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A Washington Post writer treads treacherous territory with a controversial bombshell of an exposé.  No, this is not about D.C. politics, this is about something far more critical to our identity as a civilized culture – food!  Yes, Tom Sietsema wrote “The Top 10 Best Food Cities in America” and actually dared to rank them in order – rating many smaller cities higher than better-known metropolitan culinary standards. (Hint: Portland was ranked #1, New York disappointed, and Seattle didn’t make the cut!) As you can expect, it has sparked backlash from loyal food fanatics who felt slighted by his (admittedly subjective) findings.

Although published in 2015, the writer is still defending his choices based on his three-month gastronomical journey across this country. Unlike Guy Fieri’s titular “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”, he expanded his criteria beyond restaurants and bars to food carts, farmers markets, even grocery stores to experience a true sense of the city’s food culture.  He interviewed chefs, food critics, merchants, and diners in each city to uncover the best, and lesser-known examples of “creativity, community and tradition” in the local food scene.

His review of Portland names some of our favorite places, including healthy fast-food Burgerville and New Seasons Market  ( both are located across the Columbia River in Clark County, Washington too) – regional treasures that feature locally-sourced fresh produce and fruit, meats, and seafood. He credits a produce clerk with introducing him to the odd-shaped but wonderful honeysuckle fruit. He also cites examples of food varieties available in the immediate area – including 300 styles of truffles, and berries “so delicate, they don’t leave the state”. With amazing ingredients, and a generation of accomplished chefs, (both pros and amateurs), the area offers an abundance of wonderful food experiences.

Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | News

This little sweetheart turned two years old, yesterday. She is our family’s tiny Valentine. Raegan Leigh Nelson, as you can likely see in her photo, is full of unbridled joy and delight.
Children truly know how to live in the moment. We FaceTimed last night and she sat with a happy smile while we sang Happy Birthday. The biggest takeaway of the day for little Rae was “Cake!”

Happy Valentines Day to you and to your sweetheart(s).

 

 

Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | News

 

Launch the holidays in Clark County at the Port of Camas-Washougal Christmas Ships Parade on Saturday, December 3rd. The parade starts at 6 PM – crowds assemble along the docks at the Port around 5 PM to witness this annual tradition. If the weather is bad, you can slip into the Port’s office.

The Christmas Ships Parade has regaled the Portland/Vancouver region with holiday cheer since 1954. What started with a few volunteer enthusiasts has grown to a fleet of roughly 50 to 60 boats. Now two fleets sail along the Columbia and Willamette rivers – sometimes together – lighting up the water with Christmas decorations and customized lights and signs. This year the parades run from December 2nd through the 18th – the first night’s parade is farther down river along Marine Drive in Portland.

You can check out the schedule and best viewing locations along each river at the Christmas Ships web site. It is a delightful show for both young and old with themes that run the gamut from traditional yuletide to whimsical nautical. It’s a great way to set aside some time from your busy schedule to meet up with friends and get into the holiday mood.

This activity is a volunteer labor of love – Christmas Ship skippers donate their own fuel and time, and receive no compensation.  The cost of insurance is offset by generous donations from businesses and restaurants located along the waterfront. So support the cause by booking your parties and reservations at the sponsoring restaurants and hotels, and make sure you tell them you’re coming to view the Christmas Ships.

If you want to know more about our favorite spots for viewing the Christmas Ships, just call us.  We’ll be glad to lighten up your holiday!

Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | News | Washougal

We were on our way to an inspection yesterday when we both felt the joy of a new season. The drive to the Washougal River property was gorgeous, and we both commented on the fall leaves this year – they are exceptionally splendid. It reminded us to showcase the beauty of our region with seasonal videos.  Our video of Spring in Clark County is a popular one, but we didn’t have one for this time of year. Naturally, it didn’t take us long to remedy the situation. Welcome to the beauty of Fall in Clark County, WA.

 

 

 

Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | Nature | News

The Clark County Parade of Homes runs through October 2 and is located in Ridgefield, WA this year – an appropriate site to feature larger homes on country estates.  An old, established farming community with pastoral settings and rolling hills, Ridgefield is often cited as one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. Yet, even new developments boast larger lots, views, and plenty of open green spaces. Having the National Wildlife Refuge nearby provides many outdoor recreation opportunities helps protects the surrounding streams and wetlands, providing natural havens for birds and wildlife.

The Parade of Homes features custom homes built on country estates priced from $900,000 to $1,400,000.  If you are not looking in that price range, you can still find homes with acreage, and a view in that area.   In spite of all the new construction, Ridgefield retains its inviting small town atmosphere.  An easy stroll with give you access to historic landmarks, charming shops, restaurants, and the Cathlapotle Plankhouse cultural heritage site.  The city is finishing a recreational loop system of pathways to connect downtown with neighborhoods, parks, schools, and the waterfront.

VIewHomes™ Market Report for Ridgefield:

7 Active Listings from $475,000 to $1,800,000
Average SqFt – 2433

Average $/SqFT – $360

1 Pending Sale $650,000
Square Footage: 1394
$/SqFt – $466

3 Sold in past 3 months – $495,000 to $637,000
Average SqFt – 3200
Average $/SqFt – $183

We are ViewHomes™ of Clark County and our clients share our appreciation for Nature As Neighbors. A private retreat on acreage provides a serene and calm environment, and there’s room to garden, play with kids or grand kids, and enjoy frequent visits from wildlife – “elbow room for the soul.”™

Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | News | Ridgefield

One of our favorite events in Camas every year is the Annual Plant & Garden Fair held Saturday just before Mother’s Day (how convenient)! And to get everyone in the mood, the First Friday event May 6th will be the “Garden Gnome Gala.” Featuring a scavenger hunt throughout downtown Camas, the event gives prizes to participants who find the gnomes hidden in various business throughout downtown.  Just visiting the locations will enter you in a drawing to win a miniature fairy garden gift basket from Lizzabeth A. Nuestra Mesa restaurant will host the second night of their Cinco De Mayo party (which, of course, starts May 5th) featuring live music and outside dining and dancing both nights.

Those fun activities are just a warm-up for Saturday’s Plant and Garden Fair, which runs from 9 am to 4 pm downtown. It’s an opportunity to experience a wide selection of plants, trees, garden art and supplies – provided by local growers and artists. The fair is known for its selection of unique hand-made garden art, bird houses, garden furniture, fountains, wind chimes, iron works, and a wealth of other products. It will be hard to choose which gift you want for your mom – or even yourself!

This year’s fair will include a free potting station, with assistance, at 3rd and Cedar to put your plants in containers you buy before heading home.  Plus, free educational sessions are offered throughout the day at these vendor booths:

9:30 & 12:30        The Soap Chest: Herbal Infusions: Benefits and How-to’s
10:00 & 1:00        Half Moon Farm: Pollinators in the Garden; Education Bee Hive
10:30 & 1:30        Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection: Growing Clematis
11:00 & 2:00        The Water Shed: Water Gardens & Ponds
11:30 & 2:30        Clark County Master Composters: Worm Bin Composting
12:00 & 3:00        Rain Barrel Man: Using Rain Barrels

Also, be sure to check out the booth by Arai Nursery, one of our neighbors, and a family business we will be featuring in an up-coming post.

So, make it a Camas Garden Weekend – troll the gnomes on Friday, and stroll the streets on Saturday to get your fill of plants, flowers, and gardens!

Filed under: Events | Nature

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that the founder of Earth Day, Denis Hayes, grew up in Camas and part of his motivation was to clean up his own town’s environment. So what better way to celebrate Earth Day this year, than to help clean up Downtown Camas?

The condition of downtown and our environment have greatly improved since the first Earth Day in 1970, so it shows how effective group effort can be to bring about change. But there is always work to be done, and that is why the Downtown Camas Association organizes an Annual Spring Cleanup and Plant Day.

This year, the event is schedule for Sunday, April 24 from 1 to 4, meeting at the Journey Community Church, 4th and Birch. Be sure to bring gloves and garden tools, and dress to get dirty! There will be lots of weeding, digging, planting, raking, and barkdusting (if that is a word)!  Lots of good clean fun, and a meaningful way to contribute to the community and participate in Earth Day. It’s also great preparation for the upcoming First Friday in May -The Camas Plant & Garden Fair – so check back for more information about that event.  As a bonus, Journey will be hosting a free lunch for participants.

For more information about Camas Spring Cleanup and Planting Day, give us a call.

 

Filed under: Events | Nature | News

Happy Easter. It seems fitting to reflect this morning with one of my favorite quotes. It pretty much sums it up for me.

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

I am haunted by waters.

– Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through

Filed under: Events | News

Orchards Feed Mill is a great resource for area Farmers and those who appreciate living a rural lifestyle.

One of our favorite Downtown Camas events involves an evening filled with chocolate (and who doesn’t love chocolate?) This First Friday, Feb 5th from 5 to 8 pm “A Chocolate Affair to Remember” features shops throughout downtown serving or selling chocolate. As a bonus, to celebrate the final season of Downton Abbey, participants are encouraged to dress in vintage costumes, which will qualify them for a gift basket drawing – containing vintage treasures donated by Camas Antiques.

It’s a perfect pre-Valentine theme to start thinking about and shopping for unique gifts for that special someone. Among the evening’s activities, participants will be able to:

  • Guess the amount of candy in jar located throughout downtown, and enter to win that candy and other great Valentine’s themed prizes!
  • Attend a wine and chocolate tasting at The Liberty Theatre, and also see a special viewing of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory at 6:45pm and Chocolat at 3pm and 8:00pm.
  • Kids crafts are also available with a Valentine’s theme at the Downtown Camas Association table in Journey Community Church.
  • A Red Hot Chocolate theme by Truly Scrumptious Bakery will be featured at Arktana Shoes, (with 10% off anything red).
  • Lizzabeth A will host a drawing for 5 different Moonstruck candy bars and will offer 20% off all Moonstruck chocolate purchases.

There will be many more sweet surprises if you head down to “A Chocolate Affair to Remember” in downtown Camas tomorrow night, Feb 5th from 5 to 8 pm.

If you’d like to hear more about living in the region with small town charm and big city amenities, call us today.

Filed under: Events | News

Washougal Motocross Park in Washougal is pretty well-known in the pro-racing circuits. On July 23, 2016, the park will host the Washougal National. The legendary race marks Round 9 of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro-Racing.

The track itself is located in the scenic foothills above the Washougal River. It sits amid a forest of towering fir trees. Some say it’s one of the most beautiful Motocross parks in the world. It is also within hearing distance of many homes. Some of those owners have had an on-going battle with the track over the noise created during the events.

However, I’m not taking a political viewpoint on this one. Be forewarned, if you buy property along the Washougal River Road, prepare to have slow traffic when the track hosts races. In addition, some neighborhoods, such Bear Prairie, are impacted with noise from the park.

To me, knowledge is power, if noise bugs you, buy elsewhere. Some folks choose to live in the area as they have children who participate in the sport, and in the races. Remember, one man’s paradise may be another man’s hell.

We can all agree the Washougal Motocross Park has certainly put Washougal and Camas on the map for a lot of families who love the sport of Motocross Racing.

The 2016 Seed Swap and Giveaway takes place on Sunday, January 31at the Old School House at 24309 NE 209th Street in Battleground. The annual event is sponsored by the Verersborg Community Club.

Gardeners and wanna-be gardeners, soon we’ll be digging in the warm soil again. Thanks to a few generous people there will again be a wide selection with many varieties at the Seed Swap and Giveaway. Organizers encourage you to bring your own extras to give away.

Flowers, veggies, herbs, ornamentals and edibles, oh my! Many are local saved seeds, non-gmo, heirloom and more. Last year’s bounty included basil, beans, beets, borage, broccoli, calendula, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, dill, fennel, kale, lettuce, marigold, melons, nasturtium, nigella, onion, parsley, peas, peppers, poppies, pumpkins, radish, squash, sunflowers, swiss chard, tomatoes, and zinnias.

Last year,  people also swapped or donated  house plants, canna lily bulbs, garlic, horseradish, iris rhizomes and garden related items to share.

Don’t have seeds to share? No problem! Bring something for the very informal soup/snack potluck or a non-perishable item for the North County Community Food Bank. Volunteers are also welcome to help set-up/clean-up.

We both appreciate gardening and having enough land for “Elbow Room for the Soul.” If you’d like to find a ViewHome in Venersborg, with Nature As Neighbors call us today.

Filed under: Events | News

The Tulips will be blooming soon…

In mid-January, our thoughts often turn to Spring. Soon, we’ll see crocus and other early spring bulbs start poking through the earth. Once that happens, it doesn’t take long for the barren landscape to come alive with color.

Spring will be official when the Woodland, WA and the annual Tulip Festival gets underway on April 9th.This year’s 5K run/walk among the flowers is on April 2. The Tulip Trot starts at 9AM and is described as a family-friendly event. Although, awards will be given to the top 3 overall male and female runners. Plus all runners will go home with a bouquet of fresh tulips.

More about the Tulip Festival in Woodland, Washington

The Dobbe family emigrated from The Netherlands in 1979 with a big dream and a history of successful spring bulb farming. 35 years later, Benno Dobbe is the CEO of Holland America Bulb Farm and its sister corporations.

The annual Tulip Festival is the Dobbe family’s way of sharing their love of the craft of bulb and flower husbandry and a way to support and promote of the city of Woodland.It’s no wonder he was selected as Citizen of the Year by the Woodland Chamber of Commerce.

There’s also a gift shop open on the weekends with cut flowers, potted spring flowers, gifts and of course, bulbs.Woodland is just a 30 minute drive north of the Interstate – 5 Bridge between Portland and Vancouver.  When these fields are in bloom, you’ll get a taste of Holland, without the international travel.

If you’re interesting in finding a ViewHome in Woodland WA, with Nature As Neighbors – call us today. We know the joy of having “Elbow Room for the Soul.”

Filed under: Events | Nature

Fort Vancouver gives us a fun and informative glimpse into our rich history. It’s worth a visit and you’ll find special events year round. Your kids won’t even know they’re learning!

Filed under: Events | Views

You can help plant habitat to help the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer on Saturday, January 23. Organizers at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge are asking all volunteers to register for the event by calling 360-887-3883. They also remind you to wear waterproof footwear, bring gloves, and dress for the weather.

Filed under: Events | Nature

Illuminate history and the dark winter months of January and February with a Lantern Tour at Fort Vancouver. The lantern-lit journey is designed to give you and your family a glimpse into the past. Even after sundown, you’ll discover, Hudson’s Bay Company employees worked much more than eight hour days.

Filed under: Events | News

Here’s a reminder for  Clark County pet owners,  it’s nearly time for the  annual Doggie Dive for the Southwest Washington Humane Society .

A Doggie Dive is not a low rent establishment where pets go to get down and dirty. Quite the opposite. The Doggie Dive gives your furry friend an afternoon of good clean fun – and for a great cause.

The outdoor pools at Lakeshore Athletic Club will go to the dogs on Saturday, September 27th, 2015 from 10 AM to 2 PM . The club is located at 2401 NW 94th Street in Vancouver. Your $10 donation goes directly to the Southwest Washington Humane Society.

If your dog’s a bit shy, Humane Society Volunteers will be on hand to help encourage all dogs to safely join in the fun.  Little dogs and big dogs will be swimming in separate pools. Sorry, no human swimmers will be allowed in the pools the day of the event.

You’ll need to fill out a release waiver before Fido hits the water,  and donations are accepted at the door. It sounds like a lot of fun for pets and their owners, but, we don’t think either of us would want to be the one cleaning out the pool filters at the end of the day!

Filed under: Events | » Lakeshore | News