travel

REI Dividend and Coupon

You have no idea how long I've been waiting for the REI Dividend to come out with the coupon. Seriously. Since November. I had a coupon and didn't buy what I wanted then and have regretted it since. But today I an ordering my new Lowa Renegade hiking boots! If only the coupon was 20% off the whole order and not just one item. There are a few other things I'm dying to get, but won't for right now.

I do love my Osprey Sirrus 24 Pack, and once on a winter hike wanted a slightly larger one. (I had a lot of extra clothes with me.) I could use the other coupon that's for sale items only on the Osprey Sirrus 36 Pack or the Osprey Sirrus 50 Pack, but as I don't NEED a larger one, I probably won't get it now. If I was consistently wanting a larger one, I'd do it, but the 24 is a great size for what I usually do.

The other items I'm debating between, that I would totally buy one of now if I had just one more coupon, are the REI Co-op Traverse Power Lock Cork Women's Trekking Poles and the Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles. I want to try them in person because based off of the information online, I'm leaning towards the Black Diamond ones. They are supposed to have an optimal grip position. The REI Co-op ones though are supposed to be ergonomic. So once I go to REI to check them both out in person, I'll have a pair picked out.

Sadly nothing on my wish list right now is on sale at REI, but my amazing Arc'teryx  Beta Lt Hybrid jacket is. So if you want a great rain jacket, you could use your coupon there! The only thing I don't love about it is the pocket placement. They're placed great if I have a hiking pack on. Not great if I'm wearing it to run errands.

What are you going to get with your REI coupon?

Weekend Trip to Lake Wenatchee Part Two

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Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee

After we went snowshoeing, which if you want to read about is available at the Lake Wenatchee Part One blog post, we spent a few hours down in Leavenworth, Washington. My favorite thing to do there is to get a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Caramel Apple. I got it and some other candies, and we probably stopped in every single store downtown. There was an outdoors store that sold some Woolrich pants one of my friends got, an art gallery that sold metal wall art of the mountains and trees, a bookstore, and so so much more. Leavenworth is a pretty little town but it's my favorite when there's snow on the ground. We happened to go the same weekend as their ice festival so there were lots of other people in town watching the ice carvings and various contests and races.

Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee and Leavenworth
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee and Leavenworth

After our time in Leavenworth we went back to the cabin and cooked burgers. We got up early the next morning to head home and made a couple of stops along the way. We had second breakfast at the Cascadia Inn in Skykomish and then made another stop on the side of Stevens Pass Highway to look at some massive icicles hanging from the cliff on the other side of the river.

Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee

My L.L. Bean Thinsulate boots worked for this little stop fairly well. I fell through the ice once or twice but the water below was only a few inches deep so my feet stayed dry. I am planning on getting waterproof hiking boots in the next week or two though, when the coupons from REI come out with the REI member dividend.

Do you have any favorite places to stop or explore in the Cascade Mountains near Steven's Pass?

Weekend Trip to Lake Wenatchee Part One

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Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee

Some friends of ours have a cabin up on Lake Wenatchee and we had the opportunity to stay there one weekend in January.

On our way up we stopped for dinner at Benjarong Thai Restaurant in Monroe, WA. It was so yummy! If you like Thai, you should check it out.

We got up to the cabin late Friday, started a fire to keep us warm, and just chilled. After waking up early the next morning, we got ready and went snowshoeing. I definitely need better gloves for next time I'm out in such cold weather. My fingers were freezing the whole time. The rest of me was fine though at least.

Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee

FYI This was the adventure that I realized I needed a Merino Wool Buff and not an annoying scarf with ends that wouldn't stay out of my way. Here's another Merino Wool Buff option. I got the first because it's on sale.

Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee

Before and after snowshoeing we drove around a little bit too and explored the area around the lake. I'd love to have a small cabin up in the mountains for adventures like this. It's so beautiful.

Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee
Northwest Pearls: Lake Wenatchee

After snowshoeing and driving around we went back to the cabin to warm up and change to go to Leavenworth which I'll talk more about in Part Two of this blog post.

Where's your favorite place in the Cascade Mountains?

Looking Back at 2016

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I hope you're having a good start to your 2017! Here are a few of my favorite posts and pictures from 2017; I know it's a little late, but I've been insanely busy getting a new job and moving to a new city. It's been fun, but exhausting. Otter Falls:

Northwest Pearls: Otter Falls
Northwest Pearls: Otter Falls
Northwest Pearls: Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls
Northwest Pearls: Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls
Northwest Pearls: Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls
Northwest Pearls: Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls
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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?

Afternoon Tea in Victoria

Northwest Pearls: Afternoon Tea This past weekend my best friend and I took a trip up to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. We rode the Coho ferry over from Port Angeles, and arrived late Friday night.

I'd wanted to go to The Empress Hotel for afternoon tea, but they had no room for a reservation. While they'd suggested I call back to try again, I decided to go somewhere else for tea. We went to The Gatsby Mansion instead. The price was half that of the Empress and when I looked at the menu online, their menu looked a little more up our alley.

I ordered the West Coast Tea menu, and substituted the shrimp salad on a mini croissant for the genoa salami on the Signature Afternoon Tea menu. My favorite tea is black tea so I also ordered TWG's 1837 black tea which you can order online, so I may be doing that soon!

Northwest Pearls: Afternoon Tea

Northwest Pearls: Afternoon Tea

Northwest Pearls: Afternoon Tea

We sat outside on the porch overlooking the garden and the harbor. It was a lot of fun and something I'd recommend doing.

Is there anything you'd recommend doing in Victoria?

Huckleberry Pie at Priest Lake

Northwest Pearls: Huckleberry PieI've always loved huckleberries. We've always had bushes of them growing in our yard or neighborhood so it blew my mind when my best friend thought that they were something "from Dr. Seuss." Then I had two other friends think that they were just a flavor. They didn't realize they were a real thing. That being said, I love huckleberry flavored things. Ice cream especially. We bought huckleberry ice cream at Priest Lake and it was amazing. And while at that store, we picked up a huckleberry pie for later. It was pretty good. And so pretty. I can't imagine how many huckleberries it took to make this though.

I'd for sure go get ice cream there again and probably the pie too!

What's one of your favorite flavors?

Open When...

Northwest Pearls: Letters One of my closest friends left on a trip for six weeks and I knew I was going to miss him.

I wrote him a few letters for him to open when he's gone. One letter was to be opened soon after he left, another on his birthday which he'll be spending away from friends and family, another for if he's homesick, and the last one for when his time there is halfway over.

I also included some pictures of fun things we've done so if he gets homesick, he can look at those.

Do you have any ideas of things to give someone before they travel for a long period of time?

A Walk at the Beach

There's not much better than a sunny day at the beach. We took the dog for a walk at Three Arch Bay in Laguna Beach, CA. It's such an amazing beach. I love going there. Most of the pictures I took that day there didn't turn out very well. But I'll post some more pictures from other days soon! Northwest Pearls: A Walk at the Beach