Thursday, April 28, 2011

The REAL Royal Wedding

Photo from Mason Dixon Knitting blog--double click to "embiggen"....

Monday, April 25, 2011

Skagit Valley Magic

It seems fitting that the sun finally came out for at least a day on Saturday and provided us with an opportunity to travel south to the Skagit Valley to view the tulip farms in abundance there.  Easter Sunday was but a day away and our hearts eagerly awaited the opportunity to rejoice in the remembrance of all that was accomplished on that day:  victory over death and life everlasting in the presence of our Creator.  The flowers, the mountains and the sky all cry out in their full glory and testify to His power over all creation.  What a glorious day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"April is the cruelest month...."

This was the scene out my front door this morning!  It's April 14th for pete's sake!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Roll On Mighty Columbia

Friday we decided to explore the area along the Columbia River.  We started at Jantzen Beach, home of the famous swimwear.  There is, however, no "beach" at Jantzen Beach.  But there are lots and lots of houseboats.  The Columbia River has many small islands between Portland and Vancouver and many, many folks have chosen these spots as their residences. 

 Some folks chose to be landbound, but keep their water vehicles parked right outside the "front" door!
 We drove down Marine Drive all the way to I-84 and then on to Rt. 30 which took us to Bridal Veil Falls.  The site for Jessi's and Josh's wedding is just past the turnoff for the falls.  It's on private property which we visited on Saturday.  The site is a surprise for guests, so I'm not "allowed" to show pics of that!
 Wally can't pass a body of water without sampling it.
 The trillium is my favorite wildflower and they were in abundance near the falls and surrounding the woods at the wedding site.  I love the way they are randomly seeded by the fairies who traipse through the glens!

 At the top of Rt. 30 there is another fabulous structure called View Point.  The outside of the building is impressive.  Wait until you see the inside!
 The view east down the Columbia.  I can only imagine what this must have looked like before the dam was built.
View Point was closed so I had to take these shots through the glass windows, hence the reflection.  The stained glass windows were gorgeous with the sun streaming through them.  It was a beautiful drive along this old highway.  I found the perfect sheep farm to move into!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Higher Ground

Where did the past week go?  We were so busy and late getting to bed, that I haven't had a chance to post the rest of our adventures.  I'll do it a day at a time this week.  Where did I leave off?  I think last Wednesday was the last post.

Thursday Jessi was busy all day in Portland, so Wally and I took off for the day and explored the parks on top of the many hills that surround Portland.  First stop was Rocky Butte which sported an ancient castle-like fortress at its summit.  I love the old light fixtures which we saw in many different parks in and around Portland and in the gorge.  I'm not sure, but I think they are WPA

The view from the top is impressive, looking both east and west.  On a clear day, it must be even more spectacular.

Next we decided to try to track down Scott, the son of our friends from church, who is a freshman there.  We didn't know what dorm he was in and we didn't have his cell phone number and...we don't have cell phones ourselves!  But it's a small campus, so we figured we'd find him somehow and we did.  We tried calling him from a "public" wall phone in the student union, but we couldn't get it to work.  The students in the lounge looked at us in confusion when we asked if the public phones worked.  I had to remind Wally they have never ever used a wall phone!  A very helpful young woman in the admissions office took us to his dorm and his dormates tracked him down!  

We "kidnapped him" and took him upp to Tabor Mtn. for a quick walk around.
Go West Young Man!

Scott took us to a great pizza place called Flying Pie Pizza.
See anything wrong with this picture?  I want to know what kind of glue they used!


Way to go Scott!  It was a treat to see you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Further Adventures....

We left DesMoines Monday afternoon and headed south.  We stopped in Centralia just to get a quick snack at Burgerville (rosemary fries...that's what I'm talkin' 'bout) and happened upon an amazing sight 

Here's the scoop: Richard Tracy, a retired art instructor, began his venture in 1985 by building sculptures out of styrofoam. Today his pieces of yard art are made from a variety of plastics, metal, wire and rubber and completely engulf his living quarters. As interesting as the yard art is, so too is the character behind the art. Rich Art, as he prefers to be called, is serious about his hobby. He is willing to share, but one must have an appointment during the off season. He is open to the public between Memorial Day and Labor Day. He says he doesn't do it for a living ... he does it to live! [Vernadel Nelson, 10/26/2002]  Unfortunately, he was not open the day we were there, so we didn't get the "tour".

We have arrived in Newberg and have caught up with Jessi and Josh who continue to maintain schedules that make me tired just listening to them.  We made plans to meet Jessi at her classroom this morning so we could help.  Teachers definitely don't make enough $$!  We were busy from 8:30 to 5:00 pm and that was just doing simple tasks.  She was simultaneously giving us instructions, giving the kids instructions, organizing the next tasks for the day, organizing her materials, answering questions from 3 kids at the same time and keeping her eye on the clock so they weren't late for lunch/recess/library, etc. 

Tonight we drove into Portland to have dinner and enjoy the jazz quartet at Jimmy Mac's.  If you get there during "happy hour", you can get an amazing meal for only $5.00 and then sit and wait for the jazz to start.  This was a special treat for me from Jessi because she knows how I love jazz.  This quartet did not disappoint, all four musicians (piano, bass, drums and guitar) were accomplished players and composers. 

Our host and hostess for this week are actually not here, but they let us invade their home anyway.  They are in Florida enjoying this weather:

(Photo from Sherry and her blog)

Meanwhile, today we had temps in the 30's and hail and snow!  Hmmmm.....

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ma and Pa Hoyt-Whitaker Go to the City

The high school where I work is on spring break this week and for the first time in 5+ years my husband also has the time off.  So, we are travelling down to the Portland area to visit our daughter....together!  We decided to make the drive in stages and stopped at Wayne's place just south of Seattle.  Wayne is Wally's Dad who moved west of the Cascades about 5 years ago after his wife passed away. 
Wayne's duplex is located in a really charming residential neighborhood and his neighbors appreciate is quirky sense of humor.  "Ralph" welcomes all visitors as they walk up to the front door!
Wayne was really excited to show us his newest discovery....microwave cheese.  It's a very complicated and time-consuming process to make this delicacy.  You place a small cube of cheese on parchment paper, place it on the outside circumference of the rotating wheel in you microwave and zap it for about 2 minutes and have crunchy, delicious, lacey cheese discs...most addicting.
Of course there was the inevitable perusing of the newest computer games....I bring knitting!

Then it was time to head to sister Kris' place for the fabulous dinner she and hubby Paul had been busy preparing for us! 

 Recognize those cheese discs?!  These are made with die for.

 And the piece de resistance....pumpkin pie with DQ soft serve, whipped cream and caramel sauce!

Think of all the money we saved not having to eat out and here's Krissi using her special change jar which counts her money for her......"my precious....."  :)