Olympic Peninsula…a quick trip x 2

Beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest to take a ferry!  Taking a ferry across the water to a number of different islands is a treat that any visitor to the area should plan on.  You can drive on or park your car and just enjoy the experience.  http://wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/

Harbor Square Wine Shop  – as you exit off the Bainbridge Island ferry run…definitely stop in at the Harbor Square Wine Shop.  It has a nice selection of wine as well as specialty gift or decor items for purchase.  We purchased an Encircle Cork Cage – love it!   They also have t-shirts and other gift items.  Jeff is a great one to talk to with regards to pairings and you can do that over a glass of wine (as they serve wine by the glass as well as sell wine by the bottle).

Poulsbo – known as “Little Norway”, Poulsbo has a nice selection of shops (mind you mainly nik nak/tourist gift items), a sampling of restaurants and bakeries.  We stopped by Sluys Bakery, maker of Poulsbo bread – a must stop in my opinion…enjoyed the date bars and a chocolate covered peanut butter cookie.  Top 5 in the Best of KING5’s Best Bakery poll for 2009.  Hoping to try more selections at another time.    Also stopped at That’s-A-Some Italian  http://www.thatsasome.com/italian/thatsasome_italian.htm  The personalized service from Tom, wife Maria and the in-house regular Sammy 🙂 is appreciated.  A nice wine selection can be had, outdoor dining is available, and a number of items have been tried in the past…most recently the Gorgonzola Pizza.  Voted best italian menu, best wine list, best family dinner and best waitress in the 2009 Best of North Kitsap poll.  Oh, and Poulsbo is a great place for 3rd of July fireworks on the waterfront…a great community celebration!   http://thirdofjuly.org/default.htm; http://poulsbo.net/; http://www.visitkitsap.com/cities.asp?ID=7; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poulsbo,_Washington

Another trip will include more outings…maybe Port Townsend, a stop in Chimacum Cafe or head to Quilcene for the Olympic Music Festival…chamber music in the barn (or out on the grounds) http://www.olympicmusicfestival.org/ , Sequim http://www.visitsun.com/ …visit the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge or Sequim Lavender Festival  http://www.lavenderfestival.com/  or maybe a hike at Hurricane Ridge.  The last stop on this outing was Port Angeles.   We had dinner at Bella Italia which is currently a hot spot for Twilight fans as this restaurant is where Bella and Edward had their first date.  Their dish is also on the menu…Bella’s Mushroom Ravioli though we ordered other house specialties.   http://www.bellaitaliapa.com/ .  In the future, we will include the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival – annually in October  http://www.crabfestival.org/  …a great time to plan ahead for.

Pick A Festival, Any Festival

75 degrees, sunny, beautiful day for Kirkland Uncorked

Another word for Summer in the Pacific Northwest = Festival.  How can you not love it?  or summer for that matter?  My guess is that the weekend of July 16th, 17th and 18th showcases more festivals than any other.  Take your pick –

– Seafair Indian Days Pow Wow  http://www.unitedindians.com/events002.html

– Sequim Lavender Festival  http://www.lavenderfestival.com/

– Kirkland Uncorked  http://www.kirklanduncorked.com/

– Bite of Seattle  http://www.comcastbiteofseattle.com/

And there are many more….Northwest Raspberry Festival in Lynden, Darrington Bluegrass Festival, San Juan Islands Lavendar Festival, Summer Beer Taste, Wedgewood Art Festival, Mill Creek Street Fair, Gig Harbor Summer Art Festival, The Best of Magnuson Park, Meet the Bainbridge Island Winemakers, Mukilteo Waterfront Festival, Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival, Seattle Bon Adori, Bald Eagle Days Festival, Mustang Club of America Grand National Show, Kirkland Classic Car Show, Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, and more…

7/17 – Kirkland Uncorked – 17 wineries, Pyramid Brewery, live music, restaurant sampling, art, boat show, cook/grill off, 75 degrees, sunny, sparkling Lake Washington waters…benefiting the Hope Heart Institute –  good times!