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!

Project 365 Week 15 & 16

So I am a little out of order, I am missing some photos from the previous two weeks – they are on my actual camera rather than my phone so I need to find that before I can write up. Plus I am a whole month behind! Not only my own post writing, but also visiting everyone else involved in this project. I’m having a computer afternoon and evening today so I will not only catch up on writing but also visiting! In order to catch up lets go straight into photos!

Week 15

Day 99 – We were out gardening and suddenly saw that Max had gotten himself up on the upper window! This is really high, we have floor to ceiling windows. Later on this week he walked all the way to the end and got himself stuck which meant I had to stand on a chair and coach him to jump into my arms! Daft thing.

Day 100 – Marie cat being her usual pretty self.

Day 101 – My backpacking tent arrived from REI….I cannot wait for August when I use this with two hiking ladies 😀 hoping to use it before then but depends if we can all find dates to work! Of course I had to set up indoors.

Day 102 – Pansy! We planted this over a year a go to see how quickly they would grow in glass jars as possible table favours at our wedding. Pleased we didn’t just hope as it’s only just bloomed!

Day 103 – I love to see this view when I pull up after work. They are the talk of our section of the complex, seems they spend most of their days staring out the bedroom window!

Day 104 – Pub. Silly, uppity, snobby pub food. This is Mac & Cheese, granted it tasted really good and it was happy hour, but we then left the pub and went to the club house on our complex for “dinner” because I was starving! I would pay more money to have a decent sized plate of food which fills me up, rather than $6 for 5 mouthfuls of food!! *rant is over*

Day 105 – The weather has turned really nice, so we went for a wander around our complex. We have a couple of lakes where we live, this is the main lake which has two swans (plus fish/ducks/geese etc). This sign is well needed – that swan swam really fast towards where we were walking along the path, we moved pretty sharpish up the slope and away from the lake! Once on the other side of the lake we went back to the lower path, and this swan made a beeline for us again! We think they either have mated and there is a nest nearby, or they are trying to mate but…..we were also told they are gay and actually two males. So maybe they are just grumpy!

Week 16

Day 106 – Tulip Town – read more here – there is a town which has tulips! It was a beautiful day, the sun was out and the drive was ok! We live 60 miles from Tulip Town in Skagit, and this place is only 70 miles away from the Canadian border. Later on this year we will be visiting Canada 😀

Day 107 – Instead of sitting on top of the bookcase where there is a lot of space, I found Max in the cubby hole, squashed and surrounded by our piano music. Daft!

Day 108 – Last winter I planted our spring bulbs, and now my tulips are nearly out! I was really pleased with the crocus, then the daffs and now with the tulips! 😀 I have my fingers crossed for all my summer bulbs which are finally planted!

Day 109 – Yup the sun is here – not due to stay – and the cats are loving it! Sometimes I feel we should let them out, but they are not top of the food chain here. Too many lost cat posters up, there are multiple things which eat cats in this area.

Day 110 – Blossom. Outside my other real life job, there is this beautiful big blossom tree. Makes me smile, and I love seeing the children’s faces when they walk or are carried underneath it.

Day 111 – Friday night drinkies out in Kirkland. We found a voucher for Anthony’s Homeport which we were given for joining the dental practice we go to, so we decided as it was such a beautiful evening to catch the bus — yes we have public transport, it is limited and not reliable but there is a bus — wander the marina, and eat out. They do seasonal cocktails and it is rhubarb season in Puyallup so Anthony’s had a Rhubarb Drop cocktail. Vodka I think!

Day 112 – Saturday morning wander for coffee and a doughnut and these big pink blooms looked too inviting to not photograph. It was either this or a photo of my bookcase which I reordered!

 

I have had a busy, challenging 4 weeks. I have a last minute flight booked back to the UK leaving this coming Monday for my Grandad’s funeral. He went into hospital in March and sadly passed on the 5th April, hence why I am so far behind my posts. Me and Hubster spent a long time trying to decide whether we could afford for me to go back and see him whilst in the hospice, or wait a little as he had been given months. Unfortunately it was weeks instead and the decision was made for me! This has been the most challenging aspect of living so far away from my family. I’ve been sad to miss friends weddings, and jealous of all the snuggles friends have with newborn babies in my friendships, but not being there to say goodbye to a family member before they die has been heart-breaking. The emotions I’ve gone through have been a roller-coaster : from grief, to guilt, to envy and jealously and back to grief. But it is hard to grieve when you are so far away from those who know and remember that person.

I hope everyone else has had a great month, and I look forward to reading and seeing what everyone is up to. 🙂

Olallie Lake via Pratt Lake Trail

Oh wow to this hike! We went with Sausage and Igloo today, which is lovely to share hiking with them.

Firstly we were all a little surprised at how much snow was at the start of this trail, I expected snow but not until a little further up. We started with our chains on our feet to from the very beginning and kept them on the whole way. I kinda wished I had my snowshoes for the end of the hike as it would have made it easier than the pot holing we ended up doing. But I made it to the lake!! 😀

I need to take my photos off my camera, so will do that tomorrow – currently I’m sat in front of the T.V at 9:30pm with The Vampire Diaries on! I’m watching from the beginning as I missed the last 2 seasons. Any way I digress — I’ll update this post tomorrow. In the meantime have some photos from my phone of Olallie Lake ❤

Gold Creek Pond 03/20/17

I went on this hike with one lady – usual hiking buddy – and we hoped to meet the other one on the trail….which we did! Lovely to see her briefly too.  Driving along the i90 towards Snoqualmie Pass we were able to see how much snow was still around. I knew that people were still skiing and snowboarding up here, but it wasn’t until I saw the snow mounds on either side of the road that I realised just how much they had been clearing the roads over winter. It was really high and we could not see over the top, not even to see the gas station!

i90 corridor

I thought I had snowshoed around here last year, but couldn’t remember for sure until we arrived. There were not many people when we parked up on the road side, using a Sno-park pass. I did not drive this morning because I don’t have one of those pass. I have the other two popular ones though!

I was not as cold as the last time we went out for a snow covered hike, but it was still chilly and so much snow! More than I expected, but after a weekend of lovely weather, the amount of foot traffic had really packed the snow down so the snowshoes stayed on my pack.

We wandered around the lake originally, and then veered to the left off onto another trail through the trees and up onto what would be a driveway for the little huts which are out there, and then onwards to Gold Creek Trail.

The little huts and homes in-between the trees are beautiful, some are more modern and some look like they need a little t.l.c on the outside.

We had agreed that we would do around 5 miles this morning, which worked out brilliantly as we turned around and ate when we reached a clearing which had recently had an avalanche down it. We decided we had walked far enough and also neither of us particularly wanted to cross this area. We had no doubt that it was safe at that time, but the sun was out and it was quite warm. I had gone down to wearing only my fleece as had become quite warm. We didn’t know how soft the snow would become a couple of hours later, and we still had 3 miles to the end of trail, plus 3 miles back. This trail will be there another day.

On our way back we stopped at the restrooms…I am incredibly happy to have discovered these! Clean, indoors, and warm 🙂 There is also a little cafe, where I tried a raspberry white mocha! Nom nom nom….oh and a snickerdoodle cookie!

I think I want to camp here next winter. It is a safe trail, people use it, plus it is close enough that if I needed to I could get in the car and drive home to a warm bed 🙂

Wallace Falls 03/05/2017

It has been a while since we’ve gone out with Igloo and Sausage but we managed it today. This is a hike I’ve done before but one which neither them nor Hubster has done.  We really wanted to get out, but sometimes at the weekend we have a lazy time and struggle to stick with any plans we try to make. By roping in Igloo and Sausage and agreeing to have a normal timed breakfast before we drove, it meant we committed!

We met at 9am at Homegrown in Redmond, a place we go to too often! Starting the day with a Avocado, Egg and Cheese sandwich and a tea or coffee, before the 1 hour drive up and along to Route 2.

Wallace Falls is a lovely hike with a lot of space to take your time and resting at different view points of the waterfall. The trip reports on WTA read that this would be an almost dry trail which I looked forward to. We have had a lot of snow, and some of our trails nearby are still in high avalanche territory, so finding one which would be suitable for our friends who do not have spikes or poles etc,  but also one which would be interesting for me can be difficult. I managed it this time!

I’ve multiple photos from this hike, using my camera until I filled the memory card (rookie move) and then having hubster continue to take photos on his, then asking for Igloo to share his — I wish I had waited for the new iPhone in  the plus size, the portrait option is AMAZING — huge thanks to him!

The trail began clear, slightly wet ground but easy going. Some trees in the growth had come down in recent high winds, but the path was clear. I like this route because you see trail runners, dogs and families along it. As we got higher the rain began, until we got higher above some of the lower tree line, and the rain turned into snow. The snow began to settle the further up we got and it was beautiful. We didn’t need spikes or anything but I do think if the weather up there gets any colder I’m sure the ground will freeze.

I’ve used a collage maker to upload as I did not want to take up too much space on Instagram and I quite like how these turned out 🙂

I’m never much good at the writing up of my hikes, and think maybe I should take notes, but until I decide how I want to write up you can have a lot of photos to look at!

Some from me, some from Igloo and none from Hubster as he hasn’t shared them with me!

Rattlesnake Ledge 15/01/2017

Brrr…not as cold as Franklin Falls, but it was still quite chilly! We went up with a friend of mine who doesn’t get to hike with others very often. The recent trip reports on WTA mentioned that microspikes would be needed and I am so pleased we took ours. At times it was very very icy and we saw too many people going up in bog standard trainers. Yes I am judging. It winds me up! Rattlensnake Ledge is one of the easier hikes, and therefore very popular at weekends, however people need to take responsibility for themselves.

Unfortunately I should probably put ourselves in this category too. My friend lost one of her microspikes on the way up, so Hubster kindly gave her his to wear as he was in hiking boots and had poles, we thought this would be enough. In hindsight, we should have just turned back.

It was a lovely hike to the top, Rattlesnake is definitely a easier hike than I’ve been doing so it was really nice for me to take it easy. The sky was clear blue for the entire morning. I only had my iPhone to take photos on today, so I have very few. The path was easy to manage, there was a mixture of snow coverage, dirt, and ice. Spring is on the way for sure. 🙂  Enjoy the few photos I took!

At the top, Hubster went for his water and discovered that it had leaked in his bag and over his camera — sadness number 1.

On our way back down, Hubster slipped on the ice and fell off the side of the path ripping his jacket and bruising himself but thankfully nothing more than bruises. He slipped and fell a few more times on our way back down to the car — sadness number 2.  We spoke to a lot of people going up in trainers, wooly boots and other stupid footwear combinations, told them it only got more icy on the way up and that they really need microspikes. Everyone ignored us. I hope no one else fell of the trail into bush and injured themselves.

On our way back on the freeway, a stone pinged onto the windscreen and cracked it — sadness number 3.

Gold Creek Pond 03/22/16

I finally had the opportunity to use my snow shoes which we brought from Costco before Christmas. This was not the original plan, but because I managed to hurt my thigh yesterday by slipping on the Ira Springs Trail I asked to go somewhere nearer. I was the driver too, and couldn’t face driving almost 3 hours with a sore leg!

IMG_1839

I love this view. This was a great beginners snowshoe, which was great for me and Sausage (who also came too, might remember her from an earlier post…another Brit living her with her Husband – Igloo – and we spend a lot of time with them).

You simply walk around the pond!

There were a couple of bridges to walk over, a small section of the pond was unfrozen and the water was completely clear. We could see the bottom without being too near. Some Geese were having a little swim on this tiny area of unfrozen ice!

Enjoy the views 😀