Monday, February 13, 2012

our homestead: bellingham adventure

Whenever my cousin comes a'visiting there never seems to be enough time to take her to all of the places I want to show her. This time around she will be staying with me until the end of February, so I had the opportunity to take her to the town we never had time to venture to together: Bellingham! My brother also lives up in Bellingham, so I thought we could take him out to lunch (two birds, one stone). My cousin and I hopped in my subaru with Banjo and headed out on our journey. About an hour and 45 minutes from Seattle, Bellingham sits up in north western Washington and is surrounded by farms and mountainous woodlands. Part of the way you get to pass through the Skagit Valley- so gorgeous! The trip up is just as fun as the destination.
The Skagit Valley
Once we passed a long stretch of trees, we came around the bend and made it into town and picked up my brother. I wanted to take my brother to a good meat-on-your-ribs restaurant, so we parked on Railroad Ave, fed the coin meter and walked over to the Boundary Bay Brewery. The brewery was bustling with people and there was a bit of a wait (what I expected for a Saturday), so we hung out by the Bellingham Farmers Market goat statue.
My cousin riding the goat cart
The Bellingham Farmers Market resides within a covered building full of windows and is partially year round. It runs "April through Christmas" on Saturdays from 10am-3pm. I was sad there was no market in session when we came to visit, but farmers need to vacation too and it's hard to grow things in the middle of winter. After about 15 minutes, we headed back into the Boundary Bay Brewery for lunch. I had the lamb burger served on a pretzel bun from a local bakery, my brother had their beef burger and my cousin went for their "great northwest pizza" which had pesto, smoked salmon, roasted garlic and chevre on it. All three of us also enjoyed their home brewed rootbeer.

To settle our lunches we went for a walk with Banjo up and down the rest of Railroad Ave, stopping at a vintage shop and a garden and feed store. I found loose gladiola bulbs at the garden shop and picked out an assortment of lime green, peach, pale pink and white bulbs to plant in my garden. I also bought a handful of crimson crocosmia bulbs. I tested Banjo's reaction to chickens as they had a trio of ladies clucking around in a pen outside the shop. He was skiddish of them at first and tried to hide behind my legs. He then became a little more curious and peeked his head out to smell them. Overall, Banjo had a fairly mellow first reaction to them (no "I-want-to-eat-them-birds" look in his eye). I hope he'll end up being a friendly bird dog. You never know.
Crocosmia bulbs (left) and gladiola bulbs from the feed store on Railroad Ave 
No stop to Bellingham would be complete without indulging in some Mallard Icecream, also located on Railroad Ave. They always have bizarre flavors and source a lot of ingredients locally. In the past they've bought strawberries and golden raspberries from the farm I work for. My brother had a scoop of their oreo mint icecream, my cousin had their chocolate coconut icecream, I had their their vanilla black pepper icecream, and Banjo met another puppy his age, also waiting outside the icecream shop. She looked to be some sort of golden retriever mix and the two of them played for a little while we enjoyed our cones.

After our icecreams, we ventured to Boulevard Park. Bellingham has a large biking culture and you can pretty much get around the whole town on two wheels. Their main biking path crosses through Boulevard Park, which includes lots of grassy space to laze about, views of the bay, beach access, a boardwalk, one of the Woods coffee shops and a playground. We grabbed some coffees and walked along the boardwalk, watching the sunset over the bay. People were out and about, walking their dogs, pushing strollers or biking (or tricycling) on by. Banjo even bumped into his girlfriend he met at Mallard Icecream and they played some more. It was a very pleasant evening.
My cousin, Banjo and I on the boardwalk
We took some stairs down to the beach and Banjo had his first sand digging experience. As silly as it sounds, I like to always get my cousin somewhere close to saltwater whenever she visits me. She's from Spokane (eastern Washington), so it's not often that she has the oppurtunity to breath in a little ocean air. Likewise whenever I head to her side of the state I appreciate the lulling prairie hills, pine trees and sagebrush. Overall, we had a relaxing day in Bellingham and I'm happy I was finally able to bring my cousin up here and visit my brother.
My cousin on the beach
The sunset on the beach with my brother, cousin and Banjo


  1. Sounds like such a nice day! I've never explored bellingham! sounds like an awesome place.

  2. We'll have to venture up there. Possible future girl's weekend someday maybe?