Tag Archives: sight-seeing

A Trip Worth Taking

Last week, to celebrate our 37th anniversary, Bruce and I took a ferry from Anacortes, WA to Sydney, British Columbia.

The Washington Ferry system is amazing. The staff is courteous, well-trained, and the loading and unloading of cars and trucks and walk-on passengers is efficient and quick.IMG_0770

Our three-hour ferry ride wove in-between  lots of misty islands, and we saw an occasional eagle. But no whales, unfortunately.

About two thirds of the way toward our destination we docked at Friday Harbor. Too bad we didn’t have more time to explore, but next trip we’ll definitely hit this tourist spot.

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How exhilarating to stand outside, leaning onto the Ferry bannisters and feel the sea air drag at your face, almost like the current of the deep waters below.

On the map, the sound looks so tiny. But those open spots on the map translate into really, really open and enormous seas when you’re actually viewing them from a ferry’s vantage.

Sailboats dotted the waters and fishing boats and whale sightseeing boats chugged by, slow in comparison to the speed of the Ferry.

At one point, a boat got too close as it tried to cross the Ferry’s designated path. The captain blew five ear-pounding blasts to warn it away.

We finally docked at Sydney and waited to clear the border crossing. Then, on to the Butchart Gardens, a spectacular British Garden that’s been around for over 100 years. I had visited the Gardens when I was just sixteen, but never forgot the charm and beauty of the place.

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Highly recommended if you like flowers! And waterfalls, and fountains, and manicured lawns, and lots and lots and lots of foreign tourists…of which I’m one.

We ate dinner at a rather nice place called The Keg, right across the street from Victoria’s harbor. How fun to watch the sea planes take off and land just a football field’s length away.

We stayed at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast called the Beaconsfield Inn. Built in 1905, the entire home is furnished with period antiques and offers lovely room-amenities, like jacuzzis, and bathrobes for lounging, and antique books, written about the early years of the city of Victoria. A lovely breakfast capped off our stay there.

Then back to the Ferry for our trip back to the States.

Later, we drove up to Mt Baker and took a couple of shots. Still lots of snow up there, and the vistas are gorgeous. Different from the Colorado Rockies. Greener topography. The peaks are craggier, more Canadian in appearance. But not so high in altitude. And only an hour from our house!

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I hope you enjoyed my little travelogue. The state of Washington, in general, and the San Juan Islands, in particular, should be on everyone’s bucket list to visit. And a trip to Canada is always scenic and interesting, especially when you get to converse with Canadians. They’re charming, but they talk funny!

I’ll be out next week. I mean, out to Colorado to visit family. So, most likely will not be posting until the following week.

Comment on my post if my words and photos have given you the “bug” to see my neck of the woods. Have a great week!

Fall Delights

In honor of the advent of fall, my husband and I took a long drive through the Cascade mountains of Washington.

There’s a wonderful spot—I think it’s new—called the Washington Overlook— on highway 20 near the summit. You can park and walk some winding trails that lead to spectacular scenes, like the one my husband snapped of me in front of these mountains.

As soon as we stepped out of our car, we were immediately greeted in noisy fashion by Stellar Jays and Grey Jays. These greedy beggars nearly flew into our open sky light. They hopped right up to us, reading our intent with bold inquisitiveness.

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“I’m sorry, birds. No snacks today. Next time, we’ll have plenty of handouts for ya.”

A few hours later we pulled into Leavenworth, a charming, small town known for its Swiss architecture and tourist shops and restaurants.

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Leaves are turning and the air is getting crisp. Our drive, and the changing air put me in a mind to find a good fall-type recipe.

So last week, energized by the cool, moist northwestern air, I tried to come up with my own version of an apple and sweet potato hash.

If you’re like me and you can’t or shouldn’t eat regular white potatoes, this Yam/apple hash might fill the bill:

Yam/Apple Hash (@ 3 to 4 servings)

One good-sized yam or sweet potato, peeled and thin sliced and diced

Two apples, your choice, peeled and thin diced

Olive oil or another healthy oil

Four breakfast sausage links.

One smallish yellow onion, diced

Salt (1/4 teasp)

pepper,to taste

cayenne (@ 1/8 teasp),

cinnamon (@1/4 teasp)

optional: Maple syrup (Grade B)

(If you’d rather, you can roast the yams in a hot oven for about half an hour) But I was impatient, so my recipe says:

Peel and thin slice and dice the yam. In a good-sized skillet, brown and cook the yam in the oil until almost tender. Add the onion and continue to cook. Meanwhile, slice and brown the sausage in another smaller skillet. To the bigger skillet, add the diced apple. Stir to mix., and scrape the pan often. When the yams and apples are soft, add the sliced sausage. Sprinkle in the pepper, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon.

Serve with Paleo or gluten free muffins, some eggs, some coffee. Yummy breakfast!

Bruce likes to put a little bit of syrup over his hash. Whatever.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Remember, you can always adjust the amounts and add other ingredients. This is just a basic guideline, and springboard for your creativity.

Enjoy your fall season!