1 On our way to Seattle, we flew over Mount Rainier, which ascends to 14,410 feet above sea level. It is the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range and is also an active volcano.
2 After landing, we took a car to Lyn and Jerry Grinstein's house. Here I am on their dock waiting to be picked up by a float plane and taken to Indianola.
3 I found it interesting that they own a Picnic Boat, similar to my own.
4 The views from the dock were extraordinary.
5 Someone pointed out that the float plane was on its way.
6 There it is with Mount Rainier way off in the distance. Because of the mist in the air, Mount Rainier disappeared and reappeared throughout the day.
7 The plane made a smooth landing.
8 I was thrilled for this new adventure!
9 Because the plane bobs on the water, it's a good idea to have people hold the wing up while boarding.
10 I sat as co-pilot.
11 This plane seats six and there were four of us, plus luggage.
12 The other passengers were my friend, Memrie Lewis and my gardener, Ryan McCallister. Memrie, a garden designer, has also known Dan for many years and I wanted Ryan to experience the many wonderful gardens we were to see.
13 A rather clear view of Seattle
14 More of Seattle and the Space Needle
15 The Space Needle, a symbol of Seattle, stands 605 feet tall and is an observation tower.
16 Another view of Mount Rainier
17 A very interesting coastline
18 We even spotted Dan Hinkley's house and his amazing gardens, situated along the coast in Indianola.
19 The float plane landed at the dock of the Grinstein's other house located in Indianola.
20 They have amazing gardens right on the beach. It was low tide.
21 We stopped here, the Indianola Country Store, many times during the weekend for food and drink.
22 It's one of the few stores in town.
23 They make good sandwiches - This one, a French dip, is a roast beef and melted cheese, served with a beef au jus.
24 Later in the day, we dressed for the evening party at Dan Hinkley's house. Here we are in his garden.
25 Dan gave each of the guests a plant label with their name on it and were told to choose a variety of Agapanthus, which he hybridized, to have named after them.
26 I chose this specimen for its good height, great form, and vivid color.
27 I tagged it.
28 Dan's gardens are fantastic and I will share more photos in an upcoming blog. These giant leaves belong to a Gunnera, one of many on the property.
29 The interior decor reflects the surrounding sea.
30 I really love this octopus chandelier.
31 The hors d'oeuvres were a wonderful hummus, crispy fried yellow squash and kale from the garden. It was very good.
32 There were also Tuscan kale chips baked with olive oil, also from the garden.
33 Dinner included this lovely garden salad with purple potatoes, tomatoes, roasted garlic, and topped with a pesto vinaigrette.
34 A gorgeous platter of roasted beets, Indianola feta, and pine nuts
35 Fragrant olive focaccia for dipping in hummus
36 The hummus
37 Grilled lamb kabobs
38 Tzatziki for the lamb
39 Mouth-watering dolmadas
40 The buffet
41 My perfect plate
42 The dining tables
43 The centerpieces were sprouted wheat grass.
44 Dan helping himself to the buffet
45 For some reason, many of the guests were dressed in blue! Even I was wearing blue pants!
46 A very nice shot of me and Dan
47 Dan and his longtime partner and now husband, Robert Jones
48 This celebration was for both of our birthdays.
49 Blowing out the candles
50 It was a lot of fun!
51 The caramel cake was simply the best!
52 There was also a nice assortment of sorbets.
53 And individual blackberry crisps, with fresh berries from their garden
54 Guests were encouraged to sign this book. I wrote, "Martha was here!! So beautiful and delicious!"