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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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Stockholm: Eating Crayfish the Swedish Way in the Land of the Blondes

My friend Sam, who had a Swedish girlfriend in the 90s and made several trips out there to visit her, shared his thoughts with me on this Scandinavian country that’s roughly the size of California: “It’s an interesting culture over there. It’s hard to describe. Everything is neat in its box.” I chime in: “Like […]

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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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My Focus for Spring (or Lack Thereof)

I’m buzzing around like a hummingbird these days, my mind wandering from one thought and topic to the next. As I was daydreaming during yoga, the instructor coincidentally mentioned restless energy associated with Spring which can make it hard to focus. Apparently, there’s a lot of pent up energy from the winter and something about […]

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Victoria, BC: The Locals’ Guide

Victoria BC has a population of over 300,000 people, a killer coastline, milder weather than its sister city, Vancouver and is touted as one of the most livable cities in Canada. This city located in the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island also reigns supreme as the cycling capital of Canada. That means there has to […]

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A Pioneer in Pioneer Square: Saké Nomi

Introducing an article by my sommelier buddy and monthly columnist for rollwithjen.com, Luke Wohlers. Luke has worked at top notch restaurants across the country, including stints at our very own The Herbfarm and RN74. In 2008 he was an integral part of the wine team at NYC’s Eleven Madison Park that won a James Beard Award […]

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