Travel

12
May 2015
Inn at Langley: Bucolic Modernism

Whidbey Island is one among many beloved destinations for folks in the Puget Sound area, popular for day-trip escapes from the city, second homes and get-away weekends with friends. Walking the beaches, visiting lighthouses, biking country roads, kayaking, fishing, whale watching, catching crab....that's what we tend to associate with a trip to Whidbey. And you fuel up on big piles of island-raised steamed mussels, a pint of local beer, ...

15
Jan 2015
Torrone with Almonds

It's a funny thing, coming home with a suitcase full of treasures from a delightful adventure abroad. The less common the destination and the more distinctive the treats acquired, the more nerve-wracking it can be to decide when will be the ideal/perfect/best moment to enjoy them. From this fall's explorations in Portugal and the northwest corner of Spain, I came home with a couple dozen tins of exquisite seafood (sardines, tuna, octopus), for instance, much of it from this amazing ...

17
Sep 2014
Sipping at Feast

If hotel prices in Portland this weekend are any indication, this year's Feast Portland is a pretty big draw. Taking over the city, maybe. I'm going to be doing some hotel-hopping, chasing around the best deals I could find. I was on the phone with a fellow at one of the event's host hotels a couple of weeks ago and even he expressed a ...

28
Aug 2014
Feasting on Portland

It's one of those photo-ops-missed that I've thought about more than a few times in the past year -- arriving in Portland on a Sunday afternoon, looking down on the sidewalk and seeing a "Feast Portland" wristband that clearly had gotten a lot of good use over the previous few days. That trip, obligations had colluded to keep me from attending the event itself, but I whipped down to Portland to ...

03
Jul 2014
Road Trip: Wenatchee

When my beloved 1992 Jetta was hit with some minor but worthy-of-being-deemed-'totaled' damage a couple of years ago, I got myself a new VW that invariably came with tons more automatic doodads and general smarts than my old car had. Even just getting a cup-holder and no longer hand-cranking the windows up and down was a huge advance. I hadn't quite expected the car to actively nudge me with notes on ...

29
Jan 2014
Oaxaca: Color and Flavors Abound

I realized I'd taken a lot of photos when I got that error message saying my 4GB media card was full. Thankfully it was the last afternoon of the weeklong trip to Oaxaca and I had my phone at hand to capture some final images before packing away my t-shirts and sun hat and dried chiles and corn husks along with an overload of sensory input and experiences to pack along home as well. That's just one measure of what a ...

16
Oct 2013
Leavenworth Retreat: Sleeping Lady

  The shuttle bus was free, so there was no reason to complain. Not that we would have, anyway. It's Oktoberfest season after all, revelry abounds around the beer-fueled festival no matter how far away from Munich it may be celebrated.  And as much as I'd already come to relish the tranquility of the setting, it was an even more striking example of how much a refuge Sleeping Lady is. My husband and I ...

02
Sep 2013
Culinary Conversation on San Juan Island

It's funny, much as I usually abhor ruts and routine, I can be quite the creature of habit sometimes. Which, in the case of visiting the San Juan Islands in the Northwest corner of Washington state, comes in the form of me heading 99.9% of the time to Orcas, dating back to trips made there with my family as far back as I can remember. Which is one of many reasons why I'm so looking ...

23
Aug 2013

Paris: A Review

Paris: A Review

So there I was in Paris for a month earlier this year, living la belle vie, nothing but time to wander, read, eat, write, ponder, drink, consider, explore. It was glorious, as you can imagine. Unseasonably cool and quite wet weather didn't dampen the experience. I made a number of blog posts, far more than a typical month for me. I wrote and wrote and wrote, tens ...

03
Jul 2013
Communicating Abroad: Keeping it Simple

It was our second or third morning in Zurich, in the breakfast room just off the lobby of the hotel where we were staying. A gentleman at a table near me tried to tell the server that the used plate and coffee cup on his table were not his and should be taken away, that he'd just sat down. When she didn't understand he simply repeated it, again, in English, sounding exasperated. She again ...