Our Annual Team Building with Ziplining

HH, TH and CoHo Ziplining

Harrison House Suites, Tucker House and Coho Restaurant banded together for some high adrenaline fun… Ziplining!  Thanks to Zip San Juan for providing us with competent, humorous guides for our day of team building!  We gathered together before the busy season begins to appreciate our team and have a little fun!  A few of our staff had fears going in, but by the end they were fearless!

Team Building for HH, TH and CoHo

Elsa & Letecia getting geared up

Our team is like a big extended family. We have our differences but always find ways to communicate, compromise and seek common ground. Our compass is always you our guests and what is best for your comfort and enjoyment.

We have an amazing team and we work hard at it. It is like any relationship. It needs constant nurturing – feeding and watering – literally and figuratively. During the quiet season we make time away from the Inns to spread our wings and try something new together. And no matter what we do there is always the common denominator of food and libation.

After our memorable kayaking outing last year, there was a unanimous vote for zip lining. So on a sunny Monday in May, 15 of us packed into Zip San Juan’s vans to begin our adventure. Some of the team had the ‘be careful what you wish for’ expression on their faces but stayed the course. Sunglasses covered tears welling in some eyes. Unfortunately, we had to leave Janeth behind as she is expecting. (Zip San Juan wouldn’t let those that are pregnant or have high blood pressure participate.) Last year sister Elsa braved our kayaking trip at 8 1/2 months heavy with child.

Ziplining 5.14 Action Elsa

Ziplining the fear away!

So after getting into our harnesses and listening to the safety briefing we were ready for the two practice lines. It was amazing to watch how the team instinctively worked together – translating the safety briefing into Spanish so those that those who were too nervous to count on their English wouldn’t feel any more intimated than they already were. We intuitively sensed members that were hesitant and ensured they were never left on a platform by themselves so they wouldn’t have an easy out to turn back.

Confidence grew slight butterflies quickly dissipated after each member made it through the two practice lines. All received encouraging high-fives once their feet touched safely on the platform.

HH, TH and CoHo Ziplining

Bridge of Doom

Everyone’s confidence grew slowly. After a short walk through the forest, the rest of the course came into view. We would indeed be flying through trees some 40 feet above the ground and walking across suspension bridges. We proceeded as a group from one line to another. Fear quickly turned into confidence and finally smiles and laughter. We all conquered the 8 lines and everyone felt a huge collaborative sense of accomplishment.

Then it we set off to Jackson’s beach for a barbecue.

It was a perfect evening – the water was like glass. We fired up the barbecue and made quick work of a bonfire. We met up with Janeth and her “world-famous” guacamole. Everyone brought their dogs that almost outnumbered all of us. And as always, there was lots of food, libation, and good company – a perfect way to end a perfect day. And then the conversation immediately turned to next year…sky diving? Stay tuned!

p.s. If you wondered how we all left the Inns with a full house of guests on a busy spring day, it took a village. We have a good friend who was one of our former innkeepers many years ago. She came over for the afternoon to welcome our new arrivals and keep an eye on the Inns. Thank you Diana.

p.p.s. We know after reading this you can’t wait to include Zipping on your itinerary when you visit. Just let us know when making your reservation and we will be happy to set it up for you.

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Harrison House Suites


Harrison House Suites
Harrison House Suites

Bring family, friends & Fido! Furnished suites with kitchens, fireplaces and private hot tubs. Sleep 2-10 in comfort. Weddings & Retreats. Ideal location!

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Tucker House Inn


Tucker House Inn

Tucker House Inn

Your romantic getaway awaits. Beautifully appointed guest rooms and cottages with privacy and personalized service. Steps from the ferry.

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Ferry Like A Pro to the San Juans!


imgres-1One of the most unique aspects of taking a vacation to the San Juan Islands is that you can only get here one of two ways – by air or by sea. With air travel, you book a reservation, show up at the appointed time, and the rest is taken care of. Ferry travel can be a different animal entirely. If you are unfamiliar with it, it can be tricky, especially this time of year on, when the summer high season is upon us and there are about to be more and more visitors making their way to the archipelago.

I’m here to give you some insider tips that we have gathered for you through research and the experience of living on the island. We want you to travel with confidence so your journey here is less stressful and more enjoyable! After all, ferry travel offers the benefit of being able to sit back and enjoy your surroundings. Panoramic views of our stunning scenery are all around you – it’s time to take a deep breath and relax, because you’re on island time now.

The ferry to the islands leaves from a city called Anacortes, about 90 miles from Seattle, or a 1.5-2 hour car trip.

The most important tip I can offer is not to bring your car onto the ferry if you can help it. Some prefer a car if they are coming for a longer stay or want to explore a lot of places around the island that are not within walking distance, but keep in mind there is a shuttle service offered in the summer months that takes you around to all the major spots for cheap – $5 per ride or $15 for a day pass. There are also car rentals available from M&W Auto or mopeds from Susie’s Mopeds. Finally, you can borrow a bike from the inns for free! You may not be planning to leave town while you’re here, in which case a car is completely unnecessary. We are within walking distance of everything in Friday Harbor – just a couple of blocks from the town center. If you drive to Anacortes and walk onto the ferry, there is paid public parking available there so your car will be waiting when you return.imgres

If you do choose to bring a car, we recommend arriving at least 2 hours before your ferry departs in order to ensure a spot in line. Reservations are not available for the Anacortes-San Juan Islands sailing; they are available if you want to take the international crossing to Sidney, B.C. Canada. Tickets for all ferries are available online beforehand or at the ferry dock, but buying a ticket online doesn’t mean a better chance for a spot – everything is first-come, first-serve.

One way to avoid the long wait time is to take an early morning or late night ferry. The midday boats are nearly always full in the high season.

Technology being utilized by the ferry system is also becoming very helpful. Check out these great tools on the Washington State Ferries (WSF) website. Search for “Typical Vehicle Traffic Conditions” for Anacortes-San Juans; the grid shows typical ferry loads by season. The Terminal Conditions Page shows how many spaces are left in real time. Finally, you can download an app for $2.99 to your iPhone or Android device that will keep you updated on the latest ferry schedules – no more searching in your bag for paper schedules!

All ferry fares to the San Juan Islands are round trip, meaning you pay once in Anacortes but not when you return after your trip. Once you are here, travel between the islands without a car is free.

Planning on bringing your dog to your pet-friendly suite at the inns? No problem. They are allowed inside your vehicle or restrained in a crate on the car deck. Only service animals are allowed on the upper passenger decks.

Don’t worry about catching the ferry home after your trip. Since we are so close to the ferry dock, we recommend that you park your car in line for the ferry anytime after the previous ferry has left. You may leave it there, come back to the inn for a good breakfast, and head back to your car just 20 minutes before the ferry leaves with no worries.

The ferry is a wonderful way to both get here and experience the beauty of the San Juans at the same time; you just have to know what you’re in for! We hope to welcome you off a ferry for a visit very soon!

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235 C Street Friday Harbor WA 98250 | 360.378.2783 or 800.965.0123 © Harrison House Suites | Photography: Michael Bertrand Photographer & Others