A full year ago The Happy Wonderer visited the Sequim Washington area Lavender Festival, all by herself, and took such pictures of the event that I just HAD to go see it all for myself.
I left a comment asking if it would be possible to go to the festival with her the next year.
She said yes...and since that bit of correspondence we have gotten to know each other a bit via blog and facebook.
By going to the link above, you can even see the initial request and acceptance from Ellen in the post's comments.
(Ellen...how did we miss sharing a lavender G&T that we had discussed back then?)
Oh since that post Ellen has also participated in writing a cookbook...so now I had two reasons to go for a vist:
1. To see the lavender fields
2. To get my copy of the cookbook signed by the author.
In the end, I got so much more out of the trip than just those two items!
Let me begin sharing my grand adventure.
The flight from SLC to Seattle was a mere hour and 20 minutes. There wasn't much to see out the window until the pilot pointed out the signature Washington area mountain looming above the clouds.
Lucky me to see it!
After a brief bit of airport level confusion involving elevators that label the floors with name that left me guessing where I was, and several cell phone consultations with my hostess, I managed to make it to curb side and into Ellen's car.
She whisked us straight away towards Pike's Place Market, where the tickets to the lavender festival would be acquired. While she hunted a parking place, I gawked at the downtown buildings and scenes.
I of course had read about Pike's Place Market Place in several of the Debbie Macomber romance novels, which are set in the Washington State area and typically the hero and his lady manage to go to wander about the place at one point of each storyline.
(Maybe that was why I found myself missing my own hero while enjoying the scenes of Pike's Place Market!)
The flower stalls got my full attention...and multiple shots were taken as we strolled past the fragrant booths.
Outside it was cloudy and just a bit of rain was falling now and then. I marveled at the sunflowers blooming on the roof line across the way.
How did they manage to bloom before my own sunflowers did at home?
(Don't tell me... I like being mystified.)
The booth selling the tickets was located and our "passport" to Lavender Country was secured.
Even though this was a Thursday afternoon, the place was packed. Ellen assured me this was how it always was. No wonder; there was such visually appealing things all about, fragrances to be savored, and good food items to tempt the palate.
The Northwest's famous salmon...and Bernie and I absolutely LOVE fresh salmon for grilling.
I wondered if perhaps I could fly home clutching several fresh salmons in my lap.
Does Homeland Security and the FCC have any rules about doing such a thing?
My hostess Ellen with the blogger's favorite wardrobe bling (a camera), and a life size pig sculpture that is actually a piggy bank for collecting coins for charity.
I did get to see fish thrown at one point but was not in position for a good shot.
Boy did ALL that seafood look good!
An old doughnut making machine kept cranking out mini doughnuts into an artful tiered tray.
Strings of peppers and garlic and a few fresh flowers too: Food for the eye, food for the belly both.
Seeing as how Ellen is of Russian heritage, I couldn't pass up the chance to visit this shop and get her culturally attuned take on their offerings for lunch.
Choosing was not easy...everything looked great!
A simple cabinet was painted Russian Folk Art style and added a blast of color to the simple shop.
The address of the original Pikes Place Starbucks shop.
Oh Starbucks...how we thank God for thee and thy blessings each morning!
It had that delightful Starbucks smell too.
Why can't they make that scent into a room spray?
I'd buy it....it would have to be cheaper than just making coffee all day long just to keep that fresh coffee smell going.
A specialty grocery store had this drink...I got one to go with my Russian savory treat.
It was OK. Glad I tried it...would probably only use it as a mixer in the future though.
The Pacific Northwest hanging baskets: Are they not just the best?
The year the Space Needle opened, my next door neighbors took their daughter along on their trip to the Exposition. She must have been only four or five, and I was but five or six.
I was so jealous when she told me about the slowly turning restaurant atop the "needle".
Ellen offered me the opportunity to go up in the Needle, but I took a pass due to the weather and time constraints.
Seattle sure has a great signature skyline due to the presence of that interesting structure.
(And as we always jokingly say: What an amazing view of whatever...but it would be even better if the view included me!)
Sometimes I wondered if I would see anything of which I didn't want to take a picture.
Ellen noodled us around the Queen Anne's District and we stopped at Parson's Park/Garden for a look-see.
Prior to seeing this tree in full bloom, I was under the impression that dogwood was a southern thing.
There were flowers everywhere...
Ellen hadn't noticed the old cemetery in the area and we decided to pay it a visit.
Even in a cemetery I found something that made me laugh: A head stone inscribed with just "Brother".
Was that his name? Or was his name too long to chisel out on a single stone?
Perhaps no one could remember what his name was for some reason?
Note to my children Laura and Jeff:
And I realize that Mom has even less letters than Jill, and therefore would be even less of an expense to have carved, but fercryingoutloud....
Over a hundred years later...it is still a very sad thing to see.
The other side had the parent's names. They each lived well into the 1930's. I wonder how often they visited this grave over the course of their lifetimes.
There is just something about a cemetery on a misty fall day.
Even if the day just happens to be in the middle of July.
Can the scattering of fallen leaves be arranged to happen daily at this place?
After the cemetery naturally we headed straight for Troll Ave.
It seemed proper and fitting somehow...
Ellen apparently has gotten quite chummy with the Troll that lives under the bridge around there.
(Wish my city had a troll like that!)
Eventually Ellen wound through the hills and forests and drove us to her lovely home, showed me my quarters for the weekend (love, love, LOVE that color palate!), I met her husband "Dear" and her daughter Katie.
Since I had been up since 5 am for my flight out, and would be getting a 5:30 am wake up the following morning for our Lavender Festival adventures, an early dinner at a local restaurant was enjoyed and we retired shortly thereafter to get a good night sleep to ready us for the next day.
To be continued....
To be continued....