The RV Gypsies wish you all an exciting and adventurous NEW YEAR!
Dungeness Spit, ate Chinese food for Christmas Eve (just like in the movie "A Christmas Story") and opened presents with the kids. It was great. Our first Christmas in our Sequim house was very relaxing and filled with family and fun, just like the way we like it. Joss was excited to have a big picture window in the front of the house to put a tree in (she's always wanted one of those) and was able to put up her Dickens Christmas Village this year. It’s been 10 years since we’ve had it up…had to wait for the kidlin’s to mature a little!
Everyone asks us about the weather up here since Sequim is known for it's sunny days. Some people call it the blue hole since we are the last to cloud up and the first to clear up in the NW. Yes, we believe it is quite true. We get way more sunny days then most of the area. We also get much less rain (about 20 inches a year), but we have the beauty of the green trees and the Olympic Mountain Range right outside our windows. It really is a unique place!
The winter this year has been more mild compared to last year and the kids are missing the snow we had last year. In 2008, it was in the 20's & 30's for quite a bit of the winter, but this year more in the high 30's to mid 40's. That's just a shirt and a jacket to us. We have been getting some of the storms that are hitting the NW but we still don't get near the amount of rain as the rest of the area. This past Spring was sunny, beautiful and in the 70's. The Summer was the same but a bit warmer and quite long. We kept wondering when the fall weather was going to come and it finally showed in November. So Fall only seemed to last a month before Winter was upon us. We seem to get a good balance of moderate weather and it's just the way we wanted it. Maybe a little more snow for the kids, but don't tell the locals we said that!
Since Robert has had a few days off for the Holidays we’ve been getting on him about finally getting that blog up about the Summer Lavender Festival. So, without any more waiting, here it is, the Winter blog on the Summer Festival, enjoy.....
The real reason our So Cal best friends Leanne and Kendra came to see us during the third week in July was the annual Lavender Festival! Sequim is the second largest growing community of lavender in the world. We have the perfect climate for growing lavender, which needs a certain colder temperature in the winter and not too much rain year round. We also have the largest lavender event in North America, the Sequim Lavender Festival. The population of Sequim more then doubles during Festival from 20,000 to about 50,000 or more.
Robert took a day off so he could come with us to the farms. The Festival includes a street fair with booths, food and live music and free bus rides to seven local lavender farms. We always love the street fairs, they had great shopping for all the lavender products you could ever imagine; lavender bundles, soap, painted bags, cooking herbs, perfume, lotions, notepads, artwork and photos in lavender theme, and much more. I’d never known there were so many items made from lavender. My favorite part about the street fair was the food. As my kids would say, DUH!! The different venders, all-local, worked hard to have lavender food for people to try. I had never tried food cooked with lavender as the herb before, but we got to try lavender grilled shrimp, salmon, and steak. We also had many glasses of lavender lemonade, white chocolate lavender cookies and our favorite, lavender ice cream. They had many different flavors of ice cream, black berry lavender, peppermint lavender, lemon lavender and white chocolate lavender. For me it was a tie between the black berry and the peppermint. Surprise, surprise, all the lavender food was DELICIOUS. We were all happily surprised. I bought a cookbook and will attempt to learn some of this lavender cooking before we have more visitors next summer. You’ve been warned!!
Leanne and I agree the best part of the festival were the farm tours. Each farm has different activities but they all have U-pick lavender bundles, lavender crafts they teach you to make, artists, live music, vendors and food from a local restaurant. Some of the tours had talks on how to make lavender products such as essential oils. Others taught about the many different varieties of lavender and how to grow them best or how to cook with lavender as an herb.
It was interesting how each farm had a different personality to it. Some farms were bustling with activity and fun for the whole family and others were more laid back and relaxing. I think Leanne and I enjoyed the first farm and one of our last farms the most. The first farm we went to, Jardin du Soleil, was high spirited and fun for the kids and adults alike. They had free pictures being taken in the lavender fields with your camera by a professional photographer and lots of fun booths for all, like tasting lavender honey, making glass beads with fire, rocks and crystals (always a hit with us) face painting and an English maze made with hedges.
The last farm we enjoyed because of it’s laid back atmosphere and also because Robert had the kids with him and us girls could sit back on the balcony of the farm house gift shop sipping lavender margaritas while looking out over the lavender fields at the end of the day. It was beautiful. It made me really proud to be a Sequim resident to have this wonderful festival right here in our own town.
Our summer visitors have left and now we are taking the trailer and visiting some of our friends and family in Oregon. The last week of summer we are heading to Oregon to visit our Aunt and Uncle again and also to visit our friend Railroad Ray. It’s been a great first summer in Sequim for the RVGypsies so far. Hope yours has been lovely too!!