Saturday, February 21, 2015

The US Open Golf Tournament is Coming in June! Book Now!

For the first time in US Open history, its prestigious golf tournament is coming to the Pacific Northwest.

On June 15, Chambers Bay will open its doors to golfers and guests from around the world. To quote the Chambers Bay site: "With massive, rolling fairways, towering dunes, undulating greens and unpredictable coastal winds, the traditional linksland course will provide the world’s best with a test unlike anything played at a U.S. Open.”

Yikes! Can you say "challenging?" 

Challenging also describes your search for a room. Yes, any lodging worth having near Chambers Bay has been booked for months. You can't sleep in your car or the nearby rest stop. You're going to need a place to stay! 

Chambers Bay is centrally located between Mount Rainier and Shelton. Book Now!
If this is your first trip to the Pacific Northwest and the Puget Sound region, you've landed with both feet in Paradise. In fact, that's the name of the historic 1916 lodge at Mount Rainier ~ and who would argue with the US Forest Service?

I'm going to recommend you look at the cabins at Copper Creek Inn as well as their two cabins at Pirates Cove on Puget Sound. Both venues allow you to be close enough to participate in all the events the Open has to offer. 

Sure you could stay in Seattle and drive down I-5 joining the tens of thousands of other drivers in our notoriously terrible traffic. Or, you could wake relaxed at the base of Mount Rainier, have a leisurely breakfast at the Copper Creek Inn and drive through towering pines and cedars to join the gallery at Chambers Bay each day of the tournament.

Somehow roads lined with ferns and native rhododendrons sounds like a better way to start the day. I'm just sayin' . . .

If you're traveling with a group of friends or family, the Great Getaways cabins are perfect for you. Every cabin is unique and complete with everything you need for your stay. You can literally walk in the door with a bag of groceries, a couple of bottles of our famous Washington reds or locally produced artisan microbrews and find a fully stocked kitchen complete with a canister of the specially roasted whole bean coffee served at Copper Creek Inn. 

In the morning, you'll want a fresh cup of joe as you relax and breathe in the crisp, clean air. The evening may find you up to your neck in warm water as you gaze up at the stars in your own private hot tub. Each cabin includes a flat screen TV, a BBQ grill with propane, outside seating, and, if you have an electric car, there is a complimentary electric vehicle charging station. 

You wouldn't go to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower or to Florence without visiting David, would you? If you come to the Pacific Northwest, you have to see Mount Rainier. Even for those of us who live here, no matter how many times we see it, it's just as amazing as the first time. 

Welcome! Give us a call. And, enjoy your stay. 

Great Getaways Cabins at Mount Rainier | on Puget Sound

KING5 and Evening Magazine ~ Voted Best Cabins 2 years in a row! 

Catharine's original art throughout Great Getaways lodging.
US Open Websites you might find helpful:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Looking for a Cabin at Stevens Pass? Stay at The Grey Fox

Even though my friend, Kim, has only been here for a few years, she could be mistaken for a Seattle native. She has embraced all things quintessentially Northwest ~ hiking, biking, camping, skiing. She's got REI on speed dial and they greet her by name as she comes in the door. When Kim goes skiing, she goes to Stevens Pass. And, when she makes a long weekend of it, she reserves Grey Fox.

Whether hiking or biking in the summer, white water rafting the Skykomish in the fall or skiing at Stevens Pass in the winter, Grey Fox is the ultimate getaway cabin. Secluded on 3 1/2 acres of dense forest along 350 feet of the Skykomish River, Grey Fox is a nice walk from the historic town of Index and a short drive from skiing at Stevens Pass or enjoying a beer and braut in Leavenworth.

It is perfect for a romantic getaway or a centralized locale for a friends or family day trip. The cabin has two queen bedrooms fitted with down comforters and handmade quilts. 

Kim loves the queen-sized log bed in the living room with its freestanding fireplace on the beautifully designed, hand-built river rock hearth and surrounding wall. At night in the winter, she lights a fire; then, into bed under a down comforter and lovely quilt. There is nothing like lying in bed, hearing the Skykomish rush to the sea while looking out the large window into a starry night. And, in the morning: the forest, a few deer nibbling their breakfast and a view of the best rock climbing wall in the state of Washington.

As usual with all the Great Getaway cabins, there are many artful amenities. I could wax poetic about the super comfortable mattresses and the darling wooden rocking chairs used in the cabins. Everything you need for your stay is here. You can literally walk in the door with a bag of groceries and find a fully stocked kitchen complete with a canister of the specially roasted whole bean coffee served at Copper Creek Inn. You'll want a fresh cup of joe when you sit on the wrap-around deck. So, relax and breathe in the crisp, clean air. 

There is a large flat screen TV/DVD/VCR in the living room. While there is a handful of DVD's in the cabin, you will want to bring your own DVD's if you want to watch movies. TV reception is not good in the mountains. 

The inviting hot tub, under a gazebo, is just steps from the river.

So, whether you are skiing alone or planning an outing with friends, you'll find what you need at Grey Fox where up to six can stay comfortably. Includes a BBQ grill with propane, a picnic table on the deck and, if you have an electric car, there is a complimentary electric vehicle charging station. 

Enjoy all your outdoor activities: 
fishing, rafting, skiing, biking, hiking, rock climbing. 
Grey Fox. It's private and beautiful in all seasons. 

Grateful every day for my friend, Kim.

KING5 Evening Magazine ~ Voted Best Cabins 2 years in a row

Catharine's original art throughout Great Getaways lodging.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Phil Freeman ~ Your Host | In His Own Words . . .

Everything you are going to love about your stay in a Great Getaways cabin is because of Phil Freeman who is half of the duo of Catharine and Phil.

I've known them both for nearly twenty years. He's a man of many interests and talents. If you were to ask him, he would say he loves to travel. He loves photography and has a real eye for the final image. He bursts into song at the drop of a hat; composing on the fly or giving you a stirring rendition of a well-known 1970's folk song. This is a man who truly lives his values. He composts, recycles and writes compelling, persuasive articles about environmental issues affecting us all in the Pacific Northwest. And, most importantly, he loves art because he loves Catharine.

And, because they live in one of the most beautiful places on earth at the gateway to Mount Rainier, Phil would also say he's "working to preserve the beauty surrounding us."

If Phil were writing a blog, this would certainly be his first post:

 "Mountains & Sound Cabin Getaways . . . mile for mile, the best, most affordable way to see and visit Washington State!

Whether a romantic getaway or a family vacation, you’ll find our cabins are strategically located within a few hours of Seattle, Portland and the I-5 Corridor. Our cabins provide interesting day trips from one place to another. Explore snow-capped peaks, high mountain deserts and lakes. Rivers, creeks, waterfalls and Puget Sound are right out your cabin door.

It’s the best way to visit Washington, one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Our “Mountains & Sound Getaways” package gives you the weekly rate whether you are staying in one place or dividing your vacation among several cabins. 

There is nothing like a Great Getaway to rest, relax and rekindle your romance, oh, and see Washington state. 

Give us a call or reserve on line. We'll design a tour to maximize your experiences while minimizing your travel expense and time."

Voted the Best Cabins | Best Great Getaways two years in a row 
on KING5 - Evening Magazine's Best Northwest Escapes

And now a word from Catharine:

Phil tried to propose to me at the Keg.
I let him know I was looking for something more romantic.
 He booked a weekend on Orcas Island,
took me out on a row boat, and he got a big "YES".

Grateful every day to know people like Phil Freeman.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Meet the Creekside Cabin ~ Enjoy Wandering Secluded Trails Through Acres of Pristine Forest

Holy Cow, what a sunset tonight! Intensely bright pink flashing along the horizon as the clear blue sky fades to indigo. And, yes! The Mountain was out! You can just see everyone slowing down to enjoy our sunsets. It feels like we, as a city, take a collective deep breath, drop our shoulders and let out a gentle sigh. And, when we get home, the first words out of our mouths?

"Did you see the sunset?"

Beautiful. A natural benediction. A true moment of Zen.

I guess that is why I love the cabins at Mount Rainier so much.

Every time I see Mount Rainier's year-round, snow-capped peak framed in the famous blue skies of Seattle, I am reminded of sleeping in one of my favourite cabins up at Mount Rainier. I know! I know! Much like beloved children, I know it's a mistake to have a favourite, but oh, am I tempted by the historic Creekside Cabin at Mount Rainier.

What's it like? Well for one thing, it's perfect for a large family. It has three bedrooms so up to six stay comfortably. Includes WIFI, Verizon cell service, BBQ grill with propane and, if you have an electric car, there is a complimentary electric vehicle charging station.

It is located on the banks of the Copper Creek so when you go to bed at night, the sound of water tumbling over the rocks on its way to the sea will lull you to sleep. And, when you wake up in the morning, it calls to you ~ "Come on. Get up! Let's go out to play."

The air is fresh, crisp and clean. I don't know a better way to start a vacation.

There is a full kitchen with everything you need for meals from simple to gourmet. On the counter, find complimentary whole bean coffee especially roasted for your morning joe. Grab the coffee grinder and enjoy!

There's a basket of spa towels near the door. You're going to need them. The hot tub is just steps from the front door overlooking Copper Creek. Yes, the hot tub is tucked near the cabin but it is placed so you have all the privacy you desire. Gaze up! You're under the stars up to your neck in warm water surrounded by those you love.

As you plan your stay, don't forget to bring the marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars. You'll be glad you brought them along as you sit on the log benches around the inviting fire pit. The fire pit is always available as long as there is no burn ban in place. Your hosts will let you know.

Bring sports equipment to play games on the open grassy areas. Go into the woods. You have 6 1/2 acres to explore. And, as you wonder the forest, breathe deeply, relax, look at the world around you. Keep your eyes out for trillium, fern, foxglove, blackberry and wild strawberry scattered among the cedar and fir trees.

The comfortable, casual interiors invite you to put your feet up and relax.

Starry nights.

Crackling wood.

The smell of pine and the sound of rushing water.

Yup, that's why I love this cabin so much!

I think you will, too!

Grateful every day to see the sunset on another day in paradise.

Reserve Now! The Creekside Cabin at Mount Rainier

KING5 Evening Magazine ~ Voted Best Cabins 2 years in a row

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Oh, the adventures that begin with . . .

If you believe the loveliest memories are made at Mount Rainier, bring your family and friends to Copper Creek Inn for your wedding.

If you believe the best things come in small packages, consider exchanging your vows at the Lodge at Copper Creek Inn. Perfect for your intimate wedding of 40 guests. For a larger wedding of up to 150 guests, hold your ceremony in our sun-drenched glade and reserve the Meadow at Copper Creek Inn. Both venues sublime and utterly distinctive.

Located two miles from the Nisqually Gate to Mount Rainier, the Meadow and the Lodge at Copper Creek Inn are stunning backdrops for a wedding as exceptional as you are.

Extraordinary in every way ~ chic, sophisticated, elegant, refined, tender, deeply romantic, and reminiscent of a more graceful time.

Our weddings are noted for their flawless attention to detail.

Imagine your photographs . . .

You ~ beautiful in your dress as your groom gazes at you.

You ~ radiant on the arm of your beloved as you exchange your vows before your family and friends.

You ~ glowing with happiness as you toss your bouquet.

While it is true all weddings need families, friends and a lovely couple glowing with love, you're also going to need something to eat. And, oh, boy! Have you come to the right place!

Julia and Donny, the catering chefs at Copper Creek Inn, are ready to help you plan the perfect wedding menu for you and your guests. 

Yes, it is true that Copper Creek Inn is famous for its amazing berry pies, but, wait until you taste what they have planned for your wedding celebration! Everything freshly prepared on-site. Everything beautifully presented. 

Thinking of a wedding brunch?

Yes, you can have that lovely brunch you have always wanted. Copper Creek Inn has many dining options. Maybe you will want your guests to have the fresh, warm quiche with a delectably flaky crust served with fresh fruit in its own rind bowl.  Whatever menu items you select will be carefully prepared and artfully presented. The result will be friendly and inviting. And as always, you can choose from an assortment of breads fresh from the oven.

If you have a dinner in mind, the chefs at Copper Creek Inn are famous for imaginative entrées.

Are you thinking smoked salmon? Me, too! Their wild salmon is smoked on site the day of your event. How about BBQ? Yes! Our chefs are BBQ'd royalty. Delicious flat iron steaks, rib eye steaks, chicken, burgers, ribs, and bratwurst ~ prepared while you watch. Add locally sourced fruits and vegetables to complete your dinner selections. Result? Oh, yum! I'm just sayin' . . . 

Copper Creek Inn offers professional catering services you can depend on. 

From the food to the sparkling wine to the tent to the music to the arrangements on the tables, the knowledgeable staff at Copper Creek Inn is prepared to make your wedding wishes a reality.

Whatever you decide, every recommendation is made to make your day as perfect as you hope.

Call to arrange a tour or a tasting.

Everything just as you imagined.

And, a dazzling beginning of many, many happy anniversaries.

Everyday grateful for family and friends
who gather to celebrate happy occasions.

Reserve Now! Great Getaways and Copper Creek Inn Cabins

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Let's Talk Fresh Berry Pie

This morning, The Mountain was out! Lovely mist along the foothills and looking like a crisp cut-out against a clear blue Seattle morning sky.

Seeing the Mountain this morning reminded me of one of my favourite stops on the way to Mount Rainier. There is an amazing restaurant just before the Nisqually gate. Through Eatonville and just past Ashford, the Copper Creek Restaurant is a must stop-by if you are either going up to Paradise or coming home from a day hike. 

The Copper Creek Restaurant is noted for its freshly made black berry pies. Baked throughout the day, they are made from the original recipe made famous by Jennie Zuelich, the long-time cook/baker at Copper Creek. Fresh from the oven, flaky crust! Delish. Take an entire pie home, either freshly baked or unbaked and frozen. I've done all three: fresh pie at the restaurant, freshly baked pie to take on the road and unbaked and frozen for later in the month. Honestly, oh yum!

The restaurant's baked goods are divine. Fresh bread. Fresh cinnamon rolls. Fresh chocolate chip cookies. All the bakery items make their generously-sized breakfasts even more memorable.

Freshly prepared by real bakers and served to you by real people who take pride in their work. In the summer, some of your waitstaff will be working their way through college. Others are in the restaurant all year 'round.

The fare is classic American roadside cuisine with some added local specialties. I mean, really, where are you going to get fresh wild salmon in Kansas at the local diner? I’m sayin’ probably nowhere. 

The style of the restaurant remains faithful to the 1940’s original. Updated only to highlight the charming elements customers have come to love. Check out the original mural and the very coolest of cool retro chandeliers. 

It’s casual dining featuring delicious food in a relaxed atmosphere. The couple at the next table enjoying the Salade Nicoise and a bottle of Washington red? Yes, they are still wearing their hiking boots and their backpacks are slung over their chairs. 

And, if you're staying at one of Copper Creek Inn's neighboring cabins, stop by for breakfast. The omelets are fluffy and toothsome. The coffee is especially roasted and, if none of that entices you ~ the cinnamon rolls alone are worth the trip. I'm just sayin' . . .

As you leave, spend some time in the darling gift shop. I personally own a pair of mismatched socks from the shop. I particularly love the catch phrase, “life's too short for matching socks.” 

The gift shop also features Catharine’s art on note cards, Copper Creek Inn hoodies as well as their special blend of coffee in one pound bags. And, did I mention Washington wines bottled just for them featuring Catharine’s unique labels? They are there, too.

So I guess the long and short of this is ~ 
if you’re going to Mount Rainier, 
take time to relax over dinner and pie at Copper Creek.

Grateful every day spent at Paradise on Mount Rainier

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Perfect Super Bowl Venue | Has Everything . . . except a Win!

When my friends and I decided to make a long weekend before the Super Bowl to celebrate the Seattle Seahawks back-to-back appearance, we decided on the new Great Getaway property on Puget Sound. Just an hour and a half (and a world away) from Seattle, Pirate's Cove Beach House is the newest offering from the amazing duo of artist Catharine Gallagher and cinematographer Phil Freeman.

The beach house has all the artistic touches guests have come to expect and have found in other cabins owned by this famous pair. The Pirate's Cove Beach House joins its delightful cousin the Pirate's Cove Caboose ~ a real Great Northern Rail Road caboose set on tracks on the shore nestled in four acres of forest a short 20 minute walk away.

What did we bring? I was in charge of homemade risotto. While rounding up all the ingredients, I grabbed a nice bottle of wine, a generous hunk of parmigiano reggiano, an onion, some garlic and fresh homemade stock. OK, OK, I was showing off a bit but I really wanted it to be great. My friends arrived with all the elements for a Caesar salad. Dinner the first night was delicious.

On Friday morning, we noshed on bagels and cream cheese and planned our weekend. But, first, we relaxed, put our feet up and enjoyed mugs of freshly ground coffee. From plates of artisan cheeses and antipasto to one delicious meal after another, the weekend slowly rolled by without a drop of frenetic energy.

Everything you need for your stay is provided: towels, sheets, down comforters, pots, pans, silverware, plates, wine glasses, beer and water glasses, TP, shampoo and bath gel, afghans, WIFI, dish washing soap, washer/dryer, hot tub, spa robes. You can literally walk in the door with a couple of bags of groceries and be set for the weekend.

Our long weekend turned into an impromptu planning session for a project we had in mind. It was not a grueling planning session, ideas gently flowed as we relaxed and talked but by Sunday night as we were packing up, we had an outline of how we wanted to proceed.

There are a couple of dozen CD's in the living room. We watched movies on Netflix connecting from our laptop to the big screen TV. 

On Sunday, like the rest of the Puget Sound, we started watching the Super Bowl. Wow, what an emotional roller coaster. We'll need to rest up for the next season. And, when we are looking for a place to watch the Super Bowl, we will definitely be getting in touch with Great Getaways. 

Highly recommended!

And, a reminder ~ every day grateful
to live in such a beautiful place.


KING5 Evening Magazine ~ Voted Best Cabins 2 years in a row!