Nature Calls...

I am moments away from getting on the road for a camping trip. Destination: Top Secret.... It is our annual trip to the backwoods of Oregon and this year I have decided to stay for NINE days instead of the usual long weekend. I am very excited, a chance to get away and forget all the troubles and cares of city life. It is freedom delivered by simplicity. I will be thinking of my family and all of the wonderful summer trips we took together when I was a kid. Thanks mom and dad, for all the adventures... 


Rocky's out for the count...

After a long weekend of playing in the surf, running the beach and galloping next to a bike. Our camping trip out to Twin Harbors was really fun. It was chilly much of the weekend, but the sky cleared up enough on Saturday for us to have a really good beach day. We played frisbee, flew a kite, Rachel beat me at Risk again(my favorite board game, I have NEVER beat Rachel, she is ruthless) and I got to swim in the ocean, though briefly because the water is so damn frigid this far north. Friday when we arrived, Rocky was so excited that he was positively twitching with energy, so Rach took him out for a good, long bike ride to wear him out a bit:

It makes me so happy to get the dog out to a place where he can run as fast and as far as he wants. We spent the afternoon playing cribbage and eating chips and salsa until the haze burned off. Then we went down to the beach for some fun! The beaches in Washington are really interesting. They stretch for miles and miles and cars are allowed to drive onto them. There are some areas that cars are not allowed to go and that is where you can really get away from everybody since they don't want to venture far from their vehicles. So Rach and I had a nice 1/2 mile of beach mostly all to ourselves. I wrestled with Rocky a bit, but the water was way too cold for him, so he was very concerned when I decided to jump in...check out these photos, have you ever seen a happier dog?


Homemade Pesto

Rachel and I followed the pesto recipe left by Joanne under Farming in the City (Part II) and the result was deliciously potent. It stings the nostrils in a very sexy way... We harvested about half of our basil in the dark last night because we needed to get the pesto ready for tonight's camping dinner. We are leaving to go camping at a place called Twin Harbors State Park, our site is quite literally a stone's throw from the Pacific Ocean. I CAN'T WAIT!! It is the same park we stayed at last year for our surfing adventure. Although last time we had to stay in the cramped RV section of the park. Since then, Rachel has taught me the art of sweet-talking phone representatives, mainly, just being nice to them. My new skill made the reservations lady super helpful and she hooked us up with the beach front site even though I called the day before our arrival and the online reservations system said everything was full. Cool, huh?


Seen on my daily walk...

Another new pub! Within walking distance! It is very exciting, only a few blocks from my house and right next door to another pub that will be opening soon as well. The one that is opening soon-ish(from the looks of the construction) is called the Bohemian, it looks to be offering fine food, wines and spirits, all of which I am a huge fan of:

And then, right next door, today I noticed the signs for a GERMAN place called Prost! This space used to be a weird super expensive home decor shop that NEVER had anybody in it and had such boring stuff for sale. This will be a great improvement, time to brush up on my German beer hall songs, I can almost smell the schnitzel:


Farming in the city (part II)

Rachel and I are headed off to Minnesota today, where it all began for me, to attend a friend's wedding. Before we go though, I just wanted to put up a couple more pictures of our yard babies... Have a good weekend everybody!!

MINI Day Lilies

Lettuce and Basil
(I made the planter from surplus cedar fencing planks)

Some juvenile peaches
(you can tell cuz they're just getting their peach fuzz)

Snap Peas

MINI Strawberries


Farming in the City

Yesterday I was harvesting the cherry trees in our front yard and our neighbor came out and said "Keep farming Joe, just pretend there is not a city street right behind you." I laughed because it is so true. Seattle is crowded, not as dense as other metro areas, but the surrounding bodies of water limit our escape routes significantly. We have a relatively large yard for Seattle, still only about 10,000 square feet though. We have done our best to put our little plot to work though. This year we have strawberries, cherries, pears(not edible), plums, apples(starchy and gross, but still apples), peaches, snap peas, salad greens, cilantro, dill(which we are actively trying to kill), blackberries(see dill), two kinds of basil, mint(for hot day mojitos), shallots, carrots, cucumbers and garlic chives....all on our little .22 acres of land in the middle of the city. It is not enough food to sustain us, but is certainly a lot of fun to have around and constantly makes me forget my urban surroundings which is definitely worth the work. So, my little friend Lena helped me harvest four and a half pounds of cherries last night, Rainier cherries to be exact, YUMMY!!!


Happy 4th!

We had a great weekend up here, bbqs, friends, food, camping, the works. Brett had us over for a bbq on Thursday night at her place, then Friday we did our usual 4th of July event at Gasworks. Even though it is very crowded, it is really relaxed too. We showed up at the park an hour or so before sundown and spread out a blanket. The fireworks start shortly after sunset, this year we were treated to a performance by the SeaGals and the Seahawks drumline, Blue Thunder. They were up on a short stage, not even 20 feet from us! Some photos of the night:

The next morning we headed up to the mountains just to get one night of camping in. For whatever reason we have not been able to get out and go camping yet this year until now. It was a lot of fun. Rocky got to swim for a bit in the lake, we had a campfire and made hobo pies for dinner...

Then on Sunday, we wanted to go up into the mountains for a little fun in the Jeep. We scouted out some possible future camping sites and saw some pretty amazing things. We drove along sheer cliffs, which always seemed to be on Rachel's side of the Jeep and made her a little nervous. We even had a brief encounter with a bear as we rounded one of the corners and it ran like hell to get away from us. Near the end of our adventure we were lucky enough to come to a washed out bridge. I say lucky because now we REALLY got to have some fun fording the substantially sized creek in my Jeep, YIPPEE!!! We made it safely across and poor Rachel was gripping the dash so tight she couldn't high-five me, she is such a trooper to let me get away with crazy things like this.