It’s been a whirlwind.
We landed at the new dry dock marina, had the boat hauled out, and wistfully placed it into dry storage. More of that excitement is on Instagram, like the unexpected night sailing video.
Then we headed to a nearby basement Airbnb (one of the most profitable uses of a basement, I think). This is where I’d planned to pack everything for our overseas travels.
However, it soon became apparent that we needed to spend much of that week hauling items off the boat, doing maintenance on the boat, building things (like a ladder), then hauling items back onto the boat. The local food co-ops ultimately saved (fed) us during that time.
After all that work, we headed to an Airbnb in downtown (historic district) Olympia, WA (pictured above) for a week, where we found ourselves smack in the middle of a gluten-free and vegan paradise.
We had chosen Olympia’s downtown historic district so a certain someone could enjoy some very special time with his loved ones before we left. I also definitely needed this time to seriously clean, sort, and pack every last thing for overseas travel (see more of these photos on Instagram). We had no idea of the bonuses below…
Our Airbnb was just around the corner, and across the street, from the Little General Food Shop.
Words cannot begin to describe the joy felt upon discovering how close our Airbnb was to Little General Food Shop. There is nothing like being able to quickly run outside for whatever you need. Plant-based, vegan, and gluten-free, their tarts (vegan quiche) and pizzas (with cashew cheese) were a sight for sore eyes.
Their beet salad was perfect. The store also offered additional green and hearty salads (to eat in or take-out), plus a refrigerator and freezer full of more goodies. I really don’t want to stop talking about this shop, and I wish I could show you all of the photos, as it was such a perfect spot to grab healthy food in Olympia, WA.
In fact, they even made California, curry, and teriyaki nori rolls, fresh, daily. And they’ve also just started making collard wraps (a meal in one). On the shelves, we could grab oatmeal, healthy crackers, and much more. And the employees? They were such kind souls who made each visit so very special.
Our Airbnb was also just down the street from Peace, Love, and Raw.
A little birdie told me to walk to the end of the block and cross the street to see Peace, Love, and Raw. This earthy take-out kitchen had the most amazing food, like their tangy Veggie Sandwich on their own Sweet Onion Bread.
The food at Peace, Love, and Raw was addictive. Their fresh juices were pure, the Tuesday Tacos were refreshing, the desserts such a treat, and their new employee was exceptionally kind and knew how to work with customers.
Special note: Their Sweet Onion Bread is a must. Truly. It might look like a giant cracker to non-raw foodies, but it tastes divine holding a sandwich. It was a suggested favorite, and I definitely found out why.
And just around the corner from Peace, Love and Raw was the Wayside Cafe.
If one can believe it, just around the corner from Peace, Love, and Raw was the Wayside Cafe. Olympia’s first vegan restaurant, walking inside felt like walking into any favorite deli, diner, or pub.
It had a great vibe and a warm feel. The Wayside Cafe also provided the opportunity to help others in need. If only we’d had time to sample their menu. We will be back here to linger, for sure.
All of this was also just across the street from La Gitana Pizzeria.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, La Gitana Pizzeria also sits across the street. Offering organic ingredients, gluten-free crust and pasta, and vegan options (just ask, if it’s not on the menu), this is a local family favorite. The pasta sauce is delish and the toppings so fresh.
And right next door was Moda Capelli’s Sustainable Beauty shop, in downtown Olympia, WA.
I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to sharing this Olympia treasure, Moda Capelli. As I was literally walking to gather the food mentioned above, I walked under a sign that said, “Sustainable Beauty.” I peeked inside and saw “100% vegan” and “cruelty-free” on the wall.
What could this be? A sustainable beauty salon? I thought only Aveda had those! I quickly learned that Aveda is not the only one.
I was blown away to see every single stylist with stunning hair. They explained their ecological hair coloring product, they had the kindest staff, and they had the warmest atmosphere. All of this, together, was a first for me.
Because I’d just had an unfortunate foil (which helped me realize just how much I’d disliked my hair for quite some time), I was secretly desperate for a fix before heading overseas. But I only had three days left before our flight took off, and this sustainable salon was booked out for at least a month.
However, the kind people at Moda Capelli placed me on a waiting list. Since Washington had been peppered with a bit of a cold rainy summer, and sunshine was fresh on the horizon, Moda Capelli expected to see some cancellations.
True to their word, just a few hours later, I received a call to fill a last-minute cancellation. I ran right down to their shop.
After a stunning Balayage that corrected my previous mistake, it was then very apparent that my hair truly needed a new cut, too. Back on the waiting list, I went.
The next day, another appointment opened up, and a whole lot of hair was chopped off. I truly needed this fresh new style (and I finally have the bangs I’ve long hoped for).
This was such an incredible experience that I decided to keep going, especially since it might be a year before I’m back in this area. So back on the waiting list I went, a third time.
The day before our plane took off, one more canceled appointment opened up, allowing another dreamy Balayage color to be mixed in. The result was exactly what I’d hoped for, for summer in Sweden.
This entire experience was extravagant for me, doing so much at one time. But it was necessary to fix what was wrong, and to finally create the look that I had long hoped for. Hands down, I’m so grateful for Moda Capelli’s artistic gifts.
Also, since I’ll likely be gone from this area for at least a year, they colored my hair in a natural, lived-in way, so that it can grow out without needing more color maintenance. That, alone, makes this expense nearly a wash.
I can’t believe all of this luck, finding the perfect Olympia Airbnb location for gluten-free and vegan travel. And that it includes the sustainable beauty experts I’ve spent my entire life looking for, is astonishing. Guess who will be going back to Olympia’s downtown historic district?