Tag Archives: Brian

A weekend with Shelley

My cousin Shelley came for a visit. She is a chef, so there were one million places I wanted her to try in Portland, but predictably only made it to a few.  

We did have a lovely lunch in our garden:  

Lunch in the garden

Lunch in the garden

And followed that up by driving to wine country in Dundee for a few tastings. We stopped at Argyle (Shelley wanted to try their sparkling wine), Winderlea and Torii Mor. Brian and I joined the wine club at Winderlea which will encourage us to go more frequently.

Brian and Shelley on the patio at Winderlea

Brian and Shelley on the patio at Winderlea

Mt Jefferson in the background looks quite large from here in real life but my old phone doesn't really capture it

Mt Jefferson in the background looks quite large from here in real life but my old phone doesn’t really capture it

Belated Seattle post

Did I tell you we took the train to Seattle to see Stevie Wonder in early December? It was a really fun trip. Brian used Fetch to buy the show tickets, the train tickets and to reserve the room at Ace Hotel so it counted as a mid-week working vacation. It was fun to show up at the Ace and have the front desk say, oh, your assistant reserved your room for you.

Entry to Ace Hotel

Entry to Ace Hotel

Our room, taking a quick break before dinner.  Brian is likely working in this picture.

Our room, taking a quick break before dinner. Brian is likely working in this picture.

View from the bed

View from the bed

Nice view of the Sound from our room, we were super close to everything

Nice view of the Sound from our room, we were super close to everything

I wish I could remember where we got dinner – nice pizza, nice guys there, and we had a Missouri beer we liked (it surprised us, but not our waiter who was from there). Ah wait, I found it – I use yelp like some people use bookmarks. We walked from the Ace to Rocco’s for dinner and then walked to Key Arena to see Stevie Wonder. Not very many good pictures from the show, but holy cow – he played for four hours.

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Space Needle at night

Space Needle at night

We walked back to the hotel around 1? And sat at the bar for a drink before bed, but managed to get up to meet Tim for breakfast at a little bakery nearby which he liked (it was pretty good! I was super tired!). He headed off for work, and we wandered around. We considered getting more piroshkies at Piroshky Bakery which is where we ate lunch the day before (have you eaten here? If you are in Seattle often and don’t, what’s wrong with you? Do it. So nice to grab some and walk through the city) but twice in two days felt excessive. It was a nice rainy day so we mostly just wandered until our train ride home.

Mmmm flat white on the way home

Mmmm flat white on the way home

Knitting and reading on the train

Knitting and reading on the train

Small taste of Prague

I meant to get these up a while ago, but ran into technical difficulties with the way I wanted to put them out there. I’m just going to put them up, so no slideshow for now, sorry!

Here's the view from our room the first night at Unitas.

Here’s the view from our room the first night at Unitas.

More Unitas at night

More Unitas at night

Here we are (terrible picture of us I know) in Old Town by the clock.

Here we are (terrible picture of us I know) in Old Town by the clock.

The crowds at the clock when it is about  do its thing are intense.  Hand on your wallet for sure!

The crowds at the clock when it is about do its thing are intense. Hand on your wallet for sure!

Old Town Prague (I might be looking the wrong way in this photo)

Old Town Prague (I might be looking the wrong way in this photo)

Our Lady before Týn church is in Old Town too.  This is about a 5 minute walk from our hotel.  Tycho Brahe is buried here!!

Our Lady before Týn church is in Old Town too. This is about a 5 minute walk from our hotel. Tycho Brahe is buried here!!

Wenceslas Square - lots of shopping and people watching.

Wenceslas Square – lots of shopping and people watching.

Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square

Street view on Wenceslas Square.  Not where I'd want to stay, but the hotel looked cool.

Street view on Wenceslas Square. Not where I’d want to stay, but the hotel looked cool.

Brian on the Vltava

Brian on the Vltava

Gretchen on the Vltava

Gretchen on the Vltava

The Vltava

The Vltava

Vltava River

Vltava River

Horses at the National Theater.  Misha told us that this was the first time that the Czech people were able to build their own theater to perform in their language.  Beautiful building on the Vltava river, next time we will go see something here for sure.

Horses at the National Theater. Misha told us that this was the first time that the Czech people were able to build their own theater to perform in their language. Beautiful building on the Vltava river, next time we will go see something here for sure.

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Transit wires near the National Theater

Transit wires near the National Theater

Building on the castle grounds

Building on the castle grounds

Castle Grounds

Castle Grounds

Castle grounds - there used to be hunting here (cannot remember if there still is or not)

Castle grounds – there used to be hunting here (cannot remember if there still is or not)

Old Town at night

Old Town at night

Old Town at night - just a short walk from our rooms

Old Town at night – just a short walk from our rooms

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Changing of the guards at the castle.   It was super crowded and the crowds didn't move for the soldiers.  It was a bit funny how close they had to get to the people in the crowd, and one poor soldier watching it couldn't keep a straight face.  I think he got in a bit of trouble for that, which is too bad, it was really really funny (the crowd and then his reaction).

Changing of the guards at the castle. It was super crowded and the crowds didn’t move for the soldiers. It was a bit funny how close they had to get to the people in the crowd, and one poor soldier watching it couldn’t keep a straight face. I think he got in a bit of trouble for that, which is too bad, it was really really funny (the crowd and then his reaction).

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Anyhow, more to come. I’d rather that it was a slideshow format but I need to get some time to research and test the plugins first. Really love Prague, and Misha helped us find so much.

Fantastic few weekends.

Still talking to one another.

Last weekend, Brian and I celebrated our anniversary at the Salishan. The Salishan is starting to become a tradition, I think. When we walked into our room, Brian had a dozen red roses and a bottle of our favorite wine of all time waiting for me. I changed into my new dress and we sat by the fire, drank the wine and talked. I finally was able to give him the Midleton whiskey I carried all over Europe. I think he was more impressed by all Gretchen and I had to go through to get it to him than by the whiskey itself (well, no, he tried it this week and I think he’s more impressed by the whiskey now).

We ate dinner at the Salishan steakhouse (what a beautiful view) and then went to the lounge to see a band – Beth Willis, who turns out to be from Portland. Funny, I’ve seen her there three times now and didn’t realize that. On our way back to the room, she complimented me on my dress! Fun. I was pretty tipsy then though. Something about following a good amount of wine with whiskey. Hm, who would have thought?

New dress

This weekend is Brian’s birthday, so we started it off by going to Sweet Hereafter with Laurie. Sweet Hereafter is the new place opened by one of the guys from Bye and Bye. We got there just in time to be able to sit for dinner, it was completely packed. Good!

Last night we went to Mississippi Studios to see Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter (seems to be a themed weekend). We had been playing 2 player Ms PacMan across the street and left so we wouldn’t miss the opening band – man, what a mistake. I am still trying to think of a band I thought was worse in all the years I’ve been going to shows, there has to be one, right? Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter were awesome though – I would go to any show they do (but skip the opening band after last night).

Tonight is Brian’s birthday proper so we will do some more celebrating.

Next weekend is the Portland Marathon and my cousin Nicole is running it. Looking forward to cheering her on!

March. Still cold. Still fun.

Some things I’ve done in the last two weeks:

Painted The Hall Of Doors orange and knit a rug for our downstairs bathroom.

Moose checks out the new rug in the bathroom.

Walked around a waterfall I hadn’t found before.

Brian at Latourell Falls, Oregon.

Latourell Falls, Oregon.

We followed the waterfall hike by eating at Full Sail. I really like their food. It’s hard to have us go there when Double Mountain is so close, but we were in the mood for burgers so we went to Full Sail. After dinner we did their beer tour which impressed me. I like them even more after that. Miller has tried to buy them numerous times and they keep saying no, they just want to make beer. The people who work for them seem really happy too.

Drank some beer at some of my favorite Portland places.

Tom Sr indicates his displeasure with his beer size (which as 18% ABV!!!)

Stayed out on a pier over the mouth of the Columbia River.

Tom Sr at the Goonies house.

We had Brian’s dad watch Goonies the night before we went to Astoria. We had a little extra time before we checked into our hotel, so we drove to the Goonies house so he could see it.

Broken pier next to our hotel.

I cannot recommend Cannery Pier Hotel enough. What a great place! The hotel was comfortable and well-appointed, the people were fantastic and the smoked salmon at the wine tasting was the best I’ve had this year. It was great! The hotel room is right out on the water, and they give you a list of all the ships going to Portland and overseas so you can use your room binoculars to check them out. And they have an antique car that will take you anywhere you want to go in Astoria. We took it to Rogue for dinner and drinks. Really fantastic.

Tom at the Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon.

While we were in Astoria, we checked out the Maritime museum. I liked that too – it was larger than I thought it was (I burnt out about halfway) and we got to wander on a lightship before they had to shut it down for the day due to a strangely high tide (9 feet!).

Unusual 9 foot tide in Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Drank wine at Torii Mor and picked up our wine from our wine club.

Did a whirlwind tour of Seattle when we dropped Brian’s dad off.

We showed him the waterfront (which he liked).

Tom Sr in Seattle.

We showed him Pike Market (which he didn’t really like. Too many people and hills).

Pike Market, Seattle, Washington.

We showed him the top of the Space Needle (which he liked).

Brian and his dad at the Space Needle.

Tom Sr and Brian in Seattle.

We had a quick happy hour at Ivar’s on the waterfront (we all loved that). We had some seafood and Brian and I had Manny’s beer which you can only get in Seattle and which we really enjoy. It rained all the way from Portland and all the way back, but it was clear, sunny and warm the entire time we wandered the city, just perfect.

Now we are trying to get back into the swing of things, which I am finding hard to do!

Things stay the same. And become brand new.

This week marks Brian and my 18th anniversary, completely crazy! Yeah, we got together when we were babies practically. Pretty neat that we can still stand each other, especially after working from home together for the last two or so years. We don’t generally celebrate it because it’s always about a week before Brian’s birthday, and between the two, I’d rather celebrate his birthday.

Did I tell you I am going back to school full-time? I am. Today is my last official day of freedom, and then it’s all C++ and math and design classes. I’m really looking forward to it – and now, no one will be able to kick coding sand in my face because I only have an English degree. Not that anyone did that (except for me), but I always felt less prepared to argue architecture and such.

I went to the PSU CompSci and Engineering orientation. It was startling! When the whole group was together, there were over 200 people. I’d say 1 in 20 or 1 in 30 was a woman. !!! And when we broke out into individual majors, I followed the adviser to where the CompSci folks were going to be and grabbed a seat. And proceeded to watch a lot of guys walk into the classroom. Just as I gave up hope, a woman walked in! I will have to seek her out, as we were 2 / 40 or so. In this day and age! I really don’t get it, I have so many female friends who are programmers, database folk or analysts, it just seems bizarre that the incoming class would be so anemic like that. I’m hopeful that once I get into some of the higher level classes I’ll discover that there more women, and that this is just a freakish incoming class.

Needless to say that my plan to meet new people to hang out with is slight hampered by the fact that I wasn’t particularly interested in hanging out with 19 year old guys. Heh. I definitely stood out in the crowd.

This quarter (gah, I am having a hard time adjusting to quarters, I’ve only ever gone to semester schools), I am taking an intro CS class, Pre-Calculus (I really need to get up to speed fast on math, I’m really behind. English majors don’t need a lot of college math) and Spanish. I don’t need the Spanish for anything at all other than I’ve felt like I should know Spanish, and all the other classes I need are full and closed or have pre-reqs I need to do this quarter.

It’s beautiful out – I studied this morning (yeah, trying to get ahead) and then walked up to Alberta Street for a wander. So many neighborhoods I can walk to from my house! Alberta St is one of my favorite ones, although it always gets me in trouble. There’s something just too good about hanging out somewhere and drinking really good beer that dooms me every time. Lots of little shops with locally made stuff for sale, and often the person making something is there making it while you look at their wares. One of my favorites almost always has a seamstress working on a dress or a skirt while you are there. I find this terribly satisfying.

Alright, I should be fixing the template on this site (I’m not going to) or studying (again, not going to right now) so I’m going to post this and go for another wander…

Last weekend

Bagdad sign at night

The Bagdad sign at night.

I’m quiet because I’ve not been doing very much that I felt like writing on here. Quick notes of interest –

Katie bought a house in Milwaukie! The one with the “ie” rather than the “ee.” She doesn’t like the cold anymore than I do. Heh. Congrats Katie, I’ve started lifting weights again in preparation for slogging boxes. hehe

The Bagdad

The Bagdad on Hawthorne

Thursday night, Brian and I went to the Bagdad theater for the first time. We had dinner and watched everyone on Hawthorne totally loving spring.

The Bagdad is a McMenamins like Kennedy School. The Bagdad is where the premiere of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “My Own Private Idaho” was held. Neat. We were there to see “The Black Hole” which I’ve not seen since I was a little kid, and holy cow, I’m surprised that ending didn’t stay with me. We also got to try a McMenamins beer that we hadn’t had yet – Bagdad Ale.

Here’s a mural from next to the table.

SkullFlowers

Detail of mural at the Bagdad

FarmersMarket

Farmers’ Market at PSU – first of the year
In other news, the Farmers’ market at PSU opened for the season – so exciting. I may have gone a little overboard with my joy. I got three types of mushrooms, freshly caught salmon (which reminds me that I need to finish it today), carrots, garlic, garlic greens, pastries, oh, and a lot of other things.

My strange vegetable to try was sea beans, also known as samphire or sea asparagus. The farmer told me I could just eat them, which I have been, or grill fish with a layer of them on top, which I also did. The other farmer sad they are awesome in sushi, but since that’s not on the list for this week, I’ll probably need another bag of them before I can use them. They taste like the ocean (makes sense, they are harvested from the tides of Oregon) and a little like cucumbers. I really like them, and will be adding them to our repertoire.

Nothing else much going on – I miss the arrow keys on my laptop but am learning to live without them, so I think I will wait to replace the keyboard. I’m hoping to get some hikes in this week, and if so, should have some pretty pictures to post to flickr.

Photography 2008

I’ve been meaning to put together a post of the best ten photographs I took last year. I had the pictures mostly picked out, and then got distracted so I thought I would post it today, better late than never.

It was interesting to consider a year’s worth of work and determine which I thought showed merit. It was a learning experience in itself to consider what makes a picture good, and what makes a picture merely mediocre.

These are not in any particular order, choosing a top ten was taxing enough!

Ironically, I have run into a bug recently on my laptop that prevents me from loading pictures directly through WordPress, so it’s funny that I’m getting around to it now.

Yaquina Bridge

Yaquina Bridge in winter
Yaquina Bridge in winter.

This bridge in in Newport, Oregon in the central coast. We spent the night at a bed and breakfast and when we got up, everything was frozen from a rare cold snap. The sand crunched when we walked on it. We walked on the beach for several hours, and when I saw an opportunity to catch one of my favorite bridges from this angle, I took it.

Boiler Bay in winter

Boiler Bay
Winter shot in Boiler Bay.

We have many shots of the ocean from Boiler Bay, but this is one I took in the winter. The light on the coast is more beautiful than anywhere I’ve been, ranging from deeply grey and misty to orange to bright white. I caught this shot on a day when the light made all the colors turn very strange colors. I did not adjust this picture other than to crop it and resize it.

The Sound

Puget Sound
Puget Sound.

We went whale watching in Puget Sound with my cousins. It was a great day to be out on the water. At various points rain threatened us but never it never actually did rain. Despite having fun trying to catch a whale with my camera, this ended up being my favorite picture of the day. I like that it is a color picture, but it could just as easily have been a black and white. This is what the Sound looks like to me, and it give me comfort when everything is grey. Can you tell I grew up in the Pacific Northwest?

Autumn

Autumn Japanese Maple
Autumn Japanese Maple.

I think this is the picture I got the most kudos on in 2008. I have a friend back in our former neighborhood who I try to walk to see once per week. I always have my camera with me, and when I came across this beautiful Japanese Maple in the fall with the light shining through it, I had to stop. Strangely, I only took one picture, and this is it, so I am glad that it turned out the way I wanted it. My eye is improving I think.

Pretty Glass

Pretty Glass
View from the bar at the Timberline.

Brian and I joined my sister and her family at the Timberline for a celebratory meal and an incredible overnight stay (seriously, you should do this. It was spectacular. Bring a swimsuit.). Brian and I stopped off at the bar before dinner to have a cocktail, and I wanted this shot.

The View

View from the lighthouse
View from the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

While we waited to make the climb up to the top of the lighthouse, I peeked into a few of the rooms. It was crazy windy out that day, and the salty sea spray was making everything dreamlike through the windows.

Five

Five
Five near Hood River.

I am lucky that Brian like exploring as much as I do. He’s completely comfortable with me asking to turn around to see something and is content to go on long drives just to see what we can see. This was a spot we found on the way back from Mt Hood one day, somewhere between Government Camp and Hood River, off the main highway. I loved the greys and both of us have a thing for good fonts in unexpected places.

Shaniko

Shaniko
Old truck in Shaniko, Oregon.

One of the wanders we took in 2008 was to a small ghost town in central Oregon. It was the wool capitol of the world at one point, but now there are only 9 or so people that live nearby. It’s been preserved with the intent of attracting visitors, but is interesting to walk around and peer into windows. I loved how blue the sky was in contrast to the rust, and the angles of the light, the roofs and the horizon.

Sunset over the Bridge to Nowhere

Bridge to Nowhere
Bridge To Nowhere in Astoria, Oregon.

This was a lucky catch of the sun, a storm, and a great reflection. I am fascinated by the light when I look at this, and definitely feel that this had much more to do with being at the right place at the right time rather than knowing my camera or framing the shot.

Where He Lives

Where He Lives
Brian at Seal Rock.

Another lucky photo walk. We love the Oregon coast deeply, and tidepool every chance we get. We will contentedly walk the shoreline for hours on end, sometimes just watching the waves, sometimes taking pictures, other times collecting shells. If we are taking pictures we often go our seperate ways, and it’s interesting later that night to see what the other person thought was interesting. I looked up, saw him jumping over a tidepool, and loved the rocks in the background. Click. Probably my personal favorite, even though I think technically and artistically some of the others are much better.

I’m going to attempt to do this in January each year. It will be a good experience for me to see what I’ve learned to do over the course of the year.