Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Padrones in Paradise

Padrones don't ask for much. They need very little. These small peppers don't need to be seeded or peeled, stuffed or marinated.

They just need a little bacon, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Saute them over high heat and watch them jump in the skillet, then serve immediately. Even your boring-palated friends will be happy- padrones are typically mild and the ones with a kick are mellowed by the bacon and salt.

This is my go-to dish when I need a little food inspiration from heaven to bring me back to earth.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hoh Rainforest

My dad found this interesting lichen specimen when we stopped at the visitor center before hiking the mysterious Hoh Rainforest. Thought I'd share.

There are few words for such an extraordinary place, but there are lots of pictures! Enjoy.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Marymere Falls on Lake Crescent

After leaving Hurricane Ridge, we continued west on our drive around Olympic National Park until we reached our next stop at Lake Crescent.

A hike nearby gave us a preview of the rainforest ecosystem we'd be seeing when we went on to Hoh Rainforest, and also catch glimpse of a beautiful waterfall a short distance away.

My dad found mysterious large leaves we have yet to identify.

The falls less than a mile away made a stunning backdrop for photos.

And this is during the tail end of dry season!

Next stop, Hoh Rainforest.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hurricane Ridge

It was rainy on my last day in Washington last week and I found myself in Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge to be specific.

I didn't mind at all that our view was obstructed. When you are at your final destination on a trip, one that you've dreamed of seeing for ages, you're just happy to be there. I'm sure these guys felt the same.

We did see a glacier up close and personal. That counts, right? Because it's October and the ice is still there? Anyone?

This was our view, which didn't showcase the Olympic Mountains at their peak, but I still found it to be pretty spectacular.
It started to clear up as we headed down the mountain.

And just beyond that ridge ... Canada!

We drove around Lake Crescent towards the other side of the park and the other natural treasures in store.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Port Angeles By Night

The next destination on our Washington itinerary was Olympic National Park, waaaay north just across the bay from Vancouver, Canada. Did I mention I have never been to Canada before? Or seen it, despite living in Northern Wisconsin for 4 years of my life.

My dad assured me it was a good 30 miles away and that I wouldn't be able to see much. He was much more impressed by the giant ferry boat propellers-turned-art installation. And so, rolling into Port Angeles right at 5 when it was too late to do anything else, we got ourselves settled in and made the most of our time by taking a night stroll around town.

Blown glass sea creatures and sidewalk sculptures.

Ferry boats and boardwalks.

Locals ...

... cuisine ...

... and a beautiful town.