DSW/Nordstrom Rack Roundup


Oh happy day! Nordstrom Rack opened at Cascade Station. There’s already a DSW, Target, Ross, and Dress Barn. What more could a girl ask for?! I went to DSW to return some boots, and I was pretty determined not to buy anything to take home, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t do a little window shopping. There were several items I would have loved to buy, and some definite misses as well, but it was fun to see what’s out there.

We’ll start at DSW.

Hallelujah! Prince boots are back and looking fine!

I’m not sure I would wear these, as they don’t really fit my personal style, but I will be glad to see other rock this look. In my opinion, Prince elevated both music and fashion to an art form. Here are the links, from left to right:

Similar: Shein Vintage Inspired Patterned Ankle Booties

Exact: Unisa Cayzea Bootie

Similar: Steve Madden Women’s Lombard Bootie

I’m pretty dedicated to not acquiring new clothes anymore. As I mentioned in this post, How I Used Capsule Wardrobes to Organize My Closet, I have put away quite a few boxes of clothes I’m not wearing right now. My plan is to cycle those clothes into my capsules as I get tired of wearing something in my current capsule, or outwear, outgrow, or otherwise damage an existing item. Nonetheless, there is my love of all things leopard.

I have a large collection of leopard print items. You can see them all in a future post (except the bra – a girl’s got to have some secrets). So even though I have a lot of clothes, and specifically a lot of leopard print, I’m still looking for the perfect pair of leopard print flats. I’m extremely picky about shoes, which is lucky for me (and Vini), because it means I haven’t bankrupted us yet. I check in with DSW pretty often, waiting for the perfect pair at the perfect price. Here’s some of their current offerings and my opinion about them:

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What I like: The print, the color, and the faux animal-skin texture.

What I don’t: The buckle! The fact that this looks more like a slipper than a shoe. Also, the black edging (again, looking very slipper-like.)

Exact: Adam Tucker…Me Too

What I like: The heel! I also like the print and the price.

What I don’t: the texture of the shoe. It’s this weird kind of fuzzy velour. Sorry. I told you I was picky.

Exact: Mix No. 6

What I like: The texture, the print, the scalloped edge, and the little heel.

What I don’t: You know, looking at this picture, I’m not sure what I don’t like. I think I’ll go back to DSW and give this one a try!

Exact: Audrey Brooke

 

And to wrap up the leopard print from DSW (for today…):

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This isn’t a flat, clearly. It’s got a heel, and yes, I already own a pair of leopard print heels (the first leopard print item I ever bought. Right here at DSW, btw). But OMG, look at this shoe. It’s what I would call a perfect shoe. I love the curve of the heel, I love the print, the material, the cutaway at the arch, and most of all(!) the ankle strap!!! There’s a lot of excitement going on over here, in case you can’t tell.

Only one problem…It’s a shoe that’s clearly a want, not a need. Grrr. Just can’t do it. So there it sits, in all its leopard print perfection. Franco Sarto, no less – one of my favorite designers. I’m hoping I get VERY lucky, and somehow, miraculously, that shoe ends up under the Christmas tree this year. (Vini, are you reading this? Size 10.) Fingers crossed.

Exact: Franco Sarto

From Nordstrom Rack:

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Here’s an example of leopard print that I truly abhor. It has a weird animal skin texture, but it looks like plastic. Ugh. What a shame.

Here’s a much better looking bootie of a similar design. No surprise, it’s Franco Sarto.

 

 

And now, on to the winners from Nordstrom Rack:

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How darn cute are these?  I just love them! Burgundy balls of fur puff, and burgundy suede! Combined with a low heel and sexy curves, I think this is a beautiful shoe.

Similar: Prada

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Blue suede shoes. I really love this shade, and the style is great! Cute little zipper detail up the back, too.

Exact: Kenneth Cole Reaction

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Yeah. Pretty much love everything about these. Shiny AND bling-y! They’re higher than what I normally wear, but they definitely fall in the category of, “who cares? I’m buying them anyway.” Still, I’m working hard on exercising my “look but don’t touch” habit, so I admired these and moved on.

Similar: Dolce Vita (These are cute, but not as amazing as the ones up above. Just sayin’.)

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I have also discovered a love of coral. These are smashing, I would love to wear these a la Audrey Hepburn – ankle pants and a fitted, fine gauge knit or print top. Couldn’t find anything similar to this shoe. If you love it, better run to Nordstrom Rack.

And one more for the road, from DSW:

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Similar: Adidas Women’s Superstar Foundation

This isn’t quite what I love. What I really want is a pair like the ones Freddie Mercury was wearing at the LiveAid concert at Wembley Stadium circa 1986. This is one of the greatest concerts EVER! Additionally, Freddie Mercury is absolutely mesmerizing. Check out the shoes, but really, watch the video to enjoy this fabulous music moment.

A note to readers: There are affiliate links in this post. If you click on these links and make purchases, I will be paid a small commission. (I think. I’m not really sure I’m doing this right.) Anyway, I love all these shoes (except for the ones that I don’t, but to each his own), and I am always giving you my own personal opinions. Have a great day!

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Six Things I Love About Caffe Destino


fullsizeoutput_1b41. Elizabeth. Elizabeth is the gal that took my order. She’s number one because she was so warm and friendly! She agonized a bit over getting my chai latte just right. Anyone who cares that much about my chai latte gets a 10/10 from me. She also wore a great outfit. A combination of sweet, old-fashioned and modern sassy. Here she is with her “Nasty Women Keep Fighting” t-shirt, and totally retro apron.
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2. Art. They have local art on display. In fact, I came to Caffe Destino to check out the art. My friend, Ursula McCabe, is the artist in question. Her show ran through the end of October. Our interview is the first in my series, “Women I Admire,” coming soon, right here at O.K. Look, Here’s the Deal. She does beautiful animal watercolors. Here are a few from this show. There’s a little glare in these photos. I did my best to edit it out, but it’s particularly noticeable on the swan’s wing below. I posted it anyway because it’s so very beautiful.

fullsizeoutput_1ae3. Food from scratch. They make everything from scratch, “except the bagels and English muffins,” said Elizabeth. No quarrel here – bagels and English muffins are extremely time consuming. I broke my no-sugar habit to indulge in a lemon poppy seed scone. It’s one of the best I’ve ever eaten – light and flaky, lemony, and not too sweet. Stop eating sugar for a few months and you, too, will prefer things to be very lightly sweet. Absolutely delicious!

fullsizeoutput_1ab4. A great soundtrack. I didn’t realize it at first, but as I was sitting and sipping my latte and blogging away, I was also singing along. Loggins and Messina, Elton John, Tom Petty…works for me.

5. Friendly patrons. I was listening to the gal behind me sing along to a song, and I mentioned the awesome soundtrack. We struck up a conversation that spanned a half an hour. That may be more connection than you’re craving at a coffeehouse, but it’s nice to know there’s such a friendly vibe. I told her I came from a couple miles north and she told me she’d come all the way from Belmont because she loves Caffe Destino so much!

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6. Bomb-ass breakfast. My friend, Debbie, arrived the next day and promptly said, “let’s go to that coffeehouse you posted from yesterday.” So, we ordered breakfast and there were many good options. I had the Greek breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, feta, tomato, onion, and olive tapenade. Debbie had the two egg breakfast with home fries. I remembered to take a photo of Deb’s breakfast before she dug in. My sandwich didn’t last long enough. We split a scone with jam, which was, yes, homemade and delicious. The portions were generous enough for me to take half my meal home to Vini.

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So glad I launched my Travel plans! I’m having a blast exploring Portland as if it were all new to me. It’s amazing how many great places I’ve never been in my many years here. I’ve finally decided to be one of those people who sits at a coffee house and blogs, rather than sitting alone at home. Caffe Destino is one of my top picks!

 

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How I Used Capsule Wardrobes to Organize My Closet


A little over a year ago, I discovered the magic of the capsule wardrobe. You may be familiar with this concept, but in case you’re not, here’s a quick explanation. The idea of a capsule wardrobe is to create a small collection of clothes that mix and match so well together, that you only need a minimal amount of clothing to create a wardrobe with a wide variety of looks. My previous blog post, Gotta get going. A fashion post. (I love Fall!), gave a great example of how capsule wardrobes have helped me spiff it up a bit.

A popular capsule wardrobe concept is Project 333. The idea is to wear only 33 items for 3 months. I loved the idea, but it seemed a little too restrictive to me, so I came up with my own system. When I first organized my fall wardrobe this year, I set up four mini capsules and cycled through them each day. This system gave me a great deal of variety and allowed me to use different color schemes, yet it was still easy to choose an outfit. The smaller wardrobes limited my choices enough, while still giving me plenty of options.

After a couple of weeks, though, I realized I wasn’t really satisfied. I still had too many clothes in my closet. I also realized that I had some items in my capsules that I really didn’t want to wear on a daily basis, but I still access to them. My closet should have been neat and tidy, and my options should have been easy to see at a glance. Instead, my closed looked like this mess you see here.

Seriously, yikes. Then I read an article published by Fashion Magazine called, “You’re Doing the ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ Wrong.” Which began: “People of the Internet, listen up: enough with your bloated versions of the “capsule” wardrobe. You keep saying that word; I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

So yeah. I had to admit, I was doing the bloated version. And I wasn’t really getting what I wanted out of it! I figured out that I was trying to create capsules that would serve ALL my dressing needs. That works for some people. If your life is very casual, you may use leggings for a workout and then for a going-out-to-lunch outfit another day. Maybe you get up every morning and put on your work clothes, and then wear them all day, until bedtime.

In my life, I need different kinds of clothes, or maybe I should say different categories. I read this in Project 333: “These items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear,  and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout).” Once I stopped trying to fit ALL my clothing needs into my capsules, I was able to organize my closet in a way that really made sense. I cut my four “mini” capsules in half, leaving me with just two, and I eliminated many of the pieces that “bloated” my capsules until I was down to just 18 in each, for a total of 36 items. And I organized and acknowledged my other clothing categories to meet my other dressing needs. Not a bad days work.

Here are my clothing categories:

  1. Pajamas. I have very specific pajama needs. Shorts and a tank top. I used to sleep in sexy nighties (THAT was a long time ago). Then it was flannel pjs as I got older and colder. Brrr. Then came menopause! Now I sleep hot. So summer, winter, spring, and fall, it’s short and a tank top for this gal! The lesson here: know your needs, and meet them.
  2. Schlubby wear. AKA scrubs, sweats, couch potato attire. For days when I’m shclubbin’, chillaxing, or otherwise lying like broccoli. This category includes a couple pairs of sweats, some old tees, and a few oversized, warm, cozy sweatshirts and sweaters. Remember, not every day is a capsule day.
  3. Yoga and running gear. Easy peasy. Yoga pants and a few workout tanks. A couple of Under Armour tops for warmth. A note about the yoga pants. I have been buying mine at Fred Meyer for quite a long time. They’re affordable (usually in the $30 – $40 range), comfortable, and flattering, and they last a LONG time. As someone who does yoga daily, that really means something.
  4. My daily wardrobe. This is where the capsules come in. I may wake up in pajamas, schlub my way through the morning, and then hit the park for a run, (or run my morning vinyasas – sun salutations make me happy!), but eventually, I shower, change and get going on my day (most days). So post shower, this is where I go.
  5. Construction-wear. This is for the days when I’m working on a project. This may include, but is not limited to: building a greenhouse, replacing a window, or cutting a hole in a wall. (That’s my next planned project. Hey, Vini. It’s happening.) Clearly, these clothes are old. And stained. And probably torn.
  6. Special occasion, “fancy” wear. This is the category that was messing with my capsules the most. I need them in my closet, but I don’t necessary want to wear these items on a daily basis. This includes clothes for church on Sunday, or date nights with Vini.  Now that the kids are grown, I’m happy to say, there’s a lot more romance these days. (Ooh la la.)

So, problem solved. I set aside space for clothes to meet all of the above needs, including my two capsules for every day use. I could have made one capsule – 36 pieces in all, but I was really interested in keeping each days’ choices to a minimum. I found it easier to create two separate capsules, 18 pieces each, as follows:

  •  three bottoms
  • eight tops
  • three toppers
  • four pairs of shoes

In addition to the section of “fancy” clothes, I also have a section of “fancy” shoes. I find that basic shoe styles in basic colors work best for capsule-wear. But gosh darn it, I LOVE shoes. And I’m just not willing to live without my leopard print pumps, burgundy suede heels, blue leather wooden wedges…you get the idea. I feel the same about my other accessories. I don’t limit them to specific capsules, but I have limited the TOTAL number of purses, scarves, and jewelry in my closet. I like the number four here. Again, it allows for variety without creating chaos or decision paralysis. Can you believe this? One blogger wrote, “Purses. You only need one.” Maybe SHE only needs one. I need four. Day in and day out, I lean on my capsule clothes, but when the mood strikes, my fancy clothes are ready and waiting.

Now my closet looks like this:

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Ah, neat and tidy!

And my capsules?

My capsules are so easy to see! Getting dressed is a breeze. I wear something different every day. And love everything I wear. And the overflow? What I love went into storage. When I’m ready for a change, I have many other options to swap in. No shopping necessary. What I don’t love will go to someone who will. And the empty hangers? Anyone need hangers?

How do you keep your closet organized? Do you capsule wardrobe or do you have another system?

One last thing. One of the joys of blogging is the discovery of other peoples’ blogs. I’d love to refer you to Courtney Carver at BeMoreWithLess. Courtney writes about simplifying; not only our closets, but our lives. The more I grow in life, the more I want to let go. There’s a wealth of great information and ideas here, so check it out!

 

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Gotta get going. A fashion post. (I love Fall!)


“Gotta get going. Where we going? What’re we gonna do?” That’s an old song my mom used to sing to us at the beginning of every road trip. But where are WE going? Well, we’ve been going nowhere fast lately, as a result of my inability to finish and publish a blog post these days. I want to write about my wardrobe and some recent changes I made, but I keep having trouble narrowing it all down to a consumable post. Here’s a quickie, so I can at least put something up on the board!

I wore this outfit the other day, and it felt like the first day of Fall to me. I know “fall” shouldn’t be capitalized, but as far as fashion goes, I feel like Fall is a superstar, so, you know…

Here’s the outfit:

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Here’s why I love this outfit:

  1. I think it’s so cute and I felt really put together.
  2. Everything I was wearing was super comfy.
  3. I had just finished reorganizing my closet and was excited to quickly and easily put this look together.

What I’m wearing

T-shirt from Target’s Merona line. I love their t-shirt selections. They have several different styles, they’re inexpensive, and so far, they’ve lasted two years. This t-shirt is very soft and comfortable, launders well, and has a great drape. Also, I love the vaguely French-girl vibe.

My friend Luciana

My dear friend, Luciana. (photo credit: Jane Keating)

Zip-up cardigan from Luciana Proano. Luciana is not a fashion designer. She’s one of my closest friends. She’s also a yoga teacher, dancer, musician, and glass-maker (among many other things). See: InkaJam. Basically, she’s a Renaissance woman. This ribbed, rust-colored cardigan was her father’s. I never met him, but from all accounts, he was an amazing man. This is one of my favorite pieces, for obvious reasons.

Cabi flare-leg jeans. This is my favorite pair of jeans, hands down. Again, super comfy (my number one criteria for anything), great fitting and great looking. Cabi is what I consider to be an expensive brand. I paid over $100 for these jeans (I hope my husband doesn’t see this post). I bought them at my friend, Paige’s, Cabi party. Full disclosure: I had a little tiff with Vini right before the party, so I pretty much went crazy and bought four items for over $200! I’ve never before, or since, spent that much money on clothes. But, don’t cha know, they ended up being some of the best clothes I own. I have since discovered ThredUp, and now I get some great deals on Cabi clothes.

fullsizeoutput_fbThe tennie-runners are Clark’s. Another favorite of mine! They’re all so comfortable! I’m not loving how droopy the shoelaces look in this picture, but that’s just me being picky. These shoes are grey and black with some mesh material. They were a total impulse purchase, but one I’m glad I made. They’re a core part of my wardrobe now. I bought them the same place I buy ALL my shoes these days – DSW. How did I survive before DSW? They’re really the best, best, best! I’m only recently paying any attention at all to my clothing, but I’ve loved shoes for as long as I can remember. Shoes are ART!

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Cute scarf, loose belt!

Accessories. Yes, I wear accessories these days. They just take the whole thing up a notch. Don’t you think? The scarf is a vintage scarf that I bought for three dollars a couple of years ago at a secondhand store. If you, like me, suffer sticker shock in resale stores these days, aim for the scarf section. They’re usually a steal. This one is a graphic print in classic fall colors.

The belt is a plain, black leather belt from Fred Meyer. Yes, Freddie’s. They have a pretty great selection of clothes and accessories these days. If you haven’t checked it out in a while, I think you should.

One more thing. Leather. Let me tell you, I’m a fan of buying things on the cheap whenever possible. But belts that aren’t made of genuine leather are a complete waste of money, in my opinion. They just don’t last. Only other comment I have to make about this belt is: Woot! Woot! It’s too loose! I need to punch another hole in it to make it fit better. Gotta love that!

What do you think? Am I figuring it out? I’ve hit the ripe, old age of forty-eight, and finally threw off my daily yoga pant/tank top wardrobe. This whole fashion thing is new to me. What do you love about fall fashion this year? Any great finds you’d care to share? (I like to remind people – there’s a place to comment at the very bottom of this page. And you don’t need to provide ANY personal information AT ALL! Thanks for stopping by).

 

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How’s Your Week Been? Poke at Boke, Sailing on the Water, and Jazz at Nonna.


How’s your week been? Have you done anything fun yet? I sure hope so. I was reviewing my Travel Oregon plan, which basically involves me having fun on a regular basis. I wanted to check in with myself and see if I’m reaching any of my goals, and I’m glad to say that today, I achieved three (!) of them. Three in one day. Woot woot! (If you haven’t seen my list, you can check it out on my Travel page.)

And as for today’s adventure? First, I met my daughter, Maddy, at Boke Bowl for a Poke Bowl (seriously). Then, I went sailing with the family and Maddy’s boyfriend, Jeff. Finally, I went to Nonna with Vini to hear Rebecca Kilgore, Randy Porter, and Tom Wakeling. (For those of you who don’t know, Vini is my husband, Peter’s, nickname.)

Even though I’ve eaten at Boke Bowl before, it was only once, at least three years ago, so I’m calling it a “new” experience. In fact, the last time I was there, I went for the ramen and they had a very limited menu. This time, the food I ate was brand new on the menu, and the menu has been greatly expanded!

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I just love delicious, healthy food!

The Poke Bowl was made of cold ramen noodles, arugula, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and of course, poke (marinated raw tuna, pronounced “po-kay”). If you’ve been to Hawaii, you probably know how good poke is. If not, I would definitely recommend trying this dish. It was light but filling, and very tasty. It’s seasoned with an Asian inspired vinaigrette, and Maddy and I added some soy sauce and togarashi table-side. We also ordered a trio of buns, which were little folded pockets of steamed dough (similar to char siu bao at a dim sum place).

20170927_151659Ours were filled with beef brisket and Asian slaw; pork belly with pickled veggies and hoisin sauce; and fried (!) chicken with a mustard aioli. All in all, I’d have to say, “yummy, yummy, yum yum!”

Later that afternoon, we took what will most likely be our final sail of the season. Now I realize you might be thinking, “how can sailing count? It’s not like the rest of us can just head out for a sail…,” but here’s the thing. 20170927_181932 2You totally can. If you know us, and you’re in the Portland area, all you gotta do is let us know you’re into it. Then, when we go sailing in the future, we’ll give you a call and you can come along. Seriously. We love sailing with our friends. Consider yourself invited!

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Maddy is a dragonfly magnet.

Finally, Vini and I hit Nonna for some nosh and jazz. Two of my favorite things! If you go to Nonna, here are some of the things I recommend:

The Fauxloma – a new, non-alcoholic drink concocted by our bartender that includes grapefruit juice, peach syrup, lime, salt, and club soda. It was barely sweet, tangy, and delicious! The shrimp fritters – crispy on the outside and shrimpy on the inside, with a luscious garlic aioli.nonna's charcuterie The charcuterie board – different every time. Always good. The burrata – served with heirloom tomatoes and a mess of baby greens with balsamic reduction. It was at once, silky, rich, and bright. Really a nice balance of flavors.

Becky KilgoreThe jazz was spectacular – natch. Becky Kilgore, is of course, a wonderful vocalist. I loved her set lists too! Some great, familiar classics, but also, some songs I’d never heard before, which is always a treat. No need to mention how terrific Randy Porter is on piano, but I’ll mention it anyway. He’s such a great soloist, and he’s one of those guys that just makes it all look so easy! Finally, I’m giving a shout out to Tom Wakeling, whom I’ve known for a very, very long time, and also whom I forget is a really great bass player! I used to hear Tom play with the Kicks Band back in the day. There isn’t always a lot of solo time for the bassist in a big band. So, Tom, I wanna say, I really enjoyed hearing you play tonight and you blew some great solos, man!

Seriously, people, get out of the house! There are so many amazing, fabulous, fun things to do here! Anywhere special you like to go? Let me know! I love suggestions. In the meantime, think about coming down to Ronnie’s jam at the Prime Rib on Sandy Boulevard, Sunday night, October 1. That’s my next planned outing. Hope I see you there…

And here, for your listening pleasure, is a little snippet of “Them There Eyes.”

#bokebowl #nonna #beckykilgore #randyporter #tomwakeling #sailing #traveloregon

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Adrift in Long Beach, Washington – Part Three: Hiking Willapa National Wildlife Refuge and Kites, Kites, Kites!!!


20170812_094016Hiking Willapa National Wildlife Refuge – Saturday was the last day of my trip, and I set off early for the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. I’m not really one for “drives,” as I tend to hate sitting in a car, but this was a fairly short, 20170812_094005extremely scenic one. This landscape is like no other I’ve seen in the Pacific Northwest. There’s a wildness to it, a starkness, that’s nonetheless deeply beautiful. As should be the case with a wildlife refuge, there was an abundance of birds, not always seen, but always heard. There’s another art walk (denizens of Long Beach love their art), and that leads to a longer, steeper hike called “Cutthroat Climb.” It wasn’t particularly cutthroat, but it was a climb. I’d been told more than once to bring mosquito repellent, but a) I didn’t have any with me, and b) I tend to not take good advice, even when I should. The downside of that is, I left the refuge with about 25 mosquito bites. The moral of that story is, bring repellent, or don’t stop moving! The upside is, I was bitten about 50 times this summer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and am apparently immune to the itching. Woot woot!

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A beautiful picnic table at the refuge, poetry by e.e. cummings.

This trail is representative of the typical Pacific forest, with spruce, alder, hemlock, salal, huckleberry, deer fern, sword fern, and oxalis.

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Will I ever tire of the beauty of trees?

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Can you believe it? A labyrinth right in the middle of the hike.  

The forest was alive with bird song. And at the top of the hill there was a labyrinth. This was particularly fortuitous for me, as my trip coincided with a ladies’ labyrinth walk I was missing in Portland. How lovely to find this special treat, just waiting for me. Not for nothing, I was completely alone on the hike; something I really appreciate, and something that is increasingly rare around here…

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I got back to the hotel in time to pack up, eat my delicious leftovers, and say goodbye to Dusty, the lovely, friendly, helpful gal at the front desk, and just because I wasn’t ready to leave Long Beach just yet, I decided to stop at the Kite Museum. Here are some super cool kites featured at the kite museum.

 

And here are some super cute posters from Long Beach International Kite Festivals of yore:

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So many amazing posters.

Don’t be like all, “now that I’ve seen all this on Leila’s blog, I don’t need to go to the kite museum myself.” Trust me, there’s still plenty to see, not the least of which are the many kite flying videos shown from around the world. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

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It was hard to choose just two.

 

 

 

 

 

So there it is, my weekend stay in Long Beach, Washington. So glad I went. If you’ve never been, check it out, and when you go, say hello to my new friends at the Adrift!

 

 

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Adrift in Long Beach, Washington – Part Two: Discovery Trail


Discovery Trail – Part Two: I slept in today. Yeah, I know, big surprise for the people that know me. It was cool and windy, so I bundled up (undershirt with shelf bra, performance tank, performance tee, AND performance long-sleeved shirt with zipper at the neck. Never let it be said I’m not a wuss about the weather…), rode into town to buy a hat (!) at Dennis Company’s sidewalk sale (grey knit beanie, $3.50, right on), and headed south on the Discovery Trail.

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A nice lady and her dog.

I started at Bolstad Avenue, and biked the roughly five miles to Cape Disappointment State Park. What a beautiful ride! While mostly flat, the trail has a few gentle ups and downs to keep it interesting, and some curves – watch out, I had to brace myself once to keep from sliding out as I rode rapidly down one particularly sharp turn. You can’t always see the ocean from the trail, even though it runs parallel most of the way. But there are some sections where you can pause to watch for whales, or walk down to the beach below. The trail itself has its own charm. Beautiful stands of shore pine, California laurel, salal, and seagrass line the trail.

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When you’re up close, it’s easy to see why they’re called “turkey” buzzards.

As you get closer to Cape Disappointment, you begin to see a more forested view, with spruce, alder, and lush stands of sword and lady ferns. Check out this turkey buzzard drying its wings; I couldn’t believe how close he let me come!

When I arrived at the park, I locked up my bike (thank you, Adrift Hotel), and walked the 1.3-mile trail to the North Head lighthouse. You can bike all the way, but on a fixed gear bike, no thank you! It’s not unbike-able, but it is a steady climb, with some fairly steep sections, and I’m a wimpy bicyclist at best.

 

The lighthouse is closed for renovation, as you can see here. This information board shows you what the lighthouse looks like in perfection. The view of the beach below is quite beautiful. There’s another lighthouse at the park – an active one, manned by the U.S. Coast Guard. There’s a two hour time limit on the hotel bikes though, so I didn’t quite have time to check it out.

20170811_133659              lighthouse picture

As I returned down the trail, I saw a little unmarked path off to my right. I followed it to this little hollow, with another lovely view.

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View from a hollow.

All told, I biked approximately 9 miles and walked/jogged almost 2.5 miles. I stopped frequently to take pictures, talk to people on the way, eat the very ripe, very yummy salal berries I found everywhere, and spent roughly three hours on this trip. (Yes. I was late returning the bike. Those of you who know me are thinking, “of course you were, Leila….”)

All in all, it was a rather pleasant expedition, I must say. Back at the hotel, I enjoyed a snack (the rest of my pizza and some fresh blueberries from my friend, Lesley), and (yes) a nap. Mmmm. I took this particular nap on the beach. I’m not sure how long I slept, but I’ll tell you one thing, I slept like a baby!

Later that night, I enjoyed another delicious meal at Pickled Fish. Flat iron steak, cowboy beans, greens, and grilled polenta. Perfectly seasoned, perfectly prepared. (Sorry, folks. As a rule, I’m trying to avoid the ubiquitous food photo.) I also ordered a dessert, a rare occasion for me. The chocolate mousse with caramel sauce was smooth, creamy, and delicious. I saved half the meal and dessert for the next day, and patted myself on the back for all that self-control.

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That’s a lot of tribbles.

I had a lovely evening walk yesterday, but today after dinner I was plum tuckered out, so I headed back to my room to pick up where I left off in my Star Trek marathon – Season 2, Episode 15: The Trouble with Tribbles. See folks, that’s the beauty of vacation; doing whatever the heck you want at any given moment.

 

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