Monday, October 19, 2009

Beachwood Resort - Birch Bay, Washington - Test Trip #2

(Wow, where does time go.  I meant to post this update the day we left home.)

Kim and I left our home base (the driveway of our daughter's home in Snohomish, WA) on Wednesday, and headed for the Beachwood Resort (a KM Resort) in Birch Bay, Washington.  It only took Kim 3 tries to back out of the driveway.  Each time, it is getting better and better.  The use of our walk-talkies helped, and the fact that all the cars in the neighbor's driveway across the street were gone.  It gave us more room to manuever.  The driveway is curved a bit, and there are big bolders differentiating the garden area from the driveway.  Anyway, Kim backed the rig out quicker than our prior tries, which is good because it was raining and I could not for the life of me find an umbrella.

And, stopping to pat ourselves on the back, we drove 'all' the way from Snohomish to Birch Bay (about 80 miles) without having to stop and make adjustments along the way!  Things were anchored well in the bed of the truck.  Steps and hand rail locked in their travelling position.  Yay for us!

Birch Bay, Washington is a coastal town just 7 miles south of the US/Canadian Border.  Lovely area, which is hopping busy in the summer, and pleasantly quiet during this time of year. It’s home to about 4,500 year-round residents, and in the summer population swells to over 12,000 people, with Birch Bay State Park recording over a million individual visits each year. It's a great place for a weekend getaway, or longer visit, with lots to do in the area.  According to, "Birch Bay’s claim to fame is a large tide flat of sand several square miles in size that bares itself at low tide, and as the water creeps back in over the hot sand it warms to bath water temperatures in the summer."  The town is quaint and a little funky.  There are a combination of regular homes, beach cabins, RV resorts and new condominiums all mingled together.  During the warmer times of the year, there is so much to do up here.  As a family, we've vacationed up here many times, enjoying the clamming, the crabbing, the water slidees, the miniture golf, sand castle building, kite flying, and so on.  The Semiahmoo Resort is host to a championship golf course, designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer.  We don't golf, but people we know sing the praises of this course.

We took some time over the last few days to drive around a bit.  Although, we had visited the area many times, there are always roads to find that you haven't explored, or to go over roads you have driven before but this time without the kids asking the famous question - "Are we there yet?".  We drove the road along the water from Birch Bay up to Blaine.  Some very lovely houses and estates along this drive.  We drove over to Lynden, where the Dutch Heritage is very evident.  What impressed me about Lynden was how clean it was.  It didn't matter whether you were cruising the main drag or driving in the residential areas, community pride was very evident.

I'm always curious about what makes businesses help to support these smaller communities.  What surprised me about Lynden was the number of vineyards!  Apparently, this is becoming quite the popular growing area for wine connoisseurs.  However, the major industries in the area seem to involve community support, such as schools and services.

The primary reason we chose to visit Birch Bay for our second test trip was because I was taking a Medical Intuitive course in Bellingham, Washington over the weekend.  Bellingham is another fun place to visit.  Home to Western Washington University, the city shows evidence of a younger population.  Lots of great stores, restaurants, art galleries, shops, etc, along with all the major services one could need.  We had some time between class events one afternoon, and drove out the Mount Baker Highway to the Nooksack Reservation and Casino.  It was a lovely drive with all the fall colors.  We didn't go into the casino, however.  Both Kim and I love to gamble.  We know better than to just go in for a look - we'd be there for hours, and I had a class to attend.  Maybe another trip.

I did want to give my praises to the Beachwood Resort. The hosts were very friendly and helpful.  There are over 250 spots to choose from.  We parked in a pull-through at C11.  The spot is good sized with full hook up and cable if you choose.  We used our regular antenna for the first two nights because it was quite windy, but then put up our Direct TV satelitte dish and have had wonderful reception.  We picked up only a few Canadian channels with the antenna, so I was happy to have the satellite working.  (I'm a gambling loving TV junkie who is into spirituality, psychic work, healing and metaphysics - deal with it **wink**).  Next time, I think we would try for a back in spot (now that Kim's skills are improving) in the G section.  The spaces are bigger and better defined.  The rest rooms,showers (free with good water pressure)  laundry and tent camping areas were clear and well kept.  They have a nice big store (propane available).  Three pools (a children's pool, an adult pool and a family pool) plus a hot tub/jazucci.  There is an adult clubhouse with pool table (unfortunately it had a big tear in cloth) and ping pong table in a separate room, a little too close together if you are an exuberant ping pong player.  There are horse shoe pits, volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, as well as a soccer/baseball field, and play area for kids.  Apparently there is a gold driving range as well, but I haven't seen it yet.

There are some permanent residents here, as well as what appears to be long term campers.  Everyone is very friendly, and very quiet.  We are definitely giving this stay a 4 thumbs up!

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