Monday, June 30, 2008

uh yeah, not sure how deep it is

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bread vendor

Bread vendor, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

We stumbled across this farmers market in Bellevue. Look at the crazy loaves of bread near the top of the picture! Looks like a fat breadstick or a skinny baguette on LSD.

No mom, I have never ever dropped acid, despite attending art college. But I do watch a lot of tv, which often times is unintentionally educational. Just wanted to clarify that, in case I was going to get in trouble for that comment. :o)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A not so picturesque view of downtown Seattle

From left to right: Safeco field, the Space Needle, a bunch of skyscrapers, a crane... We were tooling down the highway at over 60 mph and this is the best shot we could get.

The view to the left is a huge flat industrial area that appears to be used as an international shipping port. Like in Tacoma, there were rows and rows of metal arms that probably are used to transfer shipping containers from ships to waiting rail cars.

Even without opening the window, we could detect the faint odor of diesel and fish oil from the port. And coffee. There was a large coffee roasting factory at the side of the freeway and the oily skunky roasty coffee smell broke the essence of fish oil. The whole town didn't have that smell, just this industrial area south of downtown.

I'm not saying any of these smells are bad. In fact, they had a sort of international oceanic blue collar perfume that locals probably think of as "home." I could live with it.

Uploaded by

Friday, June 27, 2008


Now remember you can ONLY list 4.

1) Four places I go to over and over:
Work, bathroom, grocery store, Kinko's

2) Four people who e-mail me (regularly):
Michelle, my mom, Andi, Ryan

3) Four places I would rather be right now:
Portland, the coast, North Fork (swimming on the Santiam River up in the
mountains), or on a road trip with my peeps

4) 4 people I think will respond
Michelle, mom, Sequena, Gayle

5) Four T.V. shows that I watch over and over:
(Now to prove that I don't have a life:)
Law & Order SVU, America's Funniest Home Videos, MXC, Anthony Bourdain's
No Reservations

Here's what you do and please don't spoil the fun

Hit 'forward,' delete my answers, type in your answers and send it to a
bunch of people, including me.

Bye ...

Bye ..., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Notice how the wings curl upward? Rachel asked the gate agent if that makes it better for doing flips in midair.

That's my kid, thinking goofy stuff like that.

The dry gate agent replied that the curl increases fuel efficiency.
He's going to get old fast.

Probably the most exciting part of any flight

All the G forces, and watching the ground peel away below.
Then peering out the window to see if you can identify highways, buildings, and other landmarks.

Someday I'd love to fly on a plane that has picture windows, a pause button on the view, and a tour guide who can point out all the areas of interest.

Probably the most boring part of any flight

Waiting to taxi out to the end of the runway, then waiting for the clear for takeoff.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

And there she goes

Entering the tramway

Rachel follows the gate attendant down the tramway to be introduced to the flight attendant who will keep an eye on her during her flight.

Rachel's a very mature kid and I have no problems sending her on a solo flight halfway across the country. Still, we're required to send her as an unaccompanied minor.

When I was a kid, starting at age 8, I was flying solo every summer making round trips from Minneapolis to LAX and back. I don't remember any special babysitting on the flight.
I don't remember any problems, either. Then again, I loved flying. Still do.

Rachel says it's boring.
Better boring than scary, right?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Last call for flight 423

She looks apprehensive as she waits for the line in the tramway to clear so she can get on the plane.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Plastic wrap

Plastic wrap, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Rachel got part of her lunch out of the refrigerator case in Ikea's cafeteria. It was wrapped so tightly in plastic that she had to fight with it to get it open.

Finally she won the battle and held up the huge rectangle of plastic that was trying to swallow up her small plate of lunch even before she could get to it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I need this

When will these guys come to my house?

Many different herrings

In the words of Ulla Inga Hansen-Bensen-Yanson-Tallen-Hallen-Svaden-Swanson Bloom

We stopped for lunch (and only a teeny little bit of shopping, honest!) Along with the usual meatballs, I took one of each herrings and pickles from the Seattle Ikea's Smörgåsbord. I grew up eating herring and love it.

Trying these were as much fun as digging into a Kimchi assortment at a Korean restaurant. Ok, I think that's fun, anyway. If you're into trying weird foods, you'd probably enjoy it as well.

So what were these different fishy variations?
Clockwise from the top:

Herring in cream sauce with white roe. Similar to Kalles Kaviar, only not as sweet as the Kalles roe. Nice bubbly texture from the caviar, but very similar to the herring in cream sauce sold at the grocery store.

Fresh pickles. Cukes, vinegar, and sugar. A perfect balance of sweet and sour.

The pink blob at 5 o'clock, I thought, was some sort of beet. It was a chunk of chilled boiled potato in what must have been beet and potato salad. Had I known, I would have taken a lot more. It was delicious.

The yellow blob at about 7 o'clock is salmon pate with dill and mustard. Wonderful on rye crisp.

Next is smoked salmon, which I'm normally not too fond of. This wasn't as salty or fishy as most smoked salmon tends to be, and the texture was dry and tender. Nice.

Then we have two pieces of herring in dill and mustard sauce. This was the best. I should have taken more. (The red blob is a drip from the next herring.)

In the center is herring in tomato sauce. The tomato sauce was thick and sweet, almost like a tomato preserve. Not all that big on tomato sauces, I wasn't sure how I'd like tomato with fish. It was surprisingly good and I wish I'd taken more of that one, too.

The buttery cube next to the tomato sauced herring is buttery Jarlsburg cheese. It was perfect on the rye crisp I'd gotten to go with the herring.

Like our trip to Bend, Oregon two months ago, I really wished Frank had come with us. He would have loved the all the many different herrings.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

In the Ikea parking garage...

a la Mr. Bean.


Say this 5 times fast: Tacoma Dome

Like a monstrosity rising above the rough freeway, the Tacoma Dome only adds to the alien landscape below it, where the Port of Tacoma is located. The Port is filled with huge cranes used to lift shipping containers from cargo ships arriving from Asia.

At least I hope that's what those gigantic metal arms are used for....
If not, then this must be the Mothership

Friday, June 20, 2008

Scavenger Hunt invitation

Actually posted on Saturday 6/20/09
(and buried deep in 2008... nice hiding place, eh?)

Hello Everyone!

After a major blog renovation, I'm planning a really big online "Blogwarming party" to launch my newly made-over blog at
I've got advertising lined up and expect quite a bit of traffic during the party.

There are links to all the blogs I regularly read in the blogroll here. (...and yes, I know I'm totally guilty of not commenting as often as I should...)

The Blogwarming party will run for 7 days with a different activity each day. The activity set for day 2 is a scavenger hunt, where I will invite my guests (readers) to check out my blog's "neighborhood," aka my blogroll.

The scavenger hunt list will be posted on my blog and my guests will need to visit the blogs on my blogroll, (including yours) looking for stuff on the list. People who locate everything on the list will earn entries to a giveaway that I'm hosting as part of the fun. (I provide the prize and ship it out to the winner. No cost for you.) When people find items on the list, they'll show they found it by submitting the URL of that item to me.

Would you like to participate in this? If you would, please send me something you want me to put on the scavenger hunt list and the URL for that item. It can be a trivia question about something in your blog, a picture you have posted, or anything you want. I'll only be posting one item per blog, so just send me one thing. (If this is a huge success, I'll have another Scavenger hunt again.)

Examples are:
  1. Find a picture of a rubber duck dressed like a pirate -
  2. Where did the Johnson Family go on vacation last Christmas? -
  3. Which blogger has over 100 pairs of shoes? -
  4. How many blogs does Cathie write or contribute to? -
I don't have a set date yet for the Blogwarming party, but would like to run it during the first week after July 4th. This is the last piece of the planning, and I'm hoping to have about 20 blogs participating in the Scavenger hunt - so the list has at least 20 items on it. I will be doing a lot of advertising and promoting and expect a good deal of traffic.

If you're interested, send me something to put on the list with the URL where it can be found. In exchange, I'll send you a little something to post on your blog so people know you've got one of the items from the scavenger hunt - to encourage them to stay and explore.

If you're not interested, that's fine. Just disregard this request.

Questions? Please ask. You can comment here or email me at: pioppam [at]

Pam Hawk
The Adventures of Pam & Frank

PS: Please comment here with your Scavenger Hunt question and answer, or to say you're participating. I will not publish your comments so as not to reveal all the answers and also so the names of participating blogs aren't revealed (thus making the scavenger hunt a little easier.) Thanks!

Scavenger Hunt Badges

Hello everyone!

Thank you so much for participating in our Big Blog Scavenger Hunt. We're really excited about our upcoming blog party but especially looking forward to this Scavenger Hunt.

Since we've never seen anything like this online, we don't know how successful it will be, but our hope is that it brings you a lot of traffic, new readers, comments, and that it's good for everyone.

To help scavenger hunters locate the participating blogs, we've designed a special badge for you to post in a prominent place on your site through the duration of the hunt.

The scavenger hunt starts at 12:01am PST on Tuesday July 14, 2009 and runs until 11:59pm PST on Saturday July 18, 2009.

There are three badge sizes posted here. If you prefer a different size, let us know and we'll send you the code.

Here is the badge sized at 125px:
Food - Games - Prizes - All week long!

Here is a 150px badge:
Food - Games - Prizes - All week long!

And here is a 200px badge:
Food - Games - Prizes - All week long!

Comment here with any questions.
Have fun!

PS: One (anonymous) participant asked if they need to post the question on their own site. This got me thinking that it would be good to post specific details on how this works if your site is participating.
Here's that post:

How the Scavenger Hunt works

One of our Scavenger Hunt participants just asked some very good questions. Since this is my first one, too, I'm learning as I go.

Here's how it works:
  1. I have collected questions from all the participants and put them into an online survey using There are two questions for each blog; one asking a question and the second asks for the URL where the answer was found.
  2. Choose a badge from this post and place it in a prominent place on your blog so when Scavenger Hunters visit they know they're in the right place. Hopefully they'll stay and browse while looking for clues. Feel free to blog about it, as well. The more people we have participating in the Scavenger Hunt, the more traffic everyone gets.
  3. On Tuesday, July 14, we will publish a blog post inviting everyone to participate in the Scavenger Hunt. This post will include a link to the survey. Since the only answers you know are the ones to your questions, you are eligible to hunt for the rest of the answers too.
  4. The Scavenger Hunt will run through Saturday July 18.
  5. All Scavenger Hunts with the most correct answers will be entered into a drawing to choose the winner. We'll supply the prize. Winners will be announced here on Monday July 20.
  6. When the Scavenger Hunt is over you can leave up the badge or take it down.

When everything's complete, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how it went. You can comment here or send me an email.

  • Did everything make sense?
  • Was it easy to participate by providing clues for the hunt?
  • Was it easy to participate as a Scavenger Hunter looking for clues?
  • How did it affect your traffic?
  • Besides any increase in traffic, did it benefit you in any other way?
  • Did you encounter any problems?
  • What would you change or improve?
  • Would you do it again?


Roadside trash in Olympia, WA

Even roadside trash thrown onto the side of the road in the beautiful city of Olympia is pre-packaged in garbage cans for easy pick up and disposal.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The last art car in the train

We passed this stopped train of at least 30 cars, each one highly decorated with variations of graffiti. Rachel loves graffiti and by the time she had the camera ready, she was only able to capture the last car.

If you look at the road in the foreground you can see the reflection of my wild black and white print shirt reflecting in the car window. It's the only picture of me during this trip, so cherish it.

What the heck are these, anyway?

We always wonder what these sculptures are for. Some kind of monument not far from the road leading up to Mt. St. Helens, the volcanic observatories, and other volcanic viewpoints.

If you're reading this and you know what they are, please comment and educate us all.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Many wishing bridges between P-Town and Seattle

A wishing bridge is any bridge with overhead trusses. When you drive over one of these bridges, you're supposed to put your hand on the ceiling of your vehicle and make a wish. There are at least a half dozen wishing bridges up the I-5 corridor from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA, starting with a mile long (?) wishing bridge crossing the Columbia River at the state line. This long bridge connects Portland to Vancouver. See if you can put down your coffee long enough to make a wish at each bridge.

I wished that Rachel would stop being so annoying. Unfortunately, I wished it out loud so it didn't come true.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Toutle. Pronounced Tootle.

When Mt. St. Helens blew, the biggest landslide in recorded history sent millions of tons of mud and timber and debris into the Toutle Valley, choking the Toutle River, taking out bridges, homes, and killing 56 people. More than 15 years later, there are still rivers of mud and ash debris left behind around the banks of the river.

The name Toutle seems oddly and darkly humorous, given its recent history with regards to the volcano. To quote David Johnson's last words as Mt. St. Helens erupted only 6 miles away from where he was monitoring the volcano, "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!"
Well David, Toutle-oo, goodbye.

Beautiful rolling hills

This former flatlander loves the terrain up in Washington.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Throwing another log on the

Pizza made in a wood fired ovens is a very special treat. If you've never had a wood fired pizza, you are missing out big time. And I mean BIG time.

Wood fired pizza has a crispy crust with a tantalizing smoky flavor that tastes so right with pizza toppings. Traditional toppings are great on wood fired pizza but the more esoteric or gourmet toppings (like jerk chicken or artichokes) are un-believeable.

It smelled so good, walking by this vendor at the Bellevue farmers' market but the line was long and we needed to hit the road... I haven't seen a wood fired pizza since leaving Minneapolis almost 6 years ago. It's one of the foods I miss most.

Meanwhile, I checked out the back of this gal's shirt and found them at:

Hope I can find them around here again.


Wood fired pizza at the farmers market

Check it out.
A portable wood fired pizza oven - on wheels.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Road trip to Seattle

This last week Rachel flew out to the farm for the summer.
Frank wasn't able to get the day off work, and so I asked my friend Andi to join us as co-pilot.

Here are the pictures from our one day trip up to Seattle and back.

We put about 35 pictures on the camera and 500 miles on the car that day.

We can't show you mile by mile, nor would you really want to see it, but we'll post at least a picture a day. Check back often to watch our big one-day road trip unfold.
Here are the first two:

This is Rachel and she's the reason for the trip. Rachel will be flying from the SeaTac Airport and spending the summer with the grandparents in Wisconsin.

Andi is a good friend from work. On this trip we discovered we have the same eclectic taste in music, we both like easy going road trip meandering to see where we end up, and we were able to keep the conversation interesting all the way up to Seattle and all the way home. That's 11 hours we spent together (minus 1:45 at the airport when they wouldn't give her a pass to go back to the gate with Rachel and me.)

I think she had a good time.
I had a great time and will definitely be asking her if she wants to go on other road trips.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A pipe smokin' dude and his Critter-In-A-Filebox

My friend Andi and I were walking through a park in Bellevue, Washington when we smelled a weird sweel smell. Turns out it was this guy, sitting on some wood and smoking a pipe.

As we walked past, he muttered something incoherent to us.
I looked at Andi and whispered, "What was that?"

When we got into the car, parked right behind the guy, she pointed out that the pipe smoking guy had an animal in the file box.

Just then a little face peeped out of the hole.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Stopit! Just stopit!!

Aren't kids great fun??

We were at TGIFriday's not too long ago and Rachel had a strawberry lemonade. Chunks of strawberries got stuck on the bottom of the glass, so she use using her straw to chop up the mass of crushed ice so she could 'schlook' the last of the berries up into her straw.

Yah, 'schlook!' is the sould it makes when suction pulls the glob up the straw.
The next sound is 'glunk - ack!' as the strawberry hits the back of her throat and goes down the wrong pipe.

So anyway, we're waiting for the cooks to hunt down the cow and start making our hamburgers (30 minutes for a burger? and the restaurant is not busy?) she's banging her straw into the glass.


Until finally,

She looked up at me and smiled. "shk-shk-shk-"

I gave her the look. "Kid, I'm hungry and you're driving me nuts."

"shk-shk-shk-shk-shk-shk-shk-shk-shk-" faster than before.

Frank just sat there and stared at us, amused. "Don't look at me," he said, "I'm not bothered by the noise."

I gave both the annoying kid and Deaf husband "The Look" as the waiter arrived and asked the annoying kid, "Would you like another drink and a fresh straw?"

something worth photographing

Note: this picture is blurry because I was giggling. Yes, I'm guilty of giggling at these shenanigans.

At TGIFriday's, Frank ordered Buffalo Wings. The kitchen was hunting down the cow to make our burgers, so Frank made a little teepee in the ramekin out of left over chicken bones.

While I aimed my camera to take a picture of his architectural masterpiece, he decided to give me something worth photographing.

Nice, Frank.

You're just weird.