Washington State: Port Ludlow

Edmonds-Kingston ferry

My Washington State weekends continued with an overnight bachelorette party for my long-time friend, Beth. I managed to take exactly zero pictures of actual people over the weekend but when you’re surrounded by this much awesome beauty who really needs people? (Kidding! Kidding!)

Not pictured: the most epic taco bar of all time, the giant hot tub at Soak on the Sound, the abandoned military complex at Fort Worden, cheese tasting at Mt Townsend Creamery, a ten-person dinner at the delicious Sweet Laurette, tall boys of Rainier, bluegrass covers of “Angel from Montgomery”, and one beautiful bride-to-be.

Stupid beautiful sunrise #1

Looking south towards Edmonds

North to Bellingham

Fort Worden State Park

Conservatory Coastal Home, Port Townsend

Port Townsend marina

Stupid beautiful sunrise #2

Perfect Puget Sound

Sunday morning ferry jamz

Washington State: Guemes or bust!

I did none of the work, got half the credit AND a cookie

Months and months ago I got a random direct message from my buddy Lauren: “I know we’ve never met but I think we would travel really well together.” Lauren and I have been internet buddies for YEARS but live on opposite ends of the country and had never met IRL. We invited our mutual buddy Beth of 3Up Adventures along to round out our wine and adventure trio. Together we hatched a plan to head north to the islands.

Taylor Shellfish, Seattle

Thursday afternoon I skirted out of the office a touch early to meet Beth and Lauren at Taylor Shellfish for oyster happy hour. Turns out everything we like about each other on the internet translates perfectly to real life. We were laughing, gossiping, and cracking sex jokes in under five minutes. Our server loved us and the nice couple trying to enjoy their oysters in peace shot us some long side eye. We scooted home to my house, dropped our stuff, and cruised over to Ballard where some Seattle-based friends of mine were doing a mini set at the Conor Byrne Pub. Most of our weekend was to be spent outside of the city so I was anxious to share a little city flavor before we busted out of town. Thanks to Tom and Mark for setting up the weekend right.

Thursday night crooners.

Friday morning, we grabbed some dim sum in the ID, picked up our rental car, and hit the road! We chatted as we cruised up I-5 SO PUMPED to be getting out of the city on an insanely gorgeous day. Lauren had snagged us a killer rental house on Airbnb that turned out to basically be a fairy wonderland. Built to spec by the owners, the house is all natural light and about bringing the outdoors in….including the giant window in the shower that allows you to admire the scenery as you wash your hair. Prepped some pizzas for dinner before setting out a leisurely wine walk (exactly what it sounds like) to enjoy the sunshine and explore our new “neighborhood”.

To the ferry!

Seaweed-y goodness

Basically magic

Happy hour

One with nature

Friday night dinner

Kitchen graffiti

Wood stove snuggles

Somehow Lauren and Beth convinced me to wake up at 5am (I thought we were on vacation?!) to climb a mountain. God bless them, they are so pretty I would follow them anywhere. Turns out they were right (the worstttt) and we did an early morning ferry two-step before landing on Orcas Island, part of the San Juan Island chain. I spent a far amount of time boating in the San Juans and Gulf Islands (their Canadian cousins) when I was a kid but I haven’t been up there in years. They are even more stunning than I remember. All weekend long Beth, Lauren, and I would exclaim at spontaneous intervals, “THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL!”. We were never wrong.

Morning ferry to Orcas

Brown Bear Baking, Eastsound, Orcas Island

The hike up Mt. Constitution was bookended by trips to Brown Bear Baking in Eastsound and the Island Hoppin’ Brewery for a post-hike flight. Both were killer and come highly recommended. While standing in line at the bakery, an older gentleman in front of us leaned over and told us “more is more”. His advice was spot on and we happily polished off a small collection of baked goods and “more is more” became the unofficial motto of the weekend.

Top of Mt. Constitution

Island Hoppin’ Brewery, Orcas Island

Our time together was magic. It’s rare to find friends that you instinctively travel well with and these two are my people. Can’t wait until we can be together again!

Orcas Village, Orcas Island

Mother’s Day Weekend

Any weekend that begins with Sleater-Kinney and ends with celebrating my wonderful mom is going to be killer. My brother rolled into town to up the magic and brought sunshine and 70 degree days with him. Thanks Mike!

The Last Word and a Rye Manhattan, Zig Zag, Seattle

Kat and I kicked off Friday with a long overdue roommate date night at Zig Zag followed by Sleater-Kinney making our teenage riot grrrl dreams come true. I’m nominally against concert photos but Carrie Brownstein stood on top of the drum stand in a leather mini skirt and everything about feminism rang strong and true in my heart.

Punk rock with Kat

Sleater-Kinney, Showbox, Seattle

We celebrated an early Mother’s Day on Saturday. Breaking all convention my brother and mom worked together to produce an absolutely delicious smoked salmon Benedict and we lazed around for a bit. Later that afternoon, Siiri and Mike’s long time friend, L, came over for an extended family happy hour on the back porch. Ugh, I know, worst Saturday ever. After a couple glasses of Mike’s kitchen sink punch the “kids” split and headed out for dinner and an evening in gorgeous, sunny Seattle.

Saturday afternoon punch

Happy hour snacks

Capitol Hill Gothic

Goobery goober pt 1

Goobery goober pt 2

❤ Mikey ❤

Lil Woody’s, Seattle

96 Hours in Austin

South Congress, Austin

What a weekend it was! I touched down in Texas Friday afternoon and was greeted by a wave of warm, muggy air that didn’t let up until Sunday. A gaggle of girlfriends from high school and beyond piled into an AirBnB rental and we prepared to marry off our own darling, K. K and C, an Austin native, asked me to officiate their ceremony in the front yard of C’s childhood home. Such an awesome community vibe. I warned them when I agreed that I wouldn’t be able to hold it together. I’m a wedding crier, what can I say? True to form, I made it about seven seconds before my voice started to break. The whole weekend was triumphant celebration of love, friendship, family, and the steadfastness of relationships over time.

Spending time in Austin is always a laid-back adventure in eating and exploring. I stayed an extra day to give myself a chance to see other Austin friends (thanks to the awesome Elissa for making it possible!) and, let’s be honest, eat more. Crammed in more tacos and one of the best banana splits I’ve ever had. Vegan or not, Sweet Ritual makes some of the best ice cream around!

Sub Pop Records, SeaTac

Stubb’s BBQ at Mean Eyed Cat, Austin

Becoming beeeeeautiful butterflies

Success!

…sort of

Welcome

K’s gorgeous tablescape

K+C=<3

Pergola hand built by C’s dad

Natty love

Texas wildflowers

Texas chic

After hours

What’s cooler than being cool?

I said, what’s cooler than being cool?

ICE COLD

[No alcohol was harmed in the making of these photos]

Clive, Austin

“Easter Brunch”, Torchy’s Tacos, Austin

Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon, Austin

The insanely packed magic of Chicken Shit Bingo, Austin

Internet buddies IRL

Sweet Ritual Banana Split, Austin

Girls Weekend

 

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International District, Seattle

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Gossip Coffee & Tea, International District, Seattle

Friday afternoon I peeled out of work early to catch the bus down to Oregon and spend the weekend with Sparky. It was a pretty fantastic 48 hours of catch-up, manicured nails, wine tasting in downtown Newberg, and a boat load of quality time with one of my besties (it’s a tier not a title). Her husband invited his best friend for the weekend which at first bummed me out, I want some quality Seth time too. But by Saturday morning I realized it’s sheer brilliance. Everyone had a bffl to hang out with so everyone got to do exactly what they wanted to do. While the boys went to some car meet-up (I have no idea, I barely paid attention) Sparky and I tried on 17 million shades of lipstick and then trotted off to get our nails did. Rounded out an A++ rainy Saturday by walking between tasting rooms and ordering a cafeteria tray full of smoked meats before snuggling up on the couch and watching Carrie and the Russian.

I’ve been giving basic a bad name, folks. The shit is FUN. Thanks a million to Sparky and Seth for being the hosts with the most forever and ever.

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Woke up like dis pt 1

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Woke up like dis pt 2

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Time to play

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Test driving MAC’s Lady Danger

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Cliff Creek Tasting Room, Newberg, OR

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Purple Cow Tasting Room, Newberg, OR

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Storrs Smokehouse, Newberg, OR

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SATC Season 6 marathon

 

The bestest of weekends

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Portland, OR

Today Kat is starting a new job. I’m particularly pleased about this news as it is a position with the university I work for so I could conceivably send her work related emails that conclude with Amy Poehler gifs. The world is truly a great place.

To mark this transition and to embrace a tiny sliver of relaxation in our own lives, we took a four day weekend. The first half was a trip to the always charming Portland, OR to attend a political conference. Saturday morning I poked Kat until she concluded her scroll through instragram so we could walk to Bijou for brunch. We talked nationalism, reformism, feminism, and imperialism all day. We got drunk in a living room in SE Portland and split a cab home. Sunday was stunning and the drive north was crisp and colorful in the way November aught to be and often isn’t in the Northwest. A giant rainstorm over Tacoma marked our return to the Puget Sound we know in our hearts. Monday and Tuesday were a blur of cooking, shopping, and cleaning all topped off with banya!

Congratulations, babe! I know you’re going to kill it!

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Bijou Cafe, Portland

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Portland Outdoor Store, Portland

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Portland, OR

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Oregon State

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V.I. Lenin, SE Portland

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Saturday Farmers’ Market, Portland State University

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Making politics happen

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Sunday morning coffee and Lena

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Trove Vintage, Seattle

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Lucca, Seattle

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Banya 5, Seattle

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Cassoulet + Jess and Rory (!!!)

Out and About: Il Corvo

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Il Corvo, Seattle

Hey, wanna go to Italy and eat lots of delicious food? Yeah, me too.  I don’t usually have dreams of pasta but when I do it’s a perfect mound of handmade noodles with a rich bolognese or a citrus-y shellfish or briny capers. Flavors that make your eyes roll back in your head and you try to figure out how fast you can walk off these carbs so you can eat more.

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Tagliarini with a toasted walnut pesto

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Corona bean salad with sage-parsley vinaigrette

Il Corvo is all of that and even better because it’s only open for lunch. You have to be part of the downtown crowd (or willing/able to take a long lunch hour) to experience the magic. And this cache allows it to maintain a certain neighborhood joint feel. There’s folks there on jury duty, city employees, law suits, and just assorted office milieu. When a perfect plate of pasta is the same price as an underwhelming sandwich, why would you go anywhere else?

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Perfect lunch date.

This is my new favorite lunch spot. It smells and tastes like Italy. I bet you’d like it too. Please though, promise me you’ll bring someone awesome? Don’t waste this lunch on some phone-it-in office lunch. Take your favorite co-worker. Woe your boss here before you ask for a promotion. Treat yourself after killing a presentation. This pasta deserves only the best vibes.

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House rules

Il Corvo is open for lunch Monday-Friday in downtown Seattle.

Out and About: Taylor Shellfish

Oysters are a religion for me. Briny, sweet creatures that deserve all the praise people foist upon them. My buddy, Kristin, is my number one partner in oyster crime. Remember when she was here last summer? And for Christmas? Yeah, we eat oysters a lot.

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Oyster origins

I’ve been meaning to try Taylor Shellfish’s new location for a while. For years, Taylor Shellfish Farms have been the name in Northwest shellfish. They run a robust wholesale business and a few retail shops in the south sound. When they opened a oyster and chowder bar in Melrose Market, I was pumped. More oysters!

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You so fresh

The space is small; only seats 30 and centers around a custom built holding tank displaying that day’s oysters, mussels, clams, and geoduck. Whole and half crabs are also available. But let’s get real. Oysters are our jam. K likes ’em small and either briny or sweet. I like mine to lean briny regardless of size. We each ordered some Kussis and Komomatos. I tried a few of the Fanny Bays and K experimented with the Olympia variety. The beer fridge pleased Kristin the Home Brewer. I settled on a delightful, reasonably priced glass of cava. Everything was perfect and wonderful. I plan to move it next week.

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So! Excited!

Taylor Shellfish is open for lunch and dinner Sunday-Thursday until 9pm, Friday and Saturday until 11pm. Can’t make it to Seattle? Check out their shellfish recipe roundup!

Welcome!

Hey new friends! If you’ve landed here from Not Intent on Arriving, thanks for popping over! Feel free to explore those menus up there. There’s lots of travel in the archive and food and tunes in the more recent posts.

If you have no idea what the above paragraph is referring to that’s ok too! My friend, Kristin, hosts a weekly writer series on her blog and was kind enough to ask me to interview. Kristin and Not Intent on Arriving are kindred spirits to my little blog; both are about finding the adventure in everyday life.

(If you’re nosy, and I know you are, you can read my interview here.)

Out and About: Aragona

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House made chip drizzled in honey, beef cheek “bikini” sandwich

My co-workers think I’m way cooler than I actually am. Which, granted, on the List of Terrible Problems isn’t high but I do feel some (weird, totally internal) pressure to sort of live up to the glory. Two sentences in and I come off looking like the world’s most vain (this song is totally about me).

Anyway, Aragona opened recently and I sweet talked Lindsay into trying it out with me. Their happy hour menu was even more extensive than we were lead to believe online (win!), the cocktail list is delicious (double win!), and everything was delicious (triple win!). Really the only downsides are the lack of view for being so close to the waterfront and the fact that tapas means you buy all the things. Cheap happy hour this is not. But who cares when you’re double-fisting meatballs and a beef cheek and goat cheese sandwich?

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Mushroom revuelto and serrano ham

Aragona is open for dinner Monday-Saturday and happy hour Monday-Friday at the south end of the Market.