Nov 182016

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Her name is Matia — a darling little Ranger Tug boat that I am in no doubt, thoroughly smitten over.  I’ve been wishing for a little tug boat for the longest while (even when we had our last boat) and my tug dream came true late this summer when hubby bought it for me.  For US.

Matia was built in Kent, Washington at the Ranger Tug factory and came home to the San Juan Islands with us.   HOME is here now (we’ve uprooted from Eastern Washington and are selling off some of our property.  Anyone interested in a cute little slice of Heaven in the charming town of Roslyn? Comes with two 30 amp plugins, a historic cabin, fruit trees galore (plum, apple and cherry that bear the sweetest fruit perfect for pies or just plain pickin’ off the branches and savoring the flavor while you stroll around the property).  A golden, sun flecked pasture is your view with the sweetest horses as neighbors – let me know if you know anyone interested.  I’m kind of hoping it won’t sell.  Don’t tell the hubby :)

We’ve been looking in the islands for another slice of Heaven and by golly,  I think we’ve found it!  Keep your fingers crossed for the Bennett’s because if this happens then our Silver Girl will have a new home, situated waterfront along the Salish Sea with views of the strait where orcas and humpback whales come to play and bald eagles soar high above.  Did I mention there is also a beach with the most amazing tide pools (according to our {hopefully} new neighbor who happens to be the nicest fellow) and a boat ramp too? And a nice big patch for a garden (a garden) . . . and, and, I could go on I tell ya.  I’m very hopeful the seller accepts our offer *fingers crossed*  But what shall be, shall be (I shall remain very hopeful!)

Now back to Matia, Hubby and I fondly named her after the island Matia, which just happens to be one of our favorite islands in the San Juan archipelagos.  She’s one of the smallest islands and boasts some of the dreamiest hiking trails that reward with breathtaking views.  It’s a glorious place that holds blissful memories for hubby and I — we can hardly wait until we visit again.

There are so many things I adore about our boat and the galley is tops on my list.  I do only have one little electric burner, which is fine and dandy — but the situation is as such — when we’re under way cruising up and over the waves out on the Salish Sea, or settled in for the night on the hook — that little electric burner won’t turn on due to the huge power draw it requires (we must be plugged into shore power or have a generator on board).  So underneath that electric burner is a place to pour denatured alcohol into and cook over that.  I’ve tried it and well, lets just say I’ve decided that we needed a bigger, beefier cook top.  Enter the Dickinson Sea-B-Que.  Thanks to my friend Laura who runs the fabulous travel (airplane, airstream & boat!) site, Riveted, she told me that the Dickinson grills are by far, the best and can I just say?  I couldn’t agree more.  Thank you Laura! Not only does the Sea-B-Que look stunningly gorgeous mounted on the railing, it’s a powerful workhorse that comes with porcelain grates that will get sooooooo hot you’ll be able to sear anything beautifully!

Thus far I have prepared on the Sea-B-Que, endless pots of coffee, cast iron skillet eggs, toasted raisin bread with melty butter, roasted veggies, Cajun grilled salmon and even boiled about five big pots of fresh caught Dungeness crab.  This grill has been my savior and has completely updated my galley.  Also, compared to the other marine grills out on the market, the Sea-B-Que will never flame out.  It’s very true and you’ve just heard it from me.  I was skeptical but while we were on the hook in Blind Bay (in between Shaw and Orcas), it was W I N D Y !  You could hear the wind angrily whipping around the grill and the flame still blazing away inside powerful and strong like a raging lion that would not give up. I was so impressed it didn’t flame out!  Compared to the previous two grills we’ve had on our past two boats, there is no comparison.  None.  It was quite disheartening because it’s no fun when you’re enjoying life out on the water when you go to check on dinner that should be cooking up nice and hot on the grill to only discover it’s been sitting there getting COLD because the flame, flamed out.  What?!  I’ve been there way to many times, thankfully never again.

Our experience buying Matia with Ranger Tugs has been such a pleasure and believe me, we’re experienced boaters who have been around the block or two regarding boat purchases.  This experience with Ranger was such a breath of fresh sea air!  They care about their customers, just like our friends Nick and Karen at Airstream of Spokane care about their customers.  They really, really give a darn.  They even have an online forum similar to Airstream where boat owners can discuss anything boating and Ranger Tug related.  I want to really thank Andrew for his patience while hubby and I tried to figure out which boat would be ours, and Kenny for his incredible patience with me and always being there and also a huge thank you to Glen who got us up to speed on piloting the boat to the San Juans.  Thank you sweet fellas !!

I also want to say I’m so sorry for not being around here as much this summer (your sweet emails of concern warmed my heart).  For me this summer was a whirlwind – it passed so quickly!  My garden at home did rather well, plenty of beautiful red sweet tomatoes but my poor tomatillo plant, what happened I still wonder?  Hundreds of fruits on that little bush but they never grew into “fruit.”  It’s like they remained so tiny in their papery shells and eventually just fell off.  Zucchinis, collard greens, lemon cucumbers (lemon cucumbers!), and Chinese eggplants all did well.  It’s been a bit of a withdrawl process weaning off the fresh veggies.  But so it is.  

A side note:  A bit of an exciting experience happened, Airstream flew out to film/photograph/interview me in my silver girl over the summer!  I can’t say too much about what’s to come, but it was a day I will never forget.  I felt like a queen :)  Can’t wait to share with you more as it all unfolds.

Wherever you are tonight, I hope you’re snug as bugs in rugs — Autumn is upon us — a new season for new beginnings.  What a beautiful life it is and continues to be ♥  

Warm hugs to you,

Monica XOXO

Jun 102014

Anacortes ferry landing via

Sometimes when life gets super busy, it helps me to sit down and take note of everything happening around me.   The last two weekends for us have been spent up on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

The purpose of our first visit was to reconnect with friends and have a party in their honor back at our camp.   I wanted everything to be perfect so I worked very hard on that trip for a couple of months prior.  The party went off without a hitch and so many wonderful things happened that weekend that I really look forward to sharing with you.


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May 082014

When traveling with an RV there are many benefits to be had.  Take for example the fact that you have all the comforts of home with you including a fully equipped kitchen.  Sure it’s probably smaller than your kitchen at home, but with a little organization and planning, you can easily whip up the same healthy meals you do for your family at home, but on the road.

My Travel Trailer Kitchen

What’s better is that you’re actually on the road.  Traveling.  Exploring.  Seeking out new adventures.  Can you imagine a better way to experience the “here and now,” than visiting a local market where you just happen to be seeking out the freshest, in season goodies to cook a meal with?  Take it to the next level and talk to some locals shopping in the market.  Ask them how they like to cook those “in season” ingredients.  More often than not, you’ll make a new friend and come back to your RV inspired, ready to cook. Continue reading »

Dec 262013


Ever since bringing home our Airstream in 2010 it has somewhat become a tradition to spend the cozy Thanksgiving holiday in the San Juan Islands – specifically Orcas Island.   Year after year we return with the longing of peace, relaxation and just taking things easy next to the Salish Sea.

There is never a dull moment when spending time in the islands . . . Continue reading »

Jun 062013

You can spend an eternity in the San Juan Islands and it still would not give you enough time to discover everything these magical islands have to offer.  As we continue our spring trips and postings here on J5MM I would like to share with where we were this time, last year :) 

This weekend we are heading to Hood Canal to stay at a really cute RV park called, “Rest a While” where we are hoping to get some clams that I can cook for dinner.  Part 3 of our Olympic Peninsula Loop is also coming soon — hopefully tomorrow!

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Apr 252013

This time, last year we took our Airstream to the San Juan Islands, specifically to Orcas Island where we camped with her at West Beach Resort.  This island holds a very special place in my heart and I truly believe that if you visit, she will hold a special place in yours too . . .

Here is a link to ♥ ALL ♥ our outdoor and culinary adventures on Orcas Island :)

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Nov 132012

Every. Single. Weekend.

Those are the days over the past summer that I was lucky enough to spend here in the San Juan Islands helping spread the word on J5MM about how lovely these islands truly are.

Hubby and B were even luckier.  They vacationed here all summer and were always on time to pick me up at the ferry landing of whatever island we happened to be on.  Our last island to spend time on was none other than Lopez.

“Mommy do you remember when we made the forts on Spencer’s Spit?”  B asks me this over dinner last night.

Hubby and I glance up at each other and together our minds go back to that wonderful time. Continue reading »