28 June 2011

{28june2011: weekend road trip part 1}

A few weekends ago we took a weekend trip up to Orcas Island for our friends wedding. (If you ever get a chance to visit Seattle, plan to give yourself a couple days to go up to the San Juan Islands, it's amazingly laid back and relaxing.)
To get to Orcas Island (or any of the San Juan islands) it's about an hour and a half drive north from Seattle to Anacortes where you get on an hour ferry ride to get to the island. The ferries to the islands can get really crowded, especially in the summer, so it's best to get there early.

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We took that advice and got up very early on a Friday (430am early - oi) so we could get to the ferry by 630am to get on the 730am ferry.
{is the ferry here yet?!}

We slept in the car as we waited for the ferry then slept the whole ferry ride over to Orcas island. Of course we got there so early (830am) that nothing was really open so we decided to head over to Moran State Park and do a little hiking. We were a little hesitant about a very serious hike (aka Jason's epic hike because a few days earlier I had fallen walking Darwin and sprained my ankle (no she didn't pull me, I just was walking and fell. ahahaha) and Jason was feeling a little under the weather so we thought we'd do something easy, so we opted for a mostly flat hike around Mountain Lake.
Of course as soon as Darwin saw the lake she had to bless it.
The hike around the lake was beautiful and so peaceful. We saw one other couple and their dog during the whole four mile loop.
After walking around the lake we made it back to the car and had a breakfast picnic on a bench next to the lake. Once we finished eating a bit (we didn't want to eat too much as we wanted to try Passionate for Pies in Eastsound) we started to pack up the car so we could drive to the top of Mount Constitution to check out the stone tower. Darwin was not ready to leave yet and would not come near us so we could leash her and stayed by the picnic table.

For a good 10 minutes she ran around keeping a good distance between us and her letting us know she did not want to go. I finally lured her back to me with a piece of salami (I was a bad dog mom and forgot to bring her treats) and we loaded her up and drove to the top of the mountain.
Of course we had to pop into the gift shop.
After picking up a few postcards we walked up a little hill to the stone tower.
Jason still wasn't feeling 100% so I went up the tower to check out the view while he hung out with Darwin on the bottom.
The tower isn't very tall, but from the top of it you can see almost all of Orcas Island and its surrounding islands and the surrounding mountains (they say on a clear day you can see down to Mount Rainer). It wasn't very clear while I was up there, but it was still an awesome view.
What I did see though were a couple of kids loving on Darwin, all while she kept her eyes on me.
By then I was hungry for pies so we headed to Eastsound (the main town on Orcas) and hunted down the pie shopI love that they carry sweet and savory pies. We both tried a savory pie while Darwin watched us. hehehe

Of course since we were on vacation we had to let Darwin have a treat too and we found Lily, a little ice cream shop . Darwin, the spoiled girl she is got her own scoop of vanilla.
Since we were bad dog parents and didn't come totally prepared we stopped at the pet store, Pawki's to find some treats for Dar (always good to have treats on us for training).

Stay tuned for part 2 which will show the great little farm we stayed at!

23 June 2011

{23june2011: A love letter to Mango}

Dear Mango
I know there will be many other bitches vying for your attention, but come on, how can you resist this:
I know I know, that picture is from when I was a tiny pup, but the floozyness is still there.
We all know how much you love to flash your dangly bits so I know you aren't going to shy away from my picture above.

We're two good looking doggies, we'd be the envy of all other couples. We'd be like the Brangelina of the dog blog world. We could be Mangin or Manwin or Dargo.
I love you with all my butt. I'd say heart, but my butt is bigger. 
Love, Darwin

Uh oh. I just read my horoscope for the day (I'm an Aquarius) and it says this "Don't 
become too infatuated with what the masses are infatuated with. Avoid trends."
I think the masses are going to be going after you... maybe I should withdraw my love letter.

{Brooke here: don't be offended by Darwin's love letter. She's trying out her skills at online dating to win a date with Mango}

13 June 2011

{13june2011: joe stains}

As many of you know by now, the blogging world lost an entertaining guy, Joe Stains late last month and in his honor June 2nd was declared Cheeseburgers for Joe Stains Friday!
We've seen a lot of our dog blog friends have participated, and we did too (I'm just late posting about it - wanted to wrap up the epic hike posts first)!

{Joe Stains, this burger's for you}

We'll miss you Joe!

A cheeseburger wasn't the only treat Darwin got that weekend. I wasn't sure if were going to make it to a fast food place (Jason's not big on fast food) so on Saturday Darwin got to share some of my BBQ pulled chicken sandwich! It was a beautiful sunny and warm weekend in Seattle, so we picked up some BBQ and went to the park for a picnic and a walk. I let Darwin have the top bun of my sandwich and some less barbequed pieces of chicken.
{BBQ sandwich for Joe Stains Saturday?}
And the last treat of the weekend was Chinese Tea Eggs inspired by the one and only Honey (and Hsin-Yi). I wanted to make them as soon as I saw Honey's post, but was even more motivated after seeing the Splorin' Wolfies, Maggie and Guinness make some. So after fast food lunch on Sunday (Jason actually wanted to stop by Burger King after the dog park) and cheeseburgers for Joe Stains, I started boiling my eggs.
After following all the steps, this is what I was left with:
And Darwin got to try one out.
{Chinese Tea Egg for Joe Stains Sunday!}
(I don't know why but all my eggs ended up with one flat side, maybe I cracked the shells before they were boiled enough?)
Darwin (and I) loved them. I was worried at first that the tea would make them sweet, but the soy sauce made them perfectly salty. 

Joe Stains we'll miss your humor and big personality, but will always think of you when we eat cheeseburgers!

10 June 2011

{10june2011: Serene part 3}

Remember this sign? After hiking back down from the falls we ended up back here which pointed us 2 miles to Lake Serene. We've already been going almost 3 miles by this point and still had to get back to the car, but we pushed on.
We passed by the base of the falls and saw it from a different angle.

After we finished the whole hike we realized it would have been possible to stop and turn back at this point, but little did we know the Machu Picchu like hike we had yet to do. (We went to Peru three years ago and hiked up to a peak at the backside of Machu Picchu. It was a HARD hike basically straight up the side of a mountain. Click here to see the peak we climbed - it's the tall one in the foreground. But you did get a great view down to the whole expanse of ruins below.)
There were some tricky spots on the hike, around fallen trees and boulders. And we passed this giant fallen tree.
After climbing endless switchbacks and stairs we got to a muddy portion where people we asked said we were still 30-40 minutes away from the lake and had to cross through snow. We got to the snow part and that was a precarious short trek! The trail through the snow was very narrow and if you slipped, you could slide all the way down the mountain.
Here's a view looking back along the trail we just walked.
There was a little rocky stream bed area we had to cross and were so tired and cold we thought of turning back, but a couple passed by and said we were super close to the lake and it was just around the corner so we pushed on and finally made it to our destination!
There were low lying clouds so you couldn't even see across the whole ice covered lake, but you could hear avalanches on the mountain side across the lake.
Darwin had a blast doing zoomies in the snow while we refueled with trail mix and bananas.
After taking in the view of the lake we headed back down.
Whew. Just looking back on these pictures tires me out again! Hopefully we'll remember this hike while planning our next one!