Monday, February 17, 2014

The Official Champagne of Queen Elizabeth.

Through no planning on either of our parts, we were both up on hours for the week, so off early on V-day. For my birthday my husband got me the official champagne of Queen Elizabeth, which I was not able to enjoy, because I was mostly under the weather for my birthday. But my husband had chilled it by the time I arrived home on Valentine's Day! So sweet! I hope that others who have bride and groom glasses use them often! Ours were a gift from my sweet sister and we use them on special occasions, like our wedding anniversary, our dating anniversary, St. Valentine's Day, royal weddings, the Oscars... ;)
Varigated roses! So sweet! I didn't expect anything at all, but flowers? Such a sweetie.
Wait, chocolates? AND he knows me well enough to know that it would take me MONTHS to go through a pound of chocolates. This one will last me three weeks, and there are all of two missing because I shared with my suitor.
OK. DAMN. Let me get this straight. You went to SEPHORA...and bought me NAIL the red-with-gold-base MARC JACOBS color called "Desire"? SERIOUSLY? Who is this guy? Well, I'm in.
NO! WAY! Garnet and diamond earrings? Are you serious? Garnets are also a sentimental gem, as it is the gemstone my father used to propose to my mother, what with it being both their birthstones. LOVE!
Seriously. He not only negotiated Sephora, but a card quoting Fitzgerald? YES. I'm SUPER in. Hope your Valentine's Day was perfect!!

"Thrift Store Contingent." Name of my New Band.

Not really. The next morning we woke to the greatest reason to leave Boise -- escape the blasted inversion! THE SUN! THE SUN! Glorious, after not seeing it for weeks on end. As a waitress told us last weekend, "its been like living in Seattle."
There was a skiing contingent, and a thrift store contingent. While I love a nice outdoor adventure, I am not a skier. Unless cross country. So off to the thrift stores! And other assorted stores, including the book/drug store the featured this polite sign.
I snagged this little gem (copyright 1966), and also a gold pretzel brooch that I promptly lost between McCall and Boise on Sunday morning. It's probably embedded in someone's tire as we speak. I didn't need more reasons to cook with cheese, but they didn't have a "cooking with Brussels sprouts" cookbook for 75 cents." There's a recipe in here that basically amounts to baked celery and cheese casserole. Eww! You know that's a mushy oily mess. Recipes as easy as they are delicious.
As many of you know, we had the strangest Chinese-food restaurant experience ever. That looks less like the weird free plate of orange sherbet ice cream it is, and more like a plate of raw chicken breasts. Mmm.
What? You want Valentine's decorations? HERE'S YOUR STUPID VALENTINE'S DECORATIONS. What? We hung them up.
We did have fun reading our Chinese zodiac horoscopes, discovering three "year of the dogs" at the table. I was born in the year of the dog, and would make an EXCELLENT secret agent. I would make a terrible Garth Brooks.
Back at the..."cabin"... the skiers returned and the thrift store shoppers were done. My husband has long joked about our "4-man tent," that it "would sleep four men, if two of those men were wiener dogs." Just for the record, similarly, an 8-man hot tub isn't that different. We were able to squeeze in 7 women, a couple of them nearly child-sized. But eight? No. Not happening. The view, however, was lovely.
On the way out of town, a stop at Stacey Cakes. And the ice sculpture in front of this business - a big ice cupcake. My mom would have loved this, I think.
And that the cuppie cake didn't look so pastry-like with all of us in front of it. Hmmm. So Fun!

Off to McCall for Girls' Weekend!

An invitation to be one of nine chicks to participate in a girls' weekend in McCall and rent this little "cabin"? Uhh. OK! I'm in!
It was lovely, snow-covered lake and all.
That would be a walk to the boat launch, were it summer.
Such a lovely view. And sitting area.
We deduced the pic over the hearth was the original house. Which looks very uninsulated.
We arrived in three shifts -- one leaving Wyoming (!) in the morning, one leaving Boise at 1:30, and one truckload of folks who worked most of the day, leaving Boise at 4:30 -- and hauled up by me and BigGreen! After arriving, we whipped up some salad (including a can of beets we found in the cabinet), and some amazing chicken spaghetti.
 And after a few cocktails, we moved the furniture and had ourselves a good-old-fashioned dance party!

Exploring Baker City!

Upon hearing my pitch to get outta town for a bit, this fellow's response was "Well, I'll go to Baker with ya, but I don't think its going to be that compelling." He looks pretty compelled, canoodling with the most lovely lady in Baker, sipping coffee at the Lone Pine Cafe, waiting on green eggs and ham (one of his signature orders) and listening to Emmylou on vinyl. We couldn't place her very young voice but didn't want to get up and walk across the room, so tried Shazzaming it. Yeah, that don't work.
This is my fave pic from the weekend. :)
There's a lot of reflecting going on here. I like it.
I look so "mod" in this one.
What was this building originally used for, a prison?
Seems like it might be Boise stone, but maybe not.
When he comes through, Dad loves to stop at Baker City Gold & Silver.
While they weren't open, we were excited they would return. Oh. On Monday. Right.
The Antlers was a really old hotel that didn't sustain. But the sign did.
Tiny guitalele came with us, which was nice. Little songs were played over my head as I napped. The good life, really. I like the Geiser Grand art inside the Geiser Grand.
Out 'splorin', we hit a couple of the brewpubs in town, including the one featuring this fellow, supposedly "the most photographed item in Baker." I don't know about that, but we did take a few pix.
We had a fun time hanging out here.
I gotta get this guy outta town more often!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Off to the Geiser Grand in Baker City!

Remember when they started putting on airs and wanted to return to Baker City from just regular ol' Baker? I DO. But we decided to get out of town and do some visitin' anyhow.
We make the Boise-Portland drive so often, together or individually, but are usually leaving as soon as we can after work and making a beeline for the first house that will take us, usually to mark a holiday or event of some sort. There are a million marketing signs on the way telling you stop at the amazing historic Geiser Grand. Well, we did!
It's just lovely inside, and decorated with so much gorgeous glass.
 Such a large installation!
 Such lovely chandeliers, of all size, including this one in our room.
 But clearly, not everything is updated.
We ate in the restaurant, which was mostly pretty good, if slightly uninspired. This looks like a piece of roast, but its the best whiskey bread pudding you've ever had. Stop in and have some, we heartily recommend it!

Beer Racists

With a January birthday celebration on the docket, conversation turned to how to best mark the occasion. "Beer tasting" had been kicked around, but the final deets had to be worked out on a brown paper tablecloth over Italian one night.
The theory being that some of us might be beer racists: judging the beers we might like or might not like by their color. It's true, I do it. So we assigned kinds of beers out to attendees, ordered pizza, and turned on the SAG awards for one heck of a birthday celebration.
In order to not be judgy, we needed a lot of opaque tasting cups. Luckily the birthday girl had some tiny owl Dixie cups on hand. I printed out some beer tasting wheels and some score cards upon which to keep notes.
Not to be exclusionary, we also had a ROOT beer tasting for the non-drinking and underage attendees.
It killed me how much they got into it, but given their flair for the dramatic, I guess it shouldn't have. Many of us participated in the root beer tasting, noting differences amounting to more citrus or anise hints in the different offerings.
In the middle of our lineup we had a couple of red herrings, if you will, to throw tasters a curve ball, see if they were paying attention. Though I forgot to throw in one of the O'Douls I had in the garage, we had a Bud Light in there, and also a 40-O of Olde English 800. I included this very technical review on my note card: "I cannot drink this." This attendee was more appreciative of this entry, but something was missing...
 Oh yes, the bag. Hey Jared Leto in a tux!
 And then, pie! Happy birthday, fellow Capricorn!