Mum and Son Weekend


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Mum and Son Weekend

I felt very spoiled this weekend! Ryan came up from California just for the two days, but we managed to pack in a lot of fun! He is never one to sit around the house, twiddling his thumbs.

One of the reasons for the visit (besides me!) was to drive the Suki and DeLuco Tour Company's Distillery Tour route again, and for him to actually experience it.

Ryan's flight got into Seatac at 9:35 and we headed to Seattle to get the Bremerton ferry, which is a first for me! In all the time I have spent up here, I have never taken that particular route. With the weather as gorgeous as it was, it was a spectacular just-over-an-hour trip. The ferry crosses the Puget Sound and then wends its way through islands and promontories to end up almost alongside the massive aircraft carriers at Bremerton Naval Shipyard!

Mum and Son

Ryan walked off the ferry to get a feel for where our tour guests would be going and I drove off and picked him up at a meeting place, then we were on our way. Just as Susan and I had done, we first headed to The Hardware Distillery in Hoodsport, along the narrow, winding road along the very southern part of the Hood Canal. It was super low tide, so the oyster beds that line these shores were very visible, with people out in the sunshine, picking and eating oysters! Not for me, though. Neither of us are very fond of shellfish, even less so when it is raw!

We had planned to meet up with a caterer but she got hung up catering! So we grabbed a sandwich at the local coffee shop and then went to the Distillery, did a bit of tasting, stopped at Twanoh State Park for a look-see then on to Gig Harbor and Heritage Distilling Company. There I discovered my favorite flavored vodka - an amazing Blood Orange one! Wow! We didn't do the tour as we wanted to get to Bainbridge Organic Distillers. We made it just before the door closed but Ryan was able to get a feel of the place. Not only is BOD beautiful but it also smells good!

Mother's Day

What a treat! I had breakfast cooked for me! I can't remember when that last happened!

With a full day open for us, we drove down to the tip of the Toandos Peninsula, which was my territory when I sold real estate down here. Not much has changed! More logging and a bit of construction, but it is still a live-off-the-grid kind of place, with the occasional "estate" tucked away on large acreage. Fisherman's Harbor is still as picturesque as ever, true Pacific Northwest vibe! However, we did not find the geocache we came looking for! It was too far back in the woods, according to the gps, and neither of us was dressed for bundu bashing!

But we did find the next one, up in Port Ludlow on the Waterfall Interpretive Trail. I just love having Ryan around. We always do new stuff and see new things and places, and this visit was no exception! I live just 15 minutes from the trail, knew of it but have never walked it. What a surprise to find such a gem!

Well-maintained, with native plants identified and informational plaques strategically placed along the tree-lined half-mile walk, it is a truly a hidden treasure. Especially when you come to the waterfall! It was really loud and flowing hard and fast, with lots of cascading water tumbling over the rocks!

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And just above the falls, we found our cache, hidden between two cedar trees and behind a stump! Success!

We ended our day with a wonderful dinner with Jim and Mardelle at their home that overlooks Discovery Bay. Of course, Ryan couldn't resist checking for caches near there. After dinner, we set of down the road and half a mile away, after much rooting around and misdirection, we found it! A tiny camouflaged tube with a sign-in list inside! Once again, success!

Early next morning, and I mean EARLY at 4am, I drove him to the airport. It was back to work for him and back home for me.

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Beginning of a Long Holiday

Iconic Burbank sign I've been lazy, just posting instagram pix and not writing posts! And it has been such a busy time, too. So I will break this down into several posts over the next few days.

With winter coming on strong in the PNW, I was extremely happy to be heading south to Southern California for the holidays. It's always a mission to get there - a lift to the shuttle, an hour and half bumping along with numerous stops, schlep to the ticketing to check in the expensive one bag carrying the gifts, security (yay Pre- check!) waiting... three hours on the flight... makes for a long day.

But being picked up at Burbank airport in a BMW convertible by Ryan, my darling son, made up for the tiring day.

Blast from the Past

The following day, we fulfilled one of the many items on my wish list!

Ryan and Bob at Bob's Big Boy

Many, many years ago, there was a Bob's Big Boy hamburger joint in Costa Mesa, right up the street from where we (Ryan and Cody's dad and I) used to live. We used to go fairly often, and then progress (?) took it away. But in Burbank, Bob's has survived and flourished, and is a great example of the old diner. It was built in 1949 (so have a great affinity with it) and is considered a classic example of that era's architecture. I've wanted to go there for ages, so we did!

There is actually a bit of story about me wanting to go there. Last Christmas Eve, as there were just the two of us, Rye an and me, we thought it would be a good chance to go to Bob's for a Christmas Eve dinner - by the time we got there around 6pm, they were closed, and we ended up at a Thai restaurant - which we went to again this Christmas!

The enormous, neon sign is visible all the way down the street, the red glow glinting off the cars in the parking lot. The street lights lit the Jetson-styled sun-shades (I can't call them umbrellas) that hovered over the outdoor seating, lining the pavement. On this evening, everyone was inside, hiding from the cold and drizzle. Under the portico, there stood a life-sized Bob, checkered outfit and all. Obviously it was picture time before heading in to the classic diner. The curving counter, the leatherette booths and many of the waitresses who looked like they might have been there since the place opened!

Everything is basic - basic menu, basic condiments, just like it used to be before it became so cool to be cool.

I ordered the Original Bobs Big Boy combo with fries, the works! I didn't do the milkshake part, but we did have onion rings!

So in this time of "plated" food and weird pairing combinations, it was refreshing to see a hamburger in a bun, with simple lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise plonked on a plate alongside a mound of real French fries. Nothing pretentious, nothing fancy, just plain old Bob's!

[box type="info"]BOB's BIG BOY

4211 W Riverside Dr

Burbank, CA 91505

(818) 843-9334[/box]

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City Boy Goes Country


Last weekend was the annual Jefferson County Farm Tour and Ryan, my Hollywood son, was here to take the tour!

Everybody needs to go and see where their food comes from. Here in Jefferson County we are very fortunate to have so many wonderful farms providing for us. I went on the tour, which is self-guided, last year too, but it was much more fun to go with Ryan.

Our first stop was at Midori Farm, which for me showed an amazing accomplishment as just last year, the farm was right in Port Townsend, but needing more space they moved 30+ miles south to a new farm in Quilcene. It looked like they had been there for ages; never skipped a beat (beet?) with the growing season. Vast fields of organic veges; greenhouses filled with drying beans and curing onions; a farm stand loaded with fresh stuff, while almost-shoulder high brussels sprout plants showed tiny, developing sprout buds. This farm is sustainability in action. Goats were busy clearing blackberry patches and top-bar beehives (with warnings to stay away from the approach zone) are close by the chicken coop which provides manure, while the compost pile is located just beyond the goats!

Piles of fresh garlic caught Ryan's eye and he happily took some back to SoCal.

Here, piggy piggy

Up the road from Midori, right on Hwy 101, Dharma Ridge is an all-organic certified farm on the old Boulton Farm.  Along with all the veges and humanely-raised pigs, the farm is working with WSU (Washington State University) on a quinoa experiment and currently have numerous varieties being tested. It's the first time I have seen quinoa growing and if it hadn't been pointed out to me, would have thought it was a weed!

Next stop was the Bishop Farm. This is a dairy farm I drive by every time I head into Port Townsend. Located on Egg & I Road, it is the only organic dairy farm on the Northern Olympic Peninsula and is part of the Organic Valley group, so I can feel good buying "local" milk at the store. The cows were all out to pasture but were very curious, lining up to watch us! Then I looked at their udders and realized they probably thought we were going to take them into the milking shed to be milked! Sorry girls! Not my job!


With Ryan as the navigator, we headed over to Marrowstone Island, past beaches I used to take him and his brother Cody to when they were tiny boys. This visit was more grown up - a winery first where we tasted a flight of the local wines, produced from imported (from eastern Washington and Oregon) grapes. Last year, Betsy and I visited and everything was very young. This year, Marrowstone Vineyards will harvest their first crop. With the exceptionally warm weather this summer, they are hoping for a great harvest. I particularly enjoyed the Yellow Truck 2013 Apple Wine and Ryan bought a bottle of the Riesling which I am now enjoying as he couldn't take it home with him. Sorry, Ryan! I owe you one.

Another farm I have been meaning to go to is Mystery Bay Farm, where they raise goats and produce wonderful cheeses. It's tucked behind the historic Nordland store and we wandered the little farm, admiring all the goats who took pretty much no notice of us. Up in the vegetable garden, the ducks, which eat all the slugs and snails, were raucous and not happy to have all the visitors. And tucked far away from all the "girls," the two farm stud rams were sequestered! They appeared rather agitated but we found out that it was almost breeding season so the boys were very horny! On our way out, we had a quick taste of the cheeses which have garnered numerous write-ups and prizes.

What fun! Julie driving the tractor

Our final stop on the tour was at Westbrook Angus, which is mainly a breeding farm but they also sell grass fed beef at very reasonable prices. We didn't buy any, but next time Ryan visits, I will make sure I am well stocked! This stop was a highlight, I think as we went on a hayride! Julie, the owner, fired up the old tractor and off we went down into the valley to see all the cattle. She knows all the girls' names, their histories and personalities. Fascinating! The herd followed the tractor and trailer with us on it. When we stopped we were surrounded by the girls who immediately started pulling the hay bales off the trailer!  Knowing basically nothing about cattle, to me they looked so healthy, with shiny coats and they all seemed so placid. As we drove back to the farmstead, the cows followed as far as the open gate, stopped and watched as their snacks left!

It was a wonderful adventure and such fun sharing it with my city boy son, who also loved seeing first-hand how animals and crops should be grown.

[box type="info"]

Midori Farm

10 Old State Hwy Quilcene, WA 98376  360.385.5579

Dharma Ridge Farm

780 Boulton Farm Road Quilcene,Wa 98376 360.765.0178

Bishop Farm

Egg & I Road Chimacum, WA 360.732.4863

Marrowstone Vineyards

423 Meade Road, Nordland 360.385.5239

Mystery Bay Farm

P.O. Box 285 Nordland 360.385.3309

Westbrook Angus

1311 West Valley Rd Chimacum 360.732.4335


Seattle's Underground Tour

You must understand that the last two posts, on the Seattle Wheel and to Chihuly Glasshouse and Garden and this one all happened IN ONE DAY! What a sensory overload! But I loved every minute of it. This is something I have wanted to do but never got around to, since I moved up here to the Pacific Northwest 26 years ago. It's taken me this long to go Underground Seattle.  Years ago, when a group of us came over from Port Townsend to do up the town, we were at a jazz club in Pioneer Square and I saw a sign for Bill Spiedel's Underground Tour. That was when I learned that the current city of Seattle is built right on top of the original city!

But I learned more from the tour - that the original city fathers neglected to factor in the tides when building the original city, with major consequences. Some not too pleasant, like sewage backing up and exploding uphill in the houses on the bluffs; building being swamped on the incoming tides and the eventual rebuilding of the city after a disastrous fire wiped it out.

Walking through the dusty corridors, listening to our chipper tour guide, you can imagine what it must have been like. Of course, the rooms and old sidewalks are all reinforced and there is electric light down there, but looking up, the old purple-tinged glass lights or prisms are a reminder of times gone by.

Bill Speidel's Underground Tour

608 First Ave, in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, between Cherry Street and Yesler Way.

[206] 682 4646

Ticket Prices

$16.00 Adults (18-59 yrs) $13.00 Seniors (60+ yrs) $13.00 Students (13-17 yrs or w/valid college ID) $8.00 Children (7-12 yrs) Kids 6 and under are admitted free, but may find the 75-minute tour challenging

Eye Candy

That same weekend that Ryan was visiting, I was trying to keep pace with what he wanted to see and do. Our next stop in Seattle after the Great Wheel was the Chihuly Glass House and Garden. I had seen the Chihuly Bridge of Glass in Tacoma but hadn't even heard about the Glass House and Garden! Shows how isolated and out of touch I have been. This place should be on every person's bucket list. What an awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, spectacular place! The colors, the art, the the the the ....just everything! How beautiful!

And to be able to see it with my wonderful son was the icing on the cake.

This is a place that defies description. It is eye candy for the soulr. It is a place you have to experience. And although photos don't do it justice, I took a lot of pictures. Interior lighting was spectacular, illuminating the art so it stood out from an often black infinite space.  Impossible colors pop and even though there are numerous people around, I felt as if this was done just for me.

The gardens were a mind-blowing experience, and I can only wonder what it would have been like if the sun had been out! Complementary colors, shape against shape, impossible colors glowing among nature's own, natural flowers.

How could I have missed seeing this place? Now I know it's there and whenever a visitor comes to my house,  this is on the  list of must-sees.

I do have one suggestion, though. DO NOT take small children! There is just far too much priceless glass around for exuberant youngsters! Send them to Grandma's house and show them the pictures later! You will be so on edge and nervous, making sure they don't touch anything, that you won't be able to enjoy the beauty.

Chihuly Garden and Glass


Sunday - Thursday 10am  –  9pm
Friday & Saturday 10am  –  10pm


Regular Ages 13-64 $19
King County Special Ages 13+ $15
Senior Ages 65+ $17
Youth Ages 4-12 $12
Child 3 and Under Free