Thursday, August 17, 2017

Vacation Situation

The Writer's Closet and all the writers are on vacation! (If you're not aware of it, all members of our family, including two cats, are writers.) I keep posting in my usual semi-regular manner though, because we are doing staycation this year. No extra pennies to spend on hotels (all are spent on pretty dresses!), so we are exploring our own region, which to be fair, we do year-round anyway, for over 10 years now, and we still did not run out of places to go, plus there are quite a few repeat offenders (it's a gorgeous area, what else is there to say). Still, vacation means we have more freedom and explore a little more intensely. I already took you to Olympia, our state capital, a few days ago (HERE), and our next stop is a unique award winning garden on beautiful Bainbridge Island.

I made the mistake of not telling you anything about my outfit last time, so let me tell you about those gorgeous embroidered pants and quirky shirt a bit. The shirt has the loveliest print, sailboats with red sails (if you're familiar with Russian literature, I'm sure it'll have a special meaning to you, as there is a famous novel by Alexander Grin, Russian neo-romantic writer, SCARLET SAILS, cherished by all dreamers).

I purchased the pants back in the Spring and loved them, but due to sizing issues had to return them, because at that point they were sold-out, so exchange was not possible. To my huge surprise, these charming embroidered pants (a.k.a. The Most Gorgeous Pants I've Ever Owned) reappeared on the Eloquii website later in Summer, and I was able to snap a size smaller (which fit me brilliantly) on final sale at $32 (vs. original $110). Score! FYI, they were still available at size 24 the last time I checked out the website. They are 100% cotton, made in India, and seem good quality. I only wore them a couple of times and hope they'll survive washing (any advice is welcome).

Now, from romantic scarlet sails and gorgeous embroidered pants, back to my outfit featuring Teresa's silk blouse which I wore recently with a jumpsuit for Modish Matrons (HERE), but this time you can see more of the pattern. I also wore this blouse with Teresa's eyelet red skirt (seen HERE) earlier this Summer, which was an obvious choice. I didn't come around to posting that outfit on the blog before, so here you go.

This time, I combined the blouse with my old white eyelet skirt (recently shown HERE), beloved lightweight  summer jewelry and my old "adventure sandals". In this attire, I felt quite comfortable all day and received a few compliments.

And now let's explore "one of the country's most original and ambitious gardens", as NY Times wrote about Bloedel Reserve.

Bloedel Reserve is a 150 acre forest garden which was founded by the family estate owner Prentice Bloedel, a son of a lumber-company owner, and later a vice-president of the company, and his wife Virginia. They were striving to create a serene place, influenced by the conservation movement and Asian philosophy. The garden is now open for the public, as well as the Bloedel's elegant home in French style built in 1920s. But before I continue with the garden, let me tell you how to get there.

Unless you are traveling from Kitsap Peninsula or Olympic Peninsula, you can only get to Bainbridge Island by a boat, and most visitors get there by ferry from Seattle. Which is (I'm telling you the local secret) not only a delightful but also the cheapest way to experience Puget Sound. On the photo above, you're looking at downtown from the ferry terminal, and below you see our ferry that can take up to 202 cars and 2500 passengers, which makes it the largest of Washington State Ferries (read about the whole fleet HERE). 

A ferry ride is a treat on any day, but especially such a bright and sunny one, and Seattle downtown just never disappoints. I hope you had a lovely trip, and now we are on the island, which is only 35 minutes away, but feels like a world away from all the hustle and bustle. 

Besides the few photos Justin took, I have many phone snapshots which don't do this place justice, but at least will give you some ideas just how beautiful it is. Such famous landscape architects as Richard Haag (I wrote about his other creation, Gasworks Park in Seattle, HERE) and Thomas Church (his other local masterpiece is Lakewold Gardens, which you can find in my post HERE). Bloedel Reserve natural areas and gardens include Birds March, The Woodlands, The Glen, The Moss Garden and The Japanese Garden (photos below). We've been to Bloedel Reserve many times over the years, but I always learn something new. This time, I discovered that a notable American poet Theodor Roethke died here. Apparently, he had a heart attack while visiting his friend in 1963, and was found in the pool by the Japanese Guest House. As an outcome of this sad story, there is a tranquil Zen garden in place of the pool, though there is no memorial sign of the tragic incident.

The Reflection Pool is another serene corner of the Reserve, and our last stop for the day. We love coming back to the Reserve, and at some point we even were members (you can purchase an annual membership which allows you to bring along friends for free), and every season of course has its own attraction. In Spring, there are magnificent magnolias blooming, enormous in size. In Summer, you can experience live Shakespeare plays and other events in the garden. Fall and Winter have their own charm all together. Like our life, the garden's life is ever changing. 

We came back exhausted, but feeling happy and recharged, and when our ferry arrived in Seattle at twilight, the city greeted us with its own beauty, slowed down after a long day pace, and beautiful jewel-like lights, as my friend Elle mentioned about this photo on my Instagram.

Camera photos by Justin, phone photos by me

Blouse - Teresa for Eloquii
Skirt, hat, glasses - Lane Bryant (old)
Jewelry - thrifted
Purse - Old Navy (old)
Sandals - Merrell (old)

Linking with Tina's Pink Friday

* * *

Find my books at
in Seattle, Tacoma, Federal Way, Washington

SUPERSEAL, my new book, is coming in 2017!

Connect on


  1. What a delightful place, Natalia, and what makes it even more exciting is getting there by ferry, which must be magical and add a different dimension to your day out. I love your pretty outfit too, that fabulous blouse combined with the white eyelet skirt. What a lovely family photo, and Seattle at twilight really is a sight for sore eyes! Lots of love! xxx

    1. Glad you enjoyed the trip with us, Ann, even if only virtually! <3

  2. Enjoy your staycation!!! All of the looks are beautiful <3 I too was eyeing those embroidered pants on Eloquii- but hesitated and now I've missed my chance :(

    1. Oh so sorry you've missed the chance, Joi! There will be more! :) Thank you for the compliments and wishes, dear! <3

  3. The most beautiful mix of prints I have ever seen ( or in the top ten, as I can not remember all too well) But divine enough that I want my bedroom to be in prints such as these. Love the photo tour, I am a fan of staycations , and am glad that all of the pennies go to these fabulous clothing items and inspiring me with each post.
    That shot of you three is precious , and the checkerboard of grass is fabulous too!
    Enjoy, and thanks for the shout out!
    love, Elle

    1. You blow my mind, Elle! So kind. I am very touched that you loved the mix - I rather am fond of it myself, it's certainly one of my personal best, I think! I'd love to see how you transform your bedroom. Lots of love <3

  4. I did enjoy sharing your trip! Such a lush, tranquil place.
    The print of your blouse is gorgeous as is the lovely family snap.
    I wish your cats would have a word with ours about becoming writers, ours just hang around demanding food! xxx

    1. Maybe our cats can write a how-to, so your cats can get the hang of it! :) Glad you enjoyed the trip, my dear! <3

  5. Hope you are all enjoying your staycation . I really enjoyed seeing both Seattle and the glorious Bloedel Reserve, the house and the gardens look just wonderful. I loved the family shot.
    Your pretty blouse and white eyelet skirt perfect for a day of sightseeing on a perfect Summer day.

    1. So happy that you enjoyed the post, my dear! Yes, we are thoroughly enjoying our staycation, and more adventures to come (in my posts)! <3

  6. so many beauty!!!
    first of all - the family portrait!! happy faces reflecting a fab day out and about! and then of cause this cool modern city and the tranquil gardens........ love the reflection pool!
    and your outfit! gorgeous combination of the coral blouse and this skirt like seafoam! and is´t i great when our best fashion pieces can be combined in many chic ways?! washing the pants - i recomment short & cool handwash with mild detergent and vinegar.
    much love!! xxxxx

    1. Thank you, dearest Beate! I try to snap our portrait whenever there is such a happy occasion and everyone is relaxed, those are moments of true joy. I will use your recommendation to wash these pants, want to preserve them for as long as I can! Lots of love back to you! <3

  7. lovely trip and lovely landscapes, such a beautiful garden and quiet place to go for a walk!
    I'm loving your silk blouse once more, it looks beautiful with your eyelet skirts, such a summery piece! And your printed pants look even more amazing with a red top, such a cute oufit! (well, I'm a huge fan of Red Color!)

  8. Oooooooooooooh Natalia you live in a wonderful staycation area. Sooo beautyful are these pictures. Why to travel, if you have such stunning areas near your home. I love all your wonderful styles.
    I would like to travel in vacation, because my old mother in law have so wonderfull ideas to spend all the vacationtime in supermarket, garden, tidy up the cellar, paper walls, going to all graveyards for crave care....and so on. You see we must travel :))
    at least for few days.
    Big hug and kisses Tina

    1. I agree, my dearest, you must travel!! :))))) You are the funniest! :)