Saturday, January 31, 2009

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY We were thrilled to welcome Carol and Ian, Al's niece and her husband to our home for a very long awaited for visit. They live north of Seattle and the last time we saw them we took Amtrak to their home for Thanksgiving. They are both really great people and only wish they lived closer to us. Hoping to see both of them and their 2 daughters sometime this summer. Both are graduating this June ~ one from High School and the other from College with her Bachelor's Degree....
Continue to look at more pictures from their visit and then watch my Blog for more Valentine's pictures in a few weeks.
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day and don't forget your special

Allan enjoys 'bonding' with his he lays in the living room with Cally the dog on one side and Sami the cat on the other. He is also trying to get them to bond together dog and cat best friends...
He decided that he would do this until Carol and Ian safely made it to our front door.

Woke up~ looked out the front door and what do you know ~~~
They are driving from north of Seattle... A long way in the snow..

Then I looked out the back window (thru the screen-oops), and there was snow in the back too..!!!!!!

WOW ~ We were very impressed that Carol and Ian made it from Seattle in all that snow... But here they are to spend some time with us.

What a great group of people to dine with... From bottom left around the top of the table are Ian, Carol's hubby, Carol, Al's niece and then ol' Al. We had a Taco Casserole, Cowboy Caviar (those that don't know what this is are missing a great treat...kinda like a Guacamole Dip but better), tossed baby green salad with walnuts, and some Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay wine.

Our dinner guests, Ian bottom left, Carol's hubby, then Al top middle and Allan's niece, Carol, top right.
We really had a great evening with lots of laughing and family fun.

When Ian got up in the morning, he asked Al if he could 'start the fire". *(must be a Boy Scout yearning). Well, after a number of trys to stay lit, Carol came out and checked the stove to give her input. Finally ~ the fire in the stove was burning and putting out some cozy heat. Ian is proud of himself...

Allan's trademark breakfast. German Pancakes ~ recipe handed down from his mother.
The pancake is very thin, mostly egg and is 'doctored up' and rolled before eating.
There are a few different ways to do that doctoring. I personally like butter, the roll, then sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar over and then lightly add syrup and eat. YUM!!
Some people (mostly Allan) like to just butter, add cinnamon and sugar, roll and the eat.
Traditional way to eat this is to squeeze a lemon on the pancake after rolling and then eat.
All ways are wonderful and Allan really loves to share this family recipe with guests.

Valentine's figurines on our front porch.
I just love to decorate our porch for Holidays!
Our friends and neighbors enjoy the new 'theme' every Holiday.

Our Valentine's Front Porch
Check in with my Blog to check out more Valcntine's Celebrations..

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I am so lucky to have a wonderful hubby ~ he gave me a dozen long stemmed red roses for our Wedding anniversary.....
How romantic is that?

This is what Cally Lilly does when she is feeling really happy with her new home. Momma "rub my tummy"

Cally Lilly dog

Our little Cally Lilly dog

As we left our home, we passed by "Ben" Hur our neighbor camel. Cally has a camel toy we call Ben and she really loves to 'squeek' Ben and plays with Ben daily.

Allan taking Cally for a "walk" by the Columbia River at a Washougal City Park.

Driving up Hwy 16 on our way to Stevenson, we finally got to a place called "Cape Horn", and this is where I took these 2 pictures........looking east up the Gorge. One of them shows a barge traveling the river and wish the gorgegous colors would have shown up better. I leaned out of the car to take this picture because when they were making this road that 'hugs' the cliff over the Gorge, "someone" put in more dynamite than needed and blew up the whole side of this mountain. The Corps of Engineers had to develope a new idea as to how to "hold up" the road on the this road is a kinda bridge built up on the side of this hill...
Yikes that is quite un-nerving and I just hold my breath when going over this part of Hwy 16.

Looking across the River from our car traveling on Washington Hwy. 14 we saw just how cold the Gorge can get.. Look at the solid sheet of frozen ice and the frozen waterfall which will probably stay that way til Spring. The Columbia River Gorge is a wonderful and gorgeous place in this world.

On our way up the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge we passed by the monterous Bonneville Dam. What a long, grand story this Dam has that spans the massive Columbia River.

Traveled up the Washington State side headed for Stevenson, Wa for our anniversary. Bridge of the Gods expands the Columbia River from the Washington State side to Oregon,

We stayed for our 2 nigths at the Columbia Gorge Riverside Lodge in Stevenson, Washington.
It was truly a fun place to stay but next time we will forego the jetted tub on the top floor $99.00 night and go for one of the units on the ground floor $79.00. Each room is decorated differently, some have BBQ's and/or shared outdoor hot tubs (which would be better in the Spring, Summer, Fall VS. winter when the winds howl and the temps are way below 'really cold'. Please check out . We were in NW Passage and next time I think we will stay in another unit. Definitely not the top floor. Those are for the young and fit.

This is the upstairs unit we were in.... A full set of stairs to get to our room. I mean these stairs are very rustic and hard to maneuver let alone climb.... So I really thanked Al for bringing all our 'stuff' up to our room.

We had this adorable little pullman kitchen ~ a 2 burner stove, refrig that did not make ice cubes, coffee pot with filters, a microwave and lots of kitchen ware including pots and pans, plates, silverware, glasses, cups, sponges, kitchen towels, and even an empty juice container. We brought Tomato Juice for Bloody Mary's and all the other ingredients but forgot the juice container ~ so it was nice having that... Al was a "HE MAN" in carrying up all the 'stuff' just for 2 nights... Geesh.. Then I reserved this 2nd floor room because I wanted the jetted tub for Allan's long desired "soaker". We turned off the jets but he did get his 'soaker'.
Allan relaxing after he brought about 10 loads up the steps....including our 2 suitcases, 1 toiletry bag, Cally's bag of dog food which you can see on the 3 drawer dresser by the front door, our hanging clothes, our food we brought, the games, our books, our groceries we brought from home plus the food we bought for our 2 days stay, the wine, the juice for breakfast, we brought our own paper towels (which was not necessary ~ they provided), my curlers and for once Al did not bring his guitar. I think this is the FIRST time ever that he went anywhere without his guitar.

Cally checking out our new digs.

This was the sunset we were greeted with when we arrived at Walking Man Brewery. Could not have ordered anything better.. It was gorgeous and was a wonderful mood enhancer for our Beer and Pizza dinner at the local brew pub.

Allan is wishing me a Happy Anniversary with his first taste from our sampler tray even tho our anniversary is tomorrow... A great husband can't wish that to me too many times.

We always order a "Sampler Tray" when we go to a brewery for the first time. It gives us a taste of all the different beers that are brewed at the Micro Brewery. The cost is relatively low compared to ordering a few pints of one that is not just your taste. We both liked the Walking Man India Pale Ale the best. YUM!

Great Micro Beer here at Walking Man Brewing, Stevenson, Washington

Wind Surfing 101
This guy was in the water right off our patio and in a perfect for me to get a picture for Wind Surfing 101. Yup, just get a full wet suit, a wind surfing board and sail and follow these pictures.
While the surfer is in the water, he turns the sail to pick up the wind and at the exact moment that sail turns and it pulls the surfer out of the water and on to the board. It was like a ballet to watch how easily the surfer re-mounted the board. Lots of practice.....

Now he is up on his board and turning the sail to take him to middle of the River!

And away he goes to join his wind surfin' buddies.

Who know's why these guys like to wind surf in this freezing cold wind ~ even with a full wet suit. Last November while in Hood River we heard that most of the local wind surfer's left the area for the winter to go wind surfing in Baja Mexico.....but obviously not all of them left!

View from our room...
We spent the day watching the river traffic, watching the wind surfers, playing scrabble, walking the dog, reading a good books, and Al did Suduko puzzles. There were no phones or TV which made the whole day very calm and relaxing. There was a jetted tub in our bathroom but when we turned on the jets our poor Cally dog went crazy. The noise was extremely loud and sounded like someone was grinding up bones or crunching up a car. It was horribly loud and definitely did not fit into the calm and relaxing atmosphere so we turned that off. We had plans to go out for dinner but we both decided to settle for a Ham and Cheese on Deli Rye and stay inside sitting in front of the pretty fire where it was warm... The winds outside were so cold!

Tidewater Tug and Barge pushing gasoline barges up the Columbia River against the very strong wind with an extremely large load. The wind was so fierce that the white caps were enormous and the waves were too...

Before Al and I left to drive back home, we stopped in Stevenson at Mark's Place for breakfast. This is my Veggie Omelet made with egg whites (I usually order "Egg Beater's but they didn't have any), so the Chef made this just created for me.