Hi friends! I'm back from my birthday weekend at Mount Rainier. We stayed at Wellspring Spa & Retreat, an easy 1.5 hour-drive from Seattle. This place is unreal. I truly think it's one of Washington's best kept secrets.
Wellspring is a boutique eco-resort near the base of the mountain, nestled within a 10-acre forest sanctuary. The property is sprinkled with with cozy cottages, safari huts, and even a tree house. Sunny, the owner, kindly put us up in the Tatoosh Lodge, the main cabin with a huge stone fireplace, a full kitchen and custom built 10-foot cedar dining table. Al Gore stayed here once upon a time. We suspect his visit was the inspiration behind An Inconvenient Truth.
Upstairs is an 8-person sleeping loft where our friends slept. It felt like camp!
The first morning, I sat with my steaming cup of tea in front of the fire, feeling giddy with content. No cell phones or internet to disturb the peace. I should go off-the-grid more often.
Well, I do admit. I sort of missed reading Facebook wall posts on my birthday. But that could wait. I was in a gorgeous rustic cabin surrounded by quiet natural beauty. I was more relaxed than I've been in quite some time.
For dinner, we set up a gourmet baked potato bar. Inspired by Joanna's smorgasboard, I went all out with toppings. There were the basics: butter, cheddar, sour cream, green onions and black pepper. And the more unusuals: steak, chicken and bacon (for Hal and the omnivores), goat cheese, gorgonzola, brie, parmesan, balsamic mixed veggies, mushrooms in white wine, grilled onions, sauteed garlic, sweet corn, broccolini, brussels sprouts, heirloom tomatoes, roasted red pepper spread, vodka marinara, artichoke dip, hot sauce, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, black beans, pickled jalapenos, baby cornichons, fresh basil, rosemary, cilantro and parsley. Phew! Best baked potatoes of my life.
In lieu of gifts, I asked my friends to bring a board game. Surprisingly, the most used game of the night was one that we found in the closet. Headbanz! Before you judge, it's harder than it looks.