Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Seattle, Olympic National Park & Portland, OR

Welcome back to "the chronicles of USA, 2007" (installation 3). So after all the gluttonous loving from our favorite canucks and the incredible aventure of whale watching with Capt. Ron we had the pleasant surprise of landing in Seattle, WA. Seattle is rad.
Katie, the best nurse in Seattle, brought us to the Seattle market, which is called Pike's place. We had lots of fun walking around and shopping. We bought some great prints - which in a remarkable effort of never-seen-before completion skills have actually been framed and HUNG - yeah. i was weirded out by that. We also framed a print from Cairo - not a bad turnaround and much more normal.

So the best part of Pike's Place is the fish stall, where the fish dudes all dressed in orange rubber outfits throw a fish across the display to all of the would-be buyers. This would-be-buyer is meant to catch the fish. The rules are simple. The outcomes vary. It's really quite humorous to watch... which is why i suppose the crowd is huge. The customer is put on the spot to perform. Oh it's all in good fun. Seattle is all in good fun.

After loving seattle for a bit (the food, the billiards, the beer, the company...) we headed off to Olympic National Park with fills up most of the Olympic Peninsula. Olympic National Park is host to stunning beaches, temperate rain forests and loads of animals. It was such a great experience to hike around and camp at these awesome spots. We had ridiculous amounts of fun.

After the friendly rangers at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center gave us some guidance, we decided to stop for a short hike along a nice trail that brought us to the Marymere Falls.Afterwards we did the two short trails around the Hoh Rainforest Vistor Center (Map). This is where we encountered many Dr. Seuss trees.
Along the way, one of the most exciting parts of the adventure was bald eagle spotting. this was a great spot by peppe. later on there was an even greater one by katie (as she drove.... very impressive). Seeing a bald eagle is a very, very cool thing.We ended the day with just enough time for a sunset beer at Rialto Beach. It's hard to describe the roughness of this beach, but if you can imagine immense trunks of driftwood sprayed on the dark sands with an unbelievable rough sea, you can start to get the picture. It is a very special spot. And then sitting around the campfire in the rain, roasting marshmellows and bragging about our waterproof gear was also fabulous.... We started the next day by driving out to the tip of the coast and grabbing some lunch. We finally pulled into Portland, OR around 9pm to the welcoming face of our old friend, Morgan. It was fun catching up and chatting over some nicely brewed beers. Though we didn't have much time in Portland, what we did have we spent almost exclusively in Powell's Bookstore - the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. Possibly, in my totally uninformed opinion, the coolest place in Portland.the next part was the hard part... parting with katie. it sucked.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Gola di Fara San Martino

I wanted to start this post off with a great clip from Creature Comforts. We were at some friends for dinner this week and started talking about this hilarious show by the creator of wallace and gromit... it's humor just speaks for itself. this is one of my favorite clips:

Last weekend we headed out of town for a little nature escape. We got to Cansano around dinner time on saturday. Here i am doing a little knitting (more on that to come), which i've found to be a rather challenging endeavor... but am still finding the patience to push on. Sunday we woke up early (even earlier with the time change!) and headed to fara san martino for a bit of a nature walk.
it was our first time to this specific part of the National Park of the Majella, and it was a really pleasant surprise. In the area there is evidence of prehistoric settlements with the Grotta Porca Arcangeli and artifacts from the bronze age. The town, Fara San Martino is located around the tenth century monastery, San Martino in Valle, founded by Bendectine monks, which is now being unearthed after it was destroyed in a landslide in 1846.

the hike brought us up to this view where we greedily ate a sandwich and then turned around to head back down. hopefully we'll be exploring more of the region in the weeks to come. at the moment i am really loving abruzzo and all of it's rustic charm...