Last summer, our first summer on the west coast, we didn’t do very much travel-wise. A few visits to the Seattle Zoo. Some local fairs/festival type things (Bellevue Strawberry festival, Kirkland Art festival, Puyallup fair). But that was about it.
This year–well, we are still a bit slim on Seattle outings, but otherwise many environs exploring experiences planned.
Eased into things with a day trip to Whidbey Island. A ferry ride, fab lunch and view at the Edgecliff Bar and Grill, walk on a driftwood covered beach, and stocking up on local wines. The day went a bit downhill from there, with the market closed before we got there, most restaurants closed on Sundays for dinner (is this a west coast thing? It seems rampant in Seattle, Portland, etc and I don’t recall this being the case on the east coast), pouring rain during our quick drive through Deception Pass and a crappy dinner at a restaurant specializing in "Americana" (iceberg lettuce and…actually, can’t remember what else they had).
Later in June was a weekend in Portland, OR. I am a huge fan of outdoor markets–farmers markets, craft markets, etc. So it was with great delight that we headed over to the Portland Saturday Market, although the crowd was a bit overwhelming for sick little C so we ended up not eating there. But I did score some a cool retro shirt. A serious reader such as myself was thrilled to visit mecca (Powell’s) even if they didn’t have the photography book for which I have been searching fruitlessly. The other major activity was a visit to the Japanese Gardens and the nearby rose gardens, although a vicious allergy attack cut the latter short. Of course, my favorite part of travel is…the eating and we had three home runs on this trip: Autentica (non Tex Mex Mexican food), Pambiche (amazing Cuban brunch), and Andina (upscale Peruvian food). We also stopped for cappuccino at the coffee shop across from the hotel, which turned out to be one of the best coffee shops in Portland (Stumptown, originator of the third wave in coffee). There was quite a line and looking at the magazine display, bee/human hybrid art, and other patrons I felt incredibly uncool–but it was damn good cappuccino!
Next up–a long weekend in Vancouver. We have been there once before, for just a day or so awaiting a cruise to Alaska. Given my love of markets, a trip to the Granville Market is definitely on tap. Perhaps the nearby Kids Market as well, although further reading implies this is just a collection of toy stores. Hoping to revisit Stanley Park, perhaps by bike and perhaps back to the aquarium. Haven’t totally scoped out the restaurant options yet, but have definite plans to hit Caffe Artigiano to experience this:
Towards the end of the summer, we are renting a house for a week on San Juan Island, just G, C, and me! No definite plans for any of the days–hopefully just good hanging out and good eats. I think this will be the longest period that the three of us have spent together–not visiting family, not working during the day, not vacationing with friends and/or a nanny–since G’s paternity leave. Really looking forward to this one.