Rocks for our grandson

Our grandson likes rocks. Here is Maj collecting some for him at a beach on Camano Island north of Seattle.

Sunday evening gathering of friends

Sunday turned out to be a gray rainy day, including a couple of claps of rolling thunder, which is not common in Seattle. Our daughter invited her best friend and family over for a relaxed evening of food and fun.

Pepperoni, foreground and veggie, background

Loaded with everything!









Nothing better than hot pizza for supper with friends. The pizza came from Bravas Pizza and Pasta in Snohomish. Oh my it was so good. We have dined there before on previous trips.

A seasonal craft beer from a Seattle brewery. Very good, 8.8% ABV

Our daughter’s friend relaxing with “grown up art”.






The evening’s activities included eating, watching the highlights of the day’s football games, watching the Emmys, eating, watching movies, eating and drinking. Did I mention eating? We had a wonderful time, and Sher and I enjoyed meeting and interacting with our daughter’s friend, husband and daughter. A relaxed Sunday evening always proves to be a great way to get ready for the coming week.

Sunday morning doughnut treats

Talk about a diet buster, but oh, so good! Our son-in-law treated us all with a box of delicious, I mean delicious doughnuts from the Frost store in Mill Creek, Washington. There is something about a lazy Sunday morning that just cries out for fresh Long Johns, Bismarks or Apple Fritters. These delights have rightfully earned the title of Best Doughnuts in Washington State.

Not much left of our grandson’s treat

Our 6 year old grandson had a ball with his sprinkled and icing topped doughnut. He had a very unique way of devouring it. He started from the top, eating the icing and sprinkles layer first, and subsequently went round and round in a circle until the doughnut was gone.

What’s left of the doughnuts. The Apple fritters come in a bag.

We actually visited the Frost store during our January 2020 visit to Seattle. At the time we were wintering in Austin and had stored the RV for a month and flew to Seattle. This was if you remember right before COVID hit the nursing home in Seattle. This is the link to our article about the Frost store. The article has mouth watering photos including ones of fancy coffees.

Paranormal ghost in a haunted farmhouse

We have always been interested in the subject of things paranormal. We still enjoy the ghost investigation shows on TV. In the past we have traveled to and enjoyed haunted sites and locations and still do. The story below relates an encounter that Maj had in 1975. 

Picture a small frame house, built in 1865, located at the top of a small rise next to a river. The house is a typical story and a half: two bedrooms upstairs, gabled ceilings, accessed by a very narrow and steep stairway. The top of the stairway faces the door to one bedroom, turn sharp right and you are in the second bedroom. Downstairs are three rooms and a bathroom (of course a newer remodel). As you look at the front of the house (south facing), you see a porch, formerly screened but now glassed in, leading to the main room. To the left, or west facing, there is a door from the kitchen leading to a concrete “deck” covered with a roof and screen. At the time of my encounter, the front porch was just screened in, and there was nothing but a concrete deck on the west side.

How the house looked in 2009

My dad and stepmother lived here for a time. During one of my visits, the subject of ghosts and hauntings came into the conversation. Dad mentioned that he and my stepmother have heard a ghost inside the house, usually within a day or two of them hearing an owl hooting in the middle of the night. Hmmmm, I thought. Well, the next night we heard an owl. Hmmmm, I thought again. After a hard days work, I was bushed, and fell asleep upstairs almost immediately as soon as my head hit the pillow.

At approximately 2:30 in the morning, I awoke, realizing that I was troubled, and frankly afraid, for no apparent reason. I lay in bed, and then I heard a door open and shut. (As I write this, my hair is starting to stand on end!) Anyway, after I heard the door, I then heard “heavy” foot steps. The steps came out of the kitchen, into the living room, under the bedroom I was in, and then back to the bottom of the stairway. I’m really starting to freak out now, and then the footsteps started up the stairs. Slow, heavy, and very clear. I’m looking, but the room is pitch black. The steps come to the top of the stairs, go into the other bedroom, back out and down the stairs. The sound of the steps stopped in the kitchen. I did not get much sleep the rest of the night.

“1865” cut into an attic vent

Next morning over coffee I asked Dad if he had heard anything. He hesitated, and then said “You heard him too, huh?” The ice broken, we shared our versions of what we had heard. Both of our versions matched, except Dad had not heard the footsteps going into the kitchen on the way “out”. We decided to do a little experiment, as we did not know which door our visitor had entered during the wee small hours of the morning. There are two different doors leading into the kitchen, by the way. I went back upstairs, lay down in bed, and listened while Dad opened and closed both doors. I had him do each twice, as the sound of neither door sounded like the door I had heard open and close! Thus, another mystery.

That evening the three of us were sitting on the concrete deck off the kitchen, enjoying a beautiful end to the day. As we were talking, I happened to look at the side of the house, above the kitchen door. There, faint but visible, was evidence on the side of the house that was obviously the remnants of where an old porch roof or shed had been attached to the house. I pointed this feature out to Dad. He sat there a minute, then said “That can explain the door sound you could not recognize.” I had thought the same: the sound of the door I heard was in fact the sound of a door that was not there anymore.

Our visitor was benevolent, I’m sure. He was, in my opinion, just checking on someone or something. I heard him one other time, as he was on the way downstairs. Guess I slept through his walk up the stairs. I never heard the door again, but I am sure for whatever reason, he is still checking up on this house.

Delivered lunch makes it easy

Greek Fries and Avgolemono soup

Use their flatware

Sometimes it is easier to take care of lunch with a phone app to order your lunch delivered. We did that yesterday by way of the Kafé Neo Greek Restaurant  in Mill Creek. (Yes, we’re still in Seattle area.)


Roasted lamb gyro

Vegetarian gyro

This fine Greek restaurant has a great lunch menu with plenty of variety for any tastes. Ordering for delivery has several benefits. Sounds funny, but you can use the flatware from the restaurant. That’s several pieces of your silverware that you won’t need to wash! Plus you don’t have to get out of the house, and can continue whatever you are doing. Sher and I realize that it seems like we’re becoming a travel and food blog. So be it, you have to eat, and we are enjoying new culinary experiences.

We were very satisfied with our selections from the Kafé Neo. The gyros were quite large, and ingredients delicious. The Greek Fries were topped with Feta and came with a unique dipping sauce. I particularly enjoyed the chicken with rice Avgolemono soup. If you’re looking for either inside dining, carryout or delivery the Kafé Neo will be a good choice. Here is their website.

Our first hard cider tasting

We have been exploring craft beer breweries, wineries and distilleries for quite a while. These adventures have expanded our horizons covering alcoholic drinks well beyond the local supermarket. We had the opportunity to take a new expedition into the world of Hard Ciders. We really did not know what hard cider was until we met Hammered Dwarf Cider.

Flight of four hard ciders

We found out that yes, hard cider is true cider, made with apples, but with an alcoholic kick similar to beers. The Hammered Dwarf Cider company offered several different versions. Sher and I both had a flight of ciders, four different ones.

The menu board

All of the ciders had a similar feel, ice cold, refreshing and with that little alcoholic kick. Of the four samples we liked #5, Wizard’s Elixer as one of the best. Made with different cider apples, it delivers 6.9% ABV (alcohol by volume). We also enjoyed #7 , a 7% ABV tart cherry known as Purple Hill. In addition to the ones in our flights,  we also sampled #1, the rose colored 6.6% ABV Princess Pie. This delightful hard cider that was fermented with whiskey, peach and Marion berries in a whiskey barrel.


This experience was very interesting and informative. We’ll now be looking for other hard cider producers and put them on our future lists of places to visit along with wineries, breweries and distilleries.

Hammered Dwarf Cider

Yes, a rather bizarre name, but for a great variety of products. This afternoon we all went to a place that sells locally produced hard cider, beer and mead. The Snohomish facility is interesting, as the tasting room is small, consisting of the counter and tap wall, and menu boards. There are a couple of two person high tables inside.

Outside is a fenced in seating area. A series of pop up canopies provide shelter from the sun. Picnic tables offer seating along with those large wood wire spools that make good tables. It is interesting that the site of this cidery is at the back of a concrete plant.

Information board

More information

The Hammered Dwarf Cider is the result of 20 years of development and trails, starting in an apartment in California. Let the Hammered Dwarf website explain: “Our ciders are made with more traditional cider apples as opposed to the usual dessert and culinary apples that most cideries use, creating a unique flavor profile. Barrel aging is another way that we can distinguish ourselves from the rest.”

Sher and our grandson sitting outdoors

Two of our four flights

We ordered pizza delivered to our table

We got a couple of growlers to take home






Each of us (except of course our grandson who got root beer) got one of the flights of four to sample. We have never tried Hard Cider and it was fun to have our first time tasting true local craft ciders. They were very good, all having  very interesting and differing tastes. Most of the ciders were made on location, or provided by other local establishments. We found this to be a very unique local business. Pizza, craft hard cider and sharing time with family made for a delightful afternoon.


A real craving for fish & chips

One of my absolute favorite restaurants anywhere is an opened in 1900 and verified haunted saloon in Snohomish, Washington. Sher and I first found the Oxford Saloon back in 2014 while searching for antiques.

The Oxford storefront with COVID prompted outdoor street seating

In planning for our trip to Seattle and seeing our daughter, son-in-law and grandson I knew that we’d be able to visit the Oxford Saloon, and that I’d get the chance to once again enjoy the three piece fish and chips with homemade coleslaw and fries. Well, that happened today! We decided to go to Snohomish for lunch.

My fish and chips meal

Sher’s loaded potato skins






The Oxford interior is filled with old framed photos, a huge suit of armor hanging from the ceiling and a mannequin of a dance hall girl standing on a ceiling mounted swing. That’s the tip of the iceberg too. Oh, by the way, The Oxford Saloon is haunted. Yes, haunted with many eyewitness accounts. Sher and I had a private tour in January 2020  right before COVID hit, and were told the stories including all about the scary cursed doll. Read about our tour here.

Behind the bar, complete with Moose

Swinging dance hall girl

BIG Knight watching you eat

The haunted doll, safe now on top of the bar













We really had a good time. I especially relished having my fish and chips again at my favorite place. It is fun having a favorite place so far away from our home base in Indiana. As usual, finding a parking spot was a real challenge. But patience prevailed, and after about ten minutes of driving around a spot reasonably close to the Oxford. We also learned that there will be fun Haunted Rock band every Thursday this month. Bet we’ll be back for that. This is the Oxford Saloon website.



Christa’s Sandwichboard and Wine Bar

It didn’t take us long to get out and enjoy local restaurants once we got to our family’s place. Snohomish is a fun and historic small town northeast of Seattle. The main street is filled with eclectic stores, antique shops and a wide variety of eateries. Many of the restaurants put up tents on the street to accommodate COVID restrictions. Many of these remain.

Sher with our grandson across from our daughter and son-in-law. Note to tent out side in the street.

Christa’s Sandwichboard and Wine Bar has become one of our family’s favorite. Sher and I soon discovered why it’s a favorite. The sandwich menu is one of the most expansive I’ve seen. Assortments of flat breads and small plates are ready, as are cheese and meat platters.  We opted for the hot sandwich specialties.

Basil, Mozzarella & Tomato – “BMT”

The classic Reuben ala Sandwichboard

Humbolt Fog cheese, thin sliced ham w/fixin’s

Kid’s toasted cheese w/fruit & cookies












The tag “Wine Bar” is included in the name of this fun facility. There was a 1/2 price sale ongoing, so you know us, we had to partake. We got a nice California red, part of the 2017 Joel Gott Wines Artist Series. Good wine!

Comfortable dining with fun decor

This was a delightful place to eat, the service was great and the food delicious. It was so nice to have supper with our Washington family again. It doesn’t get any better than being with family, does it?