Jan 072015

LaConner, Washington Town Guide via J5MM.com

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.

Thousand Trails Campground LaConner, Washington Site 164 via J5MM.comThousand Trails Campground LaConner, Washington Site 164 via J5MM.com

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.

Glamping breakfast Airstream style via J5MM.com

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 :)

Glamping Breakfast via J5MM.comDowntown LaConner in the New Year via J5MM.com // Airstream Road Trip

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.

Downtown LaConner in the New Year via J5MM.com // Airstream Road Trip

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!

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 2015 via J5MM.com // Airstream Road Trip to Thousand Trails in LaConner, WA

“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.

Glamping Cuisine Airstream Style via J5MM.com

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.

Best Seafood Rub via J5MM.com // Fish Tacos // Glamping Cuisine

Glamping Cuisine // Fish Tacos via J5MM.comExploring Thousand Trails Campground in LaConner, Washington via J5MM.com // Airstream Road Trip

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.

Thousand Trails Campground in LaConner, WA via J5MM.com // Airstream Road Trip

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 ♥

Canine wanderlust via J5MM.com // Oliver the Airstreaming Terrier

And I cooked, with this view . . .

A View From the Airstream Kitchen Window via J5MM.com // Airstream Road Trip in LaConner, Washington

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 :)

Cornish Game Hens and a Campfire via J5MM.com // Airstream Road TripHappy New Year 2015 via J5MM.com // Airstream Road TripGlamping Cuisine // Brownie A La Mode via J5MM.comSunset in LaConner // Thousand Trails Campground via J5MM.com // Site 164

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.

Pacific Northwest Winter Morning via J5MM.com // Airstream Road Trip 2015Hike around Deception Pass State Park via J5MM.com // Airstream Road TripHike around Deception Pass State Park via J5MM.com // Airstream Road TripDeception Pass Bridge via J5MM.comDeception Pass Bridge via J5MM.com

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.

Stormy Glamping via J5MM.com

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 :)

Moonlit Midnight Walk via J5MM.com // Airstream Road Trip

Wherever you may be, we are wishing you a Happy New Year :) !!

Thank you for being here ~

Humbly yours,
Monica xoxo

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

Happy New Year 2015 via J5MM.com // Airstream Road Trip


  16 Responses to “A Very Happy New Year”

  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful day. What better than gorgeous ocean views, scrumptious fish tacos, and the warm of a campfire. The RV lifestyle never disappoints.

    • Thanks for sharing such a wonderful place to bring in the New Years. Happy and Safe travels this year. Can you share your drop cream biscuit recipe I used to have one and cannot find it?


      • Hi Rob, thank you so much and happy, safe travels to you and sweet Terri too!! I would love to share my recipe with you, here it goes:



        2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        1 tablespoon baking powder
        1 teaspoon salt
        1 tablespoon sugar
        2 cups cold heavy whipping cream


        Preheat oven to 400 degrees F — if you are using a cast iron drop biscuit pan, the trick is to pre-heat it in the oven and then before dropping the biscuits in, add a teeny tiny little pat of butter into each cup. Let the butter melt and drop the biscuits in.

        Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the cold cream and stir until the dough forms.

        Drop heaping 1/4 cups of batter about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until tops are pale golden and bottoms are golden brown — around 20 minutes.

        Bon appetit :)

  2. I love reading about your travels. Could you share your creamy biscuit recipe please? Also I have tried many times to take a “good” picture of our campfires, but have had no success. I love the last picture of your New Years trip of the campfire with the water in the background. Is there anyway to get a digital copy of it? It sounds silly, but I have always wanted a campfire picture as my background on my phone, so I can de-stress whenever needed. Thanks for keeping the camping life going through the winter!

    • Hello Diane! I’m so flattered and your timing is impeccable with your request — I’m currently working on a “download” page on J5MM that will be home to some inspirational photos you can download and use as a background on your phone. In the meantime, I will be sure to send you the campfire one :) !!

      Also I would be happy to share the drop biscuit recipe with you. Here it is :)



      2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      1 tablespoon baking powder
      1 teaspoon salt
      1 tablespoon sugar
      2 cups cold heavy whipping cream


      Preheat oven to 400 degrees F — if you are using a cast iron drop biscuit pan, the trick is to pre-heat it in the oven and then before dropping the biscuits in, add a teeny tiny little pat of butter into each cup. Let the butter melt and drop the biscuits in.

      Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the cold cream and stir until the dough forms.

      Drop heaping 1/4 cups of batter about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until tops are pale golden and bottoms are golden brown — around 20 minutes.

      Bon appetit :)

  3. Dear Monica,
    Another spell binding blog! I wish I had the opportunity to comment next to each photo, all exquisite, but the Midnight Moonlight Walk picture is hauntingly beautiful! Please never stop doing what you do! I’m going to try your Cornish game hen recipe and tonight will try the seafood rub on our salmon. Happy New Year to you and many more blessings! Sandi
    P.S. Our 2014 International AS has a convection/MW oven……how I long for a regular oven, as I’m not very good at convection……but keep trying!

    • Thank you sweet Sandi! I’m so happy you liked the Midnight Moonlight Walk picture because I hesitated for a moment if I should include it. I’m so happy I did now :)

      Have you considered getting a toaster oven for your silver girl? I understand the longing for the oven, but I have a microwave/convection at a vacation rental of ours and I love it. It cooks up potatoes, butternut squash and the like SO fast. On B’s birthday last year I baked him his favorite chocolate cake in it. Another bonus, there is no pilot light you need to light every-single-time you want to use it lol !!

      xoxo HUGS to you xoxo

  4. Your posts are so full of beauty…you take a lot of time to entice the reader and it draws you right in like. All your photos are stunning especially with all the fine details. Fish tacos out of this world. Always look forward to reading your posts. Love the RV art crossing the bridge…cute!

    • Thank you Cozygirl :) Your comment means so much to me! You are right, it does take a lot of time to create a post but I really enjoy the process so much. I work as a graphic designer in corporate America that has strict company branding standards so my creativity is somewhat limited. Thanks to J5MM I have an outlet for the creativity to come out :)

      I’m glad you liked my little trailer crossing the bridge! I always try to include that in each post — somewhere :)

      HUGS to you and Happy New Year.

      Thank you for being here!

  5. Such a lovely post- thanks – hubs and I were trying to decide where to spend our anniversary and your LaConner TT review made our decision easy. Might I ask if you have a TT membership or did you simply make reservations? Thanks too for the scrumptious recipes.

  6. I love you more with each Blog…hope that doesn’t sound creepy. I held my breath reading this blog, then went to the link about your Dad and had tears rolling down my face. It has been almost a year when my Dad passed. I am looking for 2015 as a new beginning with my RV and travels. Your photography and food are on such a high level….
    Oh..by the way…my kitchen from the 60’s looks like one in Julia’s photos..I too have some of her books.
    I am so proud of you for the work you go to with your family, your photography, and your food.
    It was fun to see LaConner, a frequent place when I had my boat.

    • Dear Linda, I am so sorry about your dad. I wish I could give you a hug in person {{{{{HUGS}}}}} Shortly after mine passed was when I started hitting the road with our silver girl. I poured my heart and soul into getting away and exploring new places as it helped me tremendously during those early days of painful loss and sorrow. I really believe, in a way, my silver girl kind of saved me. It sounds corny maybe.

      Your words to me are so kind and so sweet. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to write to me — it means so much and makes my heart sing with happiness.

      Love, Monica

  7. We are here now and it is every bit as lovely as you show in your blog. Will have to check out some of the recommendations and bust out the cast iron when the weather improves.

    • So happy to read you are there! I think it’s the best spot in the whole park — that fire pit it perfectly placed for the view. Thank you for reaching out and making my day :) Happy travels to you!

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