Saturday, July 22, 2017

Why We Go to This Big City

July 16-21, 2017
Issaquah, Washington

Sunday's drive is our first Interstate-only since May. As expected, the traffic gets worse the closer we get to Seattle. 

Sunday morning, let's all go to Seattle!
So it's a slow drive until we get to I-90 heading east, but it's an overall easy trip to the pretty town of Issaquah.

We navigate some (more) road construction before pulling into Issaquah Village RV Park, another no- frills-but-close-to-everything spot for a week. It wasn't my first choice, or second, or third.....but it's clean and level with FHUs, 50 AMP and well maintained. Although our neighbors are quiet, with I-90 just 100 yards from our space I can't say the park is quiet. 

The priority for this stop is seeing Jeff, my youngest, and our number four son. It's been a year since he flew out to Denver to see us on the road.

As soon as we get set up we're back out the door and into the city to see him :-)

We are all happy to see him!

The kids.
Jeff directs us to a great eatery on Capitol Hill - Skillet, and then we take a drive (always an adventure in this busy city of steep and narrow streets) to Woodland Park along the water. It's so good to see him and get caught up with his life.

Monday we're out to find a fishing spot - first stop Beaver Lake. 

It's pretty, has nice green space for picnics, but the only public fishing access has zero place to fish.  We continue on.

Beaver Lake

Cute old cabin back in the woods by the lake.

I love wood boats, and this one across the lake is a beauty.
When we were in the area two years ago I fell in love with the little town of Enumclaw. Nice historic downtown with cute houses surrounding it, beautiful views of Mt Rainier (hard to miss it from anywhere "up here"), plus a great little diner.

The mountain is out!
Unfortunately Kitchen (little diner) closes at 2 and we're too late. Kelly's Mercantile across the street has exceptional organic and fresh local fare, giving us a perfect Plan B.

Not a fishing spot (unless you have a long, long, long fishing line), but on the way back we stop at the single-lane Green River Gorge Bridge. We squeeze into the one narrow spot where we can get out and walk the bridge. Given my "dislike" of high places, I'm pleased with the appropriate railings along the sides. All bridges and view points should require these :-))))


Preservation and conservation began in the late 1960's.

The State now owns and protects 80% of the 14 mile river gorge.

Barely visible falls higher up the walls.

Close to the river, these falls are loud and beautiful.

"Holy Spark Plug Rock"
The history of the river is similar to so many - developers and conservationists continuously battle for it's shores. A resort along the gorge closed in the 1980's due to liability concerns and public access was cut off. A few residents live there year round. Down river some private property is developed along the gorge. There are no hiking trails for humans or horses, and no interpretive centers are planned. So far, conservationists are winning, which means the river is winning - let's hope that continues.

A final stop to takes us to another public fishing location with nowhere to fish....but the flowers are pretty :-) Sorry honey....

Lake Number 12 - seriously.

A few pink lillies on a lake full of white blooms.

Bugs' summer paradise.

They grow those fuzzy pink sweaters here.....

Tuesday is a lazy day - I never get out of my PJs :-)

Jeff takes Wednesday off and we meet him at the theater to see the new Spiderman movie. My first time seeing a movie on the second floor - big city stuff! Not only is the movie very fun and very funny, but the large reclining leather seats with swing out tables are wonderful. The popcorn could be better.. 

Late lunch at the Cheesecake Factory across the street (we've already paid the parking ransom), and then we drop Jeff off to interview for what he hopes will be his new abode.

Although our healthcare plan only covers us for emergencies and urgent care outside of California, we are fortunate to have both dental and vision coverage we can use anywhere in the country. It's time for our annual eye exams and Thursday we have appointments here in Issaquah. Thanks to Linda for the great recommendation!

All week I've been looking forward to Friday so Jeff can come spend a couple days at our house!

We meet at his work, Victrola Coffee Roastery, where he and the crew are doing a "cupping". We're lucky to join this weekly staff event. They do free cuppings with the public on Wednesdays so if you're in the's like coffee college in 30 minutes!

Each selection is tasted three times. If you normally drink decaf like I do, taste small spoonfuls - whew!!

Five selections, tasting for flavor, mouth-feel and acidity.
The tasting process is simple, but the information gathered, and the conclusions made, are complicated and fascinating. It's especially fun doing it with the crew - thanks Jeff for including us!

Brunch at the Issaquah Cafe and then a quiet afternoon back at our place. Nothing better than hanging out with your kid! 

We round out the night with chili, brews and a movie. Saturday we're off to visit a couple of our favorite places in this beautiful area.


  1. Trust Snoqualmie is part of your agenda, love to see your views of the falls. There is a decent winery and casino that is RV overnight friendly in the area too ... Thanks for the memories!

    1. Sadly the falls are very "low" again this year even after all the rain here. Still beautiful of course. We love this area.

  2. I agree. Don't forget Snoqualmie Falls. Gorgeous. I love the places your visiting. Your finding the hidden gems.

    1. Although the traffic is unpleasant in most areas here, it is still a gorgeous place.

  3. I totally agree! It's so nice to share time with the kids. And how cool to join Jeff for a cupping.
    The falls close to the shore is a the mist so visible in your picture. The pink lillies are gorgeous.
    Awesome post Jodee!

    1. Thanks Gay, I was really surprised (and delighted) by the pink lillies, don't think I've ever seen one! For anyone who enjoys a good cup of coffee, the cupping is so interesting.

  4. Nothing better than spending time with the kids:) Love Tessa's excitement being with her brother. You wouldn't know you were in a huge city area if you slipped the first photos. You found some nice areas. That is an awesome rock with all the holes. Beautiful flowers on the lily pads. I would have loved joining you for the "cupping." Very cool!!! Hope the job interview went well for Jeff!

    1. Not far outside the city is glorious natural beauty - and still quite few other people :-( It was actually an interview for a new place to to share thing. So far he thinks he's in :-)))) You really would enjoy the cupping.

  5. Seeing the photo of that traffic made me remember why we skipped Seattle when we visited Washington. Looks like you had a fun and busy week!

    1. It's a beautiful city, one of my favorites, but if Jeff didn't live here we wouldn't have come back. It's just too busy for us too. But nothing better than seeing the kids :-)))

  6. I cannot believe you are so current that this is dated yesterday. I need to take some lessons from you. How great to spend time with your son. Nice that he lives in such a fine place to visit. We have to go to the beltway around DC – yuck! That is a fabulous picture of THE mountain. Calendar quality for sure. Wonderful that the state protects the beautiful gorge and that the river is winning. Gorgeous falls! But that rock made me laugh out loud. That is a nose above a screaming mouth if I ever saw one. Love the “parking ransom” But an “interview” for a place to live? That’s a new one on me. I thought the tenant decided if he wanted to rent. Boy would David LOVE those coffee tastings. Not sure which is his favorite, specialty coffee or craft beer. You are so right about hanging out with your kid. Enjoy! Enjoy!

    1. Visiting the city of Seattle itself is challenging, but we love the surrounds! Rent is so high that four of our six sons rent rooms in shared houses (SoCal and Seattle both) rather than affording their own apartments - thus the interview to see if he is a good fit for the rest of the folks living there. Seattle is coffee lovers heaven - lots of independent roasters in addition to the "big house".

    2. Oh-my memory is nowhere near as good as yours so if I don't get the blog caught up to real time I can't remember all the good stuff I want to save :-)))

  7. Replies
    1. She is so happy to hang out with him, he gets lots of tail wags and kisses!

  8. So sweet to see Tessa with her big brother. :-)) Whenever we visit a big city I tell Eric it's good for us so that we don't totally lose our ability to navigate in a city, haha! At least in the PNW it's possible to find nature close by. As always, you find such beautiful, peaceful spots wherever you go. The coffee tasting sounds fun, but I'd be doing teaspoonfuls, too!

    1. Driving through those narrow streets with soooo many cars and pedestrians and bikes, I was thinking how glad I am I learned to drive in L.A. and also out in the wilds as well :-) I'm going to look for roasteries in other areas to see if they do cuppings for the public, it really is very cool!

  9. I'm not much for cities but do like Seattle and the surrounding area. Had friend who lived in Issaquah long ago so nice to see it's still a beautiful, and protected, place.

    1. It is very beautiful with lots of trees - and lots of houses/people.

  10. Unless Kerry opened a new office, you actually went to see him in Sammamish. :) The two towns run together. Pine Lake, and our former home, is a block from his office. How come no fishing at Pine Lake? :)

    1. I have a hard time with figuring out where they begin and end :-)) The only pubic access we could find was packed with peeps.