Where Artists Play: Whidbey Island, Washington

by Nancy Mueller
( September 15th, 2014 )

Pacific Northwest Art School

Whidbey Island, Washington prides itself as “a community that loves the arts.” Spectacular panoramic vistas of land and sea, natural habitats and abundant wildlife invite artists to stay for a day or a lifetime. Art galleries, studio tours, hands-on classes, and special events abound, inspiring creative expression as a way of life.

Just follow the Whidbey Art Trail, a self-guided, free studio tour of local artists, to see for yourself. After all, what’s more inspiring than watching artists at play in their creative space?

Mary Ellen O'Connor Artist

Listen to artists explain their creative process as they demonstrate a work in progress. Observe their rituals. Or simply soak up the energy in the indoor or outdoor studio environment. You can’t help but feel energized to explore the island and your own creative imagination.

Linnane Armstrong Artist

Celebrating its fourth year in 2014, The Whidbey Art Trail features local artists with a passion for printmaking, painting, pottery and photography as well as jewelry making, sculpture, glassblowing, weaving and woodworking.

Rob Schouten Studio

Pick up a few tips for your own creative projects, converse with the artists or become the happy owner of original, beautiful art to enrich your travel experience and support the local economy.

Dig deeper into the Whidbey art experience with a visit to an art gallery like Penn Cove Gallery in Coupeville or Rob Schouten Gallery at historic Greenbank Farm. Want to brush up on your photography skills? Invite a few friends, enroll in a class and bring out your inner artist.

Kim Tinuviel Photographer

For more information on Whidbey’s love of the arts, visit:

Whidbey Art Trail

Whidbey Life Magazine

Pacific Northwest Art School

Northwest Institute of Literary Arts

Sue Taves Artist

Wander on!


What’s your favorite art experience, wanderboomers? Share with us here.

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Whidbey Pies Cafe Revisited

by Nancy Mueller
( September 10th, 2014 )

Jan Gunn Whidbey Pies Cafe

My ongoing quest to crack the code of perfectly handcrafted pie crust has led me to Whidbey Pies Cafe at Greenbank Farm on Whidbey Island more than once.

Each time I’ve stopped by for a slice of their delectable berry pie, I’ve asked if proprietor, Jan Gunn, would consider sharing her recipe for publication. Each time my request has been politely rebuffed with a smile or “Nice try” by the server as I wrote in a previous post. But on this visit, I was fortunate to be introduced to Ms. Gunn herself. And this time, I succeeded – kind of.

After gushing about the taste and tenderness of the crust on my Whidbey Triple Berry Pie, I asked again. At first, Ms. Gunn hesitated. Then with a shrug of her shoulders replied: “Oh, why not?”

To be fair, her initial hesitation in sharing the recipe wasn’t from lack of generosity or even proprietary interest. After reaching for a well-worn copy of Joy of Cooking, she explained: “We turn out 800 pies a week so I have to think about the ingredient proportions to give you for fewer pies than that.”

We played around with the ratios a bit – “Maybe 2 cups unbleached pastry flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup butter . . . ” But Jan’s most significant revelation for me came next: “We don’t use shortening. We use 100% pure coconut oil.” Aha! Now we were getting somewhere.

“Oh, and then add 2 – 4 tablespoons water.”

Thanks to Jan, the next time I’m in the mood to make a pie, I now have a trail to follow. I’ll reach for my own Joy of Cooking, noodle with the ingredient ratios a bit, then jump right in. But whether I go for a berry, seasonal or savory pie – cherry, apple, pumpkin, peach or meat – I can only hope my crust comes close to the exceptional creations at Whidbey Pie Cafe.

Wander on!


What’s your no-fail pie crust recipe, wanderboomers? Please share with us here.

Still hungry? Check out these wanderblogger posts on Wanderfood Wednesday:

Hunting for Huckleberries and 5 Must Try Mexican Foods.


Product Review: Anatomie Tayla Tank Top

by Nancy Mueller
( August 7th, 2014 )

Anatomie Tayla Tank TopI’ve been in one of those ruts lately. You know the kind I mean, don’t you? The kind of rut when you look in your closet right before you pack for your next trip, then whine: “I never have anything to wear!” Yeah, that kind of rut. The kind that makes you go around saying to anyone who will listen: “I need my own stylist!”

Well, wanderboomers, we’re in luck, thanks to Anatomie, a new luxury travel wear brand dedicated to “ensuring that every woman looks and feels beautiful, wherever in the world she may choose to travel and however she may decide to get there.” Just what the fashionista doctor ordered. Because we need to look good, don’t we? Whether foraging for food after kayaking Alaska’s Inside Passage or simply lounging on the deck of your super yacht, style matters.

Anatomie, the brainchild of creative designers, Kate and Shawn Boyer, offers travelers a unique Virtual Personal Styling Session to help you select just the right travel wear to fit your profile, based on figure, coloring and intended travel activities. Wondering what passes for stylish sophistication in Europe these days? Or how to dress to impress in New York City? Check in with your Virtual Personal Stylist for recommendations and you’re good to go.

I recently had a chance to take a trial run of the navy stripe Talya Tank Top from Anatomie’s women’s wardrobe. I loved the breezy style and silky feel of the fabric. Best of all, the top’s light, easy to pack and perfect for wearing separately or under a jacket. Athletic wanderboomers will appreciate the form-fitting style, making all those days spent sweating in the gym finally pay off in spades. Now, if I can just get the Tayla Tank Top back from my teenage daughter . . .

Wander on!


What’s important to you when selecting travel wear, wander boomers? Please share with us here.

Photo credit: Anatomie Style

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