17 May 2012

Reunion and Birthday on Vashon Island

Sunset from the porch
Noah and I just returned from a long weekend get away on Vashon Island, a small island off the coast of Seattle in the Puget Sound.  The trip was both a 30th birthday celebration for my sister-in-law and family reunion with Noah's brothers.  I was initially a little skeptical about an island vacation in the Pacific Northwest in early May - wouldn't it be cold and rainy that time of year? - and I had never heard of Vashon.  One very slow week at work and several internet searches later though, I had a list of activities and sights I wanted to check out on the island, along with a very promising weather forecast. 

Vashon reminded me of home - the woods and fields are a brilliant, spring green; there are lilac bushes everywhere; and the apple trees are in full blossom.  As my friends and husband have heard me complain about ad nauseam, one of the things I miss most about New England are the fecund, almost tropical, springs and summers.

While I only did about half of the things on my list, the weekend contained a hundred different special moments - spending time with my young niece and nephew covering the floor of a gazebo with chalk drawings, dunking in the ice cold water outside our house then lounging in the sun (repeat three times for maximum invigoration), marshalling the various boats lying around the cottage and paddling to a neighboring town for coffee, meeting an Emu breeder at the Farmer's Market and contemplating buying one of his allegedly hatchable eggs, and much to my joy (and surprise), receiving my first ever hugs and Happy Mother's Day wishes from our family.

The highlight for me though was the casual ritual around each evening meal.  While the majority of the meal preparation was done by one of Noah's brothers, who hustled from kitchen to grill in continual good cheer, everyone pitched in to help.  Dinner was always preceded by drinks and appetizers, as people gathered around the appetizer plates and took in the sunset.  Everyone lingered with their food after dinner, watching the sunset and talking quietly amongst themselves.

Most of the weekend I was so absorbed in the food in being with my family that I forgot to photograph our various meals, including a wicked mole sauce (which might require a guest blog from Noah), delightful chocolate cake prepared by the local Bob's Bakery, and some super tasty veggie kebabs.  Here is a sampling of some photos I did manage to snap.

I'm also headed to our CSA farm this weekend to pick strawberries and am hoping to post a couple of strawberry recipes over the next week or so.  Hope everyone has a good rest of the week.
The gazebo and hammock

My two-year old niece "planking", her favorite activity on any elevated flat surface.

Fishing expedition at dusk.

The view from the ferry with Mt. Rainier in the background.

The buffet line.

Noah swooping in for a kiss.



  1. Great memories for your 1st Mothers Day

  2. Great memories for your 1st Mothers Day

  3. Absolutely beautiful...Mole Sauce?????? Can not wait to read that blog..