Happy shiny 2015 to you! Hubby, B, Oliver and I are wishing you only the best for 2015 and we hope that your hopes and dreams come true in this brand new year :)
We felt very fortunate to have been able to ring in the new year at the picturesque Thousand Trails campground in LaConner, Washington. Our site was #164 and has been proudly added to our “must return” list.
My heart sang when I saw that our campfire ring had an attached cooking grate. It was time to bring out the cast iron and cook up a scrumptious breakfast. Cranberry chicken sausages were slow cooked over the cracking morning fire while inside, drop cream biscuits (B’s favorite) were puffing up and baking beautifully in our trusty little oven. Sides of raspberry jam, fresh raspberries and piping hot coffee graced our cozy fireside table.
As we enjoyed our breakfast and time together, we chatted about our day. What would we do (this was our most favorite part — planning and taking things as they come)?
“Can we go to town mommy and daddy?” B asks us.
“Good idea B” hubby says and I couldn’t have agreed more. The sun was shining and the skies were blue — a perfect time to explore the quaint town of LaConner. We could hardly wait :)
Not only is LaConner the perfect weekend getaway destination for Washingtonians, it is also known as the perfect boating getaway and Marina near the San Juan Islands.
While you are here, tour the quaint boutiques in downtown LaConner along the water, enjoy some of the finest dining or simply sit on a bench and take in the beauty of this cute little town. If those activities aren’t enough for you, here are 101 more things to do during your visit.
Additionally in Spring, when you come and stay at Thousand Trails, you’ll enjoy being close to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival that runs April 1st through April 30th. If you’ve been following J5MM for a while, you may recall my post about our trip to the Tulip Festival. I plan on returning again this spring and can hardly wait!
“I’m hungry mommy,” B tells me rubbing his belly.
My mind immediately goes to our glampsite and the campfire ring . . . I was obsessed with cooking over the fire on this trip and could hardly wait to get back and cook up our favorite fish tacos. So easy to make and even more scrumptious to eat.
We like our fish tacos garnished with plenty of cool, crisp, crunchy toppings from crisp radishes and romaine lettuce to sweet red onions and cherry tomatoes. The fish is rubbed with our favorite rub (below) and grilled to golden brown perfection. It is then served super hot in warm flour tortillas that are then topped with the cool crisp toppings. A generous squeeze of lime, a drizzle of good tartar sauce and a sprinkling of delicate cilantro on top make this, in my opinion, the best fish taco ever.
We explored. We hiked. We explored some more. We played miniature golf and we read alongside the campfire. It was so quiet here and so peaceful. All we could hear at camp was the crackling of the fire, the sound of the waves lapping at the shore and the distant sweet call of the resident eagles flying high above us.
Soon it was time for dinner (the golden sunset told me so). So while hubby and B fed the fire outside, Oliver and I retreated inside the Airstream. He would keep me company while I cooked, and can I just say? He is the best company keeper ever this little scruffy dog of mine ♥
And I cooked, with this view . . .
On the menu for tonight: Roasted Cornish Game Hens atop roasted root vegetables. A comforting home cooked meal to end the most perfect day ♥
I simply rubbed the hens with plenty of salted, softened butter, taking care to place some butter under the skin (a trick my dad taught me when I cooked my very first hen when I was 12). I sliced a lemon in half and placed each sunny half in the cavity of each bird. I carefully tied some string around their chubby legs securing them together so they would roast evenly. I then gently placed the hens atop sliced baby potatoes and carrots. I sprinkled the hens with a light touch of Herbes de Provence — a superb herb mixture containing a variety of herbs from lavender to thyme, to fennel and so many more. It’s lovely on poultry.
I slid them into my 350 degree F oven and roasted them for about 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes or so.
They came out golden and so tender that B requested I make this more often.
Success I say :)
The following morning we woke to fog and a rather rainy kind of Pacific Northwest day (I thought I heard raindrops on the roof overnight!)
When you live in the Pacific Northwest, you don’t let days like this keep you inside. We treat them like any other and motor on and continue to explore the great outdoors. Rain gear is a staple on all trips of ours :)
The plan for today was to rise early and explore Deception Pass State Park and spend the day there. I packed the boys and myself a picnic lunch of Cornish Game Hen sandwiches, crackers and cheese, apples (still going strong from our apple tree in Roslyn, WA) some sweet chocolates Santa was so kind to bring us and meaty dog treats (for Oliver of course). A thermos of piping hot cocoa for B was a must.
Spending our days together like this makes me so happy. I feel so grateful for this life and not a moment goes by where I don’t thank my lucky stars.
We head back to camp after a big day exploring Deception Pass State Park. In the truck on the way home I turn around to look at B. He is sleeping with his head leaning on the window. Oliver’s head is on B’s lap and he is snoring. I should have taken a picture of it. What a sight it was! But what a good feeling it was to have spent the day outdoors, exercising and exploring.
Back at camp, the weather has not changed. It has however, stopped raining for a moment.
We snuggled in and made ourselves comfy and cozy. B helped me make melted cheese sandwiches to accompany Cornish Game Hen soup (the bones make the best stock to make soup with, thank you dad for teaching me that). We watch a movie together. Maleficent with Angelina Jolie. Oh my! That was an amazing fairytale movie (I will be watching it again).
We all fall asleep to the sounds of raindrops hitting the Airstream roof. Such a comforting, cozy sound that is — that is, until someone wants to go outside. It is midnight and my little scruffy dog is sitting by the Airstream door with a look on his face, “Please take me for a walk?”
“Okay Oliver, hang on . . . ” I whisper to him.
I sleepily and slowly crawl out from under the warm covers trying not to disturb hubby, grab my raincoat and slip on my clogs (best glamping shoes ever, btw) and off we go. Miraculously, in that moment, it stopped raining. The air was damp and wet, but the raindrops ceased.
“Thanks Oliver,” I look down at him and tell him. I thanked him because it was such a magical moonlit walk if I say so myself. I’m sure if Oliver could talk, he would have agreed :) #momentslikethese
This was definitely a trip to remember :)
Wherever you may be, we are wishing you a Happy New Year :) !!
Thank you for being here ~
PS I’ve written about my dad in this post. He taught me how to cook. We actually kind of both learned how to cook together. If you would like to read my story about my dad (I miss him so) I wrote about him for CNN IReport here: A New Beginning ♥