More of the Tulip Fields

25 04 2009

 Just another attempt at the fields. Oh, so beautiful!

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a closeup of a pink and white tulip

I think I could drive up every single weekend to see the changes. The apple trees, the cherry trees, the magnolias…oh, the magnolias. And of course, the tulips. Spring in the Northwest is spectacular!

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a whole field of the pink and whites

 We saw some people ducking down or sitting down in the fields. Jessica was very big on having just her head pop up so it looked like she was swimming in the fields!

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she's swimming!

I love when the colors of the fields come together. It’s almost overwhelming when two contrasting colors come together- especially the red & yellow ones.

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pink to purple

You aren’t supposed to walk through the rows, and most of the time people don’t care, but occassionally… In this particular field people were doing all kinds of crazy jumps and wacky stuff. We were tame.

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steph & jess

 One of my favorite sights is the random colored tulip in the midst of a color block. I’ve always been an odd duck, maybe that’s why I love them!

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tall, oddly shaped red thing amongst the pretty yellow

 Five girls took this trip. The littlest of them was way more interested in trying to pick a flower or two. She didn’t succeed, but not without trying!

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ducking into the fields

 There is nothing more breathtaking than when you clear a small hill and see the “POP” of color. The red is by far the most dramatic.

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red tulip fields across the green (alfalfa maybe?)

Up close and personal, they still don’t disappoint.

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red field

 Red + mountains. Not too shabby.

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more red tulips

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two redheads amongst the red fields

 Sorry, it’s so hard to stop taking and posting pictures.

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rows among rows

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red leading to purple

Most of the daffodils are gone now, but a few remain in some of the shady gardens. This is a “blush” daffodil. It may look like a standard orange and white guy, but it’s actually a lovely shade of salmon-ey pink. Reminds me of “blush and bashful” from Steel Magnolias. Anyway, it’s a rare flower, and so beautiful!

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blush daffodil

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Skagit Valley Tulips

22 04 2009

You guys have heard me complain about how long this winter has been. A lot. I mean, we got more than two FEET of snow in the city this year. That just doesn’t happen. But it does mean excellent things for our bulb plants. They love a super cold winter!

On the way home from Canada, we stopped off in La Conner to check out the tulip fields.

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contemplative man in the daffs

Because the cold has been hanging on a little longer than normal, the fields weren’t in full force yet, but some of the manicured gardens were beautiful and the daffodil fields were still in their prime.

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happy woman in the daffs

It was such a warm weekend, we were expecting the fields to be out and crazy, but I guess we needed a couple more of the warm days. Maybe next weekend is the weekend to hit them up!

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one closed yellow amongst many open red tulips

I liked this garden shot though. The cherry blossoms are just finishing up in this garden, but you can still see them. I’m loving all the chartreuse and pink from most of our cherry trees right now.

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manicured bulb garden with a cherry tree

The sunlight was so nice for capturing photos.

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indulgent macro

And I couldn’t get enough…I’m loving using the big camera!

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i like that you can see the spider web

Finally I asked someone to take my picture so I don’t bore my blog readers with pictures of flowers.

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kim in the tulips

As we were heading back to town, we happened past one field that gets really good afternoon sun. By next weekend, there will be almost 15 MILES of these fields up in Skagit Valley. Beautiful!

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pink tulip, red tulip, yellow daffodil fields





Canada Done Texas Style

21 04 2009

I was lucky enough to crash Marisa & Ashley’s vacation in Canada and joined them in Vancouver for the weekend. I took the train up on Friday morning. It was misty and chilly, but a beautiful train ride up the coast. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend travelling by train. You see so much more and someone else is doing the driving!

By the time I got there, the blue skies were coming out and the temperatures were really warming up

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the maple leaf flag behind a maple tree

I got there just about lunch time and everyone was hungry. We hopped over to Fritz European Fry House to sample one of my favorite things in Canada. Poutine.

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the menu at Fritz. french fries with a side of french fries!

Now, get your mind out of the gutter. This stuff is faaaaaantastic! It’s french fries, topped with cheese curds, and then smothered with brown gravy. It’s a Québécian dish that some have claimed as the national dish of Canada. You can sometimes find it in the states, but it rarely tastes right. Seems like something Texans would be all over. Marisa’s was topped with a homemade ragu sauce as well.

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classic poutine. im drooling looking at this picture!

From there, we needed a walk. We headed down Granville Street and crossed over the bridge to go to Granville Island. This guy followed us much of the way. BC is full of bald eagles. Scott thinks they go there for the free healthcare.

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barry the bald eagle following us

Vancouver is one of those cities that just can’t be compared to any other. Beautiful steel and glass high rise buildings with a back drop of snow peaked mountains and beautiful water everywhere. It really is stunning.

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looking back at vancouver from granville island

Once we crossed the bridge we wandered Granville Island. It is a big artist’s community with many galleries and a huge public market.

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public market and blue skies

Marisa decided to chase the goose to see what he did. The series of pictures are hilarious. The goose was not a fan. At all.

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goose is getting on high alert

The flowers were beautiful as always, there were huge hydrangeas everywhere. I always have to get a picture of them when I can.

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self indulgent hydrangea shot

On the way back, we took a little water taxi for 2CAD (about $1.80 US) back across False Creek to the mainland. Great way to get a feel for everything Vancouver has to offer.

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barnacles on the pier legs

Back to the city side, we hung out on the beach stroll that leads to Stanley Park. This tree atop a building baffles me. Where do it’s roots go?

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how does the tree withstand wind storms?

Vancouver is the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympics. You’ll start seeing this symbol everywhere. I figured it was created for the olympics, but learned it was actually a symbol of the indigenous Inuit tribe. It is called an Inusksuk and is said to represent northern hospitality and friendship. This one is on English Bay.

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kim and the inukshuk

The views were impossible to take in by camera, but I tried…

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the foothills across english bay

We stole this idea from someone else on the beach walk, I like to see how little we are against the big tree.

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where's waldo...er...ashley?

The girls did too…

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she is woman, hear her roar

After our adventures in the park, relaxing in the sun, and a little shopping, we were wandering back to the hotel and I realized the cast from Twilight was probably staying at this hotel on our block. We then spotted a pack of teenagers on the corner with their phones and cameras ready. Marisa and Ashley are die hard fans of Twilight…they might have convinced me to read the series. Well, they are also die hard fans of the boy who played one of the characters…soooooooo…we set up shop. Across the street. Cameras ready. Waiting. For Edward. No, definitely not stalkers.

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stalk...er....fans of twilight 🙂

We gave up and made our way out for the night. We had dinner at a great brewpub in Gas Town with intentions of completing their trifecta of karaoke. Alas, the place we tried was not doing karaoke on Saturday nights :(. So we wandered around town and wound up back at Fritz. We got some poutine to round out the trip.

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last dose of poutine before heading back to the states

It was a really fun trip! Next up…the tulip fields of the Skagit Valley!





Friends in Town!

16 04 2009

YAY! I love when people come to visit. Marisa and her (my new) friend Ashley are doing a tour of the Pacific Northwest and made a stop in Seattle for a few days this week. We had so much fun getting to visit and always love quality time with friends. It was a whirlwind of a few days, I didn’t capture pics of everything, but we did go to Snoqualmie Falls! The rivers are starting to run high, it means snow is melting, YAAAAAAAAAY! More proof of spring.

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beautiful snoqualmie falls

That night we went over to the Space Needle to take in the view from the top. First day the clouds parted in a few days, it was nice!

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the only tulips in town that have popped. more please!

The image of me getting this picture is funny. But so worth it.

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ashley and marisa at the space needle

We planned our trip up the space needle to be sure and catch the sunset over the Olympic Mountains. We didn’t miss it!

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sunset starting out west

The light was really nice. We were really hoping to catch a glimpse of Mt. Rainier, but she was not going to show her face.

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marisa, ashley, downtown buildings, puget sound

We got to keep watching the sunset. I snapped it JUST before it dipped behind the olympic mountains.

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spectacular sunset

After watching the sunset we had dinner on Queen Anne and did some karaoke. Oh my. If you haven’t gone to karaoke with Ashley & Marisa, I HIGHLY recommend it. Ashley got a very bored crowd yelling, singing along and dancing with her rendition of Dolly’s ‘9 to 5.’ And Marisa? Brought down the house with her Janis Joplin ‘Piece of My Heart.’ Scott and I were in awe. I’m a back up dancer, never going solo. EVER.

The ladies left today to head up to Canada. I’m hoping to go up and meet them for the weekend. So glad to spend some time with them, I hope they don’t mind me crashing their vacation!!

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the mist from the snoqualmie falls was intense





Summer Streets in Seattle

15 04 2009

Last week, the city hosted “summer streets” in our neighborhood. The thought is to get people out in their neighborhood, meeting neighbors, performing art if they feel inclined, and visit some of the local businesses also hosting various displays of art. The 22 block long “party” meant all of the streets are blocked off to vehicle traffic, allowing for everyone to meander down the streets. Ours was the first of six celebrations to happen over the next few months.

We walked from our house over to the end of the block party. Walking through our neighborhood is like a treasure hunt right now. So many great spring surprises! The late winter has kept the daffodils around a little longer than usual, I’m loving it!

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our neighbor's daffs and not quite bloomed tulips

We weren’t really sure what to expect of our art walk/summer street party. We wandered down the streets to see what was happening.

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someone tap dancing on her homemade dance floor

Some guys brought huge boards and did spray paint art real time. I forgot to snap a picture of the finished product when we were walking back home. Is that supposed to be Xavier McDaniel from the now defunct Seattle SuperSonics?

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some spray paint art of seattle icons i suppose

The kids really enjoyed it. It was very cute to see how tentative so many of them were about walking in the middle of the street. Many of them when put down out of their stroller gave funny looks and made a beeline for sidewalk where they’ve been told over and over and over they should be. I don’t think these little guys had an issue with it though.

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a dragon and his buddies making sidewalk chalk art

It is impossible–impossible–to go to any kind of event like this in Seattle and not see someone like these guys.

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expose your clothes! yes, he's riding in a dryer down the street.

While I commend their efforts to encourage folks to use less energy, I have to agree with my friend Ciara. She said it best…”I don’t like crunchy clothes.” 🙂 There are some things I would have a hard time giving up. Maybe I’ll turn off my computer and tv earlier every night to make up for it…

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be fearless, go dryerless!

There were definitely a lot of people out and about! It was really fun to our neighbors and friends running around. Not so summery in terms of weather, but at least it wasn’t raining! I’m really glad we went to explore. We had fun visiting with friends while roaming the neighborhood.

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neighbors enjoying the nice evening

On a side note, I’ve been prepping our garden again this year for vegetables. I decided to start my own plants from seed this year. They’ve been living in this happy little dome for the last few days and really sprouted. Science is fun! So far, it looks like we are going to have a really nice crop despite all of the seeds I already planted were dug up by the insane crows that swarm the neighborhood every day. Our animal kingdom could prove challenging to our happy plants this year.

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happy veggie and herb starts





So Many Ladies, So Little Time

9 04 2009

Haha. My post title makes me giggle and hum the tune to “I’m just a gigolo by David Lee Roth…” terrible, I know. On to the real business of this post…

I am so lucky! I got to go down to San Antonio for a weekend to celebrate all the new little (not really little at all) lives. I met some new ones and got to love on some older ones and rubbed the little warm houses of the up and coming ones. So many babies in San Antonio! Better be careful of drinking that water.

I was excited to see such a difference in Mel & Shar.

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Mel & Shar - December 2008

They are certainly more beautiful! I love my sisters.
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Mel & Shar - April 2009

There were so many people to visit. As you can imagine Abby was toward the top of that list. She is so fun and full of enormous amounts of energy. The first night we all went swimming where Abby showed us her dunking skills. Then we hung out on the dining room floor watching everyone else cook dinner.

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Abby visiting with "AnKim" on the dining room floor. It felt like I was hanging out with the girls!

I think she has officially named her two maternal aunts. Throughout the weekend she would go around the room: “Hi Mimi” *pause* “Hi Pop pop” *pause* “Hi Nilfa” *pause* “Hi AnKim” *pause* “Hi Momma” *pause* “Hi Dadda.”

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aunt nilfa joined us on the floor for girl time

I think I said “Hi Abby” at least 100 times this weekend. It doesn’t get old to this AnKim.

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even momma came to join us for girl time. uhoh, who's cooking dinner again?

I love spending time with my parents when I go home. I got a little tiny slice of quiet time with them before running around town for the day. That back deck is incredible. I could stay out there all the time.

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the queen bee and me

We even got to keep Abby on Saturday night while her parents enjoyed an adult night in Austin. She was a lot of fun that night. We got some good laughs while Mimi played “crash.”

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one who thinks she's the queen bee

 I even got to hang out with a few of my girlfriends. It’s always so great to see the people who’ve known you the longest. I love my girls!

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bad photography - blurry pic of casey & jess

Brooke shared with us the challenges of having two little ones at home. Selfishly, I loved it. It meant I got to meet the beautiful diva named Carlyle!

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wonder whose eyes carlyle got?

Allison made the big drive all the way to town to have a quick dinner too. It was so fun to have a little girlie time.

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carlyle and al (er...karmonocky)

Allison filled me on her recent trip to Sea World with Reid. I tried to teach him a few ski show tricks or shamu show signals. I need to remember to show him where to sit so he can shake the sea lion “Clyde’s” flipper.
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I realized there were no boys in any of my pictures. I’m sorry dad…how did I miss that? So many pretty girls I guess. I had to borrow one from Cheryl of Reid. Reid has this funny little grunty like laugh. His mom, Al calls it his “courtesy laugh” – it cracks me up. Typical. The guy just grunting a laugh to make you think he’s paying attention and into your silly little games. We’re onto you little Reid.

What a cool weekend. I hope when I come back in July to meet my two new nieces I get to do it all over again x 2. Thanks everyone for dropping their plans to hang out with an old bat from Seattle (whose toes got to be warm for 4 whole days straight!)