The Wonderful Smells of Life in the Pacific Northwest & Other Observations

life in the Pacific Northwest

What are the smells of life that evoke an emotional response? I have so many, do you?

Ah, the wholly different and wonderful smells of my new life in the Northwest.  

Back in 2014 when I began Adventures of Empty Nesters, I wrote a post called, Do certain smells trigger a rush of memories for you? and it was all about smell memories and my family. 

I have always associated certain smells with people, places, and experiences. Maybe it was a perfume my teacher wore, or the aroma of a glorious meal while traveling, or the familiar scents of the holidays. Do you associate meaningful smells with exceptional memories?

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A Juicy Springtime Cocktail & Savory Appetizer with Melissa’s Produce

Springtime cocktail

Just for you! A Springtime cocktail for toasting friendship & family!

Spring is the perfect time for a new cocktail adventure! I just love bright new beginnings, sunshine, handcrafted cocktails, and a beautiful asparagus appetizer to accompany the tasty beverage.

We have been raising our cocktail game and consistently trying to include the very best organic ingredients and search for empty nester-friendly recipes. I found a gorgeous Blood Orange Margarita on Instagram, created by The Bitter Fairy. We have made it two other times already and thought it was time to share it with you!

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Come Walk With Me to the Eastside of Seattle & Visit Kirkland, Washington

visit Kirkland
We live one mile from this spot at OO Denny Park, so we just grabbed our beach chairs and headed over at 4 pm on a weekday!

The Eastside of Seattle – Visit Kirkland, Our New Home

Come over to the Eastside of Seattle and visit Kirkland, WA. Eight months ago, we made the challenging decision to move to the Pacific Northwest to be close to our newborn grandchildren.

visit Kirkland
4 Generations – My Mom came to visit and we were delighted by the magical sunset. L to R Me, Josephine, daughter Alex, my mom Linda and James. The twins are 7 months in this photo.

We sold our perfectly appointed Empty Nest in Southern California and bought a modern, sleek home with a view of Lake Washington. I have written about our experience HERE and HERE, and for the most part, I would say we are thriving.

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Life’s Simple Pleasures – A Recipe for the Perfect London Fog

Life’s Simple Pleasures

Among the many lessons learned from the Covid quarantine, embracing life’s simple pleasures must be at the top. Life was so restricted that we needed to look for happiness in different locations.

Where I would normally embrace going out to a new restaurant, this was now not an option; shopping in a fun boutique, nope, not happening. We all ended up just accepting the circumstances and staying home to stay safe. 

We cooked, we learned, we read, we baked, we did puzzles, we stayed home. 

In our house, we created Cocktail Adventures– I was so desperate to talk about travel and share travel stories that Craig and I created a video series where we shared our favorite cocktail recipe and paired it with a travel memory. Click here to watch – these videos were pretty popular!

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15 Books About Food & Travel That Saved Me During the Pandemic

books about food and travel
Here are a few of the paper books I read. The rest are ebooks.

Books about Food and Travel!

How did books about food and travel save me during the COVID pandemic? They provided me a way to escape during a challenging time and envelope myself in a world that means so much to me. Exploring interesting destinations, reading about exciting adventures, and real-life memoirs about chefs and food entrepreneurs is my passion. In addition to a personal escape, reading as much as I do helps to make me a better writer! As a brand ambassador and travel writer, the lockdown was particularly agonizing because I wasn’t planning and experiencing travel, nor was I working.

Some days were slow and relaxed, while others were depressing and sad. Most of us felt this way during the Quarantine, right? Confusion, sadness, and a longing for normality were the catalyst for my positive, uplifting reading choices.

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The New Empty Nest: Home Design to Live, Love, & Work

  home design

A peek into the home design of our newest Empty Nest!

Home design is personal. What appeals to some will definitely not appeal to others. As we decorate and fill our homes with treasures, the only people we need to please are ourselves.

Craig and I have moved many times; this would be our 7th in 37 years. Why did we move so many times? As a young married couple, we were finding our way, looking for the right city to raise our children, and then after our nest was empty, we chose to downsize.

The downsize was the most significant adjustment, not only because of the new tiny footprint but also because we moved away from our friends and the city where we raised our family for 27 years.

Moving on… pun intended!

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Our Move to the Pacific Northwest: An Update & Kirkland, WA Pictorial!

move to the Pacific Northwest

A Six Month Update!                    

Our Crazy Move to the Pacific Northwest!

Our move to the Pacific Northwest has been challenging, sad, wet, sunny, exciting, exhilarating, and so very different from our old life.

Back in Southern California, we had downsized and renovated our Empty Nest, which was just perfect for two. We enjoyed our small, quaint home, relaxing back yard, proximity to family and friends, and warm weather.

We made the hard decision to move to Kirkland, WA, to be nearer to our newly born grandchildren, James & Josephine.

There has been a lot of adjusting and the climate takes some getting used to also! New dry cleaners, grocery stores, dog sitter, you name it, we had to find it! And, with a much bigger house that needed inside paint and new furniture, we embarked on another home project!

However, this move provided us the time and accessibility to watch these babies grow up, support our daughter and son in law, and begin our life as grandparents. Flying from California every time we wanted to see them would be a hassle and we wanted to be more hands-on. Luckily for us, we could work from home long before COVID offered this newest possibility.

I want to dive into the house design choices, but I will do that in another post. I have been updating my audience through Facebook and Instagram, but many of you do not participate in social media or miss these posts, and I wanted you to know what it was like living here!

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For Valentine’s Day, Why Not Create A Virtual Romantic Getaway for Two!

long term marriages

Does the idea of a virtual romantic getaway sound a little crazy, but fun?

After all, this is 2021, travel remains at a virtual standstill, and almost everything we do, even as ridiculous as it sounds – is virtual. Work, school, birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, cocktail hour, baby showers, wine tasting, cooking class, exercise class! Good grief! Why not enjoy a virtual romantic getaway for two? Let’s create everything you need to pretend to be at the destination of your dreams!

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, but we have a little time to plan. Why the heck not? As a travel writer, my work life was upended by the pandemic, which allowed me the freedom to try a few new ideas. One of which was to create a Virtual Maui Vacation. Brilliant, yes? 

romantic getaway
A virtual Maui could be fun!

After umpteen months of quarantine, a virtual Maui Vacation sounds kind of fun, doesn’t it? Maybe you want to create a weekend in Maui? Just check out the Vacation Guide, which has all of the details!

Maybe you need a little help with this virtual romantic getaway idea? I plan to give you a few tips to get your creative juices flowing.

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My Top Nine Reasons to Be Grateful for 2020

top nine

Reasons to be grateful for 2020

I have many reasons to be grateful for 2020. Actually, the list is pretty long and full of emotion. Fortunately for me, they help to counterbalance the challenges we have all faced this year.

First I must address my biggest and most impactful disappointment. Travel is my work, my passion, and the subject I focus on almost daily. As we know, the restrictions from COVID and the devastation of this industry was beyond our imaginations. I have traveled some, but mostly to check in on our pregnant with twins daughter, relocating to the Pacific Northwest, and a short anniversary getaway in October.

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