I have been totally in love with rural island living for more than a year, but the charm seems to be wearing off a little. While for the past year I only left the island when I had to, I suddenly find myself leaving more often and drawn to the people, culture, variety, and faster pace on the "mainland".
On my most recent off-island trip I hiked up Mt. Pilchuck (near Granite Falls) with girlfriends Erin and Serena. I was excited to go hiking in the Cascades and see a new view, which was supposed to be spectacular from the 1920's fire lookout at the top. Unfortunately, it was a foggy, overcast day, and we couldn't see anything! It was still a beautiful hike, and fun, varied trail through forest and granite boulder fields. Afterward, tired and hungry, we returned to Erin's house to make dinner and get a pasta-making lesson from her. We made delicious homemade butternut squash and sage raviolis with a toasted hazelnut brown butter sauce, a shave of pecorino, and green salad with heirloom garden tomatoes.
My niece Emma also turned one year old! I can't believe it. She is walking all over the place, saying a few words, and pretty much cuter than ever. It was a pool party for her birthday and I found myself having a blast with all the kids going down the big slide and swinging on the rope swing.
I also caught up with old friends, went running on the Burke-Gilman, and enjoyed some happy-hour specials including a prickly pear margarita. Ole!