Monday, October 30, 2006

The Weekend-Saturday



Our Saturday journey to Port Townsend, WA was wonderful. A new route over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and north to Port Townsend through the Kitsap Peninsula, which lies in the heart of the Puget Sound. No ferry ride, which Brian and I both missed, but a wonderful partial backroads journey to a wonderful little town. It was also great that our good buddies, Sonja and Geoff took the ferry over from Seattle and met us for lunch at our favorite spot, the Silverwater Cafe followed by a stroll along the beach at Point Wilson Lighthouse (Fort Worden State Park where the lighthouse is located and the grounds, gun emplacements, and quarters were used in the filming of the movie "An Officer and a Gentleman").

Originally named 'Port Townshend' by Captain George Vancouver (for his friend the Marquis of Townshend) in 1792, Port Townsend was immediately recognized as a good, safe harbor, which it remains to this day. The official settlement of the city took place on the 24th of April, 1851 (coincidently...MY BIRTHDAY). Called the "City of Dreams" because of the early speculation that the city would be the largest harbor on the west coast, those dreams never really materialized. Aside from antique shopping, Port Townsend is noted for a vast collection of Victorian homes.

The Weekend - Friday Night







Brian picked me up downtown about 4:30 on Friday afternoon and took me down on the Foss Waterway to the Blue Olive for an "apple-tini" (okay, two). I had to take a picture of the pumpkin face the bartender made out of my apple slice. Cute! This bar is really hip. They have this frozen metal strip on the bar to set your drinks on so they stay cold. I think we'll be back!

The Weekend - Friday



I had a wonderful time in downtown Tacoma's art district on Friday. My adventure on the bus went well, despite catching the bus on the wrong side of the street. It still took me downtown and I arrived only 4 minutes later than I would have on the "right" side of the street!

I had a nice lunch in the art museum cafe, "Untitled" (yummy smoked salmon quesidillas) before spending two hours exploring the three exhibits currently on display. Okay, so the children's picture writer, Eric Carle exhibit was not all that exciting to me (nor were the 50+ grade school children on a field trip), but the "Symphonic Poem" exhibit by Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson exploring Robinson’s work and experiences in Columbus, Ohio's African-American neighborhoods and in her travels to Africa and other parts of the world was wonderful. She depicts themes of social change, spirituality, courage, humanity, and family in her art by using fabric, button-work, paint, ink, charcoal, clay, and found objects (she made this really cool chair out of found pieces of wood). Not your usual paintings and drawings, which was fascinating to me.

After the art museum, I hit the streets to explore the area around the museum and to photograph the public artwork of Dale Chihuly which appear all around the Foss Waterfront area of Tacoma. The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is Tacoma’s stunning link to the Foss Waterway and the Museum of Glass. A 500 foot pedestrian bridge holds three amazing Chihuly glass installations, and is open to the public 24 hours a day. The Crystal Towers at the center of the bridge capture daylight and shine as if they have a light of their own. The blue translucent crystals call to mind images of cool blue glacial ice, and change their appearance at different times throughout the day. At night, they are illuminated from below and add to the night skyline. I must have taken 10 different pictures from 3 or 4 different angles of the blue towers against the backdrop of the blue fall sky and white wispy clouds.

The self-portrait of me was taken inside old Union Station where more of Chihuly's work is located.

I am looking forward to touring the Glass Museum and finding out more about how Chihuly creates such amazing pieces of art.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Come Fly With Me!


Happy Sunday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I'll post more from our weekend travels throughout the day on Monday!

For those who like to track airline flights, this website is AMAZING!!

Here is Brian's flight info to Chicago leaving Monday morning.

Seattle: Mon 6:00am Amer. Air. Flt 1196
Arr Chi 11:50am

Tuesday : Depart Chi Amer Airl. Flt 643 10:35am
Arr Seattle 1:00 pm

Click on this link and enter his flight number. It will track his flight from Seattle to Chicago and back!! The graphics are cool!

http://www.flytecomm.com/cgi-bin/trackflight

Stace

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

TRIPPING

Brian's going to Chicago!!! This will be his first business trip with the new job. It's a quick trip next Monday and Tuesday to the "Windy City" for a meeting, but still exciting (to me at least) and part of the "changes" and "adaptations" with the new job. I must remind him to pick me up a little do-dad at the airport gift shop!

I am on the train to Tacoma on Thursday night (6:15pm) with Friday off. YIPPEE!!! I think I have decided on spending my Friday afternoon at the Tacoma Art Museum www.tacomaartmuseum.org. Believe it or not, Tacoma has a pretty exciting and surprising "arts district" with the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Museum of Glass: International Center For Contemporary Art, Washington State History Museum and the historic Union Station.
The art museum has their own cafe, so I am looking forward to a great cultural afternoon in Tacoma (QUIT LAUGHING). I'll post pictures from Tacoma afternoon when I get back to Portland on Sunday night.

I have to take the BUS downtown on Friday. I am TERRIFIED. Although Pierce Transit www.piercetransit.org has a pretty good website and a trip advisor that should help me get where I need to go. Getting lost in a new city would NOT be fun, especially in some "dicey" part of town. Wish me luck! I am not one to use public transportation for this very reason, FEAR! Hopefully I'll find my way and gain some confidence when it comes to traveling alone.

Brian and I are heading to Port Townsend on Saturday and to our favorite cafe, www.silverwatercafe.com. The route will be different, but a new adventure which I am looking forward to. I'll miss our ferry ride, though. Our weather should good; which is perfect for all the fall foliage.

Happy Travels!
Stace

Friday, October 20, 2006

Brian's almost here!!!


Howdy!

Brian should be to Vancouver by now. He called from Mrs. Beazley's(SP) to say he was one hour away!!!

I am just sipping on a glass of chardonnay www.concannonvineyard.com
This new (to me) Concannon stuff is really inexpensive and has a crisp, yet oaky flavor. I am drinking it out of Sandra's stem-less glasses, Brian got her for Christmas.
Okay.....these things are HARD to drink out of. They kinda slip outta my hand (maybe that's a sign I've had one glass too many)??

Oh....I made my fritatta and the bottom is kinda BLACK! Oops! The shallots kinda got .....can you say, DONE!? I think I'll just warm it up in the morning and play DUMB! It will still taste good, right? And with hashbrowns and cantaloupe, it's not like Brian will starve.

Time for a top up and then Brian should be pulling into the driveway!

R.I.P.


I want to give a "shout out" to the sweet people who run the Old Dog Haven up in Arlington, Washington. Please check out their link. ww.whidbey.com/mvg/OldDog/ I'll never forget the story of Bob. The local news channel ran a story on the "old age" home for dogs and it broke my heart. They profiled Bob (click on picture to read the info if you can't see it clearly) whom they found wandering on the side of the road. Bob was deaf and going blind, yet the Old Dog Haven took him in and gave him LOVE!!!!

I just found out today that he's passed away. I've checked the website from time to time, but just today I looked for dog's that had passed and Bob's name appeared.
I feel REALLY guilty. I was going to give Bob $10 for doggie cookies and NOW HE IS GONE!!!!

I have a feeling that the extra $10 I have in my pocket (that I'd probably blow on wine or beauty magazines this weekend) will find it's way to their wonderful organization. It's people like this who allow me to keep my faith in humanity!

Happy FRYDAY!!! - Asparagus/Bacon Frittata



Brian's almost on his way!!!! I am very excited about his first weekend back in PDX since the Tacoma move. He's been very positive and generous about his turn to travel exclusively for me (whereas before he had to come to Portland for work). Anyway, he hasn't batted an eyelash when I get "the schedule" out.


I steamed some asparagus last night and before I threw the leftovers out, I decided to find an aparagus/bacon Frittata to cook for Saturday "breakie" Obviously, I'll amend this recipie slightly, but this will point me in the right direction. I think I'll cook it up tonight so that we will just have to slice it in the morning on our way out the door to go to Al's Garden Center www.als-gardencenter.com/

Here goes:

Yield: 6 servings

12 oz Bacon
2 c Asparagus -- fresh cut
1/2 c Chopped onion
2 Cloves garlic -- minced
10 Eggs -- beaten
¼C Parsley -- minced
½ ts Seasoned salt
¼ ts Black pepper
1 lg Tomato -- thinly sliced
1 c Shredded cheddar cheese

Cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. In a 9 inch or 10 in. ovenproof skillet, heat reserved drippings on medium-high. Add asparagus, onion and garlic; saute until onion is tender. Crumble bacon and set aside about a third for topping.

In large bowl, combine remaining bacon, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture into skillet; stir. Top with tomato slices, cheese and remaining bacon.

Cover and cook over medium-low for 10 to 15 min. or until eggs are nearly set. Preheat broiler; place skillet 6 inch from heat for 2 min. or until lightly browned. Serve immediately.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pop's Visit


My Pop came to visit last night up from Eugene, OR (my hometown). He's one of our clients (Multiplan Financial Services) and it's time to "tweak" his account a bit. He's been retired for 5 years and gets social security now so it's time for an income re-evaluation. It's always good to see my Pop.

We had a great dinner last night. Picked up three tenderloin filets and I wrapped them in pepper bacon and BBQ'd them. They were so tender you could have eaten them with a spoon. I served them along side baked potatoes and a Ceasar salad and the meal was wonderful.

We watched the Met's win last night, which I never doubted for a minute, but tonight's game is FOR THE PENNANT so there is tons of pressure on both teams. It should be a great game (FOX, 5pm PST).

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Our First Tacoma Dinner Party

Geoff, Stacy & Sonja - First Dinner Party, October 14th, 2006.


Hump Day!

I am so glad this week is half over! I just can't believe how fast life seems to be flying by. Does that just happen when you hit your 30's? I am coping well with the changes since Brian's move to Tacoma. I don't think it's quite sunk in yet...the idea that he's not going to be in Portland except for a weekend or two a month. Sundays are hard and at times a bit depressing, but if I can just get to HUMP DAY, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Our first dinner party last Saturday night in Tacoma was a big hit. Geoff and Sonja were very impressed with the meal. We kept giving Sonja a hard time about a dinner she prepared earlier in the summer. Sonja's a veggie (vegetarian) and she BBQ'd some gardenburgers and accidentally burned them. Well...it was not a big deal, we still ate them and they were good, but we all joke about it. She since redeemed herself and our last meal in Greenwood was great, topped off with this berry cobbler to DIE FOR! But, part of me felt like I didn't want to make a big deal out of the meal....you know....and hurt her feelings. Part of me can't help but make this over-the-top dinner because that's what MOVES me. The menu:

Carmelized Pear and Hazelnut Salad
Vegetarian Sheppard's Pie (which Brian cooked to perfection)
Chocolate Lava Cakes (thank you Tradder Joe's) with cream and raspberries

Simple, but REALLY GOOD!

We all dranks tons of wine. We started out with a Sterling Vineyards North Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2003, which paired nicely with the salad. Brian decanted a 2004 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast for the main course followed by a Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir - Vintage Selection 2004. Then ended the evening with a Sandeman's Tawny Porto.

Can you say HANGOVER??? But, well worth it.