Thursday, February 24, 2011

Seattle Stay

I spent a couple of nights in Seattle this week. I don't recall every spending a night in a Seattle hotel. I actually spent each night in a different hotel. The first night was spent at the Vintage Park Hotel on 5th Ave. The second night I moved to the Westin. Both were great hotels and a great price thanks to

Tuesday night I went to the Triple Door for dinner and to hear the acoustic guitar of Trace Bundy. Wow, what a gifted guitarist. I would recommend going to hear him if you ever get the chance. I was also impressed with the venue.

I, too, had never spent time in Fremont and Ballard. These are great places to hang out. In Fremont, I stopped at a glass studio called the Edge of Glass and ad a tour from the owner, James Curtis. His glass work is unique enough, but I particularly enjoyed his collection of art deco and nouveau metal light stands. If I ever have some disposable cash, I'd love to have some of his work in my house.

I had lunch in Ballard at La Carta de Oaxaca, recommeded by a local merchant. It lived up to it's recommendation. I had the chicken quesadilla which was made with traditional mole sauce and Oaxacan cheese taking me back fifteen years when I visted a friend who lived in the Mexican city.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Random Shots

What a great day in the weather department. I was wanting a little more warmth and a little less wind, but I'll take it.

After my run this afternoon, I took time to take some photographs.

Monday, February 14, 2011

House/Dog Sitting Reprised

A friend of mine escaped the gray of our Northwest winter and headed south for a long weekend. I agreed to keep her house "lived-in" and her dog "lived with." Meet Cappy. He's a typical poodle, and very cute. I think he enjoyed having me around. Especially when I would eat an apple. Oh my word, he freaked out.

He puts on this aire that he doesn't do hard wood floor. He'd rather walk on the carpet, which there are only a few area rugs around--one in the diningroom and one in the livingroom. I happened to be in the kitchen cutting some slides when I hear this barking commotion. I peered around the corner to find him inching his way on the hard wood. Apparently, when it comes to fruit he makes an exception. However, up until this time I had been carrying him around to avoid his precious feet touching the smooth surface. I was duped.

The house has a great 180 view of the water, looking across to Fox Island. Friday turned out to be a sunny day and a low tide making for a great opportunity to hang out on the beach for a while. Saturday, the wind picked up and made for a great indoor retreat to read a book I've been enjoying, In Justice by Alan Sears.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day Of The Dog Bite

I try usually try to post a photo taken on the day of my blog post. Today was a pretty gray day and I wasn't too motivated to shoot. So, this photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, but it is somewhat pertinent since I did run at this location today. In fact, lately I've been running in University Place in hopes of literally running into some Curtis team runners. Indeed, today I ran in to a couple of guys and shared part of the run with them.

At the beginning of my run I was cruising along the Zetterberg trails in UP and passed by a familiar house where a couple of enthusiastic English Spaniels consistently bark at me. I have this call that I do whenever I encounter them or any animal, "watchyadoin, whatchyadoin." I somehow think this kind of communication is endearing and I usually get a positive response.

This time as I ran by, the owner was out checking his mailbox. So I took the time to stop and say how much I appreciated his enthusiastic dogs. He reciprocated the appreciation and invited me to pet his dogs through the fence. Bad idea. I'm a fool. The male dog chomped on my finger. It's now swollen as I write.

The guy was very apologetic and invited me in for a clean up and a Band-Aid. He even invited me back for a beer. That won't happen. But I did appreciated his sentiment.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Time for a Narrows View

After finishing some family obligations this afternoon, I was left with enough time for another sunset shoot. I've been itching to walk along the railroad tracks and take some photos of the Narrows Bridge with the setting sun as its backdrop.

It was much easier to get down there before they built the second bridge. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the additional bridge. I just wish they hadn't plow over the trails I used to use to journey down to the water's edge. Granted it's probably off-limits to the public, but it's prime scenic real estate that I think should be accessible to everyone.

I was hoping the sunset to be a bit more spectacular. However, the tine was well spent and it gave me a chance to dabble with my camera settings. I saw a few large seals and startled about six blue herons.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Scanning Europe

I've been trying to whittle my way through a multitude of slides, taken from old-fashioned days of the 35mm camera era. I still miss those days. What's not to like about the immediacy and accessibility of a digital camera?

Twenty six years ago I quit a dead-end job designing electrical signs and traveled around Europe for three and a half months with my 35mm. At the time I was still living with my parents and had saved a chunk of change that made it possible for somewhat modest travel.

I began my travels in Amsterdam and weaved my way by train on a Eurail Pass through the Germanic countries down to Italy. From Venice I headed down one side of the boot to Brindisi and caught the ferry to Athens. There I bought a ferry pass (included on the Eurail) that allowed 3 stops around the Greek Isles. I chose Santorini, Naxos and Paros. I then headed up the other side of Italy through Sorrento, Rome, Florence and Pisa on my way to the French Riviera. I followed the Mediterranean clear around to Lisbon, all the while enjoying the warm tropical climate of the southern coast. I regret not having gone to the Costa Del Sol. However, Portugal definitely made up for it.

I took an overnight train back to Madrid for a few day and then met some friends in Biarritz, France. I traveled with them for a week along the coast of France up to Mont Saint-Michel then over to Dinan, where I left them and headed to Paris for a week. I ended my trip in England and Scotland.

As I scan these photos I realize how that trip set the tone for 26 years of international travel and memories of people and places. Some still the same and some long since changed.