One of my all-time favorite places in the Pacific Northwest, Salish Lodge & Spa, will be serving Holiday Tea from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. December 19 – January 2, 2017. During that time, you can enjoy the Lodge’s signature teas and savor finger sandwiches, scones and sweet treats all while gazing at the cascading Snoqualmie Falls out the window.
Victoria, our neighbor to the north in British Columbia, has offered afternoon tea ever since I can remember. But Salish Lodge is much closer to home, you don’t need to travel by boat and nobody will ask for your passport.
The sandwich menu includes a roast beef and Salish honey (the honey couldn’t be fresher because the lodge has their own bees) ale spread and English cucumber with watercress and cream cheese.
The pastry chef has been hard at work creating Frangipane tarts, macaroons, chocolate opera cake and more.
Sounds like a good way to relax and take a break during this hectic holiday season. The kids are welcome, too.
The younger set, aged 6-12, has their own menu to choose from that includes PB&J on banana bread, miniature cupcakes and hot chocolate.
Wouldn’t a visit to Snoqualmie Falls with holiday tea at Salish Lodge make a good gift to yourself this year? I’d also work in a massage at the spa and a little shopping in the gift shop.
Fall is almost upon us.
September 2-25: Washington State Fair in Puyallup, A week longer than normal, but closed every Tuesday during its run. This is the most popular fair on the west side of the mountains. To see everything, it might take you two full days. Fisher scones, Clydesdales, competitions, Super Heroes, funnel cakes, dinosaurs, and more.
September 9-11: Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival, Main food court, kids food court, battle of the bands, parade, children’s activities, fireworks and a fishing derby top this community celebration.
September 9-11: Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds, Bird lovers of all ages unite to learn more about their hobby. Festival includes guided nature walks, a photography exhibition and field workshop, speakers and presentations.
September 9-18: Bellingham Beer Week, Fifth annual celebration of the craft beer scene in our city to the north. Participants include Chuckanut, Boundary Bay, Kulshan, Aslan, Wander, Structures, Menace and Stones Throw. For other beer coverage across the state, check with my friends at the Washington Beer Blog.
September 23-25: Valleyfest in the Spokane Valley, Short and long-distance bike rides, hot air balloons, bed races, fishing at the falls, a parade, and robotics and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities.
September 23-25: Port Townsend Film Festival, 98 films at six different theatre venues, one of which is outside.
September 23-25: Autumn Leaf Fest in Leavenworth, Parades, music, entertainment, car show, breakfast and more.
September 23-25: Ye Merrie Greenwood Faire in Kennewick, A period Renaissance Faire, need I say more?
September 30-October 1: Inaugural SeaFeast in Bellingham, This new event takes place in downtown and showcases the rich maritime and thriving commercial fishing there. Local seafood, competitions, entertainment, a pub crawl and salmon barbecue.
Just Plain Cool
Wings over Washington in Seattle is a new attraction on Pier 59 at Miner’s Landing in Seattle. Purchase your tickets at the same place you buy them for the Great Wheel. This flying theatre transports you over and through some of the best scenery in the state. Once you’re strapped into your seat, the chairs drop and you become a part of the landscape and seascape. It feels so real, that I ducked and lifted my feet to avoid the obstacles.
The Thurston County Bountiful Byway, is now open so anyone can travel the 60-mile loop filled with fresh food and beverages. “This new program will further the Bountiful Byway’s mission to bring visitors hungry for local produce, craft beverages and farm fresh fare straight to the source,” says Shauna Stewart, executive director of the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau.
There used to be a single date in July where you were guaranteed a rain-free day and could schedule an outdoor wedding. That’s it. One day in the Pacific Northwest. Now we’re experiencing warmer temperatures more often. I’d still check the weather forecast too see if you need any rain clothes before heading out in July. But our rain, this time of year, is usually just a drizzle, so don’t let talk of precipitation dampen your plans.
Here’s my take on the best events for this month:
July 3-10: Port Townsend’s Festival of American Fiddle Tunes attracts fiddlers, fiddle lovers and dancers to Fort Worden State Park.
July 4: Tacoma’s Freedom Fair , located on the Ruston Way waterfront, has a little of everything – an air show, food, exhibits, rides while getting the breeze off the bay.
July 4: Seattle’s Seafair Summer Fourth means grandiose fireworks at Gas Works Park.
July 4: Grand Old 4th Parade and Celebration in Tri Cities lets you begin the day with a pancake breakfast, followed by a fun run, parade and of course, a dazzling display of fireworks.
July 8-9: Redmond Derby Days includes a parade, musical entertainment and a beer and wine garden.
July 8-10: Kent Cornucopia Days has everything you could possibly want in a hometown festival from food to booths (400 vendors) to carnival rides and dragon boat races. Another one of my personal favorites.
July 9-10: Seattle’s Ballard Seafood Fest has been an event since 1974 designed to celebrate Ballard’s connection to the fishing industry. Try an adult beverage to go with your seafood choice, listen to live music, shop for arts and crafts and more.
July 14-17: King County Fair in Enumclaw promises a truck pull, pig races, mutton bustin’, amusement rides, flying dogs and a bungee trampoline.
July 15-17: The Bite of Seattle showcases more than 60 area eateries, has beer and cider tasting, a wine bar and live cooking demonstrations.
July 15-17: The Vashon Island Strawberry Festival may not have as many fresh strawberries as usual because the crop was early this year. The festivities won’t be dashed though, you’ll find plenty of action including a classic care parade and a street dance.
July 15-17: Sequim Lavender Weekend celebrates the fragrant herb with farm tours, musical entertainment and a street fair. I have it on good authority that this year you’ll find more activities than ever before. Don’t be surprised if you see shades of purple everywhere.
July 20-23: Long Beach hosts a sandcastle building completion called Sandsations on the shores of their peninsula.
July 23: Orcas Island Cider & Mead Festival
July 29-31: Bellevue BAM Artsfair closes some of the downtown streets so artists and crafters can display and sell what they’ve made. This fair never disappoints.
July 30: Seattle’s Torchlight Parade in conjunction with the Seafair celebration.
Just Plain Cool
I believe this Olympic Peninsula Culinary site is new or at least updated. If you’re visiting the Peninsula, keep it handy.
Want to learn more about whales? After all, sharks have an entire week on TV. Let’s give whales equal time and follow the Whale Trail.
If you want to learn to make sturdy sand sculptures, check this out. All summer long, two-hour sand-sculpting lessons will be available for a fee to small groups of up to 10 people on Wednesdays through Sundays, in Long Beach. Wash. People will gain hands-on experience from concept and technique through build and sculpting. Sign up here.
What is your favorite July activity?
I can’t even fathom how long a comprehensive list of every event taking place in Washington might be. It would probably break the Internet. So what I’m posting is can’t-miss festivals, new activities and darn it, my personal favorites.
June 2: Alderbook Resort & Spa, where the spa happens to have doggy massages on the menu, presents the “Spirit of the Canal” Distillers Dinner. Make reservations through Edible Seattle or the resort which has discounted overnight specials for this occasion.
June 3-5: Edmonds Waterfront Festival
June 4: Oddmall Emporium of the World, Everett. If anyone goes to this, please let me know what happens there. I’m intrigued.
June 4: The town of Lynden will try to break the Guinness Book of World Records by making the world’s longest strawberry shortcake. This is where I’ll be.
June 4: National Trails Day means free State Park admission in Washington on this Saturday. Should you want to combine visiting a state park with hiking, may I suggest looking at the Washington Trails Association site or check in with one of the most prolific hikers around, Craig Romano.
June 10-12: Maple Valley Days, Maple Valley. My old stompin’ grounds so I’m partial to this town’s celebration.
June 11: Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island is hosting a fishing derby for kids 16 and under. No license is required and because this is also National Get Outdoors Day, once again you don’t need a Discover Pass because all state parks offer free entry that day.
June 17-19: Marysville Strawberry Festival
Just Plain Cool
You can now take a tour with a park ranger at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma. Don’t mess with Mary Krauszer because she’s also a jammer for the Dockyard Derby Dames.
The San Juan Islands recently introduced an app, San Juan Islands Insider, that gives you tips on where to explore, how to gather points and then trade those points in for goods and services on the islands. Available on either Google Play or at the App Store.
As if Lakedale in Friday Harbor, doesn’t have enough different types of accommodations, this year they installed new canvas cottages.
Did I forget anything you absolutely love? If so, please let me know and I’ll add it.
When I bought tickets for “Outlaw Days,” I wasn’t sure what it was. But the tickets were only $5 each and I’d heard so much about the Mary Olson Farm in Auburn and the activities there, I thought I couldn’t miss. Although “Outlaw Days” aren’t on the Farm’s calendar this summer, plenty of other activities are.
Every Saturday and Sunday, from noon ’til 5 p.m., June 25-August 28, you can tour the farmhouse, meet up-close-and personal with the cows, chickens and donkeys and even bring your picnic basket full of goodies to eat on the grounds. That’s all free.
Also, at no cost, let the kiddos, ages 3-12, participate in a themed activity hour any Wednesday in July at 10:30 a.m.
But the piece de resistance must be the overnight stay, July 15 and 16, for those 7-12 years of age. Visit Overnight for details and to register.
The Farm holds numerous events throughout the summer including summer camps for kids, group tours, concerts and special events like “Outlaw Days.” A project of the White River Valley Museum, the Farm originally operated as a subsistence farm. In 2011 it was restored to its current state and opened to the general public. The interior of the house is furnished just like an old farm house.
Some of the details have been prearranged. The wedding will take place on Saturday, January 17, 2015. The invitations, a venue that accommodates 48 guests, a cake, flowers, a photographer and a musician are all set and ready to make your day a memorable one. Gloria Mickunas, a professional wedding planner, promises to work with you on the rest of the elements you want.
This prize has a value of more than $15,000.
Would you like to get married on this picturesque island just 25 miles north of Seattle and 70 miles from the Canadian border?
If so, you can nominate yourself by writing what this wedding would mean to you and your significant other and submitting a photo of the two of you before the entry deadline of October 31, 2014 at midnight Pacific Daylight Time. Then get your friends and family to vote for you, maybe even the grocery clerk. The public’s votes will narrow the contestants to 10. Then one lucky couple or the “discovered” couple will be selected in a random drawing.
Voters won’t be left out either. They have a chance to win a two-night getaway on Whidbey Island in a random drawing.
Mickunas says the date is rapidly approaching and might seem a little crazy. But there’s always some drama leading up to weddings. “We’ve made most of the tough decisions for you and now you can personalize the details.”
To find out more about winning a fairy tale wedding in a dreamy destination, visit WinAWhidbeyWedding.
Please come forward if you’re part of the “missing” couple.
Every spring Tacoma and Pierce County pay tribute to the buttery yellow flower. Last week marked the beginning of the 81st Annual Daffodil Festival (wow, something older than me).
The highlight of the event has to be the parade that goes through not just one town, but four separate towns. The traveling parade had more than 170 entries including floats, bands and mounted unit. Thousands of fresh-cut daffodils adorn the floats. As sometimes happens in the Pacific Northwest, it rained.
On Sunday, April 13, Tacoma celebrated boats and our waterways with a Marine Parade. More than 40 boats cruised in formation from the Tacoma Yacht Club to the Thea Foss Waterway.
Unlike last weekend, the sun made a day-long appearance. The blue skies and white clouds framed the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier. All were postcard crisp and clear.
All the gifts have been unwrapped, the tree is starting to shed and too much fattening food calls to us from the kitchen. It’s time to get out and enjoy some holiday offerings in the Pacific Northwest. Here’s a list to get you started.
Stroll down Celebration Lane at The Bellevue Collection, where live toy soldiers rove streets, music fills the air and a dazzling light show illuminates the lane, until December 31.
While in Bellevue, explore Bellevue Botanical Garden’s Garden d’Lights, a nationally recognized holiday display with more than half a million lights illuminating a winter wonderland, until January 4.
For an educational experience outside the school setting, an 1860s sewing machine is featured at a new Fort Nisqually exhibit highlighting its revolutionary impact on the daily lives of women in those times.
“Turning Drudgery into a Pastime” is on display through April 5, 2014 and is included in the price of admission to the fort. For more information, call (253) 591-5339 or go online to FortNisqually.org.
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is a restoration of the Hudson’s Bay Company outpost on Puget Sound located in Point Defiance Park, Tacoma. Visitors experience life in Washington Territory during the Fur Trade era of the 1850s. Nine buildings are open to the public, including the Granary and the Factors House, both National Historic Landmarks, and a Visitor Center with Museum Store. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is a facility of Metro Parks Tacoma.
How About Some Snow Play?
Squeals and laughter fill the air as people of all ages have a blast on snow trails.
Join a park ranger to learn the art of snowshoeing and discover how plants, animals, and people adapt to the challenging winter conditions at Mount Rainier.
When: Update 12/20/13. First-come, first-served guided snowshoe walks will begin on December 24, 2013. Snow conditions permitting, the walks are generally offered on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and daily during winter break from December 24 to January 1. After early January, walks are only offered on Saturdays and Sundays, and holidays. Walks start at 11:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. and meet inside the Jackson Visitor Center (near the information desk) in Paradise. Sign-ups begin 1 hour in advance of scheduled time.
Distance & Time: Snowshoe walks cover approximately 1.5 miles in 2 hours.
Group size: Snowshoe walks are limited to 25 people, eight years old or older, on a first-come, first-served basis. A sign-up sheet is available at the Jackson Visitor Center information desk one hour before each walk. All snowshoe walk participants must be present at sign-up.
Skiers, riders and foot passengers can all take a ride to the Crystal Mountain summit for captivating mountain views, a delectable meal at the Summit House and a great run down the slopes. Dogs allowed on the gondola, but not in the Summit House.
Don’t want to venture out just yet, then download the free interactive eCookbook from Visit Seattle, that highlights a range of talented chefs and signature Pacific Northwest cuisine. Fresh From Seattle features 26 recipes from 12 noteworthy local chefs, including acclaimed hotel chefs and award winners such as Tom Douglas, Maria Hines and Thierry Rautureau.
For more family fun check with my two favorite sites: Rubyslipperguide.com for the Eastside and SoundsFunMom.com for the South Sound.
Farm fresh produce and fall just seem to go together like
comfortable shoes. On October 5 and 6 thirteen Skagit Valley Farms invite you
to visit and discover where your food comes from. The Skagit Valley Festival of
Farms runs from 10 a.m.-4p.m. each day with opportunities to visit educational exhibits, take farm tours, view gardening demonstrations, taste mouth-watering samples, let your kids try farm activities and everyone can navigate corn mazes.
Best of all, the basic tour is FREE. Each stop may also have
prepared food or the produce, meat, dairy products, etc. that they are known
for available for purchase.
Here’s a brief preview of what you’ll discover on this tour.
At Taylor Shellfish on Chuckanut Drive in Bow, Wash.,
you’ll meet shellfish farmers, watch oyster shucking demonstrations, urge crabs
along in their own races, build a fairy house on the beach, see the world’s
only lighthouse made of oyster shells and taste steamed Manila clams or
barbequed Pacific oysters.
At Sakuma Bros. Farms in Burlington, take a tractor-pulled
wagon ride, find out what a raspberry machine is, take part in a pie eating
contest and sample fresh berries, chips and salsa made with locally grown
produce and honey from Belleville Honey Company.
Although the Tulip Festival has come and gone for this year, you can still find out all
about this beautiful flower at RoozenGaarde in Mount Vernon. Gather ideas from the experts on layouts and plantings that you can do in your own landscape. Let the
children try the scavenger hunt and before you leave, shop for bulbs and gardening tools.
Wineries, dairies, cattle ranches, produce farms and more complete the tour.
There’s so much to see you might want to spend the weekend.
I highly recommend Candlewood Suites in Burlington
as a comfortable option. Rooms have full kitchens so you can bring back your
bounty and eat it freshly cooked or store it in a full-size refrigerator.