#OptOutside #GreenFriday

The day after Thanksgiving is known here in the USA as ‘Black Friday’. But this year, thanks to REI  ~ http://www.rei.com/, we have #OptOutside. Employees will be paid and REI stores are closed on this day…encouraging its employees and members to get outside.

Also, after REI’s action, the National Parks of Olympic and Rainier in Washington State (and some in other states) are promoting #GreenFriday. Admission to these two parks are free today.

So, whether it’s a nature walk, a visit to Snoqualmie Falls or a garden trail, hiking or snowshoeing, skiing, visiting a state or national park, a wildlife reserve or a beach…join us outside.


P.S. Other industries are getting into it too but please, keep our air outside fresh, in our parks and other, naturally green.

Oak Bay in April

Oak Bay, a suburb of Victoria, British Columbia … a fabulous place to live and visit.  When I say live I mean it’s a community where you have surf, sand, arts, history, and can enjoy an active lifestyle or a leisurely one. Downtown Victoria is just 10 minutes away where you’ll find all the pleasures of a British city as well as a harbor town. Shopping, restaurants, gardens, and more.  And getting here is simple… helicopter, ferry, float plane, boat.

The first mention should be for the Oak Bay Community Arts Society. The Studio Tour happens twice a year, in April and November.  The artist’s showcase their craft in their home – it is a self-guided tour.  You’ll find photography, paintings, abstract and architectural designs, hand-dyed fabrics, and calligraphy just to name a few.  A pamphlet can be found at http://www.oakbayartists.com  The other annual event is the Bowker Creek Brush-Up Art Show & Sale in August.

Cycle, run, walk, kayak the beautiful coastlines and parks that surround the neighborhoods here.  Wildlife and nature abound as well as the incredible views you’ll experience.  I can recommend Willows Beach (fun to see the variety of dogs from October 1 to April 30) and Cattle Point.  A popular tree in the area is the Garry Oak. The history of Oak Bay has a colorful mix of Edwardian architecture and a glimpse of the Songhees First Nation.   https://www.oakbay.ca/explore-oak-bay/outdoor-activities/public-beaches

And for a taste, stop in at The Snug Pub at the luxurious Oak Bay Beach Hotel.  Enjoy fish & chips and other fine cuisine.   The Snug Pub is Victoria’s first neighborhood pub dating back to 1954.  http://oakbaybeachhotel.com/dining/snug-pub/

Just go.

http://www.oakbaytourism.com/ http://www.tourismvictoria.com/


Happy 1st Day of Fall 2015

Ready to say goodbye to Summer?  You may not have been last week but now that Autumn has officially arrived, you just might be.  It’s a collection of new beginnings, traditions, festivals, and a time to settle in for the upcoming Winter.  The leaves turn color and fall to the earth.  The wind and rain show themselves.  As it is a fascinating time, you may yearn to know more.  Check out the links below for some Autumn (and Fall) content and if you want more…search for it.







Last Days of August 2015

As we wind down the last couple weeks of August (and some may say the end of Summer), check out this list of ‘Top 10 Things To Do’ to make even more lasting memories –

  1. Visit the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass
  2. Ride the Ducks – use the coupon “DUCKDAYS” on any ride 6 pm or after Tuesday through Thursday till the end of August 2015. Quack!
  3. Take in a M’s game at Safeco Field
  4. Evergreen State Fair (the Monroe Fair as some of us know it), August 27 through September 7th
  5. Chase a Waterfall
  6. Stop in at the new Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery in the Greenwood area of Seattle – it just opened August 15th!
  7. It’s Washington Wine Month!  Enjoy!
  8. Just opened this month!  Make a reservation at Orfeo on 3rd in the Belltown area
  9. Art in the Garden – Bellevue Botanical Garden – August 29 and 30th
  10. Washington State International Kite Festival in Long Beach – it lasts all week August 17 – 23rd this year


The real voyage of discovery…

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ~ Marcel Proust

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.  ~ Albert Einstein

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~ John Muir

Woodinville Whiskey Co.

Woodinville Whiskey Co., a craft distillery, is located in Woodinville, WA.  The decor is rustic and what I would call Pacific Northwest barrel style.  You will see the largest Pot Still on the West Coast working its magic.  The whiskey is good and it’s always a treat when you can also taste the barrel-aged honey and maple syrup (makes a great gift!).  Tasting on this day was from ‘The Microbarreled Collection’ – it’s aged to maturity in a 8-gallon handmade American oak barrel, with nearly 3 times the amount of wood in contact with whiskey compared to a standard barrel.

  • Mash Bill No. 9 Bourbon Whiskey
  • 100% Rye Whiskey
  • Peabody Jones Vodka

If you think yourself a connoisseur of bourbon, there is always something new to learn.  For example:

Bourbon Whiskey is American and must be made in the USA. The barrel must be new, charred oak.  It must be at least 51% corn. Rye, wheat and malted barley are typically other grains used.  It must be distilled no higher than 160 proof ensuring grain character. It must enter into a barrel no higher than 125 proof/62.5% ABV. It must go into the bottle no less than 80 proof/40% ABV. Also, no artificial coloring, flavoring, or additives are allowed. (Note: info here received from Woodinville Whiskey Co.)  Different traits make Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, Irish Whiskey and Canadian Whiskey what they are as well.

The tasting room is open daily from 11 am – 5 pm. The event space entices with hanging lights and a garage door that opens to a grassy space with a fire pit. Tours of the facility are on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 pm and 3 pm.  Note: my party of three ate next door at The Hollywood Tavern ~ try the Ancho Chile Tots or Fried Pickles.


“the light music of whisky falling into glasses made an agreeable interlude” ~ James Joyce