Wednesday, July 27, 2011

24 Hours Lummi Island

For Valentine's Day this year Dayne gave me an overnight & dinner at Willows Inn on Lummi Island, it had been in the press a lot since the sous chef from Noma made his move there. Due to a number of things we needed to postpone the getaway but finally went a couple of weeks ago. We drove up on a Sunday morning & returned the next day, both making it home in time for 3pm conference calls.

Everything on Lummi is tiny it seems, starting with the 20 car ferry, which on our sailing held just 6 vehicles. It's a short 8 minute trip to the pretty island, population 800 (which I really think might be a high estimate!). The drive to Willows Inn took us past the only other restaurant on the island, the post office & lovely waterfront homes. The Inn itself is unassuming, rustic even, with a large front porch looking out to the water.

Dayne had rented us electric bikes which we took out while our room was made up. These were so fun, I'd love to get one at home! We did a loop around the island, stopping to take in views of the sound, Mt. Baker, multiple deer, the beaches and have lunch at said other restaurant.

Arriving back at Willows we wandered around checking out the grounds, the other rooms/cabins, the bocci ball court and the hot tub. It's a perfectly quiet and lazy way to spend a day.

We had the Sans Souci room (extra credit if you know what that means without looking it up) which was very comfortable & even had a cute little stove/fireplace. I will say the room also could stand an update, especially the bathroom, nothing serious but telltale signs of wear and tear could easily be handled.

Happy hour at the Inn starts at 4pm, these people have class, and although there were no advertised snacks we were offered some very nice marinated cheese & bread to go along with our drinks (the white sangria was especially refreshing, the cocktail made with sorrel looked hideous).

The main attraction here is the dinner of course. We were seated in the spare but comfortable dining room and a selection of fun amuse dishes were delivered. These little bites definitely set the stage for the tone of the entire menu. A wooden box arrived which when you lifted the lid smoke escaped revealing beautiful bites of salmon. A basket filled with fresh from the garden lettuces and radishes (sprinkled with "dirt") was delicious dipped in a pot of green goddess.

The dinner progressed with every plate looking like it had been on it's way to a garden/flower show. Edible plants of all types not just for garnish but holding center court with gorgeous selections of seafood. Everything local, most everything picked that day. 11 plates total, some 1 bite some a bit more, paired with wine. And they kicked this in at no extra charge:

Additionally we ran into 2 friends of ours just there for the night and a romantic little get away, we ran into them 2 days earlier in Seattle too. Goes to show what a small world it is even on an island.

The next morning we had breakfast back in the same dining room. House made English muffins, poached eggs, bacon and hollandaise sauce was included in our room charge.

Additional photos of food and fauna here

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

I love the 4th! I think it's my favorite holiday (which is saying a lot since there are no presents involved!). Even as a kid it was the one day that my parent's seemed happy. Dad loved to set off fireworks and mom loved to bake and have a potluck.

Dad and I would go to the grocery store parking lot fireworks stands and I'd try to talk him into buying the biggest box of boom on the shelves. I'd get to light things like Magic Black Snakes, Smoking Log Cabin and Sparklers. As I got older and we would go out to the reservation to buy our fun I'd get to set off bottle rockets out of Pop Shop bottles (cream soda being my favorite). All the neighbors would put their fireworks together so it seemed to last all night.

In high school there were parties and treks out to Coeur d'Alene for the big show on the lake. When I moved from Spokane to Seattle in college there were more parties and big shows in Bellevue, Lake Union and Elliot Bay (I miss the Fourth of Jul-Ivars). When Dayne and I met we would head to his friend's houseboat every year for a BBQ and show watching from the roof.

Last year we were in Paris for the 4th. Obviously there were no fireworks or flag cupcakes but we did have a lovely day. First up was a delicious brunch at a friend's house. Next came a really enjoyable afternoon spent picnicking at Parc des Buttes-Chaumont with more friends we don't see very often. And later we partook in delicious cocktails in the American style cocktail bar Prescription Cocktail Club.

My perfect way to spend the 4th is a half day at the beach followed by a party and then viewing of a big show. We'll be back on a Lake Union houseboat with friends tonight and it's sure to be a great time. The sun is shining, there will be drinks and grilling and when those big pyrotechnics go BOOM I'll be feeling like a kid again!

I hope you all are spending the day exactly how you like it too! Happy 4th of July!

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