Saturday, July 10, 2010

Everybody's favorite... Vacation photos!!

Hello Lovies!
Thanks so much for all your kind comments on my toy drop! It was really a fun thing to do and I'm looking forward to doing more of them. I need to work on gender neutrality though... As cute as the Tea Time Teddy was, it was definitely girly. I want to make things for the toy drop that would be nice for either a boy or a girl to find.

So, I'm back! Bet'cha didn't even know I was gone, right? Sneaky~sneaky! Sean and I just returned from a vacation road trip, we went north and visited Oregon, Washington and a wee bit of northern Idaho. I thought I'd tell y'all a little about it and share some vacation photos, hope you don't mind too much. If you don't already know, please be warned, I am a very snap-happy person. Translation, I take a lot of pictures. On this vacation I think my camera said there were about 600. Hehe... yeah... In all fairness, I've deleted a lot of them for one reason or another, and I'll try to limit them here to only a few from each city. "Try" being the key word.

Settle in, lovies. This is the mother of all posts.

First place we visited was Ashland, Oregon. Beautiful, lots of hippies! I loved it.
This was the view from our hotel, good morning Oregon!
Mmm, breakfast in a park. A marion-berry muffin and a cuppa coffee overlooking a little stream right in the middle of town, lovely way to start the day.

Ashland is the home of the Shakespeare Festival, it's a terrific little town, wish we had more time to visit and see a play...
I liked this little statue. I couldn't get a very good picture of it, it was much more beautiful in person.
"Whoa, nelly! Let's go in here, ok hunny, ok? I won't be long, I promise!"... sound familiar?
What a great little store! Super friendly ladies at this store, I felt right at home. I found a few things I just hadda have.
Some very pretty variegated floss, and coordinating wool felt. I think I'm going to make myself a little pin cushion with these. And some silk ribbon so I can try my hand at ribbon embroidery. I've wanted to try it for a while, but I've never seen the silk ribbon in stores before. I'm excited to give it a go. And an oblong hoop. My local JoAnn's just has the usual round ones, I like the shape of this one and think I'll use it a lot.

Have slushie, will travel. Goodbye Ashland, helloooo Portland!

Our Portland stay was quite short as we were mostly just passing through, just one night and most of the following day. We stayed right in the heart of downtown Portland at The Benson Hotel, which is beautiful and has a history all it's own. We were however able to have a nice dinner and beers out at the Deschutes Brewery, which was only a few blocks from our hotel and a walking tour of "Underground Portland" the next afternoon. 
Here are a few snaps from our visit to Portland.
Beautiful arched windows, downtown.
The famous Oregon sign. Our tour guide told us that they put a red light on the deers nose at Christmas, isn't that cute?
Part of a memorial to the Japanese Americans inturned during WWII. It's such a beautiful, yet sad piece.
Voodoo Donuts. This isn't your average donut shop. Now, I love a good donut as much as the next person and I was all in for a donut from this place based only on the heavenly scent wafting from it's doors, but uh... it was like 4:00 in the afternoon, and you see that line? There were about 25 people waiting outside just to get inside... for a donut... at 4:00 in the afternoon... yeah.
Can you guess what this is? It's a VERY large acupuncture pin. No really, it is. And I think this pin was about 25 feet tall! This is actually an art installation piece  for the Portland Acupuncture Project and there are several of them placed strategically around the city in order to "heal" certain ailments within the community and the land. It's an interesting concept, and I hope that it has some effects. Without disparaging our host city, it's evident that Portland is in need of some healing.

As much as I want to say that I loved our time in Portland, after all this is the hometown of Alicia Paulson! Portland was not my favorite place, which was a bit disappointing. I had such fond memories of my long ago visit... I know that all big cities have their problems, and we were in the heart of downtown which is where those problems are most visible, just seemed a lot seedier than I recalled. I'd certainly like to visit again, I know I didn't see the best Portland has to offer. I only hope that the next time I visit, I have more time to explore and a local remind me of what makes that city so great.

Seattle! You are beautiful!
Not a lot to have to explain here, I'll let the photos do the talking (mostly).
A five minute walk from our hotel!
The cups say "Space Needle, A great place to chill" - I couldn't agree more.
(fyi - these day & night pictures were taken on different days, we didn't really camp out there all day long, hehe.)
The Experience Music Project, they were already closed when we visited (insert sad face here).
Can you believe that building? It's incredible. I took A LOT of pictures of it.
This was an amazing, happily accidental find. I wish I could share the sound with you guys. 1000 cast iron wind chimes hung in the trees in a small area at the Theater Commons. The sound, such a gentle tinkling... wonderful to sit still and close your eyes for just a few moments...
Our hotel in the Queen Ann district. Another hotel with a lot of history. Wonderful, except for the lack of elevator.
Too much luggage and too many stairs.
Ahh, this is what I needed. A good strong cuppa tea. Blackberry Ceylon. Yum.
Only bummer about this experience... the $43 parking ticket we got for parking at Safeway while I had a quick cuppa. Lame.

Need a tea break yourself?? I don't blame you, this is a long post... go on... I'll wait.


Near nature, near perfect. That's their slogan. Spot on if you ask me. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was kind of holding my breath for this leg of the journey. I did a lot of homework on this town, research for a life shift that Sean and I are starting to contemplate... What we found was a lively town full of friendly, down to earth people, good food, great coffee, beautiful scenery, gorgeous affordable housing, animal friendly, tons of parks. Yep, looks like a nice place to live.

Manito Park
Spokane River
River Park
4th of July
Gondola rides!
Look at that face! He's tryin' to scare me.
Now normally I'm not usually afraid of heights, but...
A little plastic cart dangling over this would be enough to frighten anyone, right?
Actually, it was not that scary, hehe... suUure.
Totally false advertising here, people. There was no tea party... just some old guy talking about taxes and other boring stuff. Sheesh, total rip off. I stamped my feet and whined like a baby.
We are everywhere.

We liked it here. I'm already planning another trip back. I'd like to see this city in all seasons, especially winter. I think that might be the hardest for this California girl.

Couer d'Alene!
In the early afternoon of the 4th of July we drove over an visited Couer d'Alene. It's a nice little town, reminds me of Lake Tahoe. There was a large parade downtown so we drove around the lake. It was cold and windy. There was almost no one in the water, and most of the folks on the beach were wearing jackets or wrapped in a blanket. Brr. Looked like most of the stores were closed due to the holiday, so I'll be honest, we never even stopped. We just poked around and looked from the windows of the truck.

Wowza, that place is gorgeous.
Whoa! That dude isn't wearing a helmet!
Neither is he!
This is such a foreign concept to me. Helmet laws have been in place in California since I was a kid.
It's weird for me to see someone without one.
Haven't seen this in a long while either! You can't do this in California, it's illegal.
De plane, de plane! We watched this plane land on the water, how neat!

Later that night back at our hotel, we watched the fireworks from our balcony...
The fireworks setting on my camera is trippy.

Baby, we're coming home!
We left Spokane the morning of July 5th and drove straight through until we got home, 860 miles.
This is along the Columbia River that seperates Washington & Oregon.
Oh look, a parasailer. Well, that was fun.
Then it mostly looked like this for a loooooooooong time.

We finally saw a sign for a little park and decided to stop, stretch and make a sandwich before we continued on. When we pulled in, we saw this sign...
Well that's a little disconserting.
Ooh, I get it now.
See those tiny dots on the upper left? That was a family of about 10 people, which would make this a very looong drop. Yes, doggies are best left in the vehicle, like the nice sign says.

Ok, back in the truck!
That there is Lake Kalamath in southern Oregon.
Not too long after we saw this,
Mount Shasta! Yes, we're almost back to California!
Home! Home! Home!

We arrived back home at about 12:30am, we left Spokane around 9am the previous morning...
That was a long drive.

Our dogs were almost as excited to see us as we were to see them. The cats were indifferent.
My mom stayed here at our place during our stay, she's the best housesitter/dog & cat watcher/garden waterer, ever!
Look what grew in my little garden while I was away!
These were tiny when I left! 10 days, a little heat and some faithful watering was all it took for veggies to blow up like balloons! Thanks Mom!

Ok boys and girls, that about wraps up my summer vacation! Was that the longest post in the history of posts, or what?? Only too about three hours to write, upload and link this baby, whew! I thought about breaking this post up into several, but I want to talk to you guys about other stuff, so I decided to make one giant vacation post and get it done. Hope you didn't mind, and that maybe you enjoyed it a little.

What are y'all doing this summer? Any vacation plans?? Remember to take lots of photos!

p.s. Vacationing far from home got me wondering where YOU all are from... Please leave a comment and tell me where you're reading this, I'd really love to know!


Jill said...

It's lil' ol' me here in Elk Grove-- so exciting, eh? If you vacationed here, you could take pictures of our propane tanks.

I looooved this post!! I'm so glad you are a picture-takin' fool. Your photos are great. I really want to get in my car and drive north. Oh, Seattle, I wanna' go. I wanna' I wanna' I wanna'!

Okay, that tea party photo cracked me up-- almost peed my panties!! Oh- and the bear photo-- loved it. You guys ARE everywhere! Love it. (I still need to hear about those times!)

Well, I'm so glad you had a good time and you're home now. When do you want to go see Eclipse?! Let me know!


Genie Robinson said...

WOW!!!! What a fabulous trip. UNBELIEVABLE SITES! Looking at the pictures from Seattle - especially the market down by my son’s office - made me miss him and his family sooooo much. Thank goodness they are coming east in August so our scattered family can merge again for a reunion on the beaches of VA. Your photos are beautiful....He took us to Canon Beach, Oregon, so I know first hand how gorgeous Oregon is. Have a safe trip back home....hugs, Genie

Betty K said...

I was waiting to read how you got from Spokane to the Columbia River...did you bypass Walla Walla amd miss seeing the Blue Mts.? No comments on the beautiful wheat fields and the vinyards? Guess that will be on the next trip? Sounds like a wonderful vacation trip...loved your pictures.

Lilacs said...

Thanks for sharing some really beautiful pictures:) Sometimes seeing things thru the eyes of someone else we see things differently, and can see the beauty with it all too:) Looks like it was much fun!:)


Shirley said...

Lisa, Thank you so much for sharing your vacation with us. I enjoyed seeing your pictures of Spokane because we have family living there. Our son was stationed in Washington state when he was in the service. My hubby flew out at Christmas to help drive his truck back. The pictures of Christmas were awesome. You take such wonderful pictures and I truly enjoyed it. Have a wonderful day. Ours is stormy. Your Missouri Friend

tongfengdemao said...

Hmmm... you passed right by me. I'm in Salem, OR. Not really a lot to visit for here...except maybe the art show that's this coming weekend. I have been through Ashland, but not stopped there. Your pics of Portland were all things I haven't seen, except the "Made in Oregon" sign. (I have to ask my son if he's had any of those Voodoo Donuts.) There really is a lot to see in Portland, if you are ever back this way. I certainly haven't seen it all. I haven't been to Seattle or Spokane, but I have traveled along the Columbia gorge. I might even have seen that same warning sign about leaving the dogs in the car.

Gah! You did all that in 10 days?!?!?! How did you have time to get out of the truck?

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Beedeebabee said...

Oh boy made a great tour guide, and I totally loved all your pictures. It looked and sounded like a GREAT vacation! What a gorgeous part of the country the northwest is!
...Your tea party picture is too cute! Glad you're both home safe and sound! xoxo Paulette