Sunday, November 30, 2014

Augies U-Pick

So for the second year we went and got a Christmas tree on one of the coldest days we could find.
Apparently this is fast becoming our tradition.  Last year I believe it went fine but I think I yelled, "Just choose a fucking tree."  So yeah, I'm that parent sometimes...

Yesterday, at 4:30 we went looking for a Christmas tree on Vashon.  We figured we would just go for an already cut one.  Being 8 months pregnant I am not going to lay on the ground and cut it. After all, I might never get up otherwise.  And, bending over with a saw would be a great way to get me to pass out.

My partner wasn't especially enthused about cutting one down, but as I think he secretly likes really fresh trees, we ended up at Augies U-Cut just off of Bank road.  The place is a bit shabby, and there are no signs indicating what the heck you are supposed to do.  Last year we went there and I felt like and idiot the whole time.

This time someone greeted us warmly and asked if we needed a saw.  As I wrangled the kids into their coats she came back with a saw and we asked about the prices.

$20 for douglas firs.
$40 for everything else.  Even if you want a giant one.

We didn't go far into the farm.  There is, after all a large loop and lots of trees, but the kiddos were cold about 30 seconds into the venture and I know from experience that Sean and I have different taste in Christmas trees!  This was his year to choose!  So I was trying to be interested but also quick!

So we made a quick choice.   My Mister cut the tree town (I did hold it so the saw didn't get smashed under the weight of it- see I was helpful), and then we walked it back to the car.  We had an hilarious mishap on I-405 a couple of years ago with our tree flying we are happy to stay on the Island and toss the beast into the back of the car.

Finally, we bought a $20 wreath.  After, all we went for the douglas fir so we figured we could splurge!  All in all it was a very easy interaction.

This is no the place you go if you want horses and sleigh rides or hot cocoa or fake charm.  There was no Christmas music being streamed, and no one wearing a Santa hat.  There were some men working on putting siding on a shed who were wearing overalls- but that wasn't for show.    This place feels real.  It feels like a small seasonal business.  It feels like a great stop for a trip to Vashon that should then include a trip to a coffee shop, a pastry, and a couple pop in to some local stores.  For locals Augie's U-pick was easy for us.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Vashon IGA

So when I was a daytripper and then a vacationer on Vashon I had no idea there was a second grocery store on the Island.

Thriftway was all I knew of, and frankly was all I needed.
But of course I now know there is and IGA on Island as well. Just one street west of the downtown core.  I have to confess that I am kinda charmed by IGA.

Maybe it is because I spent a summer working at an IGA in Greenville, Illinois and that happened to be a great summer job for me.  Or maybe that the Vashon IGA is not the wierd, artsy, hippy dippy Vashon. It is an ordinary supplemental grocery store...

Sure I once bought day old fried chicken that tasted exactly like the store smelled.
And no one is claiming they have an abundance of any particular food item.
But honestly I have had good luck with everything else I've purchased there.

Sometimes things are delightfully cheaper.  Their bulk nuts are like $5 a pound cheaper! Their clementine oranges are $1 a bundle cheaper (right now). Also, as a Tillamook yogurt die hard they often have Tillamook yogurt on sale!

But really, I love IGA for these reasons:

1. When you forgot something at Thriftway and you just cannot go back there again.
2. You don't want to run into anyone.
3. You are going for a quick in an out- after all IGA is just smaller
4. You can always park close to the door.  This doesn't sound like a big deal but since I am always hauling kids in and out- this matters a lot to me!
5. It is what it is. Nothing fancy. Just a simple store. There is no pretension.

Here is their website if you are looking....