My friend K’s mother was in town for a few weeks and we thought it would be great to take her up to my mom’s place on Whidbey. It turned out to be a relaxing and fun mother-daughter weekend.

When we arrived in the early afternoon, the weather was trying it’s hardest to be nice, so we felt obliged to sit on the deck with drinks and a cheese plate. It was before noon and I felt a little weird drinking that early, but K’s mom opened a bottle of red and started pouring. The funny thing is that she was still on East-coast time and thought it was more like three in the afternoon.

Once the weather turned too cold to be outside, we headed into Coupeville to check out some antique stores and have a proper lunch at Toby’s. We had an order of the Penn Cove mussels, which were extra delicious that day and almost sweet. My mom and I split a crispy halibut burger and a pepper-jack hamburger. They are just regular burgers and there isn’t anything fancy about them, so I have a hard time explaining exactly why they are so amazing and delicious.

Later that evening it was still cold out, but the wind had died down and I was determined to be outside. K helped me build a fire in my mom’s fire pit and we opened some more bottles of wine and prosecco. It was really pleasant being out in the garden, watching the sun set through the trees and listening to the whir of the hummingbirds. K put some rosemary on the fire, so the smell of the fire was incredible. The wind picked up a bit and created a funnel through the fire, which brought the ashes up into the sky and it felt like it was snowing. It was one of those times when I just stopped thinking and had to breathe in how perfect everything can be in a single moment.

When it was too dark to see, we went inside and cooked a beautiful dinner of dry-brined salmon grilled with lovage from the garden. We also had asparagus, a fresh green salad with pear dressing and soft baked polenta with gruyere. It was a perfect end to a wonderful day on Whidbey.