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Birthdays on Bainbridge Island

sunny 75 °F

My husband Dan and I were born at the same hospital within 15 hours of each other. Technically I am younger with my birthday falling on July 21st. Dan likes to think being born first on July 20th makes him the older and wiser one. I beg to differ, but I've had to let that one go. Every year on our birthdays we end up having a mutual celebration of sorts. This also entails joint presents and shared birthday dinners. We stopped giving each other gifts because it already feels like Christmas in July. Instead we indulge in experiences together. Last year we were trekking through Europe and stopped in Interlaken, Switzerland for our birthdays, the year before it was a jaunt to San Juan Island in the Puget Sound, and one year we celebrated in style at the Whistler Crankworks Festival in British Columbia, Canada. This year we celebrated our 25 years of age with a trip to Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle.


The Washington State ferry system has had its share of bad press, and I will not further berate their image here. In fact, with the weather being perfectly sunny and warm, sitting on the open deck I almost felt like I was sailing on a private chartered yacht somewhere amongst tropical islands in a turquoise blue sea...well, almost. The hoards of commuters and rowdy tourists quickly snapped me back to reality. But to be perfectly honest, the ride was quite nice and the scenery was beautiful.



Bainbridge itself was almost entirely shut down when we arrived in the evening. Perhaps that was a blessing in disguise as we really didn't have a lot of time to spend browsing in shops and lingering over books in cafes. The emptiness of the streets added to the quaintness of the town and not a soul could be seen for blocks. As we passed the darkened window fronts we came across a restaurant which literally was glowing with soft candle lit tables and strings of white lights on the patio. We were transfixed and quickly made our way to find a table.

Four Swallows serves an excellent fare of Italian meets Pacific Northwest cuisine in a converted farmhouse. The daily innovative menu is served in small rooms where the waiters provide warm and cheerful service. It was rustic, charming, and the food was amazing. The highlight was the ricotta gnocchi appetizer, which could have been a meal in itself. But of course, being our birthdays, we did not stop there. We sampled the rosemary toasted almonds, focaccia bread, and ended it all will pasta pomodoro and pizza margherita. Ok, so we are not always the most adventurous eaters, but being vegetarian sometimes has its limitations. Having already raked up a bill we were not ready to afford, we skipped dessert at the restaurant and instead headed to Mora Iced Creamery a small, old fashioned ice cream parlor in the heart of downtown. While the customer service was far from inviting, the flavors were rich, authentic, and deliciously perfected.

The ricotta gnocchi...yum...

The ferry ride back to Seattle was picturesque as we took in sweeping views of the Seattle skyline lit up at night. Gazing out, I felt very content and thankful for the abundance of diversity in Seattle. I have barely scratched the surface of this moderately sized city and there is still so much to see and do. It makes me realize that when we say we have traveled to "such and such place" we really, truly have not experienced the destination unless we've lived there, worked amongst the people, and walked the life of a local. This is why I am such a strong believer that we can all be travelers in our communities. Although we may not have the money or means to circumnavigate the globe, we can uncover the layers within our neighborhood and discover hidden and exciting adventures around every corner. Get out there and make it happen!

Happy Birthday Dan!

Posted by Jennylynn 09:46 Archived in USA Tagged food

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