Up a Creek

I spent sometime in Yakima, Washington for my 8-5 gig this week.  Outside of the 8-5 grind, I make sure to take advantage of my statewide travel by enjoying what the local area has to offer.  I had more freedom this time around since I had my own car with me- so I packed up with my favorite colleague and drove up the Yakima River Canyon.  It had been 104+ degrees all week, so we chose to go near sundown for a quick trip up to Umtanum Creek Canyon.  The parking is easy, $5 for the day, and has picnic spots right on the river. You can take in the views of the canyon and the fly fisherman trying their hand at a naturalist art. We didn’t go far since we were midweek with zero preparations for a deep hike into the sage brush. The few hours we spent were clear, warm, and colorful.

Umtanum1 Umtanum2 Umtanum3 Umtanum4 Umtanum5 Umtanum8 Umtanum7 Umtanum6

 

Rainforest

Quiet. Calm. Green. Fresh.I love the Pacific Northwest.

Here are a few shots from a recent little walk up to Marymere Falls on a warm summer evening. This is an easy hike with easy access off of Highway 101 at Crescent Lake.  Park near the ranger station and follow the trail.  You will be greeted by towering trees, moss as far as the eye can see, and that awesome hallow trail sound with every step.

RainForest2

RainForest1  Rainforest3 Rainforest4 RainForest5

Secret Gardens

I can’t seem to get out of the greens lately.  I have been fixated on greenery and plants.  I promise to branch out (pun totally intended) with my photography now that the weather is cooperating. I am cooking up some projects to keep the creativity flowing.

This week brought me to Wright Park Arboretum and the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Tacoma. I met up with a fellow photographer, Mary of Mary Jo Photography to catch up and to talk photography, business, and adventures. She was even able to take a new “about me” photo for the blog here. She’s the best- she brings life and fun to her photos- and does weddings! Check her out.

Back to the Conservatory- this place is a small hidden little gem in the center of a busy city. The glass and green seem to come out of no where.  It opened in 1908 by a local park commissioner as a gift to the city. It holds beautiful Victorian details that are covered in shades of green.  While small, it is worth the $3 admission to take it in.  I found every texture in the book and the subtle humidity and warmth was welcomed on a spring day.

Conservatory1 Conservatory3 Conservator7 Conservatory5 Conservatory8 Conservatory2 Conservatory6 Conservatory12 Conservatory4 Conservatory7 Conservatory10 Conservatory11

 

 

 

The Rain Forest

I’ve been feeling stir-crazy with all of the rain in the past few weeks.  I should know better, after all, I live in the rain forest. To remedy the crazy, the handsome and I took to the trails of Burfoot Park to get some much needed green time and a little fresh air. Our dogs were thrilled to play in the sound and splash in the mud.  We were happy to have a little sun-break and the forest all to ourselves.

Burfoot6 Burfoot4 Burfoot1 Burfoot2 Burfoot5 Burfoot3 Burfoot7

 

From Portland West to Portland East

I needed a vacation. Like get away and discover something new- relax, sleep, and unplug kind of vacation.  I found myself driving to Portland Oregon to hop a plane east to Boston, Massachusetts.

I’ve been to Boston a few times over the last few years. It is the home of the tea party, the Red Sox, Paul Revere, and of course my best friend.  Knowing that she was a worker bee during the week, I opted for adventure and took a train to Portland, Maine.

I am so glad that I did- I found the town to be charming, friendly, and diverse.

Amtrak made it almost too easy to get there via the Downeaster. On my walk into town from the train, I found the Inn at St. James which provided lovely accommodations last minute for a heck of a deal.

I wandered through town, finding little gems around town, and more specifically in Old Port including places like Motifs,  Portland Dry Goods, and Toko Indo.

I snacked at the Salt Exchange for a watermelon & feta salad, Bam Bam Bakery, for a latte and the world’s gooiest macaroon,  and indulged in many beers and an authentic Lobster Roll at Boone’s on the 2nd floor deck. Evening indulgence was furthered with a cup of chowder at  Eventide and the most decadent scoop of hazelnut chocolate gelato at the Gelato Fiasco. Needless to say, it was a food lover’s paradise.

I walked every calorie off going up and down THE hill several times back to the inn and walking the Eastern Promenade.

Even with so much time walking, I certainly didn’t take a lot of photos. I think that was the point for me- I wanted some time to just unwind. Here are the few I managed to capture.

Maine-20a Maine-11a Maine-8a Maine-1a Maine-4a Maine-17a Maine-19a Maine-16a Maine-3a Maine-13a

At the Coast

There’s this summer song that comes to mind when I get a chance to hear waves while I sit in the sunshine. It’s by The Avett Brothers– appropriately named ” At the Beach.”

I was fortunate enough to enjoy the sand, the wind, and the sunsets of Washington’s Long Beach for a few days last week.  My day-time hours were filled with a lot of day-job work, but the evenings were filled with free time and the chance to explore. I hiked around Cape Disappointment to feast my eyes on Washington’s best lighthouses (that I frankly had no idea existed.)

I splurged on delicious seafood and local brew, thanks to the sunny beach-side view of The Pickled Fish, and walked for miles up and down the sand playing with every dog that passed. I browsed and chatted at the adorable Wooden Horse gift shop and had the best roasted almonds of my life during an evening walk on the beach.  I missed most of the Kite Festivities from getting out after 5:30, but the beach by itself was just the therapy I needed.

LongBeach-2a LongBeach-3a LongBeach-7a LongBeach-6a LongBeach-4a LongBeach-1a LongBeach-9a LongBeach-13a LongBeach-15a LongBeach-19a LongBeach-11a long Beach-25a

An Afternoon in the Blueberries

At our house, we try to stay local whenever we can.

Eat Local, Shop Local, Adventure Local.

A much needed day away from work allowed for some free time on a stunning Friday afternoon, so I took to the county road and spent a few hours in the quiet, warm, rows of deliciously plump blueberries at Teddie’s Berries in Olympia, Washington (right off littlerock road).  Teddie’s offers several long rows of blueberries for the picking. The farm also is home to Black River Winery, of which I did not partake unfortunately as I was there on a mission for berries only. (not to say there won’t be another visit out someday…) Back to the berries. They are plump, sweet, and ready for eating.  This season’s rates are $1.30 per lb for U-Pick and $2.30 for prepicked berries.  It was well worth my $1 savings per pound for a few quiet hours out in the blueberry rows. Not to mention, the pure joy associated with pulling a warm berry straight off the bush to make sure that bush was sweet enough to pick…This was a perfect summer outing, and my only regret is that I didn’t bring a group to enjoy the fun (and maybe missing out on a wine tasting).

TeddiesBerries-11a TeddiesBerries-6a TeddiesBerries-2a TeddiesBerries-3a TeddiesBerries-9a TeddiesBerries-12a TeddiesBerries-5a TeddiesBerries-7a TeddiesBerries-10a TeddiesBerries-13a TeddiesBerries-8a