Harrington-Beall Greenhouse Company

what's a weekend without at least one impulsive adventure? selena joined me for lunch at vashon island's snapdragon bakery (my second time there, and just a good!) and humored me chasing a memory of abandoned greenhouses.

i had seen this place from the road a couple times and always wanted to see more. with a little research i unfolded the story and returned to explore. this was once the site of the Harrington-Beall Greenhouse Company - a world renowned orchid and rose operation that spent 101 years on the site, from 1885-1989. the Beall family property has 59 greenhouses representing 100 years of the evolution of greenhouse technology. they even safeguarded Britain's national orchid collection during world war II.

20 years ago a couple bought the 25 acre property and opened studio spaces for artists. while not much can be done for most of the greenhouse ruins, i appreciate their efforts in preserving what they can (say the main family homes).

many of the derelict greenhouses and out-buildings still stand, acres and acres of them. they are beautiful in their decay. we joked about how nature was seeking revenge and reclaiming the glass houses.

we only scratched the surface of this place. we didn't venture too deep as to not bother the current tenants of the land, but man, what a cool spot! the sparse winter landscape made it easier to move around and see the frames of the greenhouses. lots of glass on the ground, but i'm sure this a beautiful place in spring!


my past few birthdays haven't been very exciting. just a year older, and much like remembering to write the new year on your checks (it's 2015 now! not 2014... stop writing that.) it's trying to remember what your new age number is. 25. now i really am in the mid-twenties. still a baby, but a more responsible baby. i prefer staying in with a glass of wine than a night out on the town. maybe that's how i've always been though.

as soon as i moved away from home to the city, i wanted to host dinner parties and present guests with cheese plates. well... that certainly took time to achieve between roommates and the inevitable rowdiness of being in school on capitol hill... but now, now i'm there.

my 21st birthday was particularly anticlimactic. i had an "alternative ID" when i was 19. an old one my sister had lost, replaced, and then located again. so it ended up in my hands. running around capitol hill's nightlife at 19?! it was like a dream! dating older boys (men!), and buying beer for the fellow youngster roommates, what a rebel. i even got kicked out of a couple places! (thanks to cleaver doormen noticing repeated IDs when i went out with my sister... though no one ever actually confiscated the extra ID card, lucky.) by the time i was 21, the thrill was gone. well, at least the *new and exciting* part. and oddly enough, i started getting questioned more with my real ID than the fake. so it goes. bars were now for socializing with friends... not just for boozy drinks.

okay, back to this birthday.

this birthday i planned a few little things for myself. first, i discovered Jessica Lea Mayfield was playing a show ON my birthday in Seattle. so there was that (check her out if you haven't heard of her! the new album is very different from her earlier stuff, but very grunge and awesome!).

second, i wanted to plan a little retreat, but Air B&B's adorable little cabins in the woods were mostly booked up! Thanks valentines day... so i discovered Wellington and the Iron Goat Trail. a trail goes along the upper and lower sections of an abandoned Great Northern Railway grade.

we passed through snohomish on our way and stopped for some antiquing and lunch, fun place!

off of state route 2, we found the old cascade hwy... a narrow one lane road that winded up and through the trees and along beautiful waterfalls with icy crystal waters. i was a little nervous as we drove further down the road... crossing my fingers that we were actually headed in the right direction.

good news, we found the trail! and after 15 minutes of walking, whoa! this place is awesome. massive railroad relics hidden in the trees. old mines, creepy in the best way, and lots of hidden trinkets. we didn't manage our time well so we could be out there very long before it started getting dark... but i absolutely would go back in a heartbeat to explore more! i especially want to see the other side of this long trail system, Wellington. "It is infamous for being the site of the March 1, 1910 Wellington avalanche, the worst avalanche in United States history, in which 96 people died."

what a playground, right?!

The Name Game

My drivers licences and birth certificate both say my first name is Anastassia. Long before i had an opinion my family always called me Ana (or Annie... or An-O). Even so, i like my name(s), i've always related to them. Ana is short and sweet, and sometimes when i hear a really beautiful long name i think - wish my name was more interesting... oh wait, it is! It's even misspelled with two s's at the end, thanks to my fellow dyslexic parents. It is regal AND has character!

My older sister was named Alexandra (yep, matching names...), but legally changed her first name two years ago. Which is that point of my discussion today, the name gamble for parents.

My sister always had at least one other Alex in her classes, sometimes three of them. Alexander was also popular for boys in the late 80's. Out of curiosity, I started digging around for regional statistics. She got fed up with repeats and started telling classmates her name was something else when she entered high school. After a decade of going by Yuzu, even good friends didn't know it wasn't her "real" name. In 2013 she legally added it to her name (just bumping the rest of her names back in the pecking order... now she really does have quite the title!).

it took a long time to adjust in the family. It was hard to say Yuzu instead of Alex for years! Often i just called her Alik... These days it's old news. I do miss Alex though, whether or not she loves it, i think it suited her.

Other than a few pop culture moments... I haven't met many Anastassias. Even Anna/Ana is rare around here.

My parents have very similar names, Paula Jean & Paul Eugene... seriously. They have now been married for 28 years, it was meant to be.

In the end, names are changeable if you're truly not happy... i wonder how many other people i know who have picked out something different for themselves.

These photos are from a couple weeks ago, walking 4 miles around Point Defiance Park.