Friday, October 28, 2011

Fat Smitty’s

IMG_2061At the intersection of Highway 101 and Highway 20, sits a little café that is a long time fixture in these parts.  Fat Smitty’s.  Speciality--The biggest and best hamburger around.  Order a Fat Smitty hamburger special and you get a burger only eaten with a fork (unless you are Steven Tyler) with two large meat slabs, bacon, pickles, lettuce, three sides of the bun, and thousand island dressing.  Delish!  We will be wringing out our arteries tomorrow.

IMG_2060The café structure and ambiance are very interesting…  The owner, who I am guessing is Mr. Fat Smitty, is most decidedly an extreme right winger.  Signs with his point of view are plastered everywhere on the property.  And no surprise—the payment is cash only.  (Check out the dollar bills pinned on the ceiling and walls.)

IMG_2062Local flavor.  Love it.

As we were leaving, Mike yelled over at me, “Terry, you have to come see this!”  “Forget about taking pictures of the restaurant; take a picture of this!”  In a small compact car, were eight little Schnauzers.  All having fun on their outing that day with the Master.  We stopped and talked with the owner.  All the dogs were from the same litter including the Mama.  “They are all kin,” the owner explained.  We are guessing the little guys were so cute as pups, the owners could not part with them. 

Turns out they all live near us, so we will probably see them around town.  Hope so!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our Home (Post 5)–Weekly Tour/Master Bedroom

DSC_0350One of the best things about retirement is you can wake up with the morning sun—no alarm clocks, no commitments, no pressure.  Fittingly, our bedroom windows face east allowing the breaking dawn to be our alarm clock.  Fantastic.  The country location also means dead quiet with only infrequent yips from the coyotes, hoot of an owl or the bass of the nearby fog horn.  The low lights of the neighborhood allow the stars to pop in the dark skies.   To say we are sleeping soundly here is an understatement.

[Would like to add shutters or wood blinds that give the look of shutters to the windows some day.]

DSC_0356The original floor plan for our home included a deck off the master bedroom.  We opted to eliminate the deck and enlarge the bedroom allowing room for a comfy chair to read quietly and a perfect spot for a large dresser.  Really happy with the decision.

Parrot Lamp#1DSC_0352[Wish we had not sold the Frederick Cooper parrot floor lamp a couple of years ago.  It would be perfect beside the chair.  Maybe we can find another.  Bev – do you want to sell it back to us?  No?  I did not think so.  LOL]


DSC_0104 (6)From the photos, you have probably noticed our bedroom furnishings are nothing like the rest of the home décor.  With the size of the room and the fact it is separated from the rest of house down a short hallway, we went “British Colonial”.  Dark wood furniture.  Slowly spinning fan overhead.  Big “Persian” area rug.  I have a tough time getting into this bed—it is so high!  One of these days I will buy a cute little wooden step stool.  May be sooner than later.

DSC_0338You cannot tell from the photos, but we selected a Tempurpedic mattress.  At first, I was not digging it, but I really like it now.  Although the mattress is ultra firm, it “gives” where you need it—the hip, the shoulder, and other body parts that are not so streamlined.  And when your significant other turns or moves, nothing.  You feel no movement.  Nice.  Hoping this one holds up longer, too.

Sweet dreams!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Port Gamble

IMG_2026IMG_2032A visit to little Port Gamble makes a fun afternoon.  A pristine town (really, almost a village) with sea views all around of Hood Canal.  The whole town is a 120-acre National Historic Landmark (founded in 1853) complete with turn-of-the century homes and church on maple and elm tree-lined streets.   Port Gamble is the only remaining company owned mill town in Puget Sound.  The old-fashioned General Store has a café in back with the BEST clam chowder and the old fire station houses the BEST kayak store.  We will be back next spring to demo a few kayaks.

Probably the most interesting location in Port Gamble to visit today was the old cemetery on the hill.  Tumbling down headstones dated from the mid-to-late 1800s.  With ominous writing on one of tombstones:

“Alas she has left us, her spirit has fled, her body now slumbers along with the dead, her Savior hath called her, to him she has gone, be ye also ready to follow her soon.”

The last phrase may not rhyme, but point well taken.  Port Gamble capitalizes on its ghosts with night tours this time of year focusing on the paranormal.  The mock-up rooms of the sawmill, the Captain’s quarters in the ship, “Oriental”, the sawmill owner parlor/dining room in the museum are almost too realistic.  I am guessing the tours are a lively event…BAWHAHAHA!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our House (Post 4)–Weekly Tour/Kitchen

DSC_0332Galley kitchens, U-shaped kitchens, a large triangle (sink, stove and sink in a “triangle”) and now a medium-sized triangle.  We have had kitchens in all shapes and sizes.  I believe the medium-sized triangle, we have now, is our favorite.  Everything within a step or two. 

All the colors and textures are our personal preferences—over the years the favorites have emerged.  Subway tile in caramel glass.  Solid granite in gold and brown.  Warm alder wood cabinets with nickel pulls.  The cabinets have the linear look to keep that semi-Craftsman style.  All the lower cabinets have pull-out drawers.  So handy.

(Looking at the photos, I think we should paint the wall above the cabinets the same sage green we have on the island.)

DSC_0315Brushed stainless steel appliances and sink.  Over the years, we have had ceramic sinks, granite sinks and stainless sinks.  We like the stainless steel for wear-and-tear; and it is easy to clean.  Oh, and love, love the big five-burner propane range and double electric oven.  A small oven on the left can be used for smaller dishes or heating breads while the larger entrée is cooking in the generous sized right side oven.

DSC_0309Our builder, Estes Builders, configures the refrigerator opening so that the back portion is “set-in” to the wall.  Gives the frig a recessed look almost flush with the cabinets (just enough for the doors to open properly).  If you cannot afford to have a zero-clearance refrigerator, this is pretty close to it.  Check out our middle drawer refrigerator—keeping our Coke and Coors chillin’ at the right temp.

A small pantry completes a really great kitchen.  Not too big to encourage you to stock “too” much food (Ugh—hate expired cans), but just right to hold “enough” canned goods, cereal and small kitchen appliances.

DSC_0099 (5)You might be questioning wood floors in the kitchen…we like the continuity in all the rooms and the wood flooring these days are treated to resist wet.  We have not experienced any spotting.  Easy to keep clean.

Well, we must enjoy and use the kitchen because we rarely eat at a restaurant; and we have gained at least five pounds since we moved in!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Olympic Peninsula Native Americans

From our eastern Washington roots, we lived near large Native American reservations; the closest was the Yakama tribe.  Now, it is interesting to experience much smaller reservations and more numerous tribes near us on the Olympic Peninsula, including the Quinault , Hoh, Quileute, Makah, Elwha Klallam and Jamestown S'Klallam. We rode through the Makah Reservation in Neah Bay a few months ago on our Harley ride to Cape Flattery.  The Jamestown S’Klallam owns the Seven Cedars Casino about five miles out of Sequim, and they have expanded their business endeavors to include medical facilities (our doctor is located in the Jamestown Clinic) and golf courses (Dungeness Golf Course).

IMG_2022La Push is located on the Quileute reservation (of “Twilight” fame) with beautiful beaches (First Beach, Second Beach and Third Beach).  Looked hard for Jacob and the wolf pack, but no luck.  The area is capitalizing as much as possible on visiting Twilight fans, and they seem to be having a fun time doing it—"Dr. Cullen’s parking spot, the treaty line is –>here”.  You have to read the books to understand what I am talking about.  Do it!  They are great reads and the movies are all the talk!  (“New Dawn” is out in cinemas on November 18th!)

IMG_2021We drove the 100 miles this past weekend to visit the beach at La Push and Forks (No Edward nor Bella—maybe they are only out and about at night.  You do know vampires sparkle on sunny days?) on the rainy side of the Peninsula.  Really a colorful time of year to take a drive with all the autumn leaves popping out against blue skies.  Yes, we were fortunate to have blue skies near Forks—does not happen all that often.  In late winter and spring in La Push we plan to return to watch the migrating gray whales.  That is, if we catch a clear day again!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


A recap of our week:

Each week starts out with a two-hour yoga class for a very, very good stretch (not Mike, just me and gal pal, Kelley).  I am NOT very limber so a few “poses” are skipped.  Everything is great about the exercise, EXCEPT I am not too keen on the chanting for the last few minutes of the class.  Ahhh-Ommm-MMMM.  again.  Ahhh-Ommm-MMM.  Interesting, but I feel a little silly.

SCAN1798Tuesdays involve a drive up Lost Mountain back into the woods on a gravel road to my art class.  The trees are so dense; it feels like you are driving through a tunnel.  The turning leaves are really making an especially beautiful trip.  Love my art instructor, Pat Gordon.  She is VERY patient and I like her organized and creative approach to teaching.  The first few lessons involve some basic techniques and then she helps you paint whatever subject you bring in.  My first subject was a little too involved (a boat) and I will try a “do-over” soon.  I am posting my first watercolor for a baseline, but be kind.  This is from one of my photographs taken at the John Wayne Marina. 

IMG_2004Still trekking with the girl buddies each week.  This week we tackled an eight-mile (round trip) to Lake Angeles.  This was a challenge for me—steady climb up 2,000 feet.  But, I did it!  And my thigh muscles will never be the same….

IMG_2000The scenery along the way was well worth the trip and the lake was spectacular.  One of my hiking partners, Susan, came up to this lake about two months ago and met up with a large mountain goat.

Where is Mike, you ask.  Golf, golf and more golf.  A quick trip in the golf kart and he is playing at Sunland Country Club and Golf course and he LOVES it!  I have been practicing on the driving range and hope to golf in the ladies’ club next year and with my husband (so I can see him occasionally).

Dungeness Valley CowsAll around the Sequim/Dungeness area are really wonderful family farms providing organic produce, fresh dairy and eggs, grass-fed beef, berries, honey, and flowers (not to mention loads of fresh fish and seafood daily hauled in from Puget Sound).  We stopped by the Dungeness Valley Creamery just two miles from our house.  After petting the calves penned outside their little store (next to the family house), we purchased fresh milk, eggs, and beef.  This stuff is good! (And those moo gals are so dang cute!)

IMG_2008Today, we went to the best farmers’ market on the Peninsula (in our opinion) in Port Townsend.  More booths with fresh produce, quality art and crafts, good food (baked goods are to die for) and fantastic music.  Seriously, hot jazz guitar (Django) music is fun stuff to listen to.  The market is surrounded by historic buildings, fresh salty air blows in from Puget Sound and attended by interesting characters—old hippies, new hippies, yuppies, families and gram/gramps.  We like the diversity and creative dressing!

Whew!  Someone asked me the other day what we do all day.  Sometimes it is hard to know where to begin!  (Would not have it any other way.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our House (Post 3)–Weekly Tour/Dining Room

DSC_0293Restaurants are plentiful around our area, but preparing a dinner at home with company or just the two of us is fun, especially when you have a great dining room to sit down in.  We have a litmus test for a functional dining room; (1) it must seat at least six, (2) room to pull chairs in and out without hitting the wall or other furniture, and (3) lots of light and a view.  Bingo.  Plenty of room.  Big windows facing east for a sunny morning breakfast with a clear view of our little meadow and the golf course beyond.  Our place mats are normally side by side looking out at either the deer or golfers.

Besides the Cutting Garden vendor down the road, a number of family gardens sell big bouquets.  The big, colorful one on the table sold for the going rate of $7 from a cute family at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. 

IMG_1892The high ceiling of the dining room has nice detail with four coffered sections rather than a flat surface.  The insets are painted a milk chocolate brown with trim work in white.  The lighting fixture was standard with the home and I would like to replace with something a little more contemporary.  Black square linen shade with a silver single chain.  That is what I am thinking.  Maybe painting the back wall behind the painting the same brown would work well, too.  We will see.   And you did catch some orange accents here and there?

This is the first dining room we have used often.  We eat here (versus the living room or the bar) almost daily.  We are cooking more often for both guests and for us.  In fact, the kitchen is working well and I will commit to put pictures of it on the blog next week. 

Bon Apetit!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beautiful Fall on the Olympic Peninsula

IMG_1993IMG_1996Fall on the Olympic Peninsula is absolutely gorgeous.  The sun is shining here in Sequim today with crisp temperatures in the high 50’s and the autumn colors of red, yellow, and orange are starting to show their stuff.  We enjoyed a quick hike along the bluff  and down on the beach overlooking Puget Sound.  All reminders why we love this area.  And why we have held off loading up the 5’er and taking off for the South.

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. “

-Robert Frost

Monday, October 3, 2011

Our House (Post 2)–Weekly Tour/Living Room

DSC_0288We are big fans of the great room concept.  Homes in our past included a formal living room in addition to a “family room”;  and, quite honestly, we never used the formal space.  A living room should be just that—a comfortable room to live in –functioning to entertain us and our friends.  That includes a cozy fireplace to take off the chill, a big screen television, music, easy access to our X-Box games, and the latest movie DVD.  Plenty of space for seating a large crowd of 8-10, but intimate enough to have conversation with one other couple.  We feel we got all that with our great room.

DSC_0286Each home has a different character from the last and more often than not the furniture you had in the last house will not work in the new place.  The living room in our last home was very large and the style was rustic Spanish with terracotta tile underfoot and rough plaster on the walls.  We had a large sectional with reddish leather on the back and arms and a rust red/sage green upholstery on the seating.  A bold, big pattern and style.  Beautiful, but no way would it work in this new place.  This home is smaller in scale with kind of an updated Arts and Crafts touch. 

DSC_0273 (2)Although we sold our furniture from our previous home, we held on to all our accessories and stored them while we were traveling in the RV last year.  We kept them for several reasons; (1) they can usually work in any home, (2) all together they are more expensive than furniture, and (3) almost all have a story or a past.  Before we started full-time RVing, we struggled with the decision to keep a few things in storage or getting rid of it all.  If you hesitate at all with the decision to purge completely, I would recommend keeping your accessories.  The skin on the coffee table was given to our family by a South African foreign exchange student we befriended in the early 1960’s.  The big glass leaf on the mantle shelf up high was one of my first purchases and interior decorating lesson from Katie (  - think big and bold she instructed me!  

Our leather sofa, Ekornes recliners (we transfer the recliners to the RV when we are traveling) with little tilt-out tables for our laptops, and a small occasional chair have linear lines and track arms which are perfect for defining our small space. The rug underneath, soft nubby wool and a gray/green hue, helps to subdue noise and gives the room a finished look.  By chance our accent became rust red or orange.  Love the pop of bright color here and there.

DSC_0292We have the simple approach of the no hearth fireplace.  The slate surrounding the fireplace looks like shining copper in the evening and rustic stone in the daylight.  Above the fireplace there are wonderful south facing windows providing glowing light and a place for our accessories that we want to especially highlight (see the big leaf up there?).  Did you know the Olympic Peninsula does not have natural gas available?  To use gas we must use propane for the living room fireplace, kitchen range, and outdoor fireplace.  Living in the RV we have had plenty of experience with propane and works just fine.

DSC_0272 (2)See the cute gray lamp with the black lamp shade next to the occasional chair?  Worked out a trade with my sister Tracy to get that little gem.  Thank you, Trace!  (She also promised me a spiky Dracena tree to replace that dweeby-looking little palm tree in the corner.)  We found our furniture at a great little store in Port Angeles.  The lamp between the recliners glows orange when the lights are on and becomes a muted pinkish pearl when it is off.  Purchased at an interesting boutique in downtown Sequim. 

Great prices.  Buying local.  Supporting our newly adopted community.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I have been a little worried about the direction of my blog.  The original focus of my writing was to document and share our travels and small-space tips as we live full-time in the fifth-wheel RV.  Well, if you have been reading the last few months, you will know that we purchased a home on the Olympic Peninsula.  We will be traveling in the RV, but only in the winter or on a part-time basis. 

127698806EG046_2011_INTERNAThe blog has now become a reflection of our travels, adventures we have on the “O” Peninsula and our new home.  I am considering expanding the writing to include how we apply our small-space tips to everyday living in both the RV and house.  And I am developing my long time interest in painting and art, in general.  I may want to write a little about that, too.

Is this too fractured for people to follow?  Those of you only interested in travel, will I lose you?  Should I split the blog into two or three to retain a focus in each area?  Well, for now, I will continue on with the one blog and hope that you will hang with me.  Hey, if Steve Martin can become more than a comedian, I can consider my expanding horizons, as well.  (The guy plays a mean banjo, you know.  He just won Entertainer of the Year for International Bluegrass Association.  Not to mention he acts, writes, and produces movies.)  He still has a following, doesn’t he?

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