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.

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  • sylvï August 22, 2014 at 7:34 am

    it does seem like paradise to me.

  • sarah | little house pantry August 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    glad the weather cooperated for you 🙂 the san juans in august are pretty hard to beat. i’m heading up to lopez (my home town) tomorrow. safe travels back home!

    • Jenna August 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      We’ll have to visit Lopez next. Have a great time.

  • Barbara August 22, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I spotted the poke first, on the birthday dinner table. I think the girls will blend in well in Hawaii, especially of they eat poke. 😀

    • Jenna August 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Good catch! Mark made Lomi Lomi salmon as well.

  • angie August 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Oh my…that cake looks divine!!! What is it?!!!! Your pictures are lovely!

    • Jenna August 22, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      Mark’s signature cake: chocolate with dulce de leche whipped cream filling and white chocolate buttercream frosting. There is also toasted coconut on the outside of the cake.

  • Lulu August 22, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    What a great idea to use part of the pineapple crown as decoration! Beautiful!

  • Leilani August 22, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    How nice to see photos of Lani’s birthday dinner. Thanks for posting them.

  • Jocy August 22, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    What a beautiful birthday. What kind of cake is that? It is making me hungry.

    • Jenna August 22, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      chocolate with dulce de leche whipped cream filling and white chocolate buttercream frosting, and toasted coconut on the outside.

  • Anna Conway August 24, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Beautiful photos!

  • Lani August 25, 2014 at 3:16 am

    These pictures are so perfect. It’s a perfect memory capture. Thanks!

  • Aloha August 25, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Cool! I also,spotted da poke at first glance;) btw do I also spy some poi? Love that kakimochi too! Curious what is along side the Kalua pig?

    • Jenna August 26, 2014 at 2:52 am

      There is poi! Next to the pork is fish that was steamed in banana leaf.

  • Sarah August 29, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Where’s the cake from? I live in Seattle and would love to try it! All your pictures of family & Orcas Island look lovely 🙂

    • Jenna August 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Mark made the cake!