Tuesday, March 7, 2017

National Pancake Day - March 7, 2017

(from the What - you don't have your pancakes yet? department)

Hi everyone,

We went to IHOP tonight to celebrate National Pancake Day. We've been doing this off and on since Rose was 2 years old - now she's 9! You can see some of the previous visits here: National Pancake Day

We went to the Seattle Capitol Hill IHOP around 5:30 PM.  There were a lot of folks milling about outside, but the crowd inside wasn't too bad.  It's a popular event - especially among students - but the line moved quickly, and we were seated fairly promptly.

Dana and Rose began looking over the menu:




While they were discussing, our complimentary short pancake stack arrived:


I was excited - even though my selfie doesn't really show it!:


So was Rose:




Once again we had a great time!  We even donated a little bit to their charity - Children's Miracle Network - as well!

You can read all about it here: IHOP National Pancake Day - March 7, 2017

Cheers,
Paul

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Anniversary Trip To Orcas & San Juan Islands - February 19 - 21, 2017

(from the It's Always Better In The San Juans department)

Hi everyone,

This President's Day weekend was our wedding anniversary. We decided to celebrate by taking a quick trip to the San Juan Islands. Rose was beyond excited - and bounced around the house just thinking about it.

We left for Anacortes at 11:00 AM on Sunday, Feb 19, to catch the 1:50 ferry. We made great time and arrived in plenty of time for our ferry reservation. (Yes - you have to reserve your Washington State Ferry now.)

There was quite a weather system developing, and for one of the first times I can remember, the ferry boat was noticeably rocking in the ocean swells. It wasn't too bad - but it was a little unnerving considering how smooth ferry rides normally are.

(Dana pic!)

Our first stop was Orcas Island, and the Outlook Inn in the community of Eastsound. (There's no official cities on Orcas - only communities.)

Our room was amazing:


and so was the view:


There was even a nice treat in our room, courtesy of the Outlook Inn:


That night, we taught Rose how to shoot pool in the local tavern.  We're so proud!

(Dana pic!)

The next morning, we decide to explore the west side of Orcas - we'd seen a lot of the east side on our last trip. We started near Westsound and a small marina near the Orcas Island Yacht Club:



(By the way - these panorama photos I'm posting were auto-generated by Google Photos on my new Android phone. Basically, if you take a series of photos in a short time period, the album software creates them for you. I've really liked the results so far!)

We explored around a bit - and saw this:

(Dana pic!)

We continued on to Deer Harbor:









One of the interesting things about the San Juan Islands is the history. There's a lot of old wooden structures on these islands that you don't find elsewhere. The theory I heard is, since the islands were isolated by the Puget Sound, they weren't ravaged by the forest fires that periodically sweep the mainland. Makes sense to me.

We saw one of these buildings in Doe Bay - the Post Office:





Attached to the side of the Post Office was a tiny, hand-carved book library:

(Dana pic!)



(Dana pic!)

It's a replica of this building - the Deer Harbor Community Club, built in 1905:


(Dana pic!)

Across the street from the Post Office, they were restoring another old building:


We traveled around the west side of Orcas for a while, then headed back to dinner at the Outlook at the New Leaf Cafe:




Then - I noticed the plaque inside the doorway:


Yup - history!

The next morning, we bid a sad farewell to our hotel room (and the in-room Jacuzzi!), and caught the inter-island ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. (Friday Harbor is the only incorporated city in San Juan Island county.)

We were on a mission. We wanted breakfast/lunch at Ernie's Cafe.

Ernie's Cafe is something only the locals know about. You'd never causally find it - it's hidden in the Friday Harbor airport, and not easily visible from the road. Named after the famed aviation author, and San Juan resident Ernest K. Gann (The Aviator, Band Of Brothers), it's the kind of place where you can walk in after after a couple of years away, and the owners recognize you and say "Hello". (True story)






We managed to get one of the amazing homemade pop-overs. They bake only 12 per day - if you want to buy more than two, you have to call the day before! (And I think it has to be before 11:00 AM!)

Suitably recharged, we headed over to Roche Harbor to get freshly made donuts (yum!) at the Lime Kiln Cafe and look at the boats:




(Dana pic!)

We finished up the day in Friday Harbor:




(Dana pic!)

and had a non-eventful ferry ride home. We actually even manged to finish one of the infamous ferry boat puzzles. (And - yes - we know about the missing pieces. There was a warning on the lid.)


All in all - a perfect way to celebrate!

Cheers,
Paul