Gorging on the Columbia River Scenic Byway (and Doughnuts)

And the road trip continues…

Vista House Crown Point Oregon

Twenty four miles from Portland, Oregon is the Vista House at Crown Point 

Vista House ceiling oregon

View from inside

Vista House stairs oregon

Stairway to vistas

Vista House view Columbia River oregon

The Columbia River Gorge is gorgeous!

8 miles from the Vista house…

Multnomah falls Oregon

Multnomah Falls seems to be the must see waterfall in the Columbia River gorge area

but I really liked Latourell falls

even though the Multnomah stop had ice cream

Latourell Falls oregon

It’s a quieter spot compared to Multnomah

and you could feel the spray of the falls. 🙂

skidmore bluffs Portland Oregon

After our hike we headed back to Portland,

and searched for a spot to watch the sunset.

Skidmore Bluffs overlook is tucked away in suburbia

and stay as long as you like because Voodoo Doughnuts is open 24 hours

Voodoo Doughnut Portland Oregon

Is it really necessary to put frosting on a fritter? 

Okay, so that question may be sparked by jealousy, as Voodoo doesn’t have gluten-free treats.

But I found plenty in Portland, my fave being the Back to Eden Bakery (for regular eats with gluten-free options we also really enjoyed Teote and The Tin Shed Garden Cafe).

Next post: Snow in June? Stay tuned. 🙂

And if you want to see our first stop it’s here: Seattle

So do you think fritters should be frosted?

Happy Monday!

xo

My (Almost) Summer Vacation

Warning: Vacation pictures ahead.

The hub and I just got back from a road trip (my favorite kind of trip!). We flew to Seattle and then rented a car

and drove 1700 miles in 7 days.

This is just the beginning…

flying clouds

Peaceful space above the clouds. A sharp contrast to the turbulence in my mind (I’m still a work in progress when it comes to zen and the art of flying).

Storyville coffee Seattle

Ah. Coffee. The best? Storyville Coffee at the Pike Place Market.

Note: We passed seven Starbucks (in less than one mile) to get to it.

pike place fish market Seattle

 So I’m conflicted as I post this pic seeing as I tend to post more lively photos of wildlife, 

but it is a big part of the Pike Place Market in Seattle.

And I could not stop looking at the eyes on that pink fish!
cinnamon works gluten free cookie

And now in case you need soothing, here’s a monster cookie. 

And bonus, if you need, it’s gluten-free, from Cinnamon Works.

(Another great gluten-free option at the market: Coffee & Specialty Bakery)

Salmon seattle aquarium

A more lively bunch of Salmon at the Seattle Aquarium.

Seattle aquarium

This guy was a total ham for the cameras.

mt Rainier Seattle great wheel view

Mt. Rainier as we saw it from Seattle’s Great Wheel.

piroshky seattle

This was my hub’s favorite snack. A smoked mozzarella mushroom and broccoli pie.

He enjoyed it so much he immediately got back in line to buy the sweet cinnamon cardamom braid. 🙂

Seattle pike place market urban garden

A good spot for eating your market snacks is the Urban Garden at Pike Place.

Whimsical, right?

post alley Seattle

This is a popular section of post alley at the market.

Reminded me a bit of Diagon alley from Harry Potter,

except if you look very closely at the walls

you will see

Seattle post alley gum wall choose love

Gum. Lots of it.

Some of it artistic. Some philosophical like above. #chooselove

And yes, a wee bit gross.

So hypothetically, if you were to leave your gum mark in Post Alley, what flavor would it be? 

Me? Cinnamon Trident.

Next stop: Portland, Oregon. I think. I haven’t gone through all my pics yet. But Oregon for sure will be represented!. In the meantime, it’s back to work!

Happy Tuesday!

xo

 

The State Fair: Things That Make You Go WHEE!

 

swings state fair VA_opt

 

Ferris wheel state fair_opt

 

flower Ferris wheel_opt

 No WHEE! here. Mum’s the word. 

 

jump state fair_optmodel horse state fair_opt

 Could not believe how close this um, real live*, horse let me get. WHEE!

 State fair foods_opt

No need to shell out big bucks on a trip to Europe–you can find it all here. WHEE!

Plus Twinx.

Twinkie + Twix + Bacon = ?????  Eat at own risk: WHEE?

BMX bike acrobatics_opt

 I’m pretty sure we used to do this in gym class.**

wind puppet_opt

 WHEE! 

What’s your favorite thing at the fair? Would you try a Twinx?

 

Happy first day of October!

*Not real. But a model horse, for sure.

** Okay so I was thinking about Dodge Ball. Far scarier.

Climb Every Mountain with Courage (and Cookies)

 dreams thoreau_opt

Three years ago today I crossed the bridge from blog reader to blogger.

 

covered bridge between Vermont and New Hampshire

Cornish-Windsor covered bridge, Vermont (and New Hampshire)

 

I was scared, but I had a plan when I published my first post, There’s No Place Like the Prairie.

I wanted to create my author-ly space here on the internet (aka author platform),

A place to hang my quirky creative brand hat

not that I could define it at the time

baby Coleen Patrick bonnet_opt

Mini me wearing one of my first quirky hats 

 

Oh and I didn’t have expectations

or, if I did, I didn’t know what publishing my thoughts, my books, my photos (hey an audience that doesn’t require a family room and a slide projector!) would actually feel like.

Some of my 1,095 Hey I’m a writer! days were pretty awesome

flower garden Trapp lodge_opt

Flower garden at Trapp Family Lodge (the family that inspired The Sound of Music!!)

Stowe, Vermont 

droopy flower rain_opt

Others, kinda droopy. Seriously.

 

I like how Kate over at 4amwriter summed up the droop-tastic feeling:

“The bottom line, I discovered recently, was that I never told myself what I would do when I got rejections. I knew I’d get them. What I didn’t know is that they’d lay me out flat. And because I didn’t set myself a specific battle plan, it was easy to turn tail and run.” ~4amwriter

 

Enter courage (well, after some tears, some dessert, and a perusal of the classifieds).

Trapp Lodge Vermont_opt

The Trapp Family lodge in Stowe, Vermont makes an impressive first impression.

 

Okay, so courage doesn’t always make a dramatic entrance. Some days courage is one word, one tiny doodle, one smile.

And some days it’s just not quitting.

The creative life needs courage.

Our heads are not just in the clouds, we’re weaving fluffy, silver lined couture garments.

Right?

Yeah. Vulnerability is NOT EASY.

In fact, the image from my blog that has been pinned the most is this one:

pinterest courage quote

 

Oh and my mom’s cream cheese cookie recipe is not trailing far behind.

Some of you may have guessed barns.

red barn Stowe Vermont_opt

Barn nestled on mountain overlooking the village of Stowe.

By the way, thanks to Clay Watkins for tweeting me about his own barn finds!

 

But I’ll take courage and cookies (and supportive friends like YOU).

They’re great companions for climbing mountains.

 

Stowe Vermont mountains_opt

Even if you can’t quite make out the mountain. Yet.

 

Climb every mountain, 
Ford every stream, 
Follow every rainbow, 
‘Till you find your dream.

~Rodgers & Hammerstein, The Sound of Music

 

How are you mustering courage, or climbing mountains? Or just tell me your thoughts on cookies. I’d love to know.

Happy Weekend!

 Coleen xo

 

Photo Essay: Vermont Farm and City Life (and Tall Stuff)

Vermont cow_opt

Got milk?

Ariella (a six year old Brown Swiss cow at Shelburne Farms in Vermont) does…

…about eight gallons a day.

vermont sheep_opt

This is a sheep, but she was a total ham. #smile

vermont goat

Oh that moment, right before you leap.

Chicken round up Vermont_opt

At Shelburne Farms they let you lead the chickens back to the coop.

I could use some corralling when it comes to hanging out on the Internet.

Vermont chicken

Someone takes their job seriously. This chicken probably never procrastinates.

Chicken coop Vermont

Back stage after the show. 

Americana Vermont

On the road again. So many barns…

Burlington Vermont people

But this was something new! 

According to a friend on Instagram, this is a lamplighter bicycle.

How do you stop without falling??

Tallest filing cabinet Vermont

Burlington, VT also has the world’s tallest filing cabinet.

Takes organization to new heights.

lake Champlain earth clock

Tall rocks make up Burlington’s Earth Clock

Lake Champlain Burlington Vermont

We saw beautiful views of Lake Champlain (and the Adirondack mountains in the distance).

We did not see Champ, the lake’s resident monster. 

Oh well, maybe next time.

 

Have you seen (or been on) a lamplighter bicycle? What interesting roadside attractions have you found? 

Next time: The hills are alive in Stowe, Vermont!

Happy Wednesday!

Coleen

xo

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Essay: Summer Road Trip Fun (New York)

Coleen Patrick road trip

My road trip smile.

Statue of Liberty setting sun

First stop: Staten Island, NY to visit dear daughter. This is the view of the Statue of Liberty from the ferry.

Frugal road trippers take note: the Staten Island ferry is FREE!

 

brooklyn bridge

We dodged lots of tourists and bicycles walked the Brooklyn Bridge with our daughter.

road trip NY

After a night as guests in our child’s teeny tiny but oh so cute studio apartment, my hub and I headed north. 

hudson valley new york

 If my phone’s camera could roll its eyes (lens?) it would’ve after the many shots I took of barns and silos.

copake falls new york

 Copake Falls, New York.

This is where the northernmost section of Taconic State Park is located.

NY MA border Bash Bish Falls park

 You have to walk to Massachusetts to get to Bash Bish Falls.

Note to frugal walkers: this is 3/4 mile from the New York (Taconic state park) lot. 

dragonfly bash bish falls

 Lots of dragonflies at the falls. Always nice to make new friends.

Bash Bish Falls above

There’s also lots of stairs. 🙂

Bash Bish Falls–the highest single-drop waterfall in Massachusetts.

Bash Bish Falls MA

 Bash Bish–try to say that three times fast.

Bash Bish Falls

Another new hiking pal.

Vermont barn

Stayed tuned: Next up, more barns Vermont!! 

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

Summer at a Snail’s Pace

Snails Crabtree Falls

Meet my new guru!

 

 Virginia waterfall hikes

We met last weekend at Crabtree Falls in George Washington National Forest.

 

Just in time, because tomorrow marks the summer solstice here in the Northern hemisphere.

For me, June has always meant it’s time to slow down a bit. Maybe because the majority of my years have been defined by school and summer break. I realized today, that there’s only been a handful of summers that were not sandwiched between school years (either for me or my kids).

Anyway, it’s summer, and I’m back in snail mode.

snail cllose up photo macro

 

Snail mode is not really a physical pace (although it can be). Here it’s more of a mind-set.

 

brain out to lunch tweet

 

I’m going to be less concerned with the overwhelming, the never-ending measuring stick, and more in tune with

family

nature

road trips

reading

summer book crush Collage

The Art of Chasing Normal and dozens of great reads are only .99 this weekend! Just click on the image to get to the Summer Book Crush site. 

 

snail reading doodle

doodling

joy

intuition

Oh and forget perfectionism. I’ve got more important passengers.

watermelon passenger

So yummy pretty.

 

And I’m taking a deep breath of gratitude for where I am right now.

snail macro photo

What does summer (or the change of seasons) mean to you?

Happy Weekend!

 

 

 

 

A Road Trip: Thirty-Four Sweet Hours

inspirational virgil quote

This weekend we took a quick road trip to Washington D.C.

Somehow we packed three or fours days worth of touring into 34 hours.

DC road trip

We practically had monuments coming out of our ears.

We left home at 9 am on Sunday morning, drove about 100 miles, and then stopped for brunch at The Diner in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood.

If you’re gluten-free, I highly recommend the pancakes. YUM.

My guys want you to try the tater tots.

brunch Adams morgan

Tater tots are good for your taste buds.

After pancakes, bread pudding french toast, and a veggie Reuben, we walked to the National Zoo.

Note: The ape house is NOT good for your nose.

gorilla yard national zoo

After mouth breathing my way through the ape house, I’d opt for a day outside too.

We walked A LOT. In 34 hours, I clocked 47,000 steps on my pedometer.

That’s about 20 miles.

tortoise D.C. zoo

I’m moving a little slower today.

Luckily there was plenty of sustenance.

Top Chef Mike Isabella Graffiato

Top Chef alum Mike Isabella’s Graffiato is a fun food adventure.

And that night we had a relaxing moonlight trolley ride around D.C.

Old Town Trolley tours washington d.c.

This was a fitting way to spend Memorial Day weekend.

Memorials in D.C.

The next morning we walked to the National Mall and toured the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

American History car dealership

My son will be waiting a long time to get a car loan at this dealership.

But waiting is not so bad.

We waited in this line at Georgetown Cupcakes (yes, we also toured Georgetown!)

Easy wait when this is at the end of the line:

Especially because the chocolate lava cupcakes were gluten-free.

Then, home again, home again, jiggety jig.

But not before we picked up a souvenir.

D.C. souvenir

How did you spend your weekend? Do you have a favorite tourist spot?

Happy Tuesday!

Photo Essay: Friendly Roads and Sunny Faces

may the road rise to meet you

May the road rise up to meet you.

hats williamsburg

May the wind be always at your back.

light in window

May the sun shine warm upon your face…

tree and clouds

the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,

light through doorway

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

 

**All photos taken at Shirley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia and Colonial Williamsburg.

 

Historical tidbit I learned at Shirley Plantation: Did you know that it wasn’t uncommon for portrait painters (and their entire family) to move in with their subjects?

Real Portrait Painters of the Thirteen Colonies. Would you watch that reality show?

I imagine the experience hastened the invention of photography. 🙂

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!