I mentioned about a week ago that I felt as though I’d hit a wall in this deployment, and I couldn’t seem to figure out how to get past it. Then, it occurred to me. We haven’t ventured out since Mieke was born. Part of this was out of convenience, part of it was that inevitable self-preservation because, let’s be honest, I’m severely outnumbered, and doing big things just isn’t easy solo. That being said, I’ve been working hard to embrace the suck and just do it. So, on a whim, I picked the kids up early from school yesterday, and we ventured to the Steilacoom Farmers Market.
Located just a mere eight minute drive from JBLM North, Steilacoom is a beautiful waterfront town, complete with a beach, one of my favorite brunch spots, a ferry to Anderson Island, and more. It also plays host to a summer farmers market every Wednesday evening. We loved the farmers market in Watertown at Fort Drum, so I figured, why not? I packed up the wagon and the boys, wore Mieke, and we headed down to the waterfront.
The Steilacoom Farmers Market is on the petite side of things, and the activity is centrally located on the corner of LaFayette and Wilkes Street. Like many a small-town farmers market, it features a variety of great produce from local farms, as well as tasty treats, fresh flowers, handmade goods, artisan crafts, and more. The boys, in particular, were fond of the fresh kettle corn from Old Red Barn Popping Co., and yours truly decided to treat them to a bag to share. Me? I fell in love with a handmade sign from Busy Bee’z Rustic Decor that speaks volumes above my desk (no “girl boss” slogans over my workplace), fresh flowers because it’s always good to treat yourself, and farm-fresh raspberries by the half pint from Sidhu Farms.
As we were leaving, there was a small mom-and-pop shop by the flowers selling chocolate-dipped bananas and strawberries. The owner stopped me and proceeded to hand-dip two half bananas for the boys and refused payment. He said, “they’re only kids once,” and pushed my money away. It was a simple gesture, but it was one that made my whole day and, of course, spoiled my little men royally. I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with Washington as we’ve fought to settle in this past year, but there are so many sights, sounds, and wonderful people to experience here.
Though small, the Steilacoom Farmers Market made a big impact on us, and I definitely hope to go again soon with the kids. If you’re local to the JBLM area, here’s what you need to know:
- The market takes place from 3-7 PM every Wednesday evening with concerts in the park around dusk
- Most vendors take both cash and cards; of course, cash is still king at these things
- There are food trucks onsite – we saw gourmet grilled cheese, tamales, burritos, and funnel cake
- There’s a paid lot across the street from the market, but it fills up fast; street parking is readily available
- The market is open from mid-June through until the end of August
- Waterfront views are to die for! Bring a wagon or a bag, buy some treats, and eat at the park across the street
A duty station is truly what you make of it. While Washington is expensive, and i-5 is a perpetual nightmare, there are hundreds of little gems to see, do, and explore, and we’re going to tick them off one by one.