Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What is Real? asked the Rabbit one day

This weekend we had the honor of attending Martha and Adam's wedding celebration. Two words: Nice dress. It actually got a toast of its own.

Other highlights: fabulous Seattle sunshine, a quote from the Velveteen Rabbit, delicious cupcakes, and a kickin dance party.

Click HERE for the play-by-play and Martha's dance moves.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Life in Paris: Walking

For me, one of the best parts of visiting a city is just walking around and seeing what you find. Paris is full of interesting things to see:

Click HERE for the last album!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Life in Paris: Food

During our week in Paris it was all about the food. As I mentioned, we flew in for Thanksgiving, but rather than eat for an entire day, like a typical American Thanksgiving, we devoured delicious, rich food for an entire week. Flaky chocolate croissants, fresh baked bread, local goat cheese, champagne, and on and on. I thought I would take you on a little food tour throughout the 17th arrondissment and beyond...

One thing I loved about shopping for groceries for Thanksgiving meal was going from place to place to gather our items-- to the farmer's market for cheese, to the indoor market for vegetables and to pick up the turkey, to the butcher shop for sausage, to the bakery for bread, and to the wine shop for wine. While this may seem like a lot of shops, the specialized nature of each makes the quality of the items excellent (except for the celery...I've never seen such sad looking celery...but it was about 20 degrees out so maybe that was a contributing factor).

For the full gluttonous confessional food tour, click HERE.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Life in Paris: Apartment Tour

We recently had the pleasure of a quick jaunt to Paris for Thanksgiving to visit Kelly and Yann. They graciously hosted us in their home, and an absolutely lovely home it is. Though they have been living in the apartment for just a few months, it feels warm and welcoming as soon as you walk through the door. I thought you might enjoy seeing their amazing Paris apartment, complete with a view of the Eiffel Tower from the kitchen window. Apartment envy...

Click HERE for the full tour. Thank you Kelly and Yann for opening up your home to us!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fall is for beautiful words

It always seems a little difficult to make the transition from summer (glorious, warm, hours and hours of daylight summer) to fall (wet, dark, cold, albeit colorful, fall). But there is a turning point for me when I give up on trying to wear summer skirts and I trade my sandals for boots. I drink tea all day long, and I look forward to cozying up with a book and my dog in the evening.
Fall always inspires me to go to my poetry book shelf and to ponder the beautiful, complex world we live in. And so I thought I would share an excerpt from Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke. Because his words are indeed beautiful.

Here, where I am surrounded by an enormous landscape, which the winds move across as they come from the seas, here I feel that there is no one anywhere who can answer for you those questions and feelings which, in their depths, have a life of their own; for even the most articulate people are unable to help, since what words point to is so very delicate, is almost unsayable. But even so, I think that you will not have to remain without a solution if you trust in Things that are like the ones my eyes are now resting upon. If you trust in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge. You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The making of things

I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but in case you haven't heard this before, I don't know much about sewing. However, I do know that I love handmade things, and I really like having things that I have made myself. I enjoy the learning experience, and the satisfaction of the final product. I have never really used a pattern, so generally when I'm sewing it takes two tries to come up with something that works.

All this to say, I decided that I wanted to make a camera strap cover. We are going on a trip soon, and since I will have my camera on me everywhere we go, I didn't want to advertise I HAVE A CANON to everyone within eyesight. So I took some fabric I had on hand, and went to work. It was just some leftover fabric so I wasn't totally concerned with exact measurements. I've finally learned that I shouldn't use my "good" fabric on the first attempt without any sort of tutorial or pattern. I'm pleased to say it actually turned out pretty well and I learned a few things for the next one.

Here is my camera strap before:

And camera strap after!

To see the photo tutorial and general instructions, click here.

P.S. If you are more into the having of things rather than the making of things, there is someone by the name of SheyB who makes and sells camera strap covers online. Super cute stuff!

Friday, November 5, 2010

And the lucky bumblebee is...

ERICA! Congratulations, Erica, you won! This lovely pendant will soon make its way into your hands. Leave a comment with your email address to claim your prize (don't worry, it won't be posted).

Thanks to everyone for entering. And don't worry, if you didn't win, we will have another giveaway soon! In the meantime, head on over to our shop. Those of you who entered the giveaway will receive a bonus gift with your purchase before November 15th. When you check out leave me a note that says GIVE1. Have a great weekend everybody! I'll be back next week with a LoveDog Ranch post.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I just want to say a huge thank you to all of YOU for the support. Thank you for the great emails, the encouragement, and the purchases! I'll be back tomorrow to announce the winner of the giveaway. In the meantime I have a BUNCH of lovely packages to send off to our first customers!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Giveaway! You can win!

HELLO to my favorite readers. It’s finally time to reveal my top secret project: Justin and I have been working like mad on a new company: Bluejays & Bumblebees. From blowing glass, to making the jewelry, to painting, to stitching, to a full on photo shoot, we have done it all, and are now ready to present to you .

Justin is a long time glassblower and I am a long time crafter so we decided to combine our powers and see what we could make together. It has been BUSY (I'll spare you the bee pun here) but it has been a blast so far. In celebration of our shop opening, I am giving away this lovely flameworked glass pendant.

How do you win? Go to and click on the SHOP tab at the top. Peruse our shop at your leisure then come back and leave a comment on this post with the name of your favorite product (or products) in our shop. One commenter will be chosen at random to WIN*! Good luck! Now go check out our shop!

Also, a sincere thank you to my friends who have known about this “secret” project and have been full of support and enthusiasm. Love you guys.

*Contest closes on 11/3 at 11:59PM Pacific. One entry per person. Winner will be announced 11/5. Anyone can enter but the prize will be mailed to U.S. addresses only.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time flies

Can you believe it is already the end of October? Of 2010? Where has this year gone? Even more disconcerting is the fact that it's almost my birthday again. The good news is that my detox is over. It was totally worth it. I am eating healthier and fresher and feeling great. However, did I mention that I am having a birthday again? Eek.

In a preemptive strike against the annual birthday blues I have decided to make a list of some things I am looking forward to in my next year of life and beyond:

1. PARIS. Our trip is coming up soon. I cannot wait to see Kelly, and Yann, and their cute little Parisian apartment, and Paris. Justin and I haven't been there since 2003. So excited to spend time with a couple of locals, eating and drinking and seeing Paris through their lives.

2. Snowboarding season. It is predicted to be an epic year in the Pacific Northwest and there is already snow in the mountains. Fingers crossed.

3. Finishing my first quilt. It's still in progress (or rather frozen progress), but I hope to have it done this winter. As soon as I start working on it again.

4. My niece and nephew. All the time. Those kids are adorable. First birthdays and second birthdays and little tiny voices on the other end of the phone. I love them.

5. Top secret project. Yep, I just did that. I'm not telling yet, but here's a hint:

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Fall

Things have been going non-stop since I got home from the road trip. I flew down to California to meet my nephew Nolan a couple of weekends ago, and got to see my niece Avery too, along with my parents, grandma, sister & brother in law, and my brother & sister in law. Sadly my Great Uncle Pat passed away the week prior to my trip but I was able to go to his memorial service, and visit with the aunts, uncles and cousins there. Big family time. Here are some photos from the trip.

I know I promised recipes, BUT I am currently in the middle of a health detox so I doubt you want to replicate any of my experimental recipes. I won’t get into the complicated details of my self-inflicted torture, but I will say that just removing salt from the diet necessitates some creative thinking. Lots of garlic, herbs, and fresh veggies are my world right now. And luckily the bounty from our garden means free delicious goodness every day.

Back at you next week!

P.S. I intend to make myself a delicious blackberry birthday pie when this thing is over.

Friday, September 17, 2010

And on the 19th day she rested, and it was good.

Thanks for coming along with us on our cross-country adventure! It has been fun to read all of your comments and emails and FB notes along the way and to hear that many of you followed the trip from start to finish. It’s good to have friends.

We arrived home to fall in the Pacific Northwest. While it’s a bit sad to say farewell to a great summer, the change of season and shorter daylight hours means that new recipes, projects, and crafts will be coming soon.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 18: On the road home

We woke up on our last day of the road trip in Livingston, Montana, 11 1/2 hours from Seattle. It was sort of strange knowing we were heading home, and also exciting to think about sleeping in our own house.

We flew through Montana and Idaho and were back in Washington. Near Snoqualmie Pass we saw some traffic notices on the light boards. Evidently I-90 was closed due to blasting. So close, and yet so far... The road was closed for 45 minutes so Jasper and Justin went on a walk, and I read for a while. Finally the road was re-opened and we were on the home stretch.

A mile from home Jasper started howling. It's good to be home.

Final tripometer: 7,052 miles.

See pictures from Day 18 here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 17: They call it mellow Yellow...(stone)

We woke up early in Buffalo, Wyoming and headed straight for Yellowstone National Park. Neither Justin, nor I had been there so we were pretty excited that it worked out for this trip. We approached the park through the East gate, and passed through Cody. The roads leading to Cody were mostly open range so we had to be on the lookout for cows standing in the road, and they were on several occasions. I may have said it before, but Jasper is not fond of cows. She hates cows. The fact that they were inches from our car gave her no joy.

From Cody, the road winds through some beautiful canyons. I don’t think I was prepared for such an extreme change of scenery after the yellow fields along the interstate. We stopped at the Buffalo Bill Reservoir so that Jasper could take a swim before we entered the park. The reservoir is huge and it was really deep where she was swimming. She had a blast. Justin put her back on leash and we were walking up the beach when Miss Jasper had a run-in with her mortal enemy: a rattlesnake. Luckily Justin saw it in time and pulled her back, but the snake gave us a good rattle (hahaha).

Once in the park we passed through some burned forest and came upon Yellowstone Lake. The minute we were in sulfur range Jasper’s nose was going nuts, sniff sniff sniffing out the window like I’ve never seen. We saw our first herd of bison in a meadow (Jasper doesn’t like bison either, turns out) and then stopped at West Thumb Geyser Basin to walk around. Some amazing pools there. There is one called the Abyss pool and it was spectacular—clear blue water and it truly looks like an abyss.

Then we headed toward Old Faithful. We got there at 5:00pm and the next eruption was expected around 5:45 so we wandered around a bit. By 5:30 most of the seats around the geyser were taken. We too were in the ready with our cameras. By 5:50 the group of old people next to us were complaining about whether they were going to miss their dinner reservations. Also, I’m pretty sure I heard every possible geyser pun at least twice. At about 5:52 Old Faithful started blowing some heavy steam and spouted a little a couple feet up and then stopped. I think the entire crowd was worried that was it. At 6:00 the geyser started steaming heavily and sprayed up into the air. It was way higher than I was expecting and sprayed for a few minutes. I snapped quite a few pictures but it was way more impressive to sit and watch it with my own eyes. Such a beautiful cascade of water. Definitely worth the wait.

Since it was getting late we decided to check for accommodations to get another day in the park, but they were all sold out in the park and the nearby towns too. With the remaining light we headed toward the North exit hoping to see more wildlife. Just as we pulled out of the Old Faithful parking lot we were stopped by three bison crossing the road. A few miles up the way we saw a bison and a mule deer grazing across the river, and then up the road a few herds of deer and bison. It was amazing to see these huge animals in the wild. It was dark by the time we made it out of the park and crossed into Montana, but we were happy with what we had seen and definitely will plan another trip to the park in the future.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 16: Bad to the bone

Check out the World's Only Corn Palace!!

I know, amazing.

South Dakota has been another change in landscape to rolling yellow hills, with hay and sunflower farms off the interstate. From the minute we entered SD the Wall Drug billboards started showing up. Like crazy.

We made it to the Badlands, which is stunning. We sighted some prairie dogs, hawks, bighorn sheep(?), and deer. Then to Wall Drug for a quick stop, and on to Mt. Rushmore.

See photos from day 16 here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 15

Admittedly, not much happened today. We woke up in Escanaba, Michigan, hit the road early, and were quickly in Wisconsin. Our route through Wisconsin zig-zagged us through many small towns and farmlands before we met up with the busy interstate once again. We crossed back over the Mississippi and were in Minnesota where it became much hillier and greener. We blew through Minnesota, and hello South Dakota. We made it to Mitchell, South Dakota, home of the world's only Corn Palace(!!!) and found ourselves a tasty Mexican restaurant, then crashed out at the Coachlight. Official trip mileage so far: 5,337 miles.

I promise, tomorrow's post is much more interesting. (I know because I am writing this from the future!)

Pictures from day 15 here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 14: Life is a highway

I can't believe that we're on Day 14 and we have so much left to see. We woke up refreshed in North Bay, Ontario on Lake Nipissing and hit the road toward Sault Ste Marie. Lots of little towns along route 17 so our speed varied from 90km-60km. We filled the gas tank for $104.9 p/liter. The landscape looked the same through most of Ontario: short tough trees and lots of wetlands. It looks like moose country, but no more moose sightings.

We made it to Sault Ste Marie at around 3:00pm and crossed back into the U.S.A. We paid a $3 toll and drove down route 75 toward the town of St. Ignace. Let me tell you, if you ever find yourself in St. Ignace, go eat at Chee Peng Chinese and Thai food. Yum. After eating more than we should, we drove down to the north side of Mackinac Bridge and looked across the strait. Great view from a little park just before the bridge (and skipped the toll of $3.50 in each direction). We hopped on good ol Highway 2 and drove along the shore of Lake Michigan. Beautiful drive. We stopped for the night at the cozy Hiawatha Motel in Escanaba. It's a total 70's style motor lodge, but they were pet friendly and the price was right.

Shameless picture of my cute dog. To see pictures from day 14 click here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 13: On the road again

We left the lovely Beehive, our home away from home, at around 9AM with Connie and Rob and crossed the border from Canaan, Vermont into Quebec, Canada. We stopped in Coaticook for some curd cheese (aka squeaky cheese) and delicious maple ice cream.

Connie and Rob drove north with us a ways, through intermittent rain showers, before we stopped for an early lunch and they decided to head on back to Colebrook. We said our farewells and see you soons and Justin, Jasper, and I continued on toward Montreal.

Montreal was crazy. Given it was a week day, that might explain the insane traffic, but still. It's similar to Seattle in that the downtown is situated along the water and there seems to be freeways and bridges every which way. We drove around a bit to get a look at the city, and headed the heck out of town. Maybe all of our small town driving the last week has gotten us out of practice, but next time we hit Montreal we'll definitely need a guide.

We drove toward Ottawa and into Ontario. We stopped for lunch at a bar and grill in some small town and spent the only Canadian money we had (thanks Rob!). Then onward toward Sault Ste. Marie via the Trans-Canada Highway, route 17. It got dark earlier than we would have liked, but we were able to make it all the way to North Bay. I was on moose patrol, but no such luck. Maybe that's a good thing.

See pictures from Day 13 here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 12: Live Free or Die

Last day in New Hampshire. Delicious breakfast with Connie and Rob at the Beehive (awesome eggs benedict). Got an oil change for the trusty Subaru, and took a quick trip down to Lancaster. Back to the Beehive for taco Tuesday and a movie. It's great to stay with people who love to eat as much as we do. We're packing up tonight and will be hitting the road early tomorrow morning, northbound to Montreal. Its a bummer to leave, but it's been a great trip so far. Every time we come out we try to scheme up ways we can stay. I'll be a potter and Justin will be the town glassblower. I'll stay home and preserve all of our garden's food, we'll live minimally and work only as much as we need to. I'll write the next great American novel by the light of the fire with snowdrifts outside, while a crisp nor'easter blows 40 below outside our cozy cabin...

We'll have to iron out the details of all that but it sounds entirely plausible, right?

Photos from Day 12 here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 10 & 11: Relaxing & Paddling the Connecticut

Packed up camp at Little Averill. Hurricane Earl finally showed his face and the lake was windy with rain storms blowing through quickly. Still that didn't stop Jasper from spending most of the morning in the lake. We went up to breakfast buffet at Jackson's Lodge--holy cow: pecan praline crepes, creme brulee french toast, seafood newberg, poached eggs, country potatoes, and plenty more for the carnivores. Again stuffed beyond capacity. The rain and wind continued outside so we spent a nice lazy day at the Beehive, and Justin had a visit with Nana. Homemade pizzas, wine, and a movie made for a relaxing evening at home.

Woke up to sunshine at the Beehive. Checked the weather and it looked like it would hold so we shuttled the canoe and kayaks to Canaan, VT (or is it West Stewartstown, NH...depends what side of the river you put in on). It was a nice smooth paddle down the CT river, with a little head wind and alternating sunshine and shade. We had a picnic stop on a sandbar, and then paddled the rest of the way. In all about 3 hours on the river. Home for dinner tonight, with Hylie and Mario joining us.

See photos from day 10 & 11 here.

Tomorrow is our last full day in New Hampshire before we hit the road again. Not sure yet how we'll spend it, but any day on vacation is a nice one.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 8 & 9: Family time in NH/VT

We got a good night's sleep at the Beehive and woke up late, barely making it for breakfast at the cafe up at Jackson's Lodge. Jackson's Lodge has been run by the family since Grandpa Elmont Jackson and Nana Audrey bought it back in the day. It was truly a family operation and all of the Jackson girls: Bonnie, Connie (Justin's mom), Donna, Fran, Gloria, and Hylie lived and worked there with the family. Now the camp is run by Gloria, and Donna with her husband Serge run the Lakeside Restaurant in the lodge.

On the morning we were there we were greeted at the cafe by a sweet 9-year-old blonde girl. She took our order and put it in to her Aunt Gloria, and we realized it was none other than little Veve...who we hadn't seen since she was 2 years old. We snuck back into the kitchen and said hello to Bonnie, Gloria, Donna, and Stephanie (Veve's mom) as well as little Bre on dishes. The Jackson tradition continues.

We played around at Lake Wallace for a while then headed up to the cabin at Little Averill. Justin's cousin Ryan and wife Stephanie, along with Veve, Gaege, and Bre joined us up at camp for a boat ride, campfire and s'mores, and a serious game of Jenga. Nothing like a nice evening at Little Averill.

See photos from day 8 and day 9 here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 7: New Hampshire!

We got up early/late this morning. Early, if you consider that with Jasper's whining we probably never went to sleep, and late because sleep deprivation is not really a motivator to get up and at 'em. Sunrise was beautiful and quiet at the campground. We packed up the Subaru more bushy-tailed than bright-eyed and drove down to the beach to see where we ended up--coming in after dark we didn't really know what was there. The beach was totally empty and peaceful. We drove to the camp office and paid our dues--$22.75 for an out-of-stater. We took highway 104A/104/104B north to I-81 toward Watertown and then onto Highway 11. We passed by a surprising number of small colleges and universities this morning. There are still a lot of farm lands, mostly corn and hay. We passed some signs on farms that said "NO WIND TURBINES" and it seemed strange to be opposed to a wind farm. Until we came upon some, and realized the juxtaposition to the farm lands is significant. When we saw them crossing Wyoming they seemed to make sense, open land, lots of wind, and little anything else. But in a lovely agricultural area they jut out of the fields and take away from the natural calm.

Everything is very green along Highway 11 and the temperatures were in the mid 80s the whole way. We heard on the radio that Hurricane Earl is making its way to the coast but it hasn't given us any weather yet. We crossed the state line on the bridge from NY to Vermont around 3pm and were on the home stretch. We took 105 most of the way, winding through more tiny towns. Just outside of Island Pond we spotted our first moose! It was that moose time of day and he was just munching on the side of the road. We've finally made our way back into rolling hills. We continued on through farmlands and winding roads, crossed the Connecticut River and hooray, New Hampshire! We drove into Colebrook and up to the Beehive (Connie and Rob's house) around 6:30pm. End mileage: 3,386. Whew.

We unloaded the car, cleaned up for dinner and drove back to Vermont (luckily just across the river) to Hylie and Mario's for family dinner and lots to celebrate: Gloria's 50th birthday, Mindy leaving for her last year of college at Middlebury, Fran & Marc's wedding anniversary, and our arrival. We'll be spending the next few days in full relaxation mode up at the lake cabin on Little Averill so farewell for now!

Pictures from day 7 here

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 6

Woke up in Sandusky, Ohio. I've found I need to keep reminding myself what town we are in. We slept in late, even though we had planned to get on the road early. I checked my email and found out that Kelly and Yann are officially engaged! And not a moment too soon.

We hit the road and it was already 86 degrees just outside of Cleveland at 10:45am. We crossed into Pennsylvania and stopped for lunch in Erie and then came upon another toll road which was our welcome into New York. Thanks, New York. We took I-90 into Buffalo, and then north to Niagara.

Niagara Falls was definitely different than I pictured, but now that I have seen it I can't explain how. Maybe more commercial. Coming from Yosemite I think I expect all glorious waterfalls to be within the context of nature. This one is a block from Hard Rock Cafe. We didn't cross into the Canada side, though I have heard it's a better view from there. We did go to the observation deck and it's worth the $1. Then we were back in the car, heading toward Rochester. I got it in my head that we should camp for the night, so I mapped us to Fair Haven State Park. We decided to stop for dinner around Webster and found a delicious Italian restaurant. And I really do mean delicious, not I-am-desperate-and-will-eat-anything. Justin had smoked mozzarella and asparagus ravioli in alfredo sauce, and I had eggplant, olive, portobello, and artichoke heart linguine and a half carafe of white wine. Awesome.

We got back on the road around 9:30/10PM and had an hour drive til the campground. We hit some fog, but nothing too sketchy. We had a hard time finding the campground, but finally did and it was a really nice place. Manicured lawns, clean bathrooms, and super quiet. However, Jasper gave us little or no sleep, growling at the shadows, crickets, etc. It was also quite warm and bright out with the moonlight. At least we got to use our tent...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 5

We got up a little earlier today in consideration of a long driving day ahead and another time zone change. On the road and out of Des Moines by 7:30am. We filled the tank for $2.50/gallon, the cheapest so far. We've noticed that the mid-grade fuel costs less than regular unleaded. Interesting. There were several downpours, but nothing too serious. We stopped on the west side of the Mississippi River before crossing into Illinois. The landscape began to change a great deal from farmland to rural as we headed northeast on I-80 toward Chicago, Illinois/Gary, Indiana. We paid our first toll of the trip ($0.60) and then upon entering Indiana went through a toll booth where we had to pull a ticket. Evidently you pay based on how long you stay on the toll road--the most would be $7.30.

It's been about 90 degrees out so the AC is cranked to the max. We stopped for a quick bite at Hardee's which is the same as Carl's Jr on the West Coast and crossed into the Eastern time zone, kissing one more daylight driving hour goodbye. We decided to detour off the interstate into Amish country (Shipshewana). Immediately we passed several horse drawn carriages and bikes, driven by folks in traditional Amish (or Mennonite?) attire. Cute kids. Beautiful farms. Highway 20 took us back to the interstate and crossed into Ohio. We drove until dark and stopped for the night in Sandusky around 9pm. Luckily we found a delicious/I-will-eat-anything-at-this-point Mexican restaurant, and were thankful they served us 20 minutes before closing. In summary: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio in one day! I'm learning my geography. We'll head for Niagara Falls in the morning.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 4

We left Big Springs at 8:30am. Sunny, but windy on the road. We crossed into the Central time zone at 9:30am and blew past the Buffalo Bill Ranch, and a Pony Express station. There is lots of corn, and lots of hay in the middle of our country. Nebraska is also surprisingly green considering that it's the end of August. We made it to Omaha around 3pm and took Jasper to the Omaha off-leash dog park. She got her crazies out, then we drove to Old Market in downtown Omaha and had dinner and beers at Upstream Brewing Company. Our waitress was from Bellingham. Small country. We got back on the road and out of the heat. We crossed into Iowa and checked the weather to see if we could camp for the night, but the weather report was calling for rain and thunderstorms so we agreed on a motel yet again. Jasper is not fond of high winds, or thunder. In situations of danger, she feels the safest sleeping on top of our heads. In other words, no one will sleep well. I'm beginning to realize that the camping stuff we packed may prove useless on this journey. Mileage at the end of the day: 1,946.

See the photos of Day 4 here

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 3

We left Ogden at 8:30am in plenty of sunshine and quickly crossed into Wyoming. Smooth sailing at around 80MPH. We took a break at Little America, then stopped for lunch at another tiny town, then another break in Cheyenne to walk around in the park and stretch our legs. All in all not a very exciting day, but beautiful open landscape all around, and we picked up Prairie Home Companion, This American Life, and the Country Music Countdown on the radio, so we were thoroughly entertained. It might have been a good thing that I forgot all of our CDs at home. We crossed into Nebraska just after Cheyenne, and made it as far as Big Springs. Another lovely Motel 6 (this one is actually not too bad). We had dinner next door at the saloon and were entirely amused by the guests in the next booth over. If one were to capture the essence of this place in one conversation, that would be the conversation. Onwards toward Omaha tomorrow.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Great American Road Trip

Hi friends, I'm back. Well, actually, if you want to get into technicalities, I'm not back, I am currently on a cross-country road trip, but I thought I would take you along for the ride. Are you ready?

Day One

We left Seattle later than I would have liked. But considering that it was me who was still packing at 2:00pm and that that it was the first day of a long vacation, I can’t really complain. We headed east on I-90 through Yakima, and made it as far as Pendleton, Oregon. We stopped in for dinner at Great Pacific Wine and Coffee Company. Great microbrews on tap, and a good dinner. Called it a night at the local Motel 6 (we have little choice considering the third member of our team, Miss Jasper). Sorry, no photos from the first day. I was still getting into vacation mode.

Day Two

On the road by 8:30am. I-84 crossed the 45th Parallel and it’s official: we have entered the middle of nowhere. We crossed into the Mountain time zone around 10:00am, and it was then that I realized I had forgotten to account for time zones when planning daylight driving hours. Noted. We arrived into Boise around lunch time and stopped in at the Bitter Creek Ale House. There was a Farmer’s Market on 8th and plenty of people, but no dogs allowed (sorry Jasper). We drove down to Julia Davis Park, and Jasper took a quick dip in the river. There were a couple of canoes going through, but no kayaks. We were lucky and it was only about 75 degrees out--I heard it had been around 100 a couple days before. We got back on the road and made a quick photo op stop in Twin Falls, then headed toward Ogden. We contemplated camping at the KOA outside of Ogden, but the winds were strong and we had some rain on the way, so opted for the Motel 6 again. A word of advice: Don’t choose the Ogden Motel 6 off Washington. However, just down the road from there is a great little hole in the wall taco shop called Beto. Good stuff, even in though its a bit north of Mexico. Good night, Ogden.
See pictures here