Dogwood

“Soon everywhere, with glory through and through,

The fields will spread with every brilliant hue.

But high o’er all the early floral train,

Where softness all the arching sky resumes,

The dogwood dancing to the winds’ refrain,

In stainless glory spreads its snowy blooms.”

– Dogwood Blossoms. George Marion McClellan

Taken from the North Cascades National Park Service Complex post…Pacific Dogwood are in bloom throughout the park! Its white pedals are found throughout the park such as campgrounds and the North Cascades visitor center.

This may be a Kousa dogwood… check out the varieties here: https://www.thespruce.com/twelve-species-dogwood-trees-shrubs-subshrubs-3269662 Late May 2022, Renton, WA

Deception Pass State Park

So, Deception Pass State Park. The most beautiful multi-beach park beauty. I want my ashes spread at Rosario Beach, Deception Pass State Park…one day. Whether it be the views of the waterways, the rocky beaches and the walking trails, views of the most beautiful area of the world. #pnw It is peace and it contains Rosario Beach, Bowman Bay, North/West Beach of this beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest. I may edit this but on this last day of April 2022, I need to celebrate and share my pics of 04.09.22. It was a very windy day. A few of these pics are of La Conner, WA too. A great starting point of a beautiful #pnw day.

https://stateparks.com/deception_pass_state_park_in_washington.html

Chuckanut Drive and Larrabee State Park

On a beautiful day in April, Spring outings are a must. I was fortunate to take the day off and drive north to see the tulip fields and then on to Bellingham via Chuckanut Drive. The #pnw did not disappoint. As I meandered and stopped at a number of viewpoints, and due to timing missed a stop at Taylor Shellfish, I kept to my schedule and was able to visit Larrabee State Park. The experience showcased a trail in the woods, colorful artwork, walking through a tunnel as a train was traveling above, and experiencing the beauty of the coast, a rocky beach that exhibits sea creatures under the rocks and beautiful views of the Samish Bay. I purchased a Discover Pass this year and recommend it. It supports both the parks and in exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Larrabee State Park sits on Chuckanut Mountain near Bellingham and is known for its postcard views of Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands. It is also Washington’s first state park. So interesting, eh? This park has a small number of camping sites available for booking. https://www.parks.wa.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/Larrabee-State-Park-124 or https://stateparks.com/larrabee_state_park_in_washington.html

So much beauty to share…

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival ’22

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is in full swing and the colors are vibrant. I visited in early April as the tulips were just showing themselves. In driving around the area, you might see daffodil fields abloom too. As my visit was part of a full day of travels in the Pacific Northwest, only a few stops were made… a new field along Best Road, with parking lot ($15) and also RoozenGaarde. Arrive early, especially on weekends. Although the festival is coming to a close this week, check out the variety of events, the map and more at https://tulipfestival.org/

Supreme Dumplings

Supreme Dumplings in Bellevue, WA is one of the first in the USA partnering with former Executive Chef of W Hotel Taipei. Chef Wang is a master of Xiao Long Bao. The decor is something like you’d see globally. It’s on the small size, tables are close together… and getting rave reviews! Make a reservation online or risk being a walk-in. We happened to get there when they opened on a Monday and were thankfully able to dine-in. Weijin and the team are fabulous….providing good service and info of the menu.

The items chosen were based on one of us being vegetarian and we wanted to celebrate, try a variety of entrees. The menu consisted of Stir-Fry String Beans (heavenly with wild mushrooms and carrots too…see the pic), Supreme Pork Xiao Long Bao, Pan-Fried Leak Pie, Steamed Vegetable Dumplings, and Wild Mushroom Fried Rice (so good!). Also, a cold Matcha Green Tea was had. The Spicy Wontons were not available so I hope to try this dish another time, among others. All are recommended.

I’ll look forward to returning.

https://www.supreme-dumplings.com/

The Cottage

The Cottage in Bothell entertains and delights at all hours Tuesday-Sunday. Go for brunch aka mid day, happy hour, or dinner. The Cottage serves breakfast all day until 3 pm. The main dishes, the sides, the brunch, and the cocktail options begs you to come back. Check out the sample menu and dream away.

Live music happens. Check out the various events too.

Reserve your table today. As they say…

All Things Delicious.

All Things Cozy.

Shown here: Lemon Cilantro Hummus Platter (the hummus is thicker once you dig into it), Roasted Tunisian Vegetable Melt and The Wedge (with chicken). The Pink Champagne Cocktail (not shown) is perfect for toasting the birthday girl.

The Lodge… Cedar + Elm and more

As the name suggests, I have to love this restaurant as I love the natural elements. I’ve been The Lodge at St. Edward Start Park twice in the last week. Thanks to a friend for introducing me. I’ve always liked to try new restaurants and explore the Pacific Northwest. I used to say I wanted to go to try a different restaurant or experience each month. That has not been the case but it’s never to late to renew this goal. It’s the beginning of 2022 so maybe I’ll make it a habit. Speaking of habits, ‘Habit’ is my word of 2022. I need to change some of mine and create new ones.

So, Cedar and Elm. The ambiance is European to me. There is a piano on Friday and Saturday evenings which really adds to it. If you check out their website, you’ll see the menu exudes holistic and sustainable, seasonal, local offerings for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch and more. The St. Edward High Tea on Thursdays speaks to me for a special afternoon out with a special family member or friend.

Cedar + Elm is located in The Lodge at St. Edward State Park. Check out the history of at https://www.thelodgeatstedward.com/. The Lodge at St Edward State Park is part of Columbia Hospitality which showcases their fine portfolio including the Salish Lodge and Spa, another of my favorites. https://www.columbiahospitality.com/portfolio.php Be prepared to use the valet parking service after 5 pm as the parking lots around the site are Discover Pass related and close for the evening. https://www.thelodgeatstedward.com/dining At some point I would like to explore the trails at the park.

The menu is seasonal. As this is Winter, the first time around was the Hearth Roasted Mero Sea Bass with glazed shitake mushrooms and a bite of the apple tatin and pecan torte for dessert. I’m not a big dessert person but it was a nice ending to a good experience. I would skip the chips and dip as it’s just an unnecessary calorie filler. My friend had the Roasted Parsnip & Cauliflower soup (a big hit!) and the Crispy Shaved Celery Salad. There were plenty of people, larger groups, romantic couples that took space amongst the tables.

The second visit was for happy hour in The Tonsorium Bar located downstairs. The bar used to be a barbershop back in the day when the building was a seminary. Prior to the visit we were able to walk the grounds on the sunny winter day. Trees are my thing so I was in a happy place. As it was my husband’s birthday, we did it up well. We ordered the following and all was tasty: Pork Sandwich with fries, Local Oysters on the Half Shell, Artisan American Cheeses, Pate de Campagne, and Crisp Arancini Di Pulpi along with a sparkling wine and more. The description noted of the pecan torte was ‘off the hook’ – pure pecan bliss without the sugary mess. Katie is fabulous!!! Also, enjoyed the chat and neo-flamenco guitar performance of Andre Feriante. https://www.andreferiante.com/

Another visit might include a stay here. The Lodge has 84 rooms and also hosts space for meetings, special events like a wedding, and has spa services. The local art shown among lodge/park is impressive. My personal favorite was the ‘Rivan Stump’ piece by Robert Williamson; made of salvaged wood with brass nails. One day. You can see these beauties behind the front desk too.

The following pics are a sampling of the lodge, park grounds, and items enjoyed.