16 for 2016

So, it’s the start of the new year ~ what do you want to see and do this year?  Here are 16 (for 2016!) that you might want to consider:

  1. Visit Deception Pass and the Rosario Beach/Bowman Bay area
  2. Head East from Seattle to Suncadia Resort ~ taste, relax, play
  3. Snoqualmie Falls
  4. Stay at Fort Flagler State Park
  5. Wine tasting in Walla Walla ~ make a long weekend of it as there is much to taste
  6. Explore the Kalaloch area of the Washington Coast
  7. Vancouver, British Columbia
  8. Attend at least (6) six festivals or fairs (ex: Washington State Fair, Poverty Bay Wine Festival, Bumbershoot, Fremont Fair, Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Bellevue Arts & Crafts Fair, Issaquah Salmon Days, Ellensburg Rodeo, Bremerton Blackberry Festival, Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival, Taste Washington… just to name a few).
  9. Take a hike and see Silver Falls at Silver Falls State Park in Silverton, OR.   It’s just short of 4 hours reach.
  10. Run/Walk a 5-K
  11. Haven’t been camping in awhile? Maybe this is the year.
  12. Take more pictures (and less selfies)
  13. Visit (and support) the beautiful area of the Methow Valley.  Winthrop, Twisp, Mazama and more… the activities and beauty abound.
  14. Go crabbing in the waters near Anacortes
  15. Leavenworth ~ take in Oktoberfest, Christmas Lighting Festival or visit anytime of the year
  16. Do it Local.  See: an Everett Silvertips hockey game.  Hear: local musicians. Smell: the fresh air of a nearby beach or park. Taste: a meal at a new restaurant or food truck.  Touch: shop at a neighborhood boutique.

Priorities

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule  your priorities. ~ Stephen Covey

Happy New Year 2016!

What are your priorities for this new year?  If something isn’t working, change it. Ask yourself, would it be better if I did it differently?

2015 Favorites

On this last day of 2015 and you look back on the year, what was your favorite part of it?  Was it a vacation or trip?  A new person (or pet) in your life?  A chance at a new career path?  Did you run your first half marathon?  Spent more time outdoors in nature?

As I update my 2016 calendar for the new year ~ Question: what was my favorite experience of 2015?  Answer: in May… a 5-night trip to Las Vegas.  We did it up VERY well!!!

My Top 16 list of other 2015 outings (in no particular order) are:

  1. Spending the final day of the US Open at Chambers Bay golf course with my dad and husband
  2. Drinking some very fine wine
  3. Enjoying theater.  Favorite: Phantom of the Opera or Mamma Mia
  4. Enjoying concerts.  Favorite Indoor Concert: Candlebox or Muse. Favorite Outdoor Concert: Afrodisiacs at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
  5. Taking the Victoria Clipper for a weekend to Oak Bay/Victoria BC to catch up with friends
  6. Road trip to Ocean Shores
  7. Road trip to Leavenworth
  8. Flight to Dallas, TX for the Seahawks/Cowboys game and to meet up with my brother/family.  AT&T Stadium is amazing. Pecan Lodge. Iron Cactus.
  9. A dinner boat cruise on the waters of the Anacortes/San Juan Islands area via Mystic Sea Charters and Hellam’s Vineyard
  10. Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square … finding new shops (like Watson Kennedy, Clementines, Fleurt, Timothy De Clue) and restaurants (like London Plane) nearby
  11. Snoqualmie Falls #optoutside adventure
  12. Visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass along with dinner at Sky City and taking in the Puget Sound views via the Space Needle
  13. Tailgating and attending Seattle Seahawks games.  Go Hawks!
  14. Attending a day full of action of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament at Key Arena
  15. Road trip in a Mercedes-Benz convertible to get a pedicure at Tip Top Nails in North Bend
  16. Taste ~ Road trip to visit a friend and check out Dirty Oscar’s Annex and Corina in Tacoma. Honorable mention: Vista Lago Restaurant in Kirkland

And being thankful for other places and people not mentioned here.

What is on your list for 2016?

Snoqualmie Falls #OptOutside

My #OptOutside event of 2015 was to visit one of my favorite destinations ~ Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge and Spa.

On this morning, ice was present and frost clung to the leaves and branches.  The fog with the sun peaking through, made for an especially invigorating experience.  We viewed the falls from above and hiked to see them below.

The few hours consisted of 1) special trip to the Country Store within the Salish Lodge, where a long sleeve Tee was purchased along with a Christmas ornament for the tree 2) photos taken of the roaring waterfall named Snoqualmie Falls. The voices of international visitors could be heard during this traditional Thanksgiving weekend visit 3) a hike down the trail that is near to the bottom of the falls.  In the past, we were able to climb the rocks near the falls but now there are barriers to help prevent this.  I was lucky enough to get some of my wedding engagement pictures taken here prior to. Also, it has been fun to bring  out of town guests here at different times.  So, it continues to be a favorite place.

To walk among the trees is magical…touch the moss and the hear the crispy earth beneath my feet. I especially liked seeing the engravings in the pavement of the newly built lower parking lot which has restrooms and a resting area.  The engravings showcase a word in English and then beside it, in the Snoqualmie language ~ ‘Waterfall’ and ‘s.tkʷab’.   The Snoqualmie People spoke the Southern dialect (txʷəlšucid) of the Lushootseed language used by many regional tribes who often spoke both the Southern and Northern dialects because of extensive travel in the Unites States and Canada. This language is now on the ‘endangered’ list with few remaining fluent speakers. The Snoqualmie people are southern Coast Salish Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast.

A visit was made a year ago at this time as well, which included the delicious Salish Lodge Country Breakfast in The Dining Room at the Salish Lodge & Spa.  The Snoqualmie Falls Store has a nice selection of Pacific Northwest gift options.  And yes, I have stayed at the Lodge and enjoyed the Spa too. :)  See March 2011 post.

http://www.snoqualmiefalls.com/

http://www.salishlodge.com/index.php

Below are a number of images from this last adventure ~

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Here’s to one of the Pacific Northwest’s (and my) “Best Places”!

Ocean Shores, WA

Ocean Shores, WA is 2-1/2 hours from the Seattle area.  A great time to head to the coast is the month of September, May or any month in between.  Walk the beach, find some shells, see wildlife and write a message in the sand.

Many of the hotels are the older beach town resort-style.  A past favorite to stay was The Polynesian Resort.  For many years my grandparents would go with friends and I carried on the tradition.  The one bedroom is a good selection as the bedroom is separate from the living area and full service kitchen.  Optional: have a fire in the fireplace and a glass of wine while watching a DVD or while cheering on the Seattle Seahawks on a lazy Sunday.  The people are friendly and the amenities are vast. http://thepolynesian.com/

What else is there to do?  A nice selection of merchandise can be found at The Village Shoppe and Flying Cats Gift Shoppe.   Stop in at Elk Head Taproom (brewery located in Buckley) for a brew.  Take a drive to Seabrook and have lunch at Mill 109 ~ the Whistle Punk Chicken Burger and a pint of craft brew hit the spot.  ‘Our Place’ is known for their breakfast.  The Ocean Beach Roasters has a nice selection of coffee, pastries, quiche, and more.  Emily’s at Quinault Resort and Casino is good for a fine dining option.  And while you’re at the Casino, take a spin at a slot machine to try your luck.  Maria’s at The Polynesian is ok too.

What’s up with the Sasquatch theme (or sightings) around the area?  Ocean Shores is a gathering place for Sasquatch researchers from around the world gather to present their findings of the elusive bigfoot species. Witnesses share their experiences and information about Sasquatch.

So, stay two nights to wind down and enjoy this Pacific Northwest beach and weather.  You might also consider continuing your trip north to Quinault Lodge, Kalaloch Lodge and the beautiful beaches of the Washington coast.  Fly a kite, paddle a boat, become a birdwatcher, or beach comb for treasures.

http://www.tourismoceanshores.com/

 

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Winter Solstice 2015

Winter Solstice is typically on December 21st.  This year it is on the 22nd.  Here’s why…

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/shortest-day-of-the-year-when-is-winter-solstice-2015-and-why-is-it-a-day-later-this-year-a6781176.html

 

Morning frost ~ Snoqualmie Falls 2015

Morning frost ~ Snoqualmie Falls 2015

 

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/12/20/welcoming-winter-solstice-68662

http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/simply-solstice-celebrate-winter-with-new-and-old-traditions.aspx