Jimmy Johns for supper

Sometimes you don’t want a large supper, often it depends on what you had for lunch that day. This evening was one of those times…

Turkey, ham and provolone cheese

Wonderful veggie sandwich

We decided that a couple of deli type sandwiches would make for a  tasty light meal. Jimmy Johns makes theirs good and fresh, and it was not very far away for a quick in store pick up. And we had a night off from cooking.

Fish and chips, live music and ghosts

We had the chance a few days ago to return to what we like to think of as “our favorite bar” called The Oxford Saloon in downtown Snohomish, Washington. Snohomish is north of Seattle and east of Everett. The Oxford has been a part of Snohomish since 1900.

Inside the Oxford Saloon

The Oxford is known for its paranormal activity. Back in 2020 before the pandemic, we had our own private tour given by Rebecca Caden, General Manager of the place who graciously told us the many stories of hauntings on all three floors of the saloon.

Jalapeno poppers, loaded nachos and stuffed potato skins

Basket of hand cut piping hot fries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The food at the Oxford is known throughout the area as some of the best bar food.

My favorite: 3 piece Fish and Chips w/hand made slaw

Half a French dip w/fries, au jus on the side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We discovered the Oxford back in 2014 when we were antique shopping. We were in Seattle to celebrate the birth of our grandson, and thought the Oxford looked interesting. Thus our enjoyment of the Oxford began and continues every time we visit our Seattle family.

My “Lemon Drop” cocktail

Sher’s Hot Buttered Rum

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Oxford offers live music every evening except Mondays. We checked prior to our last visit and were glad to see that the Battista Brothers would be on stage. The Baittstas are local favorites and perform marvelous acoustic rock music.

The Battista Brothers on stage at The Oxford Saloon

We were certainly not disappointed with our evening at the Oxford. Our Seattle family was with us and also enjoyed the food and entertainment. We have been to several places during our travels that have been very enjoyable and ones where we would enjoy a return visit. The Oxford Saloon in Snohomish is still our favorite place to eat, drink and enjoy live music. This old historic haunted bar is a joy to visit, is always filled with good live music, friendly patrons and an excellent staff.

 

 

What we saw in 2022

The year 2022 was a very unique time for Roadtirement and, frankly, the entire country. The pandemic fears had greatly decreased and in lots of ways daily life seemed to be back to close to “normal”.  We did have many enjoyable trips in 2022. Here is a quick snapshot of some of those adventures.

Mom says it is time to go

As we predicted last year in July, our travels were altered to include more trips closer to home, and of shorter durations. We did, however, truly enjoy these shorter jaunts and like many,  we discovered many interesting attractions close to home.

Round barn built in 1910

This barn’s Mail Pouch paint job is fading fast.

 

 

 

 

 

Maj really got into visiting historic covered bridges. Indiana is known for the large number of these beautiful structures. There are several different types of bridge truss systems, and we found several different ones as we ventured around central and southern Indiana an Ohio. Some of the old iron bridges are also interesting pieces of history, and they are disappearing quickly.

Beautiful white reconstructed bridge

The Burr-Arch truss system

Closed to road traffic in 1996, it is now open only to foot traffic.

Howe truss system

Abandoned iron bridge

We also enjoyed going to cemeteries. The history represented in both large and small cemeteries can be very fascinating. Some are part of church properties, others are on land not part of any structure at all. We came across several interesting cemeteries as well as many many fascinating monuments and headstones.

White Bronze metal monument

View through a gate

Hope you enjoyed this look back at Roadtirement’s 2022. We’ll keep you updated as 2023 progresses. 

Classy upscale brunch on the water

A little while back we shared a visit to Arnies Edmonds that we had over a year ago and we stated we were planning a return trip . That trip happened on Sunday with our Seattle family before we went to see The Nutcracker ballet in Seattle.

The restaurant building

Lovely views of Puget Sound

Delicious chilled fresh fruit with creamy yogurt for dipping

We got to Arnies at 10:00 AM to allow us a leisurely brunch before the matinee at the ballet. As usual, our service was wonderful and most attentive. Within a short time of seating our fruit plates were delivered to our table. The yogurt dip in the cup is such a wonderful added touch to the fresh fruit.

Sparkling mimosa

Decadent cinnamon roll

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next comes your choice of OJ or mimosa, included in the brunch meal. Our grandson of course liked his OJ that came in a differentiating  champagne glass. Following on the heels of the drinks everyone is served a warm “fresh out of the oven” cinnamon roll. Can you say delicious?

Sher’s Belgian waffle

Maj’s scramble, including potatoes and Sher’s bacon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The menu for the Sunday Brunch is remarkably varied. There are three kinds of waffles, many different omelets, salmon dishes, and of course Eggs Benedict. The chefs will prepare them to order, and will even without hesitation change or add ingredients of your choice.

Glad to be back at Arnies

The service at Arnies Edmonds is wonderful. The menu has something for anyone. The chef made a special order brunch plate for our 8 year old grandson and a special order scramble for our daughter as well. Arnies Edmonds Sunday brunch remains one of our favorite dining experiences of all of our travels. We were delighted to have yet another wonderful brunch featuring “Pacific Northwest Favorites”.

 

Nutcracker ballet good beyond words

Since 1892 audiences have enjoyed the music and ballet renditions of The Nutcracker. Sher and I and our Seattle family were blessed with the opportunity to also attend such a performance today put on by the Pacific Northwest Ballet in McCaw Hall in downtown Seattle.

The lobby, multi level complete with refreshments at each level

A fun photo op set for memory making photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No photos were allowed during the performance, and honestly photos would not do it justice anyway. You have to understand the scope of this production. Over 300 people make up the cast and crew. Costumes were made in theaters all over the Seattle area, it took so much time and effort. The sets are just magnificent. Wait till you see the snow scenes!

inside McCaw Hall awaiting the start of the show

As we discussed the performance later we discovered that we thought all aspects of the show were simply excellent in quality. What first struck me was the beauty of the costumes. The opening scene in Act 1 takes place in the Victorian mansion, and all characters are in gorgeous 1890’s era party wear. This is where the audience is introduced to the elaborate sets and lighting as well. The mice costumes are just incredible, and battle of the Nutcracker and soldiers vs the mice and King Mouse is awesome to behold.

The ballet company is talented beyond description. All of the individuals show their dedication to their craft in every scene. The youngsters in the cast, all students at the PNB School of Ballet, were highlighted in Mother Ginger and her Polichinelles scene. Each separate scene in Act 2 showcased both solo and group choreography. These artists made you react in wonder at their skill on stage. Of special note were Juliet Prine as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Christopher D’Ariano as the Cavalier. Words are inadequate to describe their beautiful duet.

The finale (on a flat screen in the lobby)

And of utmost importance to the performance is the large orchestra. PNB’s principal conductor and music director Emil de Cou is quoted in the program “We have 54 musicians in our Nutcracker orchestra, and every part that Tchaikovsky wrote is played and covered.” There are so many marvelous and familiar pieces in this production, and the orchestra brings life to them all. You’ll find yourself smiling when your recognize a number being played.

Our grandson took this shot of us at intermission

What an outstanding performance in an outstanding venue. Seattle is fortunate to have the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Yes, we most assuredly recommend The Nutcracker.

 

 

Good food and happy times at Everett Olive Garden

Today Sher an I went with our daughter, son-in-law and grandson to see his final soccer game of the season at the YMCA. Done at 1:30PM, we were all ready for lunch, so off to the Everett, Washington Olive Garden we went.

Our favorite wine here, the Confetti Pink Moscato Rosé Wine

It had been several months since we had dined at an Olive Garden and our Seattle family also was looking forward to the cuisine. We were seated immediately and our server was at our table taking drink orders as soon as we were seated.

Zuppa Toscana, a spicy Italian sausage, fresh kale and russet potatoes in a creamy broth

Classic and tasty minestrone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The soups are all you can eat. Maj had two servings of the potato and sausage soup.

Maj had his favorite: spaghetti, meatballs and meat sauce

Sher ordered cheese ravioli with marinara sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cheese ravioli and Chicken Tortelloni Alfredo are both oven baked and come right from the oven on very hot plates. You are warned to be careful.

Daughter’s choice: Chicken Tortelloni Alfredo

And of course there is the never empty basket of warm bread sticks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all enjoyed our meals. The Olive Garden doesn’t please everyone, but we have never been disappointed at any one of these restaurants regardless of where in the country we have stopped. Consistency is something that makes dining choices a lot easier when you know what to expect.

Bellevue Washington Snowflake Lane Christmas parade 2022

Bellevue, Washington is east of Seattle across Lake Washington. Every year for the past 18 downtown Bellevue has put on a wonderful Christmas parade. The town has earned the title of being The Most Festive Town in America by the Huffington Post.

Crowd waiting an hour before the start

Everybody loves Frosty the Snowman!

 

 

 

 

 

Sher and I went to this parade back in 2014 during another fun visit with our Seattle family. So we were really looking forward to enjoying the parade again. As nearly 10,000 people a night show up to witness the parade, we had to get there early, grab some coffee and stake our claim on good spots that would give an unobstructed view of the parade route.

Cute penguin

Beautiful Snow Princess

Rudolph’s nose did light up!

The parade starts right at 7 when the spot lights turn on and the snow machines start the evening’s snowfall! In addition, spot lights of snow flakes move around on the street surface and the building fronts. The video gives a feel for the excitement of the parade, a look at the snowfall, and an appearance by Santa in person.

There’s that penguin again

We had a great time

 

 

 

 

 

It is, in our opinion, just awesome that Bellevue puts on this parade every night for 30 days. The number of participants, the costumes, and of course the lights and snow effects are marvelous. It is easy to see why 10,000 show up each night.

 

Revisiting Arnies Pacific Northwest Favorites

Over a year ago Sher and I were blessed to have been able to visit with family in the Seattle area. Fine dining is to be found along the shores of the Puget Sound. Here is one of those establishments. We’re looking forward to a return trip to Arnies soon!

We had a wonderful Sunday brunch today. Our son-in-law’s parents are here visiting as well, and our grandson is relishing having all four of his grandparents at the same time. Thus our Sunday outing was extra special.

Arnies trade mark signage

Dining w/windows overlooking Puget Sound

 

 

 

 

 

Arnies has been serving the area for 25 years. Today we went to the Edmonds location overlooking the Puget Sound and Edmonds Marina. You can also see the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry from the restaurant.

Each person gets their own mouthwatering cinnamon roll

Excellent Mimosa, Orange juice in champagne glass

Fresh fruit with creamy yogurt dip

Arnies is known for several things, not the least of which is their signature specialty dishes. Keep in mind that your dining experience includes not only your entrée, but a fresh fruit and dip tray. In addition, you’ll be treated to a Mimosa or OJ and a warm freshly baked cinnamon roll.

Belgian waffle, honey butter, maple syrup and bacon

Eggs Benedict with house made roasted potatoes

Three egg omelet with honey ham and Tillamook cheddar

The entrées are absolutely delicious. Each are hand prepared, served at the proper temperature, and presented as professionally as you always expect from an upscale dining establishment.

It is fun watching the Edmundson-Kingston Ferry come and go as you eat

The ambience at Arnies is relaxed with a premium feeling. The staff is most friendly and truly want you to feel like you are a valuable guest. The view of Puget Sound is truly magnificent with the islands in the distance and boats on the water. Out of all of our travels, Arnies is one of our favorite restaurants.

Note: After reliving this through our pictures and story, we are already planning our next Sunday brunch at Arnies in Edmonds.

Fresa Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar

Our daughter suggested a great Mexican restaurant for our supper last night. Sher and I went with her and our grandson and met our son-in-law at the Fresa Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar in Everett, Washington. She said that they had just happened on this place and were glad they tried it.

Stuffed chile poppers

Delightful queso dip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chunky fresh guacamole with lime, onions, tomatoes and cilantro

We started our dining adventure with some delicious appetizers. The tray filled with Chunky Guacamole tasted as good as it looked. The golden brown Chile Poppers featured full size, not sliced, jalapenos with sour cream and a dish of strawberry jelly for dipping and my was that queso dip scrumptious!

Fixin’s for fajitas

Steak fajitas

 

 

 

 

 

On to the main courses, our daughter and our son-in-law shared steak and chicken fajitas for two (see video). Sher raved about her vegetarian enchiladas (see video) and Maj had steak fajitas. The fajitas all came with very generous helpings of rice, frijoles, guacamole, sour cream and lettuce and tomatoes. Of course plentiful tortillas, corn and flour, were also served.

The quality of this restaurant is truly outstanding. The family traditions of this establishment shine through in not only the service but the excellent cuisine. We were very impressed and have to rate this as one of the best Mexican restaurants we have enjoyed. When in the Seattle area, do yourself a favor and dine at Fresa Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar in Everett.  This is the Fresa website.