April 5, 2011

Joy Retreat: Part 1

on da beach!

So after my lunch at Broder, I drove to Manzanita. The weather was kind of crappy….rain with lots of crazy big lumber trucks and me in my dinky rental car with some good music. There were a few moments where I thought I would fly right off the road but honestly, I really enjoyed the drive. It was so cool to see random waterfalls on the side of the road! There were some cute little farms too! After 2 hours, I arrived safely and dove right into the retreat. Met all of the ladies and went outside and took this photo with my phone. Hello Manzanita! How you doin’?

Later into the night, my friend Jen made a few of us her special Jen & Tonics. They were pretty delicious!  See those cute earrings I’m wearing up there? She made them! I looove them.

So we had girl talk over jen & tonics. What a way to start the week! After all the traveling, I needed 3 stiff ones.

i love jen

The next morning I found this nestled in my sheets. Yes!

found in my bed

I took a little walk on the beach to clear my head. I was teaching my first workshop that afternoon and I wanted to center myself. Fresh sea air will do you some good. Doesn’t do wonders for you hair though…trust me.

standing on a log

Then I quickly ran into the kitchen to make caramelized bananas and cinnamon spiced apples for our waffles. I had a little trouble with the stove…and the pan… and some burning caramel but no one noticed…That’s what happens when you make something up on the fly in a kitchen you’ve never cooked in before. I triumphed, though. Hooray for that!

breakfast day 1

And then our Instant Joy Polaroid workshop with Hula began! She brought out a huge suitcase full of Polaroid cameras! You should have see how excited we all were. We were like kids on Christmas day! Andrea (Hula) lined up all of her cameras in the center of the table and put corresponding Polaroids next to each one. It was a sight!


Look at all of these beauties.

let me touch you

We learned what each camera does and how it differs from the next. We talked a lot about the Impossible Project & the history of Polaroid film. This woman KNOWS her stuff. I was thoroughly impressed!

holy mother of pola!

I got to look at a few polaroids that I’ve swooned over online IN PERSON!  My friend Stef is caressing one here.


Andrea taught us all so much about the beauty & charm of Polaroid film. Her passion is contagious.

She is a treasure. There’s sooo much to love about her.

hula love

After our workshop, we all went out to play with our cameras on the beach!

standing on a rock

It was foggy and misty with a few light showers…but that didn’t stop us.


I kind of fell in love with the beach. The sand was really compact and didn’t fly everywhere. I hate sand.

I stalked a seagull for awhile…with both my Polaroid Spectra (pics to be scanned!) and my digital SLR.


I enjoyed watching silhouettes from far away.

hello oregon coast!

And then up close. There’s that seagull.


Stef and I took some shots together and she captured this one of me. I love it! And her!

stef took my portrait

And then we all came back to the house and showed off our adventures.

Polaroid wrappers & photos were EVERYWHERE. It was delightful.

polaroid play

We had a break for lunch in town. Pear ciders…iced tea… Polaroids….girls…

cider o'clock

The best part? The most ENORMOUS basket of tater tots. I was so happy that I couldn’t get a good shot. We are talking a basket the size of a watermelon BIG. I cleaned house.


And then my first kitchen demonstration started. Liz (our fantastic organizer!) took this photo of me during my class. I’m wearing an apron! I’m so legit!

We made a soup & tacos together. I taught a few of my special tricks & some knife skills. Questions were asked, kitchen problems were solved. It was FUN!  It was almost as if I had my own cooking show!

Here’s the huge pot of Black Bean Soup ready to be served.

making black bean soup

And everyone dove right in….

jen's soup

We also made tacos with soyrizo. I converted quite a few people to the church of Soyrizo.

I’m like Tom Cruise…no wait.

soyrizo love

That was the first full day at the Joy Retreat! Painting workshop coming up next!

  • stef

    you totally rocked it darling! so so happy to have met you! AND that you live so close 🙂


  • maggie

    SO cool. All of it. Especially jealous of your ‘class’ with Hula…and of course would have been fun to meet you too 🙂

    • Tracy

      She is SUCH a rockstar. I feel totally honored to have learned from her! You should try to take a class from her sometime!

  • Chris

    Nice post. Been following you for a long time….lived in the bay area and now living in Portland. We recently rented a house with foodie friends in Manzanita….same house as you are in for these pics. That is one great kitchen. Could be wrong…but don’t think so.

    • Tracy

      ahh!! Then you must know how shotty the oven is! The temperature was wacky!! But yes…such a GREAT space to work in. That view from the kitchen is AMAZING.

      • Chris

        Yep, wacky oven….we overcooked a rib roast in there. The view almost made up for that. 😉 Killer basement, too.

  • Helen

    thank you so much for turning me on to soyrizo! i made a potato/soyrizo/arugula galette that was super tasty. don’t think my husband even realized it wasn’t ‘real’ chorizo. hehe.

    also, i started following danatreat awhile because you had linked to her from your blog. just took one of her classes this weekend. had so much fun. she’s awesome!

    • Tracy

      how fantastic! Lucky you! I hope to take one of her classes!!!!!!!!! I’m so glad you love soyrizo! It’s such a star in the kitchen.

  • Vanessa

    Wow the retreat looks awesome!! I am loving all of those polaroids!! How fun! The soup looks delicious! I’ve never tried soyrizo. Intrigued…

  • Amanda

    sounds like a blast! can’t wait to read more 🙂

  • art and lemons

    I really wanted to be able to go to this retreat and I’m so glad to hear that it’s as good as I anticipated. I’m swooning over all the Polaroids and cameras. Love experiencing it all through your camera.

  • justcooknyc

    this is a really cool post, and wow… the film Polaroids. that’s awesome.

  • rita maria

    tracy, all of your food was scrumptious. i can’t wait to make everything! especially your soyrizo and black bean soup! thanks for all of the lessons!

  • Sarah

    That soup looks delicious. I am going to have to make it! I love the Polaroids. I really want to use a Polaroid sometime. I just love the look of the final picture.

  • Neuroknitter (Gail)

    Oh how cool!! I’m a Portlander and lover of Manzanita, too!! I so love seeing recognizing places I’ve been captured so beautifully in your images!!

    Looks like you had a blast even in the rain and drizzle!!

  • kelly barton

    mmmmm……so wish i had been there!
    so many good souls for sure.

  • andrea

    omg, so many things to say here! first of all, thank you– for the kind words but also for getting photos of the polaroids! because my head was too crazy with the teaching to remember to get any good ones! secondly, I love this look at the retreat through your eyes. and I loved watching you cook. love love love. could not get enough. you are such an inspiration. xo

  • miss james

    woo-hoo tracy!!!! looks like you had a good ol’ time! i love the photo of you cooking… it’s so nice to see you in YOUR element. love love love it. and now i’m hungry. why do you always do this to me? lets move to portland shall we?!

  • Nicole

    What a fantastic post! The polaroids are so, so cool. That black & white one of you is stunning. Um, the tater tots are ridiculous (in the most awesome way)! My restaurant pics are just like that because I can’t wait the nano second required to take a clear picture 🙂

  • Meghan @ Life Refocused

    Total JOY to have met you this past weekend. Your photos help me re-live it all. I can still taste your delectable food. Can’t wait to see you again. Grateful we’ve crossed paths!! xoxo

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  • Danielle

    You are definitely cooking show material – one that I would watch! 🙂 Love the polaroids and the fog…such a magical combination.

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  • alix*modernkiddo

    Oh this looks amazing….I’m so happy everyone got to experience The Bean in person. For all the hanging we’ve done, I’ve never seen you COOK. I can’t only imagine how cool that is. I’m soooo inviting myself over to your house!!! haha.

    What a special weekend this was. Hula is amazing and I can only begin to fathom the positive lovely energy that must have been floating around in the room.


  • Jessica

    What a beautiful place! I had a Polaroid growing up and should see if it’s still at my parents’ house. That soup looks amazing…as do the TOTS.

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