I love the camellia plant, her flower rivals any rose.

Her leaves are dark and strong and glossy, some to brew as tea.

Even her name is lovely.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day.

~ Susanne

A Walk through Bellingham fueled by Rockets

I know you’ve been waiting so here’s the final story from our road trip last month that included Skagit daffodils, Fairhaven, and Western Washington University (here’s that story in case you missed it, though you probably didn’t.)

Bellingham remains a special place to me with memories of my college days and the first place I lived outside Seattle. The population of the town and the school have doubled since I attended but neither one felt much bigger to me. It’s still a great place to walk and so I left my husband behind at the museums – the Sparks and the Railway – and headed to the Rocket – wouldn’t you?

Rocket Donuts is new to town since I lived here, which is probably a good thing as I have a weakness for donuts and homemade ice cream, of which they have both.

Once inside you’re greeted by this big guy and other movie memorabilia from the science fiction of the fifties. At the Fairhaven location you’ll also be able to watch old Buck Rogers movies -. and just so you know – that’s waaaay before my time. 🙂

After enjoying my truly decadent espresso ice cream, I had the strength to walk around town and headed towards this view of old City Hall – overlooking Maritime Heritage Park.

Here I followed the trail next to Whatcom Creek

until I was surprised by these lovely falls

and peaceful stretch of creek above, all in the heart of downtown.

The creek empties out of Whatcom Lake further east where there is another lovely park worth a visit. Maybe next time. Instead I climbed the steps back into town and came across the new Courthouse

and many old buildings I remember so well like the historic Mt Baker Theatre – missing its E –

and named after the mountain you see hiding off in the distance.

Just an hour drive from town, Mt. Baker doesn’t loom over the city quite the way Rainier does over Seattle, but its presence is felt nonetheless. It’s an active volcano in the Cascade Range and I remember there was frequent talk of her erupting someday. So one day after school when I heard a volcano had blown its top, I immediately thought it must be her,  but no, it was Mt. St. Helens further south. We saw nary a cloud or speck of ash in Bellingham.

I continued my walk around town and eventually back to where I started,

where I met up with Bob as he finished his museum tours. But before we left, I couldn’t resist one more picture of the Rocket though I did resist a donut.

~ Susanne

Cats Seeking Shelter in the Rainy Northwest and Baseball

After a bizarre winter in the Great Northwest – featuring summer temperatures and record-breaking snowfall – we have now settled into a typical rainy spring. The garden is loving it and new plants are being thoroughly watered in.

Cats seek shelter wherever they can find it, if they are willing to go out at all.

When inside at least they have good baseball to watch as the Seattle Mariners are off to an amazing start, the best in all of baseball, a surprise to all those who predict such things.

Tiger watches attentively while Benji is more distracted,

and hushed by his older brother.

~ Susanne and Tiger and Benji

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #family Mora and Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park by Susanne Swanson

Here’s another look at my trip to Olympic National Park shared on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. Reminds me of why I want to go back again this year! :).

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Here is the second post from the archives of Susanne Swanson and this week she shares their trip to the Olympic National Park in Washington State and the beaches with amazing roots and tree remains.

Mora and Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park spreads over the Olympic Peninsula in the northwest corner of Washington State, almost a million acres of protected wilderness, with mountains, forests and the wildest coastline in the contiguous United States. A designated World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve it attracts visitors from around the world. It also attracts us locals and we visited again this summer, this time camping in a remote section of the Park at beautiful Mora.

Mora Campground

Located next to the Quillayute River, and a mile from Rialto Beach, Mora lies deep in old growth forest, dripping green and gorgeous and that’s where we parked our trailer the first…

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Happy National Pet Day!

I said these words to our two feline residents and they were puzzled.

“What’s a pet?”  asked Benji.

“Um, well,” I replied, a bit startled by the look in his eyes. “According to the dictionary it’s a tamed animal kept for companionship.”

“Tamed?” questioned Benji.

“Kept?’ asked Tiger.

“Are you planning to curtail our freedoms? You know how much we like the outdoors. At least when it’s not raining.”

“No of course not you two.  You’re way too sensitive.  Sorry I mentioned it at all!”

~  Happy National Pet Day from Susanne and Tiger and Benji

Walks and Trails at Mt. Rainier National Park

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Walks, Trails and Sidewalks,  I looked back at some of my favorite walks and trails at Mt. Rainier National Park.

You won’t find too many views from the beaten path like this one at Sunrise.

Only one at a time can cross the suspension bridge over the Ohanapecosh River on the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail.

I was charmed by the boardwalk deep in the rainforest near the Carbon River.

Looking forward to more walks this year on the trails at Mt. Rainier!

~ Susanne

Benji the Cute Sleeper

Poor Benji looks so cute when he’s sleeping that I’m compelled to take many pictures of him,

which he seems to tolerate even while tossing and turning,

until he tells me enough is enough

and I finally get the message.

~ Susanne and Benji

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