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Anacortes Arts Festival

The 53rd Annual Anacortes Arts Festival has come and gone but a mention was needed of this Western Washington treasure.  It is typically the first weekend of August (Friday – Sunday) and is located downtown along Commercial Avenue. You’ll find more than 300 booths, music and entertainment, food vendors and more.  For more details, go to http://www.AnacortesArtsFestival.com

A few artisans that stand-outs in my book are:

  • Urban Soule – http://www.urbansoule.com – the buffalo – art that fits perfectly in any living space
  • Parallax Gallery –  www.parallaxgallery.com  – has pieces that you design a room around
  • O’Neil’s Fine Art Glass –  www.oneilsfinartglass.com – particularly like the acorn and leaf pieces
  • Ron Dobrowski Photography – black & white – the calculator
  • And an unknown that makes art from wood – take your pick – whatever your hobby might be

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And if you are a beer lover and like to celebrate Oktoberfest, check out Bier on the Pier on October 3rd and 4th, 2014.  30 Breweries, live music, costume contest.  Located in the historic Port of Anacortes Warehouse.   http://www.anacortes.org

 

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Bellingham Bells

Looking for a road trip or to try a local summertime activity?  Take in a ballgame in Bellingham, WA with the Bellingham Bells. At the time of this posting, they are done with their 2014 season, but mention had to be made as it is a summertime treat.

The Bellingham Bells are part of the wooden-bat WCL (West Coast League).   They use wood bats instead of those made with aluminum (or other). There are various leagues throughout the USA and the WCL is in this neck of the woods.  It consists of 12 teams, three divisions, the West, East and South (WA, OR, British Columbia), and the teams that make up these divisions, play each other to make it to the West Coast League Championship. With a win over the Corvallis Knights, it just so happens that the 2014 WCL Champion is the Bellingham Bells – way to go!

On the eve of my event at Joe Martin Stadium, they were playing the Cowlitz Black Bears.  The team is made up of a mix of players from colleges throughout the USA such as Gonzaga University, Arizona State, Oakland University, University of Maine, Stanford University, Bellevue College, Lower Columbia CC, and more. These colleges are part of the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA.  While they’re in town to play, typically June through August, the players are housed by volunteer host families. And, on a cool note, is that some of baseball’s greats once played with the Bellingham Bells  – Ken Griffey Jr., Omar Vizquel, Raul Ibanez, Dave Stewart, Mike Scioscia, and Derek Lowe to name a few.

The WCL has giveaways, a mascot, food and drink, and fun for friends and family… and the Bellingham Bells have Two-Dollar Tuesdays.  If you can’t get enough baseball in Western Washington, check out the Seattle Mariners (MLB), Tacoma Rainiers (AAA), and Everett Aquasox (A).  But again, if you are looking for a fun summer experience, head to Bellingham!  http://www.bellinghambells.com/home/

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Looking for an ideal Pacific Northwest experience?  After a visit to the Anacortes Arts Festival http://www.anacortesartsfestival.com, cap off the day with a winemaker dinner cruise on Saturday, August 2nd.

A chartered bus will pick you up at Hellams Vineyard in La Conner at 5 p.m. (please check in to the shop no later than 4:15 p.m.).  You’ll head over to Mystic Sea Charters in Anacortes http://mysticseacharters.com/, boarding and departing at 6 p.m.  The boat will return to dock at 9 p.m. and you’ll then be chartered back to La Conner.

The cruise will take you through the San Juan Islands, heading from Anacortes northbound to the mystical Mermaid Rocks and the Cone Islands, venturing on to Toehead Pass and Obstruction Pass off of Orcas Island, continuing onward to Thatcher Pass, Lopez Spit, Decatur Island and Lopez Pass, and the Marine Sanctuary off of Bird Rocks – then homeward bound.  This is a fantastic scenic cruise abundant with eagles, seals, and spectacular scenery.

The cruise will feature three Walla Walla wineries – Five Star Cellars, Bunchgrass and Kontos.  The winemakers/owners will be able to answer any questions and offer tastings of great Washington State wine celebrating the season and their work – what a treat!   The cruise will also feature a fully catered dinner of appetizers, salmon, prime rib, side dishes and dessert.  Cost is $130 per person (+tax).  To reserve  your spot, call Hellams Vineyard at 360-466-1758.  http://hellamsvineyard.com/  It just may be the highlight of your summer!

 

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“Swing on a tree swing, jump in a lake, grill it up in the backyard, roast marshmallows over the fire, savor an ice cream cone or scoop up ripe peaches at a farm stand — in summer the simplest pleasures are often the best.” — Laura Gaskill

 

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Looking for an ideal Pacific Northwest experience?  Postpone whatever you might have planned and take a winemaker dinner cruise this coming Saturday, July 19th.

A chartered bus will pick you up at Hellams Vineyard in La Conner at 5 p.m. (please check in to the shop no later than 4:15 p.m.).  You’ll head over to Mystic Sea Charters in Anacortes http://mysticseacharters.com/, boarding and departing at 6 p.m.  The boat will return to dock at 9 p.m. and you’ll then be chartered back to La Conner.

The cruise will take you through the San Juan Islands, heading from Anacortes northbound to the mystical Mermaid Rocks and the Cone Islands, venturing on to Toehead Pass and Obstruction Pass off of Orcas Island, continuing onward to Thatcher Pass, Lopez Spit, Decatur Island and Lopez Pass, and the Marine Sanctuary off of Bird Rocks – then homeward bound.  This is a fantastic scenic cruise abundant with eagles, seals, and spectacular scenery.

The cruise this Saturday will feature Barrister Winery  http://barristerwinery.com/, with owner/winemakers Greg and Mike on board pouring their special wines and a couple winery only wines.  The cruise is also a Dungeness Crab Feed which also includes several side dishes and dessert. Cost is $140 per person (+tax).  To reserve  your spot, call Hellams Vineyard at 360-466-1758.  http://hellamsvineyard.com/  It just may be the highlight of your summer!

 

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Happy Summer Solstice!  Now that summer is here, you will probably want to enjoy a drink under the sun.  And where might you go? In the Seattle Times on Friday, May 30th, Tan Vinh nudged aside some old favorites to make room for some newcomers.  See the suggestions here: http://seattletimes.com/html/musicnightlife/2023722272_top10outdoordrinkingxml.html

Other options for enjoying the outdoors (mainly on the Eastside) are:

  • Beach Cafe, Kirkland
  • The Beach House, Kirkland
  • Scotty Browns, Bellevue
  • Bake’s Place, Bellevue
  • Vino at the Landing, Renton
  • World of Beer, Renton
  • 520 Bar & Grill, Bellevue
  • RiverRock Grill & Ale House, Renton
  • Hellam’s Vineyard, La Conner
  • Bin on the Lake, Kirkland
  • California Pizza Kitchen – various locations
  • Daniel’s Broiler – Bellevue (and other locations)
  • Red House Beer & Wine Shoppe, Renton
  • Lot No. 3, Bellevue
  • The Berliner Pub, Renton
  • Purple Cafe & Wine Bar – Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville
  • Tap House Grill, Bellevue
  • Rock Bottom Brewery, Bellevue
  • Lunchbox Laboratory, Bellevue
  • Wildfin American Grill – Issaquah and Renton
  • The restaurants at the Bellevue Collection
  • Anthony’s Homeport, various WA locations
  • Cactus, Kirkland
  • Trellis Restaurant, Kirkland
  • and more… enjoy!

 

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It’s always hard to come back from a vacation and not wish you were on another one.   I have talent in vacationing. Start planning another vacation or see about making a vacation out of every day here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  Or, put some of that thinking into reading others quotes about this subject, like these…

“No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” ~ Maya Angelou

“I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”  ~ Anthony Bourdain

“Her purchases just about busted her vacation budget, but what else is a vacation for, if not for overindulgence and mindless extravagance?” ~ Candace Schuler

“Neglecting vacation is neglecting success because every success needs an accumulated positive energy!” ~ Mehmet Murat ildan

No vacation goes unpunished. ~Karl Hakkarainen

Laughter is an instant vacation. ~Milton Berle

Vacation used to be a luxury, but in today’s world it has become a necessity. ~Author Unknown

 

Images of a recent two week vacation to Italy – Rome and Tuscany:

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