Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Portland & Washington

Rich has a colleague who invited us to stay at his horse ranch in Yacolt, WA.  We decided to make a nice trip out of it, so in mid-November we travelled to the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  It is one of my favorite places to visit - not only because is it incredibly beautiful, but because many of my loved ones live there!

We flew in early morning to Portland (the closest airport to Yacolt) and spent the day exploring.  We grabbed our rental car and hit downtown for some window shopping and lunch.  I highly recommend Lardo. We had the most delicious pork shoulder sandwich, the best salad with delicata squash, beets, and candied hazelnuts, and their "dirty" fries with chunks of pork, peppers, fried herbs and parmesan.  YUM!  A little tip:  go hungry and don't plan to eat for the rest of the day.   Well ... that is unless you just decide you need a donut from Blue Star.   I mean, when in Portland, right?




After lunch, we visited the largest bookstore in the country, Powell's. Wow, what a place!  Humongous, and fun to browse.  Later that afternoon we visited the Pittock Mansion,  a turn of the century residence on 46 acres that is now open to the public.  Also, we made a short trip to the International Rose Test Garden, but at this time of year blooms were not on full display.  



                                        Pittock Mansion, Portland

In the late afternoon we made the little over an hour trek from Portland to Yacolt, WA.  I'm sure you've never heard of Yacolt.  I hadn't!  It is a very, very small remote town in Clark County with a population of around 1500.   Rich's colleague, Chuck, bought a large acreage there and built Mustang Mountain Ranch over the last 20 years.  Recently, he acquired an adjacent property on 20 acres, a home called Wild Horse Station that he rents as a vacation home.  He invited us to be his guests there.  We got there around dinnertime and Chuck and his family warmly welcomed us.

We were a little blown away by the "cabin" we thought we were to stay in.   I guess I was thinking something smaller and more modest - more of a guest house I suppose-  but the place was a full blown authentic log cabin home!

It looked so pretty at night when we arrived! 

We enjoyed a lovely home cooked meal and evening at the main house and then retired to our toasty, cozy home in the woods.  
It was really something else.

The next morning, we enjoyed some tea by the fire before heading over for another gracious meal of omelettes made by Chuck, bacon, fruit and croissants. 

Chuck showed us around the grounds of his horse ranch.  It's quite incredible.


Chuck and his sweet daughters, Andie & Theresa


 Andie and one of their 25 horses!


The road to the Log Cabin from the main residence... makes me want to sing "Country roads... take me home" 


Log Cabin front entrance

 View from front porch - the main house is on the right 
(the red roof is his indoor horse arena, house is above that to left, mostly obscured)

Cozy fireplace, stairs leading to loft

Entrance to living room


the gorgeous living room (I spy relaxing hubby)


The large kitchen


The master bedroom -- vacations are for unmade beds, am I right?


I'm even gonna show you the bathroom because it was so cool. It had log cabin walls!

After a few lovely days in Yacolt, we headed to Seattle to see these awesome people!!


Kait and Tim moved to Seattle last summer and are living on a BOAT! 


Here she is - the "Autumn Dawn" in Salmon Bay.

We even spent the night there on board! It was an experience :-)
We had a great time having lunch and exploring their little town of Ballard and having Kait's homemade pizza in their cozy "galley".  

The next day, we headed to Pike's market.  Rich had never been there, and it is a must see place if you're in Seattle.


You kind of have to start the morning with coffee at the original Starbucks right outside the market, and a delicious coffee cinnamon roll at Piroshky Piroshky.  Just follow your nose to the cinnamon smell, you can't miss it.


We later hit breakfas
t in the market at Lowell's -- if you want a yummy breakfast with a great view this is your place.  We had a delicious leisurely breakfast of eggs and potatoes.


In the afternoon, we took the 35 minute ferry ride to Bainbridge Island.  The ferry is enormous and holds at least 50 cars!  There is both outdoor and indoor seating, both with great views.  It's such a fun experience.


The view looking back at Seattle from the ferry.


My love on Bainbridge shore.


  We drove around the island and then happen to find (read: happened to YELP) some really yummy ice cream at Mora.  Cinnamon ice cream with pear sorbet - pretty incredible!

Later, back in the city, we had to stop at the iconic Seattle chowder spot, Pike Place Chowder for an early dinner before Rich flew home.  They have 8 different chowders!



We shared the "sampler" which is four 6 oz chowders of your choice.  Only $13.95 - perfect for two and SO perfect in the cold weather.

Poor Rich had to get back to the "real world" but my adventure wasn't quite over.  I dropped him off at Sea-Tac and headed about 1 1/2 hours north to my bestie's house.


Carol, my dearest friend, lives in Sultan with her wonderful, large family.  These days only six of her eight children live at  home, but it's still a full household.   She and her son Matthew thought it would be funny to hack my phone,  and I think it's funny that I can post this on my blog :-)


The next day, I got to accompany her on her bi-monthly shopping spree!   She lives kind of far out of the city, so she treks out only once every two weeks for major shopping, gathering her food and household needs.  She usually takes one of her older children to help, but since I was there I got to step in. :-)  It was really so much fun to hang out all day, just us two.  We hit 4 or 5 stores, stopped at a latte stand, may have polished off a box of Trader Joe's macarons in the car, and even squeezed in a delicious lunch at a cozy place.  Lots and lots of chatting about everything -- she is my closest confidante and one I admire and love so much.  We email and text frequently but it's just so great to have face time.


Other than our big outing day, it was a low key stay.  We enjoyed a walk through her neighborhood with her three sweet little girls.



I love her daughter Hannah as if she were my own!  I wish all young ladies were as mature, sweet, and so easy to talk to/hang with.  Not only is she super cute, but the girl has some mean homemaking skills, too (I could learn a thing or two from her, not kidding).


Movie selfie on my last night. 
Auntie K was sad to leave this sweet family that I love so much!


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1 comment:

Carol B. said...

All I can say is that it's pretty special when you have a friend who is willing to just "do life" with you. My ordinary Trader Joe's/Costco run was super special having you along. I cherish my time with you.

Also - we LOVE Mora ice cream. And those chowders look a-mazing.
If we find ourselves on Bainbridge Island, we'll check that out, for sure.

Miss you bunches!
XO from WA