Friday, August 31, 2012

Fried Chickin'

We stayed in last year for our anniversary instead of going out and found it to be supremely enjoyable so this year we decided to have a repeat. Peter requested Fried Chicken for our dinner this year. Our general plan to to recreate some fried chicken sliders we had a Koral in Bellevue. I did a little looking around on my favorite blogs and settled on this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Let me just tell you: WOW. All I need to say.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Anniversary Adventure | Tofino, BC, Canada

August 23rd 2012 marked Peter and my third anniversary! We decided to take a little adventure to Tofino, British Columbia. Tofino is on the north west side of Vancouver Island seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It's a solid 30 minutes from the next town, Ucluelet (which is equally small and remote), both of which are a solid hour + away from anything else. BLISS. Tofino is a sleepy little surfer / hippie village with only a handful of restaurants and shops, but plenty of scenery and outdoor activities to keep one busy (or not). We mostly choose the not route and just enjoyed the view from our condo (love VRBO!) and took lots of walks into the village for coffee, pastries at the bakery and beer from the brewery. 

A little double dose of Starbucks waiting for the ferry at Tsawwassen
View from the Ferry heading towards Vancouver Island. 
Love of my life. 

Chesterman Beach

View from our bedroom loft. LOVE
View from our porch. 

View from our porch 2. 

No trip is complete with out food (one of our favorite things). We ate pretty well, although one place we visited was hyped up quite a bit as being the IT place. Needless to say, we were underwhelmed. But other than that, we enjoyed pretty much every other place we tried. 

Dinner the first night was at Spotted Bear Bistro. From the description, it sounded like it would be practically perfect. Small restaurant, local organic food, comfort food, what's not to love, right? Well, apparently everything. Everything we ordered was just OK. Ordered a caraf of wine and it was aweful. And I drink pretty much everything but it was bad. So we asked the server if it was supposed to taste that way (maybe it was corked or something) and she was a little ambivalent and didn't really offer us anything different. So we ended up just requesting a different wine because neither of us could stomach the other one. Anyways... Then food. Everything was significantly under salted, like as if none had been put in at all. Really? Really. Everything looked beautiful but simply just didn't taste that good. We both left not feeling so good and bummed at the experience. 

On the plus side, the baker in town, Common Loaf Bake Shop, was awesome! We ate there pretty much every day. Best.thing.ever. Really the best part, was I would wake up early, walk into town, get my coffee and get some muffins then walk back, wait for Peter to get up and then we'd chill on the porch, listening to the waves and eating breakfast. MMMGOOD!

Also a real winner, was Wildside Grill down the road from the main village. WOW. Best fish tacos and pretty awesome fish and chips. Everything is fresh caught near Tofino and cooked fresh. OH MY GRACIOUS YUM. One of our food highlights from this trip. 

On the highway home, lots of beautiful mountain lakes. 

a little cut off, but still kind of cute. 
Rootbeer Bliss
We got the front of the ferry on the way home!
Overall, fabulous trip and very relaxing. Not sure we would go back anytime, simply due to the distance (it was 10-12 hours each way with traffic, stopping, etc.). Although, it was well worth it for a 4 day weekend. The getting there was half the adventure!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Oh restful weekend!

Seems I am long overdue for a blog posting! This weekend Peter and I enjoyed an oh-so-relaxing weekend that pretty much started Friday morning. We both had to work Friday but I was able to work remotely due to an afternoon appointment in Bellevue so I drove into work with Peter (we love carpooling when it works out!). This involved stopping for donuts at Top Pot, really can't go wrong there. Work day over, we finished the day in downtown Kirkland with pizza at Zeeks and a movie (The Bourne Supremacy) at home on the couch. WIN.

Saturday was the epitome of relaxation for us. Me at yoga in the morning. Pete sleeping in. Leisurely breakfast (OK brunch) at noon. Stayed in our jammies and watched another movie (Mr. & Mrs. Smith). Got a few chores done. Pete puttered on his computer and I cooked. Oh and I cooked. I love weekends when I have time to cook. I had a bunch of stone fruit so decided to make a simple tart. Just a little puff pastry and sliced fruit fanned out all pretty.

I had stopped at the farmers market in Woodinville after yoga and picked up some veggies. Those added with some from the garden and I had a beautiful start to a Pasta Primavera. Just roasted them in the over with a little EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic and chili flakes and oh-my-sweet-lord delicious. Because it was Saturday and I had the time, I broke out the pasta maker and made homemade pasta (really much easier when you have something to do the rolling).

Sunday we decided to be a bit more productive and take a hike. I've had this book on my bookshelf for years but really never used it. We decided to pick Big Lake Grieder. It's about an hour or so drive from us to the trail head (or so we thought, but I'll get there). The drive is really pretty out Highway 2 to Sultan and drives out along Lake Spada (the parking lot is right next to Lake Spada). 

Our book indicated the trail head was basically .2 miles from the parking lot. Well, as it turns out the road used to go right up to the trail head but hasn't actually been in service for who knows how long (lesson learned: always look up current trail information). So what was supposed to be a 2.5 mile hike to the lake ended up being a 3 mile hike to the trail head. By the time we got to the real trail head, we didn't really have enough time (mostly due to the time of day) to hike all the way up to the lake, hang out and then hike the 6+ miles back to the car. We'd really only planned on a 5 mile day not a 10+ mile day. Oh well, the hike to the trail head was actually rather pleasant and we got some lovely views of Lake Spada instead. 

And there is just something about a good hike that makes me want nice greasy food. So we finished our day and our weekend at the Blazing Onion in Mill Creek for dinner. YUMMY!