Seeking Sweetness in Everyday Life – CakeSpy – Cakewalk: Two Sweet Shops in Ireland.
Alcatraz Night Tour and Gardens at GirlHacker’s Random Log. When we lived in San Francisco we took the night tour and I really loved the extra creep factor. Also, when you emerge from prison itself the whole city is lit up before you.
Where to drink beer in Los Angeles? | Ask MetaFilter.
What should I see/eat/do in New York City this week? | Ask MetaFilter. I’ve got an NYC trip coming up and a lot has changed since I was there last. Lots to see!
Cool Tools: Hipmunk. A flight comparison tool with a simple visual interface.
· comments  · 08-2-2011 · categories:links · travel ·
Where to go around Western Washington? | Ask MetaFilter. Day trips from Seattle, I should try to do all of these.
catskills guide | Design*Sponge. I must get myself to this place.
Stop Paying Attention – I Love You Chicago; Page 2. Lucy says goodbye to Chicago and gifts us a huge list of her favorite places there.
· comments  · 07-7-2011 · categories:links · travel ·
When Scott and I moved from Ohio to California we had the types of mobile phones that only make calls, remember those? While exploring our new state we would go to places that were amazing (the Golden Gate Bridge, Yosemite, the beach right there on the real actual ocean) and call our parents and say “guess where we are!” It seems like we blinked and here we are with phones that take photos and send email and so many ways of sharing our experiences with photos and video online.
I was thinking about this the other day when Posterous got in touch to talk about about their Posterous Groups and privacy. They want to let us know that Posterous is an easy way you can share thoughts, photos, video and documents just with the people on your list. So Scott and I decided to take a mini summer vacation to try it out.
We went for a one-day road trip. These are all photos we sent to our family Posterous Group (meaning each time we sent a photo it landed in the email of our family members almost right away) and which would be completely private except for the fact that, well, I’m showing them to you here. Below is what we learned on our trip:
East of Seattle are a few places that make for a nice day trip without it being too long of a car ride, which is especially nice if you have kids in the car or, like me, get car sick pretty easily. First on our list was Snoqualmie Falls. We drove up to the just-redone park where you can get some great views of the falls. On the day we visited the water was rushing harder than we’d ever seen it before and the wind was picking up the mist and covering those of us on the viewing platforms.
Since the photos only go to your Posterous Group you don’t have to worry about sending a slightly unflattering or just plain boring photo to a list or site where more people than you’d really like can see them. You mom loves you and wants to see your pretty face no matter what. (I was so cold and my hair was getting very wet in photo above. Hi Mom!)
Posterous is free (yay) and super simple to set up. It does two things, it works as a simple blogging platform to allow you to share whatever you’d like with the world, and it also allows you to set up Groups to share words, images, video and attachments with only those you’d like to while keeping it nice and private from everybody else. People in your Posterous Group can also send items to share so exchanging information or keeping in touch is as easy as possible. Examples! You need to see some examples, go here on Posterous to peek at some sites. And look! The Maker Faire Daily is a Posterous site, awesome.
The Salish Lodge is perched on the land just next to the falls (you can see it in the first photo of the falls above). There has been an inn in that spot since 1919 (the current one was was rebuilt in the 80s). Salish Lodge has an amazing brunch menu and in particular the Country Breakfast is famous for being enormous and must be attempted at least once. Brunch and then a nice stroll along the park trails to view the falls is a good start (you might need to walk back and forth through the park more than once to recover from the meal). I hear the rooms in the lodge are nice. We’ve never stayed at the lodge but we have lingered in the lobby while pretending that we’re staying there.
When you send a photo out using Posterous the email arrives in the inboxes of your group with the sendee being your own email address, so there is no confusion over who the message is coming from. Score one for making it easy on your family.
The town of Snoqualmie is a very short drive just down the road and they display old trains all along the main street, which grew up along the train tracks there. A lot of them are available for you to climb on and in, I felt like we were getting away with something. We also saw a large wedding party out to get a group photograph (the bridesmaids were wearing navy dresses with bright yellow accents, it worked surprisingly well). We also saw a couple on bicycles who were both wearing large paper crowns and totally owning the look, I liked them immediately.
The photos you send to your Posterous Group are also collected in your Posterous account, all neat and tidy and together. You don’t have to worry about sorting them or uploading them somewhere else later. I really fell for this feature, the album of the trip is ready for you right away with no extra work. Nice.
Snoqualmie also has train rides out of the Train Museum! We watched as one passed by, we were a bit jealous of those on board. Scott’s nephew and his dad would love this, so we have a reason to return.
Posterous sizes, orients, hosts and generally makes good the photos and video you send. Get your family members set up to all post to the group and this feature might also eliminate you getting emailed giant photos of your niece at her dance recital that take forever to download and are sideways when you open them. (Can you tell this happens to us? This happens to us.)
The next town over from Snoqualmie is North Bend. It’s a sweet little town surrounded by looming mountains. One is Mount Si, a popular hiking spot which we have yet to take on, I hear the view at the top is amazing. I’ll take their word on it. North Bend is also home to Twede’s Cafe, made famous by Twin Peaks. We didn’t stop and have pie, we should have had pie!
On the way back to Seattle we stopped at the historic XXX Root Beer Drive-In in Issaquah. The walls are covered with old rock-and-roll posters and souvenirs and classic car stuff, it’s really something to behold.
While we were out we sent photos with descriptions and notes using the email on my phone and the Posterous app (requires iOS 4) on Scott’s iPhone (there is an Android app as well). My iPhone is older and takes the grainy photos you’re seeing, Scott’s iPhone is shiny-new and takes nice photos. I also played with his Hipstamatic photo app that day, I like it.
Since we were on vacation we took the opportunity to order the XXX signature burger, an enormous creation that is about 10 inches across. That mug of root beer? Also enormous. We split both but didn’t finish either. Ok, maybe one of us finished their half of the burger.
It seems like every time we stop at XXX Root Beer there is a classic car show in the parking lot next door. Shiny and red!
Because the things you send to your Posterous Group only get sent out to your list (in our case family) you can show off your vacation photos immediately without letting the whole internet know something like: “Look! We’re at the Grand Canyon! And we’re obviously nowhere near home right now so go ahead and steal that giant television I posted a photo of last week!”
You can tell the people who make Posterous like you. They make it easy to share information with everybody, or just the ones that you’d like, using whichever way is most convenient for you. You can post using an app, by sending the information you’d like in an email (either from your computer or from your phone) or by using the Posterous website itself. Basically anywhere you might be. Handy. And Posterous knows just what to do with the words/photos/video you send when it gets there. I’m really impressed with the care that they put into everything.
Just so you know: This is a sponsored post from a company that I like.
· comments  · 06-27-2011 · categories:technology · travel ·
· comments  · 06-9-2011 · categories:links · travel ·
Jordan Ferney | Oh Happy Day!: La Droguerie. Jordan found this amazing shop in Paris after getting a little lost.
Help me find a weekend retreat somewhere in the Pacific Northwest | Ask MetaFilter.
dukebecky: loving locally. Favorite things around Boston, I love lists from locals.
Jordan Ferney | Oh Happy Day!: How to Get to the Paris Flea Market.
Cross-Border Shopping Guide: Canada | Serious Eats. Excellent list of Canadian foods you can bring back home with you.
Paris on a Rainy Day over at Julia Sweeney’s blog. I love this modern staging of the famous painting, though the cars make me sad.
36 hours in my Silicon Valley « Fishy thoughts. Troutgirl takes on the NYTimes 36 hours and gives better suggestions. I’m keeping these for when we return to visit.
· comments  · 04-12-2011 · categories:links · travel ·
· comments  · 02-25-2011 · categories:links · travel ·
Last weekend we headed out for a little weekend adventure on nearby Guemes Island. It’s a tiny place with only a few hundred residents. In the winter there is nothing to do there except walk on the beach and stare into a fire, which was exactly what we hoped for.
We started with brunch in our own neighborhood. Our usual place had a very long wait so we wandered over to Lottie’s Lounge where we found amazing food.
I got the cheesy grits. They are made with heavy cream and cream cheese. Uh huh. Yum. There is some healthy spinach hiding underneath, I promise. They also offer the cheesy grits as a side. If you are there for brunch and don’t try the cheesy grits I will challenge you to a duel.
Then it was off to the island. The Guemes Island Resort is the only place to stay on the island save renting a vacation home. The resort is a small collection of cabins on the water and has been a resort since the 1940s, they keep the spirit of the small getaway really well. It felt welcoming but intimate, well loved and well kept. Like a secret, or perhaps a Catskills resort that you just assume everybody already knows about.
In the summer there is clamming, crabbing, boating, bonfires and exploring the island by bicycle. In the winter there is pretty much just walking along the beach and gazing at the view until it’s dark and time to go inside and make a fire. (Until one ventures out in pajamas and Wellies with flashlights to gaze up at the breathtaking view of the stars through the break in the clouds.)
I like it so much I spent a lot of time considering not telling you about it.
They have a wood fired heated Dutchtub on the grounds, shown above, that you can rent by the day all to yourselves. Dutchtubs are awesome and they regularly defy scale in photographs. The one above would easily accommodate four people even if it possibly looks like it could be a photo of a cereal bowl left on a rocky beach.
The resort has a little camp store that sells well curated beer, wine, food, soap, Slow Loris stuff and a few vacation essentials (flip-flops, sunglasses). Between Anderson’s (see below) and this I am confident to suggest that should somebody, say, decide they could not bear the thought of going back to the grind and instead they, say, immediately took the ferry to Guemes they would have everything needed to be fed and comfortable even if they were to “accidentally” break their car in a way that might take, say, a week or more to repair.
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· comments  · 02-9-2011 · categories:travel ·
Passports & Visas, Design Mom. Gabrielle is documenting how she went about moving her large family to live in France for a year, it’s very helpful and inspiring.
Central Park Nature, a detailed map of the park, via Kottke.
Sprizee :: A simple girl replete with complications: Exploring Paris. A collection of great advice and guides on Paris, including my own set of posts. (Thanks!)
Secret of Paris by Prêt à Voyager and Secret of Paris by Little Brown Pen over at Jordan Ferney | Oh Happy Day! While Jordan is settling into her apartment in Paris she’s gathered people to give their favorite Paris secrets.
Back in the States : All & Sundry. This is a note to myself to rent the cabin Sundry Mourning recommends here. At least, in March when it’s open again.
Top 10 Private Islands – Sunset.com. “Patos Island is the San Juan you haven’t heard of—probably because the only way to get there is to charter a boat to its unnamed beaches and seven campsites ($12/night). Walk the 1.5-mile forested loop trail, check out the tidepools, pick blackberries, or just relax on a bluff.” This? Sounds perfect. Wonder if they have glamping.
Winter Vacation in the Pacific Northwest | Ask MetaFilter. I’m using this for day trip ideas.
Recommendations for All-Inclusive Caribbean Resorts? | Ask MetaFilter.
· comments  · 02-5-2011 · categories:links · travel ·
On my way to the Altitude Design Summit I was sitting in the central terminal and listening to the conversations of the people around me because they all seemed to be talking about the sculpture we were sitting beneath. It’s called Landing, it’s enormous, and it inspired my Christmas tree ornament mobile. It was created by Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter, is made of 2800 individual sculptures suspended from the ceiling depicting a snow goose landing on water, the image is mirrored in the water below. As you walk around it the image changes, being a clearer outline from various points.
It’s stunning, the first time I saw it I stopped in my tracks, and when you get closer you see that the small cast objects that make up the image are varied. The goose above the water line are origami, below the water line are salmon, and depicting the various water elements are lots of different objects familiar to the Pacific Northwest.
I took a few quick pictures while I was at the airport, but I’ve borrowed some below to show the sculpture more clearly. If you’re headed through Seatac airport I recommend making your way through the central terminal (where most of the shops and restuarnts are located) to have a look.
Image credit: Ralph Helmick
Image credit: Ralph Helmick
· comments  · 01-25-2011 · categories:travel ·
· comments  · 01-13-2011 · categories:links · travel ·
Scott and I spent last Saturday doing Autumn-y things here in Seattle. First we stopped at Minea Farms, they have a hundred year old apple press and make a variety of ciders. You can taste each variety, and they even have some hot spiced cider for you to try. They also have local honey, syrups, fruit butters and apples for sale. The place is tiny but well worth a visit, they owners are really enthusiastic about what they do. The nearby South 47 farm is very popular, they have a large produce market and lots of u-pick options.
Next we visited a winery tasting room in Woodinville to pick up some wine for dinner that night, and I fell for the Hoodsport Stella Raspberry wine, it’s not too sweet and smells amazingly like fresh raspberries. We passed by a whiskey tasting room and if we’d had more time we would have stopped for that as well.
Then it was off to Snohomish valley and the corn maze at Craven Farm. It was a good corn maze, dense and tall corn, lots of curves and no dead ends. We were lost almost right away. It was great. There are two rooms you have to find and in the second room you have the option of going back the easy way, or the hard way. We took the hard way and got so lost I actually tried to pull up a Google Earth image to see if we could find our way out, but the image was taken when the spot we were standing in was still a bare field. Seeing as we were lost we had time to make some observations.
Somebody wore heels into a corn maze! The first time Scott and I visited a corn maze we came up with the the first rule: Never wear cashmere to a corn maze. I wasn’t wearing the cashmere, on our way in we passed an unhappy couple on their way out. It appeared that the girl had slipped and gotten mud on her sweater and she was not happy. So now we have Rule #2: don’t wear heels into a corn maze.
Somebody wore Coach boots! I wonder if they were rubber boots?
We saw wooly bears!
When we came into the maze a family with two teenage boys came right behind us. The boys were loud and hurried us down an aisle walking too close. They kept pulling down corn stalks and breaking them so that they would hang, sad and broken. The parents didn’t do anything to stop the boys. I didn’t like them. Later on we spotted one of the boys marking Xes into the mud to mark their way. We started rubbing them out and covering the tracks whenever we’d come across them. What? I never claimed to be a nice person. (That boy you see at the end of the row there? Not one of the culprits in question, he was younger and kinder than our victims.)
We finally made it out and headed over to the vast pumpkin patch.
Above us guy in a parachute fan came past and circled over the corn maze a few times. We joked that he was looking for all the people lost inside.
As the sun was setting some hot air balloons rose up from the horizon.
We spent some time at the pumpkin slings. If you hit a target you’d get a prize! We didn’t hit the target.
Craven Farm also has food (chili in a bag! which I think was Frito pie), coffee drinks and pumpkin donuts, roasted corn, produce, many varieties of squash and pumpkins, a hay ride, a petting zoo and lots of stuff for kids to play on. If you only have time to visit one farm I recommend this one. They even have plenty of parking.
On the way back to the car I felt drunk on fresh air. Yay autumn!
· comments  · 10-20-2010 · categories:seattle · travel ·
A few weekends ago some friends and I headed up to Jones Creek Farms to do some apple picking. They have a huge number of trees available for you to wander among and pick. You’re encouraged to take a taste of everything. It’s a lot of fun, wear shoes you don’t mind getting muddy. They have a few carts you can use if you’re planning on bringing back a huge amount of apples.
The farm is located in the Skagit Valley and you can see mountains in all directions. The day we went was overcast and misty.
I have never really shined an apple before, it really works!
We found a few of the famed Bramley trees. There weren’t many apples left for this season.
This Asian pear tasted a bit like butterscotch, it was amazing.
They have a baby cow! They also have chickens and sell cider. If you’re there ask about buying eggs and garlic as well.
· comments  · 10-18-2010 · categories:seattle · travel ·
· comments  · 09-6-2010 · categories:links · travel ·
Next month we’re headed out for a coastal road trip, we’re taking Highway 1 and Highway 101 along the coast from San Francisco to Seattle. It’s going to be epic. I would love to know if anybody has suggestions on places not to miss. I’ve scoured Ask Metafilter for suggestions on this very route and found a bunch of information – one, two, three, four and five. But have you been? Did you find something really great? Oldey timey diner? Ice cream stand? Underrated beach? Tide pools? Regional brewery? Bit of strange American history? Treasure maps?
Any suggestions are very much appreciated!
· comments  · 08-30-2010 · categories:travel ·
· comments  · 07-7-2010 · categories:links · travel ·