So many fun things to do in May.
- SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival, May 19-June 12
- 18th Annual Camano Island Studio Tour, May 7-8 and May 14-15
- Savor Spring Food, Wine & Spirit Tour, Camano and Whidbey Islands, May 14-15
- Ballard Jazz Festival, Seattle (Ballard), May 11-14
- Windermere Cup Regatta / Opening Day of Boating Season, Seattle, May 7
- Go to a car show in Monroe or Downtown Everett
- Penn Cove Water Festival, Coupeville, May 14
- Nordstrom Beat the Bridge Run/Walk, Seattle, May 15
- 8th Annual Flower Festival, Pike Place Market, May 7-8
- 71st annual ’49er Days Celebration, Winthrop, May 7-8
- Spring Release Weekend, Walla Walla, May 6-8
- Apple Blossom Festival, Manson, May 13-14
- Untapped Blues and Brews Festival, Kennewick, May 13-14
- Play Ball! Check out a Seattle Mariners game
- Rhododendron Festival, Port Townsend, May 16-21
- Artisan Food Festival, Port Townsend, May 28
- Roots and Vines Festival, Yakima, May 14
- Northwest Folklife Festrival, Seattle, May 27-30
- Juan de Fuca Festival, Port Angeles, May 27-30
- Summerfest, Long Beach, May 28-30
- See a movie… like Captain America – Civil War
- and more…
Last week was National Park Week. Did you #FindYourPark? If so, which one? Also, it is the National Park Service (NPS) 100th Anniversary this year. Check out https://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/index.htm for a variety of centennial activities in your area.
http://findyourpark.com/ is not the most user-friendly site but a decent list of parks can be found at the nps.gov site. Bam! For WA, the list is located at https://www.nps.gov/state/wa/index.htm ~ so which one will you choose for Spring 2016?
There is a variety of parks and forest within each state…here are some examples for Washington State:
- City Park – Bellevue Downtown Park
- County Park – Ravensdale Park
- State Park – Deception Pass State Park
- National Forest – Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
- National Park – Olympic National Park
- and recreation areas, lakes, trials, open spaces, and more…
Spending time in Northwest Washington, even in winter, will make your weekend or weekday a good one. It’s March and at this time of year you’ll see budding trees and flowers as you make your way from one city (or town) to another. You just might experience a rain and wind storm too.
Start the weekend off right with a wine tasting at Hellams Vineyard in La Conner and go in search of daffodil fields. Enjoy a tasty dinner at A’Town Bistro in Anacortes. End the weekend with a day in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
While in Friday Harbor, stop in at San Juan Island Cheese for sparkling wine and the World Board. The cheeseboards and lunch plates are delicious at this small family-owned local cheese counter and lunch bistro. Sip wine, taste cheese, eat lunch, eat in or take it to go.
It’s almost spring… which makes it a perfect time to get out in nature. Budding trees, flowers, and moss await you. Check out a few Western Washington lowland hikes and more ~
A road (and ferry) trip to the Olympic Peninsula is on the list.
The Elwha watershed is booming with new life, after the world’s largest dam removal. Read more…
Join reporter Lynda V. Mapes for a discussion about the Elwha dam removal, hosted by the Seward Park Audubon Center. March 8th event is sold out but a second date is tbd. http://m.bpt.me/event/1376853
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:
- Visit Deception Pass and the Rosario Beach/Bowman Bay area
- Head East from Seattle to Suncadia Resort ~ taste, relax, play
- Snoqualmie Falls
- Stay at Fort Flagler State Park
- Wine tasting in Walla Walla ~ make a long weekend of it as there is much to taste
- Explore the Kalaloch area of the Washington Coast
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- 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).
- Take a hike and see Silver Falls at Silver Falls State Park in Silverton, OR. It’s just short of 4 hours reach.
- Run/Walk a 5-K
- Haven’t been camping in awhile? Maybe this is the year.
- Take more pictures (and less selfies)
- Visit (and support) the beautiful area of the Methow Valley. Winthrop, Twisp, Mazama and more… the activities and beauty abound.
- Go crabbing in the waters near Anacortes
- Leavenworth ~ take in Oktoberfest, Christmas Lighting Festival or visit anytime of the year
- 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.
It’s January 1st and its a First Day Hike kind of day. At many of the Washington State Parks, along with other America’s State Parks, it’s a chance to create an experience in this season of resolutions and renewal. And it is also a Washington State Parks ‘Free Day’ too. Get the info here…
So which movie are we going to see? Just kidding.
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:
- Spending the final day of the US Open at Chambers Bay golf course with my dad and husband
- Drinking some very fine wine
- Enjoying theater. Favorite: Phantom of the Opera or Mamma Mia
- Enjoying concerts. Favorite Indoor Concert: Candlebox or Muse. Favorite Outdoor Concert: Afrodisiacs at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
- Taking the Victoria Clipper for a weekend to Oak Bay/Victoria BC to catch up with friends
- Road trip to Ocean Shores
- Road trip to Leavenworth
- 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.
- A dinner boat cruise on the waters of the Anacortes/San Juan Islands area via Mystic Sea Charters and Hellam’s Vineyard
- Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square … finding new shops (like Watson Kennedy, Clementines, Fleurt, Timothy De Clue) and restaurants (like London Plane) nearby
- Snoqualmie Falls #optoutside adventure
- Visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass along with dinner at Sky City and taking in the Puget Sound views via the Space Needle
- Tailgating and attending Seattle Seahawks games. Go Hawks!
- Attending a day full of action of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament at Key Arena
- Road trip in a Mercedes-Benz convertible to get a pedicure at Tip Top Nails in North Bend
- 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?
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.
Below are a number of images from this last adventure ~
Here’s to one of the Pacific Northwest’s (and my) “Best Places”!
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/