Autumn exists

October in the Pacific Northwest has seen stunning color this year.

We’ve seen rain, wind and also a 70 degree fall day.

A leisurely stroll, getting steps in

Feeling the warm breeze, seeing the trees move with the wind

Hearing the crisp leaves move along the road

Autumn exists.

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.

Spring has Sprung

It’s the first day of Spring. March 20, 2021.

It’s a welcomed day among.

In the Pacific Northwest, it’s in the air.

While on a walk or a #pnw drive.

Trees, leaves are a budding.

I see Crocus, Daffodils, Primrose, Pansies, and Hyacinthus.

The Juncos and a variety of birds, bees are making their way to feed.

Rain, Clouds, Sun. A welcomed site.

We hear frogs making their song… especially in the evening light.

The crescent moon and stars are shown.

Spring has sprung.

The 1st Full Day of Spring

It’s the first full day of spring 2016. It’s a mix in the Pacific Northwest…rain, grey skies, and yet the the trees and flowers are budding and blooming.

Did you see that Easter next year will be on April 16th?   But, it is not the latest date on record. http://www.snopes.com/holidays/easter/easterdate.asp

A Spring Verse from http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-2016-vernal-equinox

One swallow does not make a spring.

Bluebirds are a sign of spring; warm weather and gentle south breezes they bring.

In spring, no one thinks of the snow that fell last year.

Don’t say that spring has come until you can put your foot on nine daisies.

Spring-time sweet!
The whole Earth smiles, thy coming to greet.

 

Snoqualmie Falls #OptOutside

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.

http://www.snoqualmiefalls.com/

http://www.salishlodge.com/index.php

Below are a number of images from this last adventure ~

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Here’s to one of the Pacific Northwest’s (and my) “Best Places”!

Ocean Shores, WA

Ocean Shores, WA is 2-1/2 hours from the Seattle area.  A great time to head to the coast is the month of September, May or any month in between.  Walk the beach, find some shells, see wildlife and write a message in the sand.

Many of the hotels are the older beach town resort-style.  A past favorite to stay was The Polynesian Resort.  For many years my grandparents would go with friends and I carried on the tradition.  The one bedroom is a good selection as the bedroom is separate from the living area and full service kitchen.  Optional: have a fire in the fireplace and a glass of wine while watching a DVD or while cheering on the Seattle Seahawks on a lazy Sunday.  The people are friendly and the amenities are vast. http://thepolynesian.com/

What else is there to do?  A nice selection of merchandise can be found at The Village Shoppe and Flying Cats Gift Shoppe.   Stop in at Elk Head Taproom (brewery located in Buckley) for a brew.  Take a drive to Seabrook and have lunch at Mill 109 ~ the Whistle Punk Chicken Burger and a pint of craft brew hit the spot.  ‘Our Place’ is known for their breakfast.  The Ocean Beach Roasters has a nice selection of coffee, pastries, quiche, and more.  Emily’s at Quinault Resort and Casino is good for a fine dining option.  And while you’re at the Casino, take a spin at a slot machine to try your luck.  Maria’s at The Polynesian is ok too.

What’s up with the Sasquatch theme (or sightings) around the area?  Ocean Shores is a gathering place for Sasquatch researchers from around the world gather to present their findings of the elusive bigfoot species. Witnesses share their experiences and information about Sasquatch.

So, stay two nights to wind down and enjoy this Pacific Northwest beach and weather.  You might also consider continuing your trip north to Quinault Lodge, Kalaloch Lodge and the beautiful beaches of the Washington coast.  Fly a kite, paddle a boat, become a birdwatcher, or beach comb for treasures.

http://www.tourismoceanshores.com/

 

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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.

http://www.woodinvillewhiskeyco.com/

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

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Saturday, July 19th – Winemaker Cruise

Looking for an ideal Pacific Northwest experience?  Postpone whatever you might have planned and take a winemaker dinner cruise this coming Saturday, July 19th.

A chartered bus will pick you up at Hellams Vineyard in La Conner at 5 p.m. (please check in to the shop no later than 4:15 p.m.).  You’ll head over to Mystic Sea Charters in Anacortes http://mysticseacharters.com/, boarding and departing at 6 p.m.  The boat will return to dock at 9 p.m. and you’ll then be chartered back to La Conner.

The cruise will take you through the San Juan Islands, heading from Anacortes northbound to the mystical Mermaid Rocks and the Cone Islands, venturing on to Toehead Pass and Obstruction Pass off of Orcas Island, continuing onward to Thatcher Pass, Lopez Spit, Decatur Island and Lopez Pass, and the Marine Sanctuary off of Bird Rocks – then homeward bound.  This is a fantastic scenic cruise abundant with eagles, seals, and spectacular scenery.

The cruise this Saturday will feature Barrister Winery  http://barristerwinery.com/, with owner/winemakers Greg and Mike on board pouring their special wines and a couple winery only wines.  The cruise is also a Dungeness Crab Feed which also includes several side dishes and dessert. Cost is $140 per person (+tax).  To reserve  your spot, call Hellams Vineyard at 360-466-1758.  http://hellamsvineyard.com/  It just may be the highlight of your summer!

 

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