Sunday, March 12, 2017

UnWined in Astoria

I am currently working as an Interim Innkeeper on the Oregon Coast near the town of Astoria. As you all know by now, when I am not working I like to unwind with a glass of wine so I was very happy to get to attend the UnWined event held at the Liberty Theater in Astoria. The Liberty Theater is a beautifully restored 1920's theater that sits like a jewel in the middle of downtown Astoria. Inside it is complete with velvet and stained glass, gilded art work and crystal chandeliers. We have seen concerts and dances there but UnWined was one of the most fun events we have attended in Astoria.

  UnWined is a public tasting of all of the wines that were entered in the competion for the 2017 Astoria Seafood Festival. Most of the wines are from the Northwest and in total there were 137  wines to sample - too many even for me!

                                                                                             But I was sure going to try!

Pinot Gris is one of my favorite varietals. Look at all the choices I had here. The two I liked best were the Coria Estates 2015 and the Tesoaria Vineyard 2015. YUM!

Kirk really enjoyed this Malbec from Rallison Cellars.

 The judges for the competion where present if you wanted to discuss certain wines . Although we aren't really serious oenophiles but we did place our votes for "People's Choice Award".

Along with all this wine, there were wonderful seafood appetizers and live music. What a great event UnWined in Astoria was!

What is your favorite wine?

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Queen for a few Days

One of the fun parts of my job as an Interim Innkeeper is that I sometimes get to attend really great inn-keeping conferences.
This year the INNSPIRE conference was held on the
 Queen Mary in Long Beach California. I attended the conference with my long time client Elizabeth Padilla of the Dove Inn.                

 Elizabeth and I stayed in one of the historic staterooms for three nights - TOO FUN! I felt like a queen. It was great to imagine all the guests who had stayed there in the past. The Queen Mary has such history. Built in 1935 and decorated in elaborate Art Deco style she really is a thing of beauty. We were always finding new things to ohh and ahh over such as this metal bar rail with Art Deco whisky kegs and dragons etched in pewter.

Here's one example of Art Deco wood work that adorns the Queen Mary ballroom. Speaking of which, yes, we did get to attend a 1940's theme gala in the ballroom complete with big band music and preceded by cocktails on the aft deck looking out at the lights of LA. Ohh, I love my job!

 Of course the conference was not all fun. I did attend some very interesting classes [did you know that white vinegar  is one of the best laundry cleaners?] and here I am helping out at the Interim Innkeepers Network booth. If you don't know about IIN- it's a group of people who do just what I do and yes, K.C.'s Innsitting Service is a member.

Well, now I am back to work but it was fun to be Queen for a few Days! If you have never visited the Queen Mary, you really should go.

Friday, January 27, 2017

It's Heavenly!

    Isn't this heavenly? Yes it is, it's Heavenly Ski Area at Lake Tahoe. On our way to our next job as Innsitters we stopped here for a week of family ski fun. We've skied lots of places but I really think that Heavenly  is the most scenic ski area ever. Bright blue Lake Tahoe is spread out at the bottom of the runs and it almost looks like you could ski right into it. WOW!
 One of the funny things about Heavenly Ski Area is that you can ski back and forth from Nevada to California. Sometimes it's hard to decide which state to ski in!

 Of course the little  ski bunny took another lesson and then went skiing with TayCee and Grandad [that's a  little stuffed bunny that Grandad is wearing in his sweater].  She's really getting bold and even skied one run all by herself [with just a little help from Grandad].

 At the end of the day, we took the aerial tram down to the base of Heavenly Ski Area and all the way down we could look out over stunning Lake Tahoe.
There are lots of other fun things to do at Lake Tahoe in the winter. We spent one day Nordic skiing at Northstar Ski Area. I do not know what this caboose is doing here in the woods but it made a great resting place. We skied about 8 miles at 9000 ft elevation and I was tired! But it was a lovely day and there was no one else on the trails with us, just lots of snow covered trees - so beautiful!

 Heavenly Ski Area has a charming village with shops, restaurants and an ice rink so of course the whole family wanted to go skating before dinner.


                          It was heavenly!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Snow Play

This is our "ranch" in the snow. Kirk and I no longer take innsitting assignments over the Christmas holidays so that we can spend some fun days at home playing in the snow with our family. It's especially great when we have these two little snow bunnies to play with. We made a snowman [Charleigh helped with that] and we had a snowball fight. Here we are having fun on a sled but we also have fun on skis.

 Guess who had their first ski lesson at Mt Hood Meadows ski area this year? Yup, the littlest bunny, ! Here she is checking out her equipment with Grandad. Her skis, boots and helmet all had stickers that said Eleanor on them - how special! Mt Hood Meadows has a great beginner program that includes a half day of day care [ so Mom can go skiing with us] , equipment rental, a lift ticket and a one hour lesson.

They make it so fun for the little ones with a special area roped off for snow play. Her instructor even pointed out the UNICORN prints in the snow!

 Here she is after her lesson using her lift ticket and already going up on the "magic carpet" and skiing a few runs with Grandad and TayCee. We all had such fun playing in the snow!


What she really likes to do is "ski fast", "ski fast Grandad". It's so great to see her little face light up and see how much fun she has playing in the snow.
Pretty soon she will be out skiing her grandma.

Here we are "apres ski" all tired out but happy! Next, upstairs for hot cocoa and cookies then home to the snowy ranch!

What a great ending to our family holiday celebration.

Now back to work for the two lazy innkeepers!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Carols at Christmas

        I love Christmas Carols, don't you?

 Every December, if I am not working as an Innsitter, we go to Seattle to visit friends and family. One of the wonderful holiday traditions we enjoy there is the Christmas Caroling Party at the Stillman home.

Charlie and Susie Stillman are the hosts of this annual party as well as the parents of our son-in-law and also good friends of ours. We always look forward to their
Christmas Caroling Party.

There are lots of good voices [I am NOT one of those but I do love to sing carols!]. There is also usually  an accompanist and this year we had a very exuberant rhythm section. Aren't they sweet little angels?

                                                                                  Of course all that singing can make you work up and appetite. Susie and Charlie put out a great spread of party treats to be enjoyed by all.

Including a very elaborate cheese board with labels to help identify cheeses from all over the world. Yum!

Below is my wonderful son-in-law, Fred, carving turkey for all of us.

Such a great Christmas Caroling Party! Such a great way to enjoy family and friends at the holidays.

I hope you all are enjoying wonderful holiday traditions of your own.

                                                                         Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It's a Wonderful Life!

   It really is a Wonderful Life! One of the wonderful things in my life is that the last few holidays I have gotten to be an Interim Innkeeper in Cannon Beach Oregon. Kirk and I have a tradition of attending the holiday show at the Coaster Theater. This year we really enjoyed their performance of "It's a Wonderful Life".

One of our other holiday traditions is to have our daughter and our little granddaughter come to visit us to celebrate the Haystack Holidays. in Cannon Beach.

We usually start our weekend with a visit to Santa in Seaside at the Providence Festival of the Trees. This year they had story telling, cookie decorating, ornament making and all kinds of things for little ones [and not so little ones] to do.

            Then we try to fit in time to feed the seals at the Seaside Aquarium  and ride the beautiful carousel at  Carousel Mall - this year we rode it FOUR times.... they actually have two reindeer as carousel animals!    After all of this we end up with the Lamp Lighting at Sandpiper Square in Cannon Beach.  Then we go back to our room happy but TayCee is exhausted!!

 What a wonderful weekend!
                                   It's a Wonderful Life!                                                                    

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Grateful for Great Grandparents

  This is the time of year when we all take a moment to feel grateful for the wonderful things in our lives. I am grateful for my work as an innsitter which I love. I am also grateful that my parents, who still live in Grinnell Iowa where I grew up, are healthy enough in their early 90's to enjoy some time being really GREAT great grandparents.

   These two were wonderful grandparents to my daughter Martine and now she makes sure they get to spend some quality time with my granddaughter Eleanor. Check out the dance party above!

I know we all have much to be grateful for.

This photo is one of the things I am most grateful for!

Happy Thanksgiving