Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sleepless in Seattle

ES and I headed over to Seattle this past weekend for spend some time with friends and family. We got up early and headed through Seattle, over the sound (long ferry wait….), and up the Kitsap Peninsula to Hansville to AW and NS’s house. After an amazing lunch of homemade cinnamon rolls and fruit and cheese, we headed over to a little jaunt to Point/No Point.


Dinner was another culinary feast. Lemon chicken with capers and fresh oregano, heirloom tomato salad, and homemade blackberry ice cream.


After dinner we played a few games, including Cranium, which I haven’t played in ages. We ended up just pulling cards and doing the “Sing A Long”/”Charades”/”Sculpterades” section. Can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard watching someone act out Gone With The Wind or hum I Got You Babe or sculpt a dolphin.

We spent Sunday down in Poulsbo. We ate breakfast with my parents and spent the morning trekking about Fay Bainbridge State Park and exploring the Bloedel Reserve. The Reserve was beautiful (some old dead lumber baron’s place) but oddly enough we found instances where they were water the forest.

We spent the afternoon at my aunt and uncle’s house, where lots of family gathered together for a visit. Many of us hadn’t seen each one another in several years. Great to catch up with family and meet the new little member!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Something Old But Mostly Something New

ES and I headed over tonight to our new public library.  We are both avid readers, so were waiting anxiously for our new library to open.  We were not disappointed.  The architecture is quite interesting and the layout of the floors is great.  Have a few interesting pieces in the atrium (see the panel shot).  They’ll soon have a coffee bar in the atrium by Fall.  Thankfully this bond was approved well before the recession hit, as I shutter to think if it was on the ballot for this fall.  We may have well still been standing in the old library.


Finally…A Place to Rest Our Weary Dogs (in this case human feet)

living roomWe finally decided it was time to buy some living room furniture.  Although we really liked the large echo-y type feeling of a giant empty room up front, it looks really unlived in (especially from the street through the picture window in front) and felt even more so.  Nice to finally feel like our house is now coming together to our home. 


mollas The mollas are up on the opposite wall.  Some from ES’s father, one from my parents, one from my aunt, and one from an unsuspecting flea market seller who labeled the frame “colorful creatures.”  When I told him what it was, he thought it was pretty interesting these were once part of people’s clothes (or at least designed to be).  Plus I think he would have likely asked quiet a bit more for it.   Finders keepers…..

Painting the….Dogs Red

Last weekend ES and I headed over to a friend’s house to help her paint.  We had a blast singing and painting the afternoon away.  Didn’t know there were 1000 (literally) verses to some song about “Found a Peanut” (sung to My Darling Clementine).  Now I can’t get the song out of my head…sigh.

HK’s dog came in and joined us in the painting fun, which meant they too were a bit covered in the stuff.  The 2 little mini-D’s had a ton of paint on their tails, which since they moved so fast was just too hard to actually capture on film.  The bassets were a little more cooperative.  Poor things had paint all over their ears.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Looping ‘Round the ‘Lympics

We recently headed to the “West Side,” (as many longtime Washingtonians say) for the long Fourth of July weekend.  When I first moved here, I wondered,  “the west side of what?”  Well, turns out the East/West Side refers to the East or West sides of the Cascades.  So we packed up and headed over for a long weekend on the other side of the Cascades.

We started out on Thursday evening and arrived just shy of the ferry point in Lynnwood.   We got up early on Friday to catch to the 1st ferry across the Sound.  Given it was the 3rd and many people had this day off, we weren’t sure just how busy things would be.  Luckily we didn’t have an issue catching the 7:30 ferry and we were off to Olympic Peninsula.

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We had a general idea of where we’d be each day based on the map, but we did not account for just how long it took to get anywhere – 2 lane rounds and LOTS of slow moving vehicles.  So we just sat back and let the slow road take us to Port Angeles.  The weather was phenomenal and we decided to make our first stop Hurricane Ridge, just inside the part.  We drove up to the top, about 18 miles up and an elevation gain of over 5,000 feet.  It was a beautiful, if not a little nerve racking (lack of guard rails to name a few…) along the way to the top.

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Our next stop along the Peninsula was Lake Crescent.  We decided to hike up to Marymere falls, a short hike in and then up (way, way up) to high, but small falls.  The forest hike was very pretty and along the way, we saw some really large trees, as Eric can attest to.  One thing we noticed on the trail (and saw each day thereafter) were signs warning us of cougars (and what to do it you do see one), bears (yes, lots of bears here, and Guardia – thought of you Scout). 


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We walked along the lake for a bit, then headed over to the famous Lake Crescent Lodge, where FDR once stayed.  We headed in for a little AC (it was over 90F) and a cool drink of water.  There were a lot of people swimming and boating along the lake as well as a wedding going on.  If we hadn’t looked so hot and haggard, E thought we should crash the wedding (we were very hungry at this point!).


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We pushed on to another portion of the park called Sol Duc.  The Sol Duc River was quite beautiful and we pulled up into the Campground to hike up to another set of falls – Sol Duc Falls.  As with Marymere, it was a hike up and into the woods.  However, unlike Marymere, these falls were a lot bigger (in volume) and we’d hit it just at the right time of day to see the light shine up a beautiful rainbow.  The mist coming off the falls was a really nice cooler for the hot day.


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We wrapped up the day by finding a place to eat in Port Angeles.  It was a lovely Italian place where I had smoked salmon ravioli with a dill sauce.  It was so good.  I was craving it again the next day.  I think I need to figure out how to make this (although even the ravioli tasted homemade – not sure my talents reach this far).

We stayed in Port Angeles at a lovely inn called The Inn at Rooster Hill.  The breakfast was served each morning out on the back of 1 of 3 porches.  The oven warmed scone with the orange butter just melted in my mouth.  Yum!


We spent the 4th with friends and family.  Our first stop, however, was at the Dungeness Spit in Sequim, where we walked out along the ocean path and spied the 10 mile loop to the lighthouse but didn’t have enough time to make the trek.  We stopped a 2nd time, but it was getting late then too.  Perhaps next time.


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My uncle and his family live not too far away on the Kitsap Peninsula so we headed over for a lovely lunch on the patio, where E and I got to catch up with my uncle, aunt and cousin (who wore the Ithaca shirt in my honor) – Thanks CH!


I’d arranged several weeks earlier to meet up with one of my friends from graduate school – AW.  We hadn’t seen each other in years and ES, AW, and NS all had an awesome time catching up/getting to know each other meeting our respective mates.  She’d made an amazing dinner full of lots of yummy tapas and homemade lemon sorbet (perfect amount of tartness).   They’ve got a beautiful view from their kitchen….Stupidly I forgot to take a picture of us, which I will remedy when we all see each other again soon!  We had so much fun at dinner and playing Carcassonne that we didn’t head back until well after midnight…Sleepy drive!

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We spent the next day heading to the Olympic Coast beaches – Rialto, Ruby, Second, and Beach 4.  Yes, the numbered beaches did strike us as odd too.  The weather had turned by this time, and it started to get both cooler and much, much grayer (although we didn’t get rain – yet).

Rialto Beach

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Ruby Beach


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Second Beach


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Beach 4

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Rather than head all the way back to Port Angeles (almost 3 hours), we stayed at the town of Forks.  Unbeknownst to us, we’d stumbled upon the Twilight phenomenon, where people who were gaga over these books were coming as an homage to the place where the fictional vampires lived.  Not only were there tours, but there were seminars and lots (and lots) of stores selling memorabilia.  Apparently, our B&B is somehow factored into the book so people were constantly streaming up to take a photo of themselves in front of the Inn.  I think the book gave the town a much needed shot in the arm, as it looked like it had seen stronger economic days.

We headed out to the Hoh Rainforest.  Fittingly, it was raining on Monday morning as we started out.  The Hoh River was actually pretty low and we saw quite a bit of drift wood along its banks.  As we got closer, we noticed a distinctive change in the vegetation, where it was getting denser and fewer and fewer small ferns/wild flowers/small plants were present.  The trees also seemed to be getting a lot taller as drove farther into the heart of the Hoh.   We’d gotten there early enough so that the trails weren’t crowded at all and many times it felt like we were the only people out in the forest.    Our favorite sign was the one warning of charging elk.  Someone had scribbled in $5 on the sign…very cute.  It was so wet and humid there, even the phone booth wasn’t immune to the effects of the forest.

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We headed back to Port Angeles for our final night on the Peninsula.  As the day was winding to an end, we decided to see a few more things in nearby Sequim before we left.  We stopped at the Herb Farm and toured through the lavender.  There are a ton of lavender farms in Sequim, with the lavender festival coming up next week.  It was full bloom and smelled heavenly.   We still had a few minutes before the nearby (as our guidebook put it ---- kitschy rest home of ex-Disney animals) wild animal park.  As we toured the park, we weren’t sure if the movies they’ve mentioned in the brochure were ones from the last decade (likely 2-3 before) so don’t think we saw and ex-Disneyites, but saw lots of animals.  We drove through the park with explicit instructions not to get out of the car.  They came right up to the window and we got a few great photo ops.  In some cases, we just got the window up fast enough to prevent getting “kissed” by a llama or a deer – we still have the proof on our window….



We headed out to Seattle the next morning, but stopped up on Port Townsend to see the Victorian architecture of the town and visit Fort Warden State Park.  We headed to the Ferry and stayed in Seattle for the night. 


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We toured Pike Place market on Tuesday.  We also got in a visit to Fran’s Chocolate’s.  Yum!




We had a bit more time before dinner so we strolled down to the waterfront before eating dinner at Wild Ginger.  Excellent recommendation from HC!  Thanks!

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We decided to go to the Woodland Park Rose Garden and Zoo before heading home on Wednesday.

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I have wonderful memories of my grandmother taking me to the zoo and seeing the Giraffes.  E and I got to see (likely the same) but a few of them this morning and I had a nice remembrance of that day with my grandmother.

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Thanks to our new telephoto lens, we got up close and personal with a few of the animals…

All in all, a great time.  Highly recommend folks head out to the Peninsula if you get a chance.