Tag Archives: anniversary

half of an epic celebratory weekend

Once upon a time this blog was about how we ran off to Canada and eloped. Wednesday will mark three years since that happened.

three years married!

We also have Jess’ birthday to celebrate the day before, so we usually try to make a fabulous weekend of it. Last year we took a road trip on the coast. This year we kind of casually picked a few things that sounded fun without a ton of planning and somehow managed to have the best weekend I can remember.

Since we made reservations for an eight course vegetarian dinner at Tilth in Seattle, I proposed a lunch of nothing but milkshakes and Jess obliged.

We simultaneously came up with the genius idea of trying a salted caramel milkshake at Molly Moon, because that is how our marriage seems to work. And you guys, holy crap.

I have since decided that this will be my birthday present to myself come September, as well as my last meal if I ever get the death penalty. I know salted caramel was on trend like five years ago, but it will never stop being amazing. Salty + sweet = true love forever. I probably won’t need a salted caramel cupcake again because this exists.

We people and boat watched at Gas Works Park, where even the garbage on the ground was romantic.

Then on to Tilth where we planned to go all out and get the Grand Eight Course Vegetarian Tasting Menu. To our surprise there was also an amuse-bouche, so it was more like nine courses plus cocktails and the house made sodas I just had to try.

I won’t bore you with 12 pictures of our dinner, especially since we sat inside so the photos are lighting-challenged. How about some highlights:

the most perfect shot of asparagus soup and a slice of heirloom tomato with preserved lemon and basil

a porcini flan and grilled cauliflower with pickled garlic and truffle oil

sasparilla and rhubarb-ginger soda, served with classy giant ice cubes!

strawberry-rhubarb shortcake with chantilly cream

Everything was so fresh and flavorful and delicious, we ran out of compliments to tell the waitress when she checked on us during each course. And we enjoyed the fanciness of it all. I was overly amused by Jess’ napkin getting refolded for her while she was in the powder room. One time while she was gone the maitre d’ and the waitress each folded it for her. Awesome.

Then we had a gorgeous sunset drive through Seattle before heading off to downtown Tacoma for alchemy drinks at this place we’ve been meaning to try for ages.

1022 South is named after it’s address on J Street in downtown Tacoma. One part old apothecary, one part classy bar, they make fancy cocktails with homemade bitters and botanical infusions.

This was just round one: cherry shrub – rum, tarragon, amaro, cherry balsamic shrub and drunken boat – blackstrap rum, ginger liqueur, house made ginger beer, flamed angostura bitters

I wish I had a video of my drink on fire. Everything tasted amazing, and it lit a fire under us to experiment more with homemade syrups and even shrubs (apparently and aged fruit syrup).

After drinks we ate a caprese plate of tomato, basil, fresh mozarella and balsamic reduction and drank tons of complimentary cucumber water to sober up before driving back to Olympia. I can’t imagine anything more indulgent, but this was just DAY ONE.

More tomorrow, if you can handle it.


Filed under family, marriage

Long Beach, WA

Our interest in Long Beach comes from the proliferation of bumper stickers in this area championing Jake the Alligator Man. I will never forget when Krista and I started pointing them out to each other, each of us asking, “What is that, exactly? Is it a person? Is it a mermaid? Is it some kind of alligator person?”

Krista and I share an interest in weird, roadside Americana artifacts. So, we consult Roadside America, we do some creative google-ing, and we read the Weird State book series when we travel. It wasn’t long before we unraveled the mystery of those bumper stickers, read a little about Jake the Alligator Man, and put Marsh’s Free Museum on our “to see” list.

We almost didn’t go to Long Beach on our road trip due to time constraints and burn out. It’s just across the Astoria-Melger Bridge, up the Washington coast about 30 minutes from Astoria. I’m really glad we went the extra miles. It was one of the funniest places we visited, and now we can put Marsh’s Free Museum on our “saw it” list.

Jake in his Christmas Hat (Does he wear this year round?). It was really hard to photograph him in that glass case. You just have to believe us that he is a leathery, frightening sight to behold. A wide-eyed little girl asked her grandma, “Is it alive?”

Marsh’s Free Museum is a lot more than just Jake the Alligator Man, though. It’s a full roadside cabinet of all kinds of curiosities. We spent several dollars and over an hour exploring everything. It’s kind of like Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe in Seattle, but bigger, more jam-packed with older, weird stuff and Jake the Alligator Man.

The two-headed calf:

Antique fortune-telling machines:

The requisite shrunken head

The mandatory chainsaw carved sculptures

Totally weird coin-operated automaton scenes of execution:

Long Beach is also the home of the World’s Largest Frying Pan:

And the World’s Largest Squirting Clam:

Long Beach offers some serious tourist food, a multitude of pinball machines, and the town lays claim to the world’s longest driveable beach. We cannot verify that it’s the longest beach, but we can verify the pinball and free museum. If you’re in the area, Jake’s 75th Birthday is quickly approaching. You can attend the adult burlesque party or the family friendly party.


Filed under summer