Tulip Town and Clayton Beach 04/16/17

Sometimes it is easier to insert a map to show where we visit, especially as no one lives here with us! We drove up, towards the Canadian boarder over Easter. It was a sunny day *yay :)* and this place has been raved about since we moved here. I am really pleased we left so early, and I’m also really pleased we missed our turning as it meant we were not stuck in traffic on the I-5, and we were able to see some stunning views on the back way into the venue.

It cost us $7 each to enter and see many different varieties of tulips, and some pop up stores which sold paintings, seeds, bulbs and kites. We wandered the fields, looked at the planned enclosed gardens and ate some ice-cream!

Tulip Town is owned by the De Goede family who were originally from Holland, and they open it for the month of April for people to come and see the tulips and bulbs. Click here if you want to find out more. There was also some placard information that the tulip bulbs were originally distributed from Canada as a sign of peace. Some also go to Washington DC. During the war, Canada took in the Royal Family from Holland and the Princess was born in Ottawa, who in turn raised the Dutch Flag so her heritage remained intact. As a sign of Thanks Holland sends tulips each year. Read more here!

I still have not got the hang of writing, and I know I tend to read blog posts with photos! So here are my photos from our day around the Tulip Town!

We weren’t ready to make the 1.5 hour journey home again after wandering the Tulips so decided to go for another little drive further north and along Chuckanut Drive which Hubster had previously been told would be a nice place to visit and drive his fast car along. We were in my jeep so there was no fast driving! It was a really scenic drive, which usually would take 20ish minutes but today took 50minutes! We stopped at Larrabee State Park and searched for the trail down to the beach 😀

The walk started in trees after we had crossed the busy main road, and was easy to follow until we came to a clearing and there was a train track with the following sign on…do we cross or not? Is this a used line? We saw a family come from the otherside and cross so we did too.

On our back to the car we crossed this, and then a little car on the tracks came past. The family in front of us told their children that it was keeping the track clear for the Amtrax train up to Canada….so yes, we discovered that this is actually a train track which is used.

Lots of dogs at the beach having fun in the sun. We sat and watched the massive sea gulls flying, and secretly hoped we would see some Orca Whales. No such luck, but maybe one day.

We went back to the car, and drove down towards home, stopping at a Panera Bread. It is like a Pret. I giggle everytime we buy some lunch there though, as they offer “baguette, apple or chips (crisps)” with any of the sandwiches, soups, lunch stuff. I ordered a BBQ flat bread, and apple on the side. Hubster did a great job of ordering a baguette sandwich with side of baguette!! Why offer baguette with a baguette?! Makes me giggle every single time. Why do people think they want basically one filled sandwich and one plain one!? I digress….

This is a map to show just how close to Canada we were! 30 minutes in medium traffic!

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Wedding Part 2:1! 5/14/16

So why Wedding Part 2?

Myself and Hubster married officially on Saturday February 2015 at Eastbourne Town Hall with a small number of friends and family who were available on the day in very short notice. We followed up after our registry office marriage at The Hydro Hotel for afternoon tea.

This was a wonderful day, and achieved what we both wanted. To be husband and wife.The following month Hubster moved to Seattle for his new job. We had already spoken about marrying before he had his job offer, but we planned for 2016 so we could save and plan. However; we needed to be married before he left as he would no longer we a resident of the United Kingdom. According to our local office those were the rule and there was no changing it.

So on Saturday 14th May 2016 we held our my actual wedding. All our friends, all our family, a wonderful beautiful church with the most brilliant Reverend, a spectacular venue and huge dinner and party. I had a beautiful wedding gown, all the men in my life were in top hat and tails and I had my three closest females with me in stunning bridesmaid dresses.

We have not received  our photos yet from our photographer and once we do I’ll share a few on here.

We choose to have a “no photo” policy during our ceremony so there are none from there, but there are few from friends after the ceremony, during the reception and party which they posted on facebook.

We married at St.Peter and St.Paul Church, Hellingly under Reverend David Farey. We first met Rev.David at a wedding fayre in 2015 with his wife, after I had rung him to see if we could have a marriage blessing even though we would live out of the UK and he was a pleasure to talk with. There was no problem at his end, and this made my day. I was so happy. This little church has further meaning to me and my family because I was Christened there 30 years previous! When I am in the UK I attend their Sunday services and have always been made welcome.

From what I can remember is that my gorgeous niece and nephew both struggled to walk down the aisle along so nephew went down with Rev.David?! To his mum and dad and Little Miss was carried by my brother! This meant we kind of messed up walking down, they were too close and I began to stress out, but had my other brother holding my hand so it was all okay! I dread to see the photos from this point!

I’ll write another post once I have the photos about our ceremony.

Following this we headed back to the East Sussex National Golf Course for our drinks reception, photographs and party! We had the lovely Carl Greenwood on piano, Paul Mitchell was our toastmaster and was one of the most amazing people I have ever met, Phil Knapp was our wonderful car driver who took me so carefully to the church and then both of us back to the venue where we met with our perfect photographer Alison Buchanan. We then partied our night away to The Dumb Waiters who ended with Linkin’ Park!

Whilst writing this I think I want to write a separate post for each person because they were all so unbelievably wonderful. I have no regrets with booking any of them, and I highly recommend them all to anyone having a wedding or special occasion in Sussex. I will also be writing up about my lovely hair and make-up ladies and the most honest and truthful bridal store run by a mother and daughter team. My flowers also came from a local business who I used last year, and the church was decorated by some amazing women who I have previously worked with.

The list keeps increasing! I need to write up about each section individually once I have photos!

 

Pre-Wedding Photography Shoot 05/12/2016

It is almost our wedding part 2 day 😀 We married officially on February 21st 2015, not long before Hubster left for the USA. We had already planned on what I call a “proper wedding”. Now by that I mean, the wedding I had dreamed of. With all the trimmings – photographer, cake, dinner, bridal gown, bridesmaids, etc etc etc – and that day is nearly on us.

We booked the wonderful Alison Buchanan as our photographer. Pop along to her website here. Within the package we booked, we have a pre-wedding shoot. This sounded great to me because if anyone has seen photos of the two of us they are primarily selfies, or silly poses, or not very good!

Alison offers this within packages and meant that we could try different poses together, see what worked, see which felt more comfortable than not. She is brilliant. I cannot recommend Alison enough, she spent a long time walking through the bluebells, lying on the ground, giving us advice and making us feel so comfortable. We had the shoot at our venue, the East Sussex National Golf Course, two days before our wedding. It was very close to the day because Hubster was still in the USA working. I came over 5 weeks before him to finalise wedding pieces.

These are some of the photos we have. I love them all. I simply cannot choose which to have printed.

Our pre wedding

31st Birthday Week 2016

What a great start to my birthday. Joint Spa Day with Sausage at Salish Lodge. The day was much better than expected, the services, staff, venue, and food could not be faulted. It blew all expectations and I really want to go back!

We started the day off in the pools and steam room, for 2 hours before our first treatments. It was really relaxing to drink fruit infused water, lye in warm waters, and visit the steam room. Perfect after a little drive to get there. We were given slippers and a robe to wear and the atmosphere was spectacular. Over looking Snoqualmie Falls added to the day.

I began with a Heated River Rock Massage, given by a gentleman who has Scottish and Welsh roots! I am most definitely going to find somewhere else which does these, it was bliss!

Followed this up with a Honey from Heaven for Hands and Feet, exfoliating arms, legs, hands and feet with a massage. This was really relaxing. I could have fallen asleep if I had had a boring therapist working on me, the lady I had however was really interesting and friendly and I enjoyed talking with her. She also did my next treatment too!

Essential Cellular Facial….basically a facial suited to your skin type. This was the best facial I have ever had, never before have I had my face steamed, extractions (my face is like a teenagers skin since moving!), massage and mask all in the same treatment! Whilst we waited for the mask to soak in, I was also treated to a scalp massage! mmm mmm mmmm

Myself and Sausage then treated ourselves to lunch afterwards, and had pizza and tea!! Over looking the Falls. Still as beautiful as always.

We have always eaten at Prime Steakhouse for everyones birthdays, Hubster, Igloo, Beardy and this lastest time for Sausage too. Cheesecake for dessert as usual for me, and Pork Chop. I can not eat Steak for some reason, it just does not work for my body so I am a little restricted in a steak house!

For my option for food, we were meant to eat at the local bowling alley but there were no lanes so instead we had everyone over to ours and ordered take away pizza!! Had some beautiful flowers too from a friend, bottle of baileys from another and a dressing gown from the B.I.L. Mum sent over some gaiters and a running towel (Yes I needed them both, and was so surprised to learn that she had not spoken to Hubster about it). Hubster got me a guitar stand and camelback thermal flask. Very spoilt and happy me!!

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Dinner and Goodbyes 1/28/16-1/29/16

Final days before Mama S leaves to go back to the UK. Of course food was needed! Ages ago we ate at Thai Ginger in Redmond before going to the cinema and I really enjoyed it, so on my suggestion this is where we went.

I choose the Thai Red Curry and was not disappointed. It was amazing. So much so that I have no idea what the other two ate :-S This may well become one of our favourite places to eat out at. We even had some left overs which I had for dinner the next day!

I hate, dislike, no definitely hate being late at airports. I would rather be hours early than arrive on time. I managed my anxiety, we were a little early but not too much. We had enough time to check the gate number, have a coffee and pastry and then walk to clearing. Once we saw that Mama S had entered the area where bags and persons are checked we sent messages to family letting them know she was en route and we went home. Hubster went to work, but I went home.

Fremont Troll 1/24/16 and Leavenworth Road Trip 1/25/16

I have been to Wallingford and saw on the map that Fremont was nearby, therefore I suggested Hubster drove and we parked on the street near to a Record Shop – Jive Times for Mama S to look in for a Journey Record, then we could see the Fremont Troll too!

BIG MISTAKE! Parking was a nightmare and crossing 5 lanes of traffic to exit from the Interstate within 400 metres was hard! Park and Ride next time, Park and Ride!

Thankfully we had a lovely breakfast at Pomegranate Bistro beforehand with Igloo and Sausage, who organised the booking and we ended up in our own private dining room, their Tasting Room. As is usual over here service is brilliant. Servers/waiter/waitresses are always attentive and food is great. Happy people! (Just once I would like to find a bad meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner…I don’t mind which but I feel very spoilt that I’ve never had a bad experience.)

The following day we went to Leavenworth. Through the mountains and spectacular views. Of course, the day had to begin with another breakfast out 😀 It took a long time to make a decision. We’ve been here before, The Maltby Cafe, but that was after 8 mile (I think) run. It was easy to choose food then because I was starving. I ate LOADS then. Today I opted for Pancakes and fruit. They worked as leftovers too according to Mama S.

We then began our long drive to Leavenworth. I drove on the way there, leaving it up to Hubster to do the drive back.

Leavenworth is a Bavarian Town and I loved it. I cannot wait to see it in every season, to drive through the pass in each season. It was beautiful with the snow on the sides of the road, seeing skiers coming down the mountain at Steven’s Pass, and then Leavenworth as it came into sight. We had some cracking bratwurst’s, saw a huge teddy bear on a bench, and I went into a 365 day Christmas Store with Mama S. Photos can show this better than I can describe it! Our drive home gave some beautiful sunset views. Shame the car was moving and I only had an iPhone!!

Any visitors we have, we are going here 🙂

 

 

First visitor to our new home! 1/14/16 -1/29/16

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy in the Gordon household!  We welcomed Mama S, who came for her first visit over here and her first holiday abroad in a little while! She is with us for 2 weeks, and hope she’ll have a great time. Edit: she did!!

It took us a while to find each other at Sea-Tac but we did….on a side note, I DROVE!! All the way to the airport for the first time, and back again 😀 *happy dance*

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Airport wanderings

The following day we drove out to an outlet shopping mall. We have two near to us, around North Bend and up towards Marysville. Having a look at what brands and shops were available we opted for the Seattle Premium Outlet in Marysville.

I like shopping…Hubster doesn’t like shopping…Mama S enjoyed shopping…

SUCCESS was reached!

UGG store for Mama S, and Salomon store for us. That was a surprise, crazy good sale going on in there. I appear to have lost my snowboarding helmet so was waiting for the end of season sale and would pick one up cheaply, but managed to get a pink one which will match my gear. Is that important? HAHAHA of course it is, for me anyway.   We both managed to get a new pair of running trail shoes. Hubster has the identical pair to what he already has so they are under the bed until he needs to swap over. I opted for trail specific running ones. Same brand, and style as both my current ones (more suited to rougher terrain) and my hiking boots, but these are light weight, specified for soft, wet, mud, quick drying. Perfect for the trails around here, even more when part of the trail requires some path/road running too. You never have too many running tops so crazy cheap orange T.shirt 😀

Of course we needed to take Mama S to our local Marina. Kirkland around sunset is beautiful. The views across the lake amaze me, no matter how many times I see it. At times I stand in awe about the fact my local area includes vast landscapes, mountain ranges, national parks, waterfronts, friendly people and a slow moving and therefore less stressful day to day life. My backyard is hiking, running and walking. I could get out more, of course! It’s only been 4 months. There is time.

We ensured that Mama S could get around on the bus whilst we were at work, or out and about with people (running club winter party and runs, hiking with ladies, needing to do work planning) we already had planned so she explored Bellevue, Kirkland and Downtown Seattle.

We ate out a lot, and also had a road trip down to Leavenworth which I’ll write about separately.

Boxing Day 2015

Boxing Day morning was a slow one. For some reason – probably because we stayed overnight at friends – we were up early. Way to early! Before Igloo and Sausage woke up. So after a shower I had fun playing their piano.

I really miss having a piano to play around on, but at least I now have a guitar 😀 I have recently downloaded Guitar Tabs on the iPad and am enjoying getting used to reading chords over words.

Anywhoo…onwards to Boxing Day. Igloo found us in the kitchen having sourced Tea and Milk! Sausage was taken a cup of coffee and emerged soon after then it was BREAKFAST TIME!  Phone was upstairs charging so no breakfast pics – Hubster thinks I’m turning into a closet hipster anyway so maybe this is a good thing.

English Muffins and Jam fueled us for an agreed journey to Snoqualmie Falls. This is somewhere I had wanted to go, but hadn’t yet and we assumed being Boxing Day it would not be very busy. It gave my Jeep her first proper outing, with 2 adults in the back and roads with a 40+ speed limit! She did good, comfortable and warm with clear skies above. I have an almost full coverage skylight in the Jeep 😀

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Oh dear Brits, how wrong we were. Boxing Day is a British thing and not an American one. It was quite busy and we had planned on having lunch in The Attic at Salish Lodge, so before heading to the Falls we made a reservation. Approx 40 minutes to wait, a good system though as they send a sms once your table is ready and you have 10-15 minutes to make it back before they give it to the next person.

We were able to see the Falls, and wander a little way. I am looking forward to going back, and this is one place on the list for taking visitors when they come.

Lunch was divine. I had chicken pot pie in a skillet and it was the best chicken pie I’ve ever had I think! Chamomile Tea on the side for me. We were lucky to have a table for 4 buy the windows which overlooked the Falls. We weren’t rushed to finish, even though we know it was busy. Our server was very busy and I don’t think he stopped moving even once the whole time we were there!

Dessert, oh dessert. I tried so very hard to resist, but I do indeed have a dessert stomach. Whilst Hubster visited the restroom, Igloo ordered his and I caved; completely caved in a snap of the fingers and I found myself ordering a Cherry Pie. OMG!!! This little pie wasn’t a pie where there is only the top crust, this had pastry the WHOLE way around, and came with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. It took about 10 minutes to come because they are cooked to order. Really worth the wait!

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I will be returning 😀 You can stay here, and they also have a spa so maybe this is a place to go to as a celebration, or general pamper day. Who knows…..

 

Christmas Day 2015

This was not our first Christmas Day spent away from our families. We agreed a couple of years ago when we first moved in together that we would alternate between a Christmas for Us and a Christmas with Family. We are lucky  because both our families – parents and siblings on both sides – live in the same town, where we both grew up. That means we can see them all on the same day when we are in the area!

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Last year, Christmas 2014, we were back home so this year was meant to be a Christmas for Us anyway. However, last year we didn’t yet know we would be out of the country and living 8 hours behind everyone!

Christmas morning for us was spent on FaceTime talking with families and friends. My niece is 14 months old now, so this year she had more awareness of what was happening. I knew I was going to miss her this year, but underestimated just how much. There were already some photos on facebook of her in a cute Christmas outfit and a pink infant sized baby grand piano!

My brother, his gf, my niece and my youngest brother were all having Christmas dinner at my mums so we planned to talk about 6pm GMT, 10am PST. I was thrilled that they had waited until I was on the phone to open their gifts from us. I bought my niece a small number of percussion instruments which she jingled and banged 😀 I think she might be the next musician in the family!

Everyone had a lovely day, they all got what they asked for. Fitbit’s, Xbox voucher, mani + pedi and DVD.

After calling my family, we spoke with some of Hubster’s family. His brother and his gf. Two very happy people with food, drink and love. They all kindly sent us large bars of Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut bars – THANK YOU! My mother in law made us a New Home cross-stitch sampler and little red robin tree hanger.

Lego seems to be a theme for the men on my in laws side. Both brother in laws received lego, plus our nephew has a box of lego enroute to him! Hubster received some from me too.

We had an unusual gift giving experience in our direct family of two. I received a pair of baby pink converses (love love love!) and a Microsoft band 2, which needs to be returned for the small size. Absolutely thrilled as they were the two things I really wanted. There were some added extras of ink pads, embossing powders and a heat tool plus chocolate! I was further spoiled, because on Christmas Eve we were in our local town and decided to pop into the large guitar shop and see about replacing my guitar which died a death whilst in transit over from the UK. So I also received a cute thin sized acoustic electric Hanez guitar.

We really like hiking, snow-sports and being outdoors and although Hubster has a silly lovely car it does not get us to those places! So we have invested in a second car which will be primarily mine as it is smaller and also less to handle. It allows us to take people out and about in the back seats aswell!! I am very excited to say I now have my own baby! A beautiful lifted Jeep Cherokee 4 wheel drive 🙂 I can not wait for us to get a safety man safety box set up for the boot, full of blankets, warm clothes, tow ropes, axe, snow chains and food and water, so we can go out in the snow and find winter hikes and snowboarding. Also all year round because we have the 4 wheel drive capacity so many routes will become accessible again. Happy spoilt us!

 

As an added bonus I was also able to speak to my closest friends – The T’s and her mum and dad too! Their little girl is now 2 years old and I’ve seen her since birth so it was lovely seeing and hearing about her day. They also had a little girl in November who I haven’t met, obviously! So I met her for the first time and she was sooo cute! I cannot wait to have hugs with that little girl in 4.5 months, with both little girls actually. If Mummy T is lucky I’ll also give her a huge hug too!! She will be one of my bridesmaids in May, and has been a rock when I’ve been homesick and down or frustrated despite having her own rocky patches to deal with at home herself. She is someone to aspire to.

This is a  much longer post than I planned for!

Christmas afternoon involved heading to Igloo and Sausages home for dinner, cocktails and boardgames. The food was divine, the company amazing and the setting festive!  I could write much more, but photos will have to suffice — I hope :-S

 

 

Snowflake Lane 12/13/15

It had been mentioned that we should check out Snowflake Lane.

OH MY GOODNESS!!!

Festivities, happiness, Christmassy, Princesses, Drummers, Nutcrackers, Fairies, Free Candy!!!!

Part of the Road is closed to traffic and Drummers and Majorettes dance and play in the middle for about 20 minutes. Fake snow in the form of bubbles float down and everyone is happy!!

I already cannot wait until next year to see this again 🙂

 

I still can’t add video on here…I’ve asked Hubster if I can have my own domain and then maybe I can 😀