A photo essay of our annual foray through the sculpture garden at Roche Harbor:
A photo essay of our annual foray through the sculpture garden at Roche Harbor:
The restaurant at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island, overlooking the marina.
Beautiful ride on the ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor – the ferry landing on San Juan Island.
Biking to San Juan County State Park.
The small resort town of Roche Harbor was originally settled in 1886 as a company town for McMillan’s lime kiln business.
Ferry tracks through Haro Strait.Pin It
To kick off summer vacation, we spent a week on the Oregon coast, basing out of Arch Cape and exploring a new beach town each day: Manzanita, Cannon Beach, Seaside, Gearhart, and Astoria.
The beach in front of our house at Arch Cape
Hiking at Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach
We found innumerable unbroken sand dollars on an isolated beach near
our house that was accessible only at low tide
Indian Beach as seen from a hiking trail in Ecola State Park
A foggy day in Astoria where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean –
one of the most dangerous crossing bars in the world
Each year around this time, we pick a sunny weekend day to hike Portland’s 4T Trail:
This year, we started by parking downtown and catching MAX (that’s the “Train” – the 1st “T”) to the Oregon Zoo station. From there, we walked a short distance to the start of the Marquam Nature Park trail (the 2nd “T”).
The trail runs mostly uphill for the first 1.3 miles, and gave us an opportunity to spot local wildlife – namely, banana slugs and surprisingly large snails:
The trail comes to the top at Council Crest, which on a sunny day provides an extraordinary view of downtown Portland and four mountains: Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and – only when it’s exceptionally clear (as it was on our day), Mt. Rainier:
We explored some of the interesting historical markers at the top of Council Crest, and then headed back onto the trail:
From this point, the trail continues for another 1.7 miles, almost exclusively downhill – sometimes rather steeply, and oftentimes very rocky. We saw trillium, sweet woodruff, Oregon grape, sword and licorice ferns, and many other native plants:
At the bottom of the trail, we rested at the Marquam Shelter, which has a lot of great information about the history and wildlife of the area, as well as a truly beautiful community-created mosaic:
From there, we hiked the final .6 miles up to Oregon Health Sciences University, to catch the tram. OHSU has a beautiful, sprawling campus, with a hodgepodge of buildings and some pretty garden areas, as well:
While we were able to enjoy the extraordinary view from the top of the tram (the 3rd “T”), unfortunately we weren’t able to ride it because it was closed for the holiday (which seems very shortsighted of the operator, given how many tourists were visiting and were vocally unhappy to find the tram not running!)
Undeterred, we used our iPhone’s handy map app and walked down to the south waterfront – which was accomplished in only 30 minutes, adding only an extra 1.5 (downhill) miles our so to our journey. Once there, we stopped at Lovejoy Bakery for a much-needed lunch break:
Refreshed, we caught the Portland streetcar (or trolley – the 4th “T”) back up to SW Portland, where we had begun:
Because it was my oldest daughter’s 16th birthday, we ended our outing at St. Cupcake to celebrate:
Views from my early morning run on the Portland waterfront this week – sometimes I just love this city so much!
When the sun came out this week, I decided it was a sign that I should take the morning off and explore a new bakery and breakfast place on N. Albina I’d read about: Sweedeedees. It was worth the hype – cute, funky, great food, and amazing pies!
It was a short walk from Sweedeedees to Peninsula Park, home of Portland’s original rose garden – and, in my opinion, still able to give Washington Park Rose Garden a run for its money! Look how beautiful it is with all of the roses newly in bloom:
A beautiful way to spend New Year’s Day on Mt. Hood!Pin It
I know that most people think I’m crazy, but I LOVE the rain! Must be because I grew up here in Oregon 🙂
It was such a hot, dry summer here, and then a beautiful – but again, dry and unseasonably warm – fall, that I am so grateful to finally see it raining again! Of course, it’s gone a little crazy, like it’s trying to make up for lost time, and we’ve got flood warnings and standing water and landslides – more extreme weather that’s just another sign of climate change, if you ask me.
Nonetheless, I love to curl up in the parlor when it’s dark and cloudy out, with rain beating on the roof and a fire in the fireplace, and knit to my heart’s content – somehow knitting is made all the cozier when it’s raining outside 🙂Pin It
I was so happy to have a reason to return to mid-coast Maine this fall, to attend the make. wear. love knitting retreat, hosted by Amy Herzog of CustomFit. I was able to take some amazing classes, and still had plenty of time to visit some beautiful locales along the coast – it was like two trips in one!Pin It
We’ve just returned from an idyllic ten days in downeast Maine, exploring Bar Harbor, Mt. Desert Island, Acadia National Park, and the entire mid-coast. Although it was high tourist season – and it showed – nonetheless we found it beautiful, peaceful, and the ideal place to while away the summer days.Pin It
A few days in Cannon Beach makes for a wonderful start to summer vacation . . .Pin It
The sun is shining, the scent of daphne fills the air, the flowering cherry trees are in full bloom, and the temperature is over sixty degrees – can it really be February? I know I sound like a grouch, when everyone loves this weather so much, but I could do with a little snow and cold – an actual winter – before I’m in the mood to embrace spring. Oh well . . . to try to get in the spirit of it all, I bought some beautiful bouquets today while strolling through downtown Portland:
Purple hyacinths – does anything smell as lovely?
I wish I could put together flower arrangements like this – a few hyacinths, parrot tulips, and a bright purple anemone or two, and look how beautiful it is! Notice how well-coordinated the purple sprinkles on the cupcake from St. Cupcake are 🙂
Our second year diving in Turks & Caicos, and it was as beautiful as the last! My oldest daughter got dive certified, and we spent much of the trip on the boat with Big Blue Diving Co, exploring the islands and spending as much time as possible in the water.Pin It
A photo essay of our pre-Christmas ski trip to Whitefish, Montana via Amtrak:Pin It
Every year, for almost twenty years (with a few exceptions, especially when the girls were really young), we’ve traveled to Washington’s San Juan Islands for our summer vacation. It is so much like home to us that we got married at Roche Harbor, and we return there every year now. We stay in the same place – Heron House – and make sure to observe our many traditions:
* ice cream from the kiosk on our way to watch colors from the dock
* dinner out at McMillans over the water
* boating to Stuart Island for a hike to (and picnic at) Turnpoint Lighthouse, the westernmost point in the United States
* doughnuts each morning from Lime Kiln Cafe
* wandering around the sculpture garden, to see what new art has been added and to check whether Alfred the Alligator is still there
* a quick (hah!) stop at the candy kiosk to stock up for the day ahead
* boating with Grams to Jones Island to hand feed the deer and have a hot dog roast and s’mores
* getting lucky enough this year to see orcas – not once, but twice – including the once-in-a-million chance of seeing them from Turnpoint Lighthouse
* kayaking in the nearby bays, and visiting a kelp bed that was home to over a dozen very curious seals
* watching the local theater company’s outdoor presentation of a Shakespearean play – this year it was Twelfth Night
On our way home, we always drive over Deception Pass onto Whidbey Island so that we can stop at Knead and Feed in Coupeville – the best breakfasts in the world! Then we catch the Keystone ferry to Port Townsend and drive to Bainbridge Island, where we spend an afternoon and I can make my annual pilgrimage to Churchmouse Yarns & Teas (and don’t forget the world’s best ice cream at Mora!) Then, the long drive home.
Here’s a photo essay of this year’s trip:Pin It
A fun three days in San Francisco and the bay area – although the 14-hour drive on either side of those three days was a little much!
Day 1: Walk to the Golden Gate Bridge, shop and browse along Chestnut Street, eat at Super Duper Burger and stop at Kara’s Cupcakes for dessert.
Day 2: Day trip to Monterey Bay Aquarium, eat fish and chips on the waterfront, visit Stanford (my alma mater) on the way back.
Day 3: Breakfast in Haight-Ashbury, then on to Golden Gate Park – the California Academy of Sciences museum, hot dogs while sitting at the bandstand, then a stroll around Stow Lake and a visit with the lake’s extensive population of painted turtles!
A lot of wonderful things to see and do, although I had forgotten how crowded it is EVERYWHERE in the Bay area . . . I confess to being glad to come home to the peace and serenity of our country house 🙂Pin It
It’s really hot this week here in Oregon, so I biked early yesterday, leaving the house at 6am. My ride followed the Willamette River for over an hour and a half, from Oregon City to Milwaukie to Sellwood, and finally into downtown Portland, where I arrived just in time for the start of the weekly Farmer’s Market. What a beautiful morning to ride, especially when my destination is someplace as breathtaking as the river walk in the early morning!
We spent a gorgeous day at Smith Rock, in the high desert of central Oregon, learning to rock climb. It was a lot of fun, and not as difficult as I had feared! All of the girls gave it a try, and I even managed to climb all the way to the top of the “beginner” route. What a spectacular day to spend outdoors 🙂Pin It
A couple of beautiful days (and evenings) at Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast . . .Pin It
I can never wander into a garden or flower shop without finding something I can’t live without – like this succulent, which goes so well with this vintage-looking milk glass jar:
Or this unique, perfectly spring and perfectly pink flower arrangement, that complements the milk glass jar-turned-vase perfectly:
The store is Starflower on SE Belmont in downtown Portland – just a little nook of a shop, but so many beautiful things to choose from!Pin It