Artopia 2010

Hey Gregor, you ask, just what in the heck is Artopia 2010? Well, I’m glad you asked kids. Artopia is a street/art festival put on by Seattle Weekly and a bunch of sponsors and volunteers. Live music, trapeze, performing artists, art show, flea market, and farmers market. Artopia manages to do it all, and all in one day. I guess that’s my only nit, we spent 4 hours and we really only saw half of what was available. But oh that half. Wow. And it’s not just a visual treat, oh no. Street food, fresh veggies, molten chocolate cake, candles, and homemade soap scents wafted through the breeze to combine with incense and other familiar sweet smells. Hard to put into words, it goes down as one of those you just have to experience it moments.

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Camping at Lake Chelan, WA

Ah, the first camping trip of the season. After seeing that the weather was going to be sunny and in the 80’s, Beth and I decided to take a spur of the moment camping trip to Lake Chelan State Park. For those who may not know, Lake Chelan is a narrow, but long, lake about 40 miles or so past Steven’s Pass. It is 55 miles long, and 1 mile at it’s widest. At it’s deepest it is, now hold on to your life-jackets, a little under 1500 feet. Yeah, 1500 feet deep. It makes it the 3rd deepest lake in the US and 24th in the world. GO WASHINGTON! (coughs) It is all of those things, but mostly it is just a drop dead gorgeous place to camp.

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La Conner WA – Day Trip

After our wonderful day in the mountains on Saturday, a trip to the coast was in order for Sunday so we decided to head up to La Conner. Sitting on the Swinomish channel, across from the Swinomish Reservation, La Conner is a typical coastal town, full of tourist type shops, antique stores and restaurants. During the summer months it can be hard to find a place to park in town, so go early. If you want to go during the Tulip Festival in the spring, my best advice is to book a room at one of the little inns in La Conner at least a year in advance. I’m not kidding. During the festival, this little town can quadruple the number of people it normally handles. Little tidbit of history on the town; When it was first settled in the 1860’s it’s name was Swinomish. A couple of years after settlement, a Mr Conner bought the trading post (and thus the town) and changed the name of the town to La Conner. Ah, Mr Conner must have been of French descent you say. Non! Turns out Mr Conners’ wife’s name was Louisa Ann Conner. Yup, he named it after her, and the La is just her initials. Feel informed and excited now, don’t you?

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Leavenworth WA – Day trip

This past Saturday Beth and I headed up into the mountains for a day trip to Leavenworth. Leavenworth is like a lot of small mountain towns. Formed when the railroad came through, Leavenworth was a happening town in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Then around the 30’s or 40’s, things changed. The railroad changed direction, and the main source of income, the sawmill, shut down. The town was hanging on by the proverbial thread when, in the early 60’s, community leaders decided the only thing that would help was tourism dollars. The town sits in an area that is very reminiscent of Bavaria, so they remade the town into a little bit of Alpine goodness, and the rest as they say is history.

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Tulalip Resort Casino Trip

RoomWe’ve been going to Tulalip almost from the moment we arrived in the area. It really has a “Vegas” feel about it, and makes a great getaway. Now, it’s even better with the addition of of the hotel next to the Casino that opened last summer. Highly recommend this place for locals as it’s a great way to feel like you’ve gotten far away for the weekend, and it’s only 30 miles north of downtown Seattle. I would also recommend it as a base camp for folks visiting Seattle.

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Yakima Valley Wine Trip

Wine The past weekend Beth and I headed off to wine country on the first trip of the season. Passes were clear and the weather forecast was calling for 70’s and sun. That’s all we needed to hear. Car packed with a few goodies, we hit the road. Oh, one thing before we continue the trip. I wore shorts and sandals. Yup. Shorts exposing legs that haven’t seen the sun since a Kennedy was in the white house. Sandals. A biker with shorts and sandals. I think the place is getting to me.

We crossed over Snoqualmie pass on I-90E and noticed that the snow pack was way down from last year. I mean WAY down. I’m not much of a skier anymore so lack of snow bothers me not, but a reduced snow pack means less run off, which is a bad thing for an area that gets hit with wildfires on a regular basis even after good winters.

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Oregon Coast Weekend

This past weekend, Beth and I headed out for a long weekend. Destination this time was…south. No real plans other than to just get out of town for a while. I’m a firm believer in taking little trips here and there. Like a warm snifter of B&B on a cold night, it’s good for the soul.

So somewhere around noon on Friday, we head south. I-5 is a royal PIA as always, but traffic seemed to let up a little once we got past Tukwila, and before we knew it we were past the Tacoma dome and movin’ fast. I swear that when we take these trips our car acts like a puppy just let out of the house. It so rarely gets to go any faster than 40 or so that when we hit 70 I can almost hear it yip. Continue reading “Oregon Coast Weekend”

Cacti and Cukes

Beth and I went to Yakima a month or so ago, where we had a spectacular lunch at The Barrel House. Along with the fine dining, we found out about a grand Cactus Bloom Tour. Now, great food and blooming cacti in the same day seemed like a match made in heaven to our desert rat mentality, so we made plans to return for the tour. After speaking with our friend the Winged One, who also decided this was too good an opportunity to pass up, a trip to the other side was set up for Saturday.

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