Sunday, December 10, 2017

Filipino Boodle Feast

Lunch today was a rather spectacular Filipino feast created by LJ and his sister Yumi. A "boodle feast" is a traditional Filipino meal started by their Military Academy as a means for officers and cadets to eat together, regardless of rank. The food is served directly on banana leaves which have been laid down the center of a table, you help yourself and eat with your fingers - although LJ and Yumi, who grew up in the Philippines, made allowances for their guests, who did not, and gave us plates and cutlery. The food was wonderful and it was a great lunch on a foggy afternoon in Seattle.

Steamed shrimp, baked mussels, poached eggs, roasted pork, noodles, rice, veggies, and cantaloupe for dessert. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Giving Thanks for Canada

After a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner party on Thursday night (turkey and Copper River salmon, brought fresh by one of the guests from Alaska), I flew to Victoria, B.C. on Friday morning. I've been to Victoria several times, each time arriving by ferry, but this time I flew from Seatac to Sidney, rented a car, and drove about 15 miles to Victoria. The flight takes about 45 minutes, Alaska Airlines was having a sale, I had three days left of a holiday weekend to kill (I have a real aversion to staying home during the Thanksgiving long-weekend), so off I went. My accommodation was a microloft right on the waterfront, and even though the weather was blustery and cold, I ate some good food, relaxed, had fancy afternoon tea, saw some cool art, and got to leave the country.
It was micro but had everything I needed.

At the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria 

When spending $75 for tea and snacks at the Empress Hotel, I was reminded of something a friend said in Paris when Peter and I spent about $300 for lunch at the George VI - "yeah, but for the time you're there, you're renting the room." The room at the Empress had beautiful furniture and someone playing a grand piano - and the moment my treats were set in front of me, the pianist started playing one of my favorite songs, Viva la Vida by Coldplay - priceless. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Arcade Fire

Last night at the Key Arena with Cheryl, the intense level of musical talent on display was almost too much to process. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't THIS. When my friend Ed invited me to come to the park at the end of his summer guiding contract, the prospect of visiting Yellowstone with an expert guide was too good to pass up, so I hopped the short flight to Bozeman last Thursday and made the 2.5-hour drive southeast to West Yellowstone and went into the park from there. This was Ed's third time guiding in the park, and having access to little-known places, plus Ed's intense knowledge of the history, flora, fauna, geology, topography, anecdotes, viewpoints, and his passion for this place, which he has been visiting since he was a young boy in Indiana, was an invaluable addition to the experience, for which I am supremely grateful.

Day 1: Entering the park and Old Faithful Village
traffic on the way in

The Gallatin River
Old Faithful

Geyser Hill

Day 2: Morning Waterfall Hike with Ed, Morning Glory Pool, and Firehole Basin Tour
Little Firehole River

silicified trees

Mystic Falls

Jewel Geyser

Morning Glory Pool

tour transportation, 1937 stretch touring car

Fountain Flats Drive - where the bison roam

Firehole Falls in Firehole Canyon

Day 3: South Loop Drive
Yellowstone Lake

Lower Falls in the 'Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River'

Artists' Paint Pots

Day 4: A Few Detours on the Way Out
Extremophiles (microorganisms that live in conditions of extreme temperature, acidity, alkalinity or chemical concentration) in Norris Geyser Basin

Porcelain Basin

Duck Rock

Chocolate Pot

Can't thank you enough!