Category Archives: BC Travel

Hey Seattle!

A few weeks ago, Jess and I spent an extended weekend in Seattle, to celebrate my birthday. Although my birthday is in December, things tend to get a little crazy hectic (I’m a boxing day baby), so we usually celebrate it a few weeks later. Jess likes the extra time to prepare, and I like the excuse to sneak away for a little R&R.

We had so much fun exploring, reconnecting and (of course!) eating. Here are a few photos from our little trip.

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We stopped at RAM Sports Bar & Brewery for a little snack once we got to Tulalip and ate the yummiest Mozza Sticks I ever did taste. They’re located in the parking lot area of the Premium Outlets, and it’s a great alternative to eating at the outlet food court. We promise. Plus, we also promise you won’t be disappointed in their ice teas.

Side Note: They are extremely sports-barry. So be prepared to lose focus, due to the fact there were over 20 televisions visible from our very seat.

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Whenever we travel this far south of the border, we always (always) make sure to spend at least one night at the Tulalip Resort & Casino. We are part of their rewards club, and usually take advantage of the different email specials they send out a few times a year. I don’t think we’ve ever paid full price for a room here, but would have no problem paying it if we had too. This place is totally worth it.

The bathrooms are plenty big (plus there’s a cozy vanity on the opposite site) and their showers have three spray nozzles. It’s like your very own water massager (and it feels amazing). We normally visit the T-Spa during our stay as well, and this visit I tried out the River Rock Pedicure. A hot stone massage for my feet & legs? Yes please!

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Pike Place Market is a favourite of ours, and we love any opportunity that allows us to put yummy food into our bellies. I have a weak spot for Beecher’s Cheese, and was so disheartened to find that they were sold out of their award winning mac n’ cheese! I suppose it might have something to do with us visiting on the weekend of the big game. Oh well, I know there is always next year!

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We learned pretty quickly that the upcoming football game would determine whether the Seattle Seahawks or the San Francisco 49’ers would progress to the Superbowl. We also (finally) found out what all the 12’s meant all around town. Since Seahawk fans are known to be the rowdiest in the league, and there are 11 men on the field at the time, these enthusiastic fans are known as the 12th man on the team. Pretty cool, right?

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Since we’ve always heard great reviews about The Crab Pot (but had never been), eating a meal here was one of our main Seattle goals this trip. It’s located right down on the water (near the Maritime Museum & Great Wheel) inside a little strip mall type thing. If all you see is an outdoor cafe type thing called the Crab Pot, don’t panic! This is just their lunch & quick eats cafe. I was seriously disappointed for a moment or two, before we realized you had to head inside the little mall to get to the main restaurant. Warning – they don’t take reservations, and sometimes the wait can be quite long. We had to wait an hour and a half (!!!), so we headed off to Ivar’s Seafood Bar a few blocks down and enjoyed a few drinks during their happy hour. It was a win/win, and we were back to The Crab Pot in time for our table to be ready.

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As the pictures show, it’s a super classy establishment. Ha ha! They bring you bibs, shell crackers and a wooden slab as a plate – and then dump whichever crab pot you’ve chosen onto the table in front of you. Everything was so good, and surprisingly enough, we managed to eat every last piece of it all.

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We stayed at the Alexis Hotel in downtown Seattle Saturday night, and did a little Irish pub hopping after dinner that night. A big thank you to the concierge at the hotel, for providing us with excellent suggestions & free appetizer passes!

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We also found this really cool Scale Electric race car shop in Seattle (for my dear dad), called Red Devil Raceway. Although we were only there to pick up a new car, it was so neat to watch racers of all ages stop in to race & tinker with the cars to enhance performance!

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On Sunday, we visited the Fremont Street Market and the Antique Village Mall. I found some really cool treasures, but I really just wanted to take their entire pyrex collection home with me. I’m currently feeling remorse for not doing just that.

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Finally, we ate at (and loved) the Portage Bay Cafe! We tried to get here the last time we visited, but the wait was just too long. This time, it was only about 20 minutes and we were thrilled with the menu options and the fresh fruit bar! They make almost all of their offerings in-house (including their bread and sausage) and offer gluten-free options on many of the menu items.

Since we go to Seattle at least once a year, here are a few of our favourites from last time as well: Claim Jumper (in Lynwood, on the way), DragonFish (their happy hour is one to be reckoned with) and The Great Wheel (so much fun)!

We’ll see you next year, Seattle!

much love,

shannon xoxo

Our Adventure to Parksville

After running the Colour Me Rad run last month, I met Jess in Langley so we could catch a ferry over to Vancouver Island. It had been a few years since we’d both been on the island together, and Jess’s first time to the Parksville area (at least, I think it was). We didn’t bother booking ahead for the ferry, so we were pleasantly surprised when we were able to practically drive right on.

I do have to say though, I love the little shopping centre at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. Finally somebody thought to put together a Starbucks, restaurants and a few stores that people would actually enjoy perusing while waiting for their ferry. We picked up a few Starbucks beverages, boarded the ferry and enjoyed the beautiful sunset view. It’s not often I call a ferry voyage beautiful, but this one really was. It didn’t hurt that we also used each other as foot rests as we tried to nap.

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Since we were staying in Parksville, I couldn’t let Jess visit the area without visiting Coombs Country Market. Ok, maybe it was more for me, but it really is such a cool little place to visit. Why, you ask? Because there are goats on the roof! We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather for most of our island trip, and visiting the market on a sunny day always puts a smile on this gals face.

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After feeding the goats, we fed ourselves full of ice cream and visited the the main Country Market. One of the reasons I love this place (asides from the huge selection and incredible bakery) is how everything is labeled and sorted by the country they were imported from. Looking for the original Swedish version of Nutella? It’s here. About about real salsa from Mexico? Also here. How about those delicious candies that you love but aren’t sure where they come from? They have them here and you’ll learn where they came from just by looking at the label. It’s a pretty neat thing to see, even if you don’t typically buy imported goods.

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I love wandering the sauce aisle, just to see all the different sauces that are used around the world, and the selection here did not disappoint. We even seen a bottle of Blair’s Reserve Hot Sauce that comes in a specially marked collectors box so it isn’t confused with your run of the mill Franks Red Hot. This stuff comes with a warning label instructing you not to use directly on any of your food – it’s to be used as a diluted ingredient only! Yeah, we took a pass on that one.

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A great find that I did discover during this trip, however, was Mitchell’s Soup Mixes – and now I fear I can never go back to any form of packaged or premade soups. I picked up the Beef Barley, Thai Coconut Curry & Seafood Chowder and now that I’ve had the chance to make 2 out of the 3, I can say I’m officially in love! So far, the Beef Barley is my favourite and I loved how this little package turned into so. much. soup!  (I even had to give some away because I felt bad throwing it in the freezer).

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I love that they are semi-local (based out of the Cowichan Valley), and although you can’t buy them in retail stores on the mainland, you can order them online and they’ll ship them right to your door. Best $6.50 I ever spent – when it was done I felt like I could feed an army!

Have you ever visited Coombs Old Country Market? What was your favourite part?

xoxo Shan

(kindly forgive my iphone’s subpar photography, we bloggers use what we can when it’s all we have with us!)