Last night my mother and sister and I ventured up to the town of La Conner for a lighted boat parade along the river.

fullsizeoutput_5507La Conner, named after Louisa Ann (L.A.) Conner, is a small town in Skagit Valley and one of my favorite places to visit in Washington. It is likely most known for hosting the annual Skagit Valley tulip festival.

The town boarders the Swinomish channel, across from the Swinomish Reservation. I have so many wonderful memories growing up and visiting the town and camping on the reservation. Now, my family and I travel to the town fairly regularly to get lunch and visit the shops on the lovely downtown.

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The first boat to go through – a gorgeous sail boat

Last night La Conner had their now, annual, lighted boat parade. Apparently, last year they only had six boats. This time they had 24! And they were beautiful.fullsizeoutput_5516A few things if you are going to attend an outing such as this;

1. Call ahead and make a reservation if you are going to try and eat in a small town during a big event like this. Every restaurant was taking reservations only. There was occasionally seating in bars and lounges but my sister is only 13 so we couldn’t eat there. Luckily for us, my mother is incredibly resourceful and had the genius to simply ask to take food to go. We ate our dinner outside in 30° weather but it was warm and delicious – better than our alternative of ice cream.IMG_0707

2. Seriously, go all out in the bundling. We had jackets and hats and we brought a blanket but unfortunately left it in the car. We were standing by the water for about an hour and a half to watch all the boats go by. I was lucky in my parka and darn tough socks and boots but my mom and sister were cold. Our hands were a bit frozen and their toes started to go a bit numb. Bring gloves, thick socks, scarves to wrap around your face, and a toasty blanket to snuggle under.fullsizeoutput_551f

3. Learn how to use your camera before you attempt to photograph lights, on a moving boat, at night. I spent 3/4 of my time frantically trying to adjust the setting on my camera to capture the boats and their lights. I did an okay job at times but I would have rather spent that time watching and enjoying than tinkering.

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