Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sleeping In Seattle ... and Other Places

Loading up for a road trip to visit family in Seattle.  The future Chef wanted to see her older cousins before returning to Rhode Island to resume her university studies.  Starting year THREE!  Wow!
The distance between Hollister in central California and Seattle, Washington is approximately 750 miles = 1200 kilometers.  On the way north we over nighted in Ashland, Oregon, about half way in between here and there.

We had to look long and hard to find one of our favorite fast food places, "In N Out!"  Finally, shortly before we hit the Oregon border we found one!  Here we are having a late lunch on our first day.  There is NO "In N Out" in Oregon or in Washington State.
What they DO have in Oregon however are gas station attendants!  You cannot pump your own gas there.  Out pops the "man" who fills your tank and washes your window!  I had almost forgotten that luxurious treatment!

Ralle always enjoys checking in to the hotels and testing the beds where we  are staying.  Traveling is, after all, an arduous, tedious, and tiring business.  Good beds are important!  As opposed to our last long trip to Texas, the future Chef did most of the driving.

Taking a walk along the Knife River where Ralle got to cool his toes and have a refreshing drink of river water.  A nice break from riding in the car.  We did try to catch pictures of the "Welcome to Oregon" or "Welcome to Washington" or "Welcome to California" signs...... missed every single one;(

Crossing the river between Oregon and Washington on day two!  We got stuck in traffic heading in to Seattle...... pooped but happy, we finally arrived at the Quist house.

JQ had prepared a delectable Seafood Bouillabaisse for us, we were really hungry and MAN was it .....Mmmmm good?  Yes, it was!

A bright and early Ralle walk the first Seattle morning and every Seattle morning thereafter, heading down some quaint allies on our way to feed Felix, the guinea pig!  JQ was in charge of feeding him  his breakfasts and dinners while his "Mom" was away.

The future Chef was invited by JQ to visit a chocolate factory by the name of Theo, short for the latin name of the cacao tree (Theobroma) in Seattle.  She had NO idea there was so much to know about chocolate.  Tasting and shopping was fun too!

There was a lot to learn in this virtual Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory.

One of the evenings JQ had invited friends, colleagues, and some neighbors to his "Personal Pub" for a cocktail party!  The Guest Mixologist had an opportunity to test her skills behind the antique british bar  in this swedish — icelandic basement, in this nearly 90 year old home, built in the norwegian section of Seattle.

Here she is mixing and pouring, shaking and stirring, while her Uncle proudly looks on.  The guests were charmed by her shining, smiling, happy personality!  As well as her mixing skills.

Ralle was a hit!  Ralle is ALWAYS a hit!

JQ and his beautiful wife invited us to lunch in the city!  The future Chef picked the restaurant. Seatown!  One of several fabulous restaurants owned by Chef Tom Douglas!  Ooooh Fabulous!  What to choose?  There were Lobster BLTs, Oyster Stew, Omelet stuffed with leek served on a bed of tapenade with a side of hash brown potatoes like no other!  Even the toast was amazing.  Thank you JQ. It was awesome!
Ralle napped next to a yellow lab, tied to JQ's chair during our sidewalk lunch.  All was well until a german shepherd went by.  Ralle did NOT like him!  So flew up, barked and was ready to defend his flock!  While JQ hung on to his chair fearful of going flying!  Too bad we did not get any pictures of THAT!

Vi'Skaly's Ralph Lauren is a magnet wherever we go!  Young and old they all flock to him!

The future Chef and current Starbucks Barista is seen here posing, outside the ORIGINAL Starbucks Coffee Shop!

We cruised through Pikes Market.  Packed with shoppers and delectable goods and food alike.

Produce, seafood, clothing, you name it... you can find it here ..... a truly amazing place!

A Seattle Highlight!

During our visit we had an "assistant Ralle walker"  who quickly learned to "share" his charge with lot's of people who wanted a nose nuzzle and a cuddle!

There was cheese to taste,

pizza to make,

pizza to eat,

and favorites to hang out with.

The host and hostess look really good walking their visitor, don't you agree?
The host and hostess are most likely still vacuuming white hair, don't you think?

Playtime in a neighborhood park where remnants of an old norwegian church still remain.

Homeward bound! The "polar bear" is posing with a brown bear outside our hotel in Grants Pass, where we feasted on Chinese Take Out......

and rested a bit before hitting Rogue Creamery, for tasting and shopping for truly unique and fabulous cheese.  Monica Oldsberg of Oldsberg's Ost,  you should come!

THE  prime place for handmade artisan cheese on the US West Coast!

Oregonzola or Rogue River Blue?  A hard choice to make.  When it is hard to choose, get both!  Right?  Then there is Triple Cream Cheese from Cow Girl Creamery and cheese from France from Italy from .... ???  No, no Westerbotten ost I am sad to say;-(

Next to the creamery there was a small winery with tasting  opportunity and yet another wonderful place, Lilliebelle Farms, where chocolatier Jeff Shepherd reins.  His Lavender Caramel dipped in velvety chocolate, sprinkled with Fleur de Sel..... I can not begin to tell you...

Back in the car for another long ride home. Filled with memories and lot's of good food.
Grateful for the wonderful time....

grateful for chocolate and grateful for cheese.  Most of all grateful for our FAMILY!


  1. What an adventure! I like the picture of the polar bear and brown bear together--one is almost as big as the other! Oh and tasting fancy chocolate...yeah, baby!

  2. Mmmmmmm, mycket god mat ser det ut som. Och choklad, det kan man inte vara utan bara.
    Vad är det för ras på Ralle?

  3. Helt rätt choklad MÅSTE man ha! Eller hur?
    Ralle AKA Ralph Lauren, (från Kennel Vi'Skaly's i närheten av Lund i Skåne ) är en Pyreneerhund och skulle nog tycka om att vakta dom där fåren som Din vovve gillar att valla! Eftersom vi inte har några får, så vaktar han lyckligt oss i stället. På ett väldigt fint och mjukt sätt må jag tillägga. Vi älskar denna ras. Detta är vår 3e Pyrre!