We have been returning almost annually to Lopez Island since 1998 and to Sunset View House with our kids since about 2006. We sort of think of it as "our" special place even though it's not actually our house. The house is clean, well-maintained, well-stocked, nicely finished, well-designed/laid-out, and awesomely situated on a large piece of property (aahhhh, quiet privacy) within easy walking distance to Lopez Village. When we are there in the summer, looking over the sea of tall golden grass between the house and the Village, with the water and other islands in the distance (great views!), a feeling of happiness and peace just washes over us.
We shop at the farms stands and the local stores. We make meals in the well-appointed kitchen. With the doors and windows open, we eat meals at the kitchen table big enough for our 5-6 people (many other vacation rentals have tiny kitchen tables). We hike, kayak, read, bike, and go to the beaches and library. We play croquet and whiffle ball in our PJs on the front lawn at noon. We just chill at the lovely house. Deer come for a visit. Every year we check out the growth of the two cherry trees in the front yard, and enjoy the flowers in the front beds. The parcel of land, flowers, house, big front porch, front lawn and the un-mowed field feature prominently in many of our best family photographs over the years. To change things up, we take the ferry to other islands for a day-trip or hire a boat (captain Marty Mead of North Shore Charters) to take us to smaller islands and go exploring and hiking.
The house's proximity to the Village is key for us. We can send the kids on foot to the market to get some milk knowing they will be safe. If we don't feel like cooking, we walk to the Village to eat, shop, go to the skate-board park, the community center, Holly B's, Bucky's, Love Dog, Blossom Grocery, Vita's, Vortex, Lopez Village Market. We've visited to the health clinic and even the dentist on Lopez. Everyone is always very friendly.
Since we fly in from out-of-state, we don't pack much--everything you could need is easy to get, despite being on a small island. Commerce happens differently on Lopez than in Houston, and it is really nice to expose our kids to a different approach: eggs sold on the honor system; Take It or Leave It at the recycling center; bread baked fresh daily by the people who sell it to you. We really enjoy mellow Lopez Island and this wonderful house.