washington day 12 – bellingham, fairhaven, and girls’ night

i knew today would be a tiring day.
but i didn’t realize HOW tired i would be when it was over!
i started my morning with another 2-mile, dusty walk with my friends.
i took some photos this time:

i told you it’s dusty.
and on gravel.
and dirt.
and patchy grass.
and by a cornfield.
but it’s sure can be pretty!

when i got home
(at almost 8am – after a stop at Starbucks to pick up caffeine for my husband),
my munchkins were ALL still asleep.
so was my husband.
i think davey finally woke up around 8:30 (that’s SUPER sleeping in for him!).
the girls were still asleep at 9am.

i think alex got up around 9:10 and samantha around 9:30.
these late nights (the sun goes down a LOT later here!) are finally catching up to them!

we were out the door a little after 10am, though.
i packed some supplies b/c i wasn’t sure what the full day would be like.
this was my snack of choice:

rainier cherries.
and they are available in arizona.
but they’re SOOOOOOO expensive.
they’re about half the price here.
and they’re SO worth it!


we drove into downtown bellingham and parked (for free) in a Faithlife Visitor spot.
this was the “grate” around a tree on the sidewalk.
i love the circular detail.


this is the building where dave worked before we moved.
and where dave worked last week when he was in the office.
it’s the flatiron building and it houses the CEO offices plus ALL of development.
and i’m not sure who else is in that building.
on street level is a large coffee shop.
it’s a local “chain” called Woods.
some people love their coffee.
some really don’t.
i drink their orange cream frappe’s in the summer.
i haven’t had one yet on this trip.
might have to change that tomorrow….


across the street from Faithlife is this place:

their donuts are pretty good.
their decor is pretty great.
and it’s a family favorite place.
(here are some old blog posts with Rocket Donut: 2009, 20102011, and 2012.)

it’s so hard to choose WHICH donut to eat….


the biggest bonus of this place,
BESIDES the fun of it being located next to dave’s office is this…..
so dave gets to eat at treat WITH us!

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(^^^ boston cream, my second favorite donut in the world.
what’s my first favorite?)

The Munchkins enjoyed a chocolate frosted donut, a boston cream donut, and a maple bar.

and because we were in bellingham and it was chilly (not yet 80*) and we were near the water and there was a bit of a breeze,
the munchkins enjoyed some hot chocolate, too!


we walked a couple of blocks around bellingham so dave could check out one of the newer Faithlife buildings. (the company is in several buildings scattered in a very small area around town. it’s a VERY common sight to see Faithlife badges on people as they walk around town. while bigger than little Lynden, Bellingham is still a small town.

the munchkins and i had to wait outside b/c there was no printer for visitor’s passes.

we passed the time with some pictures:


and then we went to ANOTHER Faithlife building so dave could pick up a package.
we saw this inside while we were waiting:
i suggested he create a campus map for the Tempe office.
the whole ONE building.
he laughed.
i love that he gets my sense of humor.

after he picked up his package, we wound our way back to where we parked.
which was outside of the OLD building where he worked when he first started.
so he took a quick “run through” the first floor while the munchkins climbed in the car and i occupied my time with selfies in the big windows.
IMG_9867the best part is someone was probably inside watching me take photos of myself!  

i intended to take some photos of the buildings where i used to work.
back in the day.
you know, before munchkins.
back when i worked downtown.
(did you know that I worked downtown BEFORE dave did?!)
but i forgot.
and we were driving.
and it’s not easy to get a good angle on buildings in a downtown area when you’re in a vehicle.

you may remember that a week ago i showed you a photo from dave.
it was from one of the windows in the Flat Iron Building.
it looked out toward Bellingham Bay.
and included an old building with a giant GREEN heart on it.
not a painted heart.
a living, growing, heart shaped leafy plant.
and i told you i wanted to have some photos taken there?
but not an actual photo shoot.
just some snapshots.
well, today was the day that happened.
it’s only a few blocks from the office.
unfortunately, the road is closed for construction.
and the sidewalk is closed.
and i think the building itself is condemned.
but we managed to park illegally by a stop sign.
and we walked beyond the “ROAD CLOSED” and “SIDEWALK CLOSED” signs.
and just as we arrived at the heart,
we heard a train.
which passes by on the OTHER side of the road.
so close.
and then we heard the whistle.
but it wasn’t a happy “toot.”
it was one of those LOUD LOUD honks that makes you jump.
poor alex.
it totally freaked her out.
i feared that our photos would be ruined.
(of course, b/c that was one of the main things i wanted to do on today’s adventure).

but she pulled it together SURPRISINGLY well.



and then davey stood in the middle of the road (b/c there was no traffic because the road was closed, remember – don’t worry, i’m not endangering my child for my photo op!) to snap these photos:

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in that last photo, i’m not checking my phone.
i was trying to “sneakily” pull my phone out of my pocket to take a photo of my son, standing in the middle of the street, with a huge camera strapped around his neck.
i should’ve just waited for him to finish.
and then ASKED him to stay there for a quick snapshot.
oh well.
hindsight, right?!

after loading back in the car, we drove out of downtown and to boulevard park.
(you should remember that from THIS post from last week).
i love the history in downtown.
i love the old architecture.
i love the old signs.
i love that OLD buildings are used for NEW purposes.
and i took photos of NONE of it.
(again, we were driving.
had we been walking,
i would likely STILL be there, snapping photos).
this, however, is one building i snapped a photo of while we waited at a red light:


it’s in the process of being remodeled.
it should be really cool when it’s finished.
i hope they leave this old “HOTEL” on the exterior.

since the Munchkins got to PLAY at the park last week,
we skipped that today and went straight to the sign and the boardwalk.

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we took our time.
we looked at the water.
we watched the sail boats.
we wandered down the boat dock.
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and then we exited at the end of the high hill and began the short walk to fairhaven.
the munchkins didn’t understand that this rock showed the line between the two cities (Old Bellingham and Fairhaven). dave tried to explain that it’s where the two small cities grew bigger and bigger until they were right next to each other.

we saw some cool flowers
(with bees!)
on the way. and wild blackberries!

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it’s a rocky path from the boardwalk to fairhaven,
but it’s a nice walk.

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and then we had FINALLY arrived at our destination:

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the munchkins had fun trying to select a new book.
the one davey REALLY wanted was JUST released yesterday
(book 4 in the Land of Stories series).
but that means that the only one available today was HARDBACK.
(aka: much more expensive).
so it took awhile to find something else he would be willing to read that he wouldn’t finish in an hour.
he’s pretty picky.
and i know nothing about boys’ books.
or science fiction/fantasy.
but in the end, i found this series:
and he chose one and seems to be enjoying it!



(we should’ve helped samantha choose “more wisely”
because she finished her book before we even got home!)

even though we’d had those donuts pretty late,
we knew we needed some real food.
this mexican restaurant was around the corner.
it turns out that dave and i ate there a few years ago on a kid-free date.
it’s now a different restaurant.
but mexican is mexican.


i wanted to try this margarita:


but i shared a half carafe of sangria with dave instead:

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we enjoyed carne asada tacos (Dave) and carnitas (Tam)
while the kids enjoyed chicken quesadillas.
(yes, they were with us,
even though there are no close up photos of them.
it’s not ALWAYS all about them, you know!)

and then we worked our way back to the boardwalk:


and we got distracted before getting very far down.
a family of sea otters came out to play:
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then, of course, samantha had to go potty.
thankfully we were close to the public restrooms
(at the top of the hill).
so while she was in there, i snapped some flower photos outside:
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on this walk BACK toward the car,
i got to walk down to the boat dock.

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see this cool “rock” in the water?

there used to be a cannery where this boardwalk now runs.
this sign tells you WHAT that rock REALLY is:


and this photo shows you that you can see the rock FROM the sign on the boardwalk:IMG_0075

again, we took our time walking back.
the munchkins wanted to throw rocks in the water.
it’s a favorite pastime for them.
so we stopped on the end of the boardwalk and went down the stairs.
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we saw some people out sea kayaking.
it was a beautiful day.


davey found a cool piece of driftwood.
i was tempted to let him bring it home.
but then i thought about the smell.
and it went back into the Bay!

this little munchkin filled her pockets to OVERFLOWING with rocks.
not “special” rocks, mind you.
just rocks.
any single rock that she picked up went into her pocket.
bit ones.
little ones.
ugly ones.
pretty ones.
she’s not discriminatory.
not even a little bit.
and when her pockets are full,
she just fills up her hands.
i’ve actually watched her fill her pockets so full that her shorts fell down.
thankfully she had sweatshirt pockets to use today.
(did you know that Old Navy 4T sweatshirts have deceptively LARGE pockets?!
they look small.
but they can hold a LOT of rocks.
it’s pretty ridiculous.)

these are the stairs that are (apparently) no longer used.
before the boardwalk was built, this was the staircase at the edge of the park.
it was near here,
(but across the path, on the boulders in the water),
where dave and i were sitting when he proposed.
march 2, 2002.
or was it march 3rd?
now i want to know.

but i’m guessing that these stairs aren’t used for anything anymore.
they’re quite overrun.

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while i waited for a munchkin to use the potty, i snapped a few photos:

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i feel like i have a long way to go with my photography skills.
i’m learning that my strengths really are close ups of faces.
and only small groups.
but it’s good to stretch one’s skills, yes?!

as we drove out of the park,
we stopped by this sign that i’ve wanted to take a picture of for YEARS.
and i do mean YEARS.
like 10 years.
or maybe 13.
something ridiculous like that.
it’s this crazy painted sign that is NOT easy to access.
it’s easy to drive PAST it.
and there’s a sidewalk NEXT to it.
but across the street is nothing.
it’s an overgrown cliff.
so today, dave pulled the car to the side of the road.
and i crossed the street.
and i walked.
and walked.
and walked.
and i took photos.
but then i had to walk down PAST the sign to take the photo from the other angle (the one shown here) that i like better:

i think i still prefer the landscape photo i bought in a scrapbook kit OH-SO-MANY-YEARS-AGO from Miss Carly Tee, but i’m glad to have a digital copy of my own.

the old HERALD (bellingham herald – newspaper) sign is still on top of the building in the back of this photo (at the bottom of the hill):

this is an old building.
it was a museum for awhile.
this is only the top of it b/c i took it from the moving vehicle:

i’ve ALWAYS loved the look of this building.
it sits up high on a hill,
so it looks much taller than it really is.

our final destination for FAMILY FUN DAY was “The Duck Store.”
we i have this bad habit of not accurately answering the kids’ questions.
sometimes we tell them “it’s a surprise!” so we don’t have to answer questions.
or to see if they’ll just roll with it.
but other times, we throw them completely off by providing outlandish answers.
today was one of those days.
we told the kids we were going to The Mallard.
but we wouldn’t tell them what it was.
and then we told them that a Mallard is a type of a duck.
so we told them we were going to “The Duck Store” to eat duck.
and then we said “not really” (to the eating duck part).
even if we still lived in lynden, our munchkins wouldn’t be familiar with downtown bellingham.
dave and i know it from years of working there.
but it’s not the most amazing place in the world,
so it’s not worth the 30 minutes it takes to drive there.
plus finding a parking spot.
and feeding the meter.
AND remembering to have cash b/c they only take cash or checks.
but all that to say, i think the Munchkins liked “The Duck Store:”

The Mallard is actually an ice cream store.
they make homemade ice cream.
(store made since it’s not made at a home?)
and they have normal flavors like chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
but they also have some weird flavors.

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did you see some of those?
Yerba Mate?
Sour Cream and Turmeric?
I’m not that hip.
or Hippie.
I think there’s a lot of weed-smoking happening in Bellingham.
(it’s legal in this state, you know?!)
Also note the fun flavor: Hilary’s Swanky FRESH Nerds (b/c the actress Hillary Swank is from Bellingham)
fun fact that has NOTHING to do with ice cream: comedian/actor Ryan Stiles (made famous on the Drew Carey Show and Who’s Line is it Anyway?) is from Vancouver, Canada, and has been spotted in Bellingham on many occasions (he actually owns the Upfront Theater, a comedy club in Bellingham).
okay. no more tangents……

none of us were stupid adventurous enough for those crazy flavors.
two people close Mint Oreo:

one person chose Chocolate:

one person chose Coconut Chocolate Chunk with Almonds:

and one person chose Super Chocolate
(not pictured).

any guesses on who chose what flavor?
here’s a hint:

(i’m not sure if you can see into anyone’s dish to see what they have).
Davey + Tam = Mint Oreo
Alex = Chocolate
Dave = Coconut Chocolate Chunk with Almonds
Samantha = Super Chocolate

(side note: i actually heard someone at the table next to us ask her friend, “but it’s just got Coconut IN it, right? it’s not actually coconut ice cream? it’s just regular ice cream flavor, right?”
so my question for her is: “what is REGULAR ice cream flavor?”
did she mean VANILLA?
b/c if so, the ice cream would have the name VANILLA in it.
some people…….

after ice cream, it was time to drive home via Costco (for gas – we were on fumes!) and BevMo (for some pineapple hard cider dave has been wanting to try).
i chose today to document a few of the CANNIBAS shops located en route from Bellingham to Lynden.
just the ones along the Guide.
or if you’re not a local, The Guide Meridian.
or if you’re REALLY not a local, State Route 539.
(i just made up that number,
but it’s something kinda like that.
it does have a number.)
ANYWAY…. shortly after we moved (or was it just before but it didn’t go into effect until we moved?), Washington voters legalized the growth, sale, and purchase of marijuana.
when you’re not used to it,
it’s pretty trippy to see all kinds of Weed stores along the road!

there’s A Green Leaf and The Local Joint:

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and then you have two in one complex: Top Shelf and Green Liberty
followed by 2020 Solutions:

and there are more.
quite a few more.
some are off side roads.
some might be a little more hidden
(though i’m not sure why).
one of them – The Local Joint, i think,
actually has a huge sign just north of it
or something ridiculous like that.
right now, i’m very thankful i’m living in arizona.

and i’m at a loss.
i have absolutely no way to smoothly segue into this photo:
but i just want to say that i love it when my husband is driving and he reaches one hand over to hold my hand.
or to rest it on my leg.
it makes me feel loved.
it makes me feel special.
it makes me feel important.
it makes me feel noticed.


my friends in lynden are also really good at making me feel loved.
one of them JUST had a baby two weeks ago.
(baby girl #5, no less!)
and she organized a get-together tonight.
and she bought an ice cream cake.
and another friend
(at the last minute)
offered to host it tonight.
even though she worked today.
and even though she had THREE brand new kitchen appliances delivered today.
and even though her kitchen was still a torn-apart disaster at 5pm.
and even though everyone was coming over at 7pm.
those are the kinds of friends i have.
and i love them all.

so this is Jessica.
she just had baby #5.
she organized tonight.
if you think i get a lot done in a day, you don’t know this woman.
she is amazing.
and she’s a perfectionist.
so that means everything is done well.
and correctly.
and if she doesn’t know how to do it,
she learns.
in her “spare time” she makes, decorates, and sells cake pops.
(none with weed in them, though).
she also does design work.
most specifically,
Christmas cards,
birth announcements,
you get the idea.
she’s amazing.
i don’t think she sleeps.
many, MANY thanks to you, Jessica, for tonight.
and now i can’t even remember if i gave you a hug?!

as if it weren’t enough to bring her newborn,
and some card games,
and some beverages,
she also stopped at the local ice cream shop for this bad boy:

that ice cream cake was GOOOOOOOOD!
jessica left it at missy’s house.
see – she’s smart, too!


i’m going to introduce you to my other friends who were there tonight.
i could tell you dozens of stories about each one of them.
i could tell you the ways they have touched my life.
personally, spiritually, as a mom, as a friend.
i could tell you how much they mean to me.
i could tell you about times when i needed a friend and they were there.
but if i did that with EACH of them,
i’d probably start to cry.
and i wouldn’t be able to go to bed for at least another 2 hours
b/c that’s how long it would take for me to write it all out.
so instead,
you’ll just have to assume that they’re all special.
that they’ve all done all those things listed above.
and that i love them all dearly.

THIS, my readers, is my dear friend Sara.
the one i’ve been walking with each morning:
(she’s holding Jessica’s newborn).

this is my amazing friend Karla:

this is Dyona:

THIS is Carrilee (who you know about from her recent visit to AZ with her family):

and this is the hostess with the most-est, Missy:

as you can see, we never have fun together.
and missy is always serious.
and stern.
and she never smiles.
seriously, though, Mis,
THANK YOU for hosting us tonight.
and for dishing out sweatshirts when it got (gasp!) chilly outside.

and another peek at baby Ulla (pronounced: YOU-LAH):

what a sweetie!

and that, my friends, was the end of day 12.
it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, ya?
i’m going to bed now.
i’m tired!








































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