Tag Archives: Bellingham

It Happens All the Time

By Amy Hatvany

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I was privileged to receive the ebook version of “It Happens All the Time” from NetGalley. The author, Amy Hatvany, lives in Seattle and most of the book is set in Bellingham giving this novel two reasons to merit a blog post here on Discover Washington State. 

In the story Amber and Tyler have been best friends since they were teenagers, but recently started spending more time together than ever before. Amber is engaged to Daniel who is currently living in Seattle so they don’t spend much time together during the period when the novel takes place.

Amber has always considered hers and Tyler’s relationship platonic. But Tyler admits he has deeper, more romantic feelings for her. About the same time Amber begins questioning whether or not she’s ready to get married, the two of them attend a party. The alcohol flows freely and sexual tensions heat up between Amber and Tyler,

Told in alternating points of view, Amber questions whether or not she caused the terrible problem the night of the party by her actions and the way she dressed, while Tyler mostly doesn’t remember what happened. I want you to read the book, so I’m not giving anything else away.

Hatvany bravely pulled the topic highlighted in this book from an incident she experienced in her past. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to write, but it is a subject matter women wrestle with all the time so the story needs to be told.

I found the message captivating and the characters colorful. It was also fun to have actual places and street names in the Bellingham area used in the novel as I lived there for four years. It made me reminisce about my own college days.

With each new novel, Hatvany’s writing grows and flows. I look forward to her next with anticipation.

Expected publication date:  March 27, 2017

 

What’s New and Cool in September, 2016

Fall is almost upon us.

 

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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.

Lighthouse on Rocky Shore

September 9-11:  Mukilteo Lighthouse FestivalMain food court, kids food court, battle of the bands, parade, children’s activities, fireworks and a fishing derby top this community celebration.

White-Pelican

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 WeekFifth 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.

 

Courtesy Doug Walker Photography

Courtesy Doug Walker Photography

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.

 

 

 

Jaunt Up to Joe’s Gardens

For the freshest and most delicious produce around, a trip to Joe’s Gardens in the Happy Valley district of Bellingham is in order. They grow tons of different vegetables and more than 300,000 potted plants.

 

For something very special, try their Romano beans. The flavor is nothing short of amazing.

Joe’s Gardens has been around since 1933, which says a lot about their success.

Fall brings beautiful braids of garlic grown from seed brought to the U.S. from Genoa, Italy. Shallots, apples, pumpkin and Fall squash varieties line the shelves along with fresh fruits and vegetables. All the crops grown on site are grown without pesticides. Quality and flavor prevail instead of prolonged shelf-life in a grocery store.

 

And everything is affordable, but hurry – Joe’s Gardens closes mid-October.

Come back next year in early March for bedding plants, vegetable starts, potting soil and compost so you can grow your own bounty.

Sure Signs of Spring

Daffodil Princesses

The weather isn’t always the best indicator of spring in the Pacific Northwest. So I have my own personal signs that the season has begun. The first is when I see a pair of tennis shoes strung of the overhead wires – I wish I could see the teens while they attempt this fete. Second, is the smell of backyard barbecuing and my third tell is the start of neighborhood parades. Parade season, if you will, has officially launched.

Yesterday we watched the Daffodil Parade as more than 100 entries walked, marched, danced and played musical instruments along the parade route on Main Street in Sumner.                             

Kita and Elias taking in the parade

This parade is the only one in the country that travels to four different cities on the same day. First, the parade travels along Pacific Avenue in Tacoma, then it moves to Puyallup, from there to Sumner and the last leg is in Orting.

Clowns, pirates, horses, cars, bagpipers, marching bands and buses filled the streets of the different Pierce County communities to the delight of children of all ages. Parade entries came from as far as Penticton, British Columbia and Astoria, Oregon. Of course, as the name indicates, the floats were adorned with bright yellow daffodils and daffodils were passed out to the parade goers. The festival atmosphere almost has to make you smile. 

A friendly Seafair pirate

Upcoming parades in 2011 include:
May 7: Washington State Apple Blossom in Wenatchee
May 21: Rhododendron Festival in Port Townsend
May 28: Ski to Sea in Bellingham
June 4: Farmer’s Day in Lynden
June 18: Berry Dairy Days in Burlington

July 4: Independence Day celebration parades in Blaine, Everett, Sedro Woolley and Tumwater
July 16: Capital Lakefair Twilight in Olympia

Does your community have a unique parade? I would love to hear about it.

Val Mallinson, Author of Dog Lover’s Companion Books

Cooper and Isis told Val Mallinson what to put in her books

Today we welcome the premier Northwest dog writer, Val Mallinson, to the blog. If it’s in Washington, Oregon or parts of British Columbia and you can take your dog there, she knows about it. Her books are very handy guides for discovering new and different places to take your furry friends.

How many dogs do you have, what are their names and breeds?

Val:  I have two smooth coat, miniature dachshunds, Cooper and Isis. Both are rescues and collectively known as “The Wonder Wieners.” But, I like to tell people I wrote the book from the perspective of a large, sloppy chocolate Lab, which I’m convinced I was in a former life.

How many Dog Lover Companion books have you written?

Val:  There are three: The Dog Lover’s Companion to the Pacific Northwest, which covers Washington and Oregon from the mountains to the coast and a little bit of British Columbia; The Dog Lover’s Companion to Seattle, which extends from Everett to Olympia and the islands to Issaquah; and The Dog Lover’s Companion to Oregon, which covers, um, Oregon.

The books are so thorough. How long does it take you to write one?

Val:  The first book took two years, full time and then some, from contract to cover. The latest edition, updated in 2009, took about nine months, like a birth – sometimes as uncomfortable as a pregnancy, almost as rewarding.

Do you actually visit all the places you talk about in the book?

Val:  Yes, M’am. Our collective 10 legs, six eyes, and three bodies (sometimes four bodies, if the husband came) have visited every single spot we wrote about.

In Washington State, what are your favorite places to take dogs?

Val:  Our favorite place is always the most recent one we’ve visited! One thing I like about the books is that there’s a “Pick of the Litter” at the beginning of each chapter, giving you the highlights of each region. If forced to choose, I’d have to start with water: Whidbey Island. The dog parks and beaches are great (Double Bluff Beach!!!), the people are so friendly, the picnic food is superb, and it’s so close to Seattle, yet seems a world apart. Second on the list would be mountains: Bellingham/Mt. Baker. Cooper loves a good hike in the woods or around Lake Whatcom on the Hertz Trail. Old Fairhaven has charm, delicious food and great shops and you can take well-behaved pets into most of the boutiques along the four blocks. Finally, Lake Chelan has really captured our interest lately, for the water, mountains, sunny blue skies and (slurp) up-and-coming wine scene. Page 357 of The Dog Lover’s Companion to the Pacific Northwest (TDLCPN) lists seven fabulous wineries where pets are welcome to hang out with you on patios while you wine and dine.

Which lodging facilities in Washington are the most accommodating to dogs?

Val:  Some wonderful spots go out of their way to be as friendly as a Golden Retriever. To name a few, Willows Lodge in Woodinville is the tops; they even have a dog greeter in the lobby. In Seattle, the W Hotel puts the “W” in tail-wagging; they often host Mutt Mixer parties along with CityDog Magazine, and they have a pet package at check-in.

For upscale hotels, try Starwood Hotels . I tell you what, on the cheap, you can’t beat Motel 6—they are reliably dog-friendly, conveniently located, and their website lists all the locations that have recently been updated and overhauled to look quite nice.

What is Washington’s best-kept dog-secret?

Val:  If I told you, I’d have to ki—no wait, different job. Okay, if I’m a dog, I’m going to recommend the ends of the earth at Cape Disappointment State Park on Long Beach Peninsula. The beaches are endless, the hikes are wooded, you often have the place to yourself, and the food and lodging are constantly improving. Hint: Try the Inn at Discovery Coast. Or Guemes Island, page 48 in TDLCPN, but you really have to want to get away from it all.