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Orcas Island is not in Puerto Rico

When I first moved to Seattle and people affectionately talked about the San Juan Islands, I wondered why so many Seattleites made weekend trips to a city in Puerto Rico. I’ve since learned the San Juans are located in the beautiful Evergreen State and  only a ~2 hour drive and a picturesque one hour ferry ride away. […]

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Leavenworth: Cheesy Bavarian Knockoff or Natural Wonder?

Let’s answer these questions immediately: Yes, and absolutely. Leavenworth is indeed a faux-German town with no real ties to Germany or German settlers. The rebranding of Leavenworth was the byproduct of a brilliant marketing scheme to boost Leavenworth’s depressed economy after the Great North Railroad moved its headquarters to Wenatchee. The gas station, bank and […]

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Fabriken Furillen: Luxury Lodging in a Swedish Mine

At first glance, Fabriken Furillen doesn’t strike you as a hotel. It looks more like a deserted mine than a luxury design hotel. That’s because it was a mine. As you start looking around, you quickly notice you’ve stumbled onto a luxury retreat quite unlike the standard luxury brands of a Ritz Carlton or  Four […]

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Walden, the Underground Wine Bar Located in a Pioneer Square Thai Restaurant

What happens when two trained lawyers with a background in library science and a sommelier open up a weekend wine bar pop-up in a Pioneer Square Thai restaurant? As a postcard I picked up on my international travels once read (with a rabbit eyeing a carrot), “I feel something good happen to me.” The pop-up, affectionately […]

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Montana, Home to Much More Than Just Frito Pies

I’m often lured by global vacation destinations, but my recent trip to Montana reminds me there is much to be desired within the good ol US of A. An hour flight from Seattle into the quaint airport of Kalispell (where the bathroom, rental car and baggage claim are all within 100 feet) followed by a […]

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Sound Food: Vashon Island Scores a New Dining Experience

Willows Inn at Lummi Island isn’t the only game in town when you’re looking for an island dinner adventure.  In the past 13 years as a Seattleite, I’ve visited Vashon Island a handful of times to bike around the island (40 miles, one loop), get my hands on some fish tacos at Zamorana, spend an […]

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French Beach: Beyond Victoria, BC

The easiest way to get to Victoria, BC  from Seattle is the Clipper, a three hour passenger only ferry departing from Pier 69. When I have a little extra time, I much prefer hopping on the good ol’ MV Coho from Port Angeles. I always find this car ferry more enjoyable; here are some reasons why: […]

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Razor Clamming 101

I have friends who have gone razor clam digging, even bringing along their kids and their dogs, so it can’t be too difficult, right? I’ve seen pictures of people strewn on the beach searching for shellfish with the same intensity as panning for gold so I figure it’s gotta be rewarding. So when I recently […]

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Exploring Japan: Bunnies, Falcons, Hot Springs, and Tsunami Aftermath

Yasuhiko Konno, owner of the 200 year old Suisen sake brewery, has always paid close attention to the water near his home and brewery in the Iwate prefecture of Northeast Japan. Water quality is one of the critical inputs to high quality sake, and Mr. Konno has spent most of his life honing his brewing […]

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Fremont “Upstairs” Has Arrived

When do you know a neighborhood has “made” it? I polled a few people and the answers vary: ” When it’s got a bar, convenience store, and a greasy diner all within a few hundred yards. ” “When all the lawns look nice and people don’t litter them with Miller beer cans.” “When parking becomes […]

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