It’s time for Passports with Purpose 2012, the annual travel blogger fundraiser for charity. This year, I’m giving away a half-day tour of Woodlinville wineries from EverGreen Escapes.

Frequent readers of this blog know that visiting wineries is one of my favorite Value Luxury activities. The types of wine that a region serves give insight into the topography and geology of an area, in a more enticing way than than lecture. Plus on site visits allow you to pick up a few bottles […]


April 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

by Don Faust on March 31, 2012

April 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: Tulips and Daffodils in Skagit Valley, Washington.
April 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

This is the latest in our 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper series. Get your April 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!  Pictured is a bed a tulips and daffodils, taken in the Skagit Valley region of Washington State.  Choose the size that best fits your screen resolution. 1024×768 | 1280×800 | 1280×1024 | 1440×900 | 1600×1200 1680×1050 | 1920×1200 | iPad | iPhone Next wallpaper coming April 30! Like this photo?  Friend us […]


This week’s Photo Friday: A sure sign of spring, a daffodil field in Skagit Valley, Washington.
Skagit Valley, Washington Daffodil Photo

This is the latest of our weekly travel photo series, inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter. This week’s #FriFotos theme is SPRING.  Each spring, Skagit Valley – about an hour or so north of Seattle – attracts thousands of visitors to their flower growing region in the state of Washington.  Skagit Valley is most noted for being a […]


Photo Friday: Mount Rainier Photo

by Don Faust on October 14, 2011

Mount Rainier, an active volcano, stands at 14,411 feet and on a clear day, dominates the landscape southeast of Seattle, WA.
Mount Rainier Photo

Today’s Photo Friday (#FriFotos on Twitter) theme is ONE.  Pictured above is Washington State’s big ONE, Mount Rainer.  Chris and I went hiking here about a month ago, and the scenery was breathtaking.  On a clear day, you can see the mountain dominating the horizon southeast of Seattle.  It’s so huge and imposing, it looks […]


Tulip mania! A visit to Washington’s Tulip Festival in the Skagit Valley north of Seattle.
Washington Tulip Festival

Back in the 17th century, one of the first documented economic bubbles took place when the tulip, a flower originally cultivated by the Ottoman Empire, came to the Netherlands. The flowers became so popular that prices skyrocketed, with a single bulb selling for 10 times the salary of a skilled worker. Speculators jumped in, bidding […]


Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, a faux Bavarian town in Washington’s North Cascades.
Oktoberfest, Leavenworth, North Cascades, Washington

I’ve leaving for 10 days in Germany today. With the trip on my mind last weekend, I figured I’d get a headstart on all things Deutsch by checking out the annual Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, a faux Bavarian town in the North Cascades east of Seattle. The natural beauty in the Icicle valley, smack dab in […]


With the nickname The Evergreen State, Washington is never going to win any fall foliage awards. Still, I found some yellow and reds hiding among the firs.
Autumn leaves, Leavenworth, Washington

With the nickname The Evergreen State, Washington is never going to win any fall foliage contests, especially when stacked up against the luscious autumn leaves in Vermont or other New England states. But I did see some yellow and reds hiding among the firs on my weekend roadtrip through the Washington Cascades and Wenatchee National Forest to Leavenworth. Because the […]


Hiking through the old-growth forest of the Sol Duc valley, just one portion of Olympic National Park.
Hiking Lovers Lane trail to Sol Duc falls, Olympic National Park, Washington

Here’s the thing about Olympic National Park: I’m not sure if it’s ever going to come across as cool in photos as it does in real life (at least not in the photos that I’m currently capable of taking). Take my word for it, though, walking through portions of the Olympic Peninsula park – site […]


A visit to Sol Duc hot springs resort, one of four lodges in Olympic National Park on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula
Sol Duc hot springs, Olympic National Park, Washington

Some things scream Pacific Northwest and the longer that I’m here, the more that I’m diving into the attractions and rhythms of the region. My weekend visit to Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, one of the lodging accommodations based in Olympic National Park, gave me insight into some of the natural phenomenons that this region […]

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It’s not just a whale tale; a daytrip to the San Juan islands in Washington is more about enjoying the area’s unique beauty than chasing down Orcas.
Whale watching in the San Juan Islands, Washington

  Lesson learned: Just because Orca whale sightings had been made EVERY DAY leading up to my late August daytrip to the San Juan Islands doesn’t mean that the black and white striped beauties will be there when I actually arrive.    But that’s kinda the way our luck had been going. My college buddy […]