Turtleback Farm Inn. Photo credit: Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce
For the studiers: Orcas Island
For those awaiting baby with a partner, you might want to reconnect before the new arrival pulls your attention away from one other. While many couples are satisfied with a nice dinner and a massage, some might want to give their relationship a seismic retrofit with a relationship retreat. Meet John and Julie Gottman. This pair of clinical psychologists specializing in family relationships offer science-based lessons for parents-to-be in several weekly sessions around the Puget Sound area. For those who also want a more scenic crash course, join a small group for a two-day, individualized couples’ retreat on Orcas Island ($7,500 per couple).
Stay: You may be working hard on your relationship, but you don’t have to abandon romance. Workshops are held at the Gottmans’ home while you stay nearby at one of Orca’s many romantic B&Bs. Turtleback Farm Inn gets rave reviews, ($125–$260 per night). The Gottmans’ event planner can help you arrange lodging and other logistics when you register.
Relax: In almost every direction you look on Orcas Island, there is a view that will melt your stress away, but if you want pampering, too, try Rosario Resort and Spa (itself a popular babymoon spot). Book a prenatal massage or try the adults-only therapeutic pool.
Eat: The Doe Bay Café feeds the soul as well as the body with slow-grown food, most of it on site ($15–$65). There’s often live music on weekends while clothing-optional soaking tubs with a view of the bay provide relaxation in lieu of an after-dinner drink. Meanwhile, Island Skillet, in Eastsound, cooks up a hearty home-style breakfast that’s big enough to share (find its business page on Facebook). Don’t forget to grab a treat for the ferry ride home at the nearby Brown Bear Bakery.
Getting there: Taking the ferry from Anacortes is a lot less stressful since it started taking reservations.