explore NW spring summer 2021

So Much to Celebrate & Explore | explore:NW

After a year of enforced patience, there is a sense of relief at the return of schools, businesses, and travel plans long put on hold. I’ve noticed friends and strangers alike are reveling at simple niceties that would have previously been overlooked, or perhaps even scorned.

Just the other day my 18-month-old ran up and hugged the leg of a perfect stranger. We were at the dog park and I was ambitiously wrangling two feet and four paws, that latter of which is 111 pounds. The hug was an act that in 2020 would have sent the kind woman she accosted and me into a hand sanitizer spin drive. While there was some embarrassment on my part for a crazy toddler doing crazy toddler things, we both laughed. The lady smiled and said, “With the year we’ve had, I’ll take it.” And we all went on our way, feeling a little lighter and brighter about the whole ordeal.

Are we quite ready to start hugging strangers? I doubt it. Most businesses are still requiring masks and physical distancing (even for those fully vaccinated). But with the rapidly improving health of United States’ residents, I can confidently say we’re all quite ready to celebrate — whether that’s exploring our region or recognizing a big milestone.

Kenmore Air, in particular, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The company’s rich history is a tale of hard work and perseverance, two traits which have held them in good stead as of late. Though the past year has indeed seen their operations shift, the core of the business remains the same; it’s a place where both employees and passengers are treated like family — the Kenmore Air family.

A lust for adventure has always been part of Kenmore’s backbone. The nature of their small aircraft makes remote, outdoor excursions particularly exciting; and something I’m thrilled to share with others.

As a child, my mom would always research our destinations. She’d find tidbits about a region’s history and share them as we explored. Understanding how a town or city was shaped by those before us helped me connect with and appreciate new places. You’ll find many such tidbits in one of this issue’s features which explores how a pig nearly sent the United States and Great Britain into war. Pay particular attention to this article if you’re flying over the San Juan Islands. Remnants of the standoff can be seen along the shores and hillsides, where several of the soldiers’ buildings have been preserved.

If you’re looking for an activity that’s a bit more hands-on and down in the muck, then take advantage of the region’s shellfish bounty. A succulent treat, shellfish never tastes better than when it’s freshly harvested. And what better way to get it fresh than to harvest your own? So while the world hasn’t completely returned to ‘normal,’ it’s safe to say there’s plenty of reasons to celebrate and ways to do so. So cheers to pressing play on plans long ago paused. Here’s to a year filled with new experiences and interesting tidbits.