Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

By the time you read this.......

THE SALE OF THE YEAR WILL BE ON! Enjoy your visit & please tell them Kingstongirl sent you!!

Here is official notice - Great Wolf Lodge launches their best sale of the year on Wed. morning (Sept. 29th).

It will be a 48 hour sale, and will launch at 10am Wed. morning.  The sale is good on stays from Sept. – Dec. and would be great for anyone wanting to visit this fall or during Snowland, which begins in early December.
You can go here starting at 10 am on Wed. morning to find deals.  You will need to enter promo code 48HOUR to access the deal (it will not go live until 10am Wed. and I will post another reminder that morning)!

They are keeping pricing on the down low for now and were not able to provide me with detailed pricing, but they did confirm that it is the BEST sale of the year.  I am looking forward to seeing what the deals look like.  Maybe a great opportunity for a Christmas present for the kids (a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge). 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our start of our week at the Oregon Coast.

Last week “Hub’s” and I packed the car with our things (yes I over packed.) I some how always think I need to pack everything and the kitchen sink when we do a road trip. I think my new rule is going to be an over night bag for a weekend and a cary on suit case for the two of us when we are on a road trip. Not over packing will totally be the next thing I start to work on. 
We started our travel of our week long down the Coast adventure, rolling down the road in our Land Rover Rosie ( yes I named my car!) with the Fur babies. Our first stop down the coast is Astoria. 
Astoria is rich with history nestled against the hill along the Columbia River, a city centered around the maritime industry surrounded by natural beauty, It is full of character and it is one stop that you don’t want to just pass by or drive through un-noticed. The Oregon trail that Lewis and Clark traveled on ended here in 1805.  A historic waterfront where you can observe barges and freighters navigating the river in the course of their duties. Watch sailboats and evening cruises sail by without a care in the world enjoying the sealions as they swim and play.

We decided to do some of the tourist “trap” activities that Astoria has to offer. The first place we tried to explore is a place I have been to now three times. Once when my mom was 7 1/2 month pregnant she made it to the top and I was 3 days later, I was born.  

The next time was roughly two years ago when they were doing repairs to the column so I didn’t make it to the top that time. This time we made it to the top. All 125 feet and all of the 165 stairs later, all the while I was huffing and puffing, and throwing myself down in a fit as big as any two year old would do. When I opened the door I was slapped in the face by a gust of wind but that isn’t what took my breathe away it was the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Oregon and Washington coastal hills it was like what I would imagine heaven would be like for you to look down on all the beauty that is all around you from the top of the Column.            
The Column was built in 1926 and has art work of the trials,triumphs and turning points of the Pacific Northwest.  More then 400,000, visitors are drawn to this beautiful art work on top of Coxcomb hill yearly.  One thing that the shopper in me enjoyed was the gift shop, they had many things to choose from. The Column park is open from dawn to dusk the gift shop and information center is open during the winter 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is a place that everyone can find something for them to enjoy, There is a $1.00 parking fee. It looks out upon the city of Astoria and acts as a protector. It is a must see when you visit the coast. 

The Second thing we checked out was the Columbia Maritime Museum. The Museum features interactive exhibits that combine history with cutting-edge technology. Visitors of all ages will experience what it is like to pilot a tugboat, participate in a Coast Guard rescue on the Columbia River Bar, and live in Astoria during the height of the salmon fishing. Huge windows make the Columbia River a living backdrop for classic fishing vessels and Coast Guard rescue craft. This was "Hub's" favorite being he is in the maritime profession himself. Seeing these things with him and all that him, my Dad and Grandpa did and continue to do in this profession of the sea, makes me only love them and appreciate them so much more. 
 The best part is the fact that you can see an interactive first hand how the Bar Pilots work the dangerous wind and waves during a fierce winter storm in the award winning orientation film The Great River of the West.

The coast guard is on hand to show you along the bridge of a WWII era US Navy Destroyer, see the world class collection of maritime artifacts, and then walk out to the dock to explore the Lightship Columbia, a floating lighthouse

The third thing we checked out that was my favorite thing was the Sunday Farmers Market. Like most farmers markets Astoria Sunday Market features fresh and locally grown artists each week performing on its Music Stage located in the Food Court. The one thing that Astoria farmers market had is four blocks of vendors selling their goods. It is amazing the way they work their farmers market. The people that work on it do it in a way that makes this a destination all on its own.

The fourth thing that we checked out was the beautiful Liberty Theater with it’s start dating back to 1925, the building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. After a renovation in 2005 it opened back up and it had brought to live many movies, plays and lectures of history all on the Liberty Theater Stage.  

Last but not least the 5th thing we did was take a tour of the Goonies, This year being that it was the 25th Anniversary, I never have watched the entire movie all the way through until we sat in our hotel room at the Cannery Pier Hotel.   I did think it was funny when the part that the kids rode their bikes from Astoria to Cannon beach in a quick bike ride, which if you haven’t been there let me just let you know that it is miles apart. 
So that is the few things we did while we were in Astoria I will be writing about the Hotel we got to stay in and enjoyed so much! So please stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bavarian Ritz Review

In wrapping up our cascade loop vacation we decided that Leavenworth was a must for the trip. After leaving Winthrop we traveled through the most beautiful country side. Passing through the quaint little town of twisp,f ollowing alongside the river the entire drive as if the river was guiding us to Leavenworth, through the winding roads. We decided to take a detour through Lake Chelan. Having it been such a long time that I have been in Chelan I felt like somethings have changed and some of the town has remained the same. I have been asked to go and review a few places in Chelan at the end of October and I can hardly wait. It was a great place to rest up before making the final leg of the cascade loop.

Pulling into Leavenworth is always something that makes me smile its such a cute and fun town. Who couldn't love a place that has a Christmas shop open year round? I know I love it! If you haven't stayed in Leavenworth Washington yet, you are missing out. A charming little village town, nestled inside the majestic Cascade mountains and decorated with beautiful Bavarian architecture, hanging flower baskets on every windowsill, and a plethora of little shops and restaurants to keep you entertained.

Finding the Bavarian ritz hotel was so easy, feeling lucky to get to review a hotel in the heart of the main drag of Leavenworth, we were able to park easy in the hotel owned parking lot located right across the street, which is an easy walk from your car to the hotel.


Feeling like you are in a episode of the Tutors the King Henry feel of the room was nice, much bigger then I expected it to be with a king size four poster Bed, a gas fireplace with a flat screen TV & DVD  player along with an I-Pod docking station and CD player, A separate private spa room with a jetted tub away from the main bathroom with another tub shower combo. It really seems like a very large room for the price. They even had some great little extras, like a microwave, refrigerator, toaster and coffeepot.

It could use a make over to update the room, it is a little on the tacky side and just a bit over priced for what you get, but it was a very comfortable stay and the bed was great. It did get a little hot so make sure you open a window. The room we stayed in had a little 1980's feeling to it with the pink carpet and the black jetted tub. There are definitely issues with the floor of the room. There was at least a one inch difference in the levels of the floor. I always felt like I was leaning whenever I walked in there. The floor to the rest of the room had height changes that felt a little unsettling when you were trying to walk at the same time making sure not to trip.  Take in to consideration that this building is over 100 years old and that only adds to the uniqueness of this hotel. It really reminded us of a hotel room you would find in older parts of Europe. 

The hotel staff went above and beyond to make sure that everything was just perfect for us and that our stay was everything we would want it to be. Don't let their website fool you or distract you from the stay you will experience here. The website is a little out dated and could use a make over as well.  I felt safe in the hotel in general and liked the fact if I needed anything the staff was ready and able to help with any of my needs. 

They really try to come up with fun ideas for packages like the Romantic Packages, A Romantic Dinner for two, a $50.00 value, in one of the romantic fine dining restaurants in town. One dozen roses or flowers of your choosing will be waiting for you in the room upon your arrival. Along with a bottle of champagne, or wine, or you can get a Non Alcoholic Sparkling Cider, Whatever your choice is, they will be in your room upon your arrival ready for you to enjoy.

Leavenworth has so many fun events to be part of and staying at the Bavarian Ritz makes it the perfect place to be where you are right in the heart of everything that is going on in town. Two of the big events are coming up are the Autumn Leaf Festival going on September 24 and 25. Then the other is Oktoberfest, the three weekend event starts on October 1st & 2nd October 8th and 9th and the last weekend is October 17 and 18.

When you step out of the hotel you are in the heart of downtown with the wonderful shops and the best restaurants within just steps from the hotel. A great place to eat is located downstairs is the The Duck and Drakes  where from the beautiful patio deck on the back of the hotel you have your own entrance to this one of a kind Pub like restaurant with a eclectic pub grub menu with reasonable prices, quality food and generous portions, it is hard to go other places then this while you are staying just step's away in the Ritz. 

Another great place to get a This little stand at the end of the main street had a variety of sausages and beers as well has soft drinks and lots of yummy beer. We each ordered something different to try each others. I loved the pretzels the condiments included about 10 different mustards, chopped onions, fresh Apple Cider Saurkrauit, sweet pickle relish and dill pickler relish with onions both were excellent & the service was cheerful and friendly and the place had some great atmosphere and a very clean bath room and did I mention that they have the water spritzers for you to stand under to cool off in from the heat.

We were doing the girls weekend so some girls shopping was just what we needed to do and we enjoyed Mapel   What is Mapel you ask? Mapel is located across from Gustav's in the Haus Wunderbar building adjacent to d'Vinery Tasting Room & Haus Dog coffee shop. This is what they say about their store. "Whether trying on a pair of jeans, picking out the perfect summer dress or finding a new fall jacket you will soon understand why Mapel insists that "fashion is sweet". Buyer beware, you will be encouraged to savor a locally crafted signature "Mapel" truffle from Schocolat."

Another fun clothing store is called Fashion for 12 a place for casual clothing fun Souvenir T-shirts and sweatshirts for men, women and children. Nothing in the shop is priced over $12.99.

Magenta, Leavenworth's newest fashion boutique specializing in the latest goodies for the fashionesta at heart. There's everything you need to frost yourself plus home decor and more. I fell in love with the fun unique gifts and things you couldn't find any where else.  This is my new go to shop when I need that something special.

One thing is for sure no matter what you do in Leavenworth you are going to have an amazing time. You will experience something different with the four seasons you might not get in Western Washington. I know that I will go back and stay in Leavenworth during the tree lighting in December. Maybe the next time "Hub's" will join me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sun Mountain Lodge Review.

The drive over to Winthrop from Kingston was a beautiful drive. We decided to do the cascade loop a drive that I had yet to ever do as someone that was born and raised in Washington State. 

Being a native from Washington, I know what it's beauty has to offer. A wealth of natural beauty and generous quality vacation spots and resorts that we have to offer to the people that truly want to see something amazing. You are in luck Sun Mountain Lodge is one I had heard that I needed to try and check out. Nestled in the Methow Valley in Eastern Washington. 

When my Mom and I made the turn on the Arlington exit off of I-5  we started to drive towards Eastern Washington. We realized that it didn't take very long at all to leave the Western Washington's rainy gray skies behind us. Amazingly Winthrop Washington is located only 200 miles northeast of Seattle.The baby blue skies and warm sunshine made us feel like we had jumped on a plane to get this sunshine but we just had to drive a few hours to reach it. A great trip to our back yard is all we needed. 

Stepping back in time in the frontier town of Winthrop Washington with it's old wooden sidewalks. Winthrop is a popular destination for visitors from all around the country. The Cowboy town is fun to explore especially the downtown very quaint old out west feel and appearance. Despite it's small size, hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, make their way over the Mountains just like My mom and I did just to check it out. Walk down main street where you can get  a taste of the old West! The great shops and ice cream cones are just the tip of the iceberg for a fun vacation spot. If you don't already know, Winthrop offers a variety of outdoor activities. The area offers 150 miles of trails, busy with bikers, hikers and horse back riders during the summer months. Cross country skiers and snow shoers leave their tracks during the winter months. There are many great fishing and hunting area's within a short drive of Winthrop. 

We were able to check out some great places to shop Trails End Bookstore where we were able to get some fun books to read while staying at Sun mountain lodge. Red Hen Trading Company a great little consignment shop that mom and I were both able to find a new treasure to take home. I got a new dress for $2.50 and Mom got a beautiful scarf for $1.00. Aspen Grove Gifts was a wonderful place to check out, with such fun things it was hard to just choose one thing to buy. Mom found a pink cast iron flying pig and I found a the perfect clock to go in my Paris themed office. There were so many wonderful places to shop at but I don't want to write about them all in this review because I am very excited to go back again. 

After we were done looking around we got a bite to eat at the Duck Brand Cantina where mom and I both had a wonderful lunch. I can only hope to one day be asked to stay in the hotel that they have on the same site as the Duck Brand Cantina at this is a great place with a funky themed environment. We also tried the School House Brewery, the place where your husband will be happy to sit and relax all the while enjoying a brew and the sound of the river rolling through the outside patio. It is a perfect way to end a fun day in the wild wild west. 

On our drive up to the lodge we were amazed with the beautiful views of the sun soaked mountains glimmering in the gold tones that the rolling hills only eastern Washington has, the entire time the road followed the river. Wild life was everywhere you looked. Eagles flying over head, baby deer close to their mommy's and the Buck's leading the way. The entire time I was thinking what it must look like when its blanketed in snow. How amazing a trip up to Sun Mountain must look like in the middle of winter.  After about a half hour we made it to the lodge and the view just continued to get better.

I received a frosty greeting at the front desk, when asking for a little more detailed direction for how to get to my room. I felt that I was a bother when I asked about it after I had checked in. Being that the resort is so well known and such a destination for people to travel to I would think that their hospitality would be a little bit better. The housekeeping staff was above and beyond helpful and sweet, making me forget about the first impression of the front desk. All was forgiven right then and there. I am sure that they do a lot for making things right. The gift shop was over the top and was far above expectation with hand picked details and all the things you might have forgotten at the bottom of the mountain in town. They even had Ting's my favorite vegan chips. 

Our room was amazing and the decor didn't take away from the natural wonders of outside. The little patio with a table and two chairs were just prefect for mom and I to sit out and enjoy the sunset between the mountains and the valley. A doe and her fawn's came right to our patio and if we would have reached out our hands we would have been able to pet them. Something in my life I had never been so close to before in their own natural settings.  The bed was comfy and the linen was rich and enjoyable to sleep in. I am always so worried about the sleep I am going to get on a review. It wasn't a disappointment at all.  The I-pod dock allowed us to listen to the kind of music we like and enjoy but the room had a built in radio with stations that were pre programed for us if we didn't have an I-pod.  The bathroom was big and had a jetted tub and free standing shower. In the living area there was a coffee table, desk and couch along with a rustic feeling chase lounge. All in all the room was beautiful and comfortable.

We ordered room service and both wished that we would have just gotten out of our Pj's and gone to the 5 star restaurant to enjoy the food prepared there instead of having cold food brought to us in our rooms. For only about $15.00 more we could have really enjoyed a nice meal. The next time we go we will know now to do this.

If relaxing in a peaceful environment free of the noise and clutter of every day life and distractions is what you are looking for this is your place. If you are a TV girlie like me it was a little hard to take the no TV resort.  Although I know it was really good for me, and Mom and I were able to enjoy some great conversations and a lot of laughs. So once in a while it pays to have a no TV night. They do have WiFi allowing me to catch up on some Hulu time.

Sun Mountain Lodge is the kind of resort that when people think of Washington they think of this, a place where people can come relax & enjoy being front and center with the wilderness. For those who are looking for a true Northwest escape from your everyday life this is the place.

They say that this is a fun filled family vacation spot, although I didn't see one child at the resort during our visit. I don't know any children at a young age that would enjoy this, and I don't think the couples looking for romance would enjoy the not so peaceful moments with a little one screaming or crying about the lodge.

Guests have so many activities to choose from including fly fishing, river rafting, canoeing, tennis, and nearby golf. When winter approaches, it turns into a winter wonderland, cross-country, ice skating and sleigh rides. 

For a added relaxing touch,  one can enjoy some of the many spa services or a dip in one of the two pools on site. If you are looking to enjoy a great backyard escape, Sun Mountain Lodge is the first place you should look to plan your next getaway. I know I will go back with my girlfriends for a wonderful girls get away next Spring.  

Remember when you book your trip there tell them Kingstongirl sent you!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Advice for a person who want to travel.

I love to travel. I always have, I always will.  I think its in my soul, my blood or whatever else could have been the cause. Being a travel writer and review hotels and Inn's, B&B's is an amazing dream job that has now become a reality to me and my world.  I am going to pass on tips for traveling in my blog. Giveaways for travel related things. Between this and the great things going on in my neck of the woods in and around the great places that I have in my back yard of Kitsap County. 

Here are some tips I hope you find to be something that you enjoy maybe laugh a bit and maybe then book a great month away in a small little town to really learn the in's and out's of a different part of the world. 

Best advice: For over seas travel. 
  1. Say Hello, to all other travelers. You never know when you need help.
  2. Theft. Out of site, out of mind. Do not show people what you have. People steal what they can see. EXAMPLE: Walking around with a camera. Put it in a backpack.
  3. Always take a taxi, or bus, etc from bus station to hotel.
  4. Store you passport, travel check information in you e-mail box. 
  5. Carry a Padlock, Place it on a door. Put eyelet screw on door if possible or when needed, use your own lock.
  6. Do not look rich, dress, jewelry, tourist clothes, expensive backpack.
  7. Take long pants on all bus rides. 
  8. Take lots of pictures.
Hotels: Best 10 Questions
  1. Let me look at the mattress please.
  2. Do you have free water?
  3. Do you have free breakfast?
  4. Do you have hot water showers
  5. Do you heat with Electricity? Solar? Gas?
  6. Is the hot water 24 hours a day?
  7. Do you have the hasp, so I can put on my own lock?
  8. Are the showers free?
  9. Can I bring friend into the hotel, or my room?
  10. Do you have cable TV? HBO, Cinecanal?
  11. Do you have a book exchange?
Save money:
  1. Do not drink beverages, other than water. $3
  2. Electric Hot Plate to cook,  $2 Day
  3. Guidebook for rooms. $2 Day
  4. Water purification drops. $1 Day
  5. Take overnight bus. $1 Day
  6. Rent rooms in hotels with free water. $1 Day
  7. Travel, or share a room with a friend $1 Day
  8. Wash you own clothes .50
  9.  Eat only 1 sit down meal a day and eat in market for the others.
  10. Stay for one month in each location and negotiate a price of room for 1/2 normal price.
  1. Teach English
  2. Waiter or Waitress
  3. Pick Fruit
  4. Cook food at hostel for a month
  5. Reception of desk.
  6. Massage Therapist
  7. Dive master
  8. Tour guide, or selling tours
  9. Graphic on computer. Trade for room
  10. Travel Agency.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why I blog.....

Almost a year ago I began blogging thinking that it would be an outlet for me as a writer.  It has become so much more than just a hobby,  blogging is so fun, it has taught me so much, especially about myself. Just another thing to do to pass the time. It has become a start to a beautiful career.  One that will grow as fast and as big with the time I put into it. blogging might have started slow but with each day and with each post it's brought me to many wonderful adventures and is going to open many doors. 

I enjoy sharing MY stories, photos, and thoughts with people.  The main reason I work so hard on my blog is because I know that it is going to help me reach many of my goals and help my dreams to come true.  I love travel and I love to write so why not make this a place for my readers to be able to check out and then travel to there themselves. 

If you know me well at all you know that one of my goals and wishes, and that is that someday I want to share my unfinished novel with the world. I want to catch the eye of some out there who thinks that I have I am the next big thing.  I hate to disappoint people, and love to surprise them. Writing is my dream, I just never knew. Not until now. I know I have a "style" per se and I believe there is an audience out there who would enjoy my work.  I believe blogging could be my vehicle to where I want to be; a published Author. The west coast Samantha Brown!  

I will continue to write and promote my blog until I see my novel on the New York best sellers list. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A change is coming.........

I am going to be doing a different spin on Kingstongirl News.  
This is going to be about reviews on places where I stay. 
about businesses that deserve to be talked about.

We are going in a direction that is 100% on target for Traveling, Review,
& seeing what is going on in the North West and especially the 
Great things that North Kitsap has to offer! 

Please stay tuned for some great stuff coming soon! 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tempt my tummy tuesday.


This wonderfully buttery squash puree, sweetened with maple syrup and whipping cream, is a classic fall favorite that's sure to make a spectacular side to your Thanksgiving turkey.


  • 4 lb. (2 kg). butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) salt

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. With a large, sharp knife, cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop seeds out with a spoon and place both halves, cut side down, in a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet with sides. Pour in just enough water to cover the pan about 1/8 inch (0.25 cm) deep. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the squash halves over and continue baking for another 30 minutes or until very tender when poked with a fork. Remove from the oven.
  3. With a spoon, scoop squash flesh out into a bowl. If you have a food processor, puree squash with butter, whipping cream, maple syrup and salt until very smooth and creamy. (You may have to do this in two batches.) You can also beat butter, cream, maple syrup and salt into squash with an electric mixer, if you prefer. The squash won't come out quite as velvety smooth, but it will still be delicious.
Servings: 8

A little sweet, a little sour, this sensational side dish of braised red cabbage and apples is an easy accompaniment to roast turkey that can be made ahead of time and reheated right before dinner.
Looking for more Thanksgiving or Fall recipe ideas?  Do visit our complete listings of Fall comfort recipes that your family will just love!


  • 2 tbsp. (30 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 small head red cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) red wine (any kind)
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. (15 mL) sugar
  • 2 tsp. (10 mL) salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) apple jelly

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, until softened. Add cabbage and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until cabbage is thoroughly wilted and softened. Now add apples, wine, vinegar, sugar and salt, lower the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring once in a while.
  2. Stir in apple jelly, replace the cover on the pot and continue to simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Servings: 8


This is a delicious and quick one-pot wonder. If you want, you can use herb and garlic seasoned diced tomatoes instead of the plain kind – but omit the basil in the recipe and save yourself a step when making this wonderful One-pot pasta with chicken and mushrooms recipe.


  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 lb (500 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch (2 cm) chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1.5 cups (375 mL) sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can (28-oz.798 mL) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil
  • 2 cups (500 mL) smallish pasta, such as shells, bow ties, fusilli or elbows
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • black pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken chunks and cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until just beginning to brown. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken chunks to a bowl leaving the as much of the oil behind in the pan as possible.
  2. Add the onion and mushrooms to the pot and cook until softened – 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, water and basil, bring to a boil, then stir in the uncooked pasta. Cover with a lid, lower the heat to medium low and cook for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender but not mushy, stirring once in a while. Drain any excess water.
  3. Return the chicken to the pan, and cook for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is completely heated through. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Servings: Makes about 4 servings.

Meet Me Monday!!!

1. What do you do when you have time to yourself?
When I have time to myself where I don't have to write something, or clean something, I would scrapbook, I'm so behind its crazy so yes if I had some me time all to myself that is what I would do.

2. When you look out your kitchen window, what do you see?
I see my neighbors house and their veggie garden, a few piles of wood. Then there is the dry dirt that they dug up to put the propane tank in. Where my lawn and beautiful flower gardens were. Man I miss my flowers.

3. Who/What would you want to be reincarnated as
I have no idea, maybe my dogs, they are spoiled and get to hang out and sleep all day and have no worries.

4. What is your biggest pet peeve about other people's kids?

I can't HANDLE the whining!!
Makes me wanna gouge out my eyeballs when I hear whining. Or not having their children say thank you or the kids that are so lazy that they can't even pick up after themselves, or when I am on the phone and the parents are yelling to them through the phone, just hang up with me and have your loud discussion with out me.
5. Regular or Diet soda?

Diet Coke, I can't do much sugar or I would have to give myself even more insulin. 
& we don't need that now do we.....

Friday, September 3, 2010

What I am looking forward to...

The past week its been getting darker earlier, There is a chill in the air, the leaves are changing  
There are so many things I love about this time of year....
Here are some of the things I am looking forward to, 

Fall colors.

Hot apple cider.

Jumping into plies of leaves.
Knitting on a cold evening. 

Friday night football.


Vintage Halloween

The Seattle Rain...

Candles in the evening. 

Reading all the books you didn't this summer. 

Snuggling down with warm blankets.

Shopping for Christmas gifts. 

The Fair. :)

The Fall TV show line up!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I am in a contest and I need your help!

Hey everyone if you could please vote for me for the Western Washington's best Tweeter in our area I would be so Thankful! The link is on the right hand side under section of Events I am part of.
If you can do that and I win leave a comment and I will do a random drawing for a surprise giveaway.

Alderbrook Lodge Review.

Alderbrook Lodge has always been one of the Hood Canal’s crown jewels and has been here since 1913, when people used to take a steamer ship out of Seattle and come here. It was basically a tent camp back then. The rich history has transformed over the years. Bringing a lot of Seattle natives back here with the memories of the childhood they spent playing on the grass and swimming in the water.

My own personal history with the resort take me back to when I was a little girl,  my mom would drive us around the curvy road that runs along the water of the Hood Canal, I always felt like I was in another world, with the Olympic Mountains close enough to almost touch. It is a drive as I got older I would take when I needed to clear my mind.

As soon as we would go through the Tahuya State park and campground I knew the next thing to cast my eyes on would be the Alderbrook Lodge. Even before the remodel, it was something that was magical like it was straight out of Hollywood.  My Great Uncle Ernie lived across the water from the lodge and it was always fun to be able to watch people playing on the grass and in the water.  My whole life I have had dreams of staying there.

Well dreams come true..... The past week on this adventure I brought one of my best girlfriends Stephanie. We were able to do a girls weekend. It was a much needed break for the crazy lives we both lead. Especially Stephanie who is a mom of three,  a wife to a fire fighter, along with being a women who also works at a full time extremely stressful job. I thought that getting away and to de-stress would be perfect and a wonderful way to really celebrate our friendship! 

Talking the entire way there, stopping by Crazy Eric’s to get milkshakes and home made french fries, while we traveled through part of the cute town of Belfair. The sun was shining, and at every mile that we came closer to getting to the Lodge, we both spotted the sparkling water of the Hood Canal. We felt like we were a million miles away from any of our responsibilities back home.

Pulling up to the Lodge we were greeted by the Valet staff, and they came and grabbed all of our belongings &  parked our car. The reception staff was amazing and made sure every detail was met for our girls weekend package. You see there are packages for everything you can think of.  These are just a few of the packages that they offer. Escape to Alderbrook, Golfer's Escape Package, Making Family Memories, Late Checkout Please!, Rekindle Your Passion &  a boaters paradise package as well as a few more to try out. 

The Girls weekend package that we had, which included, Luxury overnight accommodations, $380 spa credit at the Spa at Alderbrook  (Spa Appointments Required), 4 cocktails or a bottle of wine, Spa gift, extended checkout until 3pm and Valet parking.

Walking into our room was more then either of us expected. The details that they put into this room, just shows how much they think of their guests, elegantly furnished, with all the luxuries you’d want.  Our room was immersed in the natural beauty of the Northwest, which reflected in the colors: sage green, chocolate brown, vibrant sunset reds.  It made me want to come home and paint the inside of my house.

They had a great selection for a mini bar, an I-pod dock so you could listen to your own music. A 27” television with premium cable, movies on-demand and DVD players. A desk and stationery, a bay window with enough room  for two to snuggle up to or a place for one to dive into that book that you can't put down, or just sit and watch the boats go in and out of the canal. I have to say that the high thread count linens and down comforters were by far the most comfortable bedding I have ever slept in outside of my own house.

Then they give you cozy throw blankets to wrap yourself into, that is perfect to use as you sit on your private balcony. The bathroom was beautiful and the lovely Spa amenities for each guest to try like the soap, shampoo, and body lotion were exceptional. Then there is the "to die for" spectacular soaking tub which is the icing on the cake to your room and completes the relaxation part of your stay, where you don't need to even leave your room to feel at ease.

After we could drag ourselves from our beautiful room with our swim suits on we decided to walk around and check out the property, first stop the gift shop with again anything you could think of. Then we were pulled to the dock to check out the beautiful boats. The one I love the most was the Lady Alderbrook. We had the pleasure of meeting Dave Wagner the man that takes care of all your boating needs for you. There are kayaks and paddle boats and much more for you to enjoy. Dave makes it easy and exciting to plan an adventure with his company Hood Canal Adventures.

The two of us decided that we would jump in and swim in the canal, and with the help of Dave tempting us and telling us that if we were to just jump in, we would be warm!

It was amazing, once we got use to it. I love swimming in the Canal especially when you swim through the heat pockets of warm water, and the belly laughs that the two of us girlfriends shared together with the sun shining as we were splashing around with the beauty of the Resort behind us with the creative and wonderful music of Biff Moss and his ukulele. His music filled the air for us and as my friend Stephanie said. " It brings me right back to the day's I have spent swimming in the water at Key West, only the water was a little warmer." The music Biff plays can be summed up by saying that his music is a mix of Island beats and rhythms that make you happy and leave you with the feeling of being uplifted.  This was just what the Doctor ordered for us as we swam.

After we our dip in the water we went back to our room got changed and headed back down to the out door restaurant where we were able to share a table with a mother and daughter and her beautiful grandson. All along with Biff still playing beautiful songs, even playing my favorite "Some where over the rainbow." It was a perfect evening to spend making new friends, being with your best friend, drinking a little wine and enjoy a great meal. I had the rib's and Steph had the pulled pork, both dishes were mouth watering.  All the while listening & enjoying Biff's live music, it was truly just a perfect summer evening.

We decided after dinner to hit the indoor pool, and hot tub then try out the herbal-infused steam room, it was my first time ever being in one. I loved it so much that I wish there were a way to make one at my house.  After the trip to the pool area we decided to go back to our room where we were surprised to find the Movie night package that had a six pack of diet coke ( you can have any soda or beer)  a large bucket of buttered popcorn and a chick flick! It was a perfect way to end the night.

The next morning we had Breakfast delivered to our room.  (They give you a form to fill out and put on your door before you go to sleep and the meal will be ready to be sent to your room at the time you choose.) I had the most amazing cinnamon roll french toast and Stephanie had the Denver Omelet that she raved over. Once we were done with Breakfast we headed down to the spa. We were met by the Spa Director Elizabeth, taking time out of her busy schedule, she showed us around the spa and before any treatments were done on us we were well beyond our way to being relaxed. Escorting us to the quiet relaxation room, where we drank the lemon water and snacked on fruit.

The two of us were lucky enough to be asked to try the Signature Spa Pedicure  Rose Petals in a basin of warm water for my tired and worn out feet. While you are relaxing one foot in the bubbly soak your other foot is being exfoliated then the Shea Butter is applied to a hydrating treatment with moisturizer and paraffin - With a wonderful foot and leg massage that left my feet feeling smooth and rejuvenated. It was the first time that I didn't feel like I was a part of the cattle car and in a big row but a private setting between me and my therapist, Beth, who made me feel like I was on old friend..... I will happily tell you more in a future article about just the spa, so please stay tuned.

There are so many things that I loved about Alderbrook. I have never gone anywhere that I have ever felt more relaxed or so at peace.  They have something for everyone. You can be with your girlfriends for a great girls weekend like Stephanie and I did, or you can bring your family and enjoy quality time and smore's kit's where you can use one of the resorts fire pits,  A Golfing adventure with the guys, A romantic get away for you and the one you love with a couples massage and a hotel room that is so romantic you might just never want to leave.  Whatever it is that you are wanting to do, the Alderbrook has it for you.

You don't have to hop a plane or even drive for hours to get to a wonderful place to enjoy yourself or with your loved ones. Sometimes the best vacations are only a few miles away from home.  I know I am looking forward to going back in the thick of the fall and enjoy the stormy weather on the Canal, wrapped in the wonderful throws, enjoy a great book and a glass of wine next to the out door fireplaces.

It is a place where you can go all year long and find something different each visit.  One thing you might not know is that you can enjoy a day at the spa and their Restaurants with out staying at the Lodge, but please do yourself a favor and stay the night. One night and you will be wanting to go back again and again.

I had an amazing time and can only hope to be asked to come back again. If you book a stay, please mention Kingstongirl.