Washington

5 Years

It’s our 5 year wedding anniversary! Woohoo! It’s hard to believe it’s only been 5 years, because in some ways it feels like a lot longer. We’ve had a baby, sold a house, bought a house, moved…lots of big life changes in those 5 years.

Usually for our anniversary we try and go out of town overnight or for the weekend and have my parents babysit Logan to give us a little time away. Because of all the uncertainty with selling our house, we didn’t this year. Which is fine. We have a few vacations planned in a few months, so we can officially celebrate then! But for now, we just did a day trip.

Michael’s mom and stepdad babysat Logan for the day on Saturday. We had breakfast and then headed north to go for a hike, just the two of us.

We did the Whipple Creek Hike. It was a little north of Vancouver, Wa and mainly used for horseback riders, I guess. But it was a very kid-friendly place and we saw some families and we also saw some trail runners.

It’s pretty easy and flat, not much elevation gain. So it’s a good hike to do if you want to just do miles but not elevation (or if you have knee issues).

There are a lot of different trails you can take and none of them are super long, so you can a lot of them if you want.

We saw some horseback riders and saw the stables where there were a lot of horses.

We got to say hi to this beauty!

Even though it was pretty flat and easy and my heart rate never really got over 115, I burned a decent amount of calories! It was a nice little hike. We’d do it again and take Logan with us.

After our hike, we drove to downtown Vancouver and had lunch at Amaro’s Table. Highly recommend! Excellent food!

I had a glass of bubbly to celebrate. There were so many good things on the menu to choose from! I ended up getting the antipasto platter. It was an appetizer but plenty of food for lunch and about 85% on my diet. 😉 Not that that was a concern for the day.

Amazing brussels sprouts. Cheese, salami, carrots, chilled zucchini salad and some bread.

Michael got the chicken fried sandwich with homemade chips. The sandwich a zesty sauce and coleslaw. I had a bite. It was very good!

We shared an appetizer of ahi tuna rolls. Also very good! I’ve missed sushi. I would definitely go back to this restaurant. Everything was delicious and reasonably priced.

After lunch we walked around the waterfront of Vancouver.

It was a little bit of a gray day but thankfully it didn’t rain until we got home. The waterfront was super nice! Very clean, walkable, free parking (on weekends), lots of restaurants. It was cool and I’d like to go back and check out one of the waterfront restaurants.

We saw that Maryhill Winery had a tasting room on the waterfront and popped in to share a quick tasting and buy a bottle. I like Maryhill but it’s hard to get out to (it’s about 2+ hours from Portland).

We walked around some more and eventually it was time to head back home and to reality. Lunch was pretty big and filling so dinner was just munchies (leftovers from lunch and some fruit).

It was a really nice day! I’d like to go back to downtown Vancouver and check out some of the other stores and restaurants.

On The Lake

I had the pleasure of a girl’s weekend with my bestie, Rachel! Last year we rented an Airbnb on the water in Shelton (very remote, very peaceful). This year we rented a place on Lake Steilacoom in Lakewood, Washington. It’s between Olympia and Tacoma. I’ve honestly never been–I’ve just seen signs off the freeway. 😉

The place we rented was the basement apartment of a house right on the lake.

I arrived a little before Rachel on Friday afternoon and after unpacking, I sat outside in the sun and read my book next to the lake. It was peaceful and quiet and beautiful.

When Rachel arrived we got some food at the nearby Trader Joe’s and then cooked dinner while catching up. We made goat cheese ravioli topped with Autumn Pumpkin Alfredo sauce–sounds a bit weird but it was tasty! Not too overpowering in either direction.

We drank wine, we talked late into the night, we ate the homemade popcorn the owners gave us and then went in the hot tub. It was a really nice, relaxing evening!

Saturday we both slept in (amazing!) had breakfast and lots of coffee:

And then I went for a run. The place we rented was right on the water and the neighborhood was very nice, but the streets were narrow and windy and not safe to run on. I asked the owner if there was any where I could go and she recommended Fort Steilacoom Park.

Apparently it’s a nice place for all kinds of activities and when I showed up there were tons of people doing stuff. There was some kind of event going on, then there was a soccer tournament and there was a huge dog park area, which looked cool.

There were a bunch of trails. I ran on the gravel/dirt trails a bit until I found the paved path:

It was a beautiful fall day, slightly crisp but not too cold. The sun was out, the leaves were turning. The paved path went around the lake and it was flat and clean and very nice. There were lots of other walkers, runners and bikers. It kind of reminded me of Greenlake in Seattle.

 

It was a nice run. I felt pretty good. I wasn’t in a rush, either, just enjoyed the scenery. Rachel was going to the store to get a few things and she said no rush, so I looked around a bit and found a cool old ruin:

I did a little more running and then headed back to the car. I did just under 3 miles and felt great!

I stretched and then drove back to the house (about a mile or so away), showered and then we kicked back with Pandora tunes and played board games a bit. Then Trader Joe’s honey goat cheese on crackers and some soup for lunch. We played a few rounds of Ticket to Ride.

Then chick flicks on Netflix! We decided to order takeout for dinner and picked up Italian food at Casa Mia. It was pretty close to where we were staying, so that was nice. Rachel got the mushroom risotto and I got spaghetti noodles with pesto and Caesar Salad. The portions were pretty big so we had lots of leftovers. It was a weekend full of carbs!

Then more hot tub time:

And bed. Sunday I hit the gym and then drove home to Portland. It was a fantastic weekend! I really needed the girl time and time to catch up with Rachel (and time to relax and do NOTHING) but I was feeling a little homesick. I missed my boys! I got home just in time for Logan to wake up from his nap!

It felt good to be home. 🙂