Real Estate January 15, 2021

How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Broker in Washington

Step by Step, How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Broker in Washington

 

  1. Pick a school and do your 90 hours of course work. At Windermere, we recommend Rockwell Institute because it is consistent and has proven success at getting people prepared to pass the exam. Current cost $489 (January 2021).
    1. HOT TIP: There is an add on to get sample exams and extra cramming practice. GET IT!
  2.  Do the following steps as you get closer to completing the 90 hours to break up the studying with actions that will prepare you for taking the exam and getting licensed…
  3. Fingerprints! The closest location to Whidbey Island is in Mt. Vernon. You can schedule your appointment on this IdentoGO site. At the time of this blog post (January 2021), it cost $42.80 for the fingerprints and background check. Go to this DOL site for more info.
  4. Set up a SAW account (Secure Access Washington) if you haven’t already for your driver’s license. For more info: https://www.dol.wa.gov/business/accountaccess.html
  5. Register as a student with AMP through psi here https://ampportal.goamp.com/School/SchoolUser/WAREPStudentRegistration.aspx.
  6. Register for the exam. Cost $138.25 https://online.goamp.com/CandidateHome/examination.aspx?p_category=REAL%20ESTATE&p_client_code=WAREP&p_exam_id=21311
  7. Once you’ve passed the exams apply for your license! https://secureaccess.wa.gov/myAccess/saw/select.do

 

* Contact the WA DOL Real Estate licensing department if you need extra help. We recommend emailing them instead of calling for a faster response. https://www.dol.wa.gov/business/realestate/contact.html

 

Follow these suggestions to get yourself mentally and physically ready to launch your real estate career:

 

Pick a brokerage, Windermere, real estate

  1. Pick a brokerage.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Interview the top brokerages in your area. Since the real estate exam process doesn’t really give you what you need to serve people or build your own business you want to join a brokerage with a robust training program and ongoing support. Schedule a no-pressure introduction meeting with our brokerage today! Email us at WhidbeyCommunications@Windermere.com to do so.
  2. Change your phone number to a local area code if it is not already. Nowadays all cell phones have caller ID and everyone is screening calls from out of state numbers. Do not confuse people, all real estate is local and your phone number should be too.
  3. If you are beginning your real estate career in November or December then now is a great time to start collecting mailing addresses for Christmas cards.
  4. Read some books. We give one of our favorites out a lot!
  5. Snoop on the local real estate brokers.                                                                                    snoop the local brokers, become an agent What do you see that you like, what don’t you like? Take note! Social media is one good place to find a broker then check out top brokers’ web pages. If you don’t know any go to the website of the brokerage you’re thinking about, head to the agent’s page, and start clicking links. Ours is right here!
  6. Interview brokers you admire. Take a broker that catches your attention online for a cup of coffee (they really do like it!). Ask them all the questions but more importantly LISTEN. Some suggested questions are…              Interview, How to become a licensed broker in Washington
    1. What do you like most about being a real estate broker? Least?
    2. What do you like most about your brokerage? Least?
    3. What advice would you give someone like me who is just getting into the business?
  7. Download our guide to 5 things you can do to give yourself a head start here.

 

 

PHOTOS BY: Kelsey Kurtis

EventsThings to do on Whidbey December 30, 2020

What are we supposed to do now that Christmas is over and um… COVID?

The gifts are all open, the excitement and anxious anticipation for December 25th has come and gone. Any friends/family that did come to visit have already, or are soon to be, returning home and we are left here sitting with the aftermath of Christmas, surrounded by crumpled wrapping paper and half-torn bows. Honestly, after this year, most of us are still holding onto the twinkle of the lights because nobody is quite ready to let the spirit of Christmas go.

After Christmas

Scrolling through the Facebook feed it’s easy to see we are not alone in this feeling and, if you are reading this, you likely aren’t either.

The sudden calm right after Christmas can leave us feeling dazed. It’s a shock to the system when you realize how much post-holiday cleanup there is to complete. Where does one begin when it comes to reorienting your home back to normal and even more so this year because… well… what is normal anymore?

To help you get back on your feet we have 6 ideas for keeping the celebratory spirit rolling well into the New Year and help you with the transition back to some kind of normalcy in your home.

  1. Throw a virtual 2021 bash for the New Year!
  2. Make room for the new!
  3. Donate the old…
  4. Give to the food bank.
  5. Throw a touchless regifting party.
  6. Recycle your tree!

THROW A VIRTUAL 2021 BASH FOR THE NEW YEAR!

What are we supposed to do now, Virtual Bash, New Years, 2021

Keep the Christmas tree and decorations up! Add 2021 balloons and YES… The answer is, yes girl, buy the dress! It makes you feel good, and even though you are home you are still going to be seen during your virtual party and your posts online. Even better, HELP THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNER DO THE BOOGIE AND BUY THE DRESS LOCAL! Here is a list of some great places on Whidbey Island to find a dress…

MAKE ROOM FOR THE NEW…

Begin by figuring out what you want to get rid of. Then determine where it should go. Not everything should go in the trash, you can recycle, donate, even regift!

Start by recycling

“Did you know that household waste increases by more than 25% from Thanksgiving to New Years?” (King5)

It is not hard to figure out why this increased waste occurs. However, it does not make the statistic any less startling. To put that in perspective, since the average American produces about 4.5 lbs of waste a day (EPA); Whidbey Island theoretically produces an additional 3,500 TONS of waste every holiday season. If there was ever a stat to make you want to recycle, that should be it! However, to be an effective recycler, you need to know what can and what can’t go in that little blue bin of yours. So, here’s a quick rundown of what can and can’t go in your recycling bin.

What to do with my stuff, windermere suggestions, what are we supposed to do now

CAN Recycle:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Plain paper boxes and bags
  • Plain wrapping paper
  • Holiday cards (without embellishments)
  • Tissue paper

CANNOT Recycle:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Cellophane
  • Tinsel
  • Plastic bags
  • Holiday lights
  • Ribbons
  • Bows
  • Foam packaging

DONATE THE OLD

This time of year, your home can feel a bit cramped and cluttered with the addition of all those great new gifts. What better way to start the New Year than with a mini overhaul? Start by getting rid of your junk… BUT, just because you might not have a use for some of your older items doesn’t mean it’s worthless. Help keep useful things out of the landfill this year and DONATE!  Once you and your loved ones have decided which items they can bear to part with there are a few choices on where you can donate. Below are some of Whidbey’s second-hand shops and charities that accept lightly used items.

what next, donate, make space, live clutter free, what are we supposed to do now

GIVE TO THE FOOD BANK

It is easy to get caught up in buying food for the holidays and during that generous and abundant mood our food banks are typically full.  It’s the time immediately after the holidays that can be especially difficult for charities and food banks. The financial exasperation many experience after the holidays can cause an all-out stop to donations for a while but, unfortunately, needs don’t just stop because Christmas is over. Donating to charities and especially food banks is something critical to do throughout the year and not just in November and December. Below are some local food banks who could do a great amount of good with your post-Christmas donations.

Donate, what are we supposed to do now

THROW A TOUCHLESS REGIFTING PARTY

We all have that one gift (or 5) that we simply did not want or need. Yes, Aunt Kathy meant well, but what on earth are you going to do with a crochet pillow of her cat? Often these gifts are begrudgingly placed deep into the depths of our closets never to be seen again (or at least not for a few years). However, it does not have to be this way! We know you are not a fan of seeing Whisker’s face on a pillow every day, but who is to say your friend Bethany might not LOVE it, or at least cause a chuckle? Unwanted gifts do not need to sit gathering dust in the closet, especially when there’s a simple solution of how to pass that hot potato on to someone else! Ha!

throw a touchless party, regift, 2021, what are we supposed to do now

So, throw the party! Just get creative in how you do it!

Regifting Parties are basically White Elephants thrown after Christmas with the intention of finding better homes for those unwanted gifts. The concept and rules for the Regifting Game is simple and match White Elephants almost exactly. Invite friends (heck let your friends invite their friends the more the merrier and its virtual so if you don’t like them it’s not really a big deal) give everyone a number and when chosen unwrap your gift to reveal, then deliver, or give everyone an address and drop off your random gift and have fun discovering new treasures! Don’t want to figure out the logistics yourself? Use this easy and free online tool to organize your White Elephant Re-gift Exchange today!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, ITS TIME TO RECYCLE YOUR TREE

Soon that fresh pine smell is going to leave (if it hasn’t already). If you are like the rest of us who set up our trees a month earlier than normal, your clean floors are beginning to be covered in pine needles. So, start thinking now how you are going to prevent the headache of getting rid of the tree without upsetting your neighbors when your tree is still laying on the side yard in May. I know, it is always sad, especially this year when the time comes to take down the Christmas tree, but like every other year, the end of thousands of needles in your vacuum will come as a relief.

If you live in a house with a wood-burning fireplace it might be a little tempting to chop it up and throw it in, but this is a BAD IDEA. When pine needles catch on fire they do not burn slowly like wood, but instead, spark out in all directions which can be a huge fire hazard in a home. Instead, what you should do is deposit your tree at one of the Island’s Solid Waste drop-off locations where they can be put with other yard waste and recycled properly.

Recycle your tree, christmas is over, hold on tight, new years, windermere, what are we supposed to do now, all in for you

We hope your transition into 2021 is smooth and peaceful! Please share with us any other ideas you have for easing out of one season and into the next.

Thank you, your Windermere Whidbey Team!

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Real Estate October 1, 2020

Moving With Pets

We all know moving can be stressful…

Moving with Petsbut have you stopped to consider how a move can affect your pets?

Here are a couple of suggestions to consider while moving to help make the transition easier on both you and your pets.

Contact Your Vet:

Let your pets’ vet know that you will be moving. Your vet can provide you good information for the best way to move with your pet and make sure you have enough medications for the duration of the trip. They can answer any questions you have and they might even be able to help you find a good vet in your new location if you are moving out of the area. Do not forget to get your pet’s records before you move.

Best Friend’s Veterinary Center

33285 WA-20, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
(360) 679-6796

North Whidbey Veterinary Hospital

1020 NE 7th Ave #4, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
(360) 679-3772

Penn Cove Veterinary Clinic

107 S Main St, Coupeville, WA 98239
(360) 678-6046

Central Whidbey Veterinary Services Inc

771 Patmore Rd, Coupeville, WA 98239
(360) 678-1881

Create a Moving Kit:

Gather supplies to keep your pet comfortable during the travel and supplies on hand for the first several days of unpacking.

  • Pet food
  • Food, Water, and Bowls
  • Medication
  • Grooming tools
  • Toys
  • Blanket
  • Poop Bags
  • Leash
  • Treats
  • Documentation and a picture

The Day of Packing:

Our pets feel anxieties, just like we do when things change around them. It is best during a move if you can keep them away from all the action. A simple option is often putting them in a kennel or letting them stay with a friend. If you cannot or do not want to do either of those; try making a quiet room in the house where they can safely stay away from all the hustle and bustle. It is also important to check on them often and try to walk them when you normally would.

Things to remember:

  • Make sure they have enough ventilation
  • Make sure they are not too hot or too cold
  • Make sure they have enough food and water
  • Let them have some toys

 
Taking Your Pet With You:

Moving With Pets

When possible, it’s best to travel with your pet to curb their anxiety. There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding the best way to transport your pet such as their age, temperament, size, and species. Regardless, it’s always important to ensure your pet’s safety when traveling which is why we have included a few links below with helpful pet gadgets.

Do Not Go Off-Leash in Unfamiliar Areas:

Moving With Pets, Walking Dog, On leash, Whidbey Island, Parks on Whidbey

Remember that new locations mean unfamiliar areas. If your pet gets out while traveling they might get lost. Additionally, when you get to your new home it is important that you take the time to be with your pet to discover the new area so they don’t get lost and can find there way back to their new home. This is also an important reason to bring documentation and a picture of your pet with you in case they get lost.

Introduce One Room at a Time with Familiar Items:

Consider setting up one room first with familiar items for your pet to stay in while you prepare the rest of the house. Give your pet a lot of attention and slowly introduce them to each new room giving them plenty of time to adjust to their new surroundings and familiarize themselves with the new setting. You also might consider crating them when you leave them alone for the first few weeks. New environments can cause pets to break house training.

Things to do When You Get to Your New Location:

Moving with Pets

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Real EstateStats May 19, 2020

North Whidbey Q1: 2020 Stats

Report Quarterly Stats by Whidbey Communications

EventsThings to do on Whidbey January 14, 2020

Now What? What to do after Christmas

Now What?

The gifts are all open, friends and family have returned to their respective homes, the ball has fallen, and the kids are back in school. The holiday season has officially come to a close, leaving us with the annual question of “Now what?”

 

Although this question can be an ominous one correlating to all that life may hold for us in the coming 12 months, for many it also applies to right here and right now. The sudden calm after Christmas can leave people dazed or even in a state of shock when they realize they have a bit of post-holiday cleanup to complete. It can be hard to know where to start or what to do when it comes to reorienting your home back to normal. We are here to help with 5 After Christmas Activities.

 

  1. Donate Old Toys

If you’re like most families, the quantity of toys in your home this time of year probably spikes quite a bit. When new and exciting Christmas gifts join those that came before it can feel like you’re living on the Island of Misfit Toys. Sneaking unplayed-with toys out of their room in the dead of night may be the easiest option but encouraging your children to choose which toys they would like to donate can help teach generosity, the importance of cleaning up, and critical decision making skills. Once you and your kids have decided which toys they can bear to part with there are a few choices on where you can donate. Below are some of Whidbey’s second-hand shops and charities that accept lightly used toys.

donate, toys, reuse, more life

 

 

  1. Recycle Your Tree

Now for that (maybe less than lush) tree currently gracing your living room with its presence. It’s always a little sad when the time comes around to take down the Christmas tree, but the end of its needle droppings is usually welcomed. What’s not welcomed is the question of what to do with it. If you live in a house with a wood burning fireplace it might be a little tempting to chop it up and throw it in, but this is a BAD IDEA. When pine needles catch on fire they don’t burn slowly like wood, but instead spark out in all directions which can be a huge fire hazard in a home. Instead, what you should do is deposit your tree at one of the island’s Solid Waste drop-off locations where they can be put with other yard waste and recycled properly:

Recycle your Christmas Tree

  1. What You Can and Can’t Recycle

“Did you know that household waste increases by more than 25% from Thanksgiving to New Year’s?” (King5) It’s little wonder why this increased waste occurs. However, it doesn’t make the statistic any less startling. To put that in perspective, since the average American produces about 4.5 lbs of waste a day (EPA); Whidbey Island theoretically produces an additional 3,500 TONS of waste every holiday season. If there was ever a stat to make you want to recycle, that should be it! However, in order to be an effective recycler you need to know what can and what can’t go in that little blue bin of yours. So here’s a quick rundown of what can and can’t go in your recycling bin.

Recycle wrapping paper

CAN Recycle

●       Cardboard boxes

●       Plain paper boxes and bags

●       Plain wrapping paper

●       Holiday Cards (w/o embellishments)

●       Tissue paper

CAN’T Recycle

●       Bubble wrap

●       Cellophane

●       Tinsel

●       Plastic Bags

●       Holiday Lights

●       Ribbons

●       Bows

●       Foam Packaging

 

 

  1. Give to the Food Bank

During the holidays it’s very easy to get caught up in the good cheer and generosity of the season. But the time immediately after the holidays can be especially difficult for charities and food banks. The financial exasperation many experience directly after the holidays can cause an all out stop to donations for a while; but unfortunately, needs don’t cease just because Christmas is over. Donating to charities and especially food banks is something critical to do throughout the year and not just in November and December. Below are some local food banks who could do a great amount of good with your post-Christmas donations.

donate unused foods

 

  1. Throw a Regifting Party!

We all have that one gift (or 5) that we simply didn’t want or need. Yes, Aunt Kathy meant well, but what on earth are you going to do with a crochet pillow of her cat?? Often these gifts are begrudgingly placed deep into the depths of our closets never to be seen again (or at least not for a few years). However, it doesn’t have to be this way! We know you aren’t a fan of seeing Whisker’s face on a pillow every day, but who is to say your friend Bethany might not LOVE it? Unwanted gifts don’t need to sit gathering dust in the closet, especially when there’s a simple solution of how to find someone who might actually find use or enjoyment in it.

Regifting Party

Throw a Regifting Party!

 

Regifting Parties are basically White Elephants thrown after Christmas with the intention of finding better homes for those unwanted gifts. The concept and rules for the Regifting Game is simple and match White Elephant almost exactly. So makes some warm drinks, grab a few good friends, and have a great time discovering new treasures!

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Uncategorized September 11, 2019

Everything Apple

3 Apple Things You Need to Know if You Live on Whidbey

Whidbey island Washington, Apples, Windermere Real Estate

Fall has officially found its way back to our little island on the sound. The evidence of this is prevalent in the sounds of geese flying overhead, the return of long yellow busses escorting our children to and from school, and the ever-cooling weather that seems to drop one-degree cooler each day. This season marks the welcomed return of so many things including comfort and routine.

One returning theme of this season that we hold particularly dear to our hearts is apple season! Few things speak to the hearts of fall loving Washingtonians quite like the crisp red fruit that grows from so many branches here in the evergreen state. Whether it’s apple pies, apple cider, or apple scented – something about the fruit just feels like home. Below are 3 things you should know about apples if you live on Whidbey Island:


#1 Has to do with Apple Pie

Apple Pi, Food, Yum, Windermere Real Estate Whidbey Island

Probably the most obvious apple topic to be obsessed with is Apple Pie. Possibly one of the best baked goods to grace this earth, there is one pie on Whidbey Island that is simply a slice above the rest:

Whidbey Pie’s Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Words cannot describe the beauty found in this Whidbey Pie creation. Simply one of the best apple pies on the island and worth a trip to their Greenbank Farm Café or if they have any in stock at the 3 Sisters Market in Coupeville.

 

 


#2 Changes at the Red Apple Market

Red Apple Market, Changes, Apple Cider, Windermere Real Estate Whidbey IslandResidents of Coupeville and Clinton are well acquainted with the “Red Apple Market”.  However, some Clinton residents may be surprised to learn there has been some changes to the ownership of their local store. In spring of this year Tom Brierley, or “Tom the Butcher” as he’s commonly called, gained ownership of the store after the previous owners decided to sell. Although he’s known for being a quieter, more behind-the-scenes man, Tom has big plans for improving the South Island grocery and we can’t wait to see where he takes the shop!

 

 

 


#3 This Recipe!

Apple, Food, Foodie, apple cinnamon, Windermere real Estate Whidbey Island

Few things in this world are as delicious as apples and cinnamon. If you’ve been to Whidbey Coffee recently and tried their Apple Walnut Cinnamon Roll, you know this well. We are so obsessed with this culinary masterpiece that we found a copycat recipe and it is simply THE BEST thing you could cook this fall. Let us know how it goes!

Apple Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

By: Courtney at Pizzazzerie

Buttery sweet cinnamon rolls full of apples and walnuts!

Course Breakfast

Cuisine American

Keyword apple walnut cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls

Servings 15 rolls

Calories 487 kcal

Ingredients

For the Cinnamon Rolls
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk warmed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
For the Filling
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp apple pie spice
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup apples diced
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
For the Cream Cheese Icing
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Warm milk (105-110 degrees F.) and add packet of yeast. Add a pinch of sugar, stir to combine, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Yeast should froth slightly.
  2. Add sugar, butter, and eggs to bowl of electric mixer. Mix until combined. Add salt and flour. Combine. Pour in milk/yeast mixture and switch to dough hook of mixture. If not using mixer, hand knead. Mix (or hand knead) for 5-10 minutes. Dough will be sticky.
  3. Place dough in an oiled or buttered bowl. Cover and place in a warm location (such as oven with light on). Allow to rise for 1 hour (or until doubled in size). Punch down and allow to rise for additional 15 minutes.
  4. Roll out dough on a floured surface (to approximately 18″ x 12″). Combine butter with sugars and spices. Spread evenly across dough. Sprinkle with apples and walnuts.
  5. Rolling from the long edge, carefully roll dough up tightly. Use a sharp knife to cut cinnamon rolls (about 1 1/2″ thick) and place in an oiled or buttered 9×13 dish. Cover and allow to rise again for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and bake for 20 minutes. Don’t over-bake.
  7. In a mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and salt until smooth. Pour over warm cinnamon rolls. Optional: garnish with diced walnuts.

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Whidbey Island Cider Festival – 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

PlacesUncategorized June 10, 2019

Blonde Lawns on Whidbey Island

Blonde Lawns on Whidbey Island

Hello Summer! Can you believe it’s here? That beautiful time of year filled with beach walks, swimming lessons, trips to Kapaws Iskreme and so much more! Here on Whidbey we have countless summer traditions we treasure greatly. From our Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration to the Whidbey Island Fair, there is so much to cherish about this time of year. One tradition you may be unaware of is actually more of a movement.

Blonde Lawns.

Through the course of the summer months you can watch the emerald grass of this evergreen island fade to a sandy shade. Before you know it, this rock will be rocking a brand new blonde look.

What’s with the lack luster lawns? Well, it all has to do with conservation.

It’s no surprise to anyone that Whidbey tends to be a rather environmentally conscious. We love taking the extra step to ensure the beauty and resources we enjoy today will be around for tomorrow. One of those resources we care deeply about are our aquifers.

Aquifers:

Aquifers is the scientific term for ground water. Deep below the grass you walk on are pockets of “permeable” soil which store water that can then be tapped into for use. Annually these aquifers are recharged by the rain that falls to the ground.

According to Island County, Whidbey Island’s sole source of potable water comes from the ground.1 Sounds great, right? I mean, it’s Washington and it rains here. We should be good.Whidbey Island

Unfortunately, not all is good in the aquifer hood.

According to a report released by the Washington State Department of Ecology, “increasing demands for water from ongoing population growth, declining stream flows and groundwater levels… have put Washington’s water supplies at risk.” Whidbey is by no means immune to this water depletion; in fact, seawater intrusion and our lack of rain fall in comparison to the rest of Western Washington puts us in a pretty tight spot.

So, what does this have to do with the blonde lawns of Whidbey (I think you can guess).

The summer months, when there is little rain, poses a particularly difficult dilemma for island aquifers. Between keeping ourselves hydrated in the summer sun, watering plants, animals, and filling the pool in the backyard we use A LOT of water.

This increase of use and lack of resource hits hard on our aquifers and our wallets! Many newcomers to Whidbey are shocked when that first summer water bill comes in. The rules of supply and demand are no strangers to Whidbey Island water.

So how can we save our aquifers (and our wallets)? By going blonde!

Grass is far more durable than people sometimes realize. More times than not the golden grass that takes over Whidbey in the summer will be green again by next spring. Blonde lawns DON’T mean dead grass.

So, save yourself time, money, hassle and save our precious resources. Let your lawn go blonde!

 

Resources:

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GeoCaching on Whidbey Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized June 3, 2019

Geocaching on Whidbey Island

Geocaching on Whidbey Island

Why is Whidbey Island the Perfect Place?

It is no secret that Whidbey Island is an astonishingly beautiful place. It’s the kind of atmosphere that draws you outside to enjoy the many state parks and breathtaking beaches. Countless trails dot the landscape all across the island. These trails and parks are what make Whidbey Island the perfect place for one very special activity: geocaching.

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What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a hobby that has been around for almost twenty years, following the significant improvements on the global positioning system. The concept of the game is simple; go to a location indicated on your app/GPS, find the hidden treasure, re-hide and repeat. Geocaching’s simple, yet successful, concept attracts millions from across the globe to get outside and participate. On Whidbey Island alone there are over 300 caches!

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From the Geocachers:

We asked a few Geocachers about the draw to the hobby and they gave us a wealth of knowledge.

Sandra, a long term Geocacher, expressed “so many activities today [are] related to being indoors and sedentary in nature,” but she believes breaking that trend is what brings people to the hobby.

“Geocaching [is] directly related to being outside, the benefits are exercising your brain and your body! I’ve also been introduced to wonderful like-minded people who enjoy adventures.”

Bill, a fellow Geocacher, echoes every word of Sandra’s beliefs in the benefits of Geocaching. Asked why he started he simply said, “it was a way to get out!” As a retired man Bill is grateful to have geocaching for a hobby. Its something that keeps him active, helps him meet new people and discover new places.

So how easy is it to get into Geocaching?

Step 1: Download the App

This is the easiest part! Both iTunes and Google Play offer Geocaching as a phone app. All you need to do is search for it and download.

Step 2: Set Up a Profile

Setting up a profile allows you to save those caches you have already found and will start to develop statistics after you’ve been participating for a while.

Step 3: Start Finding Caches!

The app will immediately give you directions to the caches nearest you. You will follow it to the location and after that you are mostly left to find the treasure.

geocahing, whidbey island, washington

We Gave it a Try:

We decided to give it a try ourselves and it was great! We discovered there was a geocache right next to our Coupeville office. When we got a little lost and confused, we found out there was a helpful hint to guide the way. After a little snooping we found a tiny pill box with the visitor log!

 

 

 

 

 

Overall it was a pretty great experience and we can’t believe there are SO MANY more caches to find and places to discover on Whidbey Island! Sandra stated it best, “Whidbey Island is a magical place to live and geocache in… I loved discovering the “Mother of All Erratics” in the Saratoga Woods near Langley, (as well as) new trails and Dugualla State Park on North Whidbey, and secret places in Deception Pass State Park. We have lived on Whidbey almost 38 years and all of those places and more were discovered through geocaching!”

Go get out there and explore!

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Uncategorized January 14, 2019

How to Get the Wiggles out in the Winter!

How to Get the Wiggles out in the Winter!

Its that time of year where the holiday decorations have been stowed away, the invites for parties and activities have slowed, and the festivities for the season have come to an end. However, there is just one issue; that little one of yours did NOT get the slow down memo. With tiny feet still wanting to go a mile a minute and the weather outside not quite ready to cooperate; what do you do? We have a few tips and tricks to help you get those wiggles out this winter!

 Children Activities, DIY, Indoor Projects, Wiggles, Winter

Indoor Science Projects:

As a parent, you know the best activity for a child is one that keeps both their body and mind active. That’s why indoor science experiments are a perfect cure for winter restlessness. Encouraging your child’s curiosity and engaging their mind at an early age can help to encourage a life-long love for learning. Who knows! Maybe they’re the next Einstein.

Raising da Vinci offers some great indoor science experiment ideas: Check it out! There is a video with 10 fun ideas in 10 minutes! Watch it with your kids and challenge them to complete all 10. Tell us how it goes.

 

Open Skate at the Roller Barn:

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A post shared by Morgan Wommack (@playing_in_pictures) on Feb 19, 2017 at 2:26pm PST

On Whidbey we are spoiled with an assortment of unique activities that are hard to find anywhere else and our beloved Roller Barn is one! Although it now primarily hosts the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Harbor, the Roller Barn still has Friday Night open skate from 6pm – 8pm. This is a great way to not only support our local Boys & Girls Club but also teach that little one of yours how to boogie on some blades!

For more information, visit the Roller Barn’s Facebook.

 

Indoor D.I.Y. Activities:

What could be better than playing games with the people you love? Also, creating those games! Doing D.I.Y. games and activities with your kids this winter is a particularly good idea because it’s not only fun and engaging; it will keep them entertained for twice as long! This will also allow you to change the rules the way you see fit. It can create a great space to not only get out that excess energy, but also encourage problem solving and cooperation.

For indoor activity ideas: Click here!

 

Bouncin’:

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A post shared by Bouncin Oak Habor (@bouncin_oakharbor) on Jun 12, 2017 at 3:52pm PDT

Looking for something extra special and fun to treat those little ones with? Try taking a trip to Bouncin’ Arcade and Fun Center! Bouncin’ is a local indoor playground and arcade center with activities for tots to teens. With an entire floor covered in bounce houses, you will be guaranteed a tired tiny one by the day’s end.

For more information on Bouncin’ including their hours and pricing, check out their Facebook!

 

Yoga for Kids:

It might seem counter intuitive but the one thing your hyperactive kid might need this winter is just some calm, relaxing, and restful yoga. Yoga is just as good for kids as it is for adults! It helps kids learn about and engage their body in a way that requires thought and concentration. The breathing techniques children learn in yoga can also help to be calm in other situations as well!

Parents Magazine has picked out a few really great poses for you and your little one to try out: Click here!

Do you have something you think we should add to our list? We would love to hear. Share with us in the comments below.

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Places August 14, 2018

Summer Time Sweet Treats

Summer Time Sweet Treats

What do you do to keep cool in these hot summer months? One of our favorite things is to head out for a cold and sweet treat! Thankfully, Whidbey is home to some amazing places for just that!

  1. KAPAWS Iskreme – 21 Front St NE, Coupeville

One of Whidbey Island’s best-kept secrets, KAPAWS is a favorite stop for some amazing ice cream and quaint small-town atmosphere. We highly recommend grabbing one of their fresh waffle cones that you can smell a mile away. The best part is their $1 kid cones – for kids only! Open 7 days a week from 11 am to 5:30 pm, KAPAWS offers friendly service, generous portions, and reasonable prices that won’t disappoint!

  1. Ciao – 701 Main St N, Coupeville

You may be surprised to learn that Ciao isn’t just about the amazing pizza. Every day, gelato is made in-house from a recipe created in the 1700’s! Made from milk rather than cream gelato sports a velvety texture that will make your taste buds dance. Stop by Monday through Saturday 11am-8pm to try out one of their many flavors. We especially love their Affogato, which is gelato floated in espresso! Yum!

  1. K&R Farms “The Stand” – 36699 SR 20, Oak Harbor

A post shared by @accioaimara on May 5, 2018 at 4:19pm PDT

If you’ve ever driven toward Anacortes, you probably noticed the farm stand on highway 20. K&R Farm’s “The Stand” is a favorite stop for local produce, fresh beef, ice cream, and many other tasty delights. Recently, The Stand started serving Hawaiian shaved Ice and it has been a big hit! Hawaiian shaved ice differs from your run of the mill snow cone because of the soft snow-like texture that absorbs all the flavor of the syrup and makes for a refreshing treat! You can visit the stand 7 days a week from 11 am to 6 pm.

 

  1. Toppins – 32650 SR 20 A101, Oak Harbor

“Frozen yogurt your way” is our favorite way to describe Toppins. With 12 different frozen yogurt flavors and 80+ topping choices, all self-serve, you can create your own dessert masterpiece. What’s even better is that it doesn’t stop there! Toppins also offer’s floats made with your frozen yogurt flavor choice. We really enjoy their pineapple float with its refreshing flavor that is perfect for summer. You can stop by for your cool off treat from 11 am to 10 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am to 9 pm on Sunday.

  1. Café de Lisio – 957 Ault Field Rd, Oak Harbor

A post shared by Cafe De Lisio (@cafedelisio) on Jul 13, 2018 at 8:00am PDT

It may be easy to miss, but Café de Lisio is famous locally! Their “mile-long” menu of creative combinations for all their delicious coffee drinks may be overwhelming so just tell the barista what you’re after and they can suggest one for you. Everything can be done icy cold and kid friendly! Our favorite cold menu item is the Attitude Adjuster, and trust us, you will not be disappointed. The café and drive through are open from 5am-6pm Monday through Friday and 6am-5pm Saturday and Sunday for your convenience.

 

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