Friday, August 27, 2010

{ Our First Anniversary }

My dear husband planned a super-special-surprise trip to Lopez Island for our first wedding anniversary in July.

We started with breakfast at the Maltby Cafe, the same place we went for breakfast the day Mike asked me to marry him. It was yum-ola. I'm pretty sure if I ate everything on my plate anytime I go there, I'd die of happiness and gluttony.

We didn't know that Friday ferries are HIGH TRAFFIC during the summer; as a result, we didn't make it on the 2:30 p.m. ferry and instead had to wait in line, in the parking lot, for the 6:30 ferry...which was more than an hour late. BUT we got to ride straight into the sunset on a ferry!!! How cool is that? Wending our way through the islands toward the was breathtaking.

This is the Edenwild Inn, our home away from home. I cannot say enough about the beauty of the inn and the grounds, the hospitality of the innkeepers, and the "ohmygoodness this is one of the best breakfasts ever!" all-you-can-eat buffet each morning. Mike hit it outta the park with this B&B.

Lopez Island is tiny, about 30 square miles and with a population of just over 2,000 people in the year 2000. Edenwild is in teeny tiny Lopez Village, the only "town," and a convenient base from which to explore.

The inn has complimentary bicycles for guests to use, so the first morning Mike and I ventured out on wheels. I felt like a little kid again! We were following a road we'd never been on before, with a lake on one side, ocean on the other, and fog blowing in from the sea.

Later we went on an exploratory auto tour of the island. This is Center Church, located {conveniently} near the center of the island. Isn't it beautiful? We spent a lot of time poking around the cemetery, reading the names of the pioneers who settled here in the 1800's. Can you imagine that? Not just coming west on the Oregon Trail from the flat reaches of the Midwest--coming so far west you pass the edge of the continent and settle on an island in the Puget Sound?! Those were some brave ladies!

One phrase I kept saying over and over all weekend was, "I feel like Anne of Green Gables!" Lopez is a fairly flat island: miles of gently rolling farmland, big old houses, wooded hills and valleys, and around every corner, a glimpse of the sea. Oh my. It was incredibly beautiful!

The photo above is one of my favorite memories of the weekend: Driving alongside a field, we could see and hear the farmer cutting hay. The pasture dipped down toward the water, and though the day was brilliant with sunlight, fog was rolling in from the Sound. The tractor wove in and out of sunlight and ocean-scented fog. Something in me hearkens so strongly to the juxtaposition of farm and sea, working the land and being surrounded by water. I screeched at Mike to stop, and we sat in the middle of the road for a few minutes while I took pictures and reveled in the beauty of it all.

More fog sweeping eastward over the island.

This was my view during dinner on the veranda at the Love Dog Cafe in Lopez Village, mere steps from Edenwild. The clang of buoys, the salty breeze, the riotous glory of roses at my elbow, a delicious meal, my handsome husband--what more could a girl want?

I love seeing that ring on his finger.

Sunday morning, our actual anniversary, we moseyed all over the island. First stop: Shark Reef. No sharks were spotted, but aren't these rock formations cool? Notice the huge seaweed growths in the water--we saw huge swaths of this seaweed all over! And lots of sea lions, or seals, whichever they are. I can't remember.

Next stop: Iceberg Point, the southernmost tip of the island. It's quite a hike to get there, but oh, so worth it!

It was so bright, we could barely see to the mainland. I caught a glimpse of the Olympic Mountains, waaaaay over on the peninsula!

Mike had secretly made dinner reservations at the Bay Cafe. Oh. My. Stars. No wonder it's been voted one of the best places in the northwest to kiss. No wonder it has been featured in all kinds of magazines. Everything is superb: The service, the food, the location, the views {it's literally a few feet from the waterfront!}. It was such a lovely experience. Thank you, my love, for being so thoughtful and kind and romantic. I love you!

The wine needs a little explaining: At a wine tasting before we were engaged, Mike and I discovered a vintner we both really liked: Root 1. The day he proposed, Mike served a Root 1 chardonnay at our beach picnic. That evening, I gave him a Root 1 merlot. Fast-forward to this weekend on Lopez. Somehow, Mike snuck that merlot {we'd been saving it "for a special occasion"} along without my knowledge, got it to our waiter, and convinced me that he'd put in our wine order when he stepped out to use the restroom. Imagine my surprise when the waiter came out with a very familiar bottle of Root 1 merlot!

Gelato, you are the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Unfortunately, as we were waiting for the ferry to go back home later that evening, one of the lenses in Mike's sunglasses committed suicide.

Another unspeakably precious treat: A second sunset ferry ride! Would you believe that, over the course of one weekend trip, I took 367 photos, and the camera battery died on the ferry ride home? God has a sense of humor!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

{ Lovelies }

These hydrangeas make me so happy, perched brightly about our home, giving an air of whimsy and joy and beauty.

Friday, August 13, 2010

{ He knows my heart }

thank you Jesus
for fog blowing through the parking lot

it's supposed to be summertime
but i'm wearing a sweater
as i head to work
wishing i were still in bed
wishing at least for sunshine
to brighten the commute

i step outside
and i smell it:
the sea!
salty water
i even hear a gull in the distance

my whining
self-focused heart
is immediately
overwhelmed with gratitude
for this beauty

my Lord knows me
He made my heart
He knows i love oceans
and beaches

He wrapped my home in
ocean-scented fog
a good morning present
for an undeserving daughter
who complained in her heart
about the fog, not knowing
it was a gift for her from Jesus!

You love me, Jesus
even when the heart
that You fashioned to love You
grumbles about the gifts
You give me

I am undeserving of Your love

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

{ Tent Camping, Take One }

I'm checking in to let The Internet know that I survived a night of sleeping on Very Hard Ground, in The Wilderness. The Dear Husband and I headed up to Salmon La Sac after work on Friday to camp with good friends Joe and Angela. You know from my last post that all my camping experiences {we actually camped a lot when I was a kid} involved RVs......

To begin with, Joe and Angela, who left several hours before us, called to let us know that all the reservable and first-come-first-serve campsites were taken--not to worry, they had followed the road further and found a nice little spot for us. Somehow, in all my mental preparations for this trip, I never prepped for miles upon miles of axle-cracking dirt roads at dusk {not sure if we were even going the right direction}, no cell phone coverage, and wilderness that looks very bear-friendly.We were in the Wenatchee National Forest, surrounded by these wooded mountains. There were several occasions that night when I was certain I'd heard a bear.

We all survivied the night without being mauled by wildlife, though I never again want to sleep on the ground. Never. Not even with two sleeping bags and a blanket as "padding." I used to be able to sleep on the ground, hardwood floors, concrete--now if I do that, I feel like death. I must be getting old.

Mike oversaw the cooking of bacon on a little grill. I made pancakes over a propane burner. They were more like pancrackers. Syrup couldn't even redeem those puppies.

I'm not sure of the name of this river, but the water was breathtakingly clear! I kept telling Mike it was "Hawaii clear"--the only other place I've seen such deep, clear water is Hawaii. You can't really tell from these photos, but we were on a huge rock outcropping that was a good 15-20 feet above the river.

Isn't this pool amazing?

In spite of the fact that it was overcast, chilly, windy and at times sprinkling, Mike and Joe jumped into the river. From the rock outcropping, into the pool you see above. Angela and I weren't keen on risking hypothermia.

My man {love how black the soles of his feet are!} plunging into an icy mountain river of his own accord. I guess I will never understand him completely!

Monday, August 9, 2010

{ On Sundays our home smells like bacon. }

We roll out of bed, tousled and sleepy-eyed, as morning gives way to noontime, bodies sated with good sleep and stomachs growling for nourishment. We practice our kitchen dance, the intricate back-and-forth, give-and-take of Mike managing the bacon and eggs, me making the pancakes in our narrow galley kitchen. Sometimes instead of pancakes we'll have hashbrowns; this week it was waffles. We sing along with Pandora and Mike makes me giggle with his moves. We eat till we feel ill, which I fear is gluttony, but I haven't talked to The Father about it yet. We just can't help ourselves, it's always so good! Then the mandatory nap on the sofa, till it's time to get ready for church.

And when we return from church, evening shadows lengthening {though we finished "breakfast" a mere eight hours previous}, Mike opens the door and PHEW! Bacon. Bacon in the air, bacon in the sunlight, bacon practically dripping from the atmosphere. Mike smiles contentedly. I run to light candles and open windows. This, my friends, is what our Sundays smell like.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

{ Summertime }

Deary me, it's been a few weeks since my last post, and I really did mean to start posting more regularly! What happened? Summertime, that's what. Though sunshine and warm temperatures have been optional features for most of our "summer," Mike and I have managed to keep ourselves busy busy busy.

And though I have the best of intentions tonight, it's already 9:25 pm and I have to be at work by 7:30 tomorrow morning...and after work I have to high-tail it home to pack, go grocery shopping, and then we're hitting the road for an overnight camping trip east of the mountains with some friends of Mike's childhood friends. It's only one night, but people!!! I HAVE NEVER TENT CAMPED BEFORE!!!! All my "camping" experiences involve RVs, access to at least a minimal amount of running water, semi-decent toilets, and sleeping in a structure. Something that is more bear-proof than nylon {or whatever they make tents of these days}. Point is, I have never slept in a tent, gotten up the next morning, and presented my frightful Curly Bedhead to the public. I don't know what will happen to my skeletal system after sleeping on the ground; I'm not nearly as physically resilient as I used to be. If I wake up with my body stuck in contortions similar to those of my post-sleep hair, we will be in deep trouble indeedy.

In short, I have realized that though I grew up in deep rural Idaho, I don't know how to tent camp.

In other news, we've been going to lots of barbecues. Do you spell it barbecue, barbeque, bar-b-q, or BBQ? I never know which is correct, though when I see "barbeque" I always hear "barbekee" or "barbekay" in my head, which is annoying. One weekend, we went to a barbecue on Friday night, another on Saturday {late--after we'd already had steak for dinner. Mike thought he'd died and gone to heaven, having two steak dinners in a four-hour period!}, and a third on Sunday. Lots of work and church functions and our newest Hulu addiction, "America's Got Talent." Very Important Note: Go to YouTube and watch Future Funk, Ascendance, Haspop, and Defying Gravity right now if you haven't seen them already! Amazing talent!!

I'll leave you with a couple photos from our dreamy anniversary getaway to Lopez Island. It was a lovely, lovely weekend!

On the ferry to Lopez Island--soooo thankful to finally be underway, after 6+ hours of waiting in line!

A pastoral scene from our bicycling adventure. Love the fog creeping in on the shore!

Mike has gas.