Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pacific Northwest - Day 1

Janda and I were invited to a wedding in Portland, OR that took place last weekend and since neither of us had been to the Pacific Northwest, we decided to make a trip of it.  Originally we had wanted it to be longer and to see more places, but ultimately we decided that the time and prices were best for 6 days.  We concentrated our visit on the area between Seattle and Portland, specifically the National Parks and Forests.

We arrived at noon on Monday and immediately stocked up on food, ice and fuel and started driving to the Olympic National Park and Forest.  We made a lot of stops- we got frozen food and snacks at Trader Joe's, ice, cooler and fuel at Walmart, and water and Gummi candies at Win-Co.  We were ready to go!

We decided to start north and work our way down the coast, so Monday afternoon we drove all the way to the northernmost coast of the Olympic Peninsula to get a view of the Canadian shoreline across the way.  We took a scenic route that led us right along the Washington coast and through some rural areas.  It was a long drive, but totally worth it for the views.

 A seagull resting on a sign at a little park looking towards Canada

The coastline, with Canada in the distance

Looking across to Canada 

After we took in the coast, we decided that we should try to get to a campsite before it was too late.  We drove along Crescent Lake, stopping several times to enjoy the view as the sun was setting.

Looking at Lake Crescent through the trees

Mountains along the edge of Lake Crescent

At the very tip of the lake, we spotted a sign for camping and ended up in a delightful campsite that was basically right on the lake.  As it was late, the prime spots on the lake were taken, but we did find a relatively secluded site set into the mossy forest.  We set up camp, cooked up some Chinese stir-fry from Trader Joe's and had a pretty good night of sleep after all that travelling.

Our campsite and crappy Hyundai Accent in the background

All the trees around us were covered in moss

It was a little chilly

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quick Trip

This weekend Janda and I took a mini roadtrip for a little work and a lot of fun.  On Saturday evening we headed out to Northampton MA so that Janda could meet an athlete and we could do a little motorcycle tour.

When we finally got to Northampton, we had just enough time for a late dinner in downtown before settling in for the night.  I think that we must have been inspired by the film "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," which we recently saw and enjoyed immensely, because we chose the India House for our first ever Indian meal.  It was quite different and quite good.  We had the Delhi papri chaat for an appetizer.  Janda was impressed by the food and the presentation.  Then I had Tandoori chicken and Janda had Balchao chicken and prawn for the main course.  After all the water and half the appetizer, I could only eat about half of my chicken and a few bites of Janda's, which were both delicious.  Luckily for me Janda chose to order the Balchao chicken and prawn medium spicy!  Somehow Janda finished all his and then half of mine!  His famous appetite was working on overdrive.

Delhi Papri Chaat

The next morning Janda met with his athlete at a nearby track, and then we were off on our motorcycle adventure.  We took all sorts of back roads, twisting and turning through the fields and woods until we came to Shelburne Falls.  We stopped there to check out the Bridge of Flowers and have lunch.  The bridge was beautiful- it was kind of like Monet's garden, except the path was really a bridge.  We had sandwiches and snacks at a little shop before heading out to find a swimming hole.

 Giverny?  No, Shelburne Falls

 View of the river from the bridge

 There were even trees growing on the bridge, like this cool twisted one

 A view of the whole span

After lunch, we continued our trip and headed out following the river, hoping to find somewhere to swim.  We did not find anywhere suitable to swim, but that was okay with me since we headed up in elevation and it got pretty chilly.  I'm sure it only seemed chilly because we were on the bikes, but still, I was no longer too interested in swimming.  We took the long way back to Northampton, had dinner with my grandmother and then headed home.  There was still some weekend traffic on the Mass Pike, even though it was after 7:30, but all in all we made pretty good time.

 Janda on his bike

The Berkshires in the background

Taking a break for some snacks

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summertime and the livin's easy!

 Summer's in full swing and we are doing our best to enjoy ourselves.  With all the hot weather, the number one priority has been staying cool!

The livin's always easy for these guys!

Janda rowed in the Seine boat races in Fiesta.  

Sadly his team was eliminated in the first round.  

A July 4th happy sandwich.

Staying cool in the Ipswich Bay on July 4th.

A few hours out on the water is just what we needed with the hot weather.

 Just enjoying the day.

Parked at Flat Rocks to go for a swim.

Heading home as the clouds start to move in.  We actually didn't get hit by all those storms that swept through last night. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Around the grounds

 I planted some wildflowers in our gardens this year.  Bachelor buttons are one of my favorites.

 To remind me of France, I planted Flander's Field poppies.
 They are lining our new wall, in the strawberry bed.

 The Royal Burgundy and Green beans are blooming.

 Tomatoes in bloom!

 The last of the peas are still as tasty as ever.

 Still have a few snow peas too, but not as many as last year.
    Last year all my raspberry bushes in the back were black.  This year they are all red!  I don't know if the red is more prolific and taking over or what?  I'm not complaining though, I like the red better.

 We put a couple of chairs in the shade next to the veggie boxes.

Our house is looking pretty good nowadays, especially with Janda's new truck in front.  The first thing he said when the truck came home was how nicely it goes with the house.  :)