All tagged Weekend getaways
Nestled amongst a mossy forest, there is cabin high up in the mountains. It is close to a few modern necessities, but with greenery out every window it feels like you are miles away from everyone else. A few stormy weekends ago, we stayed at this cabin and enjoyed an adventure filled weekend in the mountains. Most notable were the homemade treats, cozy fires and experiencing our first snow fall of the season. If you are looking for a laid back weekend where your family can relax and you can skip your list of chores and errands then this is the place.
During our time on Orcas Island we stayed at a lovely place called Pebble Cove Farm owned by Lydia and John Miller. Upon first glance at their website, the thing that struck me the most was how they referred to it as their "dream come true". In 2004, Lydia and John bought this long neglected acreage and worked hard to transform an abandoned barn into a contemporary farmhouse. There dream to raise their three boys by the sea was achieved and now their guests are the recipients of all their hard work. Pebble Cove Farm is a respite from the world. There is a u-pick garden, a sweet horse named Buddy, goats, pigs, chickens, a swing set and most importantly room to breathe. Jasper loved spending his time in the garden and I was in love with their bountiful orchard and flower garden.
Two weekends ago, we hopped on a ferry bound for Pebble Cove Farm on Orcas Island. It had been a long time since we last visited Orcas Island and we were excited to visit some familiar places, but more importantly participate in the Orcas Island Farm Tour, stay at Pebble Cove Farm and eat dinner at New Leaf Cafe. The Orcas Island Farm Tour is just one of the many events occurring during the Savor the San Juans which runs thru November 12th. Savor the San Juans is a nine year tradition which has grown to encompass three film festivals, art exhibits, a new sustainable seafood Salish Sea Festival, a farm parade, two vineyard harvest festivals, harvest dinners, farm tours and much more. I love the San Juan Islands and with the stunning ferry ride this is one instance where getting there is really half the fun.
Last weekend, we headed to Leavenworth for some hiking, a little bit of relaxation, and a much needed change of scenery. Every once and awhile I crave a new landscape, so last weekend we packed up the car and headed east of the mountains. I am always amazed at how different the landscape is just a couple hundred miles away from our home. It reminds me there is so much still to explore in my own backyard.
The biggest perk of catching the early ferry is you can hit the ground running once you are in Victoria. When traveling with a toddler two of the most important factors are food and speed. During our boat ride we were able to eat breakfast and then spend the rest of the time checking out all the boats and beautiful scenery out our window and chatting with the interesting people on board. Once in Victoria we took a short taxi ride to our hotel and without much fuss we were able to be settled into our room and get a bite to eat all before noon. Since it was so early in the day, we then had the rest of the day to explore Victoria at our leisure. We had such a long list of things we wanted to do we really appreciated being able to get up to Victoria so fast and with such ease on the Victoria Clipper.
Earlier this year, we decided it was high time we returned to where we spent our honeymoon- Ucluelet, B.C. For our eleventh wedding anniversary we spent a relaxing four days at Black Rock Resort as we celebrated each other and the awesome life we have created together. Although many people have never heard of Ucluelet, it is a ruggedly beautiful place located on Vancouver Island about four hours west of Victoria, B.C.
During our stay at Lakedale Resort we had the opportunity to cruise around San Juan Island one day in a scoot coupe from Susie's Moped. It was a fun way to spend the day and see the island from a different perspective. We also enjoyed being able to leave our car for the day and explore the island in a more environmentally friendly way. If you have a couple of hours, half a day or a full day Susie's Moped is the perfect thing to do if you want to walk on the ferry and avoid the lines, but still see the entire island at your own pace.
Do you ever want to visit a place where you can unplug? Where you can enjoy the great outdoors during the day and yet be able to come home to a few modern conveniences at night? A place where you can feel like a kid again either with or without your children? A quiet place where you can reconnect with your spouse? A place where you can enjoy quality time as a family or enjoy the serenity of nature alone? If you answered yes to any of these things, then Lakedale Resort is the place for you.
Over Memorial Day we rented this cabin through Mount Baker Lodging for the weekend. We had never visited Silver Lake before, but it was such a beautiful property I can foresee us visiting again and again. Although the weather was not fantastic while we visited, it encouraged us to take it easy and recharge after our trip to Europe. After a busy month of traveling it allowed us to get back on our schedules. Despite the weather we still managed to go on a short hike, visited the nearby state park, spent an afternoon in Bellingham and even did a little strawberry picking at a local farm.
In the heart of downtown Woodinville there is a wonderful gem tucked away between the winerys and farms called Willows Lodge. My husband and I recently sent our son off to his grandparent's house and stayed at Willows Lodge for a little weekend escape. Once we arrived at the property we were pleased with the calming decor, inviting color palette and impeccable service. Growing up on the Eastside I regularly visited Woodinville, but after moving to Seattle I have not spent much time in Woodinville. In the past, I have never considered vacating the city for a night to relax, recharge and reconnect with my husband on the Eastside. However, now that I have experienced it I not only see the benefits, but am eagerly planning our next weekend getaway.
Spring time is one of our favorite times to travel. The weather usually cooperates, flowers boxes and hanging baskets are bursting with color and it is generally a quiet time compared to the hustle and bustle of the Summer. When we visit San Juan Island we like to spend at least a few afternoons and evening at Roche Harbor. We like the laid back, easy pace of the area and find it to be devoid of all the ferry traffic and tours which come in and out of Friday Harbor. We also love to kayak out of Roche Harbor with San Juan Outfitters and one of our favorite places to eat on the island (Madrona Bar and Grill) is located here too.
While visiting the San Juan Islands earlier this month we went on a whale watching tour with San Juan Safaris. Whenever we visit the San Juan Islands we like to get out on the water as much as possible and San Juan Safaris is one of our favorite outfitters to partner with. Their guides and naturalists are professional and possess an enthusiasm for their jobs that is unmatched. Whenever I go on a whale watching tour or a kayaking trip with San Juan Safaris I always leave inspired by the scenery, but more importantly the people. In addition to fantastic staff you won't find nicer boats or kayaking equipment than through them.
Before we bid Winter adieu we headed up to the North Cascades to stay at the Freestone Inn for one last hurrah. We spent our time enjoying slow mornings and big breakfasts, snowshoeing, window shopping in Winthrop, and constantly dreaming about one day building a house of our own amongst the stunning landscape. The North Cascades have become our refuge, our go to place when we want a break from the world with a healthy dose of natural beauty and a hearty side of adventure. We have spent many hours hiking the nearby trails and marveling at how we always feel like we have the place to ourselves. We love to visit the Freestone Inn during all seasons, but the Fall and Winter are our favorites. The combination of the coziness of the inn with cooler temperatures makes us feel right at home by the roaring fire.
With the transition of Winter into Spring my thoughts turn outdoors. If I had it my way I would be outside everyday from dawn until dusk. Unfortunately, many days between work commitments, taking care of a small child and the rigors of life in general my schedule does not permit such a luxury like this. On those days, where all I want to be is outside, but I am stuck inside I have the memories and the photos of wonderful days past spent amongst the dirt and the trees. Here are a few photos from one such lovely Fall hike to Cutthroat Lake.
Awhile back I mentioned we were partnering with Glamping Hub for a little family adventure. We finally went on our adventure and stayed in a modern cabin in the woods. We enjoyed the solitude and location of our cabin, but most importantly the time we spent together as a family. Our time there reminded us how we feel most alive surrounded by trees and breathing in the fresh mountain air, but also how we hope to one day have a cabin of our own nestled in the woods.
One of our primary reasons for visiting Vancouver was to go snowshoeing. There isn't one, but three fantastic places to go snowshoeing all within twenty minutes from the city. However, between getting late starts each day and the extra holiday traffic we were only able to visit Cypress Mountain this time. On the day we were up there the glorious sunshine and blue skies combined with a fresh dumping of snow made for one heavenly day. The snow shoe route we took was one of those straight up the entire way. When we are out snowshoeing I am always thoroughly impressed with Cameron's ability to carry our heavy son on his back. He never complains and makes it look so easy. I am reminded time and time again how much fresh mountain air and family time is good for the soul. I am continually grateful for these two adventurous dudes and how much they make every single day special.
After Christmas, we were excited to spend time in one of our favorite cities- Vancouver, B.C. Although it had been a couple years since we last visited I was reminded how much I love Vancouver and the diversity of its surrounding neighborhoods. I like to think of Vancouver as the hip, more refined and established older sister to Seattle. Whatever characteristics I like about Seattle it seems Vancouver has in greater abundance or accessibility. My two great loves are the water and the mountains. Vancouver like Seattle has both, but in Vancouver the mountains are so easily accessible from the city it makes me envious.
On our way home from the Oregon coast we decided to take a little detour and meet up with our friends in Portland. Since I easily daydream about going to Portland at least once a month, it was a no brainer when the opportunity presented itself. There is something about Portland that feels so young and hip. The food scene cannot be beat and I love how easy it is to get around. We met up with our friends for lunch at Por Que No and then walked down Mississippi Avenue looking in the various shops. Some of my favorites include: Black Wagon, Paxton Gate, Land, and Pistils Nursery.
The holidays can be such a frenzied time, so we decided to enjoy the calm before the storm by heading to Cannon Beach for a few days. We stayed at Tolovana Inn in a two bedroom condo right on the beach, our unit had a full kitchen and dining room which made it easy to make our own meals and enjoy them at a leisurely pace. We only ended up eating out a couple times and our favorite was Tom's Fish and Chips. Aside from a day trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, we spent the majority of our time walking along the beach and enjoying the sea breeze. These days our trips are a lot less structured and just being together makes me feel endlessly happy and content. Jasper has taught me so many things. However, the most important thing he has taught me is to enjoy the mundane. Eating breakfast used to take me five minutes, now I can plan on at least thirty. He has taught me the unscheduled day has its advantages and being busy does not necessarily equate to fulfillment or happiness. Productivity has always been a source of happiness and pride for me, but since Jasper has come along some days I resign myself to the fact not much is going to get done. The important realization I have come to is that I am okay with it. Playing blocks, jumping in piles of clean laundry, unfolding and tossing the folded laundry on the floor, playing hide and seek, and crawling around the room are among life's simple joys.
Since our son arrived we have spent the majority of our vacations exploring closer to home. The thought of several days cramped in a small hotel room has lost its appeal. With a busy toddler who loves to explore we are constantly searching for experiences which spark his imagination and capture his creativity. Over the past year, we have started to explore alternate types of places to stay, so when the opportunity to partner with Glamping Hub popped up I was happy to try out their services. Glamping Hubhas a variety of unique places to stay from tree houses and railroad cars to log cabins, yurts, canvas tents and teepees. The exciting part is many of these places you can stay for less than the price of a standard hotel room. Washington is such a diverse and beautiful state, even though I have lived here almost my entire life there are so many places to explore and beautiful gems to discover. Check back in to see the adventures we had with Glamping Hub.