Monthly Archives: September 2015

SEATTLE, Part 2

We had quite a day today. ¬†First we went to Pike Market Place. ¬†I thought it would be much like The Reading Terminal Market, in Philadelphia, which I love. ¬†Yes and No. ¬†Lots and lots of eateries, and stuff to drink. ¬†The most beautiful flower bouquets you’ve ever seen for $10 and $15 a bunch. ¬†craftsman and buskers. ¬†Two notable differences are 1. ¬†Pike Place covers about 9 acres, and 2. It is totally uphill from the waterfront. ¬†I counted about 12 sets of steps – a whole lot – up and down – that’s 24 set of sets. ¬†I’m still gasping for air. ¬†But the exercise was good for me, and we saw some very, very cool things. ¬†I could tell you that besides the many shops, we literally ate our way across the acres. ¬†First, a caramel frappachino at the Original Starbucks. ¬†I’ve heard some crazy people wait two hours to get in. ¬†We waited 20 minutes-still a little nutty. ¬†But with all those steps, and a very hot sun, I’ve never tasted better.

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After Starbucks, we went to Emmett Watson”s Oyster Bar, in Pike Place. ¬†Not as pretty as Elliot’s, but less expensive, and much more delicious.

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Then we headed for Pike Place Chowder, and sampled two kinds.  White clam chowder (which we know as New England Clam Chowder), and Seafood Bisque.  Both were crazy good.  In my Chowder contest, I would say Pike Place Chowder is in the lead.

Pike Place Chowder

Finally, we founder way to Rachel’s Ginger Beer. ¬†I can’t remember tasting ginger beer before.I must say, it was a bit strange tasting at first, but it grew on me, very refreshing. I would definitely give it another day in court.

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After hours in Pike Place, we decided to head over to the Ganja Goddess. ¬†For those of you who don’t know, marijuana is legal in the state of Washington. ¬†The first place we saw was the Seattle Cannabis Co.

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But right across the street was Ganja Goddess.

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Shall we go in people?

 

SEATTLE , Part 1

Monday, September 28, 2015

We made it to Seattle – yay!

We spent today doing an overview of the city.  Tim and I are kind of like the Griswolds on our first day in a new city.  Seattle Space Needle Рcheck.  Houseboats Рcheck.  Shishole Marina Рcheck.  Oysters- check. Clam Chowder Рcheck.  Well, you get it.

We took a drive to Kerry Park in the Upper Queen Anne section of the city.  My- oh- my.  This is a small green park, in a gorgeous neighborhood of old as well as modern mansions overlooking the bay, and downtown Seattle including the Space Needle.  And in the background РMt. Ranier, of course.

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As you probably know by now, we love boats, boating, and living on boats. ¬†So a must-do was to see the houseboat section of the city. ¬†The houseboats looked beautiful, but we couldn’t get too close – lots of “No Trespassing” signs, and my personal favorite – “Please Respect Our Privacy”. ¬†Okeedokey. ¬†But we did manage to get a picture.

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Shishole Marina is the largest marina I’ve ever seen, and the largest live aboard marina on the US West coast. ¬†So many “sticks” (masts) – incredible.

We had lunch at Chinooks, and dinner at Elliots Oyster Bar. ¬†I have to mention I’m also a clam chowder fan – white or red – like them both. ¬†So I think I’ll have a little contest, and choose the winner. ¬†Of course I’ll announce – you may be in Seattle and wonder where to get the best clam chowder – you never know…

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for …tada…

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LIVING LARGE IN A SMALL SPACE

Sunday, September 27, 2015

We are really living large, especially where food is concerned. ¬†Last night’s menu was:

Potato, Pepper, Onion and Egg Quiche

French Bread (could be Italian)

A Bottle of L’Ecole No 41 Merlot

Fresh Strawberries with Chocolate Merlot Dipping Sauce

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We spent the night in Cougar Rock Campground on Mt. Ranier, and this was our view when we woke up this morning.

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Not too shabby, right?

We left Mt. Ranier and headed for Seattle. ¬†Of course, you don’t ever really leave Mt. Ranier – it looms large wherever you go.

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And to think this majestic sight was not on our original “must do” list. ¬†Just a little tidbit – Mt. Ranier is an active volcano. ¬†As you climb to the top, there are steam vents coming up through the cracks. ¬†Lots of climbers and over-nighters stay warm using the vents for heat. ¬†The information center reports that it will blow again, we just don’t know when. ¬†Hopefully, we’ll be long gone

Tonight:

Pasta Puttanesca

Italian Bread (could be French – just as you suspected)

A bottle of Wallafaces Cabernet Sauvignon

Apple slices with Chocolate Merlot Dipping Sauce – that stuff is addictive. ¬†(Tomorrow I’ll try to find fresh bananas -yum!)

Tomorrow we’ll begin to explore Seattle – and find those fresh, ¬†delicious, icy cold oysters…

 

 

 

(ting tang) WALLA WALLA (bing bang)

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I hope some of you are old enough to be “getting” the music references in my titles. ¬†If not, I’ll try to kick them up a notch. ¬†I’m pretty sure my sister, Joan, gets them – and knows the words to each and every song – right?

As promised, we are in Walla Walla Washington. ¬†This is a small city with lots to do. Interesting shops like “Hot Poop” – excuse me?

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www.hotpoop.com

Walla Walla  has about 140 wineries,  The oddest are those near the airport.  Each street corner has signs pointing the way to different wineries

 

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Neither Tim nor I had ever seen anything like this. ¬†We were driving around saying “how odd”, over and over. ¬†Apparently, the grapes are grown in vineyards elsewhere, but then they are brought to the incubators at the airport. ¬†By 4pm, pretty much all of the “airport” tasting rooms had closed. ¬†But we did find one open, “Wallafaces” ¬† ¬† www.wallafaces.com ¬†and it was wonderful.

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Debbie, one of the owners , was still working ¬†making wine. ¬†She kept her door open for obvious reasons – to sell wine. ¬†She was delightful, and took us on a tour of the winery. ¬†It’s amazing what you can produce in a small space. ¬†Debbie explained that their vineyard was “across the way”, and pointed it out. ¬†The city provides this opportunity for people to try their hand at entrepreneurship, be it wine making, ¬†baking, ¬†or anything else, and rents space so that people don’t have to break the bank to get started. ¬†Fabulous idea! ¬†We purchased a tasting, and she took us for an upfront and personal tour of her winery. ¬†We actually took a peek inside of a fermenting container! ¬†Plus, the wines were delish – and we bought a bottle of red and a bottle of white. ¬†Shout out to Debbie – best of luck!

Another odd thing at the airport is a campground called Chillville.

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We tried to make a reservation because we thought the name was so cool. ¬†But – there’s always a but – you can’t stay there unless you have a retro camper, preferably an airstream. ¬†You can see one right behind their sign ¬†Also, Chillville has no restrooms or showers Now let me tell you all here and now – ¬†I’m “glamping”, not camping. ¬†So aside from the name – not for me.

Today we visited L’Ecole No 41 and Woodward Canyon Winery. ¬†It’s always great fun doing wine tastings. ¬†Tim likes dry reds, and I prefer semi- sweet whites – but, I do like a light red with my Sunday spaghetti. ¬†Tim found a bottle he really liked, I found a Merlot Chocolate Sauce, and bought fresh strawberries to dip into it – Yum!

Tomorrow we’re heading for Seattle. ¬†It’s a pretty long ride, and we’re not in a race, so we’ll see. ¬†Although, I can hear the fresh oysters calling my name…

IDAHO – SO MUCH MORE THAN POTATOES

Thursday, September 24, 2015

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Sorry potato, but Idaho can probably do without you ( economy wise, maybe not so much). ¬†It is quite a beautiful state. ¬†We spent a little time in Boise, the state capital. ¬†There are less than 300,000 people, which makes it feel more like a town than a city. ¬†There is not much crime, and the people are ultra friendly. ¬†Everywhere we went, people waved and said hello. ¬† Boise is known and lauded for its “green belt”. ¬†A green belt or greenbelt is a policy and also a way of using ¬†land that ¬†plans how to keep and maintain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighbouring urban areas (that was a mouthful). ¬†We stayed in a great KOA called Boise/Meridian, central to everything. ¬†Nicely kept, quiet, and with all amenities, including an indoor pool. (Note to Boise: Beware of urban sprawl !)

We left Boise, and headed north on route 55. ¬†It is a lovely winding road that follows the Payette River much of the way. ¬†When you get to McCall, you find Payette Lake – stunning. ¬†McCall is a pretty tourist town. ¬†Actually, it’s what I thought Jackson, Wyoming would be (It wasn’t). ¬†No disrespect to Jackson, its just that I thought it would be more low-key (much). ¬†Anyway, McCall is the kind of town you can enjoy all four seasons – swimming, boating, hiking kayaking, skiing – you name it, they have it.

We traveled to Riggins, Idaho and stayed in a wonderful RV park called Canyon Pines, with bath facilities that sparkled and smelled as fresh as outdoors. Our campsite was right beside the Little Salmon River.  A beautiful night, we kept the windows open and fell asleep to the music of the river flowing by our campsite.

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The next morning we left and headed further north in Idaho, first passing through the center of Riggins Рso delightful РI could see us spending quite a bit of time there.  The road followed the Little Salmon River, the Salmon River, and then Clearwater River, all the way to Lewiston, Idaho and across the bridge into Clarkston, Washington.  Each and every bend revealed new topography, and a new kind of beauty.

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Walla Walla Washington – ¬†we’re coming for you !!!

ONE POTATO, TWO (billion) POTATO…

Saturday, September 19, 2015

As we entered Blackfoot, Idaho, the first thing we saw was the Idaho Potato Museum Рa must , right?  Very interesting Рa must do in Blackfoot.

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Potato Facts:

The potato traveled from South America to nearly all parts of the world before coming to America. ¬†The potato spread from Peru to Spain in 1570. ¬†From Spain to Italy in 1587. ¬†Portugal to Ireland in c.1590. ¬†Italy to France in c.1600. ¬†Portugal to Africa in 1600’s. ¬†France to ¬†Eastern Europe and Russia in 1700’s. ¬†Portugal to India and China in 1600’s. ¬†From China to Japan and Asia. England to Bermuda c.1600. And finally, from Bermuda to Virginia in 1621.

Americans on average eat about 124 pounds of potatoes per person, per year.

Potato chips were invented in 1853, and has been the number one snack for more than 50 years.

Mr. Potato Head was born in 1952, and was introduced to Mrs. Potato Head in 1953.

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For more info (much more), you will just have to get to Blackfoot, Idaho.

 

 

 

 

PURPLE MOUNTAINS MAJESTY – THE GRAND TETONS

Friday, September 18, 2015

We left Yellowstone Park through the south entrance, which runs smack dab into The ¬†Grand Tetons. ¬†What can I say – purple mountains majesty! ¬†Everything we see I feel is prettier than the last. ¬†Or maybe equally as astounding. ¬†I’m still traveling with Tim (of course) – so you know what that means – pictures! ¬†In the case of the Grand Tetons, a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

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On to Jackson, Wyoming which we didn’t care for at all. ¬†Lots of traffic! ¬†But we did have an interesting experience. ¬†While driving through town, we came across the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club. ¬†Granted, we are driving a truck, and hauling a trailer, but still. ¬†We were actually escorted out of the area by a policeman, lights flashing, until we were back on the highway. ¬†I guess he wanted to make sure we left the area and didn’t turn around. ¬†Can you believe it? Anyway, we spent the night in a Flying J truck stop that even had electric for us – for free. ¬†Maybe we weren’t the type to be at Jackson Hole Golf and Resort. ¬†Oh well – I think they would have liked us.

THE RAINBOW CONNECTION (Part 2)

Thursday, September 17, 2015.

Today is geyser, hot springs, and fumarole day. The goal was to see Old Faithful, ¬†and the Grand Prismatic Spring. ¬†But we saw so much more. ¬†Mud volcano was one of Tim’s favorites. ¬†It was a fairly large pit with bubbling mud. ¬†It looked very prehistoric. ¬† You wouldn’t be surprised to see ¬†a new life form ¬†come crawling out at any moment, and in fact, it’s alive with bacteria.

One of my favorite’s was the Dragon’s Mouth. It was a small cave that water pulsated from, complete with steam. ¬†As the water and steam spewed forth, it roared – very cool.

 

The skies were rather gray as we wandered around today.  We got to Old Faithful about 10 minutes before it erupted, and even found a front row seat (literally).  So many people, yet you could hear a pin drop.  It felt as though everyone was paying reverence to this icon of Yellowstone Park.  At that moment the sun came out, the skies were blue.  An then Old Faithful starts to bubble up, and then stops, and bubbles again, then stops..  Almost as if playing with us.  It does that dance several times, and then total eruption, about 160 feet into the air, spewing about 5,000 gallons of boiling water up into the sky. Yowza!

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It did rain a bit as we wandered around today. ¬†But you have to have rain if you’re gonna’ have a rainbow. ¬†And wow, did we see a few beauties. ¬†One across the sky, and one across the rocks. ¬†I’ve seen a number of rainbows, in my life, but they’ve always been in the sky, so this one was special.

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I have seen pictures of the Grand Prismatic Spring, and wanted to see it up close and personal. ¬†We arrived, and again, it was cloudy. ¬†But not so cloudy that we couldn’t walk up the boardwalk, feel the heat, and see some beautiful colors.

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Before we traveled to Yellowstone, my brother Lou told me about “the caldera”. ¬†That the whole of Yellowstone was in the crater of a volcano that could erupt again at any moment. ¬†I must say, ¬†every time I saw smoke come out of the water, or a crack in a boulder (all of the time), I was reminded of my brother’s stories and warnings. ¬†I’m not sure if that made it more interesting, but it certainly made me step lightly, lest I step in the one place that could get the ball rolling for an eruption, like the domino effect. ¬†Shout out to Lou.

“EVERYBODY MUST GET yellow STONED” (Part 1)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

From the moment we entered this park,, we knew this was going to be an experience like no other. ¬†After we situated the trailer and got hooked up, Tim said, “OK – let’s go get “stoned” – Yellowstoned. ¬†And off we went. ¬†Yellowstone is ¬†a magical place. ¬†Now let me say, that when you travel with Tim – you see everything! ¬†For example, we¬†saw the Yellowstone River Falls. ¬†Right? ¬†But we also saw the ¬†upper falls, the lower falls, the brink of the upper falls, the brink of the lower falls. ¬†And let’s not forget the Grand View of the upper and lower falls. ¬†Oh wait – Inspiration Peak – another point of view. ¬† All with pictures – so many pictures and from so many angles.

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On our first day, we saw bison, and elk, including a bull elk whose horns doubled his height – what a majestic creature.

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We also saw a raven, which I had never seen before. ¬†Of course, all I could think of was Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” – quoth the Raven, “Nevermore”. ¬†He was jet black, and particularly interesting, because his eyebrows made him look like a wise, elder statesman. ¬†At least I thought so.

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There are black bears and grizzly bears in the park. ¬†Late into day two we had not seen any. ¬†As our campground was smack in the middle of a bear habitat, ¬†It crossed my mind to leave out a Payday candy bar in front of the RV ¬†to attract one. ¬†But I would be too scared to do that because, the rangers said that ¬†whatever you do, don’t leave any food, or anything that smells like food outside. ¬†That it could be dangerous. ¬†So while I was thinking of ways to see a bear, most of them dangerous, and against park rules ¬†– PayDirt !!! ¬†There was a giant grizzly crossing the field alone in front of us. ¬†We watched until he disappeared from view. ¬†And I didn’t even have to give up my Payday.

If possible, everyone should see Yellowstone Park at least once -get “stoned” ¬†It is a masterpiece!!!

AIMING TO PLEASE

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Monday, September 14, 2015

“It is probably a pity that every citizen of each state cannot visit all the others, to see the differences, to learn what we have in common, and come back with a richer, fuller understanding of America – in all its beauty, in all its dignity, in all its strength, in support of moral principles.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Vermont State Dairy Festival, Rutland, Vermont, June 22, 1955

Oh boy, was Eisenhower right. ¬†We haven’t been on the road long, but it has become abundantly clear that people who live on the coasts have pretty much nothing in common with folks who live in the middle of the country. ¬†Well, not nothing ¬†– we’re all people, most of us good, ¬†but our cultures are so different. ¬†Certainly on issues like gun control, ¬†food stamps and¬†Medicaid, among others. ¬†Take guns for example. I’m against guns. ¬†Never let my sons play with them – don’t own one. ¬†But out here, living in isolation, I must say, I would own a gun – maybe several. ¬†Surely I would need one for protection from intruders, because you can’t ¬†just call 911 for help. ¬†You’re more or less on your own. ¬†I think if people in each location ¬†could actually see and experience what the other is up against, ¬†there ¬†would be more of an understanding of each position. ¬†Of course, I don’t think anyone’s gun(s) should be taken away, ¬†it is the second amendment to the Constitution. ¬†But for the sake of those living in the big cities, please understand that there has to be some control. ¬†Just a check to make sure you aren’t one of the loonies who has a need to shoot up children, family members, people at school, or people in a movie theater. ¬†Secondly, I do eat meat, so perhaps I would learn to shoot to eat, if I lived in the wild. ¬†But in Philadelphia, where I’m from, no one needs a gun. ¬†Oh, people have them alright, some own guns to protect themselves from crazies. ¬†I mean why on earth does anyone of us need semi or automatic weapons? ¬†Understand, there are people who live in the cities who do own this type of gun – like gang members- killing each other, or an innocent as a rite of passage.

Just a word on “handouts” – like Medicaid and food stamps. ¬†I’ve had various jobs since I was 12 years old – always looking for a way to have a little spending money in my pocket. ¬†And believe me, I don’t take too kindly to just giving it away. ¬†But- there are many reasons people are in the position they are in. ¬†Most of the reasons are ghastly. ¬†There are a lot of people out here in the middle and mountain states, and lots of churches with their seats full of the faithful. ¬†Hard to believe there is any God who tells us to just let people starve. ¬†Remember “I am my brother’s keeper” and all that. ¬†Anyway, if you don’t want to ¬†listen to me, maybe you would be willing to pay attention to Eisenhower. ¬†If you can – get out there – see this country – see how “the others” live. ¬†We are beautiful, we are strong, and we are dignified.