Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas. Soon we’ll be shoulder to shoulder with our fellows: elbows tucked in at the crowded Thanksgiving table, or slipping sideways between flocks of shoppers in filled-to-capacity South Coast Plaza. It’s time to frontload some solitude. Take your “me time” now while you still have the energy, funds, and presence of mind to enjoy it.
Whidbey Island Writer’s Refuge, Puget Sound, Washington
November is National Novel Writing Month, and every year thousands of ordinary folks attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in the space of 30 days. In fact, many procrastinators cram the whole thing into the final week of the month! Time to get cracking. If Cal-a-Vie Spa is the ultimate rejuvenator of body and spirit, then consider the Whidbey Island Writer’s Refuge the right spark for your voice and heart. The “writer” bit is flexible: the property is open to individuals involved in any sort of creative endeavor (the website welcomes “writers, artists, and those who need to get away and focus on a project”). But when it comes to “refuge,” the proprietors mean business: Foxglove Cabin and Ravensea Loft are single-occupancy only (pointedly, the cabin’s porch is outfitted with a single Adirondack chair), and both have been furnished for maximum productivity (including desks, bookshelves with books on writing, office supplies, Wi-Fi internet, printers, and a recliner or rocking chair for reading, writing, and editing).
Contemplating the human condition in front of a crackling fire is part of the experience: The cabin has a wood-burning stove and the loft has a fireplace. Both are outfitted with kitchens, and both are surrounded by the rugged scenery of the Pacific Northwest. Both cabin and loft have kitchens. Ravensea Loft is available for $599 per week; a week at Foxglove Cabin costs $536. Visit for more information.