Gone Fishing!

So one of the good things about Calgary is that it is close to the Rockies, and the good thing about the Rockies is that it has lakes, and lakes means we can go fishing,… yay!  So with a couple of friends (local fishing experts I believe) we set off to Kananaskis to try our luck on the Lower and Upper Lakes there. Here are some pictures of the nice scenery.

 Lower Lake

Upper Lake

You may have noticed a lack of fish in these photos. Two possibilities I think; either it may be too early in the season, or Canada has run out of fish. We will have to check it out at a later date.

 

Advertisements

Last Day Sun

Well, this was our final full day in Washington. Tomorrow we would be setting off on our way to our new home in Calgary. So we felt the need to get out and take one last look at the state where we have been staying for over a month now.

We woke up bright and early on a Sunday morning and huzzah, we had bright glorious sun! A trip over to Birch Bay near Blaine was in order. Here are a few pictures of our last day fun in sunny Washington.
IMG_7354

Stoney Beach

IMG_7356

Stoney beach with wood

IMG_7402

A path to sea

IMG_7404

Waves

IMG_7415

She sells sea shells…

IMG_7446

Sacha by the sea

IMG_7447

Sacha filtered by the sea

IMG_7448

Me, not filtered, by the sea

IMG_7439

Sea and trees

Hello Seattle, I’m Listening

Well, if you have not worked it out from my title, I am a big fan of Frasier. Not a crazy obsessive fan I hasten to add, but myself and Sacha do have the box sets and each episode has been viewed on more than one occasion.

So for the unacquainted, what is it about? In a nutshell Frasier is a US sitcom set in the city of Seattle which is based around the escapades of two pretentious yet well meaning brothers, Frasier and Niles Crane, their down to earth father, Marty, plus several other cast members including a dog named Eddie. Most evenings before bed I enjoy tuning in to an episode or two, where their peculiar and competitive obsessions for status recognition  lead to shenanigans with hilarity and a hint of mirth. So now that we are in Washington it would seem to be a missed opportunity if we did not go and explore the Emerald City for ourselves and discover Frasier’s territory.

image-6

 

This is Frasier’s Territory Isn’t It?

OK well I suppose it is time to break the news. Stop reading this post if you wish to continue viewing the show in blissful ignorance, but the truth is Frasier was not filmed in Seattle. In fact there was only one episode which was filmed in Seattle, which was called ‘The 1000th Show.’ Even on this show the only location I could really pinpoint would be the Space Needle. So facing facts this means;

  • There is no Cafe Nervosa
  • KACL is not a radio station in Seattle
  • There is no Elliot Bay Towers where Fraiser’s apartment was based
  • And all the people in the show are actors pretending to be real people, I want to cry.

Actually when you come to think about it, there are very few Seattle locations referenced throughout the eleven seasons. There is in fact very little time that the show is not set in an indoor location, and when there was an outdoor location it was always in a nondescript location generally filmed in Los Angeles, not as I had believed, Seattle. I truly hope I can watch the show again and not feel that the lies taint my enjoyment.

So, what does Seattle have then? “An excellent symphony and world-class dining” and oh my god I am quoting Niles Crane, enough already.

 

The World-Class Dining

Actually I cannot vouch for the symphony but our experience of the cuisine was indeed first Class. We started our culinary adventure on 4th Avenue at a mediterranean restaurant called Lola, where we stopped for brunch. The food was great. Sacha ordered lamb kebabs and I beef kebabs. There could not have been a better start to our visit.

Later that day we booked ourselves into a seaside restaurant set on pier 56 called Elliot’s Oyster Bar. Sacha, who is crazy about Oysters, was in her element as she ordered six oysters for us to share, and then proceeded to order another six from the amused waiter. For me, however, the highlight was the main courses. Sacha had crab marinated in sweet chilli sauce and I had blackened rockfish cooked in creamed beluga lentils. It may be some of the best food I have ever tasted. Definitely put this place in your itinerary for a visit to Seattle.

 

Pike Place Market

When most people think about this place they probably imagine the fish sellers flinging the customers orders to each other across the market place. I didn’t in fact see this, I think  to initiate the process people have to actually buy the fish rather then stand around with cameras just waiting for the action to unfold. I wasn’t willing to purchase or wait, but the sellers chanting to the customers was entertaining and gave the market a great atmosphere.

There are in fact a lot of stalls at the market place and you can easily pass a couple of hours wondering these. Most entertaining to us was a man who was charging $1 to sit with people’s dogs while they entered some of the shops and stalls. The man, who I may be unfairly guessing was out of employment but was at least was showing some slight entrepreneurship to get his dollar, had the dog on his lap, and it couldn’t have looked any happier to have a new friend.

 

The Space Needle

Pictures describe the views from this much better than words. We went up at about 4pm and it was not at all crowded with tourists. At the top you could take in the view from inside the observation deck or walk on the platform outside to get a better picture. The platform gives you a chance to see the city from all angles, as you see the yachts at the Elliot Bay harbour, downtown Seattle and I could just make the outline of Mount Rainer which stands large over the city.

 

 Good Night Seattle…

So obviously we didn’t go and discover Fraiser and Niles’ haunts, but what we did discover Seattle. We saw the markets, the views and the homeless and the wealthy. It is a great city to visit and as Fraisier says, ” we love ya.”

 

 

 

 

Some Photos of the Nice Scenery, And Some With Us!

Well, we have been exploring Washington for a few days now, and I thought that rather than boring people by writing about how nice the hills are here, or the trees or the sea or blah blah blah, I would just post a few photographs. Some of them are of the scenery and some of them have us within the scenery. This is in fact a contentious issue between me and Sacha. I like to go to new places and take pictures of the nice scenery, while Sacha only sees the value of a photograph with somebody within it. At any given location the conversation normally goes as follows;

Sacha: “Geoff, what are you taking a photo of?”
Me: “I’m taking a picture of the scenery.”
Sacha: “What is the point? Take some photos of us, you can just google the scenery later, you’ll see a lot of pictures.”
Me: “That’s not the same, I like to take my own photos.”
Sacha: “Do you want me to get you a postcard? I’ll get you a postcard if that’s what you want.
Me: “That’s not what I want, I want to take my own photographs!”
Sacha: “Well if you want to take your own photos then why am I not in them?”
Me: “Because I just want a few pictures of the nice scenery.”
Sacha: “What nice scenery?…I am the scenery!”
And so the conversation will go on. I will then tell Sacha to stand in the scene, but to walk away from the camera as to make it look natural. Needless to say, no photograph with Sacha in it looks natural, this is just my time to take a few photos of the scenery while her back is turned. I hope she never finds out!
Lynden
Blaine – This is an American town on the border with Canada.
White Rock – At the other side of the border in Canada is White Rock. Seemingly this place is named after a giant large rock, which is white and can be seen by the coast.
Walks and Trails – This area seems to be full of great places to walk. Most of these pictures are from the Oyster Dome Trail, off the Chuckanut Drive.
Mount Erie – This is a mountain overlooking Anacortes where we were able to drive our car up to the top. The road isn’t maintained during the winter months, but we were able to make it to the top without any problems.
Out And About – and here are some places, but we just don’t know exactly where.