Friday, September 29, 2017

Grand Lake is Grand!

   I know it doesn't look like I'm working in this picture but I am..... really!  Kirk and I are Interim Innkeepers for the Dove Inn in Golden Colorado this month. Our client there , Elizabeth Padilla, was generous enough to give us two days "off" and the use of her mountain cabin in
Grand Lake. What a treat!

    Grand Lake is a lovely historic town nestled between two lakes in the Colorado Rockies. Below, Kirk is sitting on the porch of the Kaufman House Museum built in 1877.

  Grand Lake is also located at the Western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and September is the best time to visit the park for two reasons: 1- it is mating season for the elk that inhabit the park and 2- the aspen trees show off their stunning fall colors.
 So of course we went in to the park and spent a wonderful day looking for elk and aspens.

                                                                    Although you can not see it in this photo, we did get to see some very impressive bull elk making their strange calls and even got to see one running across this meadow to chase away his rival

We went back in to the park as the sunset and heard a haunting symphony as three males challenged each other across the valley in the dusk. Their cries echoed off the hills and gave me chills.

   We saw a beautiful array of aspen trees all over the park but my favorite where these two intertwined!


   At lunch time we took a hike along the banks of the headwaters of the Colorado River and had a lovely pic-nic at this spot.

  Now it's back to work but we certainly had a grand time in Grand Lake.            

Saturday, June 24, 2017

To Market!

  We are currently Interim Innkeepers at Mackaye Harbor Inn on lovely Lopez Island. Whenever possible we go to the super charming Lopez Farmers Market to buy fruit for the inn and veggies for ourselves. It's a very special place to do your shopping!

 This year we are here too early in the season for there to be much produce - DARN! But still.... all sorts of tempting things from local artisans.

     I did buy a loaf of very tasty rosemary bread to add to our dinner. And I just had to have a piece of strawberry rhubarb rose pie for lunch!                                                                  

 It's not all about edibles at the Lopez Farmers Market- there is a booth of local wine and many arts and crafts booths. A great place to do a little Christmas shopping [nope not too early!]. I really love these hand made tea towels and think there will be a few under my tree for friends.

  Kirk's always buying me pretty cards - yea, I know, too sweet? I'm sure he stopped at this booth. Lot's of artists have booths at this market even one who makes handmade paper.

So if you are ever on Lopez Island on a Saturday, stop by the Lopez Farmers Market and buy. We send all our guests here. It's a great way to experience the special charm of Lopez.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Island Breakfast

 OK - you caught me.....
  I've been on vacation.
That's why no blog posts for a while. This year Kirk and I went to the South Pacific and it was really magical. Most of the hotels or lodges we stayed at included an "Island Breakfast". What a treat that was! For starters: we did not have to cook it ourselves.... just kidding! All of the breakfasts included wonderfully fresh fruit. This photo is their serving of muesli- sort of granola with unsweetened yogurt and then lots of fresh mango on top. What a way to start your day.

On the Cook Islands we had some breakfast guests that you do not usually see at your table. Yes, they are sweet but I am glad we do not have to deal with them when we are innsitting.

 At our resort on Fiji the breakfast buffet was displayed with this funny guy and we had baked beans on toast offered as one of the entree selections. You could also get rice with fish for breakfast...maybe I should try those sometime? I think not. But Kirk did love their vegetable omelettes with local ham.

        The orange juice was fresh squeezed every day! And always garnished with fresh flowers.


                            So I guess you can see why we loved our Island Breakfast!

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!