My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Thursday, August 1, 2013

PNW Road Trip: Day 2 - Wanapum-Lymans-Seattle

Welcome to Day #2 of our road trip from Sheridan, WY to the PNW!

Ah, road signs... we adored many things about Washington State, but their road signage wasn't one of them. When it came to giving an adequate heads up or marking street names, WA seems to follow what my college communications professor called The COIK Principle: "COIK" = "Clear Only If Known." And since it was all new territory to us and definitely not known, and we don't have GPS, we wore more baffled looks and executed more bat turns than we'd have liked! (It wasn't just Washington, we had issues with Missoula, too! And while I'm the first to admit I have no sense of direction, BW was a highly trained and skilled USAF navigator so I'm pretty sure it wasn't our fault). :-)

Anyway, our whining about Washington's inadequate signs began when we crossed the state line from Idaho the day before. I'd intended to get a photo of it like I did the giant welcoming Idaho sign, but we got a foreshadowing of things to come when we saw the barely noticeable (and completely unphotographable) "entering Washington" sign. It was on the left side in the median (who puts them there on a 70mph Interstate?) and might - MIGHT - have measured 18"x24". Washington was far more friendly and welcoming than their official welcoming sign would lead one to believe!

But the little town of George (get it? I love that!) did a much better job 150 miles later...

Frankly, it wasn't till George's exit sign that I realized the highway number background
was George Washington's profile instead of just a random blob! :-)

I also thought their water tower was clever in its simplicity and clarity (and I like to think I know a good SkyWatch candidate when I see one, lol)...

Or when I see another one! ;-) ...

Wind farm near the Columbia River

Our friend Andrea in Seattle sent me an email the day before we left home that suggested "stopping at the Columbia River Gorge in Eastern WA. It's kind of a rest stop (with no facilities) but it is very beautiful to walk the paths leading to the cliffs overlooking the river. You have to actually walk down, not just look from the parking area. The vegetation is more like what you'd expect in New Mexico than Wash. — very desert-like and beautiful. I don't think you can access the area on your way home so try to stop. It's worth it!"

And so we did, and she was right! These next few photos are from our 30-minute stopover overlooking the Columbia River and Gingko Petrified Forest/Wanapum State Parks in the Wanapum Recreational Area. We were glad Andrea told us about it, otherwise we'd have driven right past the turnoff to it (I doubt I need to mention how discretely it was marked)...

The informational sign at this spot identified the winding dirt road below as a remnant of an early day "post road," the pre-railroad dirt (and later macadam) roads built for the distribution of US mail, and went on to say, "The first roads in this area were constructed in about 1918 and followed the contour of the hillside down to a ferry landing." This road served until 1930, when an improved highway was constructed.

And do you know what this is?...

Why, a fork in the road, of course! Every road trip comes upon one eventually. ;-)
(Sorry, couldn't resist!)

It was still morning but already getting to be hot and hazy, yet I still think this was a lovely scene looking down the Columbia River past the Vantage Bridge (which we crossed shortly after resuming our trip)...

The Columbia, meanwhile, flows on past Wanapum State Park, Yakima Training Center, and then winds around the notorious DOE Hanford Site where dreadful things threaten it, but thankfully devoted people are working diligently to protect it

Speaking of devoted people working diligently to protect what's important... we stopped in Ellensburg for a wonderful visit (and delicious lunch) with our friends Howard and Willow Jeane Lyman...

We've known Howard and Willow Jeane since August 2000 when we met them through our neighbor Vistara, who's known them for decades from their mutual hometown of Great Falls, MT. The day we met and spoke to Howard is the day we went vegan, so how appropriate that I'm getting to post this on the first day of our "veganniversary" month! :-)

Howard and Willow Jeane are not only wonderful people and generous hosts, they also have a delightful home and garden that we really enjoyed getting to see. Willow Jeane is an extremely talented and prolific quilter (as is her daughter Laura, who owns a huge quilt shop in Billings, MT), so I wasn't surprised to see that she has a fantastic and colorful quilting room which I photographed not only for this post but also for my friend Jo (aka AdventureJo), also a quilter extraordinaire...

Willow Jeane's impressive "fabric stash"
Note her prize ribbons (probably only a small sampling!), and her ironing board cover, because here's a closeup of the same fabric, designed by her local quilt guild and also used for her sewing machine cover...

The ladies all represent the guild members, with words and phrases that have personal meaning to them. Of course, the words "Road Trip" jumped right out at me! :-)

This gorgeous quilt, which rightfully has pride of place in the Lyman's living room, took Willow Jeane about 2 years to complete, though she said she set it aside from time to time when she "got sick of it." I understand, I've got cross stitch projects like that. Heck sometimes this blog is like that! :-) ...

Here's the beautiful spread that Willow Jeane and her sister (who was there on her annual summer visit from Great Falls) had prepared for us! Lots of local organic produce - including two varieties of heirloom tomatoes - from the Ellensburg Farmer's Market, lemon-blueberry scones with homemade preserves, breakfast casserole, and crispy hash browns. Need I say it was all incredibly delicious? Didn't think so...

Willow Jeane was kind enough to share her recipes for the lemon-blueberry scones and breakfast casserole (pictured below on the left), both of which you'll find here. She also passed along her great tip for putting the crispy "brown" in oil-free hashbrowns (pictured on the right): Grate cooked & cooled potatoes. Toss with onion granules and bake on parchment paper for an hour or so. It's the onion granules that brown so you need to cover the potatoes well...

We filled our plates (with the first round of helpings!) and took them outside to dine al fresco under their shady Wisteria and Virginia Creeper-covered arbor (a bit of which is visible on the right) in their lush and lovely back yard they created from bare dirt and rock since moving here seven years ago...

I loved this beautiful suncatcher mobile under the arbor, made by a local artist from found bits of glass and a piece of driftwood...

All good things must end, so after a very fun visit we had to grudgingly depart and finish our drive to Seattle, where we planned to stock up on Remedy Teas (which I'm addicted to thanks to gifts of it from my friend Rose!), check into our hotel, and then meet our friend Mike for some fun activities (like a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel) before our 6:30 dinner reservations at Sutra. But we left the Lyman's an hour later than we'd planned, and shortly afterward got stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic driving through the Cascades at an average of 2mph (when it moved at all). So instead of arriving in Seattle at 3pm, we barely made it in time to grab the tea, check into the hotel and make it to the restaurant on time. Such a bummer, especially since it was the only time we were going to get to spend with Mike, whom we hadn't seen since he stayed with us during his move from Portland, ME to Seattle 10 years ago! Oh well, all you can do (besides cuss the traffic jam, which I did impressively) is roll with it. At least the scenery was even more impressive than my cussing! :-)

On our way to our whirlwind stop at Remedy Teas, I got my first glimpse of the iconic Space Needle and insisted that BW detour a block and stop so I could get this photo - dinner reservations be damned!...

I'm smitten with the Space Needle, so you'll be seeing much more of it in the next posts!

We stayed at the Watertown Inn, which was wonderfully located and surprisingly affordable (thanks in no small part to their generous military discount), not to mention clean and comfortable, friendly and attractive...

But the best part was our room's awesome views!...

Seattle's skyline, with the Space Needle on the right

and Mt. Rainier (taken through our window at dawn the next day with my telephoto)

We had a few minutes to gape out the windows and snap the photos, hurl water on our faces and toothpaste at our teeth, and then it was off to meet with Mike - who'd been parked outside patiently waiting for us - and zip off to Sutra...

BW and Mike with their biggest fan. *snork*

Sutra's pre-set five-course gourmet vegan dinner menu, whose content and pricing varies daily, was a relatively extravagant ($40 per person + tax and tip) experience that interested BW more than it did me. As a simple woman with more frugal dining habits, I'd had my heart set on eating at PizzaPi for years - since Mike used to live just down the block from it and would torment me with emails about it - but since Sutra gets rave reviews and is a very popular and pretty unique dining experience, when Mike suggested it for dinner that night we agreed.

Sutra is a very small place. Only open for dinner and with just 1-2 seatings a night, reservations are pretty much mandatory and they turn people away on a regular basis. Their web site says they can comfortably accommodate 35, but we take issue with the "comfortably" part. In their defense, it was 92º in Seattle that day, which doesn't happen often and so they weren't equipped for it. No a/c, no windows that open, and that fan you see in the photo with BW and Mike? Just a prop, really - the door was closed when everyone was seated and there were no fans operating that we could see or feel. And it didn't help that they served us warm water! The place was filled to capacity and we were squeezed into a tiny table in the far back corner right near the kitchen, which is open to the dining area as you can see from this photo I took from my seat... 

Hot as it was where I was sitting, I can't imagine working over that hot stove!

The dining room has high ceilings and hardwood floors, so when it's filled with the noise of chattering diners, the extraneous background music, and the bang and clatter of the kitchen, the acoustics are awful. We had to strain to hear each other and make ourselves heard over the din. Add to that the stifling heat, warm water and cramped seating, and it wore us out. So, low marks from us for ambience and comfort, at least on a hot summer evening.

As for the food... 

All the dishes were creative, interesting, beautifully plated and very tasty medleys of textures, colors and flavors. We love that it's all vegan (of course), organic and local, and prepared fresh daily. 

In the interest of space, I created a collage of the meal's five courses. But those of you who enjoy oogling food porn (and you know who you are!) can click on each course title for the larger version. I've also typed up that night's menu verbatim, but please don't ask me what most of these ingredients are (e.g. shunkyo radish, scape, urfa, aprium, mofongo), for I was clueless in Seattle. nyuck-nyuck!...

Tonight's Menu

English Pea-Hempcream-Yuzu Soup served aside a Salad of Frisee-Shunkyo Radish-Pickled Scape-Sonata Cherry & Candied Sunflower with a Lemon Balm Dressing

Miso-Urfa Biber-Zucchini-Tokyo Turnip "Lasagna" with Grilled Aprium and a 
Sea Bean-Arame-Shiso Slaw finished with Truffle Oil and a Balsamic Reduction

Fava Bean & Fig Roasted Cauliflower-Spinach-Parsley Mofongo with Cashew Cheese Stuffed Grey Morel, a Chile-Saffron-Saskatoon Sauce & Fried Caper Berry

Pistachio Brittle Crusted Cacao-Coconut-Rose Tort and Fresh Strawberry Blueberry

Sounds pretentious (or elegant, depending on your perspective) as all get-out, doesn't it? (But I'm sorry, am I the only one who can never hear "fava bean" without immediately thinking of Hannibal Lecter?!) Anyway, point is it was all mighty tasty, but my favorites were absolutely the meal's bookends - the soup and dessert. That soup may not look like much, but it was the best soup I've ever had! We all agreed. (Which is quite an accomplishment on the chef's part, because who wants soup when it's 125º??) I want to weep when I think that I'll probably never get to taste it again - if only they'd ship me a barrel of it every month! (Or at least share the recipe!) The dessert, subbed with blueberries when it was discovered the strawberries had sold out, was as amazing as it looks and sounds. I can't imagine it tasting any better with the strawberries. So, high marks from us for the food, very high marks for the dessert, and stratospheric marks for the soup! 

After dinner Mike took us on a little tour of the neighborhoods between Sutra and the Watertown Inn before dropping us off there at 9pm, with promises from all of us that we won't let another decade go by before we get together again! We got back to our room in time to enjoy seeing the city lights all aglow as full darkness fell, but since we had another very full day ahead of us we crashed shortly thereafter. So I'm afraid the only scenes of Seattle nightlife you're going to get from me is the pretty neon mural in the hotel lobby! :-)

To view skies and skylines by day and by night, 
you know where to go!...

Happy Birthday wishes to you on Sunday, AdventureJo! :-)

Other PNW Road Trip Posts:

Day #1, Part 1: Butte


  1. I'm first! But this will definitely be a two part. I haven't read the whole thing so I'll still look forward to coming back to this one because I'll get to read more as well as comment.

    I'm on a strict lunch deadline because I'm interviewing an office engineer at 12:30 - which means some else to do the work!!

    I loved the George sign. How clever are they!! It's pretty cool to think that one man's profile would be so well known. It's not like a profile has that many details and you'd think lots of people would have similar profiles but it's him all right!

    That was interesting about the landscape near Columbia River being desert like. That is unexpected.

    That river is so beautiful. That blue color is almost unbelievable except that I've seen that color water in New Zealand but never before in the US. That's really something!! I'm so happy that you got to see it. I love it when they put up informational signs and I thought that was interesting about the original road.

    That fork in the road joke was AWFUL! But I loved it. I can see either you or BW coming up with that one. I never think of these clever things.

    I've been trying to look up the spelling of "segway" for 5 minutes and can't find it! How do you look up a word you can't spell? Anyway, your "segway" between the close of the columbia river story to the DOE Hanford site to Howard and Willow Jean was brilliant! No easy task.

    I'm so glad you were in the photo with them and I'm glad to see a photo of them. Probably have on line before but it was nice to see a current photo.

    This is where I've left off. I'd already seen some of those great quilt room photos but I'm looking forward to coming back to read the rest.

    1. Whoo-hoo! That happens infrequently enough to warrant a cheer! :-)

      I know, wouldn't it be fun to tell people - especially from out of state - that you're from George, Washington? :-) I think the only other presidential profile as recognizable (if not more so) than George's is Abraham Lincoln's.

      I knew eastern Washington was as dry as the western part is wet and lush, but that amount of aridity surprised me too (though not as much as it would have if Andrea hadn't compared it to AZ/NM). The blue river provides such a striking contrast with the landscape. (I can just imagine how beautiful the water is in NZ!)

      Aren't puns great - you can't help but love them even when they make you groan in agony. LOL! I have to take the credit/blame for that one. :-)

      And so now you know it's "segue," but I'll mention it here in case anyone else comes along and wonders the same thing. :-) I have a photo of BW with them too that's really good, but since he already appears in far more photos than I do, I figured I'd share the one of me with them. It was nice of them to pose for the pictures, as it was bloody hot out there in the early afternoon sun!

      Looking forward to your return visit - and speaking of Willow Jeane's quilt room, I hope you have a great time at Quilt University this weekend!

  2. two were certainly able to squeeze a lot into small time frames. I don't know where to start, so I'll cop out and just say I loved everything, even your "fork in the road."....awful, by the! It's almost bittersweet when I see Seattle again. I'm so glad you got to go and enjoy the night life. Good-looking grub, by the way.
    What a great room you were able to get, with such great views. Isn't Mt. Ranier something, when it decides to peek out from behind the clouds?
    Thanks for taking us on such a great journey ;-).....and there's still more to come!

    1. We did manage too, but by necessity - our trip was definitely front-end loaded with things to see and do! It wasn't till we'd been on Whidbey for a couple of days that we were able to slow our pace, though we enjoyed both the jam-packed days and the more lackadaisical ones! Ha, "fork in the road" still made ya laugh, though! ;-)~ I know what you mean, it's bittersweet for me to look at these photos and write about our experiences (and food!), as we long to repeat the vast majority of them, but it will be a while before we can. Maybe Jeremy and Nisha will end up back out there someday and you'll have an excuse to visit again - though I'm sure you much prefer that they and Kavi and Uma are on the east coast!

      Yes, Mt. Ranier is very dramatic - as are the Olympics and Cascade ranges, and what a treat to be able to stand on Whidbey and see them both by turning 180º! LOVED it!

      Thanks for coming along! And believe me, there is LOTS more to come!!! :-)

  3. Wonderful views and scenery.

  4. THANKS! That's so nice - and a public greeting too! It was worth a quick peek back

  5. So glad you stopped at the Gorge. It's just a small section you see there — you can camp and hike in this gorgeous natural area.

    You KNOW Howard Lyman? Yikes. I'd love to know what he said to you on that first meeting. We've got to have a chat about this.

    As for Sutra, I'm sorry you had to experience it on such a hot, uncomfortable night after an exhausting drive. The circumstances more than likely affected your experience and enjoyment of the food. At least you were able to appreciate it in spite of the negative conditions. Scapes, by the way refer to garlic scapes, or green garlic. They are the edible, curling tops of garlic plants. As for the rest — who knows!

    1. So glad you told us about it, for I'm certain we'd have driven right by it otherwise. I know in checking out the web site I linked to and looking at the maps that there's much more to it, and NEXT time, we'll spend more time exploring it. I wonder if the petrified gingkos are worth seeing? I love gingkoes.

      Did I not mention we'd be visiting them on our way to Seattle? Could have sworn I did. And yes, thanks to Visitara we've known the Lymans for 13 years, though we've only gotten to see them about half a dozen times. They'd come to visit Dave and Vistara almost every August when Howard was traveling so much on the lecture circuit, and one summer they stayed with us because D&V were going through some turmoil. That was in 2001, and I remember it well because just a few weeks later and only 2 weeks after 9-11, Howard flew Vistara and me out to VegSource Weekend and WorldFest L.A, where he was lecturing and had a Mad Cowboy info booth. Man was that ever awesomely fun!! We all stayed with Hans and Coby Siegenthaler in Northridge - amazing people and dear friends of the Lymans. And I got to meet and often chat with many of the movers and shakers in the vegan/animal rights world: John Robbins (whose book "The Food Revolution" was also instrumental in our vegan transformation), Dr. Colin Campbell, Dr. John McDougall (who became my doctor 6 years later), Jeff and Sabrina Nelson (of VegSource), the actor Jamie Cromwell, Joe Connolly and Colleen Holland (founders of VegNews, which back then was just a little newspaper publication), Peter Lamas (founder of Peter Lamas vegan beauty products)Rikki Rockett (vegan animal rights activist better known as the drummer for the metal band "Poison"), Casey Kasem, and many others (I even met Marla - long before her Vegan Feminist Agitator days - during Worldfest, since they had a Vegan Street booth there). Having only been vegan for a year at that point, you can imagine how star struck I was! (Now thanks to the blogosphere, there are all these new vegan celebrity "upstarts" and I know almost none of them! :-) Anyway, it was such a fun, inspiring, wonderful experience. And to be able to attend such a life- and peace-affirming event as WorldFest right after the horrors of 9-11 was a very healing experience too. I'm forever grateful to Howard and Willow Jeane for making that amazing weekend happen for us!

      As for what he said to me on that first meeting, for all his writing and speaking - and all the important things he has to say - Howard in his natural state is usually a man of few words. :-) I was reading "Mad Cowboy" (and "The Food Revolution") at the time, and he gave his talk there at Vistara's house to those of us Vistara had invited, and afterward BW and I were chatting with him and I mentioned having MS because it was learning about the "MS DIet" that had inspired us to give up cow and pig flesh and diary fat in '94. All Howard said to me at that point was, "Go vegan, Laurie." So I did the whole, "but my cheeeeeese" schtick, and all Howard said - in his deep, booming, I-shall-brook-no-arguments-and-suffer-no-fools voice - was, "GO VEGAN, LAURIE!" And then BW said, "Let's do it, La, let's go vegan!" and the rest, as they say, is history. :-) Finishing those two books really opened my eyes to the suffering of the animals and devastation to the environment, so there was simply no question that becoming vegan was the right and only thing for us to do, and it's icing on the cake that it's made such a difference in our health, particularly the MS.

    2. I was too long-winded in my comment (what a surprise! LOL), so Blogger cut me off. So here's the last bit :-) ...

      It was too bad that Sutra was such a physically uncomfortable experience, and I'm sure we'd have enjoyed the food even more if our environment had been more conducive to a relaxing meal. But it was really delicious and interesting! Thanks for the education on scapes! I could have looked all those things up, but given the daunting task of blogging about the vacation I've got as it is, I didn't bother. It was fun trying to identify some of the ingredients on my plate though - one of the surprises was the fried capers! Not a huge fan of capers generally, but those fried ones were really tasty! I think the guy explained what "mofongo" was during his little talk at the beginning, but I can't remember it now. Something Brazilian?? I took crap for notes this trip. :-)

  6. I don't think we could go anywhere without our GPS anymore. It's saved us a lot of wrong turns! Although, I guess that's part of the adventure of a road trip, too.

    Andrea certainly gave you a great pointer on where to stop! I LOVE finding places like that. It's always such a great break from the road and what a beautiful one it was! LOL @ your fork in the road photo. ha!

    Is that the Howard Lyman who wrote Mad Cowboy? It's one of the first vegan books I read and just loved it, so if that is him how wonderful that you know him! Willow Jeane's quilt room is fantastic. I'm not a crafter and would still be excited just to take a look at all those fabrics. How fun! She really does some gorgeous work. Speaking of gorgeous, what a food spread and a beautiful back yard to eat it in to boot? The sea glass suncatcher is really cool. I can't imagine how much work they put in that yard. It's amazing!

    Your hotel room looks very nice and that view is something! I would have been so excited to see the mountain.

    Your description of how Sutra was as far as the seating & heat goes makes me anxious just reading it (I'm not fond of stuffy, crowded places at all). Add the noise to that and I would have had a hard time staying there for the meal.... However, the food sounds quite fancy and delicious! Although, yes, I definitely think of Hannibal when I hear "fava beans". :) The soup does sound very good (hemp cream?!?!). Maybe they'll eventually put a cookbook out, then you can make barrels of it! I'm glad that the food was better than the ambience and comfort.

    I'm really enjoying your trip posts so far! Makes me want to start planning our next one!

    1. I know, we should probably have it though we just haven't traveled enough to justify it. Sure could have used it a few times in Missoula and WA, though! But you make a good point, sometimes getting "lost" ends up being the best part of the adventure! :-)

      She sure did, we never would have known to visit that spot if she hadn't and it was definitely a great leg-stretching break and starkly beautiful place to see. (And I'd have hated to have missed the "fork in the road!" LOL) There's been a bad wildfire very near there (in part of Gingko Petrified State Park, in fact), but the last I read about it last evening, they seemed to be getting it under control Lots of acres had burned and people had been evacuated - that's a big reason we decided to go out there when we did instead of during BW's end-of-August vacation when so much out here is on fire or at least very smoky. And since we were blessed with such wonderful weather, we definitely made the right choice.

      Is there more than one Howard Lyman?? :-) Yes, that's him (click on his name and it takes you to the Mad Cowboy web site - Willow Jeane's takes you to an interview with her that VegSource did several years ago). If you read my comment to Andrea (if you have time, lol), you can read my backstory about meeting them and will see that "Mad Cowboy" was one of the very first vegan books we read, too. Have you read his later book, "No More Bull!"? It's great too! (About 1/3 of it is recipes). I know what you mean about loving being in a quilt room like Willow Jeane's despite not being a quilter! I always enjoy going to quilt shops with Joanne, though I never go in them when on my own. Willow Jeane's quilts are just gorgeous - and I'm lucky enough to own one, since she brought me a beautiful rooster wall-hanging the year they stayed with us! I keep it inside my pantry door here at this house so it won't fade (too many east-facing windows in this kitchen!)

      As she described what the place was like when they first bought it, we couldn''t imagine how much work they put into that yard either! They also added a lovely sunroom addition to the back of the house. Their place is absolutely lovely, and they love living there in Ellensburg. (I have to admit, I wanted to steal her suncatcher and wrap it in that chicken quilt and make off with them! LOL)

      I was pretty claustrophobic stuffed into that hot corner in Sutra, I admit. And I was afraid my food photos would be awful, it was so dark there (as far from the windows as I could be without actually being in the kitchen part!) But they were okay, at least for flash photography. Thanks for your solidarity in the whole Hannibal Lecter/fava beans thing. :-) Maybe you're right about a future Sutra cookbook! I'd buy it just for that soup recipe - I can only imagine trying to find urfa and aprium (whatever those are!) in Sheridan! :-)

      So glad you're enjoying it, Molly! It's a lot of work (as you know), but it's fun to share. And I know what you mean about feeling inspired to plan your next trip - your posts about your NM trip had me chomping at the bit for this one! :-)

    2. How did I miss that Howard & Willow Jeane both had links to their names?! I'm on my lunch right now so I don't have much time, but wanted to reply a bit. It's very cool that he had such an influence on you & BW going vegan! I haven't read No More Bull but definitely will if the library has it as an e-book.

    3. Well, I do a lot of linking, and I'd outdone myself in the paragraph preceding the mention (and linking) of their names, so they probably didn't stand out! :-)

      I hope your library has it! (But why just in e-book format? Just curious!)

  7. Nice post... love those shots from your hotel window!

  8. beautiful shots! I love the tour, thanks!

  9. WoW! You DO know how to vacation! And how to write an awesome post about your adventures as well. Amazing photos too. Wonderful that you're having fun. Thanks for sharing! ;)

    1. We do our best! :-) Ironic as it sounds, we put a lot of work into our vacations! At least before - with all the planning and prep - and after, with all the unpacking and blogging! DURING, we just have fun and relax. I prefer the DURING portion. LOL) I'm glad you're enjoying these posts, and thank you very much for your kind compliments!

  10. I don't know where to begin with commenting.
    It has taken me forever to read all this - perhaps almost as long as for you to put it together. (I suspect the words come naturally fast to you?!) I've never been to that part of the country and am enjoying the rambling posts :)

    1. These posts do take a special kind of devotion from my blog readers, and I really appreciate your taking the time to visit them! :-) Sometimes the words flow very quickly, and its choosing and editing the photos and finding the links that takes the most time. And at other times, I just don't feel like writing and struggle with that part. The post I just published was like that, and though I had the photos up there for a few days, I had trouble with the writing portion - little as there was this time - till yesterday for some reason. I try not to force it if I don't have to, as with most things it's a much more enjoyable process that always turns out better if I don't. (Btw, I think you'll really like today's post - tons of real eye-candy photos, but not nearly as much to read!) :-)

      We'd never been to this particular part of the country either, so it was very fun to visit - and to re-live through blogging about it! So thanks for coming along on my rambles. ;-)

  11. Part 2:
    You didn't say how many years of veganism you're celebrating this month but I know it's many so happy "veganniversary" to you and BW. You've done a phenomenal job eating and teaching vegan!

    A "quilter exraordinaire" is what I'd call Willow Jean! But thank you for putting me in that category! I just e:mailed Carl the Architect some more information about the Quilt Studio, so seeing Willow Jean's sewing room again was all the more fun. I hadn't noticed that the ironing board pad had that same fun fabric. So obviously she made that herself. I'd like a big square one like that too!

    You had described that spread she served you but the picture is even prettier than I had imagined. I so want one of those scones RIGHT NOW! But I'll settle for the recipe. They look pretty easy to make so maybe I'll give them a try!

    I loved their pretty backyard that is PACKED with folliage and that fun bird house on the top right was really neat!

    My goodness that Watertown Inn room is amazing. I'd expect you paid several hundred for that pretty room. I've never stayed in a room with so many windows. I'm happy that your military discount made it affordable! And those views. I never did see Mt. Rainier through the fog on our trip and you had that great view from your room. Amazing!

    Really! Biggest Fan?? and a Fork in the road all in the same post - you were in a mood weren't you!! I'm loving it though. But wait - now "clueless in Seattle". You really were being punny when you wrote that weren't you!! :-)

    I'm glad you already described your food because the menu is very obscure and I can't tell what half of that is. But I'm glad you liked it. Maybe since you raved about it so much on your post, Sutra will send you the recipe for the soup. I'm just saying...

    1. Actually, I did! :-) Read that paragraph again and you'll figure out that this is our lucky 13th. Thanks for the compliment! It's been great, and gets better all the time.

      You're definitely in that category. I'm glad her sewing room has provided some ideas and inspiration as you start designing your Cranberry Lodge quilt studio! Exciting stuff.

      Tell you what, I'm not even hungry but I'd fill my plate with a bit of everything from that spread right now and eat every morsel! So, so delicious. I think you'd love those scones. Maybe we'll make her breakfast casserole while you're here if you want.

      Would you believe that with the military discount that king sized room with the amazing view was just $149 (plus tax)?? I think that's amazing for a hotel like that, with that great location, during the summer. Our motel in Port Angeles was quite a bit more expensive and it was pretty dodgy! They've got you by the short hairs up there if you're needing to catch the early ferry to Victoria, as we were...

      Hey, I was on a roll there! :-)

      I thought about asking Sutra for their soup recipe, but will wager that the answer is "not tellin'." So sad!

  12. Wow! What a big day you had there...! I am just in awe of your photo snapping/detail recording skills.
    Your friend Willows' quilts and quilting room were just lovely. And her garden too. And you like to cross-stitch. I do too! And the Columbia River Gorge :) I haven't been over that far east, but it looks just as amazing.
    And what an experience at Sutra...I'm so sorry it was uncomfortably hot and so loud :(
    After a day like that, simply enjoying the neon people on the wall in the lobby is good enough! What a fun, funky wall art - I got a kick out of that one :-)

    1. Hey, Maya!
      Thank you for your compliment, but I just point the camera at all the photogenic goodies! :-) Speaking of which, I'm glad you enjoyed Willow Jeane's quilt and lovely garden. How fun we have x-stitching in common! Though I have to admit, blogging replaced it in my life - I do hope to get back into it this winter, but it's been years - hope I remember how!

      That eastern part of WA reminded us a lot of much of WY. At least the folks in Seattle need only cross the Cascades if they long for hot, dry sunshine!

      I thought the Watertown's lobby mural was very playful and fun too. And you're right, those were just the kind of people - bright and quiet - I was in the mood for after that long day and all the bedlam in Sutra! LOL


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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