I took a little summer vacation up to the Peninsula this past weekend. Starting in Olympia I drove my favorite stretch of HWY 101 to Port Angeles, stopping at Grandma’s to have lunch and get some camping supplies. Then it was off to the Lake where I spent most of my time laying out the beach on the sunny North Shore. The next day, I met up with Gabby and Alex for an all girls camping trip in celebration of Gabby’s birthday. Here are some highlights from Cape Flattery, Shi Shi Beach, Lake Crescent, and various smaller inlets along the Straight of Juan de Fuca.
Last Sunday Ish and I took a drive down highway 99, taking the viaduct through the city to see Seattle’s skyline lit in bright setting sunlight. Going on advice from one of Ish’s photographer friends, we exited at South Park. Winding though the backroads, as industry became residential, I asked Ish, “Are we supposed to be here?” She answered with a definitive, yes. I drove on with renewed confidence.
Turning onto the main street we were immediately greeted with a huge bouncy castle, bouncing in the parking lot of an apartment complex. Hispanic kids were playing inside it, squealing, and jumping around. We felt a little creepy approaching the kids, to take their pictures as we didn’t see any parents around to ask permission of. It was too good to pass up though, and as I reasoned, it would be way weirder for us to take pictures from my car parked across the street. Ish agreed to do the talking, and we were given consent by the only parent present, as well as a 7 year old who may or may not have been in charge.
We learned that the bouncy castle was there in celebration of a baptism that had happened earlier that day. The newly baptized baby came outside in her fathers arms; he held her as though showing her all the fun the kids were having at her party. She was so little, only a few months old, her jet black hair fastened with a white bow. He looked at us, without any suspicion, and went back inside.
We chatted with Santa, a neighbor who had followed her son, Daniel who ran over when he heard the noise and fun that was being had in the bouncy castle. We learned that she loves living in South Park. The night before she went to a discoteca party at one of her neighbor’s apartments, where they danced all night. Daniel seemed to enjoy playing on the slide the most, and running back and forth between the hole in the fence that separated his yard from bouncy castle.
The last days of summer are upon us, as mother nature tempts us into fall with her bounty of apples, plums, and pears.
Friday afternoon my family got together to help my mom get some of the fruit out of her fruit trees. Apples lined the porch, boxed and ready to be taken home and baked. A few summers ago the raccoons ate all but one plum, so Matt installed a metal fence around the base of the tree to keep them from climbing up. Lucky for us his deterrent worked, and the tree was filled with perfectly ripened fruit. Everyone took home hundreds of plums, leaving the rest for Matt to take off the tree. Mom will set to work drying, freezing and canning the plums over the weekend. My grandmother, great aunt and I plan to eat the plums baked into crisps, cakes and pies.
While most of the pears still need a few more days to fully ripen, the ones we did eat were spectacular. Peel back the rough skin, and you will find perfectly sweet firm meat, superior to any store bought Bartlette.