White Pass Nordic Center- Adventures in Snow-Shoeing

whitepassnordiccenterToday’s adventure with The Whiskey Lover’s Wife has nothing to do with whiskey, but rather, has us traveling almost two hours east to the White Pass Nordic Center, which is across from the White Pass Ski area, which is the Lewis County/ Yakima County line! (we live in Lewis County, and just a quick little shout out to the area of Washington State that I live in…it’s AWESOME! We can be at the mountains in less than 2 hours, to the Pacific Ocean in less than 2 hours, to Seattle in an hour and a half,  and to Portland, Oregon in just over an hour and a half. Pretty gosh darn spectacular!)

Today’s adventure at the White Pass Nordic Center was none other than one of our favorite winter recreation family outings- SNOWSHOEING!

IMG_2406But first…we needed to fuel up. And my by fuel up, I mean I needed to get my daily dose of caffeine. Fiddler’s Coffee in Centralia is one of my all time absolute favorite places ever! My drink of choice is a 16 ounce Sugar Free Vanilla Chai Latte with almond milk. Now you know, if  ever you feel like bringing me a hot beverage! Both boys got an ice cold milk (and Luke had one of their delicious jumbo chocolate chip cookies! Did I mention we headed out of town at 8am…breakfast of champions for my oldest kid, ha!) The Whiskey Lover himself declined a coffee, which I found quite unusual! (He says he has been drinking Zip Fizz in the morning…) By the way, we actually also literally fueled up, as the Jeep was needing a full gas tank so we didn’t have any worries about empty gas tanks! Then, we were off!

Today was a bright sunny day, other than some patches of fog, on the drive up to White Pass. Once at White Pass, it was quite foggy. That obviously did not deter any of the skiers, snowboarders, snowshoe-rs, cross country skiers, and other outdoor recreational junkies. It was PACKED! Finding parking was a bit hard.

But finally we found parking, on the highway, about a half mile from the Nordic Center. Okay, maybe NOT quite a half mile, but it was dang far away!

We chose to snow shoe at the White Pass Nordic Center today because a. we hadn’t been there for a few years, b. it’s groomed paths and marked trails always give us peace of mind, and c. today it was decided that Lane would create his first Vlog of “The Lane that Leads the Way”, therefore we wanted to be somewhere safe and easy for him to do. IMG_2430

You do have to pay to use the trail at the White Pass Nordic Center. It is $20 for adults, $14 for kids 9-17, and free for kiddos 8 and under. SO, yes, we did have to pay a bit. But that’s okay. And we already have our own snowshoes, all purchased through Costco throughout the years!

Once we had our trail pass, the task of putting on the snowshoes took a few minutes, and then, out we went! IMG_2410

While it was foggy, and a bit warm which led to some “melty” spots, (which was a bit hazardous as Lane feel into a couple holes like this…IMG_2411 …) we had a good time going on some different paths than what we had done the last time. Here is a map of the trails.map We hiked a good majority of it today, not necessarily on purpose! You see, we kept jumping onto the snowshoe only trails, which we found led us to some cool places, but then it seemed we would get turned around! Yeah…apparently I am not a great map reader so I relinquished my map reading responsibility and handed over to Josh!

The boys had so much fun climbing up hills, sliding back down, throwing snow at one another, and all the things boys do when snowshoeing and antagonizing one another! IMG_2417

About two and a half hours into our snowshoe adventure, Lane ran out of fuel! (haha!) And we realized that the last time we snowshoed (which was one year ago this weekend in Leavenworth, since we didn’t snow shoe a whole lot at Suncadia, if you remember that last blog!) Lane really only has a time frame of two and a half hours of active time, then he is ready for a snack and a nap!

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All in all, we had fun as a family, as that is the goal of every adventure and outing we do!

On our way home, the skies were blue, the sun was shining, and we saw Mt. Rainier in all her glory, which reminds us how great God is that HE created so much beauty, and has us a part of it all!

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Lane’s first Vlog is up and running on YouTube, so please check it out and subscribe to see what he comes up with next! (Yes, he will now be adding HIS perspective to Whiskey adventures as well!) Follow The Lane That Leads the Way by clicking here!

Thanks for reading today! If you could, I would love for you to “Follow” this blog! And look for The Whiskey Lover to have a blog our soon as well! You can really stay connected to our family, our travels, and our adventures!  I can’t wait to share our next adventure with you! “Follow” The Whiskey Lovers Wife so you never miss an adventure! Until next time, Love from the Stoney’s!

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The Lessons my kids Learned at the Blackfish Distillery

When my oldest son (he’s 14) was younger (perhaps 7 or 8), his most favorite television show was Disney’s Phineas and Ferb. I remember in every episode, Phineas would say, near the beginning of the episode, “Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today!”phinferb That is pretty much how it happened in our house on the last Friday morning of our Winter Break.

I had wanted to spend the day snowshoeing, however, Josh (aka The Whiskey Lover) has slept in later than normal and the kids weren’t in any rush that morning. So, after a little while of lounging around, Josh said, “I know what we’re going to do today! Let’s check out the BlackFish Distillery!” He explained with was less than an hours drive away in Auburn and he saw that they had a Rye Whiskey, which Josh has really been into lately.

So, we got up, got going, and set out for the day’s adventure in finding the Blackfish. As it was heading into New Year’s weekend, we did not take into account the traffic, so the drive that should have been less than an hour ended up being about two hours. It worked out though, since youngest son ended up taking a nap while older son amused himself by listening to his iPhone music…read that- THEY WERE NOT FIGHTING!

IMG_2361We found The Blackfish Spirits Distillery and entered their very nicely put together, though small, front tasting room. We were quickly greeted by owner and distiller, Micheal Gifford, who was at once inviting and full of energy! We explained that for us, Josh’s passion for whiskey was more than “just tasting alcohol”, it’s a family affair where we find many adventures together. We also mentioned that younger son wants to be a brewer when he grows up, and that, my friends, is the moment that what would have been just a normal tour and tasting, turned into a lessons filled, more personalized and in-depth experience! IMG_2362

“Learn to be a Learner”. That is what Michael told Lane several times. Michael explained how he has changed careers and had to learn new things his entire life. In fact, the distillery has only been open for three years, and he said he has had to teach himself so many new things, so you’ve always got to be ready to learn something new every day.

“There is Science in Everything!”. Michael talked to both of the boys how important science is, not only to distilling, but in just about everything we do. And math is actually used daily! He had cool atom manipulative that showed the molecular make-ups of a couple different alcohols. And that was pretty cool because I explained that we had just given Lane a chemistry set for Christmas! molecules

“Know how to tell a good story!” Since Lane wants to be a brewer someday, Michael kept reminding him that you can have the best product out there, but if people don’t know you’re there, you’ll never be able to sell your product. And for people to know you’re there, you have to be able to tell a really good story to hook them in quickly (and with in one to two sentences!) He encouraged Lane to remember his story (I have Lane’s story in an earlier post, “My Kids and their thoughts on Whiskey.”) as it’s pretty cool to know from age 3 on what you want to do!

“Taste a lot of food!” You know, this is seriously the first time, in all the distilleries we’ve been to, that the distiller really talks about needing to know flavors of foods and how important it really is to know how things TASTE, and how flavors taste TOGETHER. Be a chef. Take risks with flavors. But don’t go overboard or you can ruin an entire batch worth thousands of dollars! I liked that Michael told Lane he needs to taste a variety of foods…he never said he had to like them, just taste them. And our little Lane is a VERY PICKY EATER, so I really appreciated hearing this and it’s already been useful to get Lane to taste new foods! Whoo Hoo!

“Work with others around you and help one another out!” Like most local craft distillers, the Blackfish works with Washington State farmers to obtain their grains, fruits and spices. But then Michael talked about his friend that is a chef nearby who helps immensely with flavor pairing and when to NOT add any more vanilla! And while Josh and I were tasting their whiskey and liquors after the tour and lessons, we were offered chocolates by Gosanko Chocolates, located about a block from The Blackfish. And wow oh wow, that was some amazing chocolate! (Michael told us the brief story of Gosanko Chocolates and how every single chocolate is done by hand. And they are right there in Auburn! And you can find them at Pikes Place Market in Seattle, among other places!) They boys and I loved the chocolates and loved the lesson in working with others.

and probably the greatest lesson of the day…

“Family is where it’s at!” When we had first entered the distillery part, we met Michael’s two sons who are an important part of the making of spirits, marketing the brand, and running the business. It’s a family affair. Michael told us stories about the family adventures they had as the boys were growing up, always doing something different together, learning together. (Like one time, they made a boat. Okay, not just a boat, but an actual real working Pirate ship that is still on display at a dock near them!”) Michael reinforced to my boys that you HAVE to go to school, because they teach you good stuff, but it’s when you’re home with your family that the real important learning happens. He said to the boys to be grateful for all the places we’ve taken them, that by seeing new places, you always learn new things- about the people, about different cultures, about yourself. And you’re family is there to back you, and you’re there to back them. You’ve got to have your family, it’s what’s most important. Yep, pretty awesome for the boys to hear.

Yes, Josh and I did taste the whiskey and other spirits The Blackfish creates. You can readIMG_2363 Josh’s blog at The Whiskey Lover  (www.thewhiskeylover.com) to learn more about the whiskey (especially the rye whiskey he purchased!) because he really does a great job going into the depth of the tastes and smells. All I can tell you is that it was good!

But as I’ve mentioned before, and will continue to state, as The Whiskey Lover’s Wife, my job is to celebrate my husbands fulfillment of this passion for tasting and learning about whiskey in a way that allows my entire family to be involved and find new adventures! I didn’t know when we headed to Auburn on that Friday how much my boys would learn about life. It’s been said “It takes a village”, and I believe wholeheartedly that every person you meet and every experience you have is part of the village that teaches our young. Our family would like to thank Michael Gifford and The Blackfish Spirits Distillery for a positive life shaping day!  (Hey, we knew it was going to be a great day and experience when we saw that Luke and Michael wore the same type of hat and both had pea coats!) IMG_2364

If you get the opportunity, please visit The Blackfish Distillery, located at 420 37th St. NW Suite A, Auburn, Washington. www.blackfishdistillery.com 

 

***Please note that The Whiskey Lover’s Wife does NOT receive an compensation for any reviews of distilleries or products I talk about. And PLEASE always drink responsibly! Whiskey tasting is an art. We teach our sons that you should NEVER drink to get drunk, and we loved hearing from Michael Gifford that a good distiller simply tastes their product but never over-consumes because you’ve got to keep your head on straight! Another good lesson!

 

Suncadia and Brown Sugar Bourbon Holiday Adventures

suncadiawAs Christmas Break begins, I really don’t think anyone is more excited than the kids…unless you’re a teacher! Or even a principal! And the December 2017 start of break found the Stoney Family giddy for winter vacation! We left bright and early the Thursday morning before Christmas to head over the mountains and through the woods, to Suncadia Resort we went! The Suncadia Resort is located in Cle Elum/Roslyn, Washington, just east of Snoqualmie Pass.

Originally, Josh had suggested we go to my favorite place in Washington, which some of you may know or remember, is Leavenworth. However, this time of the year, if you hadn’t made reservations months in advance, there is no where to stay! So, I brought up the idea of Suncadia since our family had not been there before, and it is similiar to Sun River Resort, Oregon (as both resorts are owned by destinationhotels), where we had vacationed (rented a house there) several years ago and loved it! We had agreed on just one night at Suncadia, but I sure wish we would have stayed longer! Quite the fun place and I highly recommend a trip there. Plus, seeing it all decorated for Christmas was just spectacular!IMG_2261

At the resort, there was PLENTY for the boys and us to do, from ice skating at the outdoor ice rink (Lane taught himself how to ice skate, with big brother Luke’s help, and that was a joy to watch!), to sledding (although the fun was short lived when Luke annihilated his sled in an ice patch!), swimming at the large and very nice swimming and gym center, (the boys and I enjoyed swimming, water slides, and most importantly, the awesome outdoor hot tub, while Josh took an opportunity to use the gym facilities to get a workout in!), to many different and delicious restaurants. There was even wine-tasting for the mommy and daddy at the Swiftwater Winery and Restaurant!

But, being this is the Whiskey Lovers Wife blog, I need to begin with the true intent of the blog. Roslyn, Washington is a mere 10 minute drive (less than that if it hadn’t been snowy and icy) from Suncadia. Roslyn may be small, but it’s history is rich and the town became a bit famous due to a television show in the early 90’s called Northern Exposure. As we walked about the cute little town, after enjoying a wonderful meal at “The World Famous Brick Saloon”, we crossed the street to the newly opened tasting room in Roslyn, The Heritage Distillery. hdros

If you head on over to The Whiskey Lovers latest blog, he shares this week about his experience, gives tasting notes to the newest Heritage Rye Whiskey in the collection, and pairs his tasting notes with Scripture from the bible. Absolutely fascinating read.  https://thewhiskeylover.com/2017/12/24/whiskey-and-his-word-self-discipline-part-2/

The moment our family stepped into this beautiful showroom, all four of us found so much to look at and be in awe of! Luke found a black and white historical book on the Coal Mining History of Roslyn, while Lane was drawn to the design of the building (he says he’s always taking notes for how he wants his brewery to be some day!), while Josh and I were drawn to the tasting area…Josh to order up some whiskey to taste and I couldn’t stop staring at, the first of it’s kind that I’m aware of, Spirits Growlers Filling Station! Isn’t it amazing???!!!

 

Josh and I both ordered up two whiskeys to taste and one cocktail to enjoy. I tried the Double Barrel Bourbon and my favorite, The Brown Sugar Bourbon for my tastings and the Hot Buttered BSB. Josh tried the Old Fashioned Bourbon and the Old Fashioned Rye (it’s this Rye that was his muse for his latest blog), and he enjoyed a cocktail called The Bohemian, that included Angostura aromatic bitters and ginger ale.

 

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We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent at the Heritage Distillery in Roslyn, and left with many gifts for ourselves and others, definitely boosting the economy there!

Before leaving to come home on Friday, we took advantage of the snow that was falling and the well-marked hiking trails by snowshoeing down to the river to explore a bit. It was absolutely gorgeous!

 

I even caught a picture of my husband taking a video of himself, which may or may not have ended up on his  Aquavitae Facebook site  IMG_2291https://www.facebook.com/aquavitae.tasting.1 or his twitter site  https://twitter.com/aquavitaetaste 

He cracks me up! We had such a great time as a family, as we normally do on all our trips, no matter how big or small they are or where in the world these trips take us! As we returned home, tired from all the fun we had, but ready for Christmas to begin, we all agreed that this was a well spent two days. And, even though the boys were sad to leave the snow, the next after getting home, the clouds opened up and gave us a White Christmas Eve and Christmas! And, as I sit sipping my newest favorite drink (the Hot Buttered BSB, that my husband so lovingly figured out how to make for me and when we ran out of BSB, headed to our nearest store carrying Heritage’s BSB and bought THE VERY LAST BOTTLE!!!) I am reminded at how very blessed we are. Thank-you for allowing me to share with you!

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If you get the chance, please try to get a trip in to Suncadia and Roslyn. Make sure to head over to the Heritage Distillery for a one-of-a-kind experience! And may your Winter Holidays bring you the joy of being with your family, love for all you do, and always, a little adventure! Join me again soon, as you never know what or where the Whiskey Lovers Wife will travel to or review next! Life is a journey, not a destination, so embrace it!

***The Whiskey Lovers Wife does not receive any contributions or commissions for any of the products or places she reviews. In fact, she is pretty sure they are pretty unaware of the blogs that are written! But if any of the reviews, stories, or words that are written helps any other families out there, because you really can find a lot of fun adventures with your family while still allowing your husbands passion for whiskey to be pursued, well then, she is one happy Whiskey Lovers Wife! Sláinte!***

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Travels to Italy!

Okay, okay…I haven’t even blogged about all our days in Scotland, and now here I am, talking about being in Italy! And by the way, I’ve been home from Italy for a couple weeks. Then again, I haven’t finished telling you about Scotland, and we’ve been home from that trip for 5 months! Obviously I am not too committed to being timely in my writing! Sorry about that! But to tell you about Italy…

It was AMAZING! This was my second time there. Both times I was very fortunate to travel to Italy on a Missions Team through my church. Both times were to serve a missionary there that our church supports, and our main job was to help prepare and cook Thanksgiving meals and teach in Italian schools, talking about the American Thanksgiving. They are just fascinated with our Thanksgiving, and the idea of sitting around a table together, giving thanks while eating a turkey that was prepared WHOLE in the oven is mind-blowing!

But you can hop over to my staciestoneycoaching blog to read more about the missions trip. And hear me go on and on about Luke, my 14 year old, that had the opportunity to go serve in Italy with me. Here at The Whiskey Lover’s Wife, today, I am going to briefly tell you about my two favorite places in Italy. Next time I talk about Italy, I’ll take you on a food tour (because my son really ate his way through the trip!)

No, there was no drinking on our missions trip, other than the complimentary Prosecco and Limoncello at a restaurant we went to. Someday, I would really love to go to Italy and do a Prosecco and wine tour. Perhaps someone would LOVE for me to write about it and give my recommendations, therefore financing my trip??? Any takers??? Hmmmm…ANYWAY…The Whiskey Lover’s Wife enjoyed

FLORENCE

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and

VENICE

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Having been to both of these cities before, I was once again captivated by the beauty, but this time, I enjoyed seeing both cities through my sons eyes. I was very sad that we only had three hours in Venice. There is SO MUCH to see and do! Same with Florence…I was sad that by the time we got there, the Duomo (the major cathedral and dome) had just closed for the evening! Luke, being the ever-so-resilient kid he is, said, “That’s okay mom! We’ll just have to come back on vacation!” Yes, Luke, AGREED!

My drink of choice while in Italy, was of course, cappuccino! I had one, or THREE!, daily! I even bought a Moka pot and the ever popular Mokador coffee to bring home to get my fix!

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And the last little bit of info I’ll give you today, is to tell you about my MOST FAVORITE CANDY EVER IN THE WHOLE WORLD! Pocket Coffee!!! Seriously, best invention EVER!pocketcoffee

So, that’s it for today. Pretty short and sweet. Really, you can call me a “tease”, I won’t be offended! I’m just giving you a quicky. Just enough to make you wanting to come back for the full meal deal, because you’ll be given a lot to enjoy, as long as you’re patient! haha!

Join me next time where I’ll either be telling you more details about Scotland, or Italy, or a Washington Distillery, or HECK, my latest trip to Total Wine and More! Regardless, you’ll be entertained!

Saluti!

Adventures in Scotland- Day ONE

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At SEA-TAC airport, waiting our first flight to Philadelphia before our final destination to Glasgow, Scotland!

OH MY GOODNESS! What an amazing summer it has been so far, and it is only the beginning of August! Are you prepared for the Whiskey Lover’s Wife Blog to explode? Because now that we are done traveling (somewhat) until after school starts, I am prepared to flood you with “Adventures in Scotland” as well as adventures in Albuquerque, NM, Las Vegas, NV, and several amazing places in our beautiful Washington State! And I’ll be honest, many of these posts will, indeed, include talks about whiskey! But as I have explained in earlier posts, this is a family friendly adventure, and our boys are very interested in the history and science behind all the whiskey going-ons!

So, here we go!

Adventures in Scotland, DAY ONE!

We left on July 4th, out of Sea-Tac (Seattle, WA) airport! I was not too worried about the boys flying…I was more worried about The Whiskey Lover, who really doesn’t like the cramped feeling of flying in coach class! (But hey, flying with a family of four on our budget…yeah, coach class is perfect!) We made it to Philadelphia around 4pm and awaited our final flight to Glasgow, Scotland. You can see by the picture below that yes, there is MUCH “brotherly love” in Philly as I tried to get the boys to behave in the land of Rocky Balboa!

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We then got on the airplane, and off we went! We landed bright and early in the morning on July 5th in Glasgow, Scotland! And do you know what immediately impressed me? How nice everyone was! We went straight away to pick up our rental car and the computers were down. Normally, when I have dealt with customer service here in the States when computers were down, I have had to deal with overwhelmed employees and reassure THEM, even though I was the customer! However, in Scotland, I was impressed with the humor they had and how they completely bent-over backwards to make sure this would not dampen our beginnings of Holiday in Scotland! We soon got into our brand new Volvo V40, and while Josh was a bit nervous to drive (you know, the steering wheel is on the opposite side of the car, and they drive on the opposite side of the road than we do!), we were ready to go!

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So, what to do until we could check into our hotel? We checked out Loch Lammond, the largest Loch (lake) in Scotland, located not too far from Glasgow!IMG_0273

Then we thought, “Hey, let’s check out Stirling Castle!”

“Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most historically important sites and was once a favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens who held grand celebrations at the castle.

 

Just walking through Stirling itself was a beautiful adventure, and had we more time, we certainly would have loved to spend more time there! We walked through the cemeteries and took in the sites. And waited to see the Queen!

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The Tower of Bruce, across from Stirling Castle

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We climbed a big hill to see beautiful country side, the Castle, and the cemeteries!

 While waiting for the Queen to leave her luncheon at Stirling Castle, the boys got to meet, and listen to, the Royal Regiment Pipes and Drums, and take a picture with these young men that were there to serve the Queen.  (pay no mind to the clothing my boys are wearing, remember, we hadn’t checked into our hotel yet, and at this moment, we had been awake for 23 hours!)

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Then we saw her!!! Okay, okay, they is a horrible picture! I didn’t take a picture because I was so excited, took a video clip (that wouldn’t upload for WordPress!) and so this is what you get! (Luke took this picture of Queen Elizabeth as she was being driven out!) She had waved to people prior to getting into her car, I couldn’t believe how close we were, and I also couldn’t believe how tiny and cute she it! (You know, if it was President Trump, there is no way we could have been so close!)

After all that excitement, we decided to finally head to our hotel to check in. We stayed at Gleddoch Hotel Spa & Golf , Old Greenock Rd, Langbank, Scotland, PA14 6YE, United Kingdom800-491-6126 (visit their website here to learn more about this fabulous spa and golf resort! www.gleddoch.com) I actually found The Gleddoch on www.hotels.com! And yes, it was VERY VERY affordable! (it was $99 US per night! We were there two nights!)

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Our Room!

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View from the outdoor hot tub (go to the website to see the amazing indoor pool and spa area!)

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The Bar at the hotel where we ate our first completely fabulous Scottish dinner!

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As we walked up to the hotel, this is how we were greeted! It was beyond exciting and amazing to have a bagpiper welcome us to the hotel! We knew we were truly in Scotland! (We later found out that this particular hotel was booked daily for weddings and was one of the most popular wedding venues in the Glasgow areas…we saw weddings each day we were there!)

Our first official “real meal” in Scotland (okay, we ate at a McDonalds near Loch Lommond earlier that day, but can I really count that???!!!) was here at the Gleddoch in the bar. It was classy, cheaply priced, and ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Luke and I both got the Fish and chips and I was delighted to find out that the fish they used was called Heke and was caught fresh daily in the river below! SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!

We finally went to bed, already filled with so much love for Scotland after not even 24 hours there! We were ready to see what Day 2 would bring us! Come back tomorrow evening for “Adventures in Scotland-Day 2!”

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How this Green Drink Changed me in only 10 Days!

IMG_9452Warning! This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with Whiskey. Nada. Not. A. Thing.

So, with that in mind, I do hope you will continue to read on, because, well, the drink is green, I drank it for 10 days, and really, aren’t you just the wee bit curious?

Here’s the story: One day, while eating lunch with my two other PE/Health partner teachers, they were talking about “juicing” (as in, you know, actually taking vegetables and fruits, putting them in a juicing machine, and drinking the juice!) because they had seen something in regards to the film “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross.  I had not, and still haven’t, seen this film, but from the sounds of it, this Joe Cross guy really made some changes with his health by going to an all juice diet for 60  days. Hearing my colleagues talk, I started thinking. I had been eating poorly the last few months, was feeling really tired, bloated, and blah, and above all, my body hurt. Like my joints just all ached. Especially my knees. Which isn’t too groovy when you are a PE teacher and a group fitness instructor in a gym! I thought, “Hmmm, I should give this juicing a try. I know I can do it for at least 10 days.” SO, that next day, I bought fruits and veggies and pulled out my hubby’s old juicing machine and set out to juice!

So, very excitedly the next morning, I pulled out the old juicer, got my vegetables cut up and ready, and turned on the machine. Nothing happened. I fiddled with the machine. Still nothing. I asked my hubby for help, since it was his machine. And after a few brief moments of frustration, and perhaps a bad word or two, he came to the conclusion that motor must have burned out. My enthusiasm could have died there, but instead I shrugged my shoulders and did what any good Whiskey Lovers Wife does…I hopped on my trusty Chromebook and started researching (okay, or SHOPPING!) I found the juicer Breville BJE430SIL Large-Capacity 70-oz. Cold Juice Fountain at Macy’s was EXACTLY what I needed! Isn’t she pretty?! Since the nearest Macy’s is about 30 minutes away, I purchased it online and picked it up in the store after school that day! Check it out on Macy’s online…I see it’s even on sale today!!! (Mind you, this is May of 2017~) https://www.macys.com/shop/product/breville-bje430sil-large-capacity-70-oz.-cold-juice-fountain?ID=2374147&CategoryID=7583#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D23%26ruleId%3D78|BS|BA%26slotId%3D5%26kws%3Djuicer

So, here we go! It’s Tuesday morning now, the vegetables are cut up, MY new juicer is clean, set up, and ready to go! I’ve got to tell you, I LOVE watching the veggies go through and get turned into the juice! The clean up after was easy. The start of my 10 day juice cleanse was officially started!

Day One- My first attempt at making the juice…well, I made WAAAAAAYYYYY too much! I wasn’t quite prepared for how much I needed, so I suppose I over-did it! And as a result, had my one and only overflow accident! haha! Overall though, I was so easy and my goodness, the juice  was delicious! I did use a bit too much ginger though! WHOA! My “recipe” on day one was: 3 granny smith apples, 2 cucumbers, 2 stalks of celery, a bunch of kale and spinach, and ginger. Isn’t it pretty? IMG_9446

Day Two– I felt no hunger pains on Day one, and I had enough juice for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, plus two smaller jars for “snacks”. Oh, my main jars were the 16oz Mason Jars (is that a pint???). So day two I tried adding carrots to the mix. Not too bad. It was sweet. But looked HORRIBLE! IMG_9447

Day Three- At this point, I stepped on the scale. Yes, I had weighed myself on Day One, and in two days, I lost three pounds! Nice! And in ONLY TWO DAYS, I felt more energetic and my knee joints felt great! On day three I added less carrot and more kale. And even less ginger, because I learned a LITTLE ginger goes a LONG way!IMG_9449

Day Four- Feeling AWESOME!!!!!! Down 5 pounds and boy oh boy, I feel GREAT at this point! Although, by the end of day four, I have to be very honest, I REALLY WANTED BACON! Why bacon? Why not?!!! Seriously though, I was feeling like I needed protein. But I was determined to stick to this juice cleanse for the whole 10 days. I will also tell you, as with any “cleanse”, yes, you will spend some time in your bathroom!!! But hey, if you’re a mommy like me, sometimes you look forward to some “private time!” haha!IMG_9452

Days Five-Ten–  Okay, starting on day 5, it got a bit rough. I really wanted to eat food!!! Other than craving meat, I didn’t crave sugar or anything else. I also didn’t have that “Hungry” feeling. I just really wanted some meat! I suppose, looking back, I could have had a protein shake and it probably would have done wonders! On Day 7, I had to teach a STRONG by Zumba class and then a Body Bootcamp class, back-to-back…I had no energy! I felt sapped. Usually I am the epitome of annoying, full of energy cheerleader (yes, even at 40 years old!) and on day 7, I just struggled to get through these two classes. By day 10, I was ready to introduce FOOD make to my body. And as much as I wanted a big ole greasy cheeseburger, I knew that would be SO WRONG, on so many levels, since I just cleansed my body for 10 days! So I was reasonable and had chicken breast and MMMMMMM, it tasted SOOOOOO good!

Overall, I did lose 12 pounds in 10 days. I did gain 5 pounds back in the two weeks after, but that was healthy, I think. I also felt LIGHTER and my joints still are not bothering me, which I found to be a win! I found my favorite recipe that I honestly can tell you, my body now CRAVES every morning! I now juice for breakfast, and many lunches, then eat a normal dinner and healthy snacks. And I have decided that once a month, I will do a FOUR DAY juice cleanse, because four days was easy and I felt the best!

More than that, I was reminded that I can do anything I set my mind to! Trust me, you can do that to! I’ll be YOUR personal cheerleader, if you want!!!

-Remember, with any change to diet, make sure to talk to your health provider!

My Favorite Recipe-

          Start with 4-5 leafs of Kale and a small bunch of spinach. Add 1 medium cucumber. Next, add 1 large Granny Smith apple, 1 large pear, half of a small lemon, and just a small amount of ginger!  CHEERS!

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Are you interested in learning more? Please feel free to contact me at anytime! I’d love to talk to you more about juicing, your favorite recipes, and just life in general!

My Kids and thier thoughts on Whiskey

I talk a lot about following your dreams and pursuing your passions. You have read that I fully support my husband and his journey of becoming one heck of an awesome Whiskey Master Taster. By now, you may be getting the sense that I look forward to planning trips for my entire family to enjoy while still allowing time for distillery tours and whiskey tastings. But have you every actually wondered, “What do those two boys ACTUALLY think of their parents and the whiskey???” (If you haven’t, I bet I just put it into your mind!)

A couple posts ago, I mentioned that I would discuss what my two boys think about their father becoming the “Whiskey Lover” and me writing as the “Whiskey Lovers Wife”, talking about their thoughts and feelings about whiskey (and alcohol.)

I strongly believe in transparency. I am an open book. And for better or for worse, that is how Josh and I parent. Open, honest, hiding nothing. I am not an expert parent. I am not perfect. I do have a lot of schooling that says I am knowledgeable in the areas of kids, teaching, counseling and coaching. But still, I can honestly tell you, Josh and I have had some major parenting fails. I hope and pray that Josh’s desire to educate others on whiskey is not going to end up as a parenting fail, or that my excitement to tie whiskey tastings into family vacations will not mentally scar my children!

So, what do Luke and Lane really think about the whiskey tastings?
kidandwhiskeyWell, you can see from this picture that they get the chance to play on some sort of technology (they were playing on a Minecraft app!) Really though, that doesn’t add to their thoughts one way or another.

First, let me back up a bit…around 6 years backing up! Our youngest was 3-ish, probably edging close to 4 years old. We live near Olympia, WA where, once upon a time, Olympia Beer was created and produced. Olympia Beer is no longer in Olympia (having been bought out and produced back east, thus losing it’s popularity) the big brewery building lays deserted, decrepit, and a constant reminder of what used to be. Slightly down the Deschutes River is the old brick original brewery. You can see it from the freeway, or by taking in the lovely sites at the Tumwater Falls park or Pioneer Park, both in Tumwater. Well, when our wee one was such the young age as mentioned above, he was at the parks with his grandparents (my parents) and he told them, “See that building over there? I’m going to buy it some day and make beer.” Here’s the weird thing…he didn’t know it had been a brewery. Also, while my hubby did try his hand at brewing beer as a hobby (yes, this was YEARS before he became a Whiskey Lover!), our little guy did not know anything about breweries! Crazy!

That little guy is now 9 years old. He still constantly talks about the brewery he is going to buy. We take him often to look at this building. olybeer

It is a beautiful building. And he has his business plan really laid out. Originally he was going to finance this dream by being a Seattle Seahawk football player first, but as he now realizes that is a long shot, and he is VERY talented in the world of Minecraft and all things technology, he figures he will go to college, get some sort of computer degree, be a YouTuber, AND find people that will loan him money to buy a brewery business and make his beer. Now that dad is quite knowledgeable in whiskey, our little guy said that by being a brewer, he can then distill. He also wants to have a restaurant in his brewery and says every Tuesday and Wednesday he will feed the homeless, but they aren’t allowed to drink any of his alcohol! Seriously, he has had this game plan for over half his little life now!

And the oldest child? He is into Agriculture and sees his future in Ag Engineering. He also had a long conversation with little brother on how he could be a business partner someday, ensuring the correct hops are found and purchased, that the barley, wheat, corn, etc for the beer and distilling were certified organic, and sourced locally. My boys have learned how many of the smaller distilleries we have visited sends the by product of the mash to nearby farms for their pigs and cattle to eat. Our oldest loved that and tells little brother that his services will be very useful with farm dealings. So, it sounds like this will become a family thing, someday!

As you can see, many dreams and passions are rolled into this Whiskey Loving adventure. Additionally, my kiddos have loved going on day trips, and longer trips, seeing new places, doing cool things in the towns and cities we visit. My oldest son would like everyone to know, “You must be responsible when you drink. But, you must be responsible with every thing you do. Don’t drink until you are legal. And never drink to get drunk, because then you act stupid and nobody likes a stupid person.” Preach it son!

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To Skamania, and Beyond!

IMG_9380   It’s Spring Break, and I have to confess, this year the Whiskey Lover husband and I were a bit selfish. Okay, a lot selfish. We took ourselves on a little get-a-way, which means our boys were not included on this trip! The little dude stayed with Grammie and Grandpa while the teen was with his dad, which meant, ahhhhhh, a night of child-free sleep, eating and drinking what we wanted, and quiet r&r sitting in a 21 and older hot tub at the beautiful Skamania Lodge! 

We made a last minute decision to do this little vacation just a week prior, and, being the budget savvy (some might even call me cheap) wife I am, I headed to Groupon and found an incredible deal for the Skamania Lodge! And booked it immediately. We enjoyed drinks at the River Rock lounge, went into the town of Skamania and ate a DELICIOUS dinner at the Red Bluff Tap House (while also watching the Final Four championship game, rooting for the Gonzaga Bulldogs!), then came back to the lodge to enjoy the hot tub and then relax in front of the fire place in our room. It was delightful! IMG_9383

Then we headed to Hood River, OR the next morning. I had never been to Hood River, and it was just short 30 minutes away. I was excited to taste some wine a the Cathedral FullSizeRender (4)Ridge Winery and boy, oh boy, oh boy! Their wine did NOT disappoint! It was sooooooo good!!! I particularly liked their Rusty Red Reserve (with the black Lab on the label!),  their Cab Franc, and their Riesling.

Then, it was off to the Hood River Distillers Inc. Oh WOW! Should you get the chance to take a trip and do a tasting there, you’ve GOT to do it. (And here’s a secret, I did not try any whiskey!!!) So, this Whiskey Lover’s Wife did not join in tasting whiskey with the hubby. NO, instead I tried the Pear Brandy, three different fruit liqueurs, and a Nordic peppermint spirit called Ullr. Oh my lanta, soooo good! Josh was impressed with the whiskey’s they carried, purchasing the McCarthy’s (from Clear Creek Distillery) Single Malt Whiskey. “McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey is distilled in a Holstein pot still using one pass distillation, this premium, non-chill filtered product is then barrel-aged in air-dried Oregon oak barrels. The result is remarkably smooth for a 3-year-old whiskey.” I am going to assume that Josh will have something to say about the smokey peated flavor of this whiskey on his Whiskey Lover’s Blog.  He also purchased the Hood River Delicious Apple Brandy, because once it is gone, it’s gone! I had to have the Clear CreeIMG_9390k Raspberry liqueur (because it tasted like jam off a spoon! Oh my!!!!) and the Ullr. I told Josh I really loved the Ullr because it tastes like toothpaste, which kind of is totally true, but makes me giggle because when my sister and I were younger, she used to like drinking mouthwash! hahahaha! That’s the truth! I can’t even make that up! SO, I am willing to bet that my sister is going to love this!

To finish off our trip, we stopped by the Edgefield McMenamins in Troutdale, OR to try their whiskey from the distillery on that property. Josh purchased the Single Malt Hogshead Whiskey, and the barley for that whiskey comes from Vancouver, WA. While Josh enjoyed a distillery tour, I enjoyed this Pear Royale drink! I would love to tell you what was in it, IMG_9392because it tasted like a little sliced of heaven, but honestly, I have no idea. I just sat back, enjoyed the flavor and made small talk with the bartender! (I always tend to draw people into some great conversations, and I learned that this young man would be traveling to Japan soon and was excited for his upcoming adventure! Totally cool! I shared with him our plans for Scotland this summer, and we had a great little conversation about travel!) Soon, Josh was back from his tour and we were ready to go eat at the Black Rabbit restaurant on the property. We ate a lot of great food on this trip! And luckily, I have an amazing hubby who woke me up at 5am today to make me go lift weights with him since I was complaining that my pants were tight! You know, eating and drinking good things does come with a price!

During our little get-a-way, I was able to talk to Josh about all I had learned at my Saturday Gottman leader training on the “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”, and it was great to refresh our communication skills and engage in thoughtful and deep conversation. (If you’d like more info on that, or to talk with me about marriage coaching and learning the tools and techniques to have and maintain an awesome relationship, visit me at www.staciestoneycoaching.com)  What a wonderful two days spent re-connecting while also allowing for Josh to get his whiskey tasting on!

Oh, and our little dude said he didn’t really miss us at all because he had more fun at Grammie and Grandpa’s house…and he enjoyed his little get-a-way as well!!!

Thanks for reading this week’s adventure with the Whiskey Lover’s Wife!

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Becoming a Glenfiddich in Life

This week, I have had several opportunities to take a look at my life, where I am at and where I am going. And with that, looking at my husband’s life. It is hard, sometimes, not to compare my life to my husband’s life. I am a teacher, while he is a principal. While both in education, totally different jobs. I am an optimist, while he is cynical and a bit of a pessimist. Again, totally different. And this past week, I thought about how whiskey is a great way to symbolize our different paths in our lives.

Keep in mind, I am the WIFE to the Whiskey Lover, not the actual whiskey lover. If you do not agree with the choices of whiskey I used in reference to paths in life, well, to bad! I’m still learning about the finer points of whiskey! Ha Ha! So just read on!…

Here is what has transpired this past week, and I do apologize to keeping things a bit, well, vague, but it is only because I don’t want my whiskey lover husband to be upset at me using him so much as my example! Okay, this past week…

First I guess I should back up slightly and tell you that my husband has applied for a few positions in school administration, thus possibly leaving his current position. And before you ask, yes, he does love where he currently works, however it is over an hour drive away and it doesn’t make sense for us to move closer that way when the boys attend school here and I also work here. The schools that he has applied for are much closer in proximity, except for one, but that was for Leavenworth and if you continue to follow me, you will learn how much I absolutely, without a doubt, LOVE LEAVENWORTH, WA! 

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My goat friend at the Enzian Inn putting course in Leavenworth, WA

Second, within a span of a week, he got called to interview for 4 of the 6 jobs he applied for. Yes, Leavenworth being one of them. I was ecstatic, at first, at the possibility of moving to Leavenworth. But then as we truly processed what that would mean to move across the mountain pass, four hours away from Luke’s dad (I was married previously and Luke’s dad is a very good day and we have a great split parenting plan) and our family, plus the fact that the cost of living was greater than where we live, PLUS I wouldn’t actually have a job upon moving there…well, yeah, sadly, he decided to turn down that interview. Which left the other three. This is where it will get vague and maybe soon I will write a follow-up blog to let you know the outcome of the interviews. But for now, I’m going to get to the point of the blog!

You see, Josh frustrates me. A lot. As spouses may sometimes do. And this week has been full of emotion, anxiety, stress, elation, anger, peace, and oh, did I mention stress? And during one of the times I got really frustrated at the pessimism my dear husband seems to have born with, when I was really trying to praise him and raise him up, it dawned on me that I was actually happy that I didn’t have a husband who was bottom-shelf. I actually have a 26-year Glenfiddich husband.

In life, we can decide to be bottom shelf, like a Canadian R & R, or a comfortable Crown Royal that is middle of the road and safe, or we can be top shelf (or even locked behind glass as the most expensive and special) like a Glenfiddich aged Scotch that has worked hard and waited to become truly spectacular.

I mean no harm at those people who are happy with a Canadian R & R life. A bottle of Canadian R & R rich-rare-r-r-blended-canadian-whisky-canada-10370315here in the state of Washington is roughly $8.00. It is cheap. You don’t have to work hard to get your hands on a bottle of this. I’ve only tried R & R once or twice, way before being married to The Whiskey Lover, back in my “I’m not spending my hard-earned money on expensive alcohol, let’s just get drunk” college days, and I can honestly tell you, my only reaction was GROSS!!!!!!!!!! Like, beyond gross. I would tell you my honest thought, but alas, I am a lady, a nice Christian one at that, therefore I can not tell you what I really think of the stuff. But think about it, it is probably one of, if not the cheapest whiskey on the market. It’s not that great. It gives you a bad taste. And yet, some people have made choices in their lives to live that way.

Thinking more about my own life though, I realize that I have been more like a Crown Royal. 2015_1It’s smooth, it’s easy, it’s sweet, it goes well with many mixers (I think especially Pepsi, but that is just my opinion!) It makes me feel comfortable. At around $25 for a bottle, it’s definitely not expensive, but it’s not totally cheap. It’s easy to justify spending that money and enjoying it. My life, much like the Crown Royal, is easy and comfortable. I have a sweet job that I have been at for 17 years. I have fun, but if I’m being honest, I’m not pushed real hard, I never have to be out of my comfort zone, and I am able to change things up as I please, but never too much to disturb that comfortable taste of my life.

Looking at my husband though…he is like an aged Glenfiddich. glenfiddich-21-year-old-gran-reserva-single-malt-scotch-whisky-1I’d say at this point, a good 21 year Glenfiddich, which costs around $250, but I am sure I could venture to say he is close to a 28 year bottle which is closer to $600. (A 50 year is $40,000, and that is reserved for those completely remarkable people like Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King, Jr. and who ever else you would like to add to that list!) But back to my husband. He is an aged Glenfiddich because so many times in our marriage he has worked incredibly hard. Stepping out at a younger-than-most age to go into school administration, leaving his comfortable job. Then, after a year, being told he was the victim of “you’re the low man on the totem pole so you are the first to go”, found failure 27 times. And that summer, even though is was full of sunshine outside, in our home there was darkness. Any man that can be without a job and hear 27 times”You are great, but we went with the other person”, and having that sense of pride that you are the husband, the father, the provider for the family…well, I’m sure you can imagine how much strength it took to walk into that next interview. Which he got. And has had opportunity after opportunity to grow, get stronger, aging to near perfection in his abilities as a school  administrator. He has had to rise up against so many challenges in this small school position, yet has done so with a fine grace far superior to his younger age. He continues to get stronger, becoming something (and someone) that is high quality, unforgettable, and exactly the added “a-ha, that is just what was needed” special-ness that only a man that has refined himself professionally, personally, and spiritually can provide. To me, that is like a fine aged Scotch. I didn’t think I ever needed to try a Scotch, until I finally did, and then, with a sigh of completeness, I understood what perfection tasted like. I feel I am married to a man that exemplifies that.

Of course, my husband is far from “finished”. He is still aging in the barrel, so to speak. Tuesday we will find out what God’s plans are for him, and our family. He may hear his 30th NO. Or as I say, “Not Yet.” Perhaps he will stay where he is. Perhaps he will continue to age elsewhere, adding new notes of flavor to his life. Only our Good Lord knows. But rest assured, he is living his life to the most Top Shelf. And he has inspired me to venture out of my comfort zone. Perhaps I will actually face my fears and finalize my counseling license and move into a new career path. The middle of the shelf may be safe, but the ones who are on the top shelf are just a bit more special, and that’s just the way I see it.

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