Category Archives: woodiinville

A Slice of Niagara in Washington State


If you divided Niagara Falls into four or five sections, one of those pieces would look very much like Snoqalmie Falls in Washington State, about 30 miles from Seattle.

Its swirling waters shoot off a cliff with a force that sprays onlookers stationed at a viewing area.  It’s got a nice picnic area and gift shop but as luck would have it, the hiking trails were closed on the day of my visit. So no walking for me here, just a spectacular view of Mother Nature’s handiwork.

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Wouldn’t you in Woodinville?


It’s a long way from New Orleans to the San Juan Islands, by the time you change planes in Dallas and sit for another 3 1/2 hours in flight.  So I decided to spend a couple of nights at the Willows Lodge in Woodinville, just 45 minutes from Seattle.

I knew nothing of Woodinville  when planning my trip but liked what I saw on the internet . When I arrived, it was better than I imagined.  I am told by the “wine educator” at Columbia Winery, one of several around here, that Woodinville is on the same latitude as the Rhone Valley which, for me, explains why this area, with its rich green rolling hills and vineyards, reminds me of France.

I have a great room at the Willows Lodge, which is home to two pigs named Borage and Basil, both in training for truffle hunting. They live in a little pig house adjacent to an herb farm which supplies  a very fancy restaurant called The Herb Farm, just a hop, skip and a pig away from here.  I am told that eating at the The  Herb Farm is a foodie’s delight though my pocketbook sent me to The Barking Frog next door. So me and my chronically barking dogs took a stroll across the way and enjoyed a sublime meal which was gastronomically exquisite.  I highly recommend the prawns. To Die For.

The Willow’s Lodge is  one big exhale. With colorful gardens and green lawns with plush grass soft enough to sleep on, it is beautiful.  When I arrived, there was a wedding just outside my room. Testimony enough to the memories that have been made here.

Oh, wait, this is supposed to be about good places to walk. There is a paved hiking trail right next door to Willows Lodge called Sammamish River  Trail. If you are so inclined, this paved trail will take you all the way to Seattle. Truth be told, it is more suited for able-bodied cyclists in racing gear.  On the beautiful Sunday afternoon I was there, I got many warnings to watch out on my “left.”

Not one to adapt well to major cultural changes,  I am thankful Woodinville is not in Europe, where the rules of the road are very different.

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High Mt. Ranier!


I left bayou country yesterday en route to higher ground and more great walks.  The summer temperatures can really heat up an airplane cabin so I kept the window shade down for most of the trip. When the pilot said we were getting close to Seattle I raised the shade and got an eyeful of Mount Ranier peeking through the clouds. Oh boy, this trip to Woodinville and San Juan Islands is going to be an adventure!

Just a hiccup upon arrival.  The rental car agent had a wily way of quoting prices. Good thing I questioned her at the Budget counter or else I would have signed a contract for all kinds of additional fees.  It was a simple thing, really.  She quoted an upgrade for “$13” but she really meant $13  a day.  Same goes for cost of adding a driver.  (Never  mind I had already contracted for this same upgrade for a flat fee of $3.)

But I was on to her and all is well!  Time to hit the highways.

Arrived in Woodinville, safe and sound .  Willows Lodge is beautiful. There is a pig and also a wedding right outside my window!  More later.

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