annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

Not too terribly long ago I posted about why it’s not safe for Dara and me to visit Kentucky right now. I am pleased to report as a followup to this, though, that Kentucky came to visit me–by which I mean, my brother Marc and his wife just came out to Seattle to spend a lovely little weekend at the Murkworks. I was very, very happy to see them, given that it’s been about five years since the last time I was there (i.e., when my grandmother Hyson passed away).

Marc had been to to Seattle before–he had in fact briefly gone to school out here. But this was Didi’s first visit. And this was also the first time in a LONG while the two of them had been able to get some time to themselves, without having to worry about their children (who they’d left in the capable hands of their oldest daughter Meighan, now 24). So it was a win for all concerned. 😀

I took Friday off from work specifically so that I’d be available to show Marc and Didi around, and Friday we dedicated mostly to doing the Underground Tour. This was my second time doing it, and I was amused to see that the tour guides hadn’t lost a step with their patter for the crowd–although now, they’ve updated the routine to include Pokémon jokes and asking people not to play Pokémon Go in the tunnels (and we shall pretend we didn’t hear the guide stage-whispering about how they’re full of nothing but Zubats anyway, lol).

After the tour, we poked briefly around Westlake (where a visit to LUSH was definitely in order), and even more briefly into Pike Place, where I showed them the Marketspice tea place. Then around five we hopped into the car to head to I Love Sushi on Lake Union to meet Dara and Paul for dinner at 6. (That it took nearly that entire hour to get from Pacific Place to the restaurant, just under two miles, should indicate to y’all exactly how screwy traffic in downtown Seattle during rush hour on a Friday can get. Even if you’re not trying to get through the Mercer Mess.) And the sushi at I-Heart was, as always, superbly tasty.

Saturday, though, is mostly what I wanted to cover in this post! Because Saturday afternoon we designated for going to our most excellent Woodland Park Zoo. The weather was beautiful for it–mid 70’s, only partly cloudy, an overall perfect day for wandering around the grounds.

Which, of course, meant that the entire population of Seattle had the same idea. Because when we got there, it took us a good half hour just trying to figure out where the hell to park. I’m pretty sure I vultured my way through all of the zoo’s parking lots, to no avail. We finally wound up parking a few blocks north of the zoo grounds, on one of the nearby residential streets, and walking in from there. Thankfully, this went off without a hitch.

Inside the zoo itself we soon discovered that a lot of the biggest and most entertaining critters were in fact hiding. We expect that this was due to it being the hottest and brightest part of the day. But we did at least get to see several types of critters!

Like, for example, these tortoises. They were the first critters we saw as we came into the grounds, in a little cage near the stage where they have the Zoo Tunes concerts.

Most of the critters we wound up seeing being out and active were little ones–but the wolves and the bears were a notable exception, as they were the few big predators out and about in their enclosures. I spotted multiple wolves in the wolf pen. No doubt because the elk were also out, and the Woodland Park Zoo keeps the elk next door to the wolves. (A location decision which has always made me snorfle a bit, because TRYING to tempt the wolves there much?)

And OH MY YES THE BEARS. The bears were out and having great fun in their pool, and interacting a lot with each other. One of the bears got right up against the back of the pool, too, so its back was right next to us! This made for some great shots. 😀

And there were otters (two different kinds!), and giraffes, and very drowsy lions (though my pics of them came out looking like impressionist paintings, due to how you can’t properly zoom on an iPhone for distance shots), and a tapir, and pythons, and lots of monkeys!

The whole set of pics is on my Flickr account over here, and on Facebook here.

Great fun all around! And we eventually wandered home again, in time to get back to go see Ghostbusters that night. About which there will be an entire next post!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

For those of you who haven’t already seen me posting about this on the social networks, tomorrow Dara and I head out to Spokane for this year’s Worldcon: Sasquan!

I plan to be spending a good chunk of my time helping staff the NIWA booth in the dealers’ room, so I will be easy to find. I’ll have plenty of copies of Faerie Blood and Bone Walker with me, as well as copies of the Bone Walker Soundtrack! Look for me there if you’ll also be at the convention. I’ll even have posters of the Bone Walker cover art for anybody who might happen to want one, so you have reason to track me down even if you already have the books!

And here’s hoping there will be minimal drama all around, yes? Yes.

OH YES and don’t forget: Faerie Blood and Bone Walker remain on sale for 99 cents each for the duration of the convention, and three days afterward as well to give folks time to pick up the book if they talk to me at the con!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Aubrey and Maturin Duet)

And now, O Internets, the second to last post of my Victoria and Cumberland vacation series–in which Dara, userinfosiestabear, userinfomaellenkleth, and I all had the supreme pleasure of getting to see Le Vent du Nord play at the Cumberland Hotel!

Previously in this particular adventure, Dara and I saw Le Vent in Victoria! And then we explored a bunch of rocks before Dara sang that night! And then we explored Cumberland and sang some more!

It’s truly fitting that we wound up the trip with one hell of a gig out of les gars. Because don’t get me wrong, you guys–I enjoyed the symphony show immensely, but even after only four shows’ worth of experience, I’m here to tell you that the best way to enjoy Le Vent du Nord is in a tiny, cozy venue. Preferably front row center. With a MAMMOTH.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

Forgive me Internet, for I have delayed MIGHTILY in finishing up posting about my and Dara’s trip to Victoria and Cumberland in March!

This post therefore will be dedicated to Day 3 of our trip, which was mostly all about Dara and me heading northward from Victoria to Cumberland, and what happened once we got there and safely arrived at the abode of userinfosiestabear and userinfomaellenkleth!

Pictures of snow and trees and flags behind the fold!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

Sunday the 9th was my and Dara’s day of downtime in Victoria, to give ourselves a bit of breathing space between the Saturday night symphony show and the trip northward to Cumberland. We spent the day on some exploration down to the Mile 0 marker and then along the rocks along the beach, and the evening went to giving Dara a chance to make some music of her own!

But before that happened, while Dara stayed at the room and practiced, I went out on a quest to find soy-based yogurt. Which is easier said than done right now, and I wound up going on quite the hike through downtown Victoria–hitting multiple markets, and eventually wandering several blocks south of our hotel. And given that I was trying to use Google Maps as a reference point without actually using any Internet, this was, shall we say, challenging.

I learned for my troubles that somewhere in the area there had to be a Safeway, since another walker passed me pushing a Safeway cart. I didn’t find that Safeway. And by the time I ducked into market #3, dubious about my chances, Dara finally texted me to ask if I wanted to go look at the Mile 0 marker with her. I said yes, came back to the hotel to meet up with her, and promptly went with her back over many of the same blocks I’d just walked as we headed down through Beacon Hill Park.

Which, it must be said, was quite lovely. There was a great big pond ringed by some flower-strewn slopes, and there was a grove of cherry trees along one stretch of the road we were following, too. There was even a guy out playing his bagpipes.

(Pictures and the rest of the day behind the fold!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

Sunday the 9th was my and Dara’s day of downtime in Victoria, to give ourselves a bit of breathing space between the Saturday night symphony show and the trip northward to Cumberland. We spent the day on some exploration down to the Mile 0 marker and then along the rocks along the beach, and the evening went to giving Dara a chance to make some music of her own!

But before that happened, while Dara stayed at the room and practiced, I went out on a quest to find soy-based yogurt. Which is easier said than done right now, and I wound up going on quite the hike through downtown Victoria–hitting multiple markets, and eventually wandering several blocks south of our hotel. And given that I was trying to use Google Maps as a reference point without actually using any Internet, this was, shall we say, challenging.

I learned for my troubles that somewhere in the area there had to be a Safeway, since another walker passed me pushing a Safeway cart. I didn’t find that Safeway. And by the time I ducked into market #3, dubious about my chances, Dara finally texted me to ask if I wanted to go look at the Mile 0 marker with her. I said yes, came back to the hotel to meet up with her, and promptly went with her back over many of the same blocks I’d just walked as we headed down through Beacon Hill Park.

Which, it must be said, was quite lovely. There was a great big pond ringed by some flower-strewn slopes, and there was a grove of cherry trees along one stretch of the road we were following, too. There was even a guy out playing his bagpipes.

(Pictures and the rest of the day behind the fold!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Aubrey and Maturin Duet)

And now, to start documenting my and Dara’s recent excellent trip up to Victoria, to see Le Vent du Nord! Saturday the 8th was when the adventure got underway–when we headed up to Victoria in the morning, for the symphony show to take place that night!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan LOL)

Dara put up a few posts of her own detailing her POV of our adventures in Harrison Hot Springs, including a loverly picspam of various things we looked at. Including a couple of shots off of her camera of me and the boys of De Temps Antan!

I particularly like this one, of my reaction when I got called out for being a double agent for Le Vent du Nord, since I was wearing their T-shirt:

LOL

Quebec Boys are Amused When I Explode from LOL

Go click over to Dara’s post to see the other one, of me and Éric Beaudry, current holder of the title of Anna’s Favorite Bouzouki Player from Quebec!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

Not much more to report about the Harrison Hot Springs trip, but I do have enough to do a quick followup post!

I’d said in the previous post that there’d been an accident at the festival. Over on Facebook, Dejah threw me a link on a local paper’s website about the accident. The Agassiz-Harrison Observer reported that a family of four was involved, and that while there were some injuries and the father needed surgery, mostly everybody was more or less okay. Two vehicles were involved, and the driver of the SUV was arrested. (Dara and I and those with us at the second De Temps Antan show wound up seeing that SUV later, just after the concert. It was pretty badly banged up.)

After the DTA show on Sunday night, Dara and I took it pretty easy. We scampered over to one of the shops to get fudge (mmmmm fudge), and then saw the boys of the band, Dejah, Ginny, and Gary heading to dinner. Amused jokes were made about not stalking the band we SWEAR. And though everybody yelled farewells to us (I noted the good M. Brunet in particular yelling over in our direction), we left them to it since we wanted to hide in our B&B room for a while. And I had important pic-posting business to attend to!

We did later emerge for dinner of our own, though, and had Thai food on a restaurant balcony overlooking the lake. Our waiter turned out to be a bass player as well and Dara chatted with him a bit about the jam session we’d been informed would be happening at the lounge next door later that night. Dara did wind up hitting that jam session for a little bit, though I opted to take one last round of advantage of the jacuzzi in our room.

The next morning, we got up in a leisurely fashion, got our stuff all packed and ready to go, and headed west to Vancouver! On the way, heading along TC-1, I spotted a road sign that deeply amused us in our capacity as massive Elfquest fangirls.

(I mean, Clearbrook must live somewhere, right? Maybe this is the exit that leads to the Wolfrider Holt!)

After that, we went over a toll bridge we’d been warned about and which we hoped would be clever enough to note that we were an American license plate, not a Canadian one, since we’d been told it worked by snapping photos of licenses and billing the drivers. We don’t know yet if we’ll get a bill from British Columbia, but guess we’ll find out! I did like one of the pics I got going over the bridge, though.

Our agenda in Vancouver was a couple of quick surgical strikes on places we wanted to get to, and the first of these was the Laser Cutter Cafe in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Because tea. And LASERS!

We had a pleasant chat with the guys in there, including a guy named Adrian who was selling his digital carving art via the cafe. And while we didn’t actually carve anything, it was cool to see the machines the guys had available and the various and sundry little things on shelves that had come out of them. I particularly liked the little Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Dara even got to talk up her music a bit and one of the guys piped “Shout At the Desert” over the cafe’s sound system. To wit: awesome.

And just to be thorough we did in fact also have tea! Which was very welcome, given that we hadn’t had any tea at all in Harrison. Our room at the B&B had included some bag tea in the stock of breakfast foods we’d been provided–but none of it was stuff we’d wanted to drink, actually!

We left kind of earlier than we wanted to, since the place was pretty cool–but we didn’t want to run our parking meter out, and we did actually have to get back on the road in order to get home in time for dinner.

Not to mention that we needed lunch, and it was critical, critical we tell you, to stop at Siegels Bagels for our obligatory few dozen bagels to bring home. Because yum.

And our last stop was at the mall that Dara likes to call Chibi Akihabara, but which is actually called Yaohan. She wanted to pop in there on general principles but also to see if she could find a replacement holder for her passport. She did not. What was kind of lollertastic though was that I found a cute new case for my phone!

Cute Phone Case

Cute Phone Case

I was pretty happy with that case, because it was cute but not TOO cute, and also form-fitting without adding bulk to the device. My previous case had that going on, too, but the molded plastic over the Sleep/Wake button seemed like it interfered with the button’s functionality. (Which may or may not have actually been the button wearing out on me–I don’t know! I had to replace the phone today!) I like this case better also though because it gives better open access to the top and bottom of the phone.

Only when we were aiming to get on the highway at last and head home did we realize that we had ERRED: i.e., we’d forgotten to visit a Timmy’s! Forgive us, Canada, for we did not actually indulge in Timbits! We’ll be making up for this next time we set foot in your lovely country, we promise!

Last but not least it’s worth mentioning that on the whole trip, on the way up and on the way back as well, Dara and I worked to get caught up on the Doctor Who Podcast! We’re big fans and quite enjoyed a marathon of listening to the podcast crew on the road. We’ll be doing more on our next road trip, to Clallam Bay, this coming weekend. Stand by for that report, O Internets!

AND! I was charmed to see that the Twitter account for Tourism Harrison, @harrisontourism, actually found my mention this morning of the posting I’d been doing. They quite liked my writeup! Which is all lovely, given that we enjoyed ourselves in Harrison immensely. And we will be coming back!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

Not much more to report about the Harrison Hot Springs trip, but I do have enough to do a quick followup post!

I’d said in the previous post that there’d been an accident at the festival. Over on Facebook, Dejah threw me a link on a local paper’s website about the accident. The Agassiz-Harrison Observer reported that a family of four was involved, and that while there were some injuries and the father needed surgery, mostly everybody was more or less okay. Two vehicles were involved, and the driver of the SUV was arrested. (Dara and I and those with us at the second De Temps Antan show wound up seeing that SUV later, just after the concert. It was pretty badly banged up.)

After the DTA show on Sunday night, Dara and I took it pretty easy. We scampered over to one of the shops to get fudge (mmmmm fudge), and then saw the boys of the band, Dejah, Ginny, and Gary heading to dinner. Amused jokes were made about not stalking the band we SWEAR. And though everybody yelled farewells to us (I noted the good M. Brunet in particular yelling over in our direction), we left them to it since we wanted to hide in our B&B room for a while. And I had important pic-posting business to attend to!

We did later emerge for dinner of our own, though, and had Thai food on a restaurant balcony overlooking the lake. Our waiter turned out to be a bass player as well and Dara chatted with him a bit about the jam session we’d been informed would be happening at the lounge next door later that night. Dara did wind up hitting that jam session for a little bit, though I opted to take one last round of advantage of the jacuzzi in our room.

The next morning, we got up in a leisurely fashion, got our stuff all packed and ready to go, and headed west to Vancouver! On the way, heading along TC-1, I spotted a road sign that deeply amused us in our capacity as massive Elfquest fangirls.

(I mean, Clearbrook must live somewhere, right? Maybe this is the exit that leads to the Wolfrider Holt!)

After that, we went over a toll bridge we’d been warned about and which we hoped would be clever enough to note that we were an American license plate, not a Canadian one, since we’d been told it worked by snapping photos of licenses and billing the drivers. We don’t know yet if we’ll get a bill from British Columbia, but guess we’ll find out! I did like one of the pics I got going over the bridge, though.

Our agenda in Vancouver was a couple of quick surgical strikes on places we wanted to get to, and the first of these was the Laser Cutter Cafe in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Because tea. And LASERS!

We had a pleasant chat with the guys in there, including a guy named Adrian who was selling his digital carving art via the cafe. And while we didn’t actually carve anything, it was cool to see the machines the guys had available and the various and sundry little things on shelves that had come out of them. I particularly liked the little Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Dara even got to talk up her music a bit and one of the guys piped “Shout At the Desert” over the cafe’s sound system. To wit: awesome.

And just to be thorough we did in fact also have tea! Which was very welcome, given that we hadn’t had any tea at all in Harrison. Our room at the B&B had included some bag tea in the stock of breakfast foods we’d been provided–but none of it was stuff we’d wanted to drink, actually!

We left kind of earlier than we wanted to, since the place was pretty cool–but we didn’t want to run our parking meter out, and we did actually have to get back on the road in order to get home in time for dinner.

Not to mention that we needed lunch, and it was critical, critical we tell you, to stop at Siegels Bagels for our obligatory few dozen bagels to bring home. Because yum.

And our last stop was at the mall that Dara likes to call Chibi Akihabara, but which is actually called Yaohan. She wanted to pop in there on general principles but also to see if she could find a replacement holder for her passport. She did not. What was kind of lollertastic though was that I found a cute new case for my phone!

Cute Phone Case

Cute Phone Case

I was pretty happy with that case, because it was cute but not TOO cute, and also form-fitting without adding bulk to the device. My previous case had that going on, too, but the molded plastic over the Sleep/Wake button seemed like it interfered with the button’s functionality. (Which may or may not have actually been the button wearing out on me–I don’t know! I had to replace the phone today!) I like this case better also though because it gives better open access to the top and bottom of the phone.

Only when we were aiming to get on the highway at last and head home did we realize that we had ERRED: i.e., we’d forgotten to visit a Timmy’s! Forgive us, Canada, for we did not actually indulge in Timbits! We’ll be making up for this next time we set foot in your lovely country, we promise!

Last but not least it’s worth mentioning that on the whole trip, on the way up and on the way back as well, Dara and I worked to get caught up on the Doctor Who Podcast! We’re big fans and quite enjoyed a marathon of listening to the podcast crew on the road. We’ll be doing more on our next road trip, to Clallam Bay, this coming weekend. Stand by for that report, O Internets!

AND! I was charmed to see that the Twitter account for Tourism Harrison, @harrisontourism, actually found my mention this morning of the posting I’d been doing. They quite liked my writeup! Which is all lovely, given that we enjoyed ourselves in Harrison immensely. And we will be coming back!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (A Star Shines)

In which our heroine and supervillain hike around the lake, in which the mammoth makes a break for it (but is thankfully recovered!), in which the festival suffers an accident (which we do not see), and in which perfectly ridiculous amounts of fun are had seeing De Temps Antan–and then getting pics with them afterwards! With Jean-Claude!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (A Star Shines)

In which our heroine and supervillain hike around the lake, in which the mammoth makes a break for it (but is thankfully recovered!), in which the festival suffers an accident (which we do not see), and in which perfectly ridiculous amounts of fun are had seeing De Temps Antan–and then getting pics with them afterwards! With Jean-Claude!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Bouzouki Fandom)

In which our heroine and her supervillain spend their first full day in Harrison on beach exploration, music played and music watched, and lake wading! And in which De Temps Antan rocks the afternoon with sunglasses and a bouzouki that can goddamn roar!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Bouzouki Fandom)

In which our heroine and her supervillain spend their first full day in Harrison on beach exploration, music played and music watched, and lake wading! And in which De Temps Antan rocks the afternoon with sunglasses and a bouzouki that can goddamn roar!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan LOL)

In which our heroine and her belovedest supervillain take a leisurely scenic drive to visit our fair neighbors to the north, in which they arrive at the charming B&B which will serve as their Lair for the weekend, in which Jean-Claude Mamut does indeed issue hir blessing upon the proceedings, and in which they encounter Quebecois musicians and try not to fangirl all over them. Much.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan LOL)

In which our heroine and her belovedest supervillain take a leisurely scenic drive to visit our fair neighbors to the north, in which they arrive at the charming B&B which will serve as their Lair for the weekend, in which Jean-Claude Mamut does indeed issue hir blessing upon the proceedings, and in which they encounter Quebecois musicians and try not to fangirl all over them. Much.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

And now, to finish up my posts about going to Victoria at the beginning of April, here’s the recounting of what we did on Sunday of that weekend! The previous posts, for those of you who may have missed them, are:

  • Friday, in which Anna and Dara declare that 6:30am is not an actual time of day, in which a ferry is taken, in which the Royal BC Museum has HOLY SHIT MAMMOTH!, and in which Fernwood has a highly awesome open mic
  • Saturday morning and afternoon, in which much wandering of downtown Victoria is done, in which Anna’s new mammoth is photographed having adventures, in which books in French are bought, and in which Anna acquires SURPRISE GUITAR!
  • Saturday evening, in which Anna and Dara have a spectacular time seeing Le Vent du Nord, in which Anna’s mammoth meets a polar bear, and in which there is photographic evidence of fiddle players

On to the final leg of the Victoria adventure: Sunday!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

And now, to finish up my posts about going to Victoria at the beginning of April, here’s the recounting of what we did on Sunday of that weekend! The previous posts, for those of you who may have missed them, are:

  • Friday, in which Anna and Dara declare that 6:30am is not an actual time of day, in which a ferry is taken, in which the Royal BC Museum has HOLY SHIT MAMMOTH!, and in which Fernwood has a highly awesome open mic
  • Saturday morning and afternoon, in which much wandering of downtown Victoria is done, in which Anna’s new mammoth is photographed having adventures, in which books in French are bought, and in which Anna acquires SURPRISE GUITAR!
  • Saturday evening, in which Anna and Dara have a spectacular time seeing Le Vent du Nord, in which Anna’s mammoth meets a polar bear, and in which there is photographic evidence of fiddle players

On to the final leg of the Victoria adventure: Sunday!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

This being the writeup + photos post for what Dara and I did in Victoria earlier this month, on Saturday the 5th! Aside from going to see Le Vent du Nord, that is, which of course I covered already. :D

The previous post of this set, for Friday the 5th, is here!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

This being the writeup + photos post for what Dara and I did in Victoria earlier this month, on Saturday the 5th! Aside from going to see Le Vent du Nord, that is, which of course I covered already. :D

The previous post of this set, for Friday the 5th, is here!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

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