Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 2 - Now with minimal technology!

This is the first post that I have ever done by email. Email and
slowly tapped out on my phone. We finished our journey to Seattle
today (Bellevue, to be specific) and am staying at a relative's house
for the night. We will cross the border tomorrow and be in Richmond
for two days before coming back to the Seattle area for the weekend.
So another day on the road. Just a couple of observations:

- eating on the road usually consists of a lot of fast food, and our
trip is no exception. My parents aren't the most adventurous eaters
either so it severely limits the choices some more. We had McDonalds
for breakfast and Denny's for lunch. Considering the fact that my
sister has pretty much taught me to travel for food (her and Anthony
Bourdain), this is flat out embarassing. In my defense a bit, the
choices of eatery in southern Washington leaves a lot to be desire
(along I-5 anyway). And we HAD to have found the Denny's with
construction going on so my mediocre chicken salad came with a side of
power tool noise. I am expecting my eating to take a turn for the
better now that I met up with my sister. Hopefully I'll have better
news to report tomorrow.

(to prove my point, my sister flew up to Seattle and had lunch at
perhaps the best salumi place ever. I'll link to her post as soon as
she writes one)

- one more note on roadside eating. There are Subway restaurants at
literally every exit. It's either a standalone place or inside a gas
station. Terribly annoying when you are trying to find food to eat.
Talk about taunting...

- We are staying in a huge house and is more than comfortable, there
is even Wifi here but we were tired and rushed to bed pretty early, so
here I am rapping away on my phone on email. I will have to remember
to ask for access when we come back for the weekend.

- Hppefully when we get settled in Canada tomorrow I will have time to
throw a few pictures on here. Right now it would just be a gallery of
people asleep in the car anyway. If you really want to keep track of
things I am trying to keep my facebook and twitter acount (ak3700)
updated. Hey, what else am I going to do in the car?I love my phone....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Pacific Northwest - Day 1

Just want to leave a quick note on day one of our adventure. I'll update this post with a few pictures later. 

I should have known, but this trip got off to a wonderful start when we went to pick up our car and the lady told us, "We don't have a minivan right now, but we have an SUV for you." Uhh... that is not going to work for six people. So she had to call the Berkeley location and ask if they had anything that sat 7. They did, so we went over there and found out that we were the proud renters of a Suzuki XL7. Sitting seven is really a stretch, as it's really a regular SUV with an extra row of seat stuck in the back. As you can imagine, this puts an even further cramp on luggage space, which was a problem with so many people going. So we finally all crammed in, a cooler and luggage taking the window seat next to Britt, and off we went....

Other than that, it was pretty uneventful up I-5 and out of California. We had dinner in a town call Weed that was funny until we couldn't find any restaurants opened. Another hour and a half or so we pulled into Medford, Oregon where I now sit in a Motel 6, borrowing WiFi from the Travelodge next door. (Motel 6 offers WiFi...for $2.99 a day. My head still hurts trying to wrap itself around that). On the plus side, there is a Dairy Queen across the parking lot that is opened until 11, so I am also enjoying a Peanut Blaster Parfait as well. Mmmm... another 6 or 7 hours on the road tomorrow before we get to Seattle, so I better head to bed. Hopefully tomorrow will go more smoothly than today. But then, you would have no reason to come read this then, would you?

Leaving...On a Jet Plane

Leaving on a Jet plane...'s a fun song, but sadly no, we are actually taking a road trip. The bags are packed, and tomorrow we hit the road north to not-so-sunny Seattle/Vancouver. Will my kids survive the long drive? How many cups of Seattle's Finest coffee will I consume? Will I find some free WiFi to keep you all updated? We will all find out soon....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Quietly Mumble Happy Birthday Amongst Yourselves...

Sausage on the Grill

...That was what was instructed to everyone right before I cut the delicious homemade cheesecake (darn, forgot to take a picture) for Britt's birthday. She is not a fan of birthday attention, so a nice, quiet BBQ lunch is all she gets. It ended up cold and windy anyway (great precursor to our vacation, I guess), so we came, we ate, and we retreated indoors, where the warmth of technology kept us company.

Right guys?

Hyper texters

Monday, July 21, 2008

Perfect Cookies?

As stated many times in this space, I am not the baker of the family. But if you start attaching words like "perfect" in describing your recipes, and fill the articles with science to back up your claim, you will have me interested. So perhaps when I get some free time, I will give it a try. I'll let you know how it goes....

(Of course, the recent mishap of my standup mixer's engine breaking will make this difficult. If anyone knows where a good place I can take the mixer to get repair, I would greatly appreciate it... and perhaps thank you with some cookies.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Hannah playtime?

The kids have a lot of barbie dolls and they play with them in all sorts of ways.

I do not know which way this is.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sheperd's Pie

Sheperd's Pie

Had some potatoes around the house that were ready to bloom so I decided to use them along with some leftovers to make a quick sheperd's pie for dinner. Nothing especially exciting. What I actually wanted to bring up was that as I was leveling the mashed potatoes on top and getting ready to put it in the oven, I realized that I had no idea how to make those cool peaks with a fork that everyone seems to make that gets all browned and delicious looking. I ended up kind of plowing across them like I was getting ready to plant corn in them or something. Not quite the same. If anyone can show me how to make nifty peaks, please let me know....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Another Helpful Hint

When your parents tell you not to climb on, or jump off of the tree in your backyard, they probably have a good reason. If you don't believe them, you will only find out for yourself, the hard way.

Apple Tree Attack

Thursday, July 03, 2008

In case you were wondering....

...yes, if you happen to be on the Wii Fit, getting some exercise, and you suddenly feel the urge to go to the bathroom, but you are in the middle of being weighed and couldn't wait and you accidentally pee on the Wii Balance's ok. The Board can take it. Wipe it up, and it still works.

I'm just saying, in case you were wondering.....

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Farmer's Market

Ferry Building Farmer's Market

When you want to go to a Farmer's Market in the Bay Area, the Ferry Building Farmer's Market is pretty much the gold standard that others are compared to. With Hannah having been freed for the summer from her busy activities, we decided to take a trip out and enjoy the summer harvest of local farmers.


I support being a locavore as much as the next guy. I think Michael Pollan has a lot of very good ideas on how we can be more responsible with our the way we manage of resources. Looking at all of the organically grown food on display (look at those pepper! beautiful), I am definitely inspired to do more to support the local farmer. It is pricier than your local grocery store, but you more than make up for it in quality. I really wasn't looking to do a lot of shopping on this particular trip, but I couldn't resist buying a few tomatoes as thoughts of a BLT swirls in my head. (I LOVE a good ripe tomato. I can eat those things like apples. On the other hand, eating tomatoes in the winter time is one of the saddest experiences that I can think of) Then, amidst the abundant free samples, I also bought some potato-stuffed indian naan, some rhubarb that Britt turned into a crisp, and this love cheese sampler from Cowgirl Creamery. (I mostly took this to sow my friend Tim, who has developed a taste for fancy cheese)

Cowgirl Creamery sampler pack

Back to the sampling for a moment... You would think that all the samples of ripe nectarines, artisan cheeses, and even pickled green beans would be a meal in itself. But you know, sometimes the sampling works and it does indeed get you to buy more stuff. Besides what was mentioned above, I also tried a salumi "meat cone" from newly opened Boccalone. Excuse the blurry picture, I was having camera issues, but it's a paper cone with meat. Isn't that exciting enough of an idea?

Meat Cone from Boccalone

So on a lovely summer day, I really can't think of anything better than spending the late afternoon/early morning strolling the Ferry Building. If it was inspiring to get me to wake up a little earlier on a Saturday morning, it's certainly worth a visit from you.