Oh Wine ~ The Wine Loft

The Wine Loft

The Wine Loft at Percival Landing was a recent discovery in downtown Olympia. A tiny little brick building not too far from the Olympia Farmers Market that was once a bank. I have walked or driven by this place dozens of times and always wanted to stop in, but just had not. Now it will be a regular on my downtown circuit.

They offer wine tastings on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month, a 10% discount on cases or mixed case purchases, the tiny store has an impressive variety of wines, ports, sherry’s and more in every price range.

I scored a lovely split of Sancerre and am trying a new wine from Italy, Scarzello, I will let you know if I liked it as I have all the cooking magazines out today and am going to whip up something new for dinner tonight!

Any favorite wine recommendations?



A New Favorite – Cooper Point Public House


A new pub opened up just down the road from my home about 6 or 7 months ago, the Cooper Point Public House. We have been driving by it almost everyday and finally decided to stop in and give it a try as part of my quest for “discovering home.”

We were met with a cheery hello and sit anywhere by the afternoon waitress, Hanna and promptly given menu’s and water. She asked if we would like her to get started on any drinks while we looked over the menu; I asked if she had a recommendation. She recommended a “Kentucky Mule” (Bourbon and Ginger beer with lime juice). Yummy and so refreshing on a hot day.

We had rolled in right at happy hour, so we decided to sample a few goodies off that menu. Fried Chicken Sliders, Crabcake Sliders and hand-cut french fries. We loved them all! The Fried Chicken Sliders come with a side of rich coleslaw and bar-b-q sauce – we slapped a little of both on the sliders, so good.  The Crabcake sliders came with some greens that had a honey mustard dressing on them – added some of the mustardy greens to the slider; also fantastic. And who doesn’t love a good basket of hand cut french fries and these are perfect.

Sam the owner stopped by to check on our meal and offer a few other suggestions for our next visit. With three visits under our belt we are working our way through their menu. Visit number two included fish and chips for my husband; I had to steal a piece of the fish it looked so good. The batter was super light and crispy so you could taste the high quality fish. I had their happy hour Grilled Chicken Caesar, which is a great deal, it’s the same size as the regular but 4 bucks cheaper during happy hour. The salad had lightly grilled chicken, crisp romaine with just the right amount of dressing. Hanna saw me picking out the croutons and said next time to request it without and they would be happy to make it the way I liked it.

If you live in the Olympia area or are passing through, we definitely recommend a stop at the Cooper Point Public House. Oh and they serve breakfast until 4pm.



Learning Something New and Getting Off My Ass

Paddle Boarding or more specifically SUP (Stand-up Paddle) Boarding has become my new addiction, even though I am only on day four I am pretty sure I’m in for the long haul. I have been wanting to try this sport for some time now and had plans to do it on our last California road-trip instead of surfing(which I also really want to try, but am freaked out by the whole shark aspect of the sport). I had scouted out a couple of companies down around Santa Cruz where we were supposed to be headed this year and was already to go try it for the first time, but if you have read my previous post you know that our trip was canceled.

So, in an attempt to salvage my now “staycation” I went in search of a local rental/lesson board shop here around the Olympia area. Lucky me I found West Bay Paddleboards and Owner Chris Fry. I called Monday morning to see if I could get in for a lesson, “yes” he had an opening at 2pm.


I was pretty nervous, afraid I was going to make a fool out of myself, drown or I don’t know, run into a boat. Chris gave me a demo of the basics, how to get on, how to stand up, how to turn, paddle, stop and emergency brake. He then walked me through getting on the board and paddling around on my knees a little bit to get used to the paddling strokes and the feel of the board. Then it was step by step on how to stand up, the next thing I knew I was standing, with my heart pounding and my paddle in the water heading out in the open water. Oh my goodness, even through my fears, I knew I was going to love this.

My second day I went out by myself and paddled around in relative silence watching the seals sun themselves on the log piles and seeing a few of them bob their heads up to take a look at me.  It was a great day on the water taking in the view of my city with the capital shining in the distance, the marina full of boats softly bobbing in the light waves and the huge rock in the harbor with 3 herons looking for their next meal. It was a lovely feeling of freedom and pride and happiness all rolled into one.

Capital from Budd Inlet

Capital from Budd Inlet

Day three was another perfect day and I decided to test my comfort zone a bit and headed out the furthest from shore and my dock that I had been so far. I got a bit concerned when a big black sail boat was heading right in my direction, but I busted it into high gear and got the heck out of the way. Then some out of towner who clearly wasn’t paying attention to the “no wake zone” came flying through the bay so I got to make my way through a couple of good-sized (well for a beginner on her own they were good sized) waves. I was definitely feeling more confident by the end of my third ride.

The time alone on the water seems to help me clear my head, begin to set some priorities and help me start thinking more directly about the things I want in my life. Yes, it was that good, plus it got me off my ass!

Have you been waiting to try something you have always thought would be fun?



Elephant Ears and Metal

One of my friends and fellow bloggers Todd Baker enjoying Olympia!! Check it out!

Todd Baker

I lived my motto last Thursday. In case you didn’t notice, my motto is up at the top of the page: Be who you are, like what you like, and do cool stuff. I understand having a motto is a bit pretentious, but so is having a blog and writing books. I appreciate your complicity.

On Thursday, being who I am included being a runner. Running is part of my daily routine as I run every day during the workweek. Spending 30 to 45 minutes of my lunch hour running away from work makes it much easier to go back and face an afternoon filled with email and meetings. The difference on this Thursday was that I was running around Capitol Lake in downtown Olympia. The lake is nowhere near my office, so I had to drive to get there. I also had to change into my running clothes in…

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Milestones and Bagel Brothers!


This week:

  • Hit 100 subscribers on Random and Rhyme ~ Thank you everyone!
  • Posted my 85th story
  • Missed Lakefair, but discovered Bagel Brothers  ( More on them below)
  • Celebrated the 5 month anniversary of Random and Rhyme!
  • Releasing my 3rd book on BookCrossing.com  – Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott sometime during my California road trip ~ be on the lookout!

A great week and it should get even better with our California road trip just a few days away.

Bagel Brothers

I have been driving by Bagel Brothers for 11 plus years, it’s right down the street from me near the liquor store and the post office, and yet I had never stopped in for a bagel.  But this week I was on my own for lunch and trying to decide from 2 or 3 of my usual picks as I was driving by the strip mall where Bagel Brothers is located and in my quest to “Discover Home” I pulled my car in to give them a try.

In a word ~ Yummy! I had a sesame bagel with cream cheese, capers, and lox and it was delicious! The lox’s were perfect, the fresh bagel was toasted to perfection and had just the right about of cream cheese. The staff was very friendly and helpful, offering a first timer great service and excellent suggestions.

And my timing couldn’t have been better, because I found out that on Saturday they were having their 20 year anniversary and were offering plain and cheese bagels for $.20each and two for one espresso drinks. So I drug my husband down to give it a try and score some anniversary bagels. He loved it too!

Score another plus in the “try new places” column for “Discovering Home“! I now have a frequent visitor punch card with three punches, I see a free bagel in my future.

Do you have a business in your neighborhood that you have driven by a dozen times and still haven’t stopped?


Destination Olympia ~ Compass Rose

Compass RoseThe Compass Rose is always one of my favorite stops when I do visit downtown Olympia. They have such a fun, eclectic, hard to resist assortment of merchandise with everything from my favorite Moleskine notebooks, awesome cards, cookbooks, the best kids section anywhere, covetable kitchen gadgets and always interesting jewelry and art. As their slogan says; “Fresh, Local and Always in Season.”

I stopped in just to have a look around with no intention of purchasing anything, as I was on my “walkabout” to discover new things about Olympia, and of course as always happens I find this super cool hand-made shadowbox diorama from Christine Rodrigues Schukow.

Christine Originals Dioramas It’s hard to see all the detail in my picture, it’s called “Leaving Home”. 14644567315_d4eb42e806_o

I am a sucker for anything with a dog and “Leaving Home” has a girl with a white dog heading out on a long road. Christine is a New York based artist who loved to make dioramas as a kid. She creates the diorama’s and her husband builds all the frames.

My newly installed treasure is hanging on my “Family Wall” with pictures of my dogs, my family, my husband and me. So happy I stumbled upon this perfect little treasure.

I also scored a new Moleskine notebook, a cute card and in the bargain room a favorite set of notecards at half off.


They opened a second location in Tacoma as well and are getting ready to have their one year anniversary party on July 19th!  Looks like it will be a fun party, if you are in the area you should go.

If you are in Olympia I highly recommend you stop by and check out Compass Rose! I know you’ll be glad you did!

Do you have a favorite store in your town? Or do you have another Olympia store that you know I should check out?




A Little Bit of Home

cropped-cropped-cropped-img_03461.jpgIn my quest to get to know my city a little bit better, I spent the morning wandering the streets checking out a few of my favorite spots and discovering a few new ones.

But first things first, had to have a little morning pit stop at The Bread Peddler!

Fresh LoavesOrdered a fresh Pain au Levain ~ Heavenly ~ to take home for dinner! Along with a little cheese puff and a coffee for my travels. The place was bustling. And to prove what a small world it is, one of my mom’s friends from the other side of the state in Walla Walla ended up in line behind me at the counter. She and her family were grabbing a little bakery treat before doing some thrift store shopping.

With my coffee and treat in hand I headed out for a little local people watching. I found this beautiful bench in the shade to take it all in.

Octopus BenchTourists and locals, girls with red hair walking dogs with pink tails, packs of kids on a summer camp outing and dogs walking two-by-two. It seemed like everyone was out to enjoy the sunny summer weather before it get’s too hot this afternoon.

IMG_0330The centerpiece of downtown Olympia, our beautiful capital, was a site to see on this perfect summer day. Runners and walkers were cruising around Capital Lake today and a few vendors were taking stalk of the area in preparation for next weekends Lake Fair festivities.

And there is nothing that the kids love better than splashing around the fountain at Capital Lake.



Such a lovely way to spend the morning! More stories and pictures to come during my discovering home tour.




Discovering Home


Washington State Capital

I have lived in the city of Olympia for nearly 11 years now and I have to admit I barely know this city. My job has required that I travel a large part of the time and when I am off work I tend to either want to stay home and not interface with a bunch of people or I want to get out-of-town on vacation. It hasn’t left much time for me to get out and explore my own city.

So my summer resolution is to really get out there and discover Olympia. I am going to get out the local activities newspaper and check online and do all those things I would do when I go to a new city. I hate to admit this but I have never been to our museum, I have never been to a play or a concert here, I have only been to about a half-dozen of the 100’s of great restaurants here, I have never in 11 years attended Lake Fair(the big town shindig), I haven’t watched the fireworks over the lake on New Years or the 4th of July. I always hear the fireworks when I am home in bed with my dogs, but I’ve never gone to watch. So many other cool things to do here too that I don’t even know about I’m sure.

So in a salute to summer I will begin my discovery of home and will share what I learn and any tips I get from the locals as the summer rolls on.

Do you have a favorite way to discover a new city? If you are a local Olympian, what should I check out first?