Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend...

Here are a few members of my sister and brother-in-law's Christmas menagerie getting ready to be presented in their annual Christmas parade...

My sister whipped out another fantastic feast for the family, which of course I ate before I thought to take a picture of it...oh well, you'll just have to believe me.

Then, we all drove over to Leavenworth for the day Friday. We started out with lunch at the Baren Haus restaurant-Greg has the Weiner Shnitzel which, much to my surprise, does NOT contatin any weiners! who knew that?

My Mom had the most beautiful steak sandwich I've ever seen, and Collin, my sister and I shared a niece had her famous spaghetti selection ;)

my niece (cheesy grin there), sissy & brother-in-law
me & my Mommy
me & my hubby

Guess who we ran into? those bags are filled with candy canes that they were passing out to the kiddos :)

as the sun starts setting, the splendor of the town starts to glow...

How lucky am I to live within driving distance of this lovely town?
Lifes joys...
Thanks for stopping by...

Love & blessings to you

Monday, November 23, 2009

Journaling retreat with the Gussies

I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to and enjoyed a journaling retreat with a group of ladies who call themselves the Gussies. They had thie first retreat in August, someplace on Mount Baker. This November we headed up to Guemes Island and spent 3 full days art journaling, making art, reading, taking walks down to the pebble-crusted beach, and EATING! Gwen organized the food and cooked us some awesome stew; Rose made the most incredible meatloaf I've had since my childhood; Celeste melted my resolve to stay on my diet with her Oatmeal Scotchies, and Catherine spoiled us with her french toast with fruit and syrup on top-holy smokes!
That's our little home for the weekend, above.

Kathe and Paula goofing around

Lovely pebble covered beach Paula, Celeste, Gwen and I walked down to

not a car on the road for long stretches...I think we saw a total of 2 cars during our walk down to the beach and back.

Here are my walking pals (l to r): Paula, Celeste, and Gwen

Lovely misty meadow

barely a cloud in the sky as the sun went down...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Australian Honeymoon Part 2-Melbourne: FOOD!!

To continue our adventure down under we decided to take a train from Sydney down to Melbourne...a full-day train trip through the country-what a dream!

It was lovely rolling hills, sheep, cows, and an occasional graffiti splashed station in some remote town...Melbourne was great although we were unprepared for the Seattle-like rain and chilly temps. They have an awesome public transportation system...trams, trains and buses will get you anyplace you need to be on the cheap too-no rental cars for us!
Anyway, there was so much to show from Melbourne that for this post I'll tell you about the restaurants we enjoyed...not in any specific order :)
Here I am at a little cafe on St Kilda's beach-delicious Greek food plus good ol' burgers and fries too-the folks here were really nice too.

Here we are outside the Pizza Piazza which is down on Chapel Street-this funky street a bit rough on the edges with cool clothing and 2nd hand shops, and restaurants! This place has great Italian food and a full gluten-free menu for those who need that. Our waitress was from Eastern Europe and remembered us when we came back the second time-totally wonderful. So, they cover the sidewalks in front of the restaurants-enclose them with clear plastic tarps, then install those gas heaters above so they basically expand the restaurant by 3 tables....there's still a walkway in between these outdoor tables and the restaurant door so we got to eat great food, stay warm and dry and people watch- a true feast for all the senses.

This was our dessert which consisted of vanilla ice cream from heaven, a shot of Frangelico Hazelnut liqueur, and shot of espresso, with a couple of mint leaves as a garnish...oh my word-you would not believe how wonderful this was!

Here is one of our self-portraits from the journey to Melbourne on the train

I couldn't resist the lure of Devonshire Tea in the morning...when the cafe car announced they had extras (you're supposed to order them ahead) I basically ran up there...they had a few left and the servers in the cafe car were sooooo nice. I chatted with them and told them we were on honeymoon.....later in the day there was the following announcement over the loud speaker:
"May I please have your attention for a very special announcement. We would like to say a very special and warm welcome to the honeymooning couple in car "G"" HA! We started giggling and I waved-you could barely see us because the seat backs are pretty high but everyone in the car was looking around to see who it awesome and nice of them to do that for us.

By the way, this Devonshire Tea consisted of two fresh, WARM scones, with butter, strawberry jam, and of course delicious hot tea! It was perfect.

OK, So if you want to travel around the world for some fantastic Thai food then you better buy your tickets to Melbourne....Patee Thai food-also on Chapel Street and "bookings only" in other words, you need reservations. We came a knocking on their door after deciding to walk the 15 blocks from our hotel-getting caught in the nightly downpour and then "borrowing " a ride on the Tram to get the rest of the way there...without a reservation. The warm and kindly hostess explained that if we could eat and vacate by 6:30 pm she would be happy to seat was currently 5:15-no problemo! and many thanks to that was the best seafood soup I have ever hungry I forgot to snap a picture of it...apologies to you Thai food fans out there...

Another curious fact about the restaurants down there....many had these signs in their windows: bring your own bottle of, huh?

This is me in all my satisfied food-coma glory after our second visit. I had the hotel concierge book us a table and she thought we would like to experience the tables where you sit on the floor on cushions....without your shoes on...I loved it! the only thing was we were very close to the next table ....but they were all enjoying their party and only one of them was staring at us. Collin solved that problem.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Australian Honeymoon -Part 1 -Sydney

Well, off we went to the land down under!
It was a loooong plane ride (13-14 hours from San Francisco after a couple of hours to get down there from Seattle) but they were playing really good movies. I saw some of the new Star Trek movie, but fell asleep in the middle of it.
We arrived in Sydney and waited in this very organized line to get a taxi...drove us right to our hotel which was absolutely beautiful! It was the Four Points by Sheraton at Darling, great lobby, super-comfy BIG bed, and a deck overlooking the harbor. A true honeymooners dream hotel. The staff was friendly and professional and took good care of us..

We were a short walk across a pedestrian walkway from the harbour, which included the Sydney Aquarium, The Sydney Wildlife Park, and oodles of little cafes, bars and shops. There is a big pedestrian/bicycle bridge that goes across the harbour, and they have a monorail just like Seattle. It was a nice warm 70 degrees while we were there...we walked everywhere and spent one day riding the monorail around times.