza. They also have a Greek place in Langley that does extraordinary mussels...and Double Bluff Beach park is pretty great too, near Freeland...they have a large off leash dog beach there, with happy frolicking swimming dogs...You just might have to get a dog.
Thank you Ira-
We also have two small dogs, they'd love the beach you spoke of!
We need to stay somewhat close to the hospital...the home on honeymoon bay would be perfect, a bit far from the hospital, but we could do it......if it weren't for the feared errosion of the property I'd buy in a heartbeat.
Our real estate agent has warned of us of Western properties north of Coupeville. He said the wind and sand blows like crazy.
Anyway, I LOVE pizza. We have one pizze place here in NJ that actually can compete with NYC pizza....so we'll try that place in Langely you mentioned! (What's the name of it, BTW?!)
Hi, W.I.G. Thanks so much for rambling -- it was fun to read!
Ira500 and I both hate heat so that's probably one reason we both prefer the east side of the Coupeville area. I agree with him that there's just a lot more to look at, paint, write poetry about, and photograph on the east side of that part of the island. Ohhhh it's just so pretty, looking out the back windows, for example, of Mad Crab.
I'm sure you both are wise enough and experienced enough to make your own choices, not particularly listening to other people... And your agent is spot on about the wind on the west side, especially in winter when our winds can occasionally come from the Bering Sea. Relentless, and chilly indeed!
I apologize -- it's been hot here this week, and I usually don't want to continue being on Earth when it gets hot (80, for me). So when I thought of the west side of the island, I just collapsed mentally. But even people who move up to WA from, say, warm places in Texas sometimes gripe about the summer heat on the west and south sides of their houses. So please accept my comments about heat in the unhappiness with which they are expressed.
Ira500 was able to reply to you in a much broader sense -- that truly the entire island is your playground when you live there. My favorite area is Langley also. Actually, the entire southern part of the island, with its glorious, dense forests is my favorite part. I am personally deeply in love with South Whidbey State Park which is mostly forests stretching back from the west side of the island, back for miles and miles and miles, home to eagles and ospreys, deer, wabbits. I could stay in there forever...
Double Bluff: do you know the secret of Double Bluff? When there is a very very low tide, a couple or more predictable times per year, you can slosh through the mud (with your unleased little doggies) and find mastadon bones... Holy cow!! The Native Americans who lived in the area stampeded mastadons off the cliff as an easy way to kill them, harvest the meat, the coats, bones, etc. Imagine....
Whidbey is renowned for thousands? well at least hundreds of tide pools all around the island, with all their magical life. You might never go home at night! And a 10- or 15-minute drive from just about any point on Whidbey would take you to whatever is near the current location the resident pods of Orca Whales are traveling this week...
My advice about trying mussels: I used to love clams; then I was introduced to mussels when I came here. Now I think of mussels as clams with PhDs -- so elegant, in both flavor and texture. Ask to have them cooked in just butter and garlic. Okay, some chopped tomato is fine; so is chopped onion. You just want to be able to extract a mussel from a shell, swish it in the liquid, and see what it really tastes like. Be still my beating heart!!!
We're sufficiently far north here that in the winter the sun rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest -- it doesn't go very far in the sky, and it doesn't get very high. It's enough for this former New Yorker to believe it's real daylight, but it doesn't last long and seeing the sun rise in the south always cracks me up!
About the pizza, Ira may have been referring to Cafe Langley which is also called Garibayan Brothers and has both Greek and American food and is much admired, even by Frommer's.
Last edited by allforcats; 08-07-2008 at 11:57 PM..
Cafe Langley is the place with great mussels. Village Pizza, much ore lowbrow , is the place for pizza. It's owned by a guy from Brooklyn. They even have a white pizza there. I don't prefer a white pizza, but it's a good sign.
We drove through Langley only briefly, but loved it! It was so charming and pretty! Ira, I can't wait to try Village Pizza! Yum!!!!
Like you, my husband and I abhor hot weather. One huge reason we're leving NJ- you'd be surprised how nasty the summers are and how long they last....we have to spring or fall anymore. We visited your island two weeks ago and were pleasantly surprised that the high temp never exceeded 70 degrees!!! It was wonderful! And we loved the early morning fog....it was just our cup of tea! Cozy and brooding and sortof depressing...we loved it!
I think honeymoon bay would be a nice place to live. But the thought of getting my own mussels in Penn Cove, well that would be something!!!! I looked at other dinners at Christopher's to see bowls of mussels in garlic broth....gosh it was to die for!!! Mussels- clams with a PhD! I love it!
Double Bluff sounds amazing....I spent a year at Woods Hole Oceanographic institute years ago...and maybe I'd see some things I haven't seen in years.....mastadon bones...how amazing!!! Low to see crabs in the tide pools....and other critters!
Thanks Ira and Allforcats for your candor!
We really appreciate it!
PS: Is coupeville pretty much closed during the winter months?
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