Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

lake swimming

This summer, I eagerly anticipated Lake Swimming. One of my favorite summer activities, Washington DC was seriously devoid of swimmable lakes.

On Labor Day weekend, I got to swim in this beauty. Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho. Sure it's so big and deep that large yachts and sailboats can navigate it. And therefore it's so cold that when you jump in it knocks the wind out of you and leaves you gasping for breath and thrashing for shore.

But once the numbness sets in, it's really quite pleasant. And a great spot for a reintroduction to summertime lake swimming in the Pacific Northwest.

Farragut State Park Swimming Area

Friday, October 14, 2011

wallace island, british columbia

One of my most favorite spots in the Gulf Islands is a provincial marine park called Wallace Island. This year, we stayed at Wallace Island two beautiful nights.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

vacation statistics

1 overboard hat rescue

Several seagulls spotted swallowing sea stars whole.

1 mountain climbed.

2 kayaks paddled.

Many seals spotted sunning.

1 lighthouse visited.

At least 2 lovely sunsets.

1 pod of Orca sighted 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

my summer vacation

Saltspring Island was just one stop on our summer vacation itinerary. For a week, my husband and parents and I hopscotched from island to island in the San Juans of Washington State and the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada.  It was both a nostalgic trip for me, as this is how I spent almost all my summers growing up, but also a new experience to get to share some of my favorite places with my husband.

Night One: The view of Mt. Baker from our mooring buoy at Cypress Island

Night Two: Sunset on the daisy-chain at Stuart Island

Night Three: At a buoy at Beaumont Provincial Park, South Pender Island, Canada

Night Four: Stern tied at Wallace Island

Night Five: Still stern tied at Wallace Island

Night Six: Our only night at a marina, Ganges, Saltspring Island

Night Seven: Our first night back in the US and our last night on vacation. At anchor near English Camp, San Juan Island. 


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

saltspring island: the saturday market

The Saturday Market on Saltspring Island is LEGENDARY as far as markets go. I won't sully it with words but let these photos do the talking. Check out this Farmer's Market Eye Candy. Hopefully this will be enough to get you through the winter of no. farmers. markets.

Monday, October 10, 2011

saltspring island: the food

You'd think I hadn't eaten in a week with the way I ate everything in sight on Saltspring Island. But with pretty much everything grown on the island, it takes local living to a whole, new delicious level. For our first shore-side meal in a week, we had lunch at Tree House Cafe, right in the center of the shopping area of town. If you ever find yourself on this tiny island in British Columbia, you MUST eat here.

We sat outside and enjoyed frosty BC-based beverages.

I had, hands-down the best quesadilla I have ever ingested. Cheese and tortilla, are standard for a quesadilla of course, but with the addition of roasted yams and toasted pumpkin seeds and a gorgeous fresh salad it became a truly special meal.

Later, we found ourselves too full from lunch. So we made a local cheese-and-cracker snack for dinner.

Complete with a family tradition, Nanaimo Bars (since the Nanaimo namesake is just north of Saltspring).

On Market day, B bought this succulent fig for $1. I abstained, since figs make my face itch, but I snapped this photo from a safe distance.

 Before cruising away from Saltspring in the late morning, we stocked up on pastries.

The man in the suspenders...and no relation.

The next day we were back in US waters but I made homemade scones, with strawberry jam and fresh scrambled eggs from Saltspring Island.

Now those are some free range healthy eggs!