Monday, February 20, 2017

Street Legal -- Thursday, January 26, 2017

When Herb tells me back in January that he had booked our flights to Seattle for the Boat Show, I notice our return trip is about two weeks later.  Why? I ask. How many days does it take to look at a boat?  How many boats do we need to look at?

The reply is that we will do other things, go other places, as well.  Makes sense. So with our PNW Jeep in Anacortes, Bruce drives us there to register "W Jane," as she is known, in the state of Washington, County of Skagit.  

Herb is ready with screw driver to switch out the plates.   Off with the old Texas tags, on with the new Washington.  W Jane is now 'street legal,' no longer just parked in Cap Sante's parking lot.   Bruce gets a photo of the changing of the license plates.

                                                                      Photo by Bruce C. Moore

With afternoon Seattle traffic in mind, we skip The Brown Lantern restaurant, Village Pizza, and the Bowling Alley -- yes, a favorite place to eat in Anacortes -- and head south, looking for a fast food restaurant to get a quick bite on the way home.

Five Guys restaurant in Burlington WA provides us with burgers and fries!  So delicious, and such a generous service of fries, that I ask for a go-box.

Our last stop is Trader Joe's for meals easily prepared on a boat with minimal time spent.  Great idea, Bruce.  Oh, and a bottle or two of wine.

Willie's Tug is now home for a few days in a slip at the Selene Yachts docks in Lake Union, a do-able walk to the Boats Afloat part of the Seattle Boat Show.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   Thursday, January 26, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Just How Cold Was it? -- Wednesday, January 25, 2017

This morning, February 17, I sit at my kitchen table in Houston sipping a cup of hot coffee, and feel thankful for the air conditioner which runs 24/7.  What a difference a four hour flight makes!

I recall the temp in Seattle a couple of weeks ago, when it warmed up to the 40s.  We enjoyed many sunny days and some rain or mist on other days.  To quote a good friend who lives there, "There is no bad WX in Seattle, only inappropriate clothing."

I agree, and now go back in time to Wednesday, January 25.

Vicki tells me about the bar tending class, whose limited seating is sold out.  She offers to give her ticket to Herb, and even her book, but miraculously she is able to find two more seats allowed, and Herb and I are in!!!

Evidence of 'not your Texas weather'....

After the class, with hats and jackets on, we prepare to brave the temperature outside, and Bruce and Vicki get their books signed by Jamie Boudreau.

Bonus:  Q & A Session
Did I mention that it is a bit chilly when we began our trek several blocks to the Canon Restaurant?  And after sunset when we walk home, the temp drops a little more.  But who cares?  We reflect on the great evening, and I get to take a photo of our group with the space needle in the background.

                                                                                                                                           Herb, Bruce and Vicki
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Seattle Boat Show, 2017 -- Tuesday and Wednesday, January 24 - 25, 2017

If it's late January, it's the Seattle Boat Show.  We have a boat, named Willie's Tug, so why do we need to go to the Boat Show?    To look at boats, of course. And to see our boating friends, and perhaps a few reasons not revealed to me by Herb.  Also, Seattle is a nice place to celebrate a birthday.

Uber brings us to the airport and I am reminded that Texas is known for its cowboy culture when I see a 'Texas size' boot as we head to our boarding gate.

The good news is that our flight is on time, and the other news is that Seattle WX at 6:45A Texas time is 34 degrees, dropping to 32 before rising to mid 40s for our arrival.  Yes, I am wearing a jacket, and yes, I did pack a hat, gloves and a sweater.

Our exciting week begins with a bar tending class sponsored by Hot Stove Society, a year round cooking school conducted by Tom Douglas restaurants. This evening's class is in downtown Seattle, and joined by Bruce and Vicki, we are treated very special by being invited to be the first to enter the classroom and get front row seats at the bar.  

Jamie Boudreau, owner of the Canon cocktail bar and restaurant, begins by demonstrating a punch that he suggests for a party of twenty or so guests.  He reminds us that a host should be able to enjoy the friends and not get stuck all night mixing drinks.  He shows how to make the punch ahead and assemble at the last minute just before the guests arrive.

Punch bowl, fruit, bottles of ingredients, and tools are laid out for us.

Jamie discusses strainers, different kinds of shakers, and explains when you would shake a drink and when you would stir one.  Herb says if he learned just one thing, it was worth his time to attend.  He will never use a foil cutter on a wine bottle again.  He regularly demonstrates to me now how easy it is to slip off the foil.

The overhead camera  shows slices of frozen fruit on top of the punch.  (Seen behind Jamie.)  He suggests using a block of ice rather than ice cubes to prevent dilution of the mixture.

Hors d'oeuvres are served at each tasting, and the vegetable plate is very delicious, with a nice presentation as well.

Here Jamie shows his signature cocktail, 'The Canon Cocktail,' and best seller at the bar.  

He sprays the egg white foam with bitters through a stencil of his canon logo. The black stencil is placed on top of the glass, but hard to see in the photo, as it blends in with the background of the bar/kitchen.

Below is a photo looking down onto the drink to see the results of spraying the stencil.

Each attendee is given a copy of his cocktail book, and as we leave, Jamie signs them.  Having a south Louisiana heritage, Herb is excited to learn his last name, but Jamie says he can't claim the same.  A French Canadian, he moved to Seattle from Vancouver BC.  

He jokingly signs Herb's book "Boudreau is a fine moniker, provided you lose the X!"

                                                 Bruce C. Moore contributed to the photo collection

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   January 24-25, 2017

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Finale and a Show by the Lacombe Brothers! -- Sunday, November 13, 2016

Everyone involved in the CROP Hunger Walk sponsored by St. Andrew's Episcopal Church of Pearland has returned to the starting point and the play area at Laura Ingalls Elementary School near Kingsley Drive and Shadow Creek Parkway in Pearland.  

We end the Walk and we help to End Hunger by donating to Pearland's Meals on Wheels.

Andrew and Austin Lacombe now get their turn on the very popular rock wall.   They have quite a bit of experience in rock climbing, and first get their harnesses on.

Up they go!  Is it a race?  They seem like such experts and get to climb several times, since there are no more waiting in line.

Austin stops for a moment to watch Andrew arrive at the top, then reaches for the next hand hold to resume his climb.

Ah, I think I see a hint of a smile on Andrew's face as he enjoys his descent.

I love to watch Austin, also, -- but oh my -- I am on the wrong side to see his face.  I don't dare run to the other side for fear of missing the photo ops!  Down he comes for the last time.

 I see his face!  And he is smiling at his 'fan club.'  Way to go, guys; thanks for the show!  Did I forget to say they are my great nephews in law?

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   November, 13, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016

CROP Hunger Walk Complete (Part 2) -- Sunday November 13, 2016

It is 2P in the afternoon of Sunday, November 13, and many are gathered to begin the 5K walk for Crop Hunger Walk in Pearland.  Scattered clouds protect us from the warm southern temperatures, although some are wearing sweaters just in case it gets too cool.

Find Willie's sweater (behind the camera)....

Judy and Debbie give a few instructions on how it works.  Balloons mark the start and we should just follow the leader.  There will be people at a couple of places where the walking path forks to direct us to the way we should go, and some yard signs are placed along the path as well.  They mention places where one can turn around and go back if they want to walk only one mile, or two miles.

We are excited to begin and see how far we get.

The bridge is the turn around spot which will get you one mile when you arrive back at the registration desk.  I don't see anyone turning around.  What I do see is many people are ahead of me and only a few behind.  I greatly admire the lady who has a wrapped knee and walks without bending her leg.  (No photo)

I walk with my sister-in-law Jenny and her grandsons Austin and Andrew, and strain my eyes to see a white dot between the trees ahead to identify Herb and brother-in-law Lloyd from Louisiana.  Far, far ahead.

Will I be the last one returning?

There are still enough of us hanging together to be able to find the way and know we need to cross the street, but I suspect the job of Ed on the bicycle (center of photo) is to herd us when needed.  Just ahead of me is Team Allegro.  Leading us across the street are Austin and Andrew.

Well, Herb and Lloyd are 'picking 'em up and puttin' 'em down.'  They have already crossed the street and started back down the other side of the lake.  I hear them calling to Jenny and me.  One must really strain the eyes to see them.  Again, Herb's white hat is a clue.  I think they are getting close to the re-fueling station.

This cropped photo makes it easier to see them --

Lloyd and Herb

Yay!  I make it to the halfway point, where Fr. Jim has set up ice chests with bottled water or Gatorade, and a table of healthful snacks -- granola, juicy oranges and crisp red apples.  We refuel and rest for a few minutes before starting back.  My feet thank me.

Time:  Willie - 1.85 miles in 30 minutes.


On the way back I stop long enough to take a photo of the guides who keep us on the right course.

Connor stands at the starting gate to get a photo finish of everyone as we return.  

Time:   Willie - 1.85 miles in 40 minutes.  No sprinting on this leg....

It's playtime!  In the background is Wilder Elementary, the headquarters of the Walk.  I see some young people are already climbing the rock wall after their 5K.  What energy they have!

I hurry to get closer in order to catch some of this young man's action.  He carefully chooses his footing as he ascends.  

Down he comes!

And now for a safe landing.  He has his eye on the spot where he wants to touch down.  I can just hear the adrenaline flowing as he enjoys the cheering of the crowd.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   November, 13, 2016