This is my third Jiles book I have read and I have like them all. News of the World was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks. Simon the Fiddler, which I actually liked more was the second novel I read by Jiles. Now Jiles new book Chenneville takes us once again to post civil-war turmoil and into the life of a fascinating character John Chenneville. Here is my book review Chenneville by Paulette Jiles.
Jiles is the real deal. Her writing style is mesmerizing. You can feel Chenneville’s pain, the snow, the horse beneath him. She has such a way that brings you full on into the character and the life they are living.
It’s a shattered nation we find ourselves in, post Civil War and the slow Reconstruction. Lawlessness prevails, and when John Chenneville returns home after recovering from a gruesome head injury near the end of the war, he is confronted with unimaginable grief. His beloved sister, her husband and their 1 year old baby names after him, have been murdered. A senseless murder by a man on a murder for fun spree.
Chenneville is a powerful character in his reserved presence. Smart and observant, John Chenneville crosses the territory in an effort to kill his sister’s killer. He will encounter a wonderful cast of characters a long the way, make both friends and enemies, trailing the murderer Dodd deep into Texas.
This is a beautiful story. So raw and true with an insight into the hard truth of love, grief, revenge and acceptance.
*****Five Stars for Chenneville by Paulette Jiles.
Despite our hundreds of countries and thousands of miles covered over the years, we had never made it to Ciudad de Mexico until late 2021. At that time we came just to enjoy a week long Eating My Way Through Mexico City food tour…thinking that was all there was to do. Boy were we wrong. So, we couldn’t wait to get back to this fascinating and historic place because there is just so much to love about Mexico City.
Ciudad de Mexico
Beyond the food – which is phenomenal and inexpensive, CDMX has some of the friendliest people, most beautiful architecture, incredible ancient and recent history, fantastic parks and green spaces, so many museums and… well should I mention the food again? So on this our second visit, we dug deeper to find more of the heart of this place which helped us to realize there is so much to love about Mexico City.
Museo Nacional de Anthropologia
We spent three amazing hours at the Museo Nacional de Anthropologia and you could easily spend an entire day. A vast and impressive collection that chronicles the ancient and recent history of the geology, people, and arts of Mexico. One of the best museums I have ever been to any where in the world…and that is saying something. Tours are available but it is simple enough to do without a guide. Entry fee is around $5. The museum also houses a fantastic restaurant with foods that focus on each distinctive region of Mexico. Do not miss.
Free Walking Tour
On our last visit we did an incredible free walking tour (tip-based) in the regions surrounding the beautiful historic centro area. I highly recommend that if it’s your first visit to Mexico City. This time we decided to do a free walking tour of the Roma Condesa, the neighborhood where our hotel was. We used Estacion Mexico, the same tour we used last year. Our guide Eduardo was funny, knowledgeable and passionate about this place. We loved it!
We try to do cultural performances whenever we can. And we often do performances just to see local performance venues. This Ballet Folkloric gave us both opportunities. The show was one of the best I have ever seen with music, dancing, acrobatics and more…performed in one of the most beautiful theaters I have ever visited, the Palacio de Belles Arts. Do not miss this show.
Eat Like a Local Mexico City
When we visited before, we spent five days with Eat Like a Local Mexico learning, tasting, cooking and seeing the wonders of the history and culture of Mexican food. We enjoyed our new friends and we definitely wanted to tour with them again. Eat Like a Local Mexico owner Rocio created a personal tour for us and guided us herself. A special treat for us was starting our tour with a cooking class learning to make Octopus Tacos with Chef Diego at Temporal. Then we worked our way around the city enjoying so much wonderful local food from tacos pastor to tamales and the finale was a very unique dessert made from mushrooms. Be absolutely sure to book with Eat Like a Local Mexico when you visit Mexico City. Don’t choose any other food tour…and don’t eat before your tour!!
I booked our dinner reservation at Pujol seven months in advance, because I did not want to miss having dinner at this restaurant, one of the top five restaurants in the world. It is expensive, but it was a wonderful experience to enjoy some very unique and beautifully presented dishes. And the service was outstanding. Cost was $165 per person before alcohol or tips for the prix fixe dinner. This price and experience were similar to the prix fixe dinners we had in both Maui at Merriman’s and in Giverny France at Jardin de Plumes.
Pronounced Loo-Cha Lee-Bra, this national Mexican past time is a spectacle and a lot of fun. I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it but I loved it. It’s a real performance that requires a lot of athleticism and choreography for the scripted wresting match. The masked gladiators are wonderful performers. Lucha Libre started more than 100 years ago. Today thousands of people come out several times a week to enjoy the show and cheer on their favorite masked gladiator. You can attend this on your own, but we chose to go with our guide Alberto from Tours by Locals. I’m glad we did because he provided us wonderful insight, history and stories, as well as other details about beautiful Mexico City and the surrounding area.
Wow. This place was way better than I was expecting and we loved our guide Hilary from Tours by Locals. We spent the entire day exploring this ancient site located about 25 miles northeast of Ciudad de Mexico. Teotihuacan construction began in 100 BCE, long before the Aztecs. The actual name of the people who built it and lived here is unknown and there is no written record. But they left behind this vast site that today is still being discovered. The Aztecs settled here and ruled the region much later from about 1200 CE until the Spanish obliterated them in the 1500’s. Archeological research and discovery first began in 1904.
Today Teotihuacan is a UNESCO Heritage Site and the second most visited site in Mexico after Chichen Itza in the Yucatan. I highly recommend visiting this fantastic ancient cultural site when in Mexico.
The UNESCO heritage site south of the center of Mexico City is where the remains of the original lake and canals still exist. When the Spanish arrived they drained and filled in most of the lakes and canals that were built by the Aztecs. Today only the Xochimilco canals remain. Here the people have for generations used the rich fertile soil for agriculture. The floating gardens are the small islands in the lakes and canals that have been secured using willow trees. Today’s agriculture is primarily flowers, and the gorgeous blooms make their way to homes and businesses, restaurants and hotels all over the city. The tourist boats might seem a little kitschy but we did the boat ride early on a Monday and had the whole place to ourselves. We really enjoyed seeing this unique way of life with our guide Juan from Tours by Locals.
Coyoacan and UNAM
On the same day we visited Xochimilco (see above) with our most amazing guide Juan, we also visited the amazing murals at the Universidad National Autonoma de Mexico. UNAM is the largest university in Mexico and home to one of the most astonishing works of art I have ever seen. The tiled building that houses the central library is a UNESCO heritage site by architect and artist Juan O’Gorman from 1952. This incredible work of art tells the story of all of Mexico from ancient times to present day. It is truly a remarkable thing to see, and having the significance of the art explained to us in detail by Juan was absolutely fascinating. Learn more here.
Our next stop was the amazing Coyoacan neighborhood…a fantastic artist neighborhood and home to the Frida Kahlo Museum. But Coyoacan has more. A vibrant and wonderful place to explore, full of shops and history. We visited two significant churches; a former monastery Church of San Juan Bautista, and Capilla de la Conchita a remarkable chapel built by Cortez in 1525. We walked around the colorful parks and streets and had a delicious lunch. Juan took us to a teeny coffee shop that has been operating since 1953 and we also had the famous Coyoacan Churro. I really love this neighborhood.
We also made a brief stop in the high rent district San Angel – the Beverly Hills of Mexico City. Where the Spanish built the summer homes and still today the rich and fabulous live here. Cobblestone streets and fortress style mansions line the streets.
We also highly recommend The Red Tree House hotel. This is the first time we have ever returned to stay a second time in a hotel because of an excellent first experience. This boutique style hotel is a favorite among Americans. Book well in advance if you can. Comfortable and in the great neighborhood of Roma Condesa and the service is fantastic. The Red Tree House offers a delicious breakfast and nightly wine and beer happy hour. Don’t miss it. Rooms range from low $100 USD and up.
Getting around is easy by Metro, Metro Bus, Uber, Didi or Taxi. Something for everyone. We took a taxi from the airport on arrival but then used Uber or the Metro the rest of our trip. Many locals speak English but if they don’t they are always willing to work to help you understand. If you stay in the main tourist areas and more populated neighborhoods and shopping areas you will always feel safe.
We will be back
I now consider Mexico City one of my favorite cities anywhere in the world. Yes I love Paris, Barcelona, Jerusalem, New York and more. But something about Ciudad de Mexico has really captured my heart. Thank you to the local people for helping me see there is so much to love about Mexico City. And there is still so much more to see…so Hasta Luego Ciudad de Mexico. Until we meet again – Muchas Gracias.
In the beginning we didn’t know if we would do this for 6 months or six years. In the beginning we didn’t know much. But eight years later, 270,539 miles flown, 128 countries visited – well we know a lot. And yes, I do count countries, particularly now as I work to keep track of the growing number.
It was 2016 when we launched our travel life. After three years of prep – we were anxious to get started. But as we launched, we also knew we had a lot still to learn. Honestly, we won’t ever stop learning. The magnificent cultures, ancient history, remarkable people, delicious food…it’s all been such an eye-opening experience.
Covid cramped our style for a while, but, we actually learned a lot from the PanDamit too. We learned to be more spontaneous, flexible and adventurous. We have learned to navigate a more difficult travel environment, more expensive and more crowded. We also give more consideration to overtourism, choosing as much as possible the less traveled destinations. But here we are, Year Eight of the Grand Adventure Begins.
How Much More?
We get this question a lot. We don’t exactly know the answer…but we both feel some changes will happen in year nine. Perhaps shorter trips, with more time at home between the trips…perhaps? What we do know is we have put together a very unique itinerary that will take us on the road for eight months from Asia to Europe, Oceania to Africa – hitting some major bucket list destinations. It’s time to do it again.
One Thing Different
There is one thing a bit different this time…we are doing more tours than ever before. Why? Because as we traverse the countries we still would like to visit, many are difficult to navigate without a guide. Like last spring in Bolivia, we have chosen to allow reputable tour companies to take us through three places this time; Papua New Guinea, Socotra (off the coast of Yemen), and Madagascar. See more about these destinations below.
Where do we Begin?
Papua New Guinea
Confirmed 12 days – tour
In September we have a long grueling travel day from Seattle to LA to Manila and finally to Papua New Guinea. We will spend 12 days in PNG with a company called Indigo Safaris. We will be two of only about 400 non-natives to witness the annual Goroka Festival where more than 100 tribes of Papua New Guinea come together to celebrate their unique and colorful culture. Did you know there are 800 languages in Papua New Guinea?
Confirmed 7 days – Airbnb
After PNG we will head to the big city of Hong Kong. We were meant to visit Hong Kong in 2019, but the riots there had us changing our plans. We will try again; I have booked a cooking class, some tours and we also plan to walk across the border to the tiny country of Macau.
Confirmed 32 days – Airbnb
Next stop the island of Bohol in the Philippines. We have only briefly been in Manila, and we look forward to a relaxing month on Bohol where we can kick back and regroup in October after the whirlwind of September.
Winter Down Under
Confirmed 4 weeks in an RV mainland and 30 days Airbnb Tasmania
As usual we like to spend as much time as possible in perpetual summer, so all of November and all of December we will be down under. We visited Australia very early in the Grand Adventure, but there is so much more we want to see. This time we begin in Brisbane. Then we have rented an RV for one month to travel south to Melbourne at a slow pace. In early December we fly to the Australian island of Tasmania and spend all of December relaxing in Hobart where we have rented a darling historic home.
We debated about heading from here to one or two of our past favorite countries (New Zealand and French Polynesia) but instead we will fly west. We know we will be back to those countries again some day.
South East Asia
Confirmed 3 days hotel
I love this city/country but boy is it expensive, so we will just have a quick visit to say hello again to one of the world’s most beautiful places.
Confirmed 30 days Airbnb
Back to Thailand! Thailand was the very FIRST country we visited when we began the Grand Adventure in November 2016. It’s a beautiful country; friendly, inexpensive, and delicious. We will spend one month on the island of Koh Chang.
Confirmed 7 days road trip Bologna to Puglio and 19 days Airbnb Sicily
Even though it will only be February, we are headed to the amazing country of Italy for an entire month. Keeping our fingers crossed for dry and not too cold; we will visit Bologna and the country of San Marino, the Puglia region and then on to Sicily.
Confirmed 3 days hotel
We will have a brief stop back in Cairo as we transit through but we are holding a couple of days open in hopes that the new, decades in the making, Egyptian Museum will be open. But we are really going to Egypt because that is where we pick up our tour to…
Confirmed 7 days private tour
Not on many people’s bucket list, Yemen was never on mine either. But my husband has long wanted to visit the island of Socotra off the coast of Yemen ever since we read the book The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie. This is a more complicated country to visit, so we are on a private tour. We are using the company Inertia, who we have spent months working with to make this happen. Should definitely be different…and exciting.
Back to Europe
Confirmed 18 days Airbnb
Back to Europe we go, with our first stop the island of Crete. This is one of the Greek Islands we have not visited, and I have heard so much about it. So we will spend 18 days enjoying the Greek life (and food) once again. Here we will be joined by friends, two couples we really enjoy traveling with.
Not yet confirmed
We are still trying to work our way through the last of the countries we had to abandon when Covid shut down our travels, and Albania is one. We have really enjoyed all of the Balkan countries we have visited over the years and it is one of our most favorite regions in the world. Inexpensive and so welcoming, we look forward to one week in Albania.
Not yet confirmed
An easy drive over the border from Albania we could just do a day-trip to North Macedonia but we really want to spend some time in the beautiful Lake Ohrid region we have heard so much about. So we will visit for four days then return to Albania for our flight out.
Not yet confirmed
An easy flight to Belgrade will get us to Serbia. We only plan to be in Belgrade one day, then we will do a road trip to many of the ancient and beautiful sites in this landlocked country and former Yugoslavian state. Serbia remains a less visited part of Central Europe and I can’t wait to see it.
Not yet confirmed
Somehow I have traveled all over Europe but have missed Vienna entirely. My husband has been there and keeps telling me I will LOVE it, so Vienna it is for four days. It’s also a great place to get a flight to our next destination.
And Back to Africa
Confirmed 10 days tour with Fosa Travel
From Vienna we will fly via Addis Ababa Ethiopia to the island of Madagascar. We have been blessed to visit several Indian Ocean islands, but Madagascar is a first for us. We have booked a private tour for ten days with Fosa Travel and it will be a dream come true for me to see the Lemurs and the magnificent Baobab Trees. A very big Bucket List for me.
Back to Europe to Wrap It Up
Spain and Andorra
Not yet confirmed
Andorra is one of our Covid-deleted countries, and I am excited to see this tiny country that borders Spain. We will fly into Barcelona and drive to Andorra for a short four day visit before returning to Barcelona for our flight back to Seattle. We expect to arrive back in Seattle May 17th; 19 countries, 8 months and a lifetime of memories.
Year Eight of the Grand Adventure Begins
I’ll say again, we have no intention of trying to visit every country in the world (BTW there are 195 recognized countries. United Nations recognizes 193 and there are a couple unrecognized we have visited including Taiwan). However, after this trip, we still have a few left in the bucket. So, as we think about what lies ahead, we certainly know we will never stop traveling. We know we have some rock solid favorites we would like to return to. We know we have some difficult countries left we would like to see with a guide. But we also know, particularly after the PanDamit, we should not look too far out into the future…things can change so fast. So, we will embrace year eight with bells on, and we hope you will come along for the ride. As always, we feel so grateful to all of you who faithfully read and ask questions and engage with us through our crazy travel life. Thank you.
Note – there may be times when I can not make a deadline to have a travel post every Friday. Additionally I expect to not have easy access to WiFi. Just keep watching and I’ll get to it as soon as I can.
Considering full-time or long-term travel yourself? I wrote this post last year and it may help answer some of your questions. Click here for Becoming A Traveler. We’d love to connect out in the Big World with you!
We love it when you comment, pin and share our posts. Thank you. Away we go!
I’m as surprised as anyone to realize we are about to begin year EIGHT of the Grand Adventure. It’s a unique way of life, one we have embraced and learned how to live without too much stress. It’s a true Grand Adventure in so many ways, and having the blog and all of you to share with is a blessing. So let’s talk about My Travel Wardrobe- 8 Months & 19 Countries.
Lessons in Packing
In the beginning we packed way too much. Slowly along the way I discarded things or shipped things home. And yet, even now, I still struggle with making choices. I’m a habitual “just in case” packer. I have worked really hard to change this habit. I know that the “just in case” moments might come…and if they do I can go purchase what I need. When we were locked down in Cyprus we purchased some warmer clothes…and when we flew from Paris to Acadia National Park and found ourselves in a hurricane we went shopping. It’s all good.
Fewer Clothes – But Still Too Much
I feel this time I have pared it WAY down and I feel good about my wardrobe choices. I purchased fewer things, am packing some of my favorite tried and true pieces, and have eliminated one pair of shoes. But the suitcase challenge that still gives me pains is the eight months of contact lenses, prescriptions, supplements and beauty products. What’s a girl to do?
On this itinerary we will visit 19 countries over 8 months from mid September to mid May. We will likely encounter temperatures as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit and possibly day time lows in the mid 50’s.
Let’s Break It Down Shall We?
I always do this the same way. I first consider the weather and I begin with my basics for pants and shorts. This time I have four pairs of pants (two light weight, one medium weight and one legging) and two pairs of shorts (navy and khaki). From these pieces I build my wardrobe house with mix and match quality pieces.
I bought these on sale, not knowing if I was going to like them, but I think they are fabulously versatile for summer, fall or spring wear. Here I have paired them three ways.
Black Leggings for Travel Day
Leggings and layering are the way to go on flight day, especially on long flights for comfort. We have several really long flights, and so often planes can be really cold. So I layer up no matter the destination. It’s always easier to peel it off than to freeze when you aren’t prepared. Here I have paired them three ways.
When it’s hot I tend to wear dresses more than shorts, but I like to have a couple pair of shorts along for the ride. These Talbots walking shorts are my favorites…I own four pairs! But this time it’s just the navy ones making the cut. Here I have paired them four ways.
Khaki Shorts JJill
I bought these dark khaki shorts new this year. The fabric is nice and soft and I have worn them several times this summer. A nice addition to the travel wardrobe. Here they are four ways.
From the photos above you can see the same tops over and over. I use basic colors that I can mix and match. Although I might pull out a couple of these at the last minute…or not…I currently have three t-shirts, three tank tops, 1 long sleeve t-shirt, 2 long sleeve button up blouses, 1 linen long sleeve blouse and 1 linen short sleeve blouse. All small and packable. In addition I have two light weight sweaters (white and yellow) and my denim jacket. One scarf.
I do love my dresses, especially in hot weather. This year I have two new and two old standbys that have served me well for several years. Here they are;
I’ve decided on two one-piece suits this time…and I might also bring a two-piece…not sure. Although everyone loved the white one piece I had last year…it didn’t make the cut. It might be cute but it’s uncomfortable and hard to get in and out of. Who has time for that? In addition to these suits I’ll pack my sarong and coverup too.
What About The Shoes
I’ve spent the summer test driving shoes…one of the most difficult things to decide on and to pack. I no longer wear flip-flops (danger danger!) so now have an Ecco slip on that might look dorky but is so comfy. I also purchased my second pair of Ecco strappy sandals; new pair of keen and new sneaker by Kizik. AND instead of a hiking shoe and a running shoe I now have a trail runner that will fill both needs. Those are from Brooks.
My Travel Wardrobe – 8 Months & 19 Countries
I of course will also pack my running clothes, underwear and coat. It may seem like a lot, but it is significantly less than last year. Last year I carried a lot of winter clothes because it was going to be very chilly in Bolivia. However it was a heat wave in Bolivia and we didn’t wear most of what we brought. As far as things like the yellow sweater and even the black leggings…if I’m not wearing those it won’t break my heart to let those go along the journey. Easily replaced.
This is my plan. I’ll finalize everything over the next 14 days…we fly on September 9th. The countdown is on! My Travel Wardrobe – 8 months & 19 Countries. Let’s do it!
And watch for our post about where we are traveling this year. It will post on September 8th. As always, I can’t tell you how much your support of our travels and this blog mean to me. You are the best.
How lucky am I to have so many creative and talented friends? Very. And today’s Hidden Gem is the brainchild of friends of ours. A brand new, innovative approach to entertainment in the tiny community of Union on Hood Canal. Let me introduce you to this week’s Hidden Gems of the Pacific Northwest – Hood Canale Beer & Wine Bar.
If you have never heard of Union Washington on the beautiful Hood Canal, let me tell you a bit about this wonderful, beautiful, (and a bit quirky) hidden gem. Union is an unincorporated area of Mason County on the East and South shores of the Hood Canal near the mouth of the Skokomish River.
First settlers arrived in the late 1800’s. A hotel and sawmill were some of the first commercial operations. Wealthy residents began to grab up property for summer homes and permanent residences and by the 1920’s Union became known as an artistic community.
When I was a kid, once or twice a summer we would make our way to Union either before or after we visited Twanoh State Park. We also passed Union on our way to Shelton or hiking in the Olympics. One very memorable Christmas we drove to Alderbrook Inn for Christmas dinner…absolutely unheard of in our family. The Inn has long since been replaced with a beautiful new hotel, grounds, restaurant, and dock….an absolute must visit when in Union.
Our friends John and Jolica have long had property in Union and their new endeavor Hood Canale has been a dream for these entrepreneurs. Next to Hood Canale are two waterfront Airbnb cottages recently updated with Jolica’s artistic touch. In addition Jolica Jewels (her real job she says with a grin) has a presence at Hood Canale. John also has a “real” job in the travel industry…but boy these two have so much energy they decided to run a bar and pizza grotto too!
It’s no surprise to me that this Hidden Gems of the Pacific Northwest – Hood Canale Beer & Wine Bar is an immediate success. The space is gorgeous and comfortable. The wine and beer selection is lovely. And the pizza…well, clever and delicious. I wouldn’t expect anything less from this duo.
According to John, the work ethic here is excellence not perfection. But we think the product is pretty close to perfection – and a very authentic Neapolitan style pie. Fresh dough made every 2-3 days, innovative toppings, “New Wine Wednesday” and music twice a week will keep the customers coming.
In fact locals are flocking to the inviting space and not only to enjoy charcuterie, pizza and drinks, but fun music and events. It has quickly become a gathering place – the hearth of the community. And yet it’s also a perfect stop if you are just passing through – wherever you are on your way to. Stop and say hi, meet the amazing staff and the owners who are hands on. Enjoy some pizza, listen to the lapping water or the fabulous music and take a bottle of wine to go.
John and Jolica have more plans…this is only the beginning. Great things are happening in little ole Union. You don’t want to miss out!
As of this writing hours are;
Monday 12-8pm Bar and Charcuterie (no pizza)
Wednesday noon-9pm and pizza starts at 5-8pm
Thursday 12-9pm Pizza 5-9pm and music
Friday 12-10pm Pizza 5-9pm
Saturday 12-10pm Pizza 5-9pm and music
Sunday 12-8pm Pizza 4-8pm
but check the website or call as this will change seasonally. The website also has music line up and information about the cottages next door. Hood Canale will be open year around.
If you are a resident of the greater Tacoma/Pierce County area, you may question Point Defiance as a “hidden gem”. But take a moment to ask your friends who live even as close as Seattle, or anywhere else and you will likely find this hidden gem is lesser known than you think. And perhaps you’d like to keep it that way…I get it. It really is a jewel for those of us who live close and frequent it’s water access, hiking trails, historic sites, zoo and aquarium. But this local Point Defiance lover would venture to say the 760 acre secret urban oasis has plenty of room for locals and visitors alike. So here is my post Hidden Gems of the Pacific Northwest – Point Defiance Rose Garden.
Long before it became a park in 1888 Point Defiance was part of the homelands of the Puyallup People. Still today the local Native Americans cherish the park which was a hunting and fishing grounds. Over the decades Point Defiance has evolved and today several historic structures remain, as do new and emerging public spaces.
The Rose Garden
It’s difficult for me to chose a favorite spot in Point Defiance Park, and my husband and I frequent the park regularly. But recently I have re-discovered the Rose Garden and realized how easily it is to miss this hidden gem. Although located near to the entrance of the park, it’s easy to drive right by as you are looking for parking. So take time and look around, for this Hidden Gems of the Pacific Northwest – Point Defiance Rose Garden.
The Rose Garden began in the late 1800’s and today the oldest rose is from 1895. Today’s Rose Garden is more than an acre and has a wide variety of roses including miniatures and climbers. Peak bloom time is in the summer, but the garden also includes a Dahlia Garden that is beautiful in summer and fall. In fact, the surrounding area is home to many beautiful plants and trees creating a haven all year around.
The garden is surrounded by a high but beautifully designed fence to keep the deer away from the tasty roses. Within the protected garden is a gazebo that is frequently used for weddings. Next door to this area is the historic Point Defiance Lodge, built to house the superintendent in 1898 today it is home to staff offices.
Hidden Gems of the Pacific Northwest – Point Defiance Rose Garden
I love Point Defiance Park and all it offers to the public for free. It truly is the Central Park of the South Puget Sound region, and we are so lucky to have it in our own back yard. I for one, welcome visitors from near and far to come discover the hidden gem, and take some time to stop and smell the roses.
Though this blog is primarily about tourism, travel and exploration – I have never kept it a secret my belief that women in their Fabulous Fifties and surrounding generations are still kept from living to their potential. A “double-standard” if you will has, through the generations, created an unobtainable female convention with expectations to be perfect as a mother, wife, career-women and friend.
This conjecture is now being questioned as women look to be happier and more fulfilled in all aspects of their lives, including in their own bodies. One local hidden gem in Olympia is trying to help women understand the stages of life, explore what it means to be female and learn to enjoy pleasure without objectification. Let’s talk about it and this Hidden Gems of the Pacific Northwest – Linger Boutique.
Shauna Stewart , founder and owner of Linger Boutique in Olympia Washington says it so eloquently on her website that I am direct quoting here. What is Linger? Why is Linger a place for women, by women? She says;
On a Mission
We are on a mission to slow it down. We believe in taking time for what matters most: self love, meaningful relationships, simple pleasures, and deep intimacy.
With a Vision
We are cultivating a more connected world by making it more comfortable to access intimacy and sexual wellness offerings. Defined by comfort and beauty, we imagine a world where more people feel free to live fuller expressions of themselves by taking time for rest, connection and pleasure.
My key take-away from my afternoon with Shauna was the emphasis on rest. Women often don’t. Not only don’t they rest, they do not put their health, desires and self-care first. No shit, Sherlock – life is complicated. Have the kids done their homework? Where is that report I need to look at for tomorrow’s meeting? Did the laundry get put in the dryer? What do you mean you’re golfing on Saturday…who’s gonna mow the lawn?
As we manage (or not) our families and careers, personal wellness gets put on the back burner…and so does rest. We can’t be our best without rest. If we take care to understand what our bodies are saying to us we can thrive better in the chaos, be more than just “givers”, be healthier and kinder.
At Linger, Shauna wants to destigmatize the things that make us feel most alive – rest and pleasure. But without the taboo that comes with talking about sexuality. Workshops, products and styles at Linger are designed to create a holistic approach that embraces being female. This includes a safe place to learn, ask questions, prioritize and embrace the slow living movement. Let’s talk about all the stuff we never learned from our mothers, sex ed class, our doctor or our own experience. Let’s talk about our body…its the only one you got.
Yep – it’s innovative. And essential. Linger is a unique and beautiful space for the body and soul. Let’s slow it down, and appreciate our one and only body – no matter what generation you are occupying. Simple pleasure….that’s the Hidden Gems of the Pacific Northwest – Linger Boutique.
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