Tuesday, July 31, 2012

McMenamins Grand Lodge...

Here are the last pictures of our long week-end get-away in Portland. The last night, after our visit to Cannon Beach, we spent in the coolest hotel we've ever been in: McMenamins Grand Lodge! It is situated in an old Masonic Lodge  which was built in the early 20's, about half an hour west of Portland. Every surface was painted with texts and paintings etc about the local history. Very, very fun indeed!
Do check out their website because they have a lot more hotels like this one.

Click on photos to enlarge!

They brew their own beer so we spent their Happy Hour in the garden (a park) with a sampler tray of their beers and some fabulous tater tots and fries. Afterwards we played several rounds of Frisbee Golf (where you throw a small Frisbee disc over long distances into a metal cage) and we had a lovely time in their salt water spa/ pool. 
Here are some pics that I downloaded from their website to give you a better idea of the rooms with bunk beds that we had and of the pool.

And did I mention that these hotels are extremely affordable?
And then there were all the authentic vintage lamps everywhere! I only took a few pictures but believe you me: they were awesome!  {smile}


Excellent food was served there as well and after a wonderful breakfast (I had a mushroom and goat cheese omelet!) we drove back to Portland to visit the Lewis & Clark College. We had arranged a tour at this private college of 2000 students (extremely small for American standards) and Mr. G. and myself were ready to start studying there right away!  <wink> We'll see what Master C. decides in the spring but it was a very cool school. Of course it is private so the cost will be around $50.000 per year (!) which we obviously cannot afford, but they are generous in their financial aid department, so we'll just wait and see... 

It is difficult to see on the pictures but the school had a view of Mount Hood in the distance: wow!

We drove home after that and from the car I took a few more pictures of Portland and of Mount Hood. What a great place!  {smile}




Sunday, July 29, 2012

It Was A Marvelous Night For A Moondance...

Yesterday, the cleaning spirit hit me again (previously this week I already cleaned out the fridge top to bottom!) and we cleaned out the whole garage, did some re-arranging, cleaned several kitchen drawers and sorted out all the plastic containers that always seem to be mixed up: what a great feeling to have all that behind us now!  {smile}

We were just about to settle down for a quiet evening when we got a call from our lovely daughter: if we would please come and join her friend and his dad for an impromptu barbecue at Lake Washington? Yes please!
I used a 'tilt-shift' filter here to provide some privacy...

They have been building a new house and it is almost done, but not quite: no toilets or electricity etc., but a working grill, alcoholic beverages and some comfy chairs on the dock, what more do you need? Above to the left you can see the Ceder slatted siding that will cover the whole house. Eventually it will turn a silvery grey made possible by the weather...

Click on photos to enlarge!
The kids went swimming and had time to catch up about their vacation adventures etc.  Nice to spend some time with friends...

And the moon came out and we made a fire and it was just lovely...


PS: Just to clarify: they are not living in the house yet. Hopefully in a week or 6... (the move-in date keeps on being postponed by the contractor)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cannon Beach, Oregon...

Oh yes, and then there were two totally unexpected hours at The Beach: Glorious!!!  (yes, it made me want to sing out loud...)

The Sunday was a bit of a cloudy day, the shops in Portland didn't open until noon and we wanted to go and do something. Portland is a lot closer to the ocean than where we live, so the choice was easy: Cannon Beach, here we come!


(click on photos to enlarge)


It took about an hour and a half to get there and on the way we only saw clouds and even some rain, but when we got to the beach everything cleared up and there were blue skies! (more singing)

We rented two fun bicycles and we switched riding them between the four of us. A most excellent spending of time I must say. The legs got pretty sore though... <wink>


I was grateful to see that both our kids (plus the husband as well) have developed a great love for the ocean...


Only two hours, but two hours of sheer freedom!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Terug Van Weg Geweest...

{Back from whence we came...}

We spent a long weekend in Portland, Oregon visiting Mr G.'s brother and his family. Even though we were only three nights away from our home, it feels like we were gone for much longer than that!  {smile}

Unfortunately I was troubled by some ailment on our first day there so I only spent an half hour or so downtown, but I did manage to take some fun pictures in that short time. Boy, I love those old brick buildings and those old water towers on top of them...




By dinner time I was feeling my old self again and our hosts drove us to an historic neighborhood cold 'Mississippi' which I loved! Look, I even found my dream home!

How cute is this?!
The street that we were on had lots of fun cafe's, restaurants and shops and people also just lived there. Loved it!


And this was the restaurant we had dinner at, first a most excellent green salad with hazelnuts and a soft blue cheese, and my entree was a wood-fire pizza with kale (= boerenkool) and onions, and chili's and tons of garlic: delish!


The sky was glowing as we drove back home. Below you see our cousin B. (she will be a senior in college) and my daughter Miss M. having a good time in the back of the car:
And then the most awesome views from their front yard....
And then The Moon came out!
Tomorrow I will show you some pictures of our two hour visit to Cannon Beach!  (yay! more beach time!!!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blowing Bubbles...


The other day, Miss M. and I were blowing some bubbles in the back yard. At least she was, I was trying to capture the bubbles with my camera. Any idea how difficult that was?  <wink> A perfect late afternoon activity...




This week we've been busy cleaning all the carpets in the house and in the cars, I've also cleaned out the mudroom top to bottom and yesterday I sewed ten cushion covers for in the formal living and dining room.

Mr. G. at work...

Sorry, a little bit fuzzy...

In the mean time Miss M. got her driver's permit so she is now getting her first driving lessons from her dad and next week the classroom lessons will start. Oh boy, both kids are driving!!!

It's a bit muggy outside and I believe there is some rain on the way. The yard has been getting pretty dry so a bit of rain is quite welcome.

That's about it for now. We're on slow-vacation-time so not too much to report here...

Monday, July 16, 2012

More Macro...

Gorgeous weather today (while we are cleaning all the carpet throughout our house by ourselves: furniture everywhere!) so a great opportunity to work with the macro lenses once again...










Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ramblings...

This morning we all left the house at 9 (yes, even the teenagers) to go out for some Blueberry Picking!  It was rather overcast, which was a good thing, because when the sun came out it was Hot...


The farm is only a few minutes down the road and there were berries a plenty. In fact we picked 17 pounds   of them ($2 a pound, so cheap!) and that didn't even make the slightest dent in their harvest. The problem is that our freezers are full so I think we'll have to take some other old stuff out to make room for all these berries... (what a great problem to have)

We were almost home when we spotted a garage sale in our neighborhood. I snagged a white plastic lounge/ sunbathing chair for $5 and this afternoon I spent some wonderful time in it snoozing reading... <wink>

--  **  --  **  --

Last night we spent some time around our fire pit. (the one we built ourselves and the chairs as well!) It was just lovely to sit there, make jokes and simply enjoy each other's company on a quiet, muggy night...




And I'll end this little rambling post with some items from our vegetable garden. Things are growing nicely and are soooo tasty!  {smile}
Beets, Plums, Peas, Green Beans and more is on its way...



The Hike...

So last week we hiked to the top of 2nd Burroughs Mountain, just North of Mount Rainier. What a day it was!  I am not a hiker an...