Friday, September 23, 2016

"Let 'er Buck"

"Let 'er Buck" is the official motto of the Pendleton Round-up held in Pendleton Oregon the second week of September. We always try to take a break from innsitting so that we can attend and it is always fun! There is so much to see and do and usually our family and friends join us.

 Look who joined us this year - the Littlest Cowgirl. This is actually her second Pendleton Round-Up. She loves rodeo, go figure!

In these photos she is watching the Team Roping while holding her new horsey named "Coco Puff" [it has black spots]. Grandad knows a lot about rodeo and is giving her all sorts of information.

She even knows how to say "Let 'er buck" !

 Besides the rodeo each day the Pendleton Round-Up hosts the worlds largest non-motorized parade on Friday morning. This is an amazing show with lots of horses, rodeo queens, cowboys and all things western.

My favorite part of the parade is the mounted band - you try beating a drum on the back of your horse and see what happens! They play in the parade but also at the Cowboy Breakfast and all over town for the week of round-up.

Eleanor's favorite part is all the queens who ride with crowns on their cowboy hats and flowers behind their saddles.

There is a lot to do at the Pendleton Round-Up. Besides the rodeo, parade and cowboy breakfast there is also music, dancing and lots of SHOPPING! Here we are at Hamley's historic saddle shop. The littlest cowgirl is trying out a new saddle but you can also buy boots, hats, ropes, and even clothing - anything western. This year we got her a tiny little cowgirl hat, "Let'er Buck".

 So if you are ever in Oregon the second week in September, come to the Pendleton Round-Up and say -

"Let 'er Buck"

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Island Inns

                                             Our commute to work - not bad, huh??

We are lucky enough to be Interim Innkeepers for several inns located in the islands of the Northwest. We call these our
"Island Inns" and we love them. Life seems to be just a bit slower here on the islands and all of our guests are very laid back.

Lopez Island [or Slowpez Island] is called the "friendly island". One of the things you learn quickly on Lopez is that everyone waves at everyone else while driving - so if you get here, don't forget to wave!

 Here's a regular breakfast guest at one of our Island Inns. She often brings her whole family to entertain our other guests. Just one of the many reasons we love working on the islands.

Of course this is another reason to love working on the islands.We can always suggest great beaches, and beach bars to our guests such as this one. And when we get a little time "off" we can enjoy them ourselves.

So, come and see us sometime at one of our Island Inns. We'll show you life in the slow lane!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Great Outdoors

Kirk and I both love any chance to play in the Great Outdoors. This year between innkeeping jobs we stopped  in Seattle and he got to play outdoors with our daughter. I got to play in the city  with our granddaughter. We both had such fun!

Kirk and Martine and several of her friends climbed Mt Daniel part of Alpine Lakes wilderness in northern Washington. A bunch of fit young ladies and one old mountain man - however, Mt Daniel has some real mountain climbing and Kirk was able to give the group a brief lesson on equipment use and snow safety, something he has had years of experience with. I think they were all happy to have him along in the Great Outdoors.

Finally - the summit of Mt Daniel!  WOW!

 And then the long walk home - It sounds like they had a fun time playing in the great outdoors but I think I had more fun at the zoo!

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

We Love the Dove

As Professional Innsitters we often get asked what is our favorite B&B. That's a hard question because we like all "our" properties and as Kirk often says, "the don't put B&B's in places you wouldn't want to visit".
But we really do love the Dove Inn in Golden Colorado. We have been taking care of the "Dove" for almost 10 years and it is like a second home to us.

 It also happens to be for sale!  Do any of you want to buy a lovely B&B in Colorado? We have worked for two owners here and would be happy to work for the next owner.

The Dove Inn was built sometime in the 1880's and has many
charming features from that time such as the old fireplace, lovely wood floors, narrow steep staircase and in the kitchen the old well is still hidden under the floor!
The photo below was taken sometime in the late 1800's and the building with the white porch pillars  is the Dove Inn with it's barn to the right.

Look how the front yard has changed in 150 years! It's much greener now and Kirk helps keep it that way.

So, if you're considering buying a B&B, consider the Dove Inn!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Adventures in Paradise

In between two of our assignments as Professional Innsitters we got to spend some time at the Paradise Inn on Mt Rainer as TayCee and Grandad with our favorite little travel buddy.

The Paradise Inn is one of those classic old lodges built in the 20's filled with all sorts of charming rustic touches such as a large lobby with two fireplaces and hand painted floral parchment lanterns. It also has a lovely dinning room where we ate and this enchanting mailbox where we mailed a post card to Great Grandma [Nana].

  We spent the night at the Paradise Inn and of course someone needed Grandad to read a bed time story. We had such fun!

 In the morning we got to hike the "paradise trail" which meanders around the base of Mt Rainier through old growth trees and  fields of wildflowers. Our little Grandbunny really likes to go hiking - as long as Grandad does the work! She's a true north-westerner. Even a little rain did not bother her. When we ran into some snow on the ground she said "TayCee pick me some snow" and then she carried her little snowball till it melted. Too cute!

We actually took three small "hikes" with the whole family and had a great adventure in Paradise!


                                                  Where's your favorite hiking trail?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Farm to Table


"Farm to Table" is an expression you hear a lot about these days - as Professional Innsitters we get to do farm to table often. It's especially easy in the summer when all the local fruit is ripe. So, one of the first things we do when we get to a new job is to go check and see what is fresh at the nearest fruit stand. Look at these berries! We can walk from our B&B to see the ladies who pick these for us!

Because it is summer and because you are my favorite readers, I will share some of my "oh so easy" farm to table recipes. On the right is my "Berries Romanoff ". Too easy - just mix sour cream with brown sugar till it is sweet enough for you, let it sit overnight and then stir and pour over fresh berries!

This is a stuffed croissant baked like french toast and covered with fresh strawberries and whipped cream - so rich, so tasty! Just slice a really big croissant, spread cream cheese in the middle, soak in french toast batter and bake at 375 for 15 minutes, flipping once.

Shhhh- don't tell anybody how easy this is, ok?

Check out these peaches - yea, the guy holding them looks pretty good too, right??

I won't share the guy but I will share a few easy tips for getting peaches from farm to table....

"Peach Melba" is just a fancy way of saying sliced peaches with whipped cream, raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries.

As with any really fresh fruit, you need to go from farm to table pretty quickly. But here is thing you can do if your peaches get too ripe.
K.C.'s Quick Peach Muffins: make any muffin batter you like but make it a little dryer than normal, hold a really ripe peach over the bowl and slice off chunks into the batter so that the juice also drips into the bowl. Then add some ginger and cinnamon and bake. Tasty farm to table Peach Muffins!

                                        Where is your favorite place to go for "Farm to Table" ?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Amazing Architecture

As Professional Innsitters we get to work in a lot of beautiful homes: old victorians, charming cottages and modern town houses. We do not get to see places like this! On our recent vacation we saw lots of amazing architecture and I'm going to share some of my favorites with you...

A lot of truly amazing architecture is to be found in Portugal. Both of these two palaces are in Sintra. The Pena Palace above is a fantastical pastel concoction that sits on top of a mountain looking down on all the other palaces. From there you can take a lovely stroll down to town.The Regaline Palace is done in the Manualine [lavishly overdecorated] style of architecture that is so popular in Portugal. This one because has a 100ft deep well with carved staircase that you can follow down to a cave!

 Here's another Manualine Palace ,a really lovely complex with a lake surrounded by palm trees- the Mataeus Palace in the Duro Valley outside of Porto. Yup, it's where good old Mataeus Rose wine was made. It is sill a winery and they make much better wine now - good thing Kirk was driving on our tour of the Duro Valley so that I could sip as much as I wanted! We stopped at several wineries some in palaces and some in old farmsteads.

Look closely at this amazing architecture - uh huh, human skulls used as molding! This is the Chapel of the Bones in Evora. All the walls in the chapel where made of bones to remind us how fleeting life is. Spooky!

This wonderful architecture is in Morocco but it is called the Portuguese Cistern because it was designed by a Portuguese architect. It is a hauntingly lovely cistern that has been in El Jadida for 800 years. Now the floor is covered with just a few inches of water to create beautiful photos such as this one.

Morocco itself is filled with amazing architecture - lots of very ornate plaster, stone, glass and wood work. The Islamic decorations are very geometric and detailed and some of them are very ancient. This door way is a mosque in Fez. Of course we could not go in but our guide showed us where to stand to get a peek and take a picture while the local men went to worship.

 This classic horseshoe archway is in an old Madersa or school that has been in Fez for 900 years - it used to be a place for Islamic students to study and now it is a place for tourists to be amazed.

As you can see we had an amazing vacation and the architecture was a big part of it.
What sort of architecture do you like best?