Friday, 9 October 2009

Tukwila, Washington state

We drove through Tukwila today, on our way to Kirkland. The colours of the leaves were absolutely stunning. We took just a few pictures.

Later in the day I saw five raccoons, but sadly didn't have the camera with me.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Gig Harbor, Washington state

I travelled from Portland to Gig Harbor last Sunday. I am staying with a friend who has a house overlooking an inlet off Puget Sound. The weather has been fabulous - clear skies and sunshine, with some morning fog over the water the last couple of mornings. The views from the deck are beautiful, and the birds are much more colourful here than most of the ones I see at home. I am missing my camera, and don't want to be asking my friend to take pictures for me every few seconds, so here are just one or two pictures of things which have really caught me eye. These Zinnias are growing just outside my bedroom window, and are the first thing I see every morning when I open the blind. Wow!

We don't really grow Zinnias in Wales, but I did have a green one grow from a mixture of 'white' themed annuals once, so I think I will look for some seeds and try growing some in my own garden next summer. Look at the gorgeous saturated colour in the orange ones above, and the colour contrast in the ones below...

We also don't really see many pumpkins in British supermarkets (although they do seem to be getting much more popular in the run up to Halloween each year). However, the ones we see tend to be the 'ordinary' pumpkins, so these beautifully coloured striped pumpkins really caught my eye.

The colour, shape, and surface texture on these Cinderella pumpkins is rather wonderful, too!

I fly to Arizona on Sunday, and another friend has a spare camera for me to use for that part of my trip, so hopefully, there will be lots of Arizona desert pictures coming soon.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Portland, Oregon

This poor blog has been so neglected recently - I have been overwhelmed at work and home, but am now on a 3 week trip to Portland, Puget Sound, and Sonoita. Unbelievably, I forgot my camera, so my kind friend Zeborah took these photos for me when we went to a Korean restaurant. I've never been in a Korean restaurant before, the experience was very interesting and the food was fabulous!

We began with something called 'pot stickers', which are like little deep fried parcels of minced meat and vegetables, served with a soy dipping sauce.

The next course was the 'barbecue' itself - lots of small dishes arrived, containing shredded and sliced vegetables marinading in sweet rice vinegar - cucumber, shredded mouli or daikon radish, some bean sprouts, some kim-chee (I didn't eat that one as it was full of chilli), some thinly sliced pickled ginger (divine), some potato & carrot salad, some green beans with sesame seeds, and some sliced garlic & chilli peppers. Plus a bowl of sticky rice, some lettuce leaves and a plateful of thinly sliced pork & beef in a soy marinade. We cooked the meat on the barbecue and made 'wraps' of lettuce leaves stuffed with meat, rice, pickles and vegetables. It was all really yummy, if a bit messy to eat!

The little dishes:

The table full of food, and table barbecue:

The decor of the restaurant was interesting too - the top half of the walls was galvanised corrugated metal, and the chimneys above the tables with the corrugated metal gave the place a kind of industrial feel, but the light softened everything,and made the atmosphere welcoming:

Finally, the texture of the cast iron teapot stand was just too nice not to take a photo!