I started Pacific Northwest and Beyond, LLC as a business as I started blogging and doing some small web design projects. For a while, I maintained a portfolio website regarding various published writing and web design projects I’ve done.
However, I’ve decided I don’t wish to maintain an entire website for my business. Additionally, I’m finding I love blogging and, though I still will consider taking on small web design projects, I’m preferring just to write my several blogs for fun (while hoping to at least make enough to offset the expenses.) Does this sound like an awful sales pitch? It is! I like doing the occasional project, but I don’t wish to do web design full-time.
What do I do?
If you are looking to hire me for a web design project, you can complete the form at the bottom of this page and I’ll get back to you with more information. Keep in mind:
I will do the following types of websites:
Brochure-style business websites.
Community websites with a SMALL events calendar (i.e. not home to thousands of events).
I work entirely in WordPress and would build your business website using the Divi theme. I’ve used that theme extensively and have found that, generally, it’s more user-friendly for beginners. Note that THIS website is no longer designed with Divi. That does not reflect negatively on Divi — I still love the theme but wanted to work with the theme I currently use due to its features.
I prefer to work with people locally — Kitsap County, Seattle area. Due to COVID-19, work would be entirely via Zoom, Skype, or phone, and email. I’ve done that before, even before COVID–19 showed up at our doorstep.
I also can do some guest blogging. However, when I get around to that, you’ll probably hear from ME if it’s a topic on which I like to write.
What have I done?
Here are a few things I’ve done, and a few things I’m working on:
Web design projects:
Bush, Roed, and Hitchings, Inc.: Their website was the first I created with Divi, and I was hooked — as far as business websites go. Note that I have a very personal relationship with one of the principals (spouse.)
HS Media: This is a media station appraisals company. They wanted a website that had ONLY phone contact. I went with a minimalist design here, but I like the result.
David Harrison, Artist: He’s a professional artist who had created his own website with WordPress.com and just wanted a couple of adjustments and training in how to use WordPress. The basic black design is pretty much his own and meant to showcase his art, I just did some CSS adjustments.
Entsuan Zen: I used to sit with this group (and sometimes still do via Zoom.) Their current website is one I just tweaked a bit in 2013 but kept the design as-is. I have mostly designed a new website for them, but the project is currently on hiatus and not online due to COVID-19 as it requires some in-person training in this case.
It was an “I always wanted to be a writer…” sort of thing. But I spend most of my career as an Occupational Therapist. I would VERY occasionally send out a manuscript or query letter to a magazine and, as a result, have ended up with about THREE articles published in print (Personal-experience-type writing in SageWoman, Mothering, and 1889.) and a couple of published poems.
But, now, I’m kind of just having fun blogging. I have a total of FOUR blogs so I have a place to write anything when the mood hits, and I have some sketchwork for a novel I may never finish or publish. We shall see. My focus, now that I’m older, is on trying to just do more of what I like, create something every day, and start getting back to focusing on my health again.
Did I mention my blogs? Here they are (other than the one that you’re on right now):
Caffeine Journal: What I was drinking when I started it. It’s a place to write whatever I want and I’m more open to guest posts there (though I accept some guest posts on all of my websites) as it’s very non-niche.
Ancient and Awesome: I’m on my way to Ancient, and I’m trying to get there Awesomely. I worked most of my career in geriatrics. Someone suggested that, perhaps, I write about something in which I have experience. This is it. I’m not getting any younger:) I envision it as being a collection of writing about aging, dealing with the joys and difficulties of getting older, fitness and beauty tips for those of us in the AARP range, and things like that.
I lied, just a bit, about this post. It did cover three Washington State hobbit houses…but I added a fourth that’s on my hobbit house bucket list. If I find any others that fit, I’ll add them as well. Most are places to stay; one’s at a nursery and it’s a bit too small for even an actual hobbit to feel comfortable living in.
This post contains affiliate links. What that means is that if you click a link that is an affiliate link and make a subsequent purchase, I get a small commission that helps offset the costs of running this site.
“You had me at hobbit.” I wish that this is what I had said, but Jerry Maguire was several years away. Shortly after I met my husband, I remarked on his large, hairy feet. A Lord of the Rings nut who claimed to have first read the book at age seven (It seems to get earlier in some of his stories…I swear pretty soon he’ll have emerged from the womb having read all of Tolkien, including the Silmarillion!) he did a little hop and said, “I’m a big hobbit!” If you’re also a big hobbit and your version of travel lust includes a pining for the Shire, these three spots in Washington State will temporarily satisfy your hobbity cravings until you can get to Middle Earth or, at least, New Zealand.
The Brothers Greenouses
Set out on an adventure to the back of this Port Orchard nursery to find a house so tiny it doesn’t even have a bed. You can’t rent it and stay, but you can go inside and check out the little fireplace. Check out the rest of the nursery as well for their castles, fairy garden supplies, and an incredible mini shire fairy garden complete with tiny dwellings and a train set. Sadly, the mini shire is not for sale, but it inspired me to start trying to make my own.
Near Eastsound, on Orcas Island, this magical (And I don’t tend to overuse words like “magical”) dwelling was formerly called the “Hobbit House” until the owner received notification that the word was trademarked. Now called the Forest House, it’s available for rent on FlipKey by TripAdvisor. The book itself starts with “In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit.” While this house has features that would please any halfling, its location is among the trees and might satisfy some of the citizens of Rivendell. I think The Forest House might be a better name.
Of the Washington State Hobbit Houses listed in this post, this is the winner for most-Hobbitish. Nestled in the hillsides of Orondo, WA, overlooking the Columbia River Gorge, it’s extremely private and has all the right features for living as a Hobbit…
For a closer look at the making of this enchanted hobbit dwelling, here’s a video:
The Gnome House
In the snow this looks even more like a little chalet…but the interior features are Hobbity or, rather perhaps, gnomish. I added this one because it’s adorable (even more inside than outside) and is going on my to-do list. It rents on VRBO .
Find Your Inner Hobbit:
If you’d like to view the interactive map, click here or on the map to open it in a new browser tab.
This is a sponsored post about choosing a wetsuit in the Pacific Northwest by evo, a ski, snowboard, mountain bike, surf, wake, skate, camp, and lifestyle retailer based in Seattle, Washington, USA.
If you live in the Pacific Northwest and like to partake in just about any water sports, you’re probably going to need a wetsuit. We like our summers short and chilly, and our water deep and cold here, and boardshorts and a rashguard just won’t cut it for most folks.
But what style of wetsuit do you need? And how thick? And what features really matter? Walk into any surf shop, and somewhere near the wall of surfboards you’ll find rack upon rack of wetsuits in every style, cut, and thickness imaginable. The selection is overwhelming. So here’s a guide to picking out what wetsuit will serve you best here in the Pacific Northwest.
Choosing a Wetsuit in the Pacific Northwest
The first thing to decide is what type of wetsuit you’re looking for. Generally the colder the water you’re dealing with, the more coverage you’re going to want from your wetsuit.
Surfers looking to chase waves year-round will want a full coverage wetsuit, with long arms and legs, and a hood, along with neoprene booties and gloves. This style of wetsuit will help keep you warm in the coldest waters.
For paddleboarders, wakeboarders, and water skiers who don’t spend as much time submerged in the water, and want more maneuverability, a spring suit works well. Also known as a shorty, these wetsuits are basically the short sleeves and shorts of cold water wear. The legs come down to the knee, and the arms cover to the elbow, so you’ve got your core covered and warm, but are able to move more easily. These aren’t as warm as full coverage suits, but are easier to get on and off, and are more comfortable in warmer waters.
The final option are wetsuit tops. These are a good choice spring through fall for many lakes in the Pacific Northwest. They provide plenty of warmth to your core, while not having to worry about overheating. They come in a variety of styles including pullover, chest zip, and back zip. Wetsuit tops can be used for a variety of activities from swimming to wakesurfing and are very easy to get in and out of. These are perfect for folks who run a little cold, but don’t need the coverage and insulation of a full wetsuit or shorty.
Once you’ve figured out what cut of wetsuit will work best for you, it’s time to think about thickness. Thickness is basically how wetsuit manufacturers talk about how well their wetsuits do at keeping you warm. The thicker the wetsuit, the more heat it traps, and the warmer you’ll be. Thickness is usually measured in millimeters, and is composed of three numbers in order for the thickness of the torso, legs, and arms. So a 4/3/3 wetsuit would have a 4mm thick torso, 3 mm thick legs, and 3 mm thick arms.
Of course, thicker suits will only get you so far, a spring suit that’s a little thicker than a full coverage suit with gloves, a hood, and booties, still won’t be as warm. So you want your cut and thickness to work together to keep you the perfect temperature for the conditions you plan on seeing. Everyone’s preferences vary, so use these recommendations as a starting point, and move up or down based on whether you run hot or cold.
For water temperatures under 42° you’re going to want at least a 6/5/4, full coverage wetsuit with gloves and booties, and a hood. This is cold water, and you need as much insulation as you can get.
For water in the 43°-58° range, a 5/4/3 suit, again with gloves, booties, and a hood will be the right call for most people. If you run cold at all though, don’t hesitate to go for a thicker suit.
In warmer water, from about 58° to 63° a 3/2 suit will work for most folks, although, again, if you run cold, a thicker suit may be a good call.
For temperatures above 63° most people will be happy in a 2 or 3 mm shorty suit. In warmer water temperatures less coverage, and a thinner wetsuit will help keep you comfortable and happy all day long.
So figure out what cut of wetsuit will work best for you, and how thick it’s going to need to be, and then get out there and tame these Pacific Northwest waters. We promise it will be worth it.
This is a general rooftop tent review. I spent about two and a half weeks camping (full disclosure: the trip included a couple of hotel breaks) with a Yakima Skyrise 3 rooftop tent.
My experience was mostly good, but there are some definite pitfalls of rooftop tent camping as well. If you’re asking yourself, “Should I buy a rooftop tent?” here are some things to think about before you invest your hard-earned dollars in a RTT.
This post or page may contain affiliate links. That means if you click on a link that is an affiliate link, and then make a subsequent purchase, I get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which helps me support this website.
[dropcap]R[/dropcap]ooftop tents seem to be a popular camping trend currently. Curiosity and the desire to camp in a way that was more comfortable for my aging joints led me to consider taking the plunge and buying one. I’d love an RPod but my HOA would frown on permanently parking a teardrop camper on the street.
However, rooftop tents can be expensive. So, initially, I talked myself out of this purchase. Then I talked myself right back into it after finding a like-new Yakima Skyrise 3 tent for a deep discount at the REI garage sale. Oh REI! I know the man stating next to me whispering “Just buy it!” in my ear was your plant, but buy the tent I did!
Rooftop Tent Road Trip
After some hitting some snags with initial installation because of the way the previous owners had set it up, I finally hit the road on a solo rooftop tent camping road trip. This was a boot-camp course in rooftop tent use, starting with difficulty and ending with proficiency at setting this thing up. I was joined later by my daughter and her friend. They also spent a couple of night sleeping in the Skyrise.
I’m not reviewing the Yakima Skyrise 3 tent here or offering a tutorial or setup tips. I may do that later. Instead, here are some things to consider if you’re thinking of buying a rooftop tent and some pros and cons of rooftop tents in general.
Traveling with the rooftop tent attracted quite a bit of attention. Campers told me I looked like a Subaru ad (Not true! To be a Subaru ad you need to be in your 30s and have a big dog.) and asked plenty of questions (including “What would you do if a bear decided to climb up in there at night?”).
Number one question? “Do you like it?” Usual answer: “Kind of.”
My daughter pointed out to me near the end of the trip that I rarely say I absolutely love or hate anything. It’s just that most everything comes with pros and cons, and rooftop tents are no exception. The rooftop tent falls more toward the “love it” end of the spectrum, so my nutshell answer is:
Yes. I liked it.
I liked climbing up the ladder at night, sleeping off the ground hanging my little lantern in the tent (I was glad I went ahead and bought the Noctlight accessory for my Petzel Actik headlamp, it made the perfect little rooftop tent lantern), and being able to keep my bedding in the tent, fold it up, and have it ready for the next stop. However, I’m not letting go of my standard tent, as rooftop tent camping has its limitations.
Rooftop Tent Pros and Cons
Opens up new possibilities for camping spots.
While I only stayed at campgrounds, adventurous sorts could go out off-road or set up in the Walmart parking lot.
While the “memory foam” mattress is not as comfortable as my bed at home, it was considerably more comfortable than sleeping on the ground or a cot.
May free up room in your car...
But not much.
Keep your bedding or sleeping bag in the bed — everything is ready when you fold it out. Too much bedding would have prevented me from closing the tent, but I found that I was able to store a sleeping bag or comforter and pillow up there.
The Awesome Factor.
There’s just something cool about climbing up the ladder into your tent — kind of like a treehouse.
While I didn’t do much of this during my trip and generally kept the rainfly on, I found being a bit higher up was more conducive to gazing out the upper windows of the tent at night.
You can't set it up and then take off.
With a regular tent, you can set up camp and then drive off somewhere. I found that when I was at a camping spot more than one day, I felt unmotivated to go through taking down the tent so I could use the car and spent more time exploring on foot or by bike.
Nighttime bathroom breaks
I was worried about having to get up in the night to “go.” However, just keeping my headlamp or a flashlight handy, I found it really wasn’t so hard to get up safely in the night when needed.
You need a level parking spot. Really.
The tent instructions say to park on a level surface. And, having experienced NOT having a level surface to park on, I can tell you this is essential.
Near the end of our trip, a sloped parking spot resulted in a bout of late-night giggling as my daughter and her friend discussed tying themselves into the tent “like astronauts” to prevent sliding.
Rooftop tents are considerably more expensive than a standard tent, running from somewhere between $1000 to $3000. I paid less because I found my tent in VERY “gently used” condition.
I had one night of light rain on my trip, with a dry day afterward, so I was able to dry out the tent before folding up. But if it’s been raining and I need to get home, I worry about folding up a wet tent so I can get going.
The Yakima setup instructions warn about the risk of Mildew – but what is the solution if you need to get home and then are confronted with several days of rain afterward, a frequent occurrence in the PNW? Take the tent off the car and open it up indoors?
After some initial mishaps, I became pretty proficient in setting up and taking down the tent.
However, I needed to pack along a three-step step stool with me to accomplish this. I’m about 5’8″ and, while I’m not super-strong, have long arms. I worry about how setup would go for a person shorter in stature or how I would do setup if I had the tent on a taller vehicle.
Fuel Efficiency and Wind Drag
I don’t know exactly how much of a decline in fuel efficiency my Subaru actually suffered. But there’s always some impact when you add things to the top of your car. And driving with the rooftop tent made me feel strong winds I encountered on the twisty roads of the Pacific Coast Highway.
Get it On/Off My Car
The tent is around 150lbs of heavy. It takes two people to get it on and off the car.
As it would cause relationship problems if I constantly asked my spouse to go through this ordeal, I don’t frequently make this request. So I have hard choices to make between using the rooftop tent or using the kayak racks.
A Few Rooftop Tent Camping Tips:
Make Your Bed
Before you leave on your trip, add a bottom and top sheet to your bed, and a comforter. Or you can just use a bottom sheet to protect your mattress and use a regular sleeping bag. You can then fold up your bedding (as long as there’s not too much) in your rooftop tent, and off you go. This makes camp setup easier if you’re on a multi-day excursion moving from location to location.
If you are going to be using your rooftop tent in a campground, make sure that you will have a level place to park your car. Call the campground if necessary.
Non-level parking places were a massive headache on my recent adventure — sometimes I was able to park at an angle to get the car level, but not always, and the campground didn’t want me to park on the brown and crispy thing they dryly referred to as their “lawn.”
I also ended up in one camping spot that was barely large enough for the car and rooftop tent. This was NOT a “carry-in” camping spot. If you have a reserved spot, know what you’re getting before you get there.
While you could take an electric camping lantern up in the tent with you, I found it practical and enjoyable to bring up the Noctlight I mentioned earlier and hang it inside the tent as a “ceiling lamp.” An inflatable solar-powered light like the Luci Connect (another REI garage sale find) was also a fun accessory to use in the tent.
Bring the Bike
I found that my bike could be a good “tow car” for when I wanted to go somewhere but didn’t want to take down the tent. But make sure your bike is secured! My bike was fine at campgrounds, but the last day of my trip, my bike, locked to my locked hitch rack, was stolen off my car from a parking lot.
Shoes off In the House
I kept a whisk broom in the tent, but it’s no fun tracking dirt in. Neither is it fun leaving your shoes at the bottom and climbing the metal ladder with bare feet. Next time, I’ll hang a bag from the outside of the tent for my shoes. I see that Yakima has devised an accessory for just this purpose.
To summarize, rooftop tents can be a good camping investment, depending on your camping style and frequency, but they come with a few potential pitfalls to consider before you invest your hard-earned bucks in one.
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I was fortunate to purchase two Thule Hullavators (if you need clarification, that’s two pairs of Hullavators — it takes a pair to lift a kayak) used a few years ago. From what I can see, there’s little difference between my Hullavators and the Hullavator Pro model that’s currently being sold.
Some of the issues I’ve had with my Hullavators may stem from them being older, but it gives you a general idea of some of the problems you may face over time. After all, if you’re spending in the $500-$600 range just to lift one kayak, you want to make sure the product you’re purchasing is durable. Mine has just a bit of rust, but they’ve been repeatedly exposed to the elements, and except for the occasional episode of finding one unit is not locked down fully when I go to lift the kayak off, they’re still working pretty good after years of use.
How it Works
The Hullavator is a side-loading kayak lift that has a gas-assist mechanism that assists with lifting up to 40 lbs of the weight of your boat. It’s easy to strap the kayak onto the rack once it’s on there using the provided straps and the tie-downs are easy to use as well. The downside is that you need to get that kayak up on the rack before the Hullavator helps you lift it overhead. On my Subaru Outback, that’s about waist-high for me — it was even more so when I was using the Hullavator atop a minivan. I’m able to do so with my 44lb kayak, but don’t take my preferred 16′ kayak out by myself because, for me, the weight is prohibitive. I’ve tried sliding the kayak onto the Hullavator from the back, but I find that there’s some wiggle, I find it challenging and awkward, and I worry about doing damage to the Hullavator. So I end up doing a deadlift onto the rack.
Thule Hullavator Review: Hullavator Joys and Thule Hullavator Problems
What We Like:
Provides substantial assist with lifting the kayak onto the roof.
Comes with easy-to-use straps and tie-downs; securely fastens the kayak to the car roof.
Sideloading. This means I can park on the street at my favorite launching spot and, if someone parks behind me, I can still get the kayak back on the car.
It has a high profile, but this helps me to locate my car in busy parking lots. This may beg the question if I should even be kayaking if I can’t find my own car. We refer to this as “wearing the horns” and bow to other passing vehicles also proudly sporting them.
What We Don’t Like:
The Hullavator asks me to deadlift the entire kayak to get it onto the lowered Hullavator bars — easier if you are putting it onto a low car, but harder if you have a high roof.
Due to the extra height, many parking garages are off-limits.
I’ve had some trouble with one of the Hullavator units that do not consistently want to lock down, likely an issue as my Hullavators are older. I’ve learned from awkward experiences getting my kayak off the rack that I need to double-check this unit carefully before I attempt to remove the kayak.
Though I’ve read it’s “easy to install,” we didn’t consider installing it that easy, and I so proudly carry my “horns” atop my car for most of the season.
Click here for the product manual/installation instructions from Thule. If you’re wondering how it installs, here’s a video from Thule:
Here are some things I’ve learned by experimenting with the Hullavator on racks over the years:
I can confirm by experience that the Thule Hullavator works with Yakima Round Bars. Lately, I’ve been using mine on a 2019 Subaru Outback with Skyline Towers. For this setup, you also need Yakima Landing Pad 15 and the SL Round Bar Adapters. I was a bit worried at first as this setup seemed to be less stable than the square bars, but it’s been doing just fine with safely towing my kayaks around.NIt does NOT work with Yakima aero style bars. My video may be slightly incorrect in saying it does not work with ANY aero bars (that was my husband’s impression). I’ve heard of them being used with aero-style Thule bars with modifications.
The bars you use must extend out from the car a bit — it will not work, for instance, with the integrated Subaru Outback bars. On my Subaru with Yakima bars, the 58″ bars do the trick!
If you have a tall vehicle and you’re short (or just a wimp, like me), you might need to bring a step-stool!
I said this would be a “how-to,” and a Thule Hullavator review. If you want installation instructions, it’s best to watch the video above and actually read the directions that come with your Hullavator. But as far as using it once it’s on your vehicle, here are the steps. It’s pretty easy:
Remove the pins! I can tell you that on a bad day, I’ve failed to remove a pin and then wondered why my Hullavator wouldn’t release.
Squeeze the handles on both Hullavators and pull them out and down until they lock into place.
Put your kayak on the Hullavator. It should be evenly centered. I think it’s best if it’s positioned so the straps aren’t going over the cockpit, but on some kayaks, this is unavoidable to some degree.
Thread the provided straps through the big loops at the top and bottom of the Hullavator. Then thread the end of the strap through the cam buckle and pull tight. The Hullavator has a pocket where you can tuck in the loose end of the strap.
Squeeze both handles at once and the Hullavator will assist you in lifting your kayak STRAIGHT UP. When I’ve allowed people to use my Hullavator, I’ve found that often they expect it to just flip the kayak right up onto my car and try to force it to do so. No! This is a two-step process. The kayak goes straight up and then stops there.
Now it’s time to flip the kayak onto the top of the car. Squeeze the handles again and rotate them to get the kayak to flip down onto the top of your car. Make sure the Hullavator has locked into place.
Replace the pins. This is a very important step!
Now you can use the tie downs. They have a locking pulley to make it easy to tighten them. Make sure you find a secure location on your kayak and a metal, not plastic, location under your car. On one car I had, I couldn’t do this so I fashioned a rope loop that went through a metal hole under the hood then came out through the hood when I needed it. This was a perfect location to tie down the kayak in front.
Thule Hullavator Review Summary:
Would I recommend the Thule Hullavator? In one word: YES! If mine broke, I think I’d repurchase one. I haven’t tried all of the other kayak racks out on the market (and there are other side-assist racks out there), but I suspect that the Hullavator, with its gas-assist mechanism, beats them all.
Seattle doesn’t come to mind when you think about famous celebrities or celebrity burials. Of course, there are plenty of locally famous Seattle graves to visit. Many of Seattle’s founders, from the Dennys to Doc Maynard, are buried in beautiful Lakeside Cemetery on Capitol Hill.
However, we do have a few gravesites of individuals well-known outside the Puget Sound area.
Here’s a look at a few famous Seattle graves. Our itinerary includes the Chief Seattle gravesite, the Bruce and Brandon Lee gravesite, and the Jimi Hendrix gravesite. We’ll also look at some other, more locally famous, graves you can visit when you’re at Lakeside.
Chief Sealth (Seattle) (1786-1866)
The soil is rich with the life of our kindred.
-quote from Chief Sealth gravesite
Chief Sealth was a Suquamish/Duwamish chief who developed a relationship with Seattle’s white settlers. He is well known for his importance in Seattle’s history, as its namesake, as well as for the words of a beautiful speech he never gave.
Where is he buried?
Chief Sealth is buried in the tribal cemetery in Suquamish, WA, not too far from where he was born.
Although he died in 1866, his tombstone was placed by some of Seattle’s founders in 1890.
In the past there, was a wooden canoe memorial, but it was rotting, and the gravesite is now flanked by two cedar totem poles placed there in 2011.
According to this article, the left pole represents Sealth as a warrior and as a wise elder, giving a speech. The right pole represents Old Man House in Suquamish — Sealth’s birthplace, and his spotting the sails of George Vancouver’s ships at the age of six.
A concrete ring surrounds the gravesite, engraved with quotes honoring the chief.
To get to the Chief Seattle gravesite, you’ll need to take a ferry if you’re in Seattle. The best way is to catch the ferry to Bainbridge Island, then proceed off the highway up 305. Right after you’ve gone over the Agate Pass bridge and see the Clearwater Casino on your left, take a right onto Suquamish Way. Go all the way down Suquamish Way until you start to see the water, cultural center, etc., and swing a sharp left onto South street. You’ll see signs there to turn to the left to get to his gravesite.
Click here to access the interactive map or here for Google map and directions.
Bruce Lee (1940-1973) and Brandon Lee (1965-1993)
How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty, and yet it all seems limitless.
-from Brandon Lee’s gravestone
Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco but raised in Hong Kong. However, he lived and worked in Seattle when he first came back to the US, attending UW and opening his first martial arts school here.
Bruce died young, and Brandon moved to Seattle with his family. Like his father before him, Brandon Lee also died too young, while filming The Crow in 1993.
Where are they buried?
Bruce and Brandon Lee’s gravesite are next to each other at Seattle’s Lakeview Cemetery.
Both have moving words inscribed on their stones, and people still come to leave offerings regularly.
Also at Lakeview:
Lakeview is a lovely cemetery just to take a stroll, with a view of the lake (as the name implies) and blossoms in the Spring. It’s also the resting place of many of Seattle’s founders. Look for:
Princess Angeline, Chief Sealth’s Daughter
The Denny family
Mary and Conklin and Lou Graham, who were both known for running brothels in Seattle’s wild early days.
I also enjoyed a little bench in this cemetery with a sayings on each of its four sides marking things in each direction the departed enjoyed. When it seemed familiar, beyond my, perhaps, having seen it there before, I remembered that Robert Fulghum wrote of it in one of his wonderful essays.
If you want to get to Bruce Lee’s gravesite, it’s best to get GPS directions if you’re not familiar with Seattle. Yet, it may steer you wrong! The main entrance to the cemetery is on 15th Ave E. Apple maps may try to confuse you by taking you on Howe street and telling you to turn down something called “cemetery road.”.”
Once you get to the entrance of the cemetery, you can drive-in. Cars just pull over to the side of the road when they reach the area they want to stop.
Click here to access the interactive map or here for Google map and directions.
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.
-Jimi Hendrix, Bold as Love
When Jimi died of a drug overdose in 1970, his family only had funds for a modest stone for him. A cemetery volunteer or employee recounted some vandalism going on at Jimi’s grave in the early years, as many fans flocked to the cemetery to pay respects.
Jimi’s father, Al, later got the rights to his son’s musical catalog, and the family purchased a large family plot and then erected this memorial in 2002.
Where is he buried?
Hendrix is buried at Greenwood Memorial Park cemetery in Renton (south of Seattle).
His memorial now features a large pergola with a central guitar surrounded by frescoes of Jimi, his family, and his song lyrics. A giant sundial sits to one side of the pergola. A nearby sign from the family reminds fans to be respectful, keep the memorial tidy, and “stay experienced.” And it seems that fans do. Fans always need to leave something behind, it seems, and, for Jimi, they offer guitar picks stashed in the “strings” of the bronze guitar.
Seattle likes to memorialize one of its most famous residents — it’s home to several Jimi memorials, though this is his final resting place. Busts of Jimi are also located:
Near Seattle College on Capitol Hill, at Woodland Park
Near the African Savannah
At my alma mater of Garfield High School (where it even sat in my day).
To get to the Jimi Hendrix gravesite from Seattle, take I-5 southbound, take exit 154 A toward I-405 northbound, then take exit 4 toward Bronson Way/WA-900 W. Then take a right on 3rd street and go until you see the cemetery. There’s a parking area near the main building, and it’s not hard to spot Jimi’s memorial once you get there.
Click here to visit the interactive map on this site or here to access the Google map and directions.
But Where Are Other Famous Seattle Graves?
Seattle has other famous deceased residents, no? We’re generally focusing here on people famous worldwide, not just locally, but a few people, including local celebs, immediately spring to mind:
Kurt Cobain: Only his family knows for sure where the ashes of the Nirvana lead are.
Ivar Haglund: Ivar’s a local celeb. But nobody really knows where he is. Perhaps keeping clam scattered across Elliott Bay?
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]aiyaki, if you’re not already hooked on them, are filled (traditionally with bean paste, now with all sorts of delicious goodies), fish-shaped waffles. Originating in Japan, they’re now becoming more popular in the United States. My daughter, an aficionado of Japanese sweets, introduced me to them a few years ago. However, when our go-to taiyaki stop (Tako Kyuuban at Uwajimaya) closed unexpectedly, we had to search out where to find taiyaki in Seattle.
Here are five places we found, in or near Seattle, to get our Taiyaki fix.
Most Variety AND Most Creative: Bean Fish Food Truck
The name BeanFish says it all. But, being a food truck, they’re on the move. Fortunately, you won’t have to work too hard to find them because they have a clear schedule posted on their website and they seem to have a pretty regular schedule of Sundays at the Fremont Market and Wednesdays at Westlake.
Most of the taiyaki places I’ve come across have a few choices of sweet fillings. However, BeanFish has both savory and sweet fillings in their fishies. My daughter had one filled with s’mores while I went straight for the “Crackyaki.”
Best Brick-and-Mortar: T-Town Cafe
Somewhere in the timeline of Taiyaki evolution, someone made the obvious leap of “Hey, fishes have mouths…let’s stuff them with ice cream.” And taiyaki ice cream was born.
T-Town Cafe in Tacoma (OK a bit out of Seattle proper but worth the drive) is my favorite place for taiyaki ice cream, chiefly because it’s a brick-and-mortar and you don’t need to guess about when they’ll be open next.
We opted for our fish upside down, which doesn’t make for as awesome photos but does make for less mess. My pick: Nutella filling, matcha ice cream, with Pocky and sprinkles. Mmmmm.
Address: 8515 S. Tacoma Way, Lakewood, Washington 98499
I’d Love Ya If I Could Find Ya Award: Matcha Man
Matcha, matcha man…I’m looking for the matcha man! They do a pop-up, another ice-cream-in-the-fishes-mouth thing, which they announce on Instagram and their Facebook page. I understand that they have a brick and mortar location in the works. At the time of this writing their last pop-up was a few months ago (unfortunately just when I was leaving town) and I haven’t been able to get an answer as to when the next one will be.
Anyway, I fell in love with matcha ice cream in Japan, and it’s even better served up in a waffle fish. I’ll be at their shop when it opens.
Basic But Cheap: Boo-Han Market
The Boo-Han Market is a Korean grocer in Edmonds. They have a food counter near the front of the store which sells “Bung-eoppang,” which is, apparently, the Korean work for taiyaki.
These are basic taiyaki — no Nutella filling or ice cream here! They’re filled with the traditional sweetened bean paste, but only cost $1.00 each, considerably less expensive than their fancier gourmet cousins.
A word of warning: the food counter here is closed on Monday, so if you’re looking to begin your week with bean-filled fish here, you’re out of luck.
Address: 22618 Hwy 99, Edmonds, WA 98026
Next Time: Snowy Village
Snowy Village, in the University District, is closed Mondays. So I peered through the window, like the woman in the old Mervyn’s commercials: Open! Open!” And if you know what I mean, you’re as old as me.
Anyway, I didn’t get to sample their Taiyaki, just peer longingly at the menu, which appears to have something called “French Taiyaki.” Assuming that’s like “croissant taiyaki,” I bet it’s yummy. Just a few flavors here: plain, Nutella, red bean, bacon and cheese, or just cheese.
Address: 5264 University Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98105
And I leave you with this: A magical, Magikarp-shaped Taiyaki, which, unfortunately, I found on the streets of Tokyo. Someone in Seattle really needs to get this Taiyaki maker!
Know some other, secret Taiyaki place near Seattle? Let us know below in the comments!
Let’s visit those places followed by a long list of other treehouse rentals in the Pacific Northwest!
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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here is something about being in the trees. Perhaps it appeals to our primal nature, or a desire to revisit childhood. Memories of summers spent climbing trees, trying (unsuccessfully) to collect junk and boards around the neighborhood to build a tree fort, playing pirate – and sometimes falling and skinning a knee.
Perhaps your tree-climbing days are over, but now, fortunately, you don’t have to risk falling or skinning a knee to get up close to the leaves. “Glamping”—upscale camping – is in vogue these days as many of us aging children like to feel like we’re “in nature,” without actually roughing it.
Pete Nelson’s show “Treehouse Masters” has popularized treehouse glamping. More and more resorts, hotels, and Airbnb’s are offering treehouses – many of them upscale – as an option.
I revisited my childhood treehouse fantasies last summer by staying in a few of the best treehouses located a (relatively) easy distance from Seattle. Here they are, with a bunch more treehouses that I’m adding to my treehouse bucket list.
First stop: Treehouse Point. That has to be your first stop if you have a goal of visiting treehouses, as it’s the prime spot for treehouse rentals in Washington. “Tree Whisperer” Pete Nelson’s treehouse B & B, Treehouse Point is situated on four acres in Issaquah/Fall City, WA near Snoqualmie. Treehouse Point offers six treehouses available for rent. One of them – Trillium – was closed during our stay.
The treehouses themselves have composting toilets, but the nearby bathhouse has cozy cedar-lined bathrooms fitting with a rustic, PNW, treehouse-y theme.
The Nelsons have owned the property on which Treehouse Point sits since 2004. Formerly an auto repair shop, the main lodge now serves as both breakfast hall, gathering space, and also offers non-treehouse accommodations upstairs. On a cold, rainy, night you may even want to descend from your treehouse to sit by the fire with cocoa and a good book.
In 2020, the Nelsons will be opening another treehouse Bed and Breakfast – Treehouse Resort and Spa – an immediate add to my treehouse bucket list.
Let’s look at the treehouses first, then we’ll get to tours and reservations:
Temple of the Blue Moon
Inspired by the Parthenon, this “temple” is the one that always gets pictured when you see Treehouse Point. Blue Moon is a favorite for Instagram shots due to its suspension bridge leading to the treehouse.
Trillium closed during my visit, so I didn’t get to see the interior, but what’s striking about this treehouse is its height – 16’.
This one boasts the most significant capacity of any of the treehouses, housing four. During our stay, a family was staying there who was kind enough to invite us in for a closer look. The bunk beds are popular with the kids, and it features a rope pully to get your luggage up – because to get up in the treehouse, you’ll need to climb a ladder.
Nest was our nest at THP. Bird themed, as its name would suggest, it’s the smallest of the treehouses, but would make a great solo writers’ retreat or a cozy “nest” for you and your lovebird. There is a tiny composting toilet outside the treehouse in case you have a nighttime emergency, but otherwise, you’ll want to climb down and go to the plumbed bathrooms.
This one is popular with the honeymoon crowd both because of its river view but – I think more importantly – because it has a half bath with an actual plumbed toilet. The climb up to the bedroom is steep, but there is no need to make a nighttime choice between a run to the bathrooms or using a composting toilet.
THP removed these treehouses of the past because their proximity to the river didn’t comply with King County codes. But the sign for the “ermitage” can still be found in the forest near the river.
Staying at Treehouse Point
Staying in a treehouse doesn’t come cheap – prices aren’t available on the site; they ask that you email them for current availability and price details as availability and prices vary.
Be sure to book early. Treehouse Point is the prime location for treehouse rentals in Washington (and well beyond WA as well). Reservations fill up rapidly and, especially during the summer, weekends fill up for weddings, especially if you’re interested in booking The Burl.
For us, one night in Nest was in the $300 range and we were very fortunate to find a one night reservation at the last minute.
However, if you want to check out the treehouses at Treehouse Point without staying the night, you’re in luck – they offer small group tours. Tours are popular and draw visitors from all over (I was one of the few locals in my tour group), so reservations are a must. The cost is $25 for a one-hour tour. New tour dates for the month open up at 2 PM Pacific Time the first Tuesday of the previous month.
Free Wi-Fi is only offered in the lodge. Make this a time to unplug and disconnect from your devices (though you’ll be very tempted to Instagram here) and practice some “mindful travel.”
You’ll have to get dinner in town. Fortunately, there are plenty of restaurants in nearby Snoqualmie (see below). But there are snacks, cocoa, and a basket for making (indoor) S’mores in the lodge in the evening and breakfast in the morning is delicious, served up by our gracious host, Bird. Breakfast is served at the grand table in the lodge with other treehouse-dwellers. I would provide photos, but I had my spouse reminding me to be polite and put away the camera.
The call of nature is a concern at many of the treehouse locations as plumbing a treehouse presents its own set of challenges. Only one of the treehouses at THP has a plumbed toilet. Most have composting toilets so it’s best to use the main toilets as much as possible, especially if staying in Nest.
Fortunately, the bathrooms are lovely, cedar-lined things, fitting with a rustic treehouse resort.
Though you’ll want to spend most of the time hanging out in your treehouse (that’s why you came, isn’t it?) the lodge is a comfortable place to sit by the fire on a cold evening, read a book, play a game, and have a cup of cocoa or tea.
If you’re into Yoga or TaiChi or want a massage, all are available – but you’ll need to check the schedule and arrange it in advance.
If hanging out in your treehouse, sitting by the pond or hiking down by the river isn’t enough, there’s plenty to do in nearby Snoqualmie.
For dinner, we’ve eaten at Woodman Lodge, a restaurant that’s situated in a 1902 fraternal hall and has mid-priced casual American fare. If you want pub fare, the Snoqualmie Brewery and Taproom is the place to go. If you want fine dining, you can head over to the Salish Lodge (another one of my favorite PNW luxurious getaways). The Salish Lodge also offers the traditional Snoqualmie Falls Lodge breakfast (though it appears they’re not calling it that anymore), but you’ll be wanting to eat at the Treehouse Point Lodge during your stay – put that one on the to-do list for another time.
For more hiking, take the hike down to Snoqualmie Falls or, if you’re into trains, visit the Railroad Museum which offers train rides on weekends during the summer. We’ve also taken summer bike rides from Snoqualmie to Remlinger Farms and back — time it right and you can stop and pick berries enroute.
Related Reading (and Viewing)
If you’re interested in Treehouse Point, the documentary…Treehouse Point chronicles Pete Nelson’s efforts to build the treehouse resort. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.
If you want to stay in a truly unique treehouse, this is your place! The spheres live in a magical wooded facility in Qualicum Beach, BC near Nanaimo. I understand, though, that they are looking to relocate to a larger property to expand, so this article may need an update shortly. Franchising is also, apparently, in the works, for those who want to open a sphere resort of their own.
There are three spheres with free spirit here: Melody, Eryn, and Luna.
This fiberglass sphere was our sphere-of-choice due to availability and the fact that she could house both of us, though space is, of course, a bit cramped unless someone accompanies you with whom you feel very comfortable. The fold-down Murphy bed was very comfortable, and the window seat by the round window make a cozy place to sit, write, and listen to the rain come down.
Melody, I think would make a great writing space for a solo writers’ retreat – she features built-in speakers and fold-down tables for eating or writing. However, I did find wi-fi (and LTE) coverage spotty here so that it would be an excellent place for a disconnected, device-distraction-free, writing retreat.
What’s it like staying in Melody? I am frequently comforted by the sound of rain, and visiting in Melody during a rainstorm gave Melody the chance to live up to her name. In a gentle wind, or with motion, Melody gently rocks which is, at first, a bit disconcerting but then you get used to it. They do give rules about conditions that will necessitate getting down from the sphere.
Nearby there is an outhouse. Graffiti here offers some good advice:
Luna is the newest sphere – I was fortunate to be able to take a peek at it before the next inhabitants arrived. This one is a gem, featuring a bed with a hydraulic lift, though we didn’t find it too challenging to get Melody’s down.
Like Treehouse Point, the spheres’ property has a pond which makes a nice area to get out and walk when It isn’t raining. When it is, the covered porch by the bathrooms makes a nice place to sit, watch the rain, and, if you’re lucky, watch baby birds in a hummingbirds nest (though that was likely to be a special treat that happened to occur during our visit).
However, this may be out of date soon as when we visited they were looking to relocate in the near future.
Each sphere has a comfortable, individual, bathroom in this building, so you don’t need to worry about sharing or hogging a one during your stay.
You can check their calendar online to start the reservations process – but actual reservations are made by phone. They telephoned to let me know when reservations would open up for summer (in the spring), but reservations fill up fast, so you need to call them back promptly to get your first choice.
In truth, I was booking because I wanted to stay in the spheres, but it happened to be close to our anniversary, so I booked a package with a treat basket. There was a LOT of food, and it got us through our first night in the sphere, and breakfast too.
But, otherwise, there is no restaurant by the Spheres, so you’ll need to go into town to eat. We didn’t stay long enough to sample every restaurant in town, but for dinner, a restaurant we’d recommend is Cuckoo Trattoria and Pizzeria in Nearby Coombs. It’s located in the lovely Old Country Market — so you might want to budget some time for shopping.
While you’re in Coombs, you might want to visit Goats on the Roof. Yes, it’s a touristy gimmick, but it also has a grocery with a good cheese selection and a store with a bunch of various (and reasonably priced) household items and toys. I didn’t see any goats initially and almost asked where they were. I’m glad I didn’t. They are precisely where the name implies.
If you’re interested in fine dining during your stay, Bistro 694 in Qualicum beach was excellent, both in menu and atmosphere. We arrived early and were lucky to be able to get in without a reservation – but you should make one as tables fill up fast.
In The Area
Other than goats on a roof, while you’re staying at the Spheres you might also want to visit Qualicum Beach if weather permits, go hiking in Heritage forest, or visit the town of Qualicum beach if browsing shops is your thing.
Until 2016, this gem of a place bore the name “The Hobbit House” for its distinctly…hobbity…features. But, unfortunately, the word “Hobbit” turned out to be trademarked by Middle Earth Enterprises, and Suzanne, who owns the Forest House (Can I buy it? I want to live there.) had to change the name.
But hobbits live in holes in the ground, and this place is, distinctly, in the trees. Perhaps, it would be better suited to inhabitants of Rivendell, and a name change was in order. Technically it’s not an actual treehouse. Pillars support the structure, but its place among the trees at least earns it at least the title of an honorary treehouse. It earns it’s place as one of my favorite treehouse rentals in Washington State!
Kids will appreciate the tower, as will kidults who still have a Disney princess fantasy. Writers looking for a retreat will also enjoy the tower, which has a desk area with computer hookup.
The tub room features a deep sunken tub, perfect for a bubble bath, with a high ceiling, surrounded by plants.
The kitchen is small but as charming as the rest of the house, and we spent plenty of time on the large wraparound deck. And the house is mostly very private – except that I encountered a drive-by photographer, who apologized when I walked out and quickly drove away.
You’ll probably want to do some cooking in the full kitchen at The Forest House. Fortunately, there’s a grocery store in Eastsound. But while you’re on Orcas, you’ll probably want to sample some of the local restaurants. Here’s the lowdown on where we ate and what I’d recommend (I’ll probably write another post sometime on just this subject, but for now here’s the skinny):
ÆLDER/Hogstone Wood Oven
We had no specific dinner plans on our trip, but we got lucky. Walking around in Eastsound, a sign on a small restaurant boasting “Agrarian Cuisine” drew me in. Despite the price tag, I was curious and wanted to sample this agrarian cuisine and was able to get a reservation for that night. I’m glad I did.
Ælder shares space with Hogstone Wood Oven – a woodfire pizza restaurant. Both restaurants are owned by Jeff Blackington, a farmer and chef offering farm-to-table cuisine. The multi-course meal was nicely presented and, in addition to its more creative cuisine, also provided a slice of the woodfire oven pizza along with a special surprise that I won’t reveal, but might delight you if you grew up near Seattle.
Mia’s was a good place to get a latte and breakfast in the morning.
I like the funky artwork and the purple walls – a cheery place to get going in the morning.
The Madrona Bar and Grill/The Loft at Madrona
If you want to dine outdoors, the Madrona has an outdoor seating area with beautiful views overlooking the water. The seafood was adequate the price was reasonable, and the view was stunning.
Mijitas Mexican Kitchen
Mijitas gets an honorable mention, since we didn’t eat here – but plan to next time. The outdoor courtyard attracted me, lit up at night with string lights. And, I understand, the food is good as the atmosphere.
New Leaf Cafe
I ate here more recently as a Mother’s Day treat — nice French cafe breakfast and a light dinner.
Things to do near the forest House
You’ll want to stay and enjoy the Forest House itself and walk on the nearby beach…but there are plenty of other things to do on Orcas.
While you’re on Orcas Island, besides shopping and eating in Eastsound, you might want to visit Moran State Park (this was one of our favorite spots to camp with the kids when they were younger), take a hike up Mt. Constitution, go on a whale watching trip, or go kayaking. Though I own a kayak, I’d be careful to only use it in areas I know to be very protected. For other areas, or to go on an orca viewing kayaking trip, I’d go with an experienced guide.
The only reason this is getting “honorable mention” is that I haven’t been able to stay here. You have to book way in advance to get into this favorite treehouse. At the time of this writing, it appears that it’s scheduled through the summer of 2019, at least.
But I have been to Doe Bay, though not for several years – and I want to go back. Doe Bay is a great area for camping, offering tent sites, or upscale yurts, if treehouse glamping isn’t your thing or the treehouse is full.
And it has a nice hot tub and sauna area. But be warned: when I went there in the past, the hot tub and sauna was clothing-optional (and, apparently, still is), and people do choose to take a dip in the altogether, which made some moms I knew uncomfortable about going near the hot tub with kids.
I’m hoping to revisit Doe Bay this summer…but it won’t be in the treehouse this year.
Other PNW Treehouses
These are treehouses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or lower British Columbia that I haven’t had the opportunity to stay in (yet) in so I can’t give them my personal review and the image sources are from their individual sites.
Right now there’s a heavy emphasis on Washington but I’m planning on continuing to update this post. If you know of a treehouse that you think should be listed let me know.
Likewise let me know if you find something that’s no longer current. Stayed at one of these treehouses? Share below in comments.
This one looks like a definite treehouse bucket list add if you want a couples retreat. It’s definitely a real tree house –the trunk runs smack through the center of the house. It’s also located in Stevenson, WA near the Columbia River gorge.
This treehouse books through Glamping Hub from $351.26 per night.
It’s in Stevenson, WA but, because it’s a private retreat, address is available upon booking.
The Skamania Lodge Treehouses appear to be elevated cabins and not actually built into the trees. But I definitely would want to go, as they’re near the Columbia River gorge in Stevenson and I’ve been past Skamania lodge and it, itself, is on my list of places to stay.
These go into the luxury treehouse category and start at $419 per night.
Sir Cedric’s looks like a cozy rustic retreat for two with a high, beamed ceiling and a four-foot wide red cedar that runs straight through the house. This one is moving up near the top of my treehouse bucket list.
It’s in Ferndale, WA but, because it’s a private retreat, address is available upon booking.
OK, Out ‘N” About Treesort is a “must-add” to the bucket list as it is another full resort dedicated to staying in the trees. This place has 18 treehouses, a swimming pool, a river, horses and chickens, swinging bridges and ziplines.
Treehouses rent from $150 a night for two people in the Elementree up to $330 for up to four people in the Majestree and includes breakfast.
The Bluebird House is located on the Oregon Coast in Gold Beach, OR and houses up to four guests. While I’m not sure this one is actually built in the trees, it’s at least elevated, and classified as a treehouse by AirBNB. One unique aspect of this property is that the owner has miniature donkeys.
Is Cave Junction, OR Treehouse City? Here’s another treehouse resort in Cave Junction, OR. Vertical Horizons Treehouse Paradise is another treehouse B&B featuring four treehouses. They feature disc golf, catch and release fishing (seasonal) and tree climbing.
Treehouses rent from $280 per night for two people in Calypso up to $760 per night for six people in the Excalifur suite.
The “Beautiful, Magical Treehouse” does appear to be beautiful and magical. This 16′ x 16′ treehouse is truly a treehouse, so prepared to do some climbing up the spiral staircase. Apparently, it’s situated on 20 acres and has a pond, a boat, horseshoes, trails…
This would be a great snowy getaway. The 13 acres of woodland allows for snowshoeing and it looks like you’re met in town by the caretaker and transported up to the lookout in a revamped 1960s Thiokol Snowcat.
Salt Spring Island is located off Vancouver Island in BC. This one looks like it has a deck with amazing sunset views over the water. Max two guests. At a current $86 per night, this is more affordable than some of the treehouse destinations.
Secret Cove offers a cozy cottage or suites with prices ranging from $199 for either in the off season up to $538 per night for up to four guests in both the cottage and suite during the height of summer.
During summer months, they also have a canoe available, in case you feel like paddling on the bay.
Here’s a map with the treehouse places we stayed. Click the map image to open the map in another tab. In the list, I’ve tried to include addresses and a link to the Google map for places that have addresses available without reserving.
That’s a LOT of treehouses! Do you have any more suggestions for this list? Have a favorite (or least favorite?) Share in the comments below.
We finally visited Underground Hygge: the AirBNB Hobbit House in Washington State that you can rent. While we loved it, you should know a few things before you book. What follows is my review and my attempt at a video.
And, if you’re interested in Middle Earth-type lodgings and places to visit, you can read my original post on Hobbit Houses in Washington State. If you want more photos I’m in the process of attaching a gallery of images here.
Nestled in a hillside overlooking the Columbia River Gorge is a little house fit for a Hobbit. This “hole in the ground” was built by Kristie Wolfe, who also constructed an AirBNB treehouse in Idaho and is for rent on AirBNB.
However, this AirBNB hobbit house is so popular that it generally reserves out at least a year in advance. My husband, Ted, is a huge Lord of the Rings fan so reserving this was a “must-do,” and I finally got to stay a few days in this magical dwelling with my big hobbit.
Joys and Challenges of Hobbit Living
Overall, Ted approved of Underground Hygge. His only caveat was that including a kitchen would have made it much easier to prepare breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, supper, dinner…and whatever other meals hobbits like to eat.
The house is off the grid — water is brought in, power is solar, there is no kitchen, and you should intend on making this a disconnected getaway as there isn’t much wi-fi service here except, possibly at the base of the hill. Hobbits don’t use electronic devices anyway!
We did run out of power one evening, but the hosts provide a generator to recharge the battery, should that happen to you.
To solve the dilemma of hobbits’ unique meal habits, we brought a camp stove, and my spouse dragged our Yeti cooler up the hill. If it had just been me, I would have brought a small cooler and made more frequent trips.- Advertisement –
We supplemented our meals with going into nearby Chelan for luncheon. The hosts of Underground Hygge supply their visiting hobbits with a nice, Middle Earth style map, instructions, and list of meal recommendations. Of the places we tried, I’d recommend The Fox and The Quail in Chelan. It’s a charming cafe with a comfortable outdoor seating area and the Ahi tuna I had there was excellent.
Bring a Soundtrack
But overall, we loved it. My husband spent time re-listening to the BBC Radio broadcast of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit , as well as the soundtracks from the movies . Watching the evening light move over the landscape here is lovely. We were amused one evening by large groups of grouse running down the dirt road below. And, though you can see other houses in the distance, you kind of get the feeling you’re the only ones in your own little world here. It’s a great couples retreat, but it would also be a great getaway if you wanted to be a hermit for a bit.
But, that may change. You can see another, partially built hobbit hole nearby and the guest notebook describes plans for three hobbit houses and a community kitchen. So, instead of it being a private getaway, it may, eventually, be a sort of mini-Shire.
Hobbity Perks we Loved:
In addition to the sheer charm of the place and the things I’ve already mentioned, here are some touches the hosts added that I loved:
Though my spouse came prepared with his own fancy copy of The Hobbit, we found the house (as it should) already had one.
A hobbit house also needs a riddle book, and…just so.
But my big hobbit was pleased that I did not discover the box with Table Topics cards until near the end of our visit.
The workbench includes wood, tools, and instructions to spend your time whittling an owl. We didn’t whittle; perhaps Ted would have had the motivation if he could have whittled a Gandalf-style pipe.
The Front “Lawn”
The hobbit house is enhanced by its front patio area. The “lawn” seems to be high-quality astroturf — so it stays green in the dry Summers.
The Amplifier Stump
You’ll find what looks like a little tree stump on the nightstand. This is actually a music amplifier. Set your phone on it to enhance your listening if you didn’t bring a speaker.
The door is stunning. It’s made from a large spool, with decorative metalwork. I want this door in my house, but I don’t think it would look right!
Some things you should be aware of before visiting the AirBNB Hobbit House:
We loved our stay at Underground Hygge and would go back, though definitely in the Summer. While the house would look charming in the snow and the propane fireplace would be cozy, Winter would bring its own challenges with navigating the dirt roads and with power issues.
Here are a few things to know before you go:
Bring a Stove and a Cooler
There’s no kitchen; the hosts will provide you with a few special treats for elevensies, an electric hot water kettle, and coffee/tea, if you want to cook, you’ll need to bring your own supplies.
Get ready to do a bit of climbing
Underground Hygge is about a 100-yard hike up a winding trail to get to the hobbit house. Nicely, rustic walking sticks are provided at the head of the trail.
Off the Grid
Power is supplied by solar panels, but the hosts provide a generator should you run out and the tap water is non-potable, but drinking water is brought in and delivered in a cute wall-keg.
I also found that the hot water ran out rapidly — too rapidly for me to finish taking a warm shower or filling the lovely deep bathtub. The house manual says that you can use the hot water kettle to heat up water. If you do this, be aware that the electric water kettle sucks up energy and you’ll have to end up using the generator. If I were genuinely motivated to fill up the tub to take a hot bath, I’d use my camp stove to heat water.
Orondo gets hot in the Summer! However, we found that an earth dwelling stays cool. Keep the door closed during the day and there’s no need for air conditioning.
For You Hammockers
There aren’t any good hammocking trees in the nearby vicinity — but there was room down the hill for setting up a hammock stand for lounging around.
Getting there is uphill on dirt roads; some of them are rough. Our Subaru handled it just fine. However, in the winter I’d want to bring a 4 x 4 vehicle.
Bees and Other Guests
In the Summer, you’ll be visited by many yellowjackets and wasps, but they quiet down toward evening.
You might also find a few grasshoppers if you shake out the blanket. Their “music,” however, I find comforting in the evening.
Orondo Hobbit House Photos
I’m working on adding to the gallery of photos I took at the Hobbit Inn. You can click here to view the gallery.
Underground Hygge: AirBNB Hobbit House Washington State Map
Click here or on the map to view the interactive version of the map for the Hobbit Inn in Orondo
As medieval cathedral choir screens go, I think the York Minster Kings Screen is definitely the most memorable. As I was initially writing the post about things to do in York, I realized I’d taken at least one photograph of every king on the York Minster choir screen. Here’s a post devoted specifically to them, with a photo gallery and a description of each king. We also have another post about things to do and see at York Minster.
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[dropcap]M[/dropcap]edieval cathedrals commonly have a choir screen (sometimes called a rood screen) separating the nave from the choir area. To our modern ears “screen” may sound like a flimsy partition, but in a medieval cathedral, the choir screen is commonly made of stone or metal and is ornate.
York Minster’s choir screen is the most memorable choir screen that I’ve seen.
The screen includes fifteen expressive carved stone kings ranging from William the Conqueror to Henry VI: seven to the left and eight to the right.
Henry V originally commissioned this fifteenth-century rood screen.
However, he died before its completion. William Hindly, the master mason at York Minster at that time, completed the screen during the reign of Henry VI.
According to this post, the statue of Henry IV has a fascinating history. The original was destroyed in the late 15th century as people had taken to coming to the cathedral to worship the statue, praying and lighting candles to it — unwelcome behavior to the archbishop! Finally, in 1810, a new figure replaced the old.
The Kings of the York Minster Kings’ Screen
Below the big photo of the entire screen (which is, unfortunately, blurry) are individual photos of the kings in order from left to right. You can click on a single picture to open the lightbox to navigate through the images or to read more information about each king.
King by King: The Kings of the York Minster Choir Screen
Here are the kings of the York Minster choir screen from left to right. You may click on the name to open a single image, or you can jump down to the gallery, which has more information about each king.
When I was a kid, in the days when kids spent bored Summer days playing outside, I spent some time lurking in neighborhood alleyways. Inventing clubs, playing hide-and-seek, and sometimes being up to no good made long Summer days with nothing to do pass quickly. When I visited York, I imagined all of the mischief I could have managed there with York’s many snickelways as my stomping grounds.
What is a Snickelway?
What’s a snickelway? York’s medieval city layout means that many narrow passageways between the buildings exist. These became known as the Snickelways of York.
“Snickelway” sounds like it could be a charming Old English word or something from Harry Potter. And some of the Snickelways have names that tickle my muggle sense of humor (Nether Hornpot Lane, for one.) Therefore, I was a little disappointed to find that (at least according to the venerable Wikipedia,) author Mark W. Jones coined the word. And not in The Year of Our Lord 1600 but 1983 CE.
Jones’ book A Walk Around the Snickelways of York (which seems to be out of print but is usually readily available on Amazon), is the definitive guide to “snickeling.” Jones explains that snickelways is a portmanteau word combining snicket (any relation to Lemony?), ginnel, and alleyway, all terms used to describe different types of passageways.
Jones’ book gives a walkthrough of the snickelways, which also turns out to be a great way to self-tour York.
A Snickelways Journey
When you walk York’s Snickelways, you might find your 3.5-mile walk turning into a daylong adventure. There’s plenty to get distracted by along the way. I gave up trying to record my walk and attempted to recreate the route later (see the map below.)
The map is a close approximation to the way described in the book, and the path I walked. However, a few shortcuts (like the in and outs in the Shambles,) were difficult to map.
If you want to walk all of the snickelways, your best bet is just to get the book. It’s the best available reference and includes handwritten print and delightful black and white sketches. It’s a keeper and, somehow, one I’ll keep looking through from time to time even if I never get back to York.
Above is an image of a route map of the Snickelways. You can click here or on the map to get to the page with the interactive version.
Your Snickelways journey starts at the hole in the wall just past Bootham Bar (in York, the gates are bars, and the streets end with -gate.) It takes you past many (but not all) of the places I’ve listed in the Things to do in York post, including the ever-popular Shambles.
Above: Sketches from The Snickelways of York by Mark W. Jones match the view walking to York Minster from Precentor’s Court.
Other medieval cities like London, had walls, of course, but only fragments remain in most. In York, large sections of the medieval walls remain and are very walkable.
Walking York’s walls was my favorite way of getting around the city during my stay. My AirBNB in York, located near Mickelgate bar, was near a wall entrance, and I frequently walked the wall on my way into the central part of town.
York’s Wall Routes
York’s walls end in some places. Despite the signs around the route with handy QR codes, I got confused in spots and had to search for the next walkable portion of the wall. For the best experience, you might want to bring a guidebook. The Friends of York Walls website has maps and a handy guide for a thorough wall walk.
Some parts of the wall have a safety fence on one side, and a few sections have a drop off with no barrier. Where I live, there would be fences and signs all around to prevent lawsuits injuries. But it seems York (fortunately) trusts in the common-sense of the visitor.
Walking the walls also made me feel a bit like a kid again — or a nosy neighbor. Some sections of wall adjoined homes and gave glimpses into some beautiful backyards.
Have you walked York’s snickelways? Leave a comment!
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