Vito’s Seattle

Looking for some old school (classic) Italian cuisine in Seattle?  Vito’s is the place!  How many times have you driven by it?  Probably a lot considering it is located on First Hill on the corner of 9th and Madison. Vito’s has a 1950’s vibe, reminding me of a time when the men were taking their ladies out, while at the same time watching the door for an enemy to come through the door.  When you visit the “About Vito’s” section of the website, you will find a bit of history (it was established in 1953) and photos of what Vito’s looks like now.

Vito’s is a 21 and over establishment.  The restaurant and lounge are open from 4pm – 2 am daily, and open for a “Two Martini Lunch” on Fridays.  It is one open room with a horseshoe-shaped bar that separates the lounge and restaurant.  It is nice that it is open so all can enjoy the live music, provided five days a week.  Check out the Entertainment page on for a lineup of live entertainment.  On the night in which we visited, there was no live music but what was playing overhead had a “Shack” or “70’s” feel.  The conversation then transpired into the shows of the 70’s and those who hosted them, etc… An example?  Newlywed Game, Gong Show, Love Boat, and was Shack just a movie or a TV series?  Was it Chuck Berry or Chuck Barris that hosted the Gong Show?  We had our trusty smartphones, so we were able to confirm the answers right there and then.  The “Cougar Room” is available for meetings, private parties, and dining for groups up to 18.

Not only are parts of your meal house-made (like the Meatballs) but the selection and flavor are certainly there too.  What are the offerings?  Antipasti like Beef Carpaccio, Cozze, Calamari, and Bruschetta di Pomodoro & Tapendada. There is Dolci, Sides, Insalata E Zuppe, and Specialita Della Casa (Cioppino, Eggplant Parmesan, Scampi al Limone, Chicken Marsala, Pan Seared Sea Scallops).  There is also Pasta of course!  Our party chose the Spaghetti with Meatballs (or Sausage), Penne Bolognese, Vito’s Famous Cannelloni, and the Ravioli of the Day, which was a Pear Gorgonzola with Walnuts.  Yum!

I am looking forward to my next visit! Twitter: @vitosseattle

Seattle Channel 21

Seattle Channel 21 is a cable channel (Cable Channel 21) and website that showcases Seattle on a community level, whether it be a neighborhood store or weekend entertainment.  Community, news, arts, and shows that  “Connect to Life in the City”.  This is a needed mention for this Blog as it gives you much of what you might find here (minus the news, politics, and shopping).  You will find the Channel provides informative and interesting tidbits but will also find that you will probably feel proud that you live in an area with such history, innovation, and heart.

On the Seattle Channel this past weekend,  I saw a couple different pieces on the show/segment CityStream, where visits were made to Book Larder as well as to a hat shop, Byrnie Utz Hats, which has been around since the 1934.  Byrnie Utz Hats is located at 310 Union Street in downtown Seattle.  You’ll find something from every decade in this place!  There is no website to peruse, no computers to take your payment.  Visit and you will get old-fashioned quality service with a great selection.  Book Larder is located on Fremont Ave. N. in the Fremont district of Seattle.  It is a cookbook bookstore that also has readings and cooking demonstrations.

Visit or go to Cable Channel 21 to check it out and learn something new!

In August…

“What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.”
Andrew Marvell, Thoughts in a Garden

 “In August, the large masses of berries, which, when in flower, had attracted many wild bees, gradually assumed their bright velvety crimson hue, and by their weight again bent down and broke their tender limbs.”
Henry David Thoreau

Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky.
~Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Silent Noon

“Snails don’t walk.
They slither and slide
Along wet pathways
Gleam and glide,
Squeezed between
The grasses green,
Polished houses shell-like gleam.”
– Theresa Heine

The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
– Mark Twain…Letter to George Bainton, 10/15/1888

Lake Wilderness Arboretum

Looking for a brief date with nature?  Drive to Maple Valley, WA and there you will find Lake Wilderness.  Lake Wilderness is just off the beaten path and consists of an Arboretum, a Lodge (used for weddings, conferences, and the like), a Golf & Country Club is nearby, and a Park that includes areas for picnicking, a baseball field, tennis courts, and Lake Wilderness for boating/fishing and swimming.  There are annual events…the Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show in December, a plant sale in May, Shakespeare is performed this year in August, and Music at the Park is at various times throughout the summer (among others).

The Lake Wilderness Arboretum is 42 acres and is in what I would consider a “natural” setting.  It is maintained by the Lake Wilderness Arboretum Foundation (a non-profit organization) in a Joint User Agreement with the City of Maple Valley.  The Arboretum is split up into different sections and is indicated so by markers.  There is a Rhododendron Garden, Shade Garden, Volunteer Garden, Alpine/Rock Garden, Hydrangea Collection, Maple Collection, Perennial Border, Legacy Garden, Wildlife Corridor, Azalea Garden, and Daylily Collection.  Each month brings us something new to see.  Enjoy a walk on the Tribal Life Trail, which showcases plants native to our area and gives information on how they were used by Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest.  The trees and a walk in the woods are awe-inspiring yet comforting.  Also, along side of the Park is the Green to Cedar Rivers Trail to explore.  Enjoy the trails!

The Lake Wilderness Arboretum is open from dawn until dusk.  Entry and parking are free.  Dogs are welcome (leash laws apply).  Tours can be scheduled.  Volunteers are much appreciated.

And while you are out and about, a stop at Foley’s Produce is suggested.  Foley’s Produce is located on Hwy 169, is  owned by Sean Foley, and carries local goods, much of it from the Yakima, WA area.  You are sure to find much of what you need to make a meal or a snack.  What can be found here?  Corn on the cob, cherries, green beans, peaches, apples (I purchased Ginger Gold which I had not had before), potatoes, peaches, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, peppers, tortilla chips, local preserves, and much more.  There is also a garden section.  You can bet I will be going back on a seasonal basis to see what’s new.  Looking forward to the upcoming Fall…pumpkins and all!  See Foley’s Facebook page for current info.


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August in Washington

August is typically the warmest month of the year in Washington State.  What to do?  Check out these suggestions:

  • Watch the 2012 Summer Olympics!
  • Sandcastle Championships, Aug 16th – Sept. 6th, Federal Way
  • Tomato Battle, Aug 11th, Pyramid Alehouse in Seattle
  • Watch the sunset from Queen Anne Hill
  • Anacortes Arts Festival, Aug 3-5
  • Walk Golden Gardens
  • Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Fest, Aug 25, Des Moines
  • See June and July for other “generic” ideas
  • Whidbey Island road trip
  • See “Rent” at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle
  • Olympic Music Festival, Quilcene
  • Camlann Medieval Village Summer Festival, thru Aug 26, Carnation
  • Port Townsend Blues & Heritage Fest, running thru Aug 5th
  • Evergreen State Fair, Aug 23 – Sept 3, Monroe
  • Art in the Garden, Aug 25-26, Bellevue Botanical Garden
  • Omak Stampede, Aug 9-12, Omak
  • Coupeville Arts & Crafts Festival, Aug 11-12
  • Taste of Edmonds, Aug 10-12
  • Lake Chelan Fine Arts Festival, Aug 17-19
  • Tacoma Maritime Fest, Aug 25-26
  • Doe Bay Fest, Aug 9-12, Orcas Island
  • Seafair Fleet Week, Aug 1-5, Seattle
  • Seafair Air Show & Hydroplane Races, Aug 3-5, Seattle
  • Concerts at the Mural, Aug 3-24, Seattle Center
  • Pierce County Fair, Aug 9-12, Graham
  • Snoqualmie Railroad Days, Aug 17-19
  • Go Camping!
  • and so many more…