Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Work Travel

I recently spent the last two weeks of July in India for work. On this trip we were able to get out to see some of the sites while there. I had some fantastic food, too.

This is our driver, Giri, who spent his Saturday driving us from Bangalore to Mysore. This photo overlooks the city of Mysore.

Giri is quite the tour guide. He will talk endlessly about the different sites and temples. He really enjoys sharing the beauty of his country and I wish I absorbed more of what he said.

There is SO much to see in Mysore. I really think you need a couple days just to take some of it in, but we had one very packed day.

The unfortunate problem I had was my camera battery died on the way to Mysore. Renee was nice enough to let me take photos with her camera when I really wanted a photo of something. She also gave me all of her trip images. I cannot thank her enough.

But, you will have to wait until I can go through the photos to post some of the beautiful pictures she took.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

The sites in Yellowstone

One of the first places we visited in the park was the mud volcanos on the west side of the park.

Both kids loved hiking through the mud volcano site. Little N listened well and stayed on the path, which made our lives a lot easier. Big N was pretty thrilled using my old digital camera to take his own photos.

Little N was not a fan of the sulfur smell that was prevalent at the geothermic sites in the park.

I harassed one of the other park visitors in order to get a rare photo of the entire family.

Later that day we stumbled across the Lower Falls at Yellowstone. This area appears to be responsible for the name of the park. It was spectacular to see.

Summer Trip to Yellowstone

This summer en route to the family reunion in North Dakota, we drove through Yellowstone National Park. We left on the morning of June 18th and arrived in the park on Father's Day (June 19th).

We camped in Bozeman, Montana the night before and entered at the West entrance on Father's day. The drive into the park was beautiful on its own.

From what I have heard about trips to Yellowstone, Father's day weekend must be an ideal time to arrive. The park was not at all crowded. We've heard stories of long traffic jams throughout the park. Apparently, everyone else was busy honoring their dad on Father's day because we hardly saw any other cars. Sorry, Dad.

However, we did see buffalo almost immediately upon entering the park.

The rivers were really high. This was actually the case for about every river we saw along the drive through Washington, Idaho and into Montana.

There was snow on the ground in the passes, which shouldn't surprise anyone. The passes were over 8600 feet.

When we stayed in the park, we camped at the Fishing Bridge campground. This was a great location requiring hard sided vehicles. We figured out why on our last day in the park when we saw a bear wandering through the campground as we were pulling. It did make me rethink having let the kids play in the snow in the woods near our spot.

The campground is over 7000 feet high, meaning it was very cold at night! We had some very cuddly kids every morning. The kids even played in the snow around the campsite using their sand buckets.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Family Reunion in North Dakota

I owe the blog a number of posts. We've been so busy this summer, I feel like I am just now starting to catch up.

At the end of June we went to my family reunion in Rock Lake, North Dakota.

It was nice to see everyone and to meet my cousin's baby, G. His smile could warm anyone's heart.

The kids got to see cousin A, who is walking up a storm

More photos of baby A at the Family blog

It is always nice to see Grandma. We miss her.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Big N at summer string camp

Big N spent a week at the prep strings Summer camp here at CWU. Big N had the option to play the violin or the cello. He selected the Cello. He was been begging to play this since he attended the camp last year. He was disappointed that the early beginners during the school year only allows the kids to play violin, but he is holding out to play the cello next year.

I was very proud of my little man.

Prep stings information for anyone else interested is located here:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pete's Potato Salad

Three weeks ago, I flew off to Bangalore for work. I flew home a week ago and Pete left for Boston the day after I got back. Needless to say, I am looking forward to talking to Pete when it doesn't involve first figuring out what time it is where the other person is.

In honor of Pete coming home, I'm making one of his favorites. It is actually more of a recent favorite I've put together based on tips for some of my friends in my life.

Pete's Potato Salad
2-3 lbs of white and red new potatoes
1 or 2 celery stalk - diced
1 dill pickles (spicy garlic!) - diced
1/4 cup diced onion
1-2 Tablespoons white vinegar
4 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and diced.
1 or 2 boiled eggs, diced
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1-2 Tablespoons Mustard
Mayo (~3/4 cup)

Clean and chop potatoes into large bite-sized pieces. Boil until fork tender. Drain. Add to a large bowl and toss with vinegar, Salt and Pepper. Cover the bowl and chill in your refrigerator for a few hours.

Once potatoes are cooled, add pickles, onion, celery, boiled egg, diced bacon. Hold a little of the bacon off to the side to sprinkle on top. In a separate bowl, mix the mustard, paprika and mayo. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fold into the potato mixture. Sprinkle remaining bacon on top.

Serve chilled.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Kohlra-what? Kohlrabi!

We recently signed up for a 1/2 share of a CSA produce delivery. At our pick-up, the nice lady in the booth at the Farmer's market slowly went over everything in the box, pulling each item out with the love and care she had put into growing it. I took the box home, placed the contents in the refrigerator and immediately forgot what she told me. We were on the way to Big N's concert and I was in more of a hurry than I wanted to admit. Fast forward to this evening and I am now trying to figure out what one item in particular is.

Some internet searches later where I started by looking at what is in season in August and then looking up photos of the names I didn't recognize led me to find out that the odd shaped item was a Kohlrabi. Of course, once I found the name, I remembered the nice lady in the booth itemizing the box and saying Kohlrabi.

My next problem was how to prepare the it. According to simply recipes, kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip. I immediately chopped it into small pieces and tried a piece. It reminded me of a radish, but it did have a cabbage and broccoli undertone.

I could have eaten the entire kohlrabi raw, but opted to try the pickled kohlrabi recipe from the restaurant widow blog and it was delicious. The kids didn't get to try this one, I hogged it all to myself.

Very delicious!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kindergarteners get the short end of the stick

My little girl is starting kindergarten, however, once again the school district is giving the kindergartners the short end of the stick. The kids will not even start school until September 14th. I wonder what this actually does to help the students, other than watch their siblings go to school and spend more time in day care.

I wonder if this means that like my son's first year of school, my daughter will not meet the state mandated minimum number of days in school.

Let's also point out that the school district ignores the fact that many families have both parents working. I'll assume that was something they concerned themselves with when they decided not to offer bus service in the middle of the day for the kindergartners.

Thanks a lot Ellensburg school district. Way to go on dropping the ball when it comes to your youngest students, once again.