Travel


Muffins, Cheese and Ice Cream

 

It seems more and more of my daily reports center on food. Don’t bother counting calories for today – it’s way over the top. You might gain weight just reading about our day.

 

We started with breakfast at Pig ‘n Pancake in Cannon Beach. Bob was reasonably wise with granola, yogurt and fresh fruit. I, on the other hand went right for their Swedish pancakes which are the best excuse for scoops of whipped butter and lingonberry preserves.

 

Cannon Beach Sweetness

 

The next stop was the Cannon Beach Bakery to stock up for bedtime sweet treat and tomorrows breakfast – love their Sailor Jack and poppy seed muffins. The piece de resistance was an apple fritter with caramel glaze. Bob loves fritters, I love caramel anything. Disclaimer: The last time we were in Cannon Beach the bakery was closed, I’m making up for lost opportunities.

 

We actually waited 4½ hours before eating again. This time we were at the Tillamook Cheese Company. They have the best ever grilled cheese sandwich. The Centennial is a combination of sharp cheddar and Vintage White medium cheddar grilled on thick slices of sourdough bread. The sandwich comes with a dill pickle slice and choice of fries, tater tots, salad or soup. We both opted for the soup of the day – chili.

 

Tillamook Grilled Cheese

 

Tillamook Huckleberr ICAfter shopping – for cheese curds and some of the Vintage White medium cheddar we entered the ice cream line. Huckleberry for Bob, Caramel Toffee Crunch for Nancy. We did restrict ourselves to single dips but good sized dips they were.

 

Tillamook Caramel Toffee CrunchA half mile down the road stands the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. Not wanting to go home empty handed we purchased a small wheel of the traditional brie and a wedge of the herb brie. (You got a dollar off it you purchased two – such a deal.) Three bottles of Riverhouse salad dressings also found their way into our bag.

 

Blue Heron Brie

 

Back in Cannon Beach we stopped at the market to pick up milk and chocolate milk to wash down the sweet treats later this evening. Need I say we won’t be going to dinner tonight? Over the top I know but an opportunity that doesn’t happen often. Not counting, just enjoying.

Captain Bob’s Chowder

Long Beach, Washington

 

Chowder BannerAfter exploring Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula it was mid-afternoon and I waited something to eat but not an big lunch. Bob’s always up for a bowl of clam chowder. A check with Yelp showed positive reviews for Captain Bob’s Chowder in Long Beach; exactly the kind of place I wanted. Captain Bob behind the counter, four high top tables and knowledge of how to prepare seafood.

 

Bob went for a bowl of the chowder which he graded as a B+; he’s a tough grader, I don’t know whose chowder he’d grade as an A. He reports the chowder was full of clams and served with a bag of oyster crackers and a bread stick.

 

Crab RollI wasn’t in the mood for soup so ordered a crab roll – a fresh toasted roll with a crisp leaf of romaine and a generous serving of crab. This earned an A+. I will think about this crab roll for a long, long time. It was perfect. When I commented on the roll Captain Bob said his wife makes them. He toasts the roll in a skillet immediately before serving. Our tab including soft drinks was under $20.

 

Captain BobWe were the only customers at that point in the afternoon and enjoyed visiting with Captain Bob while we chowed down. He told us that he has two chowders/soups every day. Always clam chowder and the other varies – corn, salmon, scallop – a big seller. He even does a corn beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. The daily offerings can be found on their Facebook page. He reports that lobster chowder is very popular but lobster rolls aren’t, surprising because how popular lobster rolls are on the East Coast. Fish and chips are on the menu but not our choice today.

 

Don’t know when I’ll be back on the Long Beach Peninsula but know I’ll look for Captain Bob’s when I return. Meanwhile, I’ll dream of the crab roll.

 

Captain Bob Fisherman

Tuesday in Tacoma

Forget It

Day 20 and it’s time for a Travel Rant

 

Thinking of going to Tacoma and it’s a Tuesday, save yourself frustration and forget about it. Tacoma closes on Tuesday. Major attractions lock the doors and disappear. One has to wonder who is the mastermind that decided everyone should close on the same day. How does that benefit anyone?

 

The Museum of Glass – Closed on Tuesday

However, the Store is open to part you with your money

Washington State History Museum – Closed on Tuesday

 

Tacoma Art Museum – Closed on Tuesday

Don’t consider going north to the Seattle Art Museum – Closed Mon. & Tuesday

 

 Fort Nisqually Living History Museum – Closed on Tuesday

 

Tacoma History Museum – Closed on Tuesday

 

On previous trips to Tacoma we’ve visited four of the five museums and would love to revisit each of them. These sites offer quality experiences – just, NOT on Tuesday. It’s not like this is a single staff or even one association running the five facilities; it’s beyond my comprehension why anyone wants to see all these attractions closed on the same day.

 

The only power the traveler has is to take their tourism dollar and leave town. Exactly what we did.

Charmed by Chihuly

September 28, 2014

 

Sealife Tower

 

Today was the day to fulfill a primary purpose of the entire trip – to experience the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition in Seattle. We were not disappointed, even better than anticipated.  Many elements of the site deserve more time and space than I have energy for tonight. Therefore just a few photos to provide an overview. Hopefully there will be a time when I share more from an outstanding day.

 

Bob's Starfish

 

My new favorite Chihuly installation is the Sealife Tower. Golden glass sea forms float in the massive blue tower. Stunning. The longer I circled and observed the more enchanted I became.

 

Bob's Snail

 

Eight indoor galleries present the wide variety of Chihuly’s creations. Glass Forest, Norhtwest Room, Sealife Room, Persian Ceilng, Mille Fiori, Ikebana and Float Boat, Chandeliers, Macchia Forest – none should be missed.

 

Glass House with Northwest Sun

 

A number of glass conservatories around the world have hosted temporary Chihuly exhibitions. For Seattle’s Garden and Glass he designed his own glasshouse. A 100-foot long suspended glass sculpture stretches across the top of the 40-foot tall room.

 

Glass House Installation

 

 The 605-foot Space Needle looks down on the outdoor garden installations. At the right time of day reflections of the Needle appear in many of the glass orbs in fascinating juxtapositions.

 

Space Needle Reflection

 

After viewing just a few amateur photographs I hope you agree that the Chihuly Garden and Class is well worth a trip to Seattle.

Back to the USA

Saturday – September 27, 2014

Welcome Sign

 

Depending on your view, the good news – or bad news –  is that they let us back into the country. After an 80 minute wait at the Peace Arch Crossing at White Rock, BC/Blaine, WA we were once again on our way.

 

There was plenty of time for a little ironic political thinking of the roadblocks for citizens to be admitted when our borders are open sieves for illegal entries and terrorists because we wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Yet the tax paying, legal, upright citizen is given the third degree. Why doesn’t someone call that profiling?

 

We spent the afternoon and evening visiting with Bob’s cousin Walt and his wife Ann, a delight to see them again after many years. We enjoyed lunch in their home and an outstanding dinner at Oyster Bar Restaurant south of Bellingham. The drive south on the old road right along the water was marvelous – narrow and winding but very scenic.

 

Dinner is worthy of an entire story. For now, let’s just say the best meal with the best view and company we’ve had on the entire trip.

Day in Vancouver

 

Vancouver Skyline

Although the day started with clouds and rain, we’re in Vancouver, get out and participate. This is a city of walkers and outdoor activities, a little rain is barely noticed. After a drive through Stanley Park and along English Bay we spent several hours at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropogy – a treasure trove of art and artifacts of First Nation peoples.

 

UBSMA - Mask

Bob is especially interested in the carvings of totems, house boards, masks, boxes, canoes. Timing was just right for me to join one of the free tour groups while Bob took detailed photos. Although we’ve been interested in Northwest Coast art and culture for decades I learned a great deal from the knowledgable, energetic guide.

 

UBCMA - Carvings

 

We needed a respite after museum time and headed back to Stanley Park for a mid-afternoon lunch at The Fish House restaurant. The calm ambience and seafood was greatly appreciated. We noted that in addition to lunch and dinner the restaurant serves afternoon tea as well.

 

Fish House Interior

 

The rest of the afternoon was spent at sites in the park – totem poles, lighthouse, dense forests and walks along the sea wall.

 

Stanley Park Lighthouse Walk in Stanley Park

 

Throughout the day we were encouraged by sun breaks and patches of blue skies. We even found the clouds photographic.

 

Afternoon Skies Over Vancouver

Two Weeks Down – Two To Go

Pentax Tetons 2

Can’t believe we’re two weeks into our driving trip to the Pacific Northwest, the first days seem so long ago – so much spectacular country between here and home. Taking a moment to reflect on the 14 days reminds us of all we’ve seen and experienced.

  • 3,050 miles traveled

  • 5 States – Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana,

                     Washington

  • 3 Canadian National Parks – Waterton, Banff, Yoho

  • 2 Canadian Providences – Alberta, British Columbia

  • 2 US National Parks – Grand Teton and Glacier

  • 1 Cousin Visit – Thanks Kay

 Lake Louise 2

 

We won’t soon forget seeing two American Bald Eagles while on the Waterton Lake Cruise, a grizzly ambling through a grassy field in Glacier Nt. Park, and a mother brown bear and two cubs chowing down in the same field two days in a row. Never before had we seen a rainbow and its reflection like the one at Emerald Lake.

 

Blue Heron InnAlternating between hotels, Nt. Park lodges, bed and breakfasts and the hospitality of family we’ve been fortunate to have no horror stories of places you would never catch us in again. It had been years since we’d stayed in a Ramada Inn and the memories aren’t great. When we needed lodging in Pincher Creek, Alberta a Ramada looked like the best choice; and I’m sure it was. The room was large, very clean, bed and linens of good quality, front desk staff friendly and efficient. Left this hotel with a new attitude towards the brand.

 

Definitely would return to the three B&Bs we’ve visited – Blue Heron Inn in Rigby, Idaho, Bad Rock B&B in Columbia Falls, Montana and Cromier B&B in Penticton, British Columbia. Each were unique with gracious hosts and gave a more personal experience to their area.

 

Vancouver Highrises

 

No big cities until we arrived in Vancouver today. Listed as the worst travel congestion and most traffic delays in all of Canada we’re quickly reminded of the realities of city life.

 

Arms Reach BistroWe’ve eaten in a variety of restaurants from neighborhood bistros to formal dining rooms (the worst service). I even have to admit to one stop at a McDonalds.We like to focus on local food whenever possible – huckleberries in Montana, saskatoon berries in Alberta, fresh from the orchard plums, pears, apples, artisan cheese and boutique wines in BC’s Okanagan Valley and fresh seafood in Vancouver.

 

Aspen in Yoho

 

Dinosaur digs, jagged mountain peaks, aqua blue glacier-fed rivers, acres of trees heavy with ripening apples, black angus grazing in seemingly endless grasslands, dense forest of towering western red cedar, new mown hay awaiting baling, golden aspen in their fall glory, hillsides covered in rows of vineyards, and rushing rivers, foggy mornings, clouds lying low in mountain valleys, vivid sunrises, a day without a single cloud in the sky, sheets of driving rain – visions captured in photographs and the mind. Memories.

 

Canmore Sunrise

What will the next two weeks reveal?

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