Tuesday, June 29, 2004

More Japanese Garden Pictures

(Trying them 500 pixels wide to see what looks best!)

Seattle Japanese Garden

This past Sunday we took family and friends to the Seattle Japanese Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum. Not only is it a calm, beautiful place, but it sure is fun to feed the fish. For fifty cents you get a bit of fun. There were turtles and a duck who also shared in the meal.

See the turtle in the upper left corner?

The flowers were beautiful as well!

We also took them up on the upper deck of Husky Stadium to see the view.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Fremont Fish-A-Q

Last weekend was the annual people powered fest, Fremont Solstice Festival, here in Seattle. Larger than past years, it was quite a feat to stroll by all the booths. We were most entranced with the wild barbeques firing up for a contest. Here was my favorite.

True to it's tie-dye roots, this dog came dressed for the fair!

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Last Full Day - Back to Amsterdam

Enough meetings! Enough sitting inside when the weather is beautiful. My colleague John Smith and I headed back to Amsterdam for one last visit to Pompadour chocolates and a bit of walking around Amsterdam. Lovely, warm day so we took the long route to the shop.

We strolled out to the Prinsengracht canal from the train station.

Stopped for a drink

Listened to the bells chime at the Westerkerk and then, finally, the reward...

A chocolate covered raspberry chiffon cake and a chocolate and creme caramel cake. We split them. I had intended to take a photo of the centers, but became consumed with consuming until poof, they were all gone.

More from The Netherlands

I'm back home now, with a bit of time to review and edit pictures. Here are a few more. Sunday was meeting day, complete with Indonesian take out from a Shell gas station eaten in the parking lot of a fancy-pants hotel. Travel improvisation at it's best. Sunday, after two presentations at a day long meeting, a bunch of us hopped the tram out to Scheveningen to dine on the beach. We came across this great sculpture as we scoped out restaurants.

A row of seafood restaurants line the beach, from hip to simple. We snagged a table for 12 outside and proceeded to have a great dinner. Two of the gang opted for the special, which was definitely NOT seafood!

Of course, when in the Netherlands, one must eat frites!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Pickles, Pompadour, Pets and Passer-bys

Day 2 in Amsterdam

After spending the morning working (preparing presentations for Infonortics VC Conference), eating a mighty fine lunch which included some amazing pickle-stuffed-olives from Spain...

being entertained by Flopsy, the smartest bunny I've ever met...

we hit central Amsterdam in search of chocolates.

We found some mighty fine choccies at Pompadour chocolate. The dark chocolate filled with raspberries, a touch of ground almonds and a drop of liqueur was...well... sublime! (They are creamier and richer than the Puccini chocolates.) Mmmmm...

John could not wait to eat his, but he promised he really was bringing them home to his wife!

I love looking in shop windows. Holy cheeses!

We had a lovely dinner, complete with singing waitstaff at Pasta & Basta, ducked into the Appel musuem for an aperitif of modern art...

then strolled back to the station to catch a bus back home.

Along our walk our hosts rescued two lost German campers, looking for the campground that was NOT in the center of the city, and walked by a restaurant with uncleared tables and marveled that nearly EVERY setting had their olives left on their plates (what, bad olives?).

A lovely evening, all the way around. Great company, chocolate and town.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Best Chocolates In Amsterdam?

Last fall I was through Amsterdam on my way to Almaty, Kazakhstan. My friend Erik van Bekkum took me to Puccini Chocolates, Staalstraat 17. Where else shall I go in pursuit of a fine chocolate experience in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam with Damn Fine Weather

Arrived at 7:30 am into Schipol, trained into Centraal station. Packed up the bags in a locker and we headed in the general direction of our 10am meeting at Den Waag in the Niewmarket (I know I spelled that wrong. No sleep since Wednesday night.) The weather is balmy, humid and the sky is clear except for some brillian puffy clouds. As we sat at the outdoor part of the market, a really loud sound decended. Soon dust was blowing into everything as an ambulance helicoper landed on the square. Two emergency medical people jumped out, popped into waiting police cars where they then penetrated deeper into the small streets of Amsterdam. The copter shut down and crowd gathered around to look at it. In the US? Land a copter in a public square? Let people get close to and LOOK at it! NEVER. About 20-30 minutes later the cop cars brought someone, loaded them into the copter and he covered our eyes and tea cups while the big yellow bird took to the sky. But duh, I never took out my camera. (Maybe it was because we were having a GREAT conversation!)

This evening I leaned out of our hosts' 6th floor apartment...

On the other side the courtyard was festooned with orange flags, a common site in the city with the upcoming World Cup qualifying rounds.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Travel in The Back Yard - Woodland Park Rose Gardens

Last night after an wonderful, rich, indulgent at the Stumbling Goat, we took a stroll through the Woodland Park Zoo Rose Gardens. It was almost dusk, so the light was subdued. The roses were NOT!

They have Alliums too!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Travel Close to Home

Before I finish the Armenia posts, it is always nice to remember that travel can be close to hom. We have been dreaming about urban excape - finding some property with a nice patch for a garden, some place beautiful so that our friends and family will have motivation to visit. One place we have loved over the years and are exploring is the Long Beach Penninsula here in Washington State, USA.

The Willapa Bay - an amazing estuary.

It also has a wealth of edible riches - oysters, clams, crab, fish and MUSHROOMS!

The ocean side is also soul stirring...

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