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Franklin Ghost Town | A Trip Back in Time

Franklin Ghost Town | A Trip Back in Time

It’s not everyday you get to take a walk back in time, but that’s what happens when you visit Franklin ghost town just outside of Black Diamond. Located 37 miles from downtown Seattle (map), Franklin was a once bustling coal mining town. The community was established in the 1880s (before Washington was even a state), and it survived until mining jobs dried up there in 1919. The land was most recently mined between the late 1940s through 1971. If you’d like to know more about the history of Franklin click here. The most infamous moment happened on August 24, 1894, when 37 workers suffocated in mine fire. It’s still one of the deadliest mine disasters ever in the state of Washington. All that’s left in the area now is Franklin ghost town, which is an overgrown, green hillside with several ruins. There is a parking lot near the site, which costs $5 per vehicle. It’s then a short trek up the hill (past the yellow gate at the end...

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Seattle Whale Watching | Puget Sound Express

Seattle Whale Watching | Puget Sound Express

Whales are truly amazing mammals, and we’re fortunate enough to have them in the Northwest. The only problem is: you rarely get to see them from shore. But spotting these stunning creatures is made much easier on a Seattle whale watching trip with Puget Sound Express. Puget Sound Express launches its Seattle whale watching tours out of Edmonds (they also host whale watching trips out of Port Townsend), which is technically 18 miles from downtown. It’s the only half-day (4-5 hours), guaranteed whale watching trip in Seattle. Yes, you are guaranteed to see whales – or – your next trip is free. Seattle whale watching tours typically take you to the San Juan Islands or through the Straight of Juan de Fuca to find orca, gray, humpback, and/or minke whales, but if you’re extremely lucky – like we were on our tour – you can spot whales right outside of Seattle. On our Seattle whale watching adventure (in early May), we found orca whales no more than 15 minutes...

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Isernio’s Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage

Isernio’s Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage

We’re all looking for ways to make life easier, right? I’m especially slow in the kitchen, so any assist I can get is helpful. That’s why I really enjoyed experimenting with Isernio’s fully cooked chicken sausages. We were recently contacted by Isernio’s – a local company from Kent – to try their new fully cooked chicken sausages. There are three different types: Sweet Italian Chicken with Parmesan Cheese, Caprese Chicken with Mozzarella, Basil & Sun Dried Tomato, and Chicken Apple. All flavors use chicken that is raised with no antibiotics, 100% vegetarian fed, and certified humanely raised and handled. Since the sausages come fully cooked, they are extremely easy to use and it helps save a bunch of time. It’s so simple, we actually tried three different preparations and recipes in a single week. We added the Sweet Italian Chicken with Parmesan Cheese to one of our favorite recipes (that usually asks for raw sausage). We simply roasted the sausages with the other ingredients to heat them up for serving....

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Trailbend Taproom | Beer and Eats in Ballard

Trailbend Taproom | Beer and Eats in Ballard

We love beer. It’s one of our favorite things. We try different beers, we talk about beers, and we like checking out breweries and beer bars. That’s why Trailbend Taproom is a welcome addition to the Seattle beer scene in Ballard. There are 42 constantly rotating taps at Trailbend Taproom, which is located in the Ballard brewery district (map). There are local, national, and international brews on the menu. You can find anything from stouts to IPAs to ciders. If you want to know exactly what they have going, click here to see what’s on draft. The beer list is updated daily. While many beer bars only serve snacks, invite food trucks, or allow you to order in, Trailbend Taproom serves a full menu of food. With a wood-fired oven, pizza is the restaurant’s highlight. They have traditional pizzas and “Trailbend pizzas,” including the Palisade (zucchini, red onion, chevre, and oregano) and Enigma (egg, lemony arugula, pecorino, prosciutto, and pistachios). There are also sandwiches, salads, and bites coming out of the kitchen...

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Best Time to See University of Washington Cherry Blossoms

Best Time to See University of Washington Cherry Blossoms

Starting in late February, we start to see a spike in traffic on our website. It seems like everyone is searching for the best time to see University of Washington cherry blossoms. The pink and white blooms that surround the Quad (map) are an annual rite of spring in Seattle (click here for more). But, because of Mother Nature, you never know when the University of Washington cherry blossoms will reach full bloom. History tends to repeat itself, though. So looking at past dates can help pinpoint when to start heading toward campus. Here are the dates University of Washington cherry blossoms reached full bloom the last few years: 2018: March 27th 2017: April 1st 2016: March 11th 2015: March 14th 2014: March 21st 2013: April 3rd With that said, these dates are full bloom. The trees will start to bloom and progressively reach their full potential, which creates an impressive scene on the Quad for weeks. According to the University of Washington: “Bloom timing varies each year and depends mostly...

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Keechelus Lake Snowshoe Trail

Keechelus Lake Snowshoe Trail

When the weather turns cold in the winter, it’s time to head for the hills – er, mountains of Snoqualmie Pass. There’s no shortage of snowy fun just outside of Seattle. Take the Keechelus Lake snowshoe trail for example! I’ll start by saying this: if you’re an experienced winter adventurer, the Keechelus Lake snowshoe trail probably isn’t for you. If you’re just getting started on snowshoes, or you simply want to stomp around in the snow, then this place is perfect. If this sounds like your type of adventure — here is a map to the trailhead. Depending on the driving conditions, it’s about an hour drive from Seattle. The Keechelus Lake snowshoe trail is groomed and it’s mostly flat. It runs along the Iron Horse – John Wayne Pioneer Trail, which was formerly a rail line. There’s an avalanche shoot about two miles into the trail, and that’s where most people recommend you turn around, making it about four miles roundtrip. There’s a mere 200-foot elevation gain along the way, meaning...

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