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August 2018

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Sounds like heaven! I love small towns, and the wisdom of old people. Go tell that idgit that even tho he's an idgit, you love him!

Michelle Adams

Love, love, love it!!!!
And I would have totally worried about the 1 man less table too.
Hope you get a card from Eleanor... :)
Happy (late) Anniversary!


love it.

Melinda Anderson

I just love this post! I'm putting Ferndale on my list- I've driven through but never stopped. Sounds like a great weekend!




The Shaw House looks so charming.

I figured that commenting on the inn was a safe bet. I was going to comment on how lovely you look, but the gun sign from your husband (and that menacing look) kind of scare me off.


I love your blog, so real! I especially loved the end of this part, that is real life.

krista resnick

oh Karen-how wonderful your weekend sounds-so true and so real. I only wish we knew one another in real life. So many of your writings are so many of my thoughts...I'm so glad you had a great weekend away with Josh:)


This was good for my heart, thank you.


That was a super awesome post! Loved all the pictures! What a treat to be included in the Thursday night fun! I saw the Majestic, it wasn't bad considering it was Jim Carrey and I don't care for him.


Such a heartwarming story... and it brings an amazingly real sense of pride and gratitude seeing another's destination, memory-making time spent in our little hometown of Ferndale. Thank you so much for sharing!


looks like ya'll had a blast! your self-portrait shots are always amazing! and the place ya'll stayed is too cute -- love all those mirrors. happy anniversary to the 2 of you!


I love your perspective! I know you two enjoy little out of the way places with great food. If you're every in Hopland, CA (between Crescent City & San Fran) go to the Bluebird Cafe and have some of their homemade pie (I recommend anything cream) it's a slice of heaven (they also serve elk burgers for Josh). :)


i don't know why, but your posts like this are always my favorite.. and while i will eat chicken while out dining.. i most certainly will not & have not eaten it off a bone.. i feel you.. and i totally get poked fun at about it! :)

Susan Elliott

Oh how I loved this post...Happy Anniversary...

stephanie ackerman

seriously, the world needs more people like authentic you!


Such a sweet story. And, of course, wonderful, wonderful pictures. Happy Anniversary!

Robin healy

You documented that both written and photographically beautiful... Just like Karen Russell would!


It's so wonderful when you share a magical weekend - with someone you love so dearly. Sharing such beautiful memories is a blessing directly from the Creator - He manages to put us exactly in the spot we need to be in to appreciate our personal situation just when we need to be reminded of it, doesn't He? How GREAT is Our God.


I've been reading your blog for years and I think this is one of the best posts EVER. Love how you document your trip and love your pictures. I'm going to start calling my husband an "idgit" now too!


Oh, girl, girl...what a slice of life. You do life well - and blogging. Thank you for adding in that you are back to real life and that you have been mad at each other. I mean, come on, that is real life too! So thank you!

Shannon L

I love the idgit husband is usually so calm and nice when we fight that it drives me crazy..haha..but he just says I'm the real passionate one. We will be married 10 years come June. I saw a quote the other day and it was an older couple holding hands in the background and it said "we came from a generation that if it was broke, we fixed it; not throw it away" or something like that..and ever since then it's stuck with me. Congrats to your wedding anniversary!

Julie in Aust.

Karen your life is like a really sweet movie...write a book! Please...

Then it will become a movie and all your readers will go see it and we will all secretly know exactly whats going on because we have all been reading about it for years! And we will watch the whole movie smiling! How's that for an idea?

My Mum used to call us 'idgits' when we were kids too...but I always thought it was an Irish term...maybe?

She also called us 'sirry irriots'...silly idiots!

This post is my new favourite Karen...loved it.

Julie in Aust.

Oh Yes...Happy Anniversary! Our 31st is tomorrow...

Juli P

We're celebrating 10 years this summer and really need to buy my husband a bike so we can take a little trip like this! Sounds just delightful.
You and Josh are such an inspiration! thanks for sharing.
and happy anniversary!


the picture of you in the mirror may possibly be my favorite one of you ... lovely! thanks for letting us live through your weekend escapes..

mandy friend

ohmygoshilovethispost! jerad and i almost went to ferndale area last year fro our anniversary {he used to go down there for work on occassion too} but i love the history of the locals and such. and i'm like you, i imagine their lives and get all teary. there's an old man that works at walmart in the deli area and i almost cry every time i see him walking slowly with his oxygen tank:(.
is the majestic that one with jim carrey where he's actually NOT annoying? i think i really liked that one...if indeed that's the one.
we are kindred spirits my dear. {except for the whole running thing...}

Kim Langston

I recently have become a faithful reader of your blog. Love you and your family. Your narration of every day life is absolutely the best... why am I crying over the passing of the husband?!?!?! Needless to say I love your blog and highly anticipate a new posting on a daily basis! Thank you.

Wendy Sotomayor

Oh Karen. So excited to read your post. I live a block from the Ivanhoe (definitely the best place for dinner in Humboldt County IMO), walk daily by the Shaw House Inn, take my daughter to get her hair cut at the salon (where my cousin works) and my grandparents once owned the grocery store you stopped to get snacks in. Now for Eleanor, it was so sad when her husband passed. They were always together & you could feel their love. Her great grandson is one of my sons best friends and I am going to make sure you get a Christmas Card! Ferndale is a beautiful place and I'm glad you've discovered its charm. Oh how I wish I would have crossed paths with you :) Last summer when my husband & I were having dinner at the Ivanhoe, we saw a couple sitting at the bar (and being a local you know when someone is passing through). They looked like they would be a lot of fun, next thing you know we are sharing a bottle of wine with them and then we invited them over to our house to share another bottle. Our kids are still talking about "that night" when we invited total strangers to our home! But it was wonderful to exchange stories & meet new friends. Had we been there last Thurs or Fri, I would have done the same to you :) Happy Anniversary to you & Josh!


See now I just KNEW this was going to be a 4-tissue post! Oh how I wished all my life that someday I'd be celebrating a 60th Anniversary with someone. The Eleanor's of this world are exactly why. How sweet of all of those locals to embrace you and how sweet of you & Josh to embrace them. What a wonderful way to spend your anniversary.

Lyndsey G

I loved this post. Made me smile when you said you would buy the house across the street from the church so you can remember laying in the grass together. My husband and I will have been married for 11 years next month. Last year we took a trip to Savannah, GA and just enjoyed the alone time, the laughter, the drinks, and the food. Every couple needs that time away, because reality sets back in the moment you step back through the front door! :) Happy anniversary and here is to many more!

Donna Carter

you two are priceless! Makes me feel more normal to know I get mad at my idgit hubby too!

tania willis

:) you.are.awesome.


What a wonderful post! (As always.) My significant other (just what do you call the man you've been 'dating' for almost 16 years?) and I always say that when we are fighting, we are speaking different languages. So many times we are actually saying the same thing, just worded differently. So now, if we start to have an argument we ask the other if they are speaking Cantonese or Mandarin. One of these days, we are really going to have to learn to speak either of those languages instead of making up words. Anyway, it's always good for a laugh, which of course breaks the tension so we can calmly discuss the issue at hand. Same principle as 'idgit' I'm sure.


Happy Anniversary! I cannot tell you how much I enjoy your story telling and picture taking! I would love to spend a week with your family! I love how you spend time together as a family and as a couple. I love the places you travel to. I need to get my family back in the car and make those little road trips again. Priceless! We are just up the road from you in the Willamette Valley. Do you have a top 10 lists of places you have been?


Jac F


I have to tell you, I love your blog, I read every post you make. Now if I'm being truthful, I generally skim blog posts, but yours I read word for word. You always seem to write just what I need to read at that very minute. Thank you for sharing your life, your stories and your photos! You are truly an inspiration in photography, your marriage and your parenting, thank you!!


Awesome, just awesome. :)


Karen I loved this post and all the photos and to be honest with you I feel like I was on your anniversary weekend with you. The photos, the words, the feelings it was all so heartwarming and wonderful. I was thinking it would be lovely if you printed all those photos (yes, even some of you and Josh at the hotel) and sent them along with a handwritten card from both of you telling them how welcoming, how wonderful their people and community are and how you as outsiders were made to feel like part of the family and that you'll treasure the weekend. See if you can buy the cheapest little $2 flip album to protect the photos and they can leave the little book on the bar for the others to see rather than a bunch of lose photos. I know they would be thrilled with such a gesture given how much you loved their gestures....old fashioned printed photos and an old fashioned letter/card (now do you/we remember what they look like!!!!) It was such a beautitful post as usual and I loved the "day spa" photos of Annie are a very gifted photographer...lots of love Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia


the 2of you are so adorable and if you fight I will die...I am too young to die, one another, have fun, laugh, forgive minor transgressions.

Haley Farley

That wonderful man missing from the Ivanhoe was my grandpa. You are a talented writer and photographer and I am very happy that my friend Wendy found your sweet story about my grandparents and shared it with me. I was very close with papa Bob and grandma Eleanor. I lived with them for a few years just before he passed. The love they shared was something I dream of having. I don't think I have ever witnessed them having a fight the entire time I lived with them. I did hear my grandma call papa and idgit a time or two. They never missed a Thursday night at the Ivanhoe, so I made sure not to plan any birthday parties or other important events for my children on Thursday! I miss my grandpa very much and I cannot imagine how grandma Eleanor feels living every day without her best friend of 60 years. I have learned so much from their love and I am glad that you had the chance to meet them both. The way you wrote about sheding tears for a stranger you presumed had passed reminded me of my grandmother. She would have done the same thing : ) Thank you,
Haley Farley~ Ferndale

Kim S.

Love it....thanks for keepng it real, Karen. Your photos just ooze with love! Sixty years? Can you imagine? Hubby and I are 1/3 of the way there!

laura plunk davis

I love this...
I was born in Eureka and have also stayed in Ferndale....
Sweet and beautiful pictures...

I love you Karen !!!!

Laura (from No Bare Pages)


Really this is your best post ever. You have such a way with storytelling I would swear I was with you. You should write a book! The photos were perfect. Thank you for sharing every little detail, I was thoroughly entertained:)


I love your stories. Happy Belated Anniversary! :)


hey- awesome getaway! We are planning a trip up, up, up- from Orange County to Oregon this me if you can so I can ask you some advice, since I know you've done it in reverse ;)


Happy Anniversary Karen and Josh! What a wonderful way to it!!


Bahaha! Your last line made me laugh out loud after such a loving post about your trip! You guys rock together.


Happy Anniversary to you guys!! We celebrate 38 yrs tomorrow! I love Ferndale too.....such a quaint town....almost storybook like! We spent our anniversary there several years ago and always said we'd go back to the Shaw house! Love the pics and you are looking radiant my dear!!


wow! was fun going along with you two!
We just returned from up north to help celebrate with a family fabulous Banner Day~ My very own parents 60th wedding anniversary on the May 13th.
I believe the' idgit' wisdom must be universal for that dear Mom would most likely so the same. However, my dear Dad has been most gracious for 60 years; always referring to her as "the one who must be obeyed". I guess a great sense of humor is most important of all.

Louise Murr

LOVE sweet.


Can I just say that you look so beautiful in these pictures? So. Beautiful. I think it's your happiness radiating outward. I know it's not always happy times, but you can tell that these photos have captured some truly happy times. I love it!!

sandy mauck

Your photos are spectacular. The colors so distinct. Great work. I'm following thus blog


Ferndalian here..this was really wonderful. Our little town is really too cute, isn't it?!
I love your photos; they really show how much you love us here. Looks like you got a real dose!
I hope you come back again. We also miss Joe and Emily very much.


From a Ferndalian, thank you for this!. We are so glad you love our little town as much as we do. Please come back again..

Jona Panesa

I so loved your first picture!!! so much love! happy anniversary. yes, we all want to grow old with our idgit!!! LOL!


I'm usually just a lurker on your blog but I had to on one out and say how much I absolutely loved this post!

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Mielestäni teidän näkökulmasta on syvä, se vain harkittuja ja todella hienoa nähdä jonkun, joka osaa laittaa nämä ajatukset alas niin hyvin. Hienoa tästä
blogisi on erittäin good.It oli hyvin kirjoittama ja helppo ymmärtää. Toisin kuin muita blogeja olen lukenut, jotka eivät todellakaan ole hyviä. Olen myös löytänyt viestiä mielenkiintoinen

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Obwohl ich hätte es vorgezogen, wenn Sie in ein kleines bisschen näher gegangen bin, habe ich immer noch den Kern dessen, was du meintest. Ich stimme dem zu. Es ist vielleicht nicht eine populäre Idee sein, aber es macht Sinn. Werden auf jeden Fall wieder für mehr dafür. Große work.Good Arbeit, wunderbare blog ... genieße es wirklich, und fügte hinzu, sie in meine Social Bookmarks. Machen Sie weiter so gute Arbeit


A wonderful story, Karen. I love that generation - a really special group of people. We're celebrating a happy 28 years next month. A heavy dose of humor and respect has kept it fresh and real. We have our moments, for sure, but don't believe in letting them last long. Love is grand, isn't it?! :)

Janet K

fantastic the pictures, love the words..all of it!


Ferndale celebrates it's population that has been in this valley for so many years doing so many things right, the least of which is friendship and commitment to family!! Thank you for getting it right and sharing with your blog readers this wonderful place!!


I grew up in Ferndale. I loved your story. Sure makes me homesick. Next time I come home....I will be going to the Ivanhoe for open mic! When I was a kid it was Roamans (mexican food). So glad they returned it to the sounds much better. That road you biked was probably the Wildcat. It is a beautiful drive......better seen in a pilot!


What amazing memories you made that weekend. :)


I love seeing one of our local towns through your photos (I live in Trinidad, but work in Loleta which is right across the bridge from Ferndale). If you have time next year, consider driving the Lost Coast out of Ferndale, my husband and I do it every once in a while when we feel the need to play tourist.

I'm so curious how your stay at the Shaw house was, as years ago I read an article in a local paper about how it's haunted. I guess that's always going to be part of the lore of a place of historic interest.

Betty R

you are such an inspiration to me (and I am sure many others too). You really write what is on your heart and that is a blessing. Keep writing and inspiring us. My husband and I will celebrate 38 years of marriage the end of this month. We were high school sweethearts and he is still my sweetheart.
Have a blessed day!

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This is so adorable. My husband and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary. It is such a bittersweet thing and I hope everyone else can find love like we have.

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Coley did an awesome job with the photos! Totally love your comment about the nice lady.... after you realized you could catch her if needed.... that is so how my brain works! haha


Hi, thank you for writing this, I really enjoyed it, and your photos are magnificent. My husband and I (married 26 years) are heading to Ferndale in December this year, and staying at the Shaw House. My grandparents have been married just over 75 years. Still going strong!

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May I ask where this is? It is so beautiful

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