|Before the storm|
When did they start naming winter storms? Hercules was much hyped here, but only amounted to 4 or 5 inches of snow for us. Although the snow is light and fluffy and easy to shovel, the air is bitterly cold and will stay that way through tomorrow. Actually, this is the perfect snow for cleaning rugs. Just throw them out in the snow, cover them up, then whisk broom the snow away. Voila! Remarkably clean rugs!
|The Space Needle|
We had a great Christmas, though beforehand I wasn't sure we would. We flew out to Seattle on Christmas day. Despite a 3-hour delay at JFK, we made it there in time to cook dinner in Clara's apartment, joined by Pete's brother Joe who lives in Olympia. Clara had done all the grocery shopping ahead of time, and I had mailed what seemed like a million boxes of gifts and cookies the week before. Joe brought his beautiful German short-haired pointer Belle, and Clara was taking care of her boyfriend's dog, Lucy, and we ate dinner sitting on pillows on the floor around a low table. It was nice and cosy and dinner was delicious.
Clara gave us a driving tour of the city, which is very industrial -- lots of shipping in and out of Puget Sound. There are very distinct neighborhoods with their own cute downtowns. Instead of rowhouses and brownstones like you find in New York, there are lots of little Craftsmen houses on tiny plots of land and lots of 50s era apartment houses along the major avenues.
|Pete and Clara at the Locks|
On Friday we drove the length of Whidby Island on our way to Vancouver, British Columbia. After stopping at a big thrift store (where I scored a great Harris Tweed jacket), we did some site seeing at Deception Pass.
|Pete and Clara on the Bridge|
The crossing into Canada was painfully slow -- almost an hour! I remember the days when we would just whiz into Montreal, no passport needed. Not anymore! We stayed at a little boutique hotel right downtown, ate lots of great meals (Dungeness Crab! Yum!) and did lots of site seeing including the incredible Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, the Beatty Center for Biodiversity (also at UBC), the Harbor Center (a lookout tower a la the Space Needle in Seattle), Stanley Park, the Seabus and North Vancouver, the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park, and Stanley Park.
|Museum of Anthropology|
|Beautiful Baskets at the Museum|
|Kiwi, an Australian Parrot at the Bloedel Conservatory|
|The View from Harbor Center|
While Seattle was sunny some of the time, Vancouver was swathed in clouds and very rainy. Pete wanted a glimpse of Mount Baker, but it wasn't to be. We did see Ranier twice while in Seattle. We took the red-eye home in time for New Year's Eve, which we promptly slept through. So now its a new year with lots of stuff to look forward to. Let's all make the most of it.