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Seattle & the NW

Driving the Cascade Loop

Driving the Cascade Loop

October 16, 2017 |  Category:   Seattle & the NW travels

This summer in Washington, we took a road trip on a route called “The Cascade Loop”, a 440 mile drive through some of the most diverse landscapes in the Northwest Washington. Leaving from our stay in Lummi Island, we headed towards North Cascades National Park with a few planned stops along the way before lodging for a night roughly halfway through our drive near a town called Winthrop. Our first stop: Diablo Lake. Seeing photos of the mesmerizing green-blue color of this expansive lake doesn’t really prepare you for what it looks like in real life. The color is indescribable——a brilliant turquoise that gets its hue from glaciers that are ground into a fine powder by rocks and suspended on… CONTINUE READING

An evening at The Willow’s Inn

An evening at The Willow’s Inn

September 25, 2017 |  Category:   dining out Seattle & the NW travels

There are certain meals in your life that will always be remembered (a milestone birthday at Eleven Madison Park a number of years ago comes to mind, for example). It's not necessarily a fancy meal at a restaurant that makes an evening memorable–—so many factors can make a meal special, but this summer we were fortunate enough to dine at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island. Mark's family had been talking about this restaurant for years, and we decided that this summer would be the year that we finally make a reservation. While the food was spectacular, the location was equally special, and the company even more so. It's the sort of trip that our family will… CONTINUE READING

Cape Flattery, the most northwestern point in the US

Cape Flattery, the most northwestern point in the US

September 21, 2016 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

It often starts with a photo. A photo of a place that seems so unreal, I need to see it for myself. And sometimes, that is how I plan our summer trips back to Washington. Luckily for us, there is so much to see in the Pacific Northwest that our annual summer trips to visit family don’t feel the same every year. It’s enabled us to travel affordably and still feel like we got away. And Cape Flattery? It’s one of those places that we keep saying we should visit, even when we lived in Washington. But honestly? I’m not sure I would have appreciated it as much when I was younger. There’s something about having lived through all the… CONTINUE READING

Sunset at Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

Sunset at Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

September 14, 2016 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

As much as we can try and document certain places for the benefit of others to enjoy (or for ourselves to remember later), photos often fail to convey the beauty and thrill of an experience. I think a view might be better appreciated when you work for it by hiking miles or straight up a side of a mountain – it’s a reward. But let’s talk about this view! I loved this sunset hike on Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. In a last minute change of schedule, we decided to drive here for the sunset rather than hiking the ridge in the morning, mostly because we wanted to participate in the stargazing program after sundown. Aside from a few… CONTINUE READING

The Northwest in Winter

The Northwest in Winter

January 9, 2016 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

2016. Sounds like a date in the future, doesn’t it? This is what I would have thought when I was a kid. We spent a week in between Christmas and New Years in Washington, the first time we’ve spent the holiday season anywhere other than NYC in nearly 20 years ago. I’ll admit, getting on a plane was the last thing we wanted to do after Christmas, but once we got there (and after we got acclimated to the cold, which was a sharp contrast to the freakish 70 degree weather we had around Christmas here in NY), we were happy for a change of scenery. Visiting a city in a different season that you’re otherwise familiar with is almost… CONTINUE READING

a day at a time

a day at a time

April 16, 2015 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

Some more photos from our Spring Break trip to the Northwest. It seems like it takes as many days to catch up from a vacation as the number of days you spend away. The importance of getting away from daily routines, no matter how long or far you travel to escape them, seems like a necessity more than ever, but I’ll admit – it’s disruptive in the sense that I always underestimate how easy it’ll be to swing right back into things. A week in and I still feel “off”.   But I suppose that’s the idea of a vacation, right? You don’t come back quite the same. A good vacation is returning to the more mundane and tedious aspects… CONTINUE READING

The Tulips in Skagit Valley

The Tulips in Skagit Valley

April 10, 2015 |  Category:   life seasonal Seattle & the NW travels

Seattle in April, instead of August. When we arrived, it was all budding trees and cherry blossoms, fields of tulips and other Spring flowers. The NW always blooms a bit earlier than NY, but because of an unusually warm Winter, everything came up early this year. Lucky us. We got to see the Tulip Festival an hour North of Seattle in Skagit Valley, something we wouldn’t normally see since our yearly trips to the NW usually come in August. We’ve seen photos of the tulips fields from local Washington friends who visit yearly, but there’s nothing like seeing it for yourself. Driving in the car, approaching the farms, you can see the variegated strips of color from the distance. The… CONTINUE READING

the golden hour and the end of summer

the golden hour and the end of summer

September 5, 2014 |  Category:   family life Seattle & the NW travels

The golden hour is usually stunning wherever you are, but we had some really good ones out West. We ended our trip with a spectacular sunset on the pier and watched the sun disappear behind the mountains (we always try to end our trips out west with a water view and a sunset). Our time out here for me was bittersweet. My brother talked of wanting to move to Seattle in the last few months of his life. We talked about how nice it would be if we all eventually ended up in the same area, all of us old and retired sitting on lawn chairs with our garden gnomes, eating blackberry cobbler. I really wish he had made the… CONTINUE READING

Seattle

Seattle

September 3, 2014 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

People sometimes ask me which city I like more, Seattle or NY, and it always strikes me as a funny question since neither city is like the other and they represent different things to me. It’s been interesting to see how Seattle has changed over the years. It’s not like witnessing the changes in New York which I can track over the course of time if my path crosses certain sites often enough (likewise, I get to watch quite a number of buildings go up from the view way up from the office). In Seattle, we often time lapse into those changes on our visits every year. New buildings pop up or we can see how a whole neighborhood like… CONTINUE READING

to the ends of the earth

to the ends of the earth

August 29, 2014 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

It’s been a long while since I’ve seen a view like this. A view where you can almost see the curvature of the earth and watch the sun go down on one end while tracking the movement of the shadows traveling across the mountains on the other. It has a way of making you feel very small. It’s been harder here to ignore my thoughts, looking out into the water, seeing the landscape of the trees, the gradation of the mountains in the distance, and reliving some memories from times past. It’s easier to coast by in the city, whether in NY or Seattle, where you’re caught up in the rush of movement and lights and just “stuff” everywhere. It’s… CONTINUE READING

more of orcas island

more of orcas island

August 26, 2014 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

A few things have changed since we last came to Orcas Island, though much of it remains as I remember it. Doe Bay Resort, where we had a class retreat for our music program back in college, got a whole lot bigger and expanded into multiple dwellings and even a cafe. Mark reminded me that some of us went swimming in the cold September waters on a dare during that trip. It was probably the only time I ever went swimming in Washington. I find the water unbearingly frigid and can’t even stand to dip my feet; they immediately go numb. The kids remarked at the difference in water temperature as well, but that didn’t stop them from wading in… CONTINUE READING

a birthday on orcas island

a birthday on orcas island

August 22, 2014 |  Category:   cooking family life Seattle & the NW travels

These are the sort of vacations that the girls will have fond memories of when they look back on their childhoods: a house full of family, meals eaten outside. This is a 70th birthday to remember – surrounded by family, a surprise Hawaiian dinner cooked by a son and a birthday cake baked in Seattle and transported 100 miles by car and ferry. Deer wandered into our backyard in the evenings and we saw the full spectrum of stars at night. Orcas Island was the first island I visited in the San Juans and it’s still magical 21 years later. It remains one of my favorite places on earth.… CONTINUE READING

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