Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Butchart Gardens

Even though we did not arrive at the Gardens until late in the day, there was enough sunlight to take some photos.  I have to admit that the photos don't do justice to the gardens.  It is a beautiful place to visit and my mom stated that if she lived in Victoria, she would be visiting the gardens every day.  We did learn that there is a large population of retirees living in Victoria.  There was no time for shopping and we took pictures until our camera batteries gave up.
Just to put these blooms in perspective, I had my Dad place his hand up against the flower.  They were just enormous.

Blog Contest - 4th Place

As I had previously posted on August 3, I entered a photo for a contest to see whether I would be able to win a skein of yarn dyed in the colors inpsired by my photo.  I entered a colorful salad that was made for supperclub.

My photo did make the top five and the voting commenced.  Sadly I placed 4th so I didn't win the contest.  Angela contacted me and stated that since she was inspired by my colorful salad, she did use the inspiration to dye some yarn and fiber.

Here is the yarn which she offered to me with a discount since I did place in the top five.  She is offering the fiber in the same colorway.

I think the colors from the photo are well represented in the finished product.  Don't you?  I believed she did a great job!

I may have to fall off the sheep to buy some of this since it was inspired by Kim's salad.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Great Alaskan Vacation

After leaving Seattle on August 9, we headed north on the ms Amsterdam captained by Olav van der Waard.  The sun was low on the horizon as we set sail to our first port of Ketchikan after a day at sea. There is a great resource sponsored by Microsoft called the Digital Workshop manned by a Techspert teaching classes on how to use your digital camera and editing photos on Microsoft software with a bevy of other great computer skills.  The Techspert on this cruise was Billy Oh, the traveling photographer for the Harlem Globetrotters.  He was a self-proclaimed nerd and imparted a ton of camera and computer information.

The weather on this 14 day cruise could not have been better and except for one day of being wet and windy, the rest of the days were warm and sunny.

The itineraray:
  • Monday - embark Seattle
  • Tuesday - sea day
  • Wednesday - Ketchikan
  • Thursday - Sitka
  • Friday - Skagway
  • Saturday - Glacier Bay
  • Sunday - sea day
  • Monday - Anchorage
  • Tuesday - Homer
  • Wednesday - Kodiak
  • Thursday - Hubbard Glacier
  • Friday - Juneau
  • Saturday - sea day
  • Sunday - Victoria BC
  • Monday - disembark Seattle
Here is a movie I learned how to make in class with the photos in order of the ports.  We were not able to include Victoria as the shipped docked at 4:00 pm and left at 11:00 pm arriving in Seattle at 7:00 am the next day.
Here is a photo I took while cruising the Glacier Bay.  There was a block of ice on shore that looked like a small animal.  It wasn't until I cropped the photo that I had a flash of sasquach.
It is totally amazing to view the glaciers and have a perspective of how large they really are.  Here is a picture with some canoers in the bay which gives a view of the magnitude of the ice forms.
We were also able to see husky puppies during a tour in Anchorage.  They were so adorable it was hard not to just hide one in my coat to take home.  This puppy was about 6 weeks old and was quite active.
Highlights included sightseeing, shopping, a massage, eating, knitting, reading, daily sudoku, awesome weather, learning, and more eating.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pike's Market, Bainbridge Island, and Mom's Birthday

Woke up to drizzly weather in cool Seattle and after a quick breakfast, we headed out to Pike's Market.
The Fish Market was hopping as usual.
Lobster tails were larger than life.
Flowers abounded everywhere.
There were many stalls for the farmer's market where we saw these beautiful heads of cauliflower.
As usual there was a line at the Starbucks.
The weather cleared up a bit and we had lunch at Pike's Place Chinese Cuisine where the waitress it turns out came from a neighboring village in China from Dad's.  Life stories were exchanged with the wait staff and the proprietor who invited us back for lunch the next day.

After a lunch of noodles and fried rice, we walked down to the wharf and took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island.  We boarded the Wenatchee and took off with the city at our back.
We did a little sightseeing, shopping, and walking.  Flowers and trees were in bloom and on the walk back to the ferry, we saw a family of ducks and a mom raccoon and baby.
After a little rest, we went to dinner at Palisades to celebrate Mom's birthday.
She had a duo of lobster.
Dad had salmon.
And I rounded it out with ahi tuna.
We also shared an appetizer of duck with buns and seafood chowder.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

CostCo, Friends, Rain, Seattle

After a hearty breakfast at the Red Lion Inn and a stop off at CostCo for some gas (in Oregon, someone else pumps the gas for you), we hit the road north again.  It was sunny at the start of the trip and slowly the sky turned gray and the vegetation became greener.
After crossing the border and hitting Vancouver, we stopped at another CostCo for a gift purchase and a restroom break.  The bathrooms have Dyson hand dryers which I have only seen in European public restrooms.
There are quite a few waterways and bridges.
We continued onto Tacoma to visit a very old friend whom we haven't seen for 40 years.
After a short visit and plans made to meet for dinner, we hit the road again to rainy Seattle.  We are staying at the Hotel Monaco on 4th Avenue and it is very well appointed.  You can even request a gold fish in a bowl to keep you company in your room.
After meeting up again with the Fongs, we headed to the Brooklyn for dinner on the recommendation from the front desk.  Mom and I had King Salmon and Dad had Halibut.  The clam chowder was thick and creamy with huge chucks of clams - very delicious.
We had the valet take a group photo in front of the restaurant.  On the walk back, it had stopped raining and the temperature was very pleasant.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Eugene, Oregon

First day of vacation - left Sacramento at 9:00 am and proceeded on I-5 North.  It was a bright sunny day and the traffic was light.  On the drive, we stopped in Redding for lunch and gas.  It was over 90 degrees there.

As we proceeded north, it got a little cooler as we passed Shasta Lake and Mount Shasta.  As you can see, there is still snow on the mountain top.
The scenery on the way was so green and the sky was so blue.
We arrived in Eugene at 5:00 pm and checked into the Red Lion Inn.  It was a little warm in the sun but very comfortable in the shade.  We walked from the hotel to 5th Street Market and ate a Marche which was hopping.  My mom ordered the beef tenderloin and it looked great.
Dad had the salmon and I had a burger with gorgonzola and heirloom tomatoes with extra crispy fries.  Dinner was great.  It is weird that there is no sales tax.

On the way back (1 mile each way), we walked over the bridge of the Willamette River and saw a small suspension bridge.  The city is very bike and walker friendly with great paths.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Projects for my Trip

Packing has always been challenging - not so much what clothes to bring but what "other" items to pack to make the trip successful.  Sometimes, this includes books, games, crafts, etc but sometimes even after packing it all, I end up just vegetating in front of the TV especially if the movie channels are offered.

I decided to pack some knitting projects for this trip:
  1. The Linen Stitch scarf with Koigu (pattern is from Churchmouse on Bainbridge Island, WA and the yarn is from My Sister Knits in Ft. Collins, CO).
  2. Kushu Kushu scarf with Habu merino and stainless steel yarn from Churchmouse.
  3. Rivendell Smoke Ring with handspun merino.
  4. Symphony V Mobius with handspun from the Fondle This! club.
This should keep me plenty busy on my trip.  With luck, I will have four completed objects when I get back.  

I also am taking my Kindle with a bunch of books and a library book - "The Story of Stuff" by Annie Leonard.

This trip I will also be lugging my computer and hope to be updating my blog as events occur. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Entered a Blog Contest

I was on Ravelry and saw on the Blog group and one of the other bloggers was having a contest.  I clicked through to her blog and found out that she is a yarn dyer.  Her contest requested pictures for a new colorway so I entered a picture of a salad that Kim made for our first revisited supperclub.
I thought the colors were so vibrant and it would be interesting to see it translated into yarn if the picture wins.