Puget Sound

Tolmie State Park

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I haven't had a chance to get out hiking much this year, but I was able to end last year, and start this one, with two hikes! When my best friend was in town we drove down to Olympia to hike Tolmie State Park. Besides the fact that it was really muddy, it was a very simple walk through the woods, but beautiful nonetheless. Another local hike/walk I've been meaning to do is the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. It's been a while since I've been out and I can't wait to get out again!

What's been your favorite hike so far this year?

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Guillemot Cove and the Stump House

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On The Outbound Collective website, I found a trail with a stump house at the Guillemot Cove Nature Preserve. A friend an I drove out there on what happened to be a sunny day to see the stump and the beautiful view of the Olympics. It's out near the town of Seabeck and situated on the water. It's an easy trail but there were a few tight squeezes between trees. There was a family with a stroller in front of us and they ended up carrying the stroller because it couldn't get down the trail. Also, when we went, it was incredibly wet. I wore my waterproof L.L. Bean Thinsulate boots which worked fine. I wouldn't have been comfortable in anything that wasn't waterproof; there were parts that were impassable without going through water.

But we made it to the stump house and it was so cool! Parts of the roof are made with newer wood, I had thought it would be all old, but either it's a new stump house, or it's been upkept with newer materials.

Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove

And I'd hoped to see the Olympics from the beach, but the clouds covered all but one or two peaks. While disappointing, the sun was still out for us and we had fun walking around the beach. I'd love to go back out some clear, sunny day and see the view then.

Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove
Northwest Pearls: Guillemot Cove

Do you have any unique local adventures to recommend?

Anderson Island

Northwest Pearls: Anderson Island
Northwest Pearls: Anderson Island

A couple of weeks ago my family and I went out to Anderson Island to visit some cousins. We took the ferry from Steilacoom, Washington. It was a great day for the beach. We had a barbecue, played in the sand, and rowed the rowboat around. It was a nice stay-cation. I haven't spend much time on Anderson; most of my time has been spent on Vashon, but Anderson is a nice island too! However, the ferry schedule to Anderson is a little less convenient.

Northwest Pearls: Anderson Island
Northwest Pearls: Anderson Island

-The view from the ferry, looking back to Steilacoom

Northwest Pearls: Anderson Island
Northwest Pearls: Anderson Island

Do you have any staycation ideas?

Narrows Park and The Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Northwest Pearls: Narrows Park and the Narrows Bridge My friends and I ventured to Gig Harbor, WA for the day. We had lunch at Domo Sushi before we went to the Narrows Park. We walked along the beach until we found a place to sit down. After hanging out for a while we noticed that the tide had come in and we rushed back to the car before we ran out of dry land to walk on.

Northwest Pearls: Narrows Park and the Narrows Bridge

Northwest Pearls: Narrows Park and the Narrows Bridge

Northwest Pearls: Narrows Park and the Narrows Bridge

Northwest Pearls: Narrows Park and the Narrows Bridge

Northwest Pearls: Narrows Park and the Narrows Bridge

Northwest Pearls: The Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Northwest Pearls: The Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Northwest Pearls: The Tacoma Narrows Bridge

It was a fun day with some of my best friends. Gig Harbor is a beautiful place and I love the south Puget Sound. Have you ever ventured out there?

Dress: Old

Hat: Target

Shoes: Nordstrom

Watch: Nordstrom (Old) Similar here and here

U-Cut Lavender at Lavender Hill Farm

Northwest Pearls: Lavender Farm I love the smell of lavender and this week I got to go out to a lavender farm and cut my own. I've cut lavender before, but it's always been the lavender from my house or the house of a friend or family member. This was my first time at a farm.

Northwest Pearls: Lavender Farm

Northwest Pearls: Lavender Farm

We went to Lavender Hill Farm on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound. There are 20 kinds of lavender at the farm, but because we went towards the end of the season, most of the lavender has already bloomed and been cut.

Northwest Pearls: Lavender Farm

This didn't bother us though and we walked down the hill to some of the lavender and began to cut. The bees were everywhere but they didn't seem to mind us.

Northwest Pearls: Lavender Farm

Northwest Pearls: Lavender Farm

A bunch of lavender is the amount you can fit between your thumb and index finger when you touch them together. And a bunch of lavender was $5.

Northwest Pearls: Lavender Farm

We didn't see the secret garden, but we did go in the farm store and look at what they were selling.

It was a very cute place and I had fun going with my friends. Have you ever been to a u-cut lavender farm?

Vashon Island: Stairs to the Sea

Northwest Pearls: Stairs to the Sea Northwest Pearls: Stairs to the Sea

I ventured down to Vashon Island again to go to Minglement for some loose leaf tea and to ZuZu’s Ice Cream (located in the same location as Minglement) for some ice cream. I decided to get the Mayan Chocolate ice cream and it was probably the best chocolate ice cream I've had in my life.

It was made with coconut milk and had cinnamon and what I believe he said was cardamom.

After that heavenly treat, we went to Thriftway for some coconut chicken curry soup. We get it most times we go to Vashon and this time we took it and went to a public pier to eat it. We sat at a picnic table and when we were about to leave, noticed the stairway going into the water. So with a few minutes to spare before we had to catch our ferry, we took some pictures.

Northwest Pearls: Stairs to the Sea

Northwest Pearls: Stairs to the Sea

Photo by M.R.

Northwest Pearls: Stairs to the Sea

Photo by M.R.

There are a lot of fun things to do on Vashon. Have you ever been out to the island? What have you thought?

Sunglasses: Target (old)

Jacket: Loft

Jeans: Loft (old)

Shoes: Nordstrom: Sperry

Watch: Nordstrom: Anne Klein (old) Similar here and here

Exploring Seattle: Bell Street Pier

Yesterday was such a nice day that I had to go exploring so I went a few blocks north of Pike Place Market. It gets considerably less crowded just a few blocks away. Just off of Elliot Ave. I saw an uncrowded viewing area. I wandered out onto Bell Street Pier or Pier 66 and loved the view.

View of Seattle skyscrapers from Bell Street Pier

View of Olympic Mountains from Bell Street Pier

You could even (just barely) see the Space Needle from out there!

View of Space Needle from Bell Street Pier

Have you explored anywhere new lately?