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Get lost in san franciscoâ€™s food scene Writer Adrienne Jordon loves food and shares her food discoveries from her time in San Francisco.
All That’s right with pike Why Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market is a fine place to be West Coast ♥
The Space Needle!
8 Editor’s Letter 10 Melrose Trading Post 12 In My Bag 14 New Year, New Gear 32 Living La Vida Local 36 To & From San Diego 42 My Oregon: An Interview 48 Valley Girl: Findings in Napa
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Santa Monica PHOTO: SantaPier Monica Pier
Happy 2014! I hope you had a great holiday - and that it included a bit of travel! To begin the new year, I start with my second favorite part of the US: the West Coast*. So California, Washington and Oregon - we’ve got you covered! Also on the agenda: vacation rentals. I don’t want to tell you to forgo the hotel experience. However, if you’re a DIY traveler, forget the concierge and look into a city apartment. If you play your cards right, you may find a place where you can enjoy your morning cup of coffee (and evening glass of wine!) patio side - all for the same price (or sometimes less than) a hotel room. I’ve had many successes with vacation rentals, including a trip to Seattle with my husband and my brother. We spent an afternoon at Pike Place Market and brought home a few dozen oysters and shucked them ourselves (that’s me on the bottom right embarking on a pathetic attempt). For dinner that night, we had a seafood boil with all our finds from the market. One of my best meals yet! Yum. In any case, let’s get started with west coast love.... XO,
What you don’t see: an oyster shucking fail.
*I’m from the Midwest if you’re wondering about m favorite part of the country...
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I haven’t been to L.A. since the summer 2012 when I ended my Route 66 road trip there. My husband and I spent a little over 24 hours in the city with no real plans to see anything other than the Santa Monica Pier and a few other places that he wanted to revisit from the middle school years he spent there. We drove past this market, so unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to visit the Melrose Trading Post. I am hoping to pop in and snag a few things in the very near future...
Furniture and home decor shopping. I’m loving it!
What’s better than digging through vintage books?
Location: 7850 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles I’m not sure if this is in working condition...but I want it!
HOURS: 9-5 every Sunday www.melrosetradingopst.org
What girl doesn’t like love jewelery?
HEEEEY! The typewriter is making a comeback. (and i want one)
pretty sure my parents had a phone that looked like this!
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I always carry something to write on (this is a notebook I received from a client back in my corporate days) as well as a fine-tip Sharpie pen (which I love as it makes my writing look somewhat decent) and a blue-ink pen given to me from the Tourism Bureau of Malta as a consolation prize for entering a video contest a few years ago. (I’m hoping to go back and collect more souvenir worthy pens.)
Ah, yes my Canon 6D. I’m super careful when it goes into my purse, but I don’t recommend toting it like this! I do suggest replacing the plain black strap that Canon provides. I found mine on Etsy.
I keep my lipstick, lip gloss and face blotting paper in this Blue Q pencil case as well as this package of wet wipes. The sassy message cracks me up!
In My bag I tote-ally carry all this in one bag.
This is my iPhone in a picture case I created though Zazzle. (I’ve dropped it so many times that I’m probably in a market for a new one!)
Believe it or not,everything pictured here fits into my 2-year old Banana Republic purse, which I use religiously. (I tend to buy one purse and stick with it until the end of its usable life.) There is always some sort of reading material in my purse. If I’m carrying a book, then this Will & Kate postcard [from a fellow Postcrosser] also comes along to be used as a bookmark. West Coast ♥
New Year, New Gear Hello, 2014! With a new year, it’s time to change out some of your travel companions. I’m not saying you should throw out what you already have (especially if it’s perfectly usable), but if an upgrade is in order, take the opportunity to include these items for your next trip!
Universal Travel Adapter, $28 Everytime I travel abroad, I think about plugs, outlets and using my electronics...so I don’t even know why I don’t have one of these. This is next on my list of things to buy.
Kindle Paperwhite, $119 I recently lost my Kindle on a trip and have yet to replace it. I’ve got my eye on the Paperwhite. I’m digging that it connects with Goodreads - a social website that allows you to connect with friends and take a peek at their reading habits. And - let there be light! - I can read in the dark by adjusting the brightness.
Photojojo iPhone and Android Lens Series, $20 for one lens; Kits ranging from $49 to 99 I have multiple lenses for my DSLR. So why wouldn’t I have a few for my phone? I’m loving that is more economical and easier to tote around than a DSLR lens! [P.S. I love you, Photojojo!]
Domke F-2 Original Camera Bag, $119.95 Time for a new camera bag. This bag style pretty much reflects my photography style: relaxed and does what it needs to. I’m down with it.
Polaroid Instant Mobile Printer GL10 with INK Zero Ink Printing Technology Check website for pricing information. At times, I wish I could print a picture from my phone or camera instantly to give to the subject in front of me. I don’t have that ability to do so yet, but I may consider buying one of these. Weighing less than a pound, I couldn’t see why I can’t tote this with me wherever my camera or smartphone goes.
Slim Sonic Toothbrush Amethyst, $14.95 After a long or overnight flight, I worry about brushing my teeth. (Seriously, I do.) In the last year, I’ve become obsessed with my electric toothbrush but can’t really pack it in my carry-on. This would come in handy for those travel days.
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Get Lost in
By Adrienne Jordan 16
A foodie’s dream with more than 5,000 places to eat and drink, San Francisco has more restaurants per resident than any other U.S. city. When asked their reasons for visiting San Francisco, 94-percent of domestic travelers choose “dining out.” This obsession with San Francisco’s culinary scene can be indebted to the city’s role as the port of entry for international visitors during the 18th and 19th centuries. Mexican, Chinese and Italian immigrants are some of the cultures that helped create a fusion of ethnic cuisine that can be found in some of the fashionable areas of San Francisco such as the Marina, Chinatown, and Nob Hill. Here are some fabulous dining options for visitors to this culinary hodgepodge: Nob Hill The Clift Hotel is an avant-garde property with bold interior design by Philipe Starck. The hotel’s Velvet Room restaurant features rich 22 foot-high velvet drapes spanning the circumference of the room. True to the deliberate design genius of Starck, he took the history of the building and incorporated it into the theme of the furnishings (free-standing lights resemble the lanterns of passing boats, and the carpeting in the restaurant is inspired by the redwood used to build the walls). After partaking in the must-try menu items of tasty halibut and flourless chocolate cake, head to the adjoining Redwood Room, which was built in 1933 - the same year Prohibition ended - and is made entirely of one 2,000 year old redwood tree. The vintage-themed Redwood Room was named one of “The 15 World’s Best Hotel Bars” by CNN Go in 2011. TIP: Try the blackberry margarita or the jalapeño cocktail.
Union Square For those seeking authentic Italian cuisine, Cupola Pizzeria is the go-to restaurant. Cupola is new on the culinary stage and recently celebrated their 2-year anniversary. A hidden gem tucked away inside the Westfield Center mall in Union Square gets some enthusiastic reactions from unsuspecting shoppers. According to manager, Cheri Perlite, “The most common reaction I receive is a customer who is shocked by the authentic Italian food located inside the mall”. The pizzas such as the “Carne” and “Funghi” pizza are baked in their specialized oven imported directly from Naples. The chefs use farm-to-table ingredients and make the pastas in-house. WARNING: It’s easy to eat more than you anticipated as the pizza is very light and the toppings are shockingly fresh. Chinatown Parallel 37 located at The Ritz Carlton is the place to go for elegant dining with a casual twist. The hotel is easy to miss being an unconventional federal-style building that was once home to Cogswell College. The restaurant décor is a combination of muted earth tones and black panel glass, and the standout factor for Parallel 37 is their “revolving door” of service. The cuisine is a combination of vegetable heavy, Asian-influenced dishes. The tapas-style dining is perfect for sharing plates, whether it’s an appetizer of seared octopus or a main course of flank steak. Try the cocktails, Pig n’ Boots (a mixture of scotch, lavender, yuzu and cinnamon) or the Pineapple Express (a mixture of rum, pineapple, chocolate, mint and lime).
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Photo: Joanne Wan
Marina The Presidio Social Club restaurant is located on what was once the Presidio Army Base, which is adjacent to the hip Marina district. Set apart from the busier areas of San Francisco, the restaurant grants a level exclusivity upon entrance onto the historical military grounds. The Presidio Social Club contains warm leather couches, exposed light bulbs and dark wooden tables. The menu is not jam-packed with selections, but what they have is very appetizing, including its herb roasted half chicken and petrale sole. The building has a long history: before it was a restaurant, it was an enlisted men’s club, a nursery, and finally a consignment shop. Amusing to note: there is a general consensus among the staff and owners that there is a ghost named Lieutenant Dan that inhabits the building. (A forewarning: he prefers to trip blond, busty women wearing skirts). From casual eateries to elegant dining, San Francisco has it all. The cosmopolitan culture creates a wide draw for international and domestic travelers alike. Visitors that seek out the city’s vast culinary delights are rarely disappointed. The aforementioned restaurants are only a small sampling of what the city has to offer-however, they are a great place to start!•
ABOUT THE WRITER: Adrienne Jordan is a freelance writer contributing to publications like Washington Times, Spa, and Men’s Fitness. She resides in Los Angeles and enjoys sports, adventure activities, and traveling off-the-beaten path. Her bucket list destinations include Thailand and Papua New Guinea. You can find more of her work at www.ajtravelconfessions.com.
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right with Pike
I love this Seattle landmark. To me, thereâ€™s always something new to experience, but I also admire the characteristics and traditions that make this 100+ year old market a favorite of many. 20
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the seafood Hello, Seafood Paradise! Marvel at the display and think about what you want to tote back with you. If you don’t have access to a kitchen while you’re in town, there are many places that will offer you something that you can eat on the spot. (Don’t pass up on the smoked fish.) Most of the vendors can also package up your purchase so you can carry it back on the plane with you.
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the People I love a good hustle and bustle that comes with a market place. I enjoy slowing down and observing people for this reason. (On this day, I enjoyed watching a young girl getting a piggyback ride in front of the Pike Place Fish Market.)
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OMG, the food... There is so much of it here between the produce, meats (Uli makes GREAT sausages), spices and of course, seafood. Even if you canâ€™t take advantage of the market food, there are plenty of restaurants, food vendors and coffee shops to choose from. Based on my observation, the crumpet shop is a popular place and worth trying.
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the unexpected There’s always an element of surprise when traveling. This certainly holds true with Pike. On separate trips, I discovered Piroskhys (basically a meat-filled bun); the view of Mount Rainer and a bit of sass toward Pike Place Fish Market from its competitors [see right]. Oh, and there’s a ghost tour that goes through the market too....if that’s your thing.
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the gum wall Germaphobes, this is NOT for you! The Gum Wall is so vibrant and a genius way of connecting tourists and locals alike. I wouldnâ€™t touch it. However, if you feel inclined, add to the growing collection! â€˘
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living la vida
local FINDING YOUR NEXT VACATION RENTAL
In the last couple of years, I’ve shunned staying hotels. Don’t get me wrong. I have had great hotel experiences. Having someone else make my bed and clean my room in the mornings is quite appealing (and has been cause for confusion when I return home and quickly realize that I have to pick up after myself again). I’ll be the first to say that hotels are great. However, there are a few reasons I’ve decided to forgo the hotel experience during my last few trips and placed my faith with vacation rentals. Reason #1: The convenience. Play your cards right and you’ll find a place that offers the comforts of home, provides more space than a hotel (a kitchen, living room, bathroom AND separate bedroom?!?!?!) and comes with a great view. If you happen to be in a town known for its food markets and are an avid home cook, having access to a kitchen is something that might be of interest to you. I found this to be the case everytime I traveled to Seattle. I would check into my hotel room and stroll over to the market. I never left the market hungry, but I was always disappointed to leave empty-handed. (Let’s be clear: I wasn’t a cook back then, but I knew how to boil things.) Fast forward years later, I returned to The Emerald City with my husband and my brother and decided to get an apartment a few blocks from Pike Place - and with a view of the Space Needle! My brother - who travels a lot for work but who also doesn’t have a washer/dryer unit at his place - brought a suitcase full of dirty clothes to do laundry during the weekend. Yes, he managed to get about 2 or 3 loads done that weekend. No, this is not normal
travel style, but having a washer and dryer available has helped when something required an emergency wash. (Accidents happen!) Reason #2: I can’t eat out all the time. After awhile, my body craves a home-cooked meal. It just happens that I love cooking and playing with new ingredients - something I always find in different cities. The bonus to this is
the view from our seattle vacation rental West Coast ♥
that I usually have leftover food that can be brought back home. My favorite: local coffee, which I drink leisurely in the morning as I go over the plans for the day. (One note: Make sure to prioritize dining out, especially if you’re in city known for its culinary options!)
the per-movie fee found in most hotel rooms! (On this particular night, we opened up one of our new bottle of wines, had crème brûlée we discovered from a nearby food truck and happily watched a few episodes of Breaking Bad. Perfection.)
Reason #3: It’s cost effective. In regards to the space, you’ll more likely than not have more room in a vacation rental than in a hotel room for the same rate. You’ll also find savings from the tipping, parking, meals...and in some cases, WiFi charged at the end of your hotel stay. During a stay in San Francisco, I came back to our apartment after an entire day in Napa Valley. To my surprise, our TV was equipped with Netflix. It certainly beat paying
Reason #4: As a traveler, there may be a better way to live like a local. You’re pretty much staying in the living quarters of the person who has rented the space out to you. From there, you’re on your own to discover the neighborhood gems, including the restaurants and shops that may introduce you to more people who might let you in on some of their favorite things in their hometown. You might just feel like a local, if only for a few days.
Tips finding the right vacation rental • There are many websites out to start with, including Airbnb, VRBO, TripAdvisor, HomeAway and New York Habitat. Shop around, and keep in mind that sometimes one property is listed on multiple sites...with different prices. • Don’t rely on just the pictures. A skilled photographer can make a small, cozy apartment look like a Park Avenue penthouse. • On that note, read the reviews of other guests. • Be in touch with the owner. Ask questions about the apartment features and amenities as well as the neighborhood, stores, and nearby public transportation or parking options. If you don’t hear back within 24 hours, follow up. If you still don’t hear back, let it go. If the owners can’t be bothered with getting in touch with you, they won’t be great “landlords”.
What you should pack • An extra towel or two. Usually the rentals are stocked, but it’s not a bad idea to bring your own just in case. • Toiletries - remember, you’re not staying at a hotel! [Although forgetting your shampoo could provide a great opportunity to explore the neighborhood in search of a bottle.] • If you’re an enthusiast chef, pack your kitchen essentials. I’ve been in more than one apartment with a fully stocked kitchen...with a crappy knife. [Of course, this means you may have to check your luggage. If that’s not an issue, do it.]
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San Diego TO & FROM
Interview by Diana Nguyen Photography by Lemons, Avocados & The Bay
San Diego is an easy city to love, as resident and blogger Tammy of Lemons, Avocados & The Bay knows. Here, she raves about her beloved city and talks about traveling beyond the borders of the west coast.
How would you describe your blog Lemons, Avocados & The Bay? It’s basically a San Diego life and style blog, but I really just blog about my life, the things I like, the places we go, and well, what’s on my mind.
Name/Profession: Tammy. I’m a pediatric occupational therapist by day, fitness aficionado in the evenings and a blogger in my spare time.
I love that you call yourself a “definite California girl” [on your website] ! Could you explain what makes you one? It’s simple really, I’m happiest when I’m at - or at least near - the beach. I
grew up in Orange County, braved the traffic of LA for my undergraduate and graduate degrees, and now get to call America’s Finest City (San Diego) my home. I really, really love it here. Where did your travels take you to last? Italy and Paris. Italy has always been our top travel destination. For years, my fiancé and I have talked about traveling to Italy, but it was never really the “right” time. One day I sat down, looked at how many miles I had accumulated on my frequent flyer credit card and realized that the two of us could fly to Europe round trip for free. (Cough. That is how many miles you can accumulate when you pay for grad school with your credit card!) We talked about the right time to go, booked a trip and that was that. It was the best experience of our lives.
I live to travel and I can't wait for our next destination.
What did you enjoy most about it? That’s a little difficult to say because
it was all so wonderful, but I love the feeling I get when I step into a new place for the very first time. However, if I had to pick, Cinque Terre was my absolute favorite place we visited in Italy. It’s absolutely beautiful on the beach and is home to so many kind people. There’s no place like it in the world. What was the best thing you ate? I don’t think I could ever pick, but croissants in Paris, gnocchi in Cinque Terre and pizza in Tuscany absolutely stand out. Would you do it again? Yes, yes and yes! I live to travel and I can’t wait for our next destination. Any advice for those planning the same trip? Get a guidebook, be flexible and take Italo trains. They’re more likely to arrive on time and are easier to navigate. For other tips, check out my blog post here
What do you typically travel with? I’ve mentioned it before, but I travel with my fiancé Nadav. He’s my perfect life part-
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ner, but he’s also the perfect travel partner for me. While I’m a spontaneous dreamer, he’s practical, good with money and able to calm me down when I need it. We balance each other out. Where will your next adventure take you? South Florida, Costa Rica, Israel, and perhaps Spain? Where are you now? San Diego, and I like it that way. Speaking of, are there any places that tourists tend to overlook in San Diego? Solana Beach. It has beautiful beaches and a great little street with fun boutiques - all while having that small town beachy feel. Three words to describe San Diego: Beachy, relaxed and kind Is the West Coast really best? Duh, it obviously is the best coast. ;) Great weather, kind people, perfect weather and gorgeous beaches! Answer the following: When I’m traveling, I feel... like I’m doing what I’m really meant to do: explore and learn.• Check out more from tammy! www.bayparkdream.com
More fun facts about the girl behind Lemons, Avocados & They Bay
What was the last book you read that made you want to travel? Eat Pray Love. It’s cliché but it’s oh so true.
How do you spend your time on long flights? I sleep! When I’m tired, I can sleep anywhere. (Okay, there was that one time I fell asleep at a Blink 182 concert...) When I am awake, I read or watch movies on my Ipad.
Are there on-theroad beauty products or secrets you swear by?
No, but I wrote a post about how I packed one carry-on bag for our trip to Europe. You can check it out here
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mini-guide For first-time visitors to San Diego, what places and attractions would you recommend experiencing? Visit Coronado Island. Explore the historic Hotel Del, rent bikes and ride around the entire island. It’s my absolute favorite thing to do in San Diego. Explore Balboa Park’s gardens, museums, and even the San Diego Zoo. It’s an absolutely beautiful place that has so much to offer visitors and locals alike. La Jolla Cove. Walk along the grass, take in the beautiful ocean views, see the seals, and even check out some of the shops on Girard Ave. One of my absolute favorite places in San Diego!
And where should they wine and dine? Snooze in Hillcrest would be a perfect spot to get brunch before spending the day at day at Balboa Park. We Olive & Wine Bar at the La Jolla Cove. C-Level for incredible Downtown and Bay Views. The Prado in Balboa Park for great food and drinks in a beautiful setting.
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An interview with Pacific Northwest outdoor photographer Patricia Davidson. Interview by Diana Nguyen Photography by Patricia Davidson West Coast â™Ľ
How did your love of photography start? My love for photography began when I was in high school. I had a photography class that sparked my interest. For many years, I was the one always taking pictures. In 2007 I won the cover for a state photo calendar contest for the Parks & Recreation Department. Shortly after, my husband bought me my first digital DSLR. I joined an online photo community where I shared a photo a day for a year. Since then, photography has become a deep passion. I love to get out in nature and explore. My husband and I enjoy hiking and kayaking. He’s an avid geocacher, which fits with my photography because it always takes us outdoors. What’s been your favorite Oregon location to shoot? My favorite location is Bandon, along the Oregon Coast. I visit the location frequently because it’s not far from my home. The beautiful beaches and sea stacks are so awesome to photograph. Closest to home, I love Shore Acres State Park for the botanical gardens and the beautiful shore line with crashing waves in season. For first-time visitors to Oregon, what would you recommend they experience? I would recommend Portland for experiencing a beautiful city with many things to do. Portland has many fine restaurants. I love the diversity of the types of foods you can find there. Portland has Japanese Gardens, a beautiful riverfront and much more. About 45 minutes from Portland, you can visit the Columbia River Gorge. There are over 70 waterfalls with an endless amount of hiking
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trails. Bend is also a place I love to visit. There are so many outdoor recreation opportunities. It’s such a beautiful area with lots of photo opportunities. With mountains, lakes, rivers and trails, it’s no wonder Bend is a popular resort area. But if there is one absolute place in Oregon you’d recommend, what would it be? Since I live on the Southern Oregon Coast, I would have to say that visitors should visit the coast. There are breathtaking beaches all along the coastline. Where was your last in-state destination? Portland. We have family in Portland as well as Bend, so enjoy going as often as possible. What did you enjoy most about it? The Columbia River Gorge. What was the best thing you ate? We eat at many vegan restaurants because we have family members that are vegan. Portland has many great vegan or vegan friendly restaurants. In 3 words, answer the following: When I’m traveling, I feel... full of excitement! One last question: what’s the best book on Oregon and/ or photography? I like photography books or guidebooks. I would say if someone likes photography to pick up Greg Vaughn’s book, Photographing Oregon. The book highlights many places in Oregon that would be of interest to photographers.•
Check out more from Patricia!
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Or at least I’m trying to be! If you’ve never been to Napa Valley, here are a few things I’ve picked up during my times in Wine Country... PHOTO: Vittorio’s Vineyard. 48
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Looking for sparking wine? Go to Domaine Carneros. You won’t regret it.
Olive oil is lovely on chocolate. Try it! Drizzle a teeny, tiny drop on a piece of dark chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt, if you’d like. What do you think?
Someone will eat the cheese. (Duh.) I have an issue with wasting food (I hate doing it). But when there’s a platter of cheese in front of me, I’m not normally the person who reaches for it. I’m lactose Intolerant (no fun, right?), but For pictureto my delight, someperfect vineyards, one will always eat the come to Napa Valley during cheese. This just means harvest-time for a color spectacular. more bread to go with But come anytime during the year for my wine! the wine! There’s a rapping sommelier at Peju Winery. [That’s him on the left.] I don’t have video evidence of this, but he did break out into a song about the wine he was pouring - TWICE - when I was there. A delightful surprise. 50
Have an impromptu picnic. V. Sattui Winery has a Marketplace and Deli where you can buy items to create your own wine country picnic on site.
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t s u m s g n i h t d o o g l l A
. . . . d n e n a o t e t com
But one more thing!! You may feel a little sluggish after all the wine. So go to Bouchon Bakery in Yountville for a caffeinated pick-me-up and dessert! It will be a sweet ending to a perfect day. â€˘
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â€˜Til next time! www.toandfrommag.com 54
To & From loves California, Oregon and Washington!