When Anthony Rovente lost his job in New York in the spring of 2013, the San Juan Islands were the furthest thing from his mind. Though he had never heard of this little archipelago in the Salish Sea until stumbling upon it on Google Maps, that summer he and his wife decided to move their family some 3,000 miles across the U.S. to Lopez Island. In his own words, this is the story of how his family’s dream became reality.
“At some point or another I feel that most people are drawn to certain destinations, whether it be fate or curiosity or some other power. During a particularly trying period in my life after a layoff, I began to dream of other opportunities and possibilities for myself and family…things that you simply don’t consider when you are tied to a job. I had never lived anywhere outside of Upstate New York and had no clue where to start. Searching Google Maps for potential places to live became a new hobby.
Living in a rural area in close proximity to the ocean was our dream scenario, and a moderate climate would be even better. During one particular Google Maps session I grazed over the San Juan Islands. It was the perfect little island of farms, surrounded by beautiful craggy outcroppings and beaches; an absolute unspoiled paradise. We took our first trip to Lopez in March of 2013, and in August we packed up our four boys and everything that could fit into our minivan and made the move. Three years later and Lopez is home.
Growing up in a tight-knit family, the idea of owning and operating a family business has always been a dream of mine. When Crystal and I married and started our family, we knew we wanted to create a life we could all invest in and share together. The Edenwild Inn seemed like a perfect opportunity. It had become a major landmark in the center of Lopez Village, and was up for sale when we arrived. It’s no easy feat to run a busy inn but we cherish the opportunity to build a family business with our four sons while sharing Lopez Island with guests. Everyone has a job and we all work together to get it done. Even our four-year-old has his little chores!
Our vision for the Edenwild has been the same idea since day one–to create a sweet little retreat from the stressors of daily life. Visitors come to Lopez Island to relax and enjoy the beautiful peacefulness of the natural surroundings. Our goal is to turn a long weekend at The Edenwild into beautiful, life lasting memories. It’s the small things that people appreciate the most, whether helping to plan an evening out or adding thoughtful touches to their room. Our guests know we care and I think that connection means a lot to them!
I think what drew me to the San Juan Islands three years ago, and what continues to excite me most today, is the incredibly special relationship residents and visitors have with natural environment around them. Being isolated on an island, away from the stressors of everyday life allows you to re-connect with nature and ultimately yourself. A walk on a quiet beach, a spectacular sunset, ocean views all around; this truly creates an environment of serenity so difficult to find in the modern world.”
New in 2017:
Stay at the Edenwild Inn on our San Juan Islands Vacation