It’s crazy to think October was the first month since March that I’ve been without hosting duties or interstate travel. While having a quiet house has been odd, it has been nice to settle back into local life, prioritise Washington based adventures and enjoy the best of fall.
Despite shorter travel distances, the month wasn’t short on fun. Highlights included a few city escapes, a camping trip in the Cascade Mountains, and some lovely bike rides (unsurprising update: I am still completely uncoordinated at mountain biking). This month I even met a real life astronaut!
Here’s the highlights reel, Expat Escapades October edition.
Camping in the Cascades
A weekend spent hiking through the spectacular fall colours of North Cascades National Park. It was the perfect welcome home after returning from our southern USA road trip just days prior. Both hikes we completed – Cascade Pass and Blue Lake Trail – offered some of the most amazing scenery in Washington. But Cascade Pass took the cake with some light snowfall during our hike AND hearing the sound of a nearby hanging glacier break apart and crash to the valley floor (a fellow hiker was lucky to see it happen). Truly one of those ‘pinch me I live in Washington’ moments.
I’ll have the full story on the blog this week!
Bier on the Pier
I was really looking forward to my second year attending Anacortes’ Bier on the Pier festival – and it didn’t disappoint. 30 breweries, 10 cideries, and one beautiful waterfront location. There was a great mix of local brews from all over Washington and Oregon, including plenty from nearby Bellingham.
I made an effort to sample only those I’d never tried before. I’m pleased to have several new favourites to add to my rotation: an Imperial IPA from Whitewall Brewing, the Brown and Scary Imperial Oatmeal Brown Ale from Skookum, and Hopricot (hopped apricot) cider from Reverend Nat’s. Topped off with dinner from my favourite food truck Vagabond, it was a smashing success!
A crush on the capital
A rainy weekend in Olympia was so fun it added sunshine to my step all week afterwards!
Many capital cities have a reputation of being stuffy – but not Olympia. If you’re looking for an effortlessly cool city without the price tag, come here. From its bakeries and breweries, to farmers markets and arts events, there’s a lot happening.
Enjoying more Seattle gems
Tom and I ducked down to the city several times this month: once for a quick overnight trip to see The Strumbrellas and Cold War Kids play at Showbox SODO; again with friends for a Sounders game; and another just for the evening to see John Cleese and Eric Idle at Moore Theatre.
Of course, we fit in more than just the gigs and game.
We stopped for a lunch at Café Racer, home of the OBAMA – the Official Bad Art Museum of Art. It’s full of some very quirky and hilarious pieces. Two great loves – mini golf and craft beer – combined at Flatstick Pub in Pioneer Square, which I think is just the best idea ever for a bar. We checked out some of SODO’s best breweries, Schooner Exact and Seapine.
I finally made it to Macrina Bakery (the SODO outpost) and the French toast was well worth the wait – and absolutely lived up to the hype. I also visited the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, which had been on my to do list since we moved here in August 2015.
The best meal of the month goes to Chan, a small Korean inspired gastropub tucked away in the depths of Pike Place Market. Tom and I went for a happy hour of Hite and lychee cocktails, and I have been dreaming of the ahi tuna poke, bulgolgi beef sliders and bibimbap ever since.
I spent more time in Anacortes this month than I have since March, and I’m glad I did!
I had time to reconnect with friends after a busy six months, and enjoy the town without its summer crowds. Time was spent at the local farmers market, checking out the Artists’ Studio Tour, and many visits to Bastion Brewing Company – a new addition to the local area. It also wouldn’t be October without getting into the Halloween spirit, complete with crazy costumes and pumpkin patching!
It’s so nice to be home.
New posts this month
I’m finally back on the writing wagon after months of life – and let’s be real, laziness – getting in the way.
Catch up on posts from October:
Fall Flavours: apple picking at BelleWood Acres
A Rainy Weekend in Olympia, Washington’s funky capital city
10 Fantastic Weekend Fall Getaways in Washington State
Hike Files: Into the mist on Sauk Mountain
Welcome to Portlandia: a weekend in Portland, Oregon.
November brings yet another month of fun – one highlight being I’ll turn 28! I’m looking forward to focusing on Washington based adventures, as well as a five day trip to Chicago. If you have any Chicago tips or recommendations leave them below!
Coming soon on the blog
To say I’m behind on writing is an understatement. There are trips from last Thanksgiving that I haven’t covered on the blog yet. Safe to say that I have hundreds of stories and ideas whirling around in my head – as well as in the drafts folder!
Coming soon are a bunch of posts about my summer trip to Alaska, then I’ll be covering my Southern USA road trip too. Stick with me people!
What would you like to read about on the blog? Any questions or travel advice you need?