October 7, 2014
If you have a bucket list, THE place to celebrate Oktoberfest is, of course, the site of its origin, Munich, Germany, where a wedding feast was thrown in 1810 in the city’s outskirts to celebrate the union of Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese from Saxony-Hildburghausen.
But if you can’t drop more than $2,000 to join more than 6 million of your friends for a 17-day celebration, might I suggest the next best thing a little closer to home — Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest.
September 9, 2014
Fried food, animal smells, concert music and carnival rides — yep, the Washington State Fair has returned.
Until Sept. 21, you can find the best livestock, agriculture, horticulture and crafts the state has to offer in Puyallup. This year’s fair packs a whopping punch with a slew of high-profile music acts and the usual, if no less impressive, bunch of Washingtonian achievements.
Walking in the gate, you might feel overwhelmed at the sheer number of things to do in the fairgrounds. Should you immediately head over and dive into a basket of fried butter? Head over to the livestock barn and hear which rooster crows the loudest? Visit one of the many crafts buildings and spot all the nuance and detail in the dollhouses? These are big decisions that a hardy fairgoer will have to make. Rest assured that if you get your fill of one type of entertainment, plenty more is right around the corner for the whole family.
July 22, 2014
This Weekend Wanderer heads for Palouse Falls State Park, but as all true wanderers know, it is not the destination, but the wandering that counts.
On the way, you need to cruise the back roads and small farm towns of Palouse country to melt away your stress, so load the kids in the minivan or SUV and get going.
To get to Palouse country from Issaquah, of course you’re stuck on Interstate 90 to Moses Lake. I-90 is a familiar run; even so, there are a couple of things to note: The snow shed you always looked for as a kid so you could tell dad to “honk the horn, honk the horn,” near Lake Keechelus, has disappeared to make way for highway improvements.
July 8, 2014
Does winding through Woodinville’s wine country sound like a fantastic way to spend a day? You’re right — it is.
A number of wineries have bloomed in the bursting local industry along the northwestern tip of Lake Washington. When world-famous Chateau Ste. Michelle winery settled in the area in 1976, it brought with it a gradual wave of other wineries and, of course, wine lovers.
Currently, more than 100 wineries call the Woodinville area home. Now, you can experience those on the Woodinville Wine Country shuttle, every first and third Saturday from July 5 to Sept. 20.
May 6, 2014
I’m not a gardener.
You most certainly won’t find me in the yard cutting grass, or crouched near a patch of soil pulling weeds and planting flowers.
Imagine my parents’ surprise then, when I suggested we head north for the final weekend of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
Flowers have never really been my thing, but after my April 26 exploration of the blooming tulip fields, I certainly have a new appreciation for the beauty of all things flora.
November 5, 2013
Vantage visitors center educates about energy
On a cloudy but pleasant day, the weekend wanderer headed out to visit the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center in Vantage. The wind mill farm, owned by Puget Sound Energy, has a visitors center featuring educational displays by PSE and Central Washington University to educate visitors about wind and solar technology and the area’s unique natural history.
The center, at 25905 Vantage Highway, is only a two hour drive from Issaquah. Read more
May 15, 2013
May 14, 2013
Weekend Wanderer set out mid-April for Sun Lakes/Dry Falls State Park, about a 200-mile drive from Issaquah. The clouds hung low over the mountains on Snoqualmie Pass, barely shielding their beauty, like the sheer nightgown of a bashful bride.
Somewhere near Easton, the sun began its struggle with the clouds to dominate the sky. It won east of Ellensburg.
Why Sun Lakes/Dry Falls State Park? Start with the name, sun, and add camping, swimming, fishing, golfing, sightseeing and a place to research your kid’s science project on Washington archeology.
April 9, 2013
Denizens of the depths surface at Seattle Aquarium
Somehow, I made it my entire life so far without visiting an aquarium.
I suppose some blame can rest on growing up in the Midwest, but more than anything, the opportunity just never presented itself. I consider that a real shame because I am fascinated by all things aquatic. “Moby Dick” is one of my favorite books, I have watched more nature shows on the deep sea than any other kind of nature show and I should have visited an aquarium sooner.
August 3, 2010
Summer is road-trip time and a great weekend adventure is making a loop through the Olympic Peninsula, home to Olympic National Park, the fifth most-visited national park in the country.
Since one of our travel goals is to stay in all of the lodges featured in the PBS series, “Great Lodges of the National Parks,” this weekend jaunt was the perfect way to check two more off our list.
We headed out early on a gray and misty Friday afternoon to take the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston. A lot of other people obviously had the same idea, so there was a lengthy wait. The ferry to Bainbridge might be a better option, as the boats are larger and can accommodate more cars. Once we got to Sequim, however, the sun was out, which definitely reinforced the nickname the area has acquired as the “Banana Belt” due to its low rainfall and sunny weather.