Monday, March 31, 2008

Da Big 71!

Last weekend, our friends Diane and Mary came down from Victoria to help me celebrate "Da Big Number 71" and what a fine time we had, with good food and wine to go around.

On Friday we went to what has become my traditional birthday spot in Seattle – the Ipanema Grill – a Brazilian churrascaria where they bring around skewers of various meats that have been on the grill and slice you off a portion.

Then we went over to Anthony's to sit, looking out over Puget Sound and enjoying a margarita (Mary) or a Melontini (me), etc.

The gifts that D & M brought along fit me to a "T" – wine and chocolate and exotic spices, and birthday dinner consisted, of course, of my favorites (since I cooked them myself) crab-and-smoked-trout-cakes and a scallop creation.

The HIGH-light ;0) of the evening was the video which my grandson created for me, using his Pinnacle software and scouring his mother's old videotapes and photos to create some remembrances for me.

The LOW-light ;0( of the evening was the birthday card my loving daughter got for me – enough to scare hell out of anybody -- the caption inside said "Every birthday party needs a clown!"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Our Columbia Gorge Adventure

I know, "Da Big Trip" is over, but we can still have adventures . . .

Last weekend, our grandson had his friends over for a sleep-over (as part of his 10th birthday party) and we thought it the better part of wisdom to get out of town.

Heading east along the Columbia River on the Washington side, just above Portland, you cannot help but gaze in awe at the Gorge, then look back at Mt. Hood, here seen through a river-side vineyard. We spent the night at the Lyle Hotel, owned and operated by a former chef at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and his wife.

On the way back, we stopped by the Big River Grill in Stevenson, WA where we found two interesting things -- a line-up of local brews to delight any beer drinker around and perhaps the best picture of the trip -- in, of all places, the Men's Room!