about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Orcas Island Adventures.

Our weekend in the San Juan Islands continues!  Cullen had a really bad night of sleep the first night we were there – basically awake from 3 to 6am, which is really unlike him.  He refused to be in the pack n play and instead did gymnastics in between us in the big bed.  Finally at six I put him back in and he eventually went back to sleep. 

After his early morning antics, he ended up sleeping until almost TEN o’clock.  I couldn’t believe it!


Casey and I had coffee and breakfast out on the patio and enjoyed some rare early morning quiet time.  Eventually the snoozer woke up and decided to join us for the day. 

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My original plan for the day was to do a bunch of stuff early in the morning, head home for afternoon nap, and then go back out again for a few hours before dinner.  But since Cullen slept so late, we decided to just make a day of it and let him sleep on the go if needed. 

First stop was the Orcas Island Saturday Farmers’ Market!  Full of cute local vendors and lots of delicious looking food carts.

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We ended up sitting down for an early lunch at Mia’s Café, just down the street.  Casey and I both got this black bean and beet burger, which was fantastic.  Cookie monster approved. 

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Washed down with some of our favorite Seattle beverages – Dry Soda!  Always fun to find these when we’re out of town.  Please ignore Elmo. 

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Cullen had the Toad In A Hole – basically an egg fried inside a piece of toast.  Finished every last bite, including his orange rinds.  Ew.

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After lunch we headed to Moran State Park.  I’d researched things to do in the area ahead of time, and knew this was something we didn’t want to miss, so I packed our hiking backpack and our trail shoes.  The hike to the top of Mt. Constitution was 2400 feet (and six miles) up.  I knew that was too long of a hike for Cullen to last in the backpack, and likely too hard for me to do physically.  So we drove to the top and planned out a few shorter hikes to do afterward. 

What we found at the top literally took my breath away…

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We had panoramic views of the Cascades, Olympics, Mt. Baker and Ranier, as well as the San Juans and countless surrounding islands.  We could see all the way to the Canadian coast!

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I’ve said it a million times before, but when we do things like this I just ooze with excitement and gratitude that Cullen will grow up seeing and doing things like this.  I hope our kids learn to love nature and the outdoors as much as we do!

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After spending some time at the top and taking 4,000 photos, we hopped back in the car and headed back down to officially start our hike.  We set out toward Mountain Lake – about 1.5 miles away. 

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One of the cool things about this park is that even though it is absolutely enormous (over 5,200 acres!) we felt like we had the forest to ourselves.  We only saw a handful of other hikers the whole time we were out there.  At some point I decided to walk across the giant log, and realized about halfway out that it was probably a really bad idea.  You can’t tell from the picture, but it was probably 20 feet over the water, and it also turned out to be covered in fire ants.  I scurried back quickly.

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Somewhere around two miles later, we reached the base of Mountain Lake.  It was gorgeous!

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It sort of reminded me of the hike we did to Mason Lake last summer.  It’s so amazing to see such gorgeous, clear fresh water within the mountain. 

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We took a break and split a couple of PB&J sandwiches, and let Cullen stretch his legs.

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From Mountain Lake we hiked over to Cascade Falls – gorgeous!

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And we ran into this creepy crawler along the way.  Yikes!!

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We made it almost to the end of our hike before this happened.

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He looks enormous, right?  Sigh.

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We headed home and got cleaned up for our last dinner out in town. 

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We checked out the new wood-fired pizza place, thinking we’d eat at the picnic tables outside (after we discovered they didn’t have high chairs).  Casey and I shared a delicious salad made of greens grown on their own farm. 

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But we ended up opting to take our pizza to go.  It had been a long day and I could tell Cullen was fading.  Plus, we had a gorgeous patio just a few blocks away that we could all relax on!  Casey and I split two pizzas.  Simple marinara…

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And roasted garlic scape.  Omg.

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Much better.

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Cullen went to sleep easily (and stayed asleep this time!), and Casey and I had another fantastic night talking and soaking up the unbelievable sunset.

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Sunday morning brought Father’s Day, and we had a low key breakfast out in Eastsound before packing up to head home.  We ferried back to the mainland and wished the islands goodbye!

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I closed my eyes and said thank you for a fabulous weekend away with the people I love most.  We are lucky to live in a place that is so beautiful, and I am constantly in awe of wonderful is it to watch Casey as a dad.  I hope that his Father’s Day felt half as special as he makes us feel every day.


Until next time!

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52 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Kristen     at 5:19 pm

Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing! I grew up in Vancouver and spent almost every summer on Galiano island until my grandparents sold their cabin- still my favorite (or rather favourite if I’m being true to my homeland :-)) place in the world. After they sold the cabin, I started going to my friend’s cabin on Gabriola island- nothing like island summers: running around outside all day with no parent supervision since you can’t go anywhere and you know your neighbors for years. Its a fun life.


April     at 5:19 pm

What a great surprise for Casey! That looks like so much fun and so relaxing. Thanks for sharing with us!


lisa fine     at 5:26 pm

So fun! I always love reading about your vegetarian food and fun drink finds. I’m all about seeking out the local farmers’ markets, and hikes. Very cool.


char eats greens     at 5:45 pm

Yay for the Canadian landscape in the back!! Sounds like such an awesome weekend!!!!


Erica     at 5:56 pm

Gorgeous weekend! Love your blog, Emily! You are giving me great outdoor adventure ideas… We live in Gig Harbor and hav an almost 2-year old. Happy summer!


Tina     at 6:15 pm

Wow. That view is beyond breathtaking. I had to scroll up and look at the photos multiple times they’re just so gorgeous! I think it’s incredibly awesome that you take Cullen out to explore the world around him as much as you do. I’m sure that the experiences he has will stay with him forever. He will definitely have some amazing memories as he grows older!


Lauren @ The Highlands Life     at 6:38 pm

Dying over him falling asleep on the hike. Isn’t it just the sweetest when they just pass right out?


Lindsey     at 6:44 pm

Such beautiful photos and it looks like it was a great get away! I love Dry Soda, my fav is the cucumber.


Katy     at 6:49 pm

Hi! My husband and I love the San Juans and have been wanting to try Orcas Island. Do you mind sharing the name of the place you rented? It looks wonderful!

Thank you!!


Suzanne     at 6:51 pm

Beautiful photos! Makes me want to go hiking!


Katie p     at 7:15 pm

That scenery is amazing! I kept wanting to double click as if I was on Instagram! Looks like y’all ha a really relaxing fun weekend!


Ingunn     at 7:42 pm

Perfect weekend!!


Ashley     at 7:47 pm

What a fantastic post. A thankful mind is a happy mind. Your lifestyle with your family is exactly what my boyfriend and I hope to have. You’re making me excited for it :)


Melissa     at 9:05 pm

Looks like a great weekend! So hard to plan things wo them knowing! Good job! What backpack do you have for Cullen? I know you mentioned it before, but I don’t remember. My husband and I are looking at ospreys, I think that’s what you have but not sure. Thanks!


Alison     at 9:08 pm

I love this! The views are absolutely gorgeous and it’s awesome that your whole family enjoys the hikes. That last picture of Casey throwing Cullen in the air is awesome!!


Tammy     at 9:48 pm

Wow! What an amazing weekend! I’m so happy for you that you pulled off such a great surprise and that the scenery did not disappoint! Thanks for adding to my life’s To Do list! :-) Oh, and that last picture of Casey throwing Cullen is just beautiful – what a fantastic shot!


Shel@PeachyPalate     at 12:36 am

That really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen, really want to visit now! Gorgeous! He’s so cute asleep in the carrier!


Verna     at 3:15 am

Sounds like such a fun trip! I love the idea of renting a bigger place, I never think about it or just assume it’s out of our price range. I’ll have to check it out more. My kids do NOT sleep in our bed ever. If we bring them in with us after a nightmare or something (which is super rare anyway) they end up playing and flopping instead of actually sleeping. Never works for us either!


Hope @ With A Side Of Hope     at 4:04 am

I love that last picture of Casey throwing Cullen up in the air! :) Your weekend looked so relaxing and really beautiful.


Hilary @ PeanutButterSpoonfuls     at 4:59 am

Such breathtaking photos!! And Cullen is such a good eater! I am a little terrified that there are fire ants there though… I thought they were only in the south? How long before they close in and take over the whole country, eek?


Michelle     at 5:29 am

Hellooooo from Canada!! *waves*
Sounds like you had a fantastic weekend :)


Emily     at 7:02 am

Those photos are absolutely stunning! So glad you had a great trip. The one of Cullen eating his eggs and toast is hilarious though, he is SO serious! haha


Emma     at 7:11 am

I grew up on Orcas and this post made me so homesick! I’m glad you got to enjoy my beautiful island :)


Nikki     at 8:07 am

What brand are Cullen’s precious shoes? I covet them for my 14 month old every time I see his cute little feet.


Rachel     at 9:13 am

Wow, those were gorgeous views! I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest but I’ve always wanted to visit (more so than before!). Your weekend getaway sounds like a big success!

Also, that last picture of Casey tossing Cullen is amazing!


Christine     at 9:36 am

I’m sure it’s been asked, but what kind of carrier is that? Looks like a great weekend!


Theresa     at 9:58 am

I loved this post! The scenery was amazing, and those hiking trails looked beautiful. I had never really thought about traveling to those islands but now its definitely on the list! I’m glad you had a great Father’s Day weekend. I’m sure Casey loved it! And props to you for pulling off that surprise!


MegG     at 10:01 am

Great photos!! Now I know I need to go back to see that view. It was raining and snowing during our race so we saw a whole lot of nothing when we reached the top, not the reward I was looking for after the climb! What a wonderful father’s day adventure!


Robin     at 10:27 am

What a gorgeous vacation. The snow covered mountain tops must have been breath taking! Oh, and Cullen is ADORABLE. Definitely not helping my baby fever!


Melissa     at 11:03 am

haha – that picture of him asleep in the carrier in the car kills me LOL


Susan (susonia.com)     at 11:31 am

The photos from your trip and hike look absolutely amazing! I’m missing the Northwest (I’ve been living even a bit further up north in Vancouver for the past 5+ years). Here in San Diego, there are barely any trees. :) Just kidding, we do have trees, but I do miss the lush and green forests of both BC and WA.


Nina     at 12:23 pm

Those pictures look amazing, I just put San Juan Islands to the places I have to go! Thanks for sharing and enjoy the rest of your week!


Anna Crouch     at 12:23 pm

Oh my gosh. I love all of this! I need to take my husband to Orcas Island. I’ve been there before but it was years ago and was for school–we didn’t do or see anything nearly as beautiful as you guys did!


Bethany @ Accidental Intentions     at 12:52 pm

Just beautiful. I seriously could just go on and on about the San Juans all day, and for real: I’m SO glad you had the chance to spend a weekend on Orcas. Wish I could go there myself right now! Your photos are simply stunning, and I really appreciate you sharing all of this with us — it’ll have to do as a substitute for really being there until I’m able to get out to Washington again!


Foo     at 1:41 pm

Gorgeous photos, glad you had a great time!


Julia     at 3:36 pm

Absolutely gorgeous photos and breathtaking scenery!!! I think we need to plan to visit the PNW next summer!


Meghan     at 4:23 pm

Looks like a beautiful getaway!


Leah M     at 6:13 pm

Thank you for sharing your vacation with us. Beautiful pictures! I’m adding Orcas Island to our bucket list.


Leah     at 8:29 am

Garlic scape pizza thanks for the idea.

Some of the views on your hike look like the views from the Atlantic Provinces in Canada. Part of the Fundy Drive is very similar (beautiful part of Canada…but the complete opposite side!). :)

Thanks for sharing your island weekend with us.


Megan Baer     at 9:48 am

I just LOVE this post – it looks like it was an amazing trip and a wonderful way to spend Father’s Day weekend. These photos are breathtaking! I even forwarded the post to my husband – we’ve been wanting to go to Orcas Island, but didn’t get the opportunity last time we visited the Seattle. His response was “OMG. Whoa! Let’s go there NOW.” :)


Megan Baer Reply:

Whoops… the Seattle area… not THE Seattle.


Claire @ Health Nut Claire     at 11:59 am

That last picture is perfect!!!


Lesley     at 7:32 pm

Emily – just curious what brand and model of hiking backpack you guys use for Cullen? He seems to be very comfy in it!


Lance Evans     at 8:08 am

I love reading travel posts about Orcas Island – and yours is a great one. Even though I live on the island, it’s fantastic to see the island from other’s perspective. I work at the Chamber of Commerce on Orcas and am always happy to help travelers with plans to visit.


Kristi     at 7:10 pm

Sometimes Cullen looks like such a big boy, and other times he looks like the little boy that he is.
Those views are breathtaking.


Kat C     at 7:44 am

Easy on the shadow highlight filter


Emily Malone Reply:

Easy on the negativity. Why was this possibly necessary?


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