Hospitality Vignettes with Susan: Whale Watching and You

Spring is sneaking up on us which means its almost our favorite time of the year! Whale watching season!! Here Susan is down on the docks of Friday Harbor where a number of the whale watching tours depart from. AND it’s just minutes from the San Juan Island Inn Collection. Give us a call today and we’ll help you decide on the perfect tour.

Hospitality Vignettes with Susan: San Juan Island Farmer’s Market

Don’t miss our on our favorite day of the week! Every Saturday, Brickworks hosts the San Juan Island Farmer’s Market. They have everything from massage tables, to farm fresh herbal teas, to hand crafted jewelry! The best part? It’s only a block and a half away from our inns.

Hospitality Vignettes with Susan: Making Pupcakes

Every time your pup checks in at the Harrison House Suites, they get a pupcake! Susan shows you just how we make them. Give us a call to book your pet-friendly suite or cottage.

By Courtney Oldwyn published on April 20, 2017

One would think the gorgeous, unique scenery of the San Juan Islands and the quiet community (i.e. no paparazzi) would make this area the perfect place for filming movies. Yet, over the years, the San Juans have set the scene for only a few movies. Some more well known than others.

I have collected some of the better known movies shot in and around our gorgeous islands. All within an easy drive of your cozy room here at the Tucker House Inn.

Practical Magic with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock

In the summer of 1997 Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman (her superstar husband at the time Tom Cruise in tow) rented homes on San Juan Island and began filming Practical Magic. The movie appeared in theaters in 1998.

Sightings of the famous actresses were few. But visitors and locals could watch the actual filming from a trail head at the San Juan County Park. Filmmakers built a huge shell of a historic seaside home in the middle of the park’s grassy picnic area. The house was the long time family home of the Owens sisters played by Bullock and Kidman. They were witches who used their powers of practical magic in their searches for true love.

The Postman with Kevin Costner

Though not actually filmed in the San Juan Islands, The Postman, starring Kevin Costner, did film its final scenes in quaint Anacortes, Washington. Most of the filming was done in multiple towns around Oregon and Arizona.

The jumping off point and home of the Washington State Ferry service to all of the San Juans, Anacortes got a tiny of taste of stardom when huge star at the time, Costner, filmed the movie’s end with Mary Stuart Masterson.

Free Willy 1 and 2

Any 90’s kid will never forget that epic moment at the end of Free Willy. A huge orca whale soars to freedom over the head of the film’s star (and Willy’s savior) Jesse.

The film brought the majesty -and plight- of our local orcas to a nationwide audience. And also helped spur what is now a booming economic and environmental industry to the San Juan Islands.

The movies were filmed in multiple locations around Oregon. However, they filmed the harrowing scenes of orcas being captured in the wild right here in the Salish Sea.

Your Sister’s Sister with Emily Blunt

This 2012 film starring Emily Blunt as Iris, who invites her friend Jack (Mark Duplass) and her sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) to her family’s ocean side cabin is set on Orcas Island. The film showcases why most people visit this quiet Island. Its scenic, rolling country roads, towering, mossy forests and rocky ocean shores. If this movie doesn’t make you book an island getaway nothing will!

Taming Wild – A Girl and her Mustang

Longtime San Juan Islander and accomplished horsewoman, Elsa Sinclair, created this documentary. Sinclair spent a full year answering one question: could she tame a completely untouched, wild mustang to voluntarily allow her to ride it within one year using no training tools, just body language and her own “freedom based training” methods.

So, don’t miss this documentary if you are enamored with the bond between humans and animals.

See for Yourself!

Whether you’re a movie buff or you love any of these movies, a stay at the Tucker House Inn here on San Juan Island is the perfect starting point for an island wide filming location road trip! We’ll even fuel you up with a 2-course meal and send you off to have your own “movie-like” experience.


Courtney ~ Local Blogger for the San Juan Island Inn Collection

By Courtney Oldwyn published on April 6, 2017

Nothing says spring like buckets of buttery yellow daffodils at the San Juan Island Farmer’s Market

Around the first weekend in April our local farmer’s market migrates outside. Until then, it hides inside the Brickworks building where from the winter weather every Saturday morning since late fall.

Often the first outdoor market of the season still has the feel of winter upon it and vendors and shoppers are bundled in coats and scarves against the morning chill. Sometimes a light rain keeps a handful of the vendors hunkered down indoors.

But once in a while we’re blessed with a sunny spring morning. The promise of warmer weather and full, summer gardens are in the air as local farmers, bakers, fishermen, coffee roasters, cheese makers, artists and musicians set up their booths and arrange their goods.

From early spring until fall the San Juan Island Farmer’s Market is overflowing with local goods. Here is a short list of some of the best spring time items you can find at the San Juan Island Farmer’s Market:

1. Seeds

Spring is the perfect time for getting started on your vegetable garden. The San Juan Island Seed Company sells locally sourced and heirloom seed packets of all sorts. From cucumbers and tomatoes to chard and kale, they have it all.

The San Juan Island Seed Company is anoff shoot of the San Juan Island Grange. They are committed to helping sustain local agriculture and to foster political and social engagement here on the San Juan Islands.

For fresh cut flowers, starts and tubers stop by the New Day Garden booth.

2. Breakfast, Brunch, or Lunch!

Baked goods from multiple local bakeries like Café Demeter and Cynthia’s Of Course abound at our local market. Everything from fresh baked loaves of sourdough to croissants to ooey gooey chocolatey brownies are fresh and warm out of the oven.

There is not much that makes a better lunch than a homemade tamales hot out of the oven! New to the Farmer’s Market this year is local favorite La Authentica Mexicana who offers a changing menu of authentic Mexican Cuisine, including those fresh tamales.

If something a little more exotic is your fancy check out Manoushe’ Lebanese food or other newbie Sangha Catering for Thai food.

3. Eggs and Meat

For the hard core carnivores the Meat Wagon should be your first stop at the market. Local farmer Guard Sundstrom has been supplying locals with island grown beef and lamb from his Fir Oak Farm here on San Juan Island for years. If you’re lucky (or arrive early) he may have a rack of beef ribs left just waiting to hit your barbecue.

Locally raised and harvested goat, lamb, pork and eggs come from San Juan Island’s Aurora Farm.

Fresh, island grown and often organic and free range eggs are usually available from multiple vendors at the market. Average cost is $6 per dozen but it’s all worth it when you crack open that first one. You will reveal a sunny, orange yolk that is rarely found in store bought eggs.

4. Quail Croft Goat Cheese

Oh, goat cheese. Quail Croft has been a market staple for many years. Once you try this fresh, organic goat cheese you will know why!

5. Island Made Pasta

The San Juan Pasta Company crew knows just how to tempt passerby into purchasing a package (or three) of their fresh made pasta, raviolis and sauces: free tastings!

Stop by this booth and snack up on pasta sauces, tapenades, dips and the unique ravioli ingredients like butternut squash and goat cheese. The smoked salmon raviolis sell out quickly, and for good reason.

6. Veggies, Veggies and More Veggies!

Seasonal veggies abound from many different farms and gardens all around the islands. Get your local greens and in-season vegetables from San Juan Island’s Sweet Earth Farm or Mama Bird Farm.

Just a Hop, Skip, and a Jump Away

A few short blocks from your cozy room at the Tucker House Inn, our little Island Farmer’s Market is a must see during your weekend getaway. Give us a call today and we’ll tell you about all of our favorite Farmer’s Market treats.


Courtney ~ Local Blogger for the San Juan Island Inn Collection

The San Juan Island Inn Collection consists of the Tucker House Inn, Harrison House Suites, Coho Restaurant, and our Special Events and Catering Division. Our goal is to exceed expectations through personable interactions between our team and guests. Each member of our team is and is treated like a valuable member of our collection. We work as a cohesive unit in order to best serve our guests.


Culinary Assistant

Reports to:          Jessica – Our Food and Beverage Manager

Location:             Primarily the Garden Café at the Inns

Hours:                  25 – 30 Hours per Week

Wage:                  $11 per Hour

Start Date:           June 17, 2017


As our culinary assistant, you would have the opportunity to be immersed in the culinary aspects of our Events and Catering Division, learn from our skilled chefs, and be a part of our day-to-day Bed and Breakfast activities. We consider all members of our team to be part of our family and have cultivated a fun and healthy work environment. Our work keeps us busy and active, but not a day goes by where we do not laugh and enjoy ourselves.


  • High energy
  • Able to multi-task
  • Self-Sufficient when completing tasks
  • Works well under pressure
  • Enjoys learning
  • Well spoken and a good communicator
  • Sufficient computer skills
  • Flexible schedule
  • Works well in a team environment


  • Assist in culinary preparation including granola, cookies, and special events.
  • Attend events with Anna Maria – Our Owner and Event Coordinator.
  • Set up special events with little assistance.


Biscuits and Browned Butter Gravy with a Northwest Flair

Biscuit Benedict with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Gravy, Canadian Bacon, Tillamook Cheddar and a Poached Egg.



1/2 cup cold European Butter or leaf lard, cut into small chunks

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sourdough starter

1 Tbsp. sugar or honey

1 cup milk or cultured milk (yogurt, milk kefir, buttermilk)

3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Method – Makes 12 Biscuits

  1. Dough should ferment at least 7 hours or overnight before baking the biscuits.
  2. Cut the fat into the flour until it is in small pieces. Stir in sourdough starter, sweetener, and milk until soft dough just comes together. Cover and place in a warm spot to ferment for 7-12 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. When ready to bake the biscuits, combine salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl until mixed. Sprinkle mixture over the fermented dough and knead until it comes together into a cohesive, soft mass.
  5. Roll or pat the dough until 1/2 inch thick. Cut with 2 or 3-inch biscuit cutter or in squares and place the biscuits on a baking sheet close together but not quite touching.
  6. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown on the top and bottom.

Browned Butter and Cream Cheese Gravy


4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/3 c. whole milk
5 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Method – Makes About 2 Cups

  1. Heat butter over a sauce pan on medium high heat for 5 – 7 minutes until butter begins to foam. Watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Once the butter has a nutty aroma whisk in the flour.
  2. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in 1/3 cup of milk and the cream cheese until smooth. Add additional milk and increase heat to medium.
  3. Continue to whisk until desired thickness and add salt and pepper to taste.

Toppings & Garnish

Farm Raised Eggs

Canadian Bacon

Sliced Tillamook Cheddar

Chopped Parsley

Diced Red Pepper

Assembly Method

  1. Slice Biscuit Open biscuit, layering cheese and meat. Place in the oven to melt the cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. At about 8 minutes, begin poaching eggs
  2. Once the eggs are done, place egg on top of the meat and then biscuit and cover with gravy.
  3. Garnish with chopped parsley and diced red pepper.

Hospitality Vignettes with Susan: A Suite with a View

Even on a winter’s day, the sun is out and the birds are inviting you in. The San Juan Island Inn Collection features our “Honeymoon” suite on the top floor of the Harrison House Suites. The Orcas Suite not only has a view of the ocean, but you can also enjoy it from the comfort of your private hot tub. So if you need an escape or are celebrating your love, give us a call today to book the Orcas Suite!

Hospitality Vignettes with Susan: Breakfast is Served!

Susan shows you a little bit of what happens behind the scenes during breakfast at the San Juan Island Inn Collection. Chef Jessica is whipping up her own version of the classic pancake!