Sunday, April 29, 2007

Lake Washington

After our visit to Google Land, we visited Kirkland Waterfront. Kirkland is on the shores of Lake Washington; across the water is Seattle. At the edge of the waterfront park, there stands an apartment building where there is a guarantee that no new development will obscure the view:

Christmas 2005 we went on a boat tour of Seattle. We learned that there are six people for every boat in the Seattle area. (We also learned that Seattle sells the most sunglasses per capita than any other American city - go figure with its reputation for rainy days.) Kirkland, of course, has many boat docks including at the waterfront park. This is THE place to go if you have a dream of owning a boat.

We were captivated with the sunset on this day.

Here's what we saw:

A family portrait:

I found a boat that suited my fancy....

And off we went....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Google World

Bellevue is close to Kirkland. Kirkland is Google's country home; the mansion is in Mountain View, California. On our way back to Seattle after shopping, we stopped at the place that puts Ryan's brain to lots of use.

A day at the office...

We got to visit the room where Ryan and his team are moving soon. As you can see out the window, spring has come to Kirkland, with that green so unique to the bursting of the leaves!

I had already heard stories about the Google mini-kitchens. Brains need good snacks and there are lots of choices here:

To the right is a room with a stocked fridge, and many kinds of beverages - hot, cold. Want cereal with that milk? Lattes whenever you get a hankering!!

We took the tour of the dining room, where every day there are some grand meals. Yep, Google feeds their employees. Julie found a leftover cookie (what kind was that, Ryan?). I had a bite and I have to say that it was mighty impressive considering that... it had been sitting around for at least one day, and I suppose a night. (Let me assure you that Julie is well.)

I thought Einstein had a wild head of hair. And then I saw this picture....

Down the hall, I found another painting on the wall. Google is one happening kind of place...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Shopping in Seattle

Technically, we were shopping in Bellevue, a stone's throw from Seattle. Not really. It is more like a bridge crossing, interstate cruising, and lots of turning - from Seattle. Since I have never driven in Bellevue, and Ryan always goes a different way, I would be hooped if I had to get to Bellevue myself.

Our first quest in Bellevue was FootZone, where Aimee and I each got a new pair of running shoes. Aimee found this store last year when I was getting ready for the Fun Run. The shoes were very successful so back we came.

When we left FootZone, we stopped at Jamba Juice - this is Ryan's discovery, and one of his favourite haunts. I'd like to introduce you to (if you haven't met her already) Julie. Julie's pet peeve is that there is a cat with a remarkably similar name.

The best choice - Orange Dream Machine

Then we were off to the favourite mall choice: Bellevue Square.

Our first stop was at a Canadian-owned store - lululemon. lululemon athletica is a yoga inspired athletic apparel company. They have taken their groovy poster and turned it into shopping bags. This is a must have. Even worth spending $10 (US that is) on a cup to get the free bag.

Our second stop:

While Aimee and Julie went off to the Lucy store, Ryan and I went inside. This wall has many portholes, each with a special Lego product. For $6.95, you can fill a large empty Lego cup with any items from the wall of Lego. The challenge is, of course, to get as much in your cup for the best deal. Ryan has figured out that more Lego fit into the container if you build the pieces together. Still, putting rectangles into a circular cup is not that easy. And certainly not child's play.

Now if you are thinking that it might be a bit of an unusual for Ryan and I to be frequenting a "child's" store, look who's hand is in one of the portholes.

Another favourite stop is Sephora. Sephora sells everything to help us be even more beautiful, smell wonderful, and have fun in the making. Beauty Educators. Makeup Artists. Forget meeting someone new on dating websites. Go with your sister or mother to Sephora.

Marie, here is where Ryan and Aimee found your birthday present. Don't look too hard - it's a surprise!

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Journey Home

While I was travelling back to the Kootenays today, a lot of people were travelling the other direction. To the lower mainland, I concluded.

The mountains are still exquisite with their caps of snow. In the valley bottoms, spring is in various stages. Here is a quiet bit of the road. (Whoever first posts the actual location in the comments at the bottom of this entry, I will make a homemade dinner! - don't be shy!)

Usually in the mountains you descend into a town or city, and there are views that capture your attention. Here is the view coming into Oosoyoos. If you remember the post from two days ago, that was Oosoyos from the other direction.

As I rounded the corner into Grand Forks, I saw this view of the mountains. Does that look like fresh snow way up there???


The stop on the Blueberry Paulson:

Looks like I picked the wrong shoes today...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Line Up

We were very clever, we thought, leaving Vancouver on Saturday morning instead of Good Friday. By then, we imagined, most of the travellers south would have already passed through the border. When we reached the truck crossing, it was evident, that we would be waiting in a line up. As we turned to the second border crossing, thinking that this one would be shorter, Aimee found the radio station with the expected wait times at the border: one hour for either crossing.

And so we amused ourselves. We pulled out our cameras when traffic came to a halt at:

Outside the shop we saw the fountain:

We moved on, with the ocean on one side (low tide), and rows of cars on either side of us. Inside the car, Aimee kept busy:

We got the broccoli out of our teeth:

So we were ready for:

And we inched our way to the border crossing, having chosen the slowest lane. When it was finally our turn, the border guard smiled at us and said, "Where were you? I've been waiting an hour for you."

Friday, April 06, 2007

Travels West

Easter Friday in Canada means (for me) a day off... so I am off for a long weekend with my daughter.

I woke up early this morning (despite going to bed at 2 am), to sunshine. And plenty of views of the mountains. The first mountain pass (there are 5 on the entire journey) is called the Blueberry Paulson; it is at 1525 metres above sea level. I know that because there is a sign at the summit, and today I took a photo of it. The problem was that the in the actual moment of the picture taking, it was obscured by:

One of the best views to anticipate on the way to Vancouver (can't see it on the return) is Christina Lake (about an hour and a half from home):

On this journey, I actually stopped at the top of the Oosoyos hill. You can see for miles and miles and miles.

The second last leg of the journey is through Manning Park. The road through the Park is called the Hope Princeton Highway, and it has some of the wildest weather, particularly in the winter. At the Allison Summit, there is still plenty of snow, piles of 2 to 3 foot high snow banks. This picture is taken further down the road where there is no snow on the road level, but on the mountain tops, well, winter is still happening.

Winter is retreating along the entire journey. But there is still plenty of memories of it...

After 6 hours on the road, I see my last close view of the mountains:

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Radio Interview on Travels

Today's topic is travels in the past, or should I say, to the past. There's no reading - here's the link to the radio interview:

Radio Interview

Once the window opens in your browser (I used Internet Explorer and it worked perfectly.) On the 24 kbps column, select the date of today (or April 3rd). The start time is 7:50 and the end time is 8:10. Then click on Download.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sunday is Pasta Day

I found out, in many homes. And certainly in my friend, Rose's. Rose knows pasta. And she knows how to make it. Yesterday, that is exactly what she decided to do. I was one of the helpers.

So here we go on a journey through making pasta.

Another helper was Kitchen Aid:

In go the eggs:

Then, there is that kneading, until it is just the right consistency.

The dough is divided into little balls, then "rolled" flat.

With a quick change of the attachment, the flat dough ends up in long strips (missed that picture), and cut into short oblong pieces. Okay, here's where I roll up my sleeves. Each one of the oblongs are rolled around a wire, and presto, you have a spiral pasta. Fusilli. Here's the pro showing how it is done:

The pasta gets to lie on a cloth on the table for a couple of hours to dry, while Rose synchronizes many activities, all timed to this happening:

In their splendour:

And now it is time to eat:

What you do not get to see was the feast. Nor the certain people holding onto their stomachs, and pondering over a second helping, nor the happy, happy faces, nor the laughter.

Thanks, Rose.