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.

Record Heat Wave in the #pnw

As June comes to a close, here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve had record high temperatures. Higher than Miami, Dallas and other cities ever recorded. This is unprecedented as it is often hard to get tan lines before July. An example is:

Portland, OR – 116 degrees

Seattle, WA – 108 degrees

Pasco, WA – 118 degrees…since 1961

Many households do not have air conditioning here. I imagine that will slowly increase going forward. A common sense expense I think. And many will think ahead. Businesses closed, nature/plants and infrastructure took a beating. Can anyone say climate change?

What did you do to stay cool? The #pnw states are opening up! Options included being on the road, shopping in an air-conditioned store, movie theater, took a dip in the pool, bbq, a refreshing beverage, and more. I found a hand mister to be very handy, refreshing.

What will the rest of the summer bring? May our natural beauty be spared. And may the energy of #pnw thrive as we celebrate a bit of normal.

2021…some options for getting out and about from Western Washington

  1. Take a Winter walk or hike
  2. Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula
  3. Attend a social distance festival, concert or theater production
  4. Visit Canada (when the border opens)
  5. Mount Rainier – re-visit it and see the renovated Paradise Inn
  6. Stay in a Yurt
  7. Golf, Fish, Ski, Snowshoe…somewhere
  8. Takeout from Deru Market in Kirkland, WA
  9. Take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island for brunch outside
  10. Northwest Trek
  11. See Silver Falls in Oregon
  12. Spheres at the Amazon corporate office (when they re-open for tours)
  13. See the renovated Space Needle, glass floors
  14. Check out the updated Asian Art Museum
  15. See the movie Top Gun / Maverick (due out in July), especially if you loved the first one
  16. Take the portable fire pit out to the street and meet up with the neighbors for happy hour
  17. Travel outside of within 4 hours reach
  18. Go somewhere new; try something new
  19. Go somewhere that you haven’t been to in a number of years. Support the smaller businesses too.
  20. Go somewhere that you love, that makes you happy; one of your favorite places
  21. Do something notable EACH month of 2021 #mightnotsuck

2020 ~ What Happened?

So, 2020 wasn’t what most of us had hoped for or planned. With COVID-19 restrictions, your well-thought plans were more than derailed. A goal at the beginning of the year was to do something notable every month of the year. That’s didn’t happen but I suppose that was by choice.

Did you attempt to experience nature, the beauty of the pacific northwest?

Did you get out and about to support your local businesses?

At some point, most of us were asked to stay at home. I was one of those… working longer hours and spent much of the time in our household bubble. And then for a few gatherings with friends and family, stayed six feet apart #wearamask. Throughout this post, you’ll see words or hashtags in bold that may have described 2020. The Tag section for others that may seem familiar. 20 highlights for 2020 were:

  1. Caribbean Cruise and trip to Florida
  2. Cielo Cucina Mexicana in Bellevue, WA – Yum!
  3. Canlis Restaurant. Celebrated 10th wedding anniversary
  4. Some personal training happened (but the results were soon lost), donated blood
  5. Virtual NFL Draft and Disco Inferno, All In WA, re-watched Hamilton, Cirque du Soleil, Les Miserables in Concert – The 25th Anniversary production – amazing!
  6. Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge. Shop. View. Hike. Picnicked, celebrated my birthday with a cake from Salish Lodge, champagne
  7. #BLM
  8. Monday’s on the deck with Metallica Monday’s
  9. Experienced the Seattle Mariners home games this season with cutouts – that’s the spirit!
  10. Outdoors at Canlis Restaurant – Crab Shack. What a treat!
  11. La Conner. Walked the town. Pumpkins. Hellams Vineyard
  12. Meet up with neighbors for street side happy hour, Zoom calls, Facetime with friends, entertaining outdoors for 2, takeout (or pickup) Smoking Monkey Pizza, Go Hawks!
  13. Wine tasting in Woodinville
  14. A walk on the Cedar River Trail; a week of haze/smoke
  15. Restaurant Homer in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The most fabulous meal of the year.
  16. Board games, online shopping. If you like soft pretzels, check out Eastern Provisions Pretzels
  17. Vote! #RBG
  18. Pike Place Market. Viewed market charm. Picked up Panettone (3) from DeLaurenti’s Food & Wine. And couldn’t pass up a Hom Bow (and more) at Mee Sum Bakery
  19. Snoqualmie Winter Lights and Snoqualmie Brewery
  20. Almost finished outstanding photo albums using Shutterfly

Maybe there are a few listed here that can brighten your 2021. Where will we go then?

May we continue to acknowledge those that we’ve lost this year.

Happenings 2019

What were some of my favorite things in 2019?  Did you travel within four hours reach of the Seattle area?  Check out the 19 highlights…

  1. California dreamin (by airplane) – Sonoma, Napa, St Helena, Sacramento, San Francisco, …and Russian River Brewery
  2. Snowmageddon in February in the Puget Sound area
  3. The Konmari Method – Does your ‘stuff’ spark joy?
  4. Poverty Bay Wine Festival in Des Moines, WA – an annual anniversary
  5. Seeing the snow geese in the La Conner, Conway, Mount Vernon area in early-mid March
  6. Eats –  a few new eats in 2019 consisted of the Five Star Cellars wine dinner at the Magestic Hotel in Anacortes, Black Raven Brewery in Redmond, and Resonate Brewery in Bellevue. The Mongolia Wagyu Beef at Baron’s in Bellevue was tasty as well.
  7. Port Townsend – windy Spring day to tour the town, Saturday market, Point Hudson
  8. Seattle Pride Parade fun
  9. Deception Pass and Hellams Vineyard wine/dinner boat cruise via San Juan Cruises
  10. Walk the Cedar River Trail
  11. Pike Place Market – Mee Sum Pastry’s Pork Hom Bow; Sunset Supper in August
  12. Gary Clark Jr at Chateau St Michelle’s Summer Concert Series and Evil Dead the Musical
  13. Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich – so tasty!
  14. Cheering on the Seattle Seahawks, playing fantasy football (4th place in both leagues) and pickem – Go Hawks!
  15. Metallica S&M2 (the performance after the fact) – so fabulous!
  16. Salish Lodge and Snoqualmie Falls –  breakfast, pics of the falls, shopping….one of my favorite places. Includes shopping in the smaller boutiques in Snoqualmie and North Bend
  17. Seattle Sounders win the MLS Cup vs Toronto – Way to Go!
  18. Leavenworth town and tree lighting
  19. Strangelove at Showbox at the Market – love, love, love!

What are you looking forward to in 2020?  I am looking forward to the movie Top Gun/Maverick – oh yeah!

What were your 18 faves for 2018?

So, this list was skipped at the beginning of the year but now that we’re towards the end of it, what did you do in 2018 that you can recommend?  what did you love? what do you want to do again ‘within 4 hours reach’ of the Puget Sound area?  As I’m a list maker and a scheduler, I can contribute with a list of my own…

  1. Visit The Bay area via airplane, so it counts for this particular list
  2. Check out 21 Acres in Woodinville, your sustainable living heart will love it.  http://21acres.org/
  3. Northwest Flower and Garden Show
  4. Jazz Brunch at Sorrento Hotel in Seattle
  5. Wine Tasting. Poverty Bay Wine Festival.
  6. See ‘Hamilton’ at Paramount Theatre
  7. Did you see your Market Charm or order one?  visit Pike Place Market
  8. Check out live Sumo with Sumo + Sushi
  9. Youth. Equity. Access. to the Arts – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Seattle Symphony, Ciara and Russell Wilson.  And see Candlebox rock their 25th Anniversary tour – oh yeah!
  10. Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge – hike it, pic it, eat it, shop it, massage it, love it
  11. Gig Harbor – visit downtown and walk Sehmel Homestead Park
  12. Walk 18 miles with EverWalk
  13. Seahawks Training Camp. Tailgate.
  14. Notable Restaurant? Meal? Movie? Theater? Concert?  Sporting Event?  Yes, please.  Way to Go Seattle Storm!
  15. Play Croquet in the summer heat
  16. Camano Island waterfront
  17. Autumn Leaf Festival in Leavenworth
  18. Anacortes Bier on the Pier
  19. Extra: the holiday season…put out your outdoor Christmas lights early

Experiencing the holiday season 2018

Wondering what to check out during the Thanksgiving holiday and last few weeks of November 2018 in the Puget Sound Area? Here are a few ideas for the holiday season:

You may find me at a number of these.

Happy Holidays!

National Park Service – Senior Pass $ increase

Those of you age 62 and over, the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands lifetime senior pass will increase from $10 to $80 on August 27, 2017. Now is a great time to get your pass. Anytime and any amount is always beneficial to our beautiful parks and land.  For more information…

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/senior-pass-changes.htm?utm_source=socialmedia&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=senior_pass

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm#CP_JUMP_5088578

17 for 2017

What to do in 2017?  Anything that will calm your heart and bring you peace, laughter, and joy.  In other words, Rock it!  Below are 17 options within four hours reach of the Seattle area.

  1. Hike the waterfall trails along the Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway. It just celebrated its 100-year anniversary.
  2. Try one (1) new restaurant each month of the year
  3. Walk along the sandy, rocky beaches of Dungeness Spit, view lighthouse
  4. Visit and buy from a local farmers market
  5. Whidbey Island…stay at the Inn at Langley #pnw
  6. Attend four (4) fairs or festivals that you didn’t last year
  7. Lake Chelan ~ wine tasting #wawine
  8. Celebrate someone’s 50th – bingo karaoke? sky dive? trip to Paris?
  9. North Cascades Highway ~ the most beautiful place on earth
  10. Take the ‘Mount Rainier’ Gondola at Crystal Mountain ~ think ‘this year’s holiday card photo’
  11. Spa treatment at Whistler BC
  12. Port Ludlow and Fort Worden State Park.  Try the Ludlow Falls Interpretative Trail, Around-the-Bay Trail, Murhut Falls Trail
  13. Go Mariners, Rainiers, Aquasox and Bells!
  14. Visit Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve
  15. Run or walk a 5K or 15K ~ support a cause important to you or your like-minded friends
  16. See La Traviata, Luzia, or other to bring a little culture #hallelujah
  17. Hike the Washington State coast ~ http://www.outdoorproject.com/blog-news/16-best-hikes-washington-coast  #outdoorproject