Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mike's Beach Resort is Perfect for a Family Getaway

For the past August long weekend, we went down to Mike's Beach Resort (http://www.mikesbeachresort.com) in Lilliwaup, Washington which is about 2 hours west of Seattle. Thanks to Jade, Kim, and Ava for setting up this memorable family vacation. It would have been nice if my mother was able to join us as originally planned but her health problems just made sure that didn't happen.

The resort was very popular because of all the oysters and clams. Fish and crabs were also in abundance but not as much as the oysters. They were everywhere. This was our first trip here so I have a few things that I can provide expert advise on to make your visit more enjoyable.

1) Book the Honeymoon Cabin. I know you save some money by booking the family cabins because they can house multiple guests in bunk beds but the bathrooms are very tiny and not in the best condition. On top of that, the hot water tanks appear to be shared between family cabins and the community washrooms because we ran out of hot water one morning. The Honeymoon Cabin however has a Jacuzzi, modern shower, a queen size bed, and always had hot water even when the other cabins didn't. Honeymoon cabins also only have one parking spot right outside the cabin whereas the family cabins can have a few monster pickup trucks parked on the side. Here is an official looking note on someone's windshield wiper. This car didn't budge for the duration of our stay, mind you.

2) Bring a boat. If you are serious about catching some bigger fish, you have to fish off the dock. Without a boat, you would have to rent one for $15-20 per hour. We really didn't catch any but that's what the locals said. The same locals were very neighborly and gave us a couple of their catch. Here is a view of the horizon from the anchored boat with "Mike's Beach" labeled on its side.

3) If you are taking the ferry, reserve your sailing in advance. We made the mistake of just being on standby and ended up missing three sailings. This was the most frustrating part of the trip. You just dial 511 on your cell phone to make a reservation. The fare is about $12 per person.

4) Bring a GPS. You will likely be travelling with a group and can slow down your trip if you have to constantly make sure you don't lose anyone in your pack not carrying a GPS.

5) Get appropriate game licenses. You can get these from any gas station or convenience store. We got ours from Harry's Hardware for about $18-25 per day. You'll have to keep a scorecard and send that back to the fisheries department. There would have been more to describe here but unfortunately it's anticlimactic as we didn't catch any.

6) Get shrimp for bait. Some of the local experts were kind enough to provide some shrimp for bait and this made the difference between waiting 2 minutes and 15 minutes for a bite.

7) Bring at least two logs of firewood, some lighter fluid to help start the fire, and some marshmallows to roast by the fire. You can get the firewood from a local IGA but to save yourself the trip, you can bring these yourself. You can get a campfire going right on the beach too.

8) Bring worker gloves for oyster or clam gathering, a shovel, and make sure wear appropriate footware as you can easily get cut in the rocks. I would also advise that you bring a few band-aids along too. Here is a view of the beach right outside our cabin below.

And here is a view of the clear waters. Check out all those oysters down there, ripe for the picking. One tidbit piece of information that I didn't know previously was regarding the oyster shells. Once the meat is extracted, you are supposed to throw the shells back into the water so that they can be reborn or regrow. This works as long as the the oyster are shucked without boiling them in their shells or barbecuing them. This is what I was told.

It was a great experience. Go down to the resort and check it out yourself. Or comment here if you have any questions and I'll be happy to help.

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