For me, everything is about balance. Feeling a sense of equilibrium throughout the threads of my life. Nothing too much, nothing too little, just a nice easy line down the middle. If I am experiencing too much or too little of one thing, I try and do whatever I feel is necessary to balance it out. Case in point: City life. I live in the heart of Seattle. Right smack dab in Seattle proper. I can walk for 5 minutes, and be in the centermost part of allllll of Seattle. As much as I love living in the city, where everything I could possibly want is available to me, I often find the need to counteract it, and step away from the city skyscrapers, the crowds of people, and the I-5 traffic. (Ugh!!!) I try and harmonize it by getting myself to a trailhead, heading to Bainbridge Island, or exploring a rural town that I haven’t met yet. This time, my girlfriend Evann and I decided that we need a day-cation out in Arlington, a wonderful town located about an hour outside of the city in Snohomish County. Lots of farms, creameries, antique stores, and views for days. If you’re ever needing some time recharge your battery, this is the place to do it.
The second we pulled off the freeway, Evann and I both breathed a big sigh of relief. Acres and acres of open land, adorable red barns dotting the landscape, huge trees full of so much life, majestic mountains that make you feel so tiny, and the glistening Pilchuck River easily winding it’s way through the open space. I would’ve been happy if we had turned right back around after seeing the first mile off the freeway. It was THAT beautiful.
However, we were just getting started! First stop? Foster’s Cornmaze. I know, I know, it sounds like something you should only go to if you have a toddler with you. But, this place is amazing. It is the most delightful farm/produce stand/pumpkin patch/gift shop I’ve ever seen! Wonderful homemade jams, salsas, marinades, pickles, vegetables from their farm. Anything you can imagine. So much love goes into this place, and it is just charming as can be.
Did I put my face in those cutouts? No, I did not. Did I want to? Ummm, yeah, I did. Instead, we took a normal, ‘adult-style’ picture.
See that big open field of crops behind us? So pleasant and quiet. As we made our way into Foster’s, we were really only looking to go in and check out their homemade sauces and beautiful acorn squashes. What we didn’t know is that they had ANIMALS for us to pet. Well, you’d better believe that we were like 2 kids in a candy store. As if we weren’t already SO impressed with the darling-ness of this place, they had to go and throw in some furry critters too. Day. Was. Made.
This cutie pie can perform tricks! Who knew you could train a goat?! He has a metal cup that when you put little pellets into it, he yanks on the rope it is attached to, and brings it all the way up to where he is standing, ummm, on the balcony, and eats the treats out before sending it back down to you. There’s a first time for everything, folks. Feeding a goat standing on a rooftop? Checking that off my list of firsts righhhhhhht now.
We also got to feed 2 other little goats. They were soooo cute and so leeeeetle!!!
I don’t always feed goats, but when I do, I make sure they are IDENTICAL! Those little stinkers must’ve been twins and were about ready to eat my hand off! What else did we see? Chickens, a sheep and little bunnies! Were we more excited about the petting zoo than the 5 year old boy standing next to us? NO doubt about it. Were we embarrassed about this? Let’s just say we were concerned. We’ll look into this at a future date…
An hour later, it was time to head out and see what else we could explore in Arlington.
Down the road we bopped, oohing and ahhing over the quaint farmhouses, abandoned barns, and John Deere tractors. We marveled at the charm and history of this fanciful town, wondering what most people in this town do for work…and for fun? Plans to come back on a Friday night were made. Just two city girls talkin’ about life in the country…
Next stop: The most whimsical farm I’ve ever been to. It’s called Mystic Mountain Nursery, and it is pure M.A.G.I.C. The first thing we saw when we pulled up- sharing one pen- was a HUGE turkey and a little brown goat. Two peas in a pod. Supposedly, they are best friends. HA! Too cute.
What came after that, you ask? Well let me tell you! Peacocks, emus, a jersey cow, cattle, a miniature donkey, horses, chickens, alpacas, and a deer. Just in case you were wondering.
This place was so incredible. The owners not only have this amazing animal farm, but a huge vegetable garden, giant walnut trees, fresh eggs, an antique shop, AND a bed and breakfast. WHOA! It is truly magical. If you ever want to get away from it all, come HERE. You will not be disappointed.
So what do two girls from the city do when they are ready for a snack and a beer? They take a tip from the locals and head on over to Rhodes River Ranch, which is a restaurant that is literally in a horse arena. Like, so so so cool. You watch the beautiful dressage horses doin’ their fancy thing as you sip your ice cold Washington brewed beer. Oh. My. Gosh. This place is my soul-town.
A couple bison burgers and a beer later, we were two happy gals. Sometimes, all you need is a burger and a pint, know what I mean? Yea, I had a feeling you’d agree.
After spending a lovely afternoon meeting and petting a trillion, (yes, I said a trillion) animals in this dreamlike little town, I think it’s safe to say that I can happily head back to the city. I’ve got a gingham apron I bought at an antique store, an old pyrex bowl from downtown Arlington, and farm fresh eggs from my
future home new favorite farm, Mystic Mountain. Have you ever had farm fresh eggs? Because if not, PLEASE do yourself a solid and seek out some straight-outta-the-henhouse, practically still warm, farm fresh eggs. The difference between store-bought vs. farm eggs is astounding, and you will be absolutely blown away when you experience how much richer in flavor, color and nutrition eggs are when you get them from independent farmers. If you don’t believe me, do an experiment, try both side by side, and report back to me. Ms. Kremer’s orders 😉
Now that the sun is getting lower, and the city is beckoning us home, it is time to get back on the open road. But, oh wait, it’s almost 5 o’clock, and we don’t want to hit all that horrific traffic! MIght as well make one last stop at Whitehorse Saloon in downtown Arlington for a quick $3 pint. Can’t beat that. The giant Moose head hanging above the pool table and the awesome locals in all their Carhartt gear tell us we have chosen the right spot for a cold one. The perfect place to write our last chapter for the day.
As Evann and I watch the dust kick up behind my tires, head back towards the big city and leave a little slice of heaven behind, we are already making plans to come back here, buy some acreage, and have our very own cows, goats and peacocks. One day, we WILL!! Our hearts are so full, our spirits are revived, and our souls are feeling grateful and satiated. Sometimes, all you need is a little break from whatever ‘normal’ life may be, whether it’s stepping into or out of the city. Our day-cation left us both feeling free as a bird and light as a feather, and that my friend, is what life to me is all about.
You can take this girl outta the city, and you can DEFINITELY take the city outta the girl… At least for one day 😉