Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What Every Child Leaves Behind

Sand castle on South Padre Island.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
What Happened To Being Human?
2 YEARS AGO:
I’ve Been Everywhere, Man
3 YEARS AGO:
W. The Thief.
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post from 6/30/05

Monday, June 29, 2009

157 Years Of Light


The Port Isabel lighthouse.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Call Me. We Have Telephones In Nebraska Now.
2 YEARS AGO:
Reach For The Sky
3 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.

4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wishes Really Do Come True

Before we arrived: "I wanna go windsurfing when we get down there."

On the way there: "I hope they have equipment so I can go windsurfing."

As we were walking to the surf shop: "Wow, I think the winds are picking up. Pefect weather for windsurfing."

On the water: "Look Ma, no hands!"

Well, he didn't really say "Look, Ma!" but everything else was said about fifty times before he finally got on the water. May I present Eddie The Windsurfer:

He hadn't lost his touch. It took him only moments to pull up the sail and go cruising across the bay. I sat and took in a bit of sun, read my book and took pictures.

A bit later, I joined him in the water. At around a thousand feet from shore, the water was still only thigh deep. Ed even gave me a quick lesson and I tried to do it myself. I got up on the board and got the sail up, but couldn't stay up long enough to go anywhere.

It was hot and humid but I think the water and the constant breeze was a real help as I didn't hate the experience. Tomorrow is more beach time, hopefully getting a bit more color and maybe even another windsurfing experience. Oooh, or kayaking!

Either way, sun and water will be involved and Eddie will be happy as a clam.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Eddie Plays It Safe Friday
2 YEARS AGO:
What Road?
3 YEARS AGO:
I’m STILL Looking To Get Me Some Good BBQ
4 YEARS AGO:
Say Cheese!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It Could Be Africa If It Weren't For The Schlitterbahn

I took this picture on the northern end of South Padre Island. The dunes were lit by the setting sun and over them, in the distance, lies the Gulf of Mexico.

I'm hoping to be able to get more pictures this weekend that consist of more than sand and sunsets. I've heard there's quite a bit of
wildlife around the island; sea turtles and pelicans are two that I hope to see!

** Click here to check out the nightmare that is
Schlitterbahn.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
How To Ace A Job Interview
2 YEARS AGO:
Diver Down
3 YEARS AGO:
Day Tripping
4 YEARS AGO:
Nipple Rock

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Daily Rant Goes Farther East Than Ever Before

Last night, I couldn't decide what I wanted to make for dinner, so I took a look in my pantry and made something up out of the ingredients I had on hand. This was the result:

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Serves 2

THE INGREDIENTS
2 Boneless Chicken Breasts (about 5 ounces each), diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 small can of water chestnuts, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
3 Scallions, sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, diced
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Hot Mustard
2 Tablespoons Sliced Almonds
Salt
Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Lettuce Leaves

THE PROCESS
1. Prepare all of your ingredients before you start. Dice (or mince) everything and put it aside.


2. Cut your chicken in thin strips and set aside.

3. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a hot skillet. Add chicken and season it with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Sauté the chicken pieces until done, then scoop them out and set aside to cool. Once cooled, dice the chicken and put it aside.

5. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and then add all the other ingredients; scallions, garlic, peppers, water chestnuts, mushrooms, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and mustard. Sauté for a few minutes, until the vegetables start to sizzle. Don’t cook too much because you don’t want them to be mushy.

6. Season the entire mixture with red pepper flakes and toss the vegetables again to mix it all in – the amount depends on how hot you like it.

7. Add the chicken back in and sauté a few minutes more, until the chicken is hot again.

8. Just before serving, sprinkle the almonds over the entire mixture and toss it in the pan a few times to mix them in.

9. Now, take a lettuce leaf, scoop in a spoonful of the mixture, wrap it up and enjoy!!

I didn't actually have mushrooms and water chestnuts on hand, but I included them in the recipe because I would have used them if they were in the pantry.

I love me some water chestnut crunch!!

Click HERE for a printable version of the recipe.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
What He Does When I’m Sleeping
2 YEARS AGO:
Now You Don’t Have To Go To The Ghetto To Get Crack
3 YEARS AGO: Satchel Pitches A Great Question
4 YEARS AGO:
A Night In Yakima

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My President's House

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my President? No? Well, I do. So much so, that I swung by his house last weekend to try to catch him at home; thought maybe he'd be watering the lawn or hanging out in the veggie garden with Michelle, or maybe walking the dog with the girls. No such luck. I even used my zoom lens to try and peek into the windows, but he was nowhere to be found.

All I got was this photo.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Don’t Give Up Hope If You Just Don’t Know What You Want To Be When You Grow Up. You Have Choices.
2 YEARS AGO:
Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready For My Close-Up
3 YEARS AGO:
Stone Magnolia
4 YEARS AGO:
Fitty Nine!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Fathers In Our Lives, Our Fathers Who Art In Heaven And The Father Of Our Country

Today is the day we "officially" honor our fathers. I don't need a special day to honor or remember my father because although he's gone, I think about him all the time. But there are other fathers in my life who are still here on earth who should continue to be remembered and honored...

First and foremost, I'd like to pay homage to my step-father Frank. He was the safe haven in which we docked when my parents got divorced. He took care of my mother, my brother and I when we had nowhere else to go. He gave us a home, fed us, gave us our very first jobs in his restaurant, took us to Broadway plays and water parks, taught us how to drive and water-ski, took us on our first plane ride and and continued to help whenever help was needed. Even in our adult lives, he was there for us. (Well, maybe more for me than my brother; Michael plans a whole lot better than I do, so when it comes to a catastrophe or dire financial straits, he's always better prepared.) In any case, Frank has given a LOT to us. Granted, he had some rules we thought were crazy (what kid doesn't hate a rule or two?) and a Depression Era mentality we had to adjust to (he was saving water and "re-purposing" items before conservation was cool), but overall he gave us a pretty good life and that's what really should be highlighted - the BIG picture.

The other father I'd like to mention is my brother Michael. I don't think I can adequately describe my feelings about him in order to illustrate just why I think he's the shit. He's just cool. He's funny. He's responsible. He's intelligent. He's ingenious. He does more than any one person I know. His energy is limitless, his ambition infinite. He IS that old Army commercial; the one that says something about doing more before 9am than most people do all day. He never stops. If it's not something he's doing for work, it's something he's doing on his house. If it's not something he's doing for his wife, it's something he's doing for his kids. If he's not on the job, he's building additions on his home. And when he's not doing that, he's coaching Little League. I don't know where he finds the time.

He's currently going by the moniker "Solo Mike" because between work, house, family and whatever the hell else he's doing with his day, he can't find time to squeeze in any "guy time" so he's temporarily without friends. Hence, Solo Mike. He changes his nicknames frequently and they all have a definitive meaning indicative of the situation. For a while he was "MIGSIG" which meant "man in gray, still in gray" because his company t-shirts are a light heather gray color and he was always in one of them. Another time he was "Mr. No" because he'd say NO to everything, even before he knew what was being asked. He's not given these nicknames by others, he comes up with them himself, and I always think his latest one is my new favorite. But more than loving the nicknames he gives himself, I love him. More than I'll ever be able to say and more than he'll ever know. I've been trying to steal him away for a few days, kind of like a "planned" kidnapping, but I just can't seem to get him to pencil me in on his calendar. One of these days when he turns his back though...pfumph! I'll just throw a sack over his head and off we'll go!

I'd also like to mention my cousin Greg who became a new father in March of this year. He was lucky enough to have twins, one boy and one girl. This will be his first Father's Day and I can't be more excited for him. He's a giddy Dad. He's crazy about them. Loopy even, when he's in their company. He glows. He has a permanent smile on his face (well, when I see him anyway - I'm not there for those 2am feedings). He's loving every minute of these little cherubs and so am I, since I'm lucky enough to get cell phone pictures of them every couple of days!

In addition to remembering my own father and those mentioned here, I will be thinking about my grandfathers and my uncles too. And to those of you out there who have children of your own, I hope you have a fantastic day as well. Happy Father's Day!!

The photo is of Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia and is the church where the "Father of our country" (George Washington) once worshipped.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Who The Hell Left The Pool Float In The Sea Of Tranquility??
2 YEARS AGO:
Lure Me In
3 YEARS AGO:
Sometimes The Reasons NOT To Have Children Are So Very Clear
4 YEARS AGO:
U-Ta-Dah!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Spirit Of Sharing


This afternoon in Alexandria, Virginia, Eddie and I ate at La Tasca Spanish Tapas Bar & Restaurant. It was one of the best meals I've had in my five years on the road. Seriously.

I've always wanted to go to a tapas restaurant (and yes, Eddie thought I kept saying "topless" so his eyes were like saucers and he agreed to pay for everything, no matter what was involved) so when someone on the water taxi recommended this place we couldn't get there fast enough.

The first page of the menu explained The Story Of Tapas; "Tapa means 'lid' or 'cover' in Spanish. The origins of modern day tapas are not truly known, but it is widely believed that centuries ago at the end of long workdays, farmers and laborers would visit local 'tascas' for a well-earned drink, on top of which they would find a slice of bread to protect it from pesky flies. Over time, the innkeepers gradually began placing snacks, such as cured meats and sausages, on top of the bread slices. With the passage of even more time, the "edible lids" evolved into the beginning of the exciting tapas experience we are familiar with today."

The rest of it was dedicated to the food. If you're familiar with tapas, you know how everything comes out in smaller portions on small plates. For those not familiar with it, think half the size of a regular entree. With the smaller portions, the idea is to order several different menu items so everyone can share and have a little taste of it all. So after spending an inordinate amount of time reading the
menu (there was so much to absorb!), we decided to start with Pan a la Catalana and Berenjenas Fritas.

This is the Pan a la Catalana, which was made on their house ciabatta bread, grilled and then topped with grated vine ripened tomatoes and chopped fresh basil. Amazing.


Then we had the Berenjenas Fritas; lightly floured fried eggplant slices served with a warm Cabrales cheese dip. Eddie and I love eggplant and this did not disappoint. Its coating was so light, it was like tempura, only better. The Cabrales cheese dip was making love to my taste buds. Information I found online stated that it's a pungent and full-bodied blue cheese produced in the Asturias region of northern Spain. It is made by hand in small batches under very specific conditions. I don't care if those conditions mean pulling fingernails out of the dairy farmer, because I think I'd actually condone that behavior for this cheese.




Then we had our meal choices; one seafood, one meat, two vegetables. Because I LOVE scallops, I had to order the Vieiras al Cava. Grilled scallops sauteed in a creamy sparkling wine sauce. Do you see the gorgeous grilling job? They were perfect inside. And the creamy sparkling wine sauce? I couldn't decide if I wanted to swish my scallop around in it or drink it. Dear Lord, it was a fine wine sauce.



Then our meat choice, for my carnivorous boyfriend, was Buey al Jerez; grilled Angus beef steak slices in a sherry mushroom sauce, served with fried fingerling potatoes. The beef was fork tender and the mushrooms abundant. As for the fingerling potatoes, they were perfectly done and the only observation (not complaint) I have is that they were not long and skinny like fingerlings usually are, they were a little rounder. OK, I'm kinda being picky, but I just had to make note of it.



For the two vegetable choices, which were so hard to decide because we love them all, we had the Meloso de Ajo and the Vainas de Arveja Salteadas.

First, the Meloso de Ajo. Described in the menu as creamy rice with roasted garlic, pine nuts, raisins and scallions, all I can say about it is Holy Meloso! I wasn't sure about the pine nuts at first because my grandmother used to put them in meatballs and although she made the best meatballs in all the world, the ones with the pine nuts (called pignole in Italian) just sort of turned me off. I always ate the ones without. But in this dish, they worked. It was so creamy, it was like eating rice pudding. And I loved, loved, loved the flavor of it. I am SO going to duplicate this rice!


And I think I'm saving the best for last here, the Vainas de Arveja Salteadas; snow peas sauteed in extra virgin olive oil and garlic with Serrano ham. The ham was optional but the server said it was much better with it, so we ordered it that way. This dish might even make my cousin Ro eat pork again (she doesn't abstain for religious reasons, she abtains because she loves piggies). It was simple in that the vegetables were just sauteed in olive oil and garlic, but the pieces of ham were thick like the country bacon Ed's mom makes. And although they call it ham, it didn't taste like a thick piece of spiral ham one would have on a holiday, it tasted like bacon. Just look at it....doesn't it make you want to eat snow peas for life? I think I just might.


The only thing I do regret, was not having desert. We were kinda full and didn't want to go overboard since we had a lot of sightseeing to do and didn't want to do it by rolling around on our protruding bellies. But just thinking about it makes me want to go back and have at least three things I saw in the postres category. Maybe next time.

Although this "Spirit of Sharing" bullshit is just not going to fly when it comes to dessert.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Sailor Boy Friday
2 YEARS AGO:
Cozy Dining
3 YEARS AGO:
It’s All About Me
4 YEARS AGO:
Alien Land

Friday, June 19, 2009

Beauty For A Buck

Look at these beautiful red peppers I bought while in Washington state - ten for $10.00 - what a deal! I turned them into the most flavorful Roasted Red Peppers and Onions I think I've ever tasted. Delicious on a slice of Italian bread or in a sandwich. YUM!!!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
What My Thoughts Sound Like When Left Uncensored And Ultimately, Formed Into Words
2 YEARS AGO:
New York Style
3 YEARS AGO:
I.H.O.P.G.
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post from 6/19/05

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Would You Like A Little Screech To Go With Your Whine?

As promised, here he is.

A distinct whine and a loud screech; these are the sounds of the Herring Gull. They are loud enough to be heard over the waves crashing against the rocks at Boiler Bay Scenic Point and no matter where I am when I hear that sound, it makes me think of the ocean.

Listen to it here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Jane’s Anatomy
2 YEARS AGO:
Plus People Are Here To Stay
3 YEARS AGO:
Baiting The Hook
4 YEARS AGO:
Purgatory

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hangin' In The Sea Cave

Last week while in Oregon, was also went to the largest Sea Lion cave in the world. This first picture here is the cave, where in the center, you can see the rock the sea lions are lounging on.


This shot here is the rookery, where all the mating action takes place:

This is a harem of "cows", which is what they call the female sea lions. Not very nice if you ask me, but if they don't mind, who amd I to say? But I guess when you weigh 600-700 pounds, that's a mighty accurate description. They are very far away at the very bottom of that cliff, so I did my best to zoom in on them.

Each harem, which numbers 15-20 cows, belongs to a Bull. The bull is what they call the male sea lion. HE should be called a cow, since he weighs on average, 1500 pounds. Some of them even weigh over 2,000 pounds! Now that's a ton of fun in one slithery body if you ask me. Each bull protects his harem from the other bulls by fighting with them on the ledges of the rookery.

This is from the Sea Lion web site: "Occasionally a young, strong bachelor succeeds in besting an older bull thereby acquiring the herd. The herd bulls do not leave their harems even for food for perhaps three months. Only the largest ocean waves can drive them from the ledge into the sea. Females display no loyalty and when a harem is broken by a storm, the bull may never recover all of his chosen mates. Therefore, much of his work involves keeping his "wives" from slipping away in search of food or because of high waves and rough ocean. Naturally, the bulls have lost weight and are exhausted by the end of the breeding season and they generally spend the remainder of the summer by themselves, resting and regaining their strength."

Here is what one of those fat ass bulls looks like:


This is the last photo I took, looking through the rocks at the light house across the way, which you can't see because it's all overcast and hazy. But it's there, trust me, I saw it through my binoculars. There were also some sea lions on the ledges below here and some herring gulls sitting on eggs in their nests.

We had seen sea lions on the wharfs in San Francisco, but seeing them in a cave like this was sort of cool. It was like the grotto at the Playboy mansion.

Except there were bulls and cows, not dogs (see #2) and bunnies.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Weekend In Wyoming
2 YEARS AGO:
Ready For Nautical Knots
3 YEARS AGO:
Australia Isn’t Far Enough Away For These Bitches To Hide
4 YEARS AGO:
Texas Suicide

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The First Glimpse Of The People's Coast

Standing atop Neahkahnie Mountain, looking down on the beach at Manzanita, we got our first view of the Oregon Coast. Driving Highway 101 from Astoria, we had a few glimpses of water, but this was the first place we had a full view and the first place we were able to park the truck. It was much more spectacular in person, as you might imagine. Just a gorgeous site.

Standing at that same point and turning to my right, I got a shot of the water. There was a little sun that day, but for the most part, it was mostly hazy. What I liked about this was how the horizon looked ever so slightly arched, as if the water was following the curvature of the earth. Which I know is actually what it does, but here I feel like I see it happening.

We were hoping for a sunset, but we really couldn't get to a place where we'd see the dropping into the water. I took this shot hanging out of the window, thinking I'd just follow the sun until I saw it getting closer to the horizon. Here, it's just casting shadows.

The evening ended with this view. No "real" sunset, as I was hoping for something orange, but a little strip of light in the sky that was a very faint pink. I like the lights from the hotel in the distance and the outline of all the trees among the dark blue of the water. We slept for the night at Boiler Bay Scenic Viewpoint just down the road, near Depoe Bay. We wanted to wake to the sound of crashing waves.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Oh, So This Is How It Works
2 YEARS AGO:
Can You Hear Me Stereotyping Now?
3 YEARS AGO:
In The Kitchen With Eddie
4 YEARS AGO:
Almost My Town

Monday, June 15, 2009

SPAM: Not The E-mail Kind

It seems I've been deceived for a little over five years now.

"A little over five years" is how long I've been dating Eddie. And all this time I thought, Wow, how lucky am I to have gotten such a great guy? "Normal" and "good people" are words that came to mind when I thought about him.

But recently I found out what I actually got was someone whose white trash roots run deep. How did I come upon this disturbing nugget of information, you ask?

It was revealed to me when Ed bought a can of
SPAM and a box of macaroni and cheese and asked me to make it.

As a meal.

To eat.

As any self-respecting Italian and self-proclaimed foodie would do, I promptly refused. I told him I simply could not. No way. I knew I wouldn't be able to open a can of what I was sure was going to smell like cat food.

And then he read me this little tidbit from Wikipedia:

"Spam is a canned precooked meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation. The labeled ingredients in the classic variety of Spam are: chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added, salt, water, sugar, and sodium nitrite to help keep its color. Spam's gelatinous glaze, or aspic, forms from the cooling of meat stock."

When I heard the words "gelatinous glaze" I wanted to vomit.

He was shocked to find out that I had never had SPAM. I thought I had SPAM once, but when I checked with my mother (after she got off the floor, yet still while clutching her heart), she told me that I "absolutely did not" and if I did "it wasn't under my roof", that I must have eaten it at a friend's house. I have a very vague memory of trying it, but I can't pin down when or where. Besides, I really can't imagine my father letting SPAM get past him and into the kitchen, so I guess she was right.

So I just wanted to let you all know, that if for some reason my postings here abruptly stop, it's because I ate the SPAM. And if my demise is caused by SPAMicide, I leave it to my friends, family and dear readers to find Eddie a suitable partner to take my place. He'll never find another me, but maybe he'll find someone who knows how to fry up a nice hunk of meat product.

Your best bet would probably be to set up a booth in a trailer park and offer up some food while they fill out applications and wait for their personal interviews. You might want to try some of the following items as bait to make sure you lure just the right girl...

Vienna Sausages, pork rinds, spray cheese in a can, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Dinty Moore stew, macaroni and cheese and lots and lots of SPAM. Watch the candidates roll on in!

Do me proud; try to get someone with a full set of teeth.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
How Casting A Memory Begins With A Fish
2 YEARS AGO:
A Weekend At The End Of The Rainbow
3 YEARS AGO:
If I Were In People Magazine
4 YEARS AGO:
Free Mudflap

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Something's Afoot

This weekend, Eddie and I drove Highway 101 down the Oregon Coast. What spectacular beauty!

I will be posting some pictures of our trip in the coming days; the rocky coastline, the miles of beaches, the sea lions. Yes, sea lions! And you'll get to see the rest of this Herring Gull.

Stay tuned...


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: The Color Of Aging
2 YEARS AGO: Ahhhhhntipasto
3 YEARS AGO: The Great Equalizer
4 YEARS AGO: Almost My Town

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kidnapping Is Obviously Not Their Forte

Yesterday was spent exploring the waterfront community of La Conner, Washington. Just south of State Route 20, it's the perfect side trip if visiting Fidalgo, Whidbey or the San Juan Islands. A pedestrian friendly town with plenty of shops, restaurants and galleries, also has a walking tour of downtown, taking you through a sculpture exhibition. Many of the sculptures are for sale, with prices ranging from $1,100.00 to $20,000.00. Now that's a way to take home a piece of La Conner!

I love the photography and paintings in the galleries, along with the shops carrying unique tchotchkes and local art. The Caravan Gallery brings you jewlery, rugs, clothing and more from far flung places such as Thailand, China and Africa. A Class Act Gallery has everything from glass pieces, driftwood windchimes and pottery. All offered unique items tended by friendly staff, but my very favorite was
The Olive Shoppe.



The shelves were lined with hundreds of bottles, from all over the world, of gourmet marinades, sauces, chutneys, jams, jellies, olive oils, vinegars and olives!! Ohhh, the beautiful olives.

La Conner is also home to the Skagit County
Tulip Festival, which we were too late for, but is something I would definitely go back to see. There were photographs of the tulips everywhere, many on postcards, which is an affordable way to capture the highlights of the festival!

Then as we drove into the parking lot at the end of First Street, we stumbled across what seemed to be a kidnapping. Four men huddled behind a car. It was suspicious; not the four men hanging out by the care part, but the what they were doing part.

One guy was on his knees with a paper bag over his head, a message written in black marker scrawled across the front of it. A second guy was wearing a black plastic bag as a shirt (I think he even had a belt around it). The third guy was wearing a ski mask, holding a knife to the second guy's neck, and the fourth guy, who also had a ski mask, was setting up his camera trying to get a picture of it all.

I just couldn't pass this by, so I told Ed he absolutlely had to stop. Once he did, I rolled down my window and shouted to the group. "Need a photographer??" In unison they said "Yes!" Three clear responses and one muffled one from the paper bag. So I made my way over to them and proceeded to take their picture. I wish I had gotten one for myself, but they had me use their camera and it didn't occur to me until after we drove off. (NOTE: Javier sent me the photo after I had posted this, so I'm including it now.)The guy playing photographer before I butted in was Javier Mota, a Managing Editor for
Univision.com Autos and the one in the plastic bag shirt was Pepe Forte, the host of AutoMania, a talk show about cars on Univision Radio.

It turns out they were a group of journalists from Miami entering a contest to win a Kia Forte. The set up was supposed to look like a kidnapping, the paper bag displaying the ransom note. It said, "If you don't buy this Forte, we'll kill this Forte". It had an arrow pointing to the guy with the knife at his throat; the one wearing the black plastic bag shirt.

Clearly, they knew nothing about kidnapping. Don't they know it's not done in broad daylight? On a pier? With a photographer present??

One of the guys in the group told us that he won a car at another event like this when he went into a women's bathing suit shop, bought a bikini, donned it, and splayed himself across the car like a supermodel. He lifted up his shirt to show me his very hairy, very squishy belly and joked, "Can you imagine what I looked like in that bikini??"

With that comment, it was hard not to visualize him in a bikini. I can see why he won the car though; who can resist a cute furry man in a bikini? That little episode really topped off our day and we're wishing them luck in the contest.

As for Eddie and I, we can now add "witness to a kidnapping" to the list of unusual things we've seen on the road. I don't know if that trumps the
lady who flashed us or the McLobster Sandwich, but it's up there.

Don't let a little mock kidnapping keep you away from La Conner. Pack the pepper spray if you must; the town is not to be missed.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Eddie Friday On Ice
2 YEARS AGO:
Having Influence Where It Matters
3 YEARS AGO:
MacGyver To The Rescue
4 YEARS AGO:
The Hot Wedding

Friday, June 12, 2009

Explosions Of Color And Flavor

I found this poppy in the garden behind Kapaw’s Iskreme, a quaint little ice cream parlor in Coupeville, Washington. The shop is owned by Karen and Paul Whelan and smelled like freshly baked waffle cones!

The best part? Paul was sitting at one of the little tables talking with a friend, and Karen scooped the ice cream herself!! Now that's small town service!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
A Big Gay Case Of Mistaken Identity
2 YEARS AGO:
Gilding The Shopping Lily
3 YEARS AGO:
Dog Day Afternoon
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post from 6/12/05

Thursday, June 11, 2009

No Mussels Kneaded When Eating Homemade Bread


About half way down Whidbey Island is the town of
Coupeville. A tiny town located on Penn Cove, it was the perfect place for lunch.

We didn't have mussels but we did find a little cafe called the
Knead & Feed. All I can say about the place is....OMG, homemade bread!!!!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Dog Day Afternoon
2 YEARS AGO:
A Prayer For Alberta
3 YEARS AGO:
Tassimo Time
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post from 6/11/05

Deception Is The Only Thing Between Fidalgo And Whidbey


Just before we crossed the
Deception Pass bridge, we saw a little viewing area turnout. Since we were tooling along at a nice steady pace, when Ed turned into it so quickly, I thought we'd plunge over the edge. Thankfully, we did not. Here's a little Wiki info on the pass.

We stopped to take a few pictures before crossing over and officially being on
Whidbey Island, where we did more sightseeing, picture taking and eating.


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1 YEAR AGO:
Highway 333 Fishing Shack
2 YEARS AGO:
Summer Lovin’
3 YEARS AGO:
Clowning Around
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post from 6/10/05

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The View From Cap Sante

Today was spent exploring Fidalgo Island. We started in Anacortes, drove the loop around Washington Park and then hit a roadside espresso hut before heading down to Deception Pass.

This photo was taken at Cap Sante Park overlooking Fidalgo Bay and Padilla Bay. The photo size is a little different because I took it using a wide angle. If you enlarge it, it stretches out quite nicely.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
It’s Time For One Of These Again
2 YEARS AGO:
They Called My Name And Clutched The Collar Of My Shirt With Their Evil Cheese Stuffed Fingers
3 YEARS AGO:
Marlin Perkins Must Live In The Neighborhood
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, not post for 6/9/05

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Hidden Fluff

I found this dandelion hiding among some weeds in Shipshewana, Indiana; at least this one isn't bald.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Post-Tornado Sky
2 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Ooh Rah Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
The Human Jeweler
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post from 6/8/05

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Preferred Route For Geriatric Men In South Bend, Indiana

We were sitting at a traffic light when I looked up and saw this:


The first thing I thought of was the
Granny character in the old Playboy magazines. I pointed it out to Ed but didn't think to take a picture of it until the last minute when he was already pulling away from the intersection. So it's not the best picture and the writing on the sign isn't very clear, but I think I captured what initially caught my eye.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
I’m Glad The Great Spirit Was A Dirt Thief
2 YEARS AGO:
Polishing My Listening Skills
3 YEARS AGO:
The Protective Roommate
4 YEARS AGO:
Hottie

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Farm It All!

An old, International Harvesters McCormick Farmall Model "M" tractor I found while driving on a rural country road in Shipshewana, Indiana. This model was the largest of the line in 1940 and boasted around 35 horsepower, the biggest engine in the series.


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1 YEAR AGO:
Eddie Kinda In Berlin Friday
2 YEARS AGO:
How To Get Blown Three Times In Four Days
3 YEARS AGO:
Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth
4 YEARS AGO:
Slim Fast

Friday, June 05, 2009

Even The Goats Aren't Up Early Enough To Beat The Buggy Rush


We were lucky enough to be in Shipshewana again today. Lunch at the Blue Gate was great as always and driving around town for pictures was productive too. I wish the picture above were of a turtle instead of a goat, as it would fit the exchange below little better.

As we were driving back from lunch we were behind an Amish buggy, as is usually the case in this town. Ed said, "I guess that could be annoying if you live here; always being stuck behind a buggy."

I said, "I'm sure the locals are used to it."

"Well, it's not like you can get up earlier than them." he said.

"True," I said. "Since most of them are farmers, they're likely to be up at the crack of dawn or before."

"Right. So it's not like you can say, 'I'm gonna get up early tomorrow to beat the buggy rush'." he said.

"Although, that's a really good reason for being late. 'Sorry I'm late. I was behind a buggy.' or 'I'd have been here sooner but, you know....buggies.' and everyone would just know what you meant."

We laughed and came up with some other funny buggy scenarios, but I kinda like that life is slow here, that the buggies can only go so far on one tank of horse. The emphasis is on the people and time spent with them. Life flies by so fast sometimes, you forget to appreciate what's right in front of you.

Even when it's going slow enough to.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Before The Locusts Come
2 YEARS AGO:
Venomous
3 YEARS AGO:
Sixty Percent Lesbian
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post from 6/5/05.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Cloudy Crescent Moon On An Overcast Day

This was taken one afternoon while I was in New York, in my cousin Ro's backyard. It was a little overcast that day and I liked how he's made out of a cloudy material instead of clear. It just suited the weather.

She has all these little solar lights placed around her patio area; they take in the sun all day and then at night, the little suns, moons and stars light up in different colors and glow until they peter out.

It's all very ethereal and pretty. With all the plants she has scattered about, the glow of her garden candles, and these things; it's like being in a fairytale.

Well, without the prince.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Show Her A Big One!
2 YEARS AGO:
Crazy. Yinty. Cool.
3 YEARS AGO:
Just Bring Chips
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post from 6/4/05.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Asparagus Can Never Be Asparagi, But It Can Be Delicious


Did you know that word asparagus has no plural? Whether it is one piece or fifty, it's still asparagus; that's too bad, because I really like the word asparagi. I saw this recipe in one of the newspapers I picked up while on the road and made it for dinner tonight. Pretty tasty.

Farfalle with Asparagus, Lemon and Ricotta
Serves 4

THE INGREDIENTS
1 pound farfalle pasta (also known as bow ties)
1 bunch of asparagus
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
¼ cup pasta cooking water
½ cup fresh ricotta
¼ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
Grated rind and juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil (for sprinkling)

THE PROCESS
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over a high heat. Add the farfalle and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite.

2. Meanwhile, snap off and discard the tough asparagus ends. Cute the spears on a diagonal into 2-inch pieces.

3. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the red pepper.

4. Dip a heatproof measuring cup into the pasta cooking water. Remove ¼ cup of water. Add the water to the asparagus. Cover the skillet and cook the asparagus for 3 minutes or until bright green. Remove from the heat.

5. Drain the pasta into a colander. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the asparagus mixture and ricotta. Toss well.

6. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, lemon rind and juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss again.

7. Sprinkle with grated pecorino romano cheese and give it one final toss before serving.

Enjoy!!

NOTE: After eating this, we decided that we really loved the light taste of the lemon and although we both like spicy food, I thought there was too much red pepper. Ed liked it. The next time I make it, I would reduce the red pepper flakes to one teaspoon instead of two and I might even eliminate the red pepper flakes all together.

It’s such a nice, light way to have pasta and a vegetable and the lemon really makes it seem fresh!


Click HERE for a printable version of the recipe.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
’Tis The Season To Be Lazy
2 YEARS AGO:
GoBrainiac.com
3 YEARS AGO:
Flowers And Hand Painted Art
4 YEARS AGO:
You Don’t Know What It’s Like

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Cows, Coffee And BJ's

Not only does Vermont have some of the prettiest rest areas I've ever been to, like this one in Sharon (it had an atrium with plants being grown by hydroponics!)...

And this one in Gulford (they had a Moose statue at the front door!)...


but it also lives up to the origin of its name, based on "verts monts," French for green mountains. We originally planned to go to Lake Champlain, but Ed said "It's just a lake," so we nixed that idea and went south instead, traveling through pretty little towns nestled in lush green pockets.

We saw cows on hills...

Went to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, where we saw cider being made and then bought some cider doughnuts, apple butter, Cabot extra-sharp cheddar cheese and pure Vermont maple syrup...

Had pulled pork sandwiches for lunch at a restaurant which was across from a building with a sign I liked; it said "DANGER: Falling Ice No Parking" (we didn't park there)...

then we had coffee at the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters visitor center...

And to end our day, we went to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory for a little Chunky Monkey. I had a delicious two scoop cone and Ed settled on a mini-sundae...

The phone number for the factory tour is 1-800-BJ TOURS.

I don't think Ed realized he was only getting ice cream.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Lining Up For Lobster Season
2 YEARS AGO:
Worth Every Penny
3 YEARS AGO:
Everybody Is Everything
4 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post from 6/2/05