Tag Archives: Washington State

Little yurt in the desert

cavemanred_labelsforprint_cmyk4My friend Evonne is turning 60 this year. She’s not a girl to do things in a low-key sort of way, so she is partying all year. In an effort to keep the party rolling she booked a little mini vacation for 4 of us ladies at Cave B, on the east side of the Columbia River, near the town of Quincy, Washington. My dear friend Irene, my new friend Vaun, and I were more than happy to make the trip with her.

It was a beautiful, peaceful spa, and we had a great time. The scenery was amazing to us who live in the forest–to be in a desert environment is really unique.  Once you go over the Cascade Mountain Range, you are in another world.

Jones Wine logo-hmNow just so you know, Washington State is not your regular state in the US–we’re divided by far more than just a mountain range. I live in Western Washington, and Quincy is in Eastern Washington. While there are no armed guards at the border, hippy-liberal-Obama-loving westerners are encouraged to leave their money and go back home–quickly. Anyone from the West Side is automatically labeled as being ‘from Seattle’ which could mean you are a liberal, tree-hugging, atheist, gay communist. Since there are more people living on the West side than on the East, and the West is generally more Democrat than Republican, during election years there are frequent discussions about the Republican East side seceding from the West, but so far nothing official has occurred and like an unhappily married couple, we muddle along.

White Heron winery labelEven so, they welcomed us and treated us well. Since two of us are vegan and one is a militant, evangelical vegan, their suspicions as to our identities as West-siders were confirmed, but they were raised to be polite, and Jesus loves everyone, no matter how misguided. (Leave your money here, thank you.)

My friend is a woman who works hard and likes to treat herself to an occasional luxury, such as a spa-vacation. She expects a really good return for her money, and could be considered demanding, if you fail to measure up, but she is lavish with her business and cash if you meet the test.

Thorp Fruit StandWe stopped in Thorp at the historic fruit stand for cherries, and continued on to the Columbia Gorge. Despite a minor hiccup the first night, the chef managed to provide a vegan option both nights, and it was a merry adventure.

Over the course of the stay, we toured the tasting rooms at four vineyards: Cave B of course,which was the best value with 10 samples & a glass for $5.00.) I am a non-drinker, but was along as the designated driver. Evonne was in love with their late-harvest wine.

At Cave B, we stayed in yurts, which was really fun. Our last night there we sat out on the deck in front of our yurt and sipped champagne (not me–I sipped water) in the warmth of the desert evening. The sunsets over the Columbia Gorge are sheer beauty–there are no words to describe them. All in all, four ladies, four wineries and no hubbys to provide restraints–it was a rolling party.

Cave B Inn Yurt Village sideshow1


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Edmonds Beach

Edmunds Beach 2, Puget Sound, May 15, 2014Yesterday was the annual field trip with my grandson’s class.  This time I didn’t get to ride on the bus (thank all the stars in heaven) but we did meet the classes down at Edmonds Beach on Puget Sound, in Washington State.  Edmonds is located in the central Puget Sound Basin.


Map-pugetsound wikepediaPuget Sound is a unique, complex series of saltwater estuaries and deep channels at the southern end of the Salish Sea, protected from the North Pacific by the Olympic Penninsula, Vancouver Island, and the San Juan Islands. The ecology is a fragile system, relying on the cold but protected salt water. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) defines Puget Sound as a bay with numerous channels and branches; more specifically, it is a fjord system of flooded glacial valleys.


The creatures we saw were sea anemones, moon snails, hermit crabs, sea stars, and dungeness crabs.

MOON SNAILS? Anything called moon snails must be awesome! See the video here: Jonas talks about Moon Snails on YouTube


Edmunds Beach 3, Puget Sound, May 15, 2014

We loved watching the ferries arriving and departing at Edmond’s Dock.  Washington State Ferries is a passenger and automobile ferry service owned and operated by the Washington State Department of Transportation that serves communities on Puget Sound and in the San Juan Islands. It is the largest passenger and automobile ferry fleet in the United States and the third largest in the world by fleet size. The service is also the largest in the world based on the number of vehicles carried, having carried 11 million annually.


450px-KalakalaSeeing the Spokane departing for Kingston on and returning reminded me of being a kid, and sailing on the Kalakala, which was the most awesome ferry ever. It was as modern and streamlined as a space ship, and was a unique part of Puget Sound maritime history.

We walked up the beach and down the beach a kajillion times, and ate our picnic lunches. It was an awesome day.

All I know is, grandma is still tired and has sand in her shoes. She may need another nap.

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