winter weekend camping on whidbey island.

petah and i wanted to do somesing fun and get away for a quick trip on valentine's day.  we bounced back and forth between a few ideas for short road trips, but ended up taking the ferry over to whidbey island. i had actually never even been to whidbey..wat!? how i enjoyed it so!

all of the following photos were taken on my iphone 6.

i'm not sure how i feel about this new a color story app. i think it is cool, and made this photo of the bus above look cool, but i kinda feel like its cheating in a way.  with all the great photo editing apps these days, i feel like people's photos are already so altered. the photo above is super misleading, as it looks like we are cruising down some sun-drenched highway in the warmth of summertime. it sorta makes me feel like i cheated the actual experience we had. now i just feel like i have to be even more skeptical of people's photos on social media and such. someone who captures a real moment similar to this with the sun flare feeling of warmth will probably just be thought to have used an app to edit it that way. bummer duuuude. the true photo of this is below.

aww yeah...good and grey. pacific northwest style (with a little help from vsco cam app). completely different though, yeah? 


i love taking the ferry! it makes me feel like i'm really gooooing somewhere, without really going too far at all.

um hellooooo, coupeville! so quaint! this is where they filmed the town scenes in practical magic. << this clip also shows a bit of a scene at their house, which was filmed at san juan county state park. peter and i camped right thereeeeeee some years ago. KOOL HUH!? i thought so. i love dat movie. someone left it onnnn the porrrrrch! (ps isn't it wild that you can find a clip of basically every obscure movie line on youtube these days? i used to say that with my friend all the time. still funny to me.)

thanks to my pal whitney (whom hails from whidbey island) for all the good recommendations!

we went to toby's tavern in coupeville, where pete enjoyed a muy grande pile of fresh mussels and we had garlic bread and beer. it is a funky cool place! and we bought the most delicious buttery coconut chocolate chip cookie from the counter before we left. must recreate soon.

we drove up to deception pass to find one of the few campsites that are open during the winter. such pretty views! even in the gloominess of the pacific northwest winter, i think this is really beautiful. 

the campsite we found was supa depressing to me. it was in the "woods" somewhere off the highway, all the sites were really close together, and everyone was just sitting inside their RV's watching tv on their big screens.. i just don't get that. you're camping, people! at least pretend that you like being outside. so we pressed on to another campground that we saw was open at fort casey state park.


these large rain puddles/reservoirs looked really pretty with the mountain range reflecting. already ten notches better than the other campground, and we hadn't even arrived yet.

pete & the trusty cheddar bus! one of these photos was featured on this blog. i looked at their instagram, and ludacris has something to do with it. soo that's neato i suppose. ya know, area codes and stuff.

happy campers! the campground at fort casey is super wide open and right next to the port townsend ferry (also pretty much a big area full of RV's), but we liked it here way way way better than the other option. its right on the water and you can walk around the fort and see these awesome views.

can ya see our teeny cheddar bus down yonder? also, the rocks were so pretty and colorful down by the water! ^^^

after i put together this post from our west coast road trip last summer, i realized i should have taken more photos of what the inside of the bus looks like while we're camping. its such a hilarious dump.

my mannn petah built us a quality fire before we fixed ourselves our romantiq valentine's day spaghetti dinner. i don't think we've ever made spaghetti while camping, but it was good. and we had some wine that we'd been saving from my friend's winery. we only got to enjoy the fire for a short bit before it started raining. and continued raining allllllll night and allllllll the next morning. the bus is super cozy to sleep in when its raining, though. we took off in the morn and waited to cook our camp brekky at home instead of making it in the rain. 

it was a delightful valentine's day out! :)





homemade valentine's day: gouda & gruyere fondue with soft pretzels.

oh, valentimes. always inspiring me to make something fun & special at home.

i got together with my galentine, sara, to make something fun for valentine's day weekend. not sure how we landed on making pretzels, but we were set on it. actually, yes i do. we decided that one day we'll own a flower shoppe/bakery/taproom combo and we needed to practice our pretzel-making skillz to complement pete's brewery zone of the shoppe. its going to be great. we know next to nothing about starting/owning/running a brick-and-mortar business, least now we know how to make pretzels. baby steps, people!

first things first, sara brought over these deeelicious pistachio & blackberry croissants from the farmer's market. and local pear "gem!" haha we aren't sure why they wrote gem, but it is jam. fun to call it gem, though. local gouda, tooooo!

check out sara's post about the fabulous local goodies that she generously picked up from the farmer's market for us that day.

sara is the queen of highlighting cool small businesses and finding ways to support your community by shopping locally. foods just taste better and make you feel better when you know they were produced right in your neighborhood and not shlepped a zillion miles up a dusty highway to get to you. 

also, sara gets to go see the QUEEN BEY in concert soon and i'm mega jealous. what a well-rounded human she is ;) 

so, i made the pretzel dough in advance so we didn't have to wait ages for it to rise.  we used this soft pretzel recipe from real simple magazine.

once the dough was ready, the pretzels were surprisingly easy to make.  and when we figured out how to twist them, we were so excited! just look at those plumperoonies!

you boil the pretzels for about a minute, then dress 'em up on the baking sheet. 

brush on an egg wash (1 egg + 1 tsp water), add your desired sea salt, cheese, seeds, herbs, whateva you fancy.

we used pink and white sea salt, poppy seeds, black pepper, sharp cheddar, and rosemary.

they bake for just 10 minutes. and they actually looked like pretzels! we've done it! floral/baked goods/beer shoppe combo biz, here we come!

for the fondue, we just melted some gouda and gruyere cheese on the stove, then transferred to the fondue pot with the tea candle lit.....

...we quickly learned that there is more to making fondue than heating cheese on the stove.  it would not stay melty and we ended up just eating it in bits because we were too hungry to fix it. apparently you need liiike some wine or citrus or something something. oh well ya live ya learn, amiright?

[also, some more "fancy" water. this time, grapefruit, rosemary, & eucalyptus. "fancy" water ideas: onetwo, & three.]

pete joined us on the living room floor for our pretzel and fondue date. it was a pretty simple and fun valentine's treat for all three of us to enjoy together heheeeee.

ps. those green olives you see.....$8! beware of the self serve zone of the grocery store, folks. we savored every last morsel of those buttery little green love nuggets anyhoo. so that's all that matters. 


Recipe Info:

Soft Pretzel recipe from Real Simple Magazine

Gouda & Gruyere cheese used for fondue