Wash / Van Trip [part 6]

On the sixth day of our trip we made our way off Vancouver Island. We left our cute little cabin and stopped at Coastal Kitchen Cafe for a delicious breakfast before heading to the ferry. 

The ferry ride was beautiful. Again, most people sat inside reading or talking while we walked around the whole ferry taking in all the sights. 

Once we arrived in the city, we stopped at Lucky's Doughnuts for a treat and coffee. Their salted caramel old fashion may be my favorite doughnut ever [that is some high praise!]. 

The Airbnb we stayed at wasn't too far from Lucky's. It was a cute little place which worked perfect for us.

It was the middle of the afternoon and we didn't feel like driving after we had spent most of our day already in the car and on the ferry. We ended up walking to Queen Elizabeth Park which was about a mile and a half away. The gardens were beautiful and the views of the city weren't too bad either. On our walk back home we were treated to an amazing sunset which was quite nice too.

We ended the night by eating at Tacofino, a restaurant which originated as a food truck in Tofino [on Vancouver Island]. 

three turn 60

The weekend after Sam and Drew's reception, we all gathered back into the pole shed for another party! My Aunt Carol, Uncle John and Uncle Bob all turned 60 within a month, so they had a joint birthday party. 

It was quite easy to decorate since most of the work had been done for the weekend before. The flowers in the black tin cans stayed on the tables, we just added some black streamers and balloons. The chandelier stayed hanging from the center of the room, we just added some dangling black crows. 

The biggest difference was instead of pictures of Sam and Drew hanging around the shed, Katie and I made signs to hang up that looked like street signs with names like Wrinkle Road, Baldy Avenue and Saggy Street.

The weather was completely different from the last party. The weekend before it had been very warm and bottled water kept disappearing. On the day of the 60th birthday party, however, it was chilly and instead of running out of water, beer was in high demand! 

There was quite a bit of musical entertainment throughout the night. My husband, known to some as DJ Jazzy Eric, kept some of John, Carol and Bob's favorite music playing while being decked out in John's vintage Don Peachey Band tuxedo shirt. 

Eric got a break from his duties for a while though, when some members of the Lebanon Band brought out their instruments. They played everyone's favorites, which are also the songs you will hear if you ever see the Lebanon Band march in parades. 

The evening ended with some dancing while others played cards. As we cleaned up after everyone had left, Eric snuck out to the car and came back with a wig on. It surprised everyone so much, especially my Grandma who exclaimed she didn't know who that man was.

As far as I know, the lights are still strung in the shed, so umm, let's have another party in there this year!

haas reception

In previous posts, I talked about Samantha and Drew's wedding up north. They had a little ceremony with close family and friends. The couple still wanted to celebrate with everyone else, so a few weeks later they held a reception at the farm where Sam grew up.

It had been years since the pole shed had been thoroughly cleaned out, however, the last time it had been was when the cement floor was poured. The machines and tools needed to be taken out and the outside needed to be re-painted. While they were sprucing it up , Sam's dad decided to add the concrete path. 

As far as decorations for the party, Sam picked out a bunch of photos I had taken at the wedding and we made blue print copies of them. The prints were hung on the walls and they made great art as well as gave everyone a little glimpse into their wedding day. 

There were also a lot, I mean A LOT of lights that Katie and I strung. I wish I could remember the total amount, but alas, just believe me it was a lot. The end result was fantastic though, as you will see in some pictures later in this post. 

There were some other details such as the tissue paper ball chandelier, a wall of older pictures of the couple, and beautiful flowers that Sam's mom grew on all the tables. 

Sam had a great idea for a guest book. She had the plan in mind, told her aunt about it who luckily found the perfect book to complete Sam's goal. The book was a children's dictionary and each guest could pick a word and write a little sentiment next to it. I heard many people who were having fun looking through the book to find just the right word. 

As people arrived to the reception, some ate while others played games outdoors. The kids ran all around the farm and I followed them for a bit [to take pictures, but also to make sure they weren't getting into trouble].

As dusk settled in, everyone gathered outside with their sparklers and matches. After the sparklers were lit, Sam and Drew walked arm in arm past the revelers.

From there, everyone headed back into the shed and the couple shared their first dance. Following, was the father / daughter and mother / son dance. 

There was a bit more dancing by others after the family dances, but slowly people started to leave and the rest headed towards the bonfire to relax and talk until the early hours of the morning. 

wedding flowers + plants

Planning the flowers and plants for the wedding was quite simple. I had a basic idea of what I wanted which made it easy. Probably the biggest conundrum was deciding where to purchase the plants. 


I knew I wanted my bouquet to include succulents and craspedia [aka billy balls / billy buttons]. When I went to the Avant Garden in Delafield, Sarah the wedding consultant was very helpful. She assured me that using succulents in my bouquet would work just fine [my mom was concerned the succulents might fall apart during the day]. Along with the succulents and craspedia, I wanted some white flowers - including queen anne's lace, although I was under the impression it was a weed. To my surprise, Sarah assured me there are different varieties of queen anne's lace, so they could use a non-weed variety. 

Both mine and Katie's bouquet turned out beautiful! Katie's was a smaller version of mine. 

Once the bouquet started to fall apart, I took the craspedia out and cut them to keep in a small vase Eric  gave me for my birthday last year.

I am happy to say the five succulents from my bouquet are still doing amazing! Currently I keep them in the bowls my brother made and a couple times a week I spray them with a bit of water.


I decided to buy my succulents online as it was less expensive to order them from California. Through a search on Etsy, I found Sanpedrocactus, a family that sells a wide variety of succulents. 

I bought both some rosette cuttings and potted succulents. The rosette cuttings worked great for decoration on the dinner tables in the bowls and sitting next to some of my photos. 

Also to my surprise - I still have some rosette cuttings that are alive! This may be a record for me.

The potted succulents came in a little reddish pot [shocking, I know] but I spray painted them gold. These plants found their way around the Fish Hatchery in the bathroom window ledges and other random places.


The air plants came from the Air Plant Design Studio located in Florida. I bought the large kit which included a variety of different air plants. These were placed on the dinner tables as well, along with other spots that needed a little extra something. 

I still have five of them [I told our guests to take some home, since I knew I would not be able to care for them all] and they are still doing well. Every time I talk about giving them a bath, people get confused. If you are part of that crowd, here is the run-down: 

Once a week I fill the kitchen sink with water and place the plants in the water upside down. I set the timer for 20 minutes. Sometimes either Eric or I will sing a bath-time song to the plants. After 20 minutes, I lay them on a towel and once they are no longer dripping wet, I put them back where I keep them.