Breakfast in the woods

I haven’t gone camping since I was a kid. It was a school camping trip and I remember I didn’t like it because it was raining and I got sick there. However, I decided to go camping again. Why? I wanted to take a picture of stars. I needed to go to a place where has a very dark sky.

My husband and I took our two wiener dogs, Cocoa and Haru to Lake Wenatchee located northeast of Seattle about 2 hours drive. We relaxed by the lake, enjoyed paddle boarding, and headed to our camp site. Our tent was big enough for us with two dogs and very comfortable. Unfortunately it got cloudy at night and we were not able to see stars. However, it was really nice to spend a relaxing time in the tent with my husband and dogs listening the wind at night.

I think Haru doesn’t like a camping. When she was eating her meal, a bee flew around her. She immediately lost her interest to her meal and she escaped to the tent. After that she rushed to our car crying. I think she was saying “Let’s go home!”.

Haru and Cocoa

Next morning my husband cooked the breakfast. He usually makes pancakes, omelettes, baked potatoes on the weekend at home. The breakfast he made was a typical one with pancakes, sausages, and sunny side up eggs. I added berries on the plates and prepared coffee. It was one of the most delicious breakfast I’ve ever had. I think that’s because we enjoyed our breakfast in clear air surrounded by the trees with a partial lake view with chipmunks saying hello.

This camping was a completely different experience from the one I had long time ago. We enjoyed being in the outdoor and appreciated the beauty of the nature.

前回キャンピングに行ったのは中学生の頃、学校からのキャンプトリップ。雨は降るし、テントや毛布もきれいじゃないし、おまけに体調も壊していい思い出は無かった。そんな私がキャンプに行こうと思ったのは綺麗な星空を見たかったから。そしてその星空をカメラに収めたかったから。

旦那と我が家の愛犬、二匹のミニダックスフンド、ココとハルを連れだってシアトルから車で2時間ほど東にあるウエナッチー湖にあるキャンプ場へ向かった。山に囲まれた湖でたくさんの人が思い思いに楽しんでいた。私たちもパドルボーディングをしたりビーチでのんびり過ごした。

キャンプサイトは私達には十分広すぎるぐらいだった。テントは大人二人と犬二匹と荷物でちょうどいい大きさ。寝袋以外にも枕や毛布、マットなど持って来たので快適だった。夜は残念ながら雲が出てきて星空は見えなかった。でもみんなで風の音を聞きながらテントで過ごした夜は不思議なほど楽しかった。

ハルは少し敏感な犬で周りの環境が変わるとちょっと難しい。外でご飯を食べてると虫が飛んできて、ハルは食べ終わってもいないのにテントへ逃げ込んんだ。その後、車までキュンキュン泣きながら走っていった。きっと「早く家に帰ろう。」って言ってたのかな。

翌朝、旦那が朝食を作ってくれた。普段から週末はパンケーキやオムレツなど作ってくれるのだが、今回も普通の朝ごはん、パンケーキとソーセージ、目玉焼きを作ってくれた。私は苺とブルーベリーをそのお皿に足し、コーヒーを淹れた。普通の朝ごはんだけどなんだか今まで食べた中で一番美味しく感じた。きっと外で澄み切った空気と木々の緑、少し見える湖、そして人懐こいシマリス達と一緒に食べたからだろうか。今年の夏もそろそろ終わりを迎え始めてるそんな森の中で食べた美味しい朝ごはん。今回のキャンプは前回よりもとても楽しいものとなりました。

Let’s go to see the wild flowers!

Seattle summer is short. Whenever it’s sunny people try to stay outside as much as possible to enjoy sun. In summer National Park Mt. Rainier, the wild flowers are blooming. My husband and I decided to leave early morning so that we can avoid the crowds on Saturday. It takes about 2 hours for one way and it’s a perfect day trip on a sunny weekend.

We went to Sunrise where is east side of Mt. Rainier and the big mountain with snow welcomed us. We took some trails and enjoyed the beautiful views and wild flowers. Some trails have lots of trees and flowers where we can walk in the shade. Others are open trails and we could see glaciers, rocks, and chipmunks. I sweated but the cool breeze in high mountain made me feel good.

We ate our lunch with a company of chipmunk. The chipmunk was hoping to get something to eat but we know we shouldn’t feed a wild animal so we didn’t though it was so cute! Next time we will go to higher point to see a view from the lookout.

シアトルの夏は短い。暑すぎず心地よい夏。晴れの日は皆んなそれぞれに公園やビーチやトレイルに出かけアウトドアを満喫する。

シアトルから車で2時間ほどの距離にマウントレーニエ国立公園がある。この時期色とりどりの高山植物がたくさん見られる。ハイジの世界は子供の頃からの憧れ。旦那と朝早く出発してマウントレーニエへ日帰り旅行に行くことにした。

今回はマウントレーニエの東側サンライズへ行った。まだ雪をかぶった大きなマウントレーニエが出迎えてくれた。早速いくつかのトレイルを歩き始めた。カラフルな花がたくさん咲いていて、木々の間を縫うように木陰を心地良く歩いた。壮大な山の景色は言うまでもなく、氷河やクリスタルブルーの湖、岩だらけの山の斜面など全てが素晴らしい景色だった。

おにぎりと残り物のおかずのお弁当を食べていると小さなシマリスがやってきた。おこぼれが欲しいのか人懐っこく近づいてきて可愛い姿をみせてくれた。でも野生動物に食べ物をあげるわけにはいかないので残念だけど。ごめんね。

今回はもう疲れてやめたけど次回はもっと高い場所まで登って見晴台まで行ってみようと旦那と約束した。シアトルの夏の週末。楽しい日帰り旅行でした。

Continue reading “Let’s go to see the wild flowers!”

An Early Morning Hike

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Sunday mornings are one of the only times that I can sleep late and eat a big breakfast.  I like to stay at home and spend the day crafting.  However, my daughter wanted to go hiking because it was going to be another beautiful sunny day.  The forecast predicted a 90 F day so we decided to go hiking early in the morning , when the air would still be cool and crisp and we could be able to avoid the crowds.

We headed to the Twin Falls trail, located about 45 minutes drive east from Seattle.  It was around 9 am when we started to hike and there weren’t many people on the trail.  As we expected, the morning air was cool and fresh.  It was a perfectly sunny day but the trail was in the shade and the sun beams that came down from in between the tree branches were beautiful.

imageWe saw a few chipmunks during the hike.  They are so tiny and cute, and they were moving so fast but somehow my husband managed to take a few pictures of them.

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At the end of the trail we could see two waterfalls that were very beautiful.

At first, I was reluctant to give up my lazy Sunday routine and go hiking, but it was very refreshing and energizing!

 

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Home Again – Vol. 3 Pretty Zakka

 

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While I stayed in Japan, I visited many stores that sell “zakka”.  “Zakka” are small household and interior design items in categories such as  the kitchen, bathroom, stationary,  crafts, fashion, etc.  They are all so pretty, of good quality and design, and very functional.  Just looking at them makes me happy and always inspires my own crafts.

The pictures above and below are a lunch box from  a store called Afternoon Tea in Nagoya, Japan.  Each container has small partitions , and the three boxes can be stacked and tied with a belt.  I can’t wait to go on a picnic with Cocoa and Haru with this lunch box full of food in the summer.

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I found another pretty shop called “On and Off” at Odawara in Japan.  I bought two pairs of chopsticks.

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These are cup cake holders with pink and blue polka dots.  Another one has a Paris themed design. I bought them to use for my needle felt crafts.

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This schedule notebook with a buffalo check cover was a gift from my friend.  There are all kinds of cover designs and are very popular in Japan.

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Finally, this small pouch with a metal frame and a strap was found in a small shop in Kyoto, close to the Kiyomizu temple. There were many pretty items in the store but I picked this pouch.  I think it is very simple, but colorful and elegant at the same time.

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“Oai dekite ureshii desu” – from the book “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”

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“Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” is a book about the love story of young Henry and Keiko set in the World War II era, in Seattle.  The setting is actually in my neighborhood and I even occasionally go to the Panama Hotel tea room in which many important scenes take place.  I love this book because the setting is familiar to me and I can see how it was seventy three years ago.  But most of all, I love the innocent love of twelve year old Henry and Keiko, despite their different cultural background and  the war turmoil.

The title of this post “Oai dekite Ureshii desu.” is Japanese and translates to “How are you, beautiful?” in the book.  A more general translation would be “It is nice to meet you.”   I like the way this phrase was incorporated in the book, and how it was used to strengthen the bond between Henry and Keiko.

The tea room is in the Panama Hotel which is located in the International District where there are many Asian restaurants, groceries, and other businesses.  The interior of the tea room; like the brick walls, antique furniture, the tea sets, and subtle background music are the epitome of calmness and serenity.

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On the brick wall, there are pictures of Japanese Americans who used to own businesses in Nihonmachi (Japan town) before they were sent to the internment camps during World War II.  Part of the floor is made of glass so that we can view the preserved bath house.

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In the tea room, we can enjoy a variety of different kinds of tea and sweets.  They also have Japanese style sweets and my favorite is the green tea roll cake with sweet red bean paste.  Unfortunately, they did not have the roll cake when I visited, so I had a sugar cookie and a cup of Darjeeling tea instead.

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For me, drinking tea in the Panama Hotel allows me to submerge myself in both the past and the present of my culture.

Pike Place Market on a Saturday Afternoon

 

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On the weekend, I occasionally go to Pike Place Market by the waterfront in Downtown Seattle.  I sometimes buy flowers, fruits, or vegetables, but I usually just buy a snack and enjoy a stroll around the market to look for something interesting.  I love seeing all the vendors selling seafood, flowers, pastries, and arts & crafts.  I love seeing the street performers.  The market is full of a festive energy that mingles between the sellers, local shoppers, and tourists.

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The trip today began with a visit to see the Christmas trees being sold.

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There are so many wonderful foods sold in the market, but my favorites are the pot stickers and BBQ pork buns from a Chinese bakery, the croissants or lemon bars from a French style bakery, and the tamales from a Mexican deli.

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As we were walking around the market, we noticed a little friend bustling around on his little legs with just as much purpose as everybody else.

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After milling around the market, we headed to café to enjoy a cup of coffee and the croissants accompanied with apricot and raspberry jam.  It was a lovely Saturday afternoon.

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Waking up to a Winter Wonderland

 

written by Sakura, (my daughter)

The winter is one of the coldest, dreariest times of the year, but what makes up for it all is the snow. It doesn’t snow here much, but when it does, the whole neighborhood is transformed into a beautiful, peaceful wonderland. I woke up to see snow falling outside my window, and it instantly felt like I was waking up on Christmas morning.

Pulling on stockings and layer upon layers of clothing, a walk out into my quiet street was the first thing I did.

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The snow was beautiful, as was the breathless quiet of our usually bustling city neighborhood, but returning home and thawing out my freezing hands was arguably the best part. Not only this, but the steaming mug of hot cocoa I made was the perfect start to a lazy winter day.

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Christmas in Anthropologie

Windows in Anthropologie

Christmas is rapidly approaching and christmas decor is everywhere.  One of my all time favorite stores is Anthropologie and I love the elaborate and creative seasonal decorations that they always set up.  Their decorations actually inspired me to start crafting, myself.  Last Friday night, my husband and I went out to spend a night in downtown to enjoy the Christmas decorations. We visited Anthropologie and I took some pictures of the decorations, such as the mugs, bowls, windows, and even their hardwood floors sprinkled with fake snow, and made a photo collage.  Just looking at the decorations in the store makes me so excited for Christmas!