After getting in pretty late to L's sister's little cabin in the woods (complete with composting toilet!), we still woke up early for a hike at Mount Baker. We loaded up the dogs and drove for about an hour.
I expected it to be cold on the hike since there were patches of snow on the mountain, but I ended up ditching my hoodie shortly after we began the hike. The hike itself was a little challenging due to loose rocks, but I survived! We only hiked for about an hour because we were meeting up with their brother and sister-in-law soon.
Some action figures didn't survive the hike.
This is pretty much how every midwest winter is for me.
L & I dozed off in the car for much of the return drive. We stopped at Trader Joe's to grab something fast for lunch. I was very disappointed to find that none of their "Grab & Go" salads are vegan, or even vegetarian! They were all smothered in cheese and/or chicken, mostly. I settled on veggie sushi, the only "Grab & Go" option not coated in cheese or meat. I don't have a picture of it because I was starving, but it contained spinach, tofu, and carrot. The rice was pretty mushy, but it was better than nothing! I also ate some dry Total that I snatched up from the hotel in Boise. (First rule of veganism: Always be prepared.)
After some speedy showers, our whole group migrated to the nearest beach, which was very rocky, which encouraged lots of stone skipping. L's sister made this little stone man (with a CENSORED bar, for your protection).
We had dinner at a lovely little southwestern restaurant in Bellingham called Pepper Sisters. I found them on Happy Cow (a very handy site for traveling veg*ns) and it seemed like a good option for everyone (I was the only vegan in the group, everyone else eats meat, this restaurant caters to both).
I ordered the garlic-potato enchiladas, mostly because it came with posole, a hominy stew that sounded really good on the menu. It also came with a little side salad and pinto beans.
A very filling meal! I want to experiment with hominy at home now.
We strolled around Bellingham for awhile, which is an ADORABLE city. Very clean, eco-friendly and green, plenty to do, lots of local shops, and very vegan-friendly (more than I expected!). I immediately became quite smitten with Bellingham.
L's sister convinced us all that ice cream at Mallard's would be a good idea, even though we were all quite stuffed from dinner. I had no intentions of ordering anything until...
What's that? On the far right? Under the "NON DAIRY" heading?
Chocolate-Coconut? Well, maybe just a taste...
Yeah, the taste turned into a scoop. I couldn't help it. It was so smooth and creamy and chocolaty! How can I say no to chocolate?! This was especially nice after that delicious, savory meal at Pepper Sisters.
Once our ice creams were gone, we parted ways to our respective hotels. L, his sister, and I are sharing a room in Bellevue (between Bumbershoot and Labor Day weekend, all of the Seattle hotels were totally booked), while his brother and sister-in-law are staying in Seattle (they booked awhile ago). [I should mention that his brother and sister-in-law are from Virginia; they're in Seattle for a wedding. This whole trip is a "sibling reunion," of sorts.]
Made to two hour trek to Bellevue, checked in around midnight, and crashed!
Tomorrow is our big day in Seattle!
PS. There's still time to enter the $35 CSN Stores Gift Card giveaway! Enter HERE.