Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Birthday Trip To Seward

I can't believe it is the end of July already! Vince and I have definitely been making the most of our summer during our time off from work, and luckily the weather in Alaska has been very cooperative! V's birthday was July 5th, so I worked up a plan to take him fishing near Seward for part of his birthday present. The goal: red salmon (the BEST salmon). We went to the Russian River last year- a place that I grew up fishing- but it is increasingly becoming "combat fishing" there, so I figured we should try something else. The only part that was a bit rushed was getting there; red salmon go past Seward in June and we worked most of June... so my plan was to head to Seward the day after we got home from work- and that is exactly what we did! We got home, got a good night's rest, worked out, packed, and hit the road!

We were hungry when we got there...

Yummy caribou stew at the Chattermark restaurant in Seward

Greek salad with grilled salmon

We explored the town a bit after dinner and headed
down the road to find the "backpacker's" cabin I reserved...

Found it! Once we figured out where we needed to
be, we went to the main office, checked in, and got our room key

What does a backpacker's cabin look like...?

'bout like this :) Nothing fancy; just a place to sleep-but 
that's all we needed (a place to crash so we would be there and ready
to go in the morning). We called the fishing guide, made up a plan for the
next day, and headed out for a walk around the camping area/beach

Looking out at Resurrection Bay

It was a beautiful evening. We finished our walk and
headed toward the campsite's community bathroom to
wash up, brush our teeth, and get ready for bed

Yep- this sign was in the bathroom! Not uncommon in AK...
Bears are great, but I am glad we didn't find this guy outside our door ;)

We got up the next morning, went into town for breakfast,
met our guide and his wife, and set out to catch some fish...

One of the stunning views of the ocean from the road

We ended up on a beach across the bay, had
a quick tutorial from our guide, and started fishing!

No, this is not leftovers- it's a jellyfish :)

The birthday boy, our guide, and his wife- great pic!

As you can tell, we caught some fish. It wasn't the best time
to fish for reds (earlier in June would have been optimal), but
I am happy that Vince got to catch some! Our guide hooked us up
and told us about a restaurant back in Seward that would cook one
of the fish for our supper. It was a great way to end our little adventure!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Last Day in Palisades

Our time in Palisades seemed to fly by- much like the rest of our trip- but we wanted to make a quick trip to Quincy to visit Vince's grandfather…

Hehe- heard some fun stories about the shenanigans
his grandpa pulled in his younger days; good times!

Vince's grandpa, Vince's mom, and Vince- great photo

Back in Palisades, we made some kebabs for our final
dinner in Washington. Another fantastic trip with my sweetie

Palisades- Day 2

We were blessed with another beautiful day and our chores were done, so Vince and I decided to drive up to Leavenworth, go for a hike, and walk around one of our favorite towns.

Cute little campground that served as a parking spot

Butterfly on the trail

Back in Leavenworth, we stopped into a fun hot sauce
store and sampled some of the wares… NOTE: this one was
a terrible idea!!! I missed the sign that said "one drop at a time"
and just about killed myself with this stuff! Ended up hunched over
on the sidewalk after about a minute- complete with cramps and sweating

Feeling like I was going to live, I had to go back and see what
the heck was in that stuff… pretty obvious why it was so deadly!

We called V's parents and invited them up to have dinner
with us at a place we'd been eyeballing since last year (hello crepes)

The kitchen- LOVED this!

Good local wine to go with our meal

I started with a virtuous salad...

…and then the wine kicked in and I had to try an 
apple cinnamon crepe- complete with ice cream and 
whipped cream. Another great day in Washington!


Tired from driving and exploring, Vince and I enjoyed our sleep! However, we wanted to make ourselves useful, so we had a quick breakfast and set out to help his mom flip some hay bales (my first farm-work experience)

All done- I have to say, I felt pretty accomplished after this little project

Yep, that's a rattlesnake…luckily their hired hand found
this guy first and killed it; I know I would have been terrified to find it!

Vince and I walking around the property

Great old water wagon that was abandoned on the edge of the land

Bones & flowers (totally reminded me of an old Western movie)

Some beautiful wild flowers growing near a spring

Dinner time! Vince did an amazing job on some grass-
fed steaks (mmm!) Perfect ending to the day

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Leaving Portland

After four great days in Portland, it was time to head off to our next destination- Pasco, WA to meet some of Vince's friends, and Palisades, WA to visit Vince's parents.

That said, we budgeted some time to stop at Multnomah Falls

Stunning- I am so glad we went here

Vince and I at the falls

Vince's friends in Pasco

…and arriving at the farm in Wenatchee :)

Portland Trip- Day 4

Now that we had some time to walk around and explore the city, we had to do a little homework on Day 4. We had a quick breakfast and set out in the truck to look at different neighborhoods for most of the day… not as fun as walking, but we learned a lot.

After our day of "working," we decided to cap off our time in Portland with dinner at Andina for Peruvian tapas. Neither of us had ever tried Peruvian food or tapas, so it sounded like a fun way to try a new cuisine.

Walking up to the door

Good press- always a good sign

Great interior!

Looking down at the lower level of the restaurant

The bar area

Me & my sweetie

Getting set up for dinner… complete with caipirinhas (tip: dangerously good)!

Avocado topped with crab salad and topped with a prawn

Marinated beef hearts- delicious

Peruvian tartare topped with quail egg… I was a 
tad nervous to try this one, but it was surprisingly good

Peru's national dish: ceviche

Grilled peppers

The Peruvian version of tater tots and cheese sauce- yummo!

That evening was the opening day of the Rose 
Festival, so we decided to walk down to the riverfront 
after dinner to check out the festivities

Carnival time!

HAD to do the Zipper; it's a classic :)

Yes- made the height requirement!

The Inverter was next (glad my stomach made it)!

Next were the fireworks

Super show!

Such a great way to end our time in Portland; we can't wait to go back