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Laura Domela
Portland, OR
On the road in a 2010 27'FB Airstream International
Recent Activity
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For raw oysters eaten on the half shell, I normally make some variation on a classic mignoette sauce: champagne vinegar, Prosecco or Champagne, shallots, fresh ground pepper. Since we picked up enough oysters yesterday for more than just one meal, I decided to make a few different sauces, so I googled "mignonette recipes" and found several that sounded interesting. I ended up making five: 1. Classic mignontte (front, standard favorite) 2. Lemon/cucumber/jalapeno/vodka (right, bright light yellow, one of our favorites) 3. Shoyu/scallion/rice wine vinegar/ginger (dark one in the back, least favorite...we needed pickled ginger or seaweed for this one to... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Riveted
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We headed out to explore Hood Canal today. We're staying right near the town of Hoodsport on Hood Canal near the Olympic National Forest in Washington. Hoodsport is apparently renowned among SCUBA divers as a staging area to view the giant Pacific octopus (cool!!!) The shores along the canal are mostly rocks and shells (oyster, clam). Clam season is apparently over, but oyster season is not, and there were plenty of people out doing what looked like gathering shellfish as we drove past. We were headed down toward Shelton to Taylor Shellfish Farms to pick up some of their Shigoku... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Riveted
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The 7:30pm ferry ride from Victoria to Port Angeles was gorgeous. We saw two different pods of orcas during the 90 minute trip, and the sun was setting just as we approached Port Angeles. It was a bit of a tight squeeze on the ferry, but no issues: The light was perfect as we were leaving Victoria: There were three cruise ships in port: Ferry at dusk: Approaching Port Angeles: Back to the Airstream: After disembarking at Port Angeles around 9pm we drove about an hour and 45 minutes south on Highway 101 to Hoodsport, where we're now set up... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Riveted
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We had some breakfast and did some work this morning before it was checkout time at Westbay Marine Village in Victoria. Since we're on the 7:30pm ferry tonight to Port Angeles, we had a bit of time to kill. (Long story, but the basic deal is: make reservations more than a day ahead of time for the ferry when you are 48.1 feet long and it's the middle of summer.) We headed over to Thetis Lake Provincial Park because they had a day use area and we figured we'd be able to park there for the rest of the day... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Riveted
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Last night we had a second chance to have dinner at the Sooke Harbour House in Sooke BC, after our reservation spaceout last week. The above photo is the view from our dinner table (!!!) looking across the Strait of Juan de Fuca over at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula. (Our table came with binoculars...nice touch!) This is the dining room looking back from the window view: We ordered the four course tasting menu with wine pairings, and ordered two different things from each section, so we got to try quite a few dishes. The presentation of each dish... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Riveted
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This morning we got up and worked, did some work, and then worked some more. For our lunch break, we headed down to the docks and caught an adorable little water taxi across the harbour. It was still pretty dark and windy, but the rain had stopped for a bit. Our ride's here! Leaving the West Bay Marine Village: Dark sky with purple martin house silhouette: We got off the harbour ferry at Miner's Landing and headed straight for Red Fish Blue Fish for some lunch (well, or breakfast...brunch? We have an early dinner reservation tonight so we just did... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Riveted
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This morning we left our gray rainy campsite (wow! things changed overnight!) in Tofino and headed back across the island on our way to Victoria. But first, here's one more shot from yesterday at Bella Pacifica Campground while it was still sunny: Oh wait, there are a few more things I want to mention that we did before we left Tofino. Yesterday afternoon we went into town to grab some oysters, and right as we got back to the car I looked up in response to some intense bird sounds and said to Kevin quickly "lookuplookuplookup!!!" There were about eight... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Riveted
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The other day we went in search of a beach Kevin remembered from his childhood. We had a great day exploring Tofino (after cramming in a bunch of work while eating breakfast and getting internet at a cafe in town). First, we headed out to Tonquin Park and hiked down to the beach. Next we headed south toward Ucluelet. We stopped and hiked a bit out from the Amphitrite Lighthouse on the Wild Pacific Trail. Both "Wild" and "Pacific" ... check! Gorgeous coastline, isn't it? It was nice that the sun came out yesterday, too! We headed into Ucluelet and... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Riveted
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“It’s called… SHELLLL Beach” My Dad’s eyes tilted slightly higher and his voice took on a reverent, mysterious tone when he said the name of the place. Dad had a way of describing things that made them seem magical. Sometimes, he could impart that mystical quality simply by saying the name - with a certain inflection and a particular combination of body language and tone that made the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. And, you knew that he was telling you about something special, something rare and unique, something that you might remember for the rest... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Riveted
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We're now in Tofino, BC (above photo from Mackenzie Beach). Tofino is across Vancouver Island from where we were last (Nanaimo), on the west coast. It's rugged and lovely. It feels like a California surf town plopped down somewhere in Alaska. The drive over here was not even close to as tough as we'd heard, but then we've driven some pretty tough roads. This is just before the 18% grade: The drive was beautiful... ...and just a tiny bit hairy at times (we were on the outside going this direction so we just had to watch for large vehicles moving... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Riveted
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Today we drove north to check out the towns of Courtenay and Comax. We took the oceanside route and we're glad we did. We got to see some really lovely towns, including Qualicum Beach. There are a bunch of oceanside RV resorts near here and we'd definitely come back and explore some waterfront camping! Also, we found ourselves driving right through Deep Bay and Fanny Bay, home of Kusshi nd Fanny Bay oysters. We couldn't NOT stop, right? After a little research (Mac's Oysters vs. Fanny Bay Oyster Co.) we stopped at Fanny Bay. It's a tiny little store near... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2014 at Riveted
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This is what the campsites along the waterfront look like here at Living Forest Oceanside Campground and RV Park: Our spot is on the terrace right above (I took this from the dinette window). The park is terraced so in additional to all the waterfront sites there are plenty of water view sites as well. The tide is out this morning so you can see a lot of land and marsh, but when the tide is in it's all waterfront. The non waterfront sites are forested and private and gorgeous. Most of the sites are full hookup, and the park... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2014 at Riveted
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This afternoon after finishing up most of a work day, we headed by bike back into downtown Nanaimo and took the little ferry over to Newcastle Island. That's Newcastle on the left, and Protection Island on the right. Newcastle Island is a marine provincial park just across the harbor, and has 22km of hiking and biking trails, a pavillion with a snack bar, and a tent campground. You can bring your camping gear over on the ferry and use one of their wheeled carts to tow it over to the campground. Pretty sweet! Here's the ferry we took on the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2014 at Riveted
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We rode our bikes into town late this morning and did a little sightseeing and picked up a couple Canada pins for our collection. Check out my bike bag now! We rode all over the waterfront, and stopped and had some gelato and some fish & chips (in that order). Great fish & chips at Troller's! We had halibut and salmon and both were great. (Not as good as the Bandon Fish House, but still quite good!) Here's our route: We rode just over 10 miles. Now we're headed down to Ladysmith to meet a guy about a boat. :)... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at Riveted
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We're in Nanaimo for the next few nights, at the Living Forest Oceanside Campground. Our spot is great -- full hookups, a water view, cable TV, and fast Wi-Fi. We left the lovely Pedder Bay Marina and RV Resort this morning at 11am, drove about an hour and a half to Nanaimo, checked in here, and worked the rest of the day. I marinated some cod a little bit ago (olive oil, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, garlic) and Kevin's smoking and grilling it for some fish tacos (monitoring the temp of the fish with iGrill while he watches the Tour... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2014 at Riveted
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One of the main reasons we are staying here at the Pedder Bay Marina RV Park is because it's close to the town of Sooke, home of the Sooke Harbor House. Some friends of ours told us about this place (out on Whiffin Spit, in Sooke, B.C.) many years ago and it's been on our "once we get to Vancouver Island let's go here" list since then. I made a reservation for dinner at the Sooke Harbor House restaurant about three weeks ago, and we were really looking forward to heading over there tonight after work and fishing and more... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2014 at Riveted
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This morning we got up pretty early and did a few hours of work before we took a mid-day fishing break and went out to look for some salmon in Pedder Bay with our guide, Chris. Those are the Olympics there in the background, and the Olympic Peninsula. Straight out of the bay we were treated to a large pod of Orcas as they passed right by us: We caught four fish: one baby halibut, two wild Coho, and a small Spring Chinook. None of them were keepers, but all of them were fun to catch! Here's a wiggly photo... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at Riveted
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Last night we went down to the marina to watch the sunset and wander around. The weather has continued to be sunny and gorgrous. The Wi-Fi here at Pedder Bay is slow and inconsistent so it's a little hard to work as efficiently as we'd like to, and we've got no cell service (AT&T) until we get out toward either Sooke or Victoria, so it's a bit isolating. But it's sure pretty! Later today we're going to go see if we can catch some salmon! In a boat! With a guide! It should be fun. I love getting out on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at Riveted
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We're all set up in our new campsite at Pedder Bay Marina and it's lovely. We left our spot in Bellingham at 6am this morning and caught the 8:25am ferry from Anacortes to Sidney, BC. The M/V Chelan: We pretty quickly headed into a fog bank and couldn't see much for the beginning of the ride: Eventually it cleared and we had a gorgeous view going through the San Juan Islands. We made a quick stop in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to pick up a few more passengers: Canadian waters: Welcome to Sidney, BC: Pedder Bay Marina's RV... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2014 at Riveted
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Yesterday we headed over to Barleans Fishery with Leigh & Brian to stock up on some local seafood. We picked up some fresh Dungeness crab and Manila clams for dinner last night, and for the freezer, flash frozen fish and shellfish including: scallops, spot prawns, jumbo prawns, halibut, tuna steaks (3.99 each!), smoked salmon, and several filets of true cod. We also got a few cans of smoked tuna and regular tuna. It's all seafood in there, except for the silicon ice trays and a couple bags of fresh/frozen blueberries from our trip to the berry farm near Champoeg just... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2014 at Riveted
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After our day exploring Lummi Island on our own, we met up with Leigh & Brian and headed over to their friends' place Artisan Wine Shop for some wine tasting (and some wine buying). Rich and Pat are the owners of this place (Ryan was behind the bar pouring) and they're all great folks. This place is definitely worth a visit if you're on Lummi Island and like wine. They carry a bunch of interesting wines at great prices, and pour 5 different wines at a time for tasting. After the wine shop, we headed over to the Beach Store... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2014 at Riveted
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The morning after our incredible meal at the Willows Inn we got up, showered, dressed, then headed downstairs to the Taproot Cafe for breakfast. This is a cute little cafe with inside and outside seating. We walked inside to ask about breakfast and the gal at the counter told us they had two options: A fritatta, or the Willows Inn breakfast which included a soft boiled egg, a biscuit, a bowl of sauteed kale, blueberries, and a small charcuterie plate. We ordered two Willows Inn breakfasts. When she asked us if we wanted coffee, we ordered two cappuccinos. She got... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2014 at Riveted
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Chef Blaine Wetzel was just 24 when he started at the Willows Inn in 2010. He was recently awarded the James Beard 2014 Rising Star Chef of the Year award. Prior to coming to The Willows Inn, he was a chef at Noma in Copenhagen (considered the No. 1 restaurant in the world, still). Everything I start to write about this meal sounds cheesy, and I've deleted sentence after sentence. The truth is that this is likely the best meal we've ever had. If you know us (even just from this blog) you probably know we love this kind of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2014 at Riveted
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We left our placeholder RV Park in Bellingham (aptly named Bellingham RV Park, nothing special at all to speak of here...full hookups, Wi-Fi, narrow spots, no scenery, near the airport...you get the idea) and rode our bikes over through the Lummi Nation reservation and down to the ferry terminal. Totem pole art: Look at all those crab traps! A month or so ago, we made a reservation for dinner and a room at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island for the night and decided to bike it from Bellingham with our overnight stuff in the panniers, and we hopped on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at Riveted
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We packed up this morning and left our fabulous spot at Point Hudson Marina and headed over to catch the 12:30pm ferry from Port Townsend to Coupeville on Whidbey Island. We arrived at 11:45am and it was so uncrowded that we actually made the 11:45 ferry. Sweet! It was super foggy this morning and we had about 20 feet of visibility the whole ride to Whidbey. Disappearing Port Townsend: On the ferry: We got to pull right onto the ferry taking up two lanes since we were almost the last ones on, and there was plenty of room (they told... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at Riveted