Sheared Bliss


A dinner date with history
December 31, 2013, 1:55 pm
Filed under: Colorado, Food, History, Museum | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Looking for something fun, educational, entertaining, and delicious to do in the new year?  Have you ever wanted to step back in time and taste history?  This is your chance.  The Littleton Museum will be hosting Mastering the Art of Frontier Cooking with Miss Beecher early next year.

Enjoy the 1860s farm in a unique way! Prepare a meal using “receipts” from cookbooks published in the 1800s. With assistance from the interpreters, you will churn, roast, bake, and boil a delicious feast. Once the food is prepared, you will dine by lamplight in the cozy cabin.

This is one of my very most favorite events to do at the museum.  If you would like to join us for this truly unique experience, call the Littleton Museum at 303-795-3950 to register for the January 11th, February 8th, or March 8th dinner.



Advent
December 2, 2012, 8:25 pm
Filed under: History, Museum | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today was a museum day and, appropriately for the first day of Advent, we spent it decorating the cabin for Christmas.

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Portland – Part Deux

For the last half of our trip we stayed with NurseK’s aunt in her adorable historic house in the delightfully alliterative town of Washougal, Washington.

Wednesday was a very both-ends-of-the-spectrum kind of day.

We spent the morning at Ikea complete with theme song.  Billy the Bookcase says “Hello!”  What am I talking about?  Go here, scroll down to the Smoking Monkey album, and listen to “Ikea.”  Go on, I’ll wait . . . Ok, up to speed now?  It was great because NurseK had never been to an Ikea before and it was fun watching her experience it for the first time.  Just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen!

Katharine and me chillin on the round bed at Ikea.  This might just be my favorite piece of furniture at Ikea simply because it is so astoundingly impractical.

Katharine and me chillin' on the round bed at Ikea. This might just be my favorite piece of furniture at Ikea simply because it is so astoundingly impractical.

I wanted to buy some cheese graters, but they didn’t have any I liked.  After a lunch of meatballs (for NurseK anyway, I had soup and salad), we got about as far away from Swedish Modern as you can get by heading for Fort Vancouver.

“From 1825 through 1849 Fort Vancouver was the site of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s administrative headquarters and supply depot west of the Rocky Mountains…  Fort Vancouver was the Pacific Northwest center for fur trade and other commerce, agriculture, and industry between 1825 and 1849 .”  (http://www.nps.gov/fova/historyculture/index.htm)

It was a very nicely done site with a recreated stockade and buildings – chief factor’s house, bakery, blacksmith shop, carpenter shop, jail, and, of course, a storehouse for all of the trade goods (Because it’s all about the beaver, right Muk?).  They also had a truly lovely historic kitchen garden. 

View of Fort Vancouver from the bastion.

View of Fort Vancouver from the bastion.

Katharine Wright practices for a career as a dare devil in front of the chief factors house at Fort Vancouver.

Katharine Wright practices for a career as a dare devil in front of the chief factor's house at Fort Vancouver.

Kitchen garden at Fort Vancouver.

Kitchen garden at Fort Vancouver.

Scarlet runner beans and calendula in the garden at Fort Vancouver - is that a great bean trellis or what?

Scarlet runner beans and calendula in the garden at Fort Vancouver - is that a great bean trellis or what?

While we were in Vancouver, Washington we also spent some time wandering around Officers Row. 

“Located just north of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Officer’s Row preserves 21 stately Victorian homes built between 1849 and 1906. Formerly the residences of officers at the U.S. Army post, they now house a variety of retail and office functions.”  (http://www.ohwy.com/wa/o/officerr.htm)

Most of the houses are now rented out as business offices and private residences, but the Marshall House (Who remembers their high school American history?  Same guy who came up with the Marshall Plan.) was open for tours.  Yup, more historic architecture geeking.

The Marshall House

The Marshall House

Very interesting brass hood over a fireplace at the Marshall House

Very interesting brass hood over a fireplace at the Marshall House

Carving in a doorway at the Marshall House

Carving in a doorway at the Marshall House

Fireplace at the Marshall House

Fireplace at the Marshall House

That evening we drove up the Columbia River with AuntK to the very quaint town of Stevenson, Washington.
The Columbia River between Washougal, Washington and Stevenson, Washington.

The Columbia River between Washougal, Washington and Stevenson, Washington.

We had dinner at the Walking Man Brewery.  It was a fun place with lots of local color, great beer, and the second best bathroom ever – plus my inner anthropologist loves the fact that they have a beer called Homo Erectus.  If you ever get a chance to go there, I recommend the Black Cherry Stout – and make sure you use their bathroom.
Dinner hour at the Walking Man Brewery

Dinner time at the Walking Man Brewery

Good beer, good pizza, good company - what more could you want?

Good beer, good pizza, good company - what more could you want?

The beer must be good if theres hops growing all over the building.

The beer must be good if there's hops growing all over the building.

Thursday was a full day of museum hopping in Oregon City.  It was interesting – not because all of the museums were great, but because they were all over the board in terms of quality.  There was everything from the very nice McLoughlin Houserun by the NPS to the quite passable End of the Oregon Trail (very nice interpretive program on historic clothing) to several historic house museums run by little old ladies (kind of made me want to pat them on the head and say “Aw, look at the cute little museum . . .”, but one of them did have an awesome collection of historic clothing focusing on wedding gowns and trousseaux).
Me and NurseK at the End of the Oregon Trail.

Me and NurseK at the End of the Oregon Trail.

Katharine Wright made it to the end of the trail too, and shes exhausted.

Katharine Wright made it to the end of the trail too, and she's exhausted.

One of the interesting things about Oregon City is that it’s built on a cliff – part of the town below and part of the town above.  In order to connect the two parts of the town, the city built a municipal elevator that’s still in operation.
Oregon City Municipal Elevator

Oregon City Municipal Elevator

The very nice elevator operator graciously took a picture with Katharine.

The very nice elevator operator graciously took a picture with Katharine.

After all that we were pretty thoroughly exhausted and ready to head home on Friday.  By the time we hit Wyoming on the second day of the drive home we had run out of Mormon churches so the Mormon church game became the antelope game.  Baby antelope are so cute!

Whew!  Now it’s back to reality and some semblance of my normal life.  Lots to catch up on now, but it was definitely worth it.



Wagons West

Or, more accurately, Buick West.

Last week NurseK and I drove to Portland, Oregon to visit some of her extended family.  Well, she went to visit her family, I went to keep her company on the drive and do touristy things in Portland since I’d never been before.

We drove through Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho (with a stop for the night in Twin Falls), and Oregon in two days.  To pass the time we read aloud from Notes from a Small Island by Bill Brysonand played the Mormon church game (think punch buggy game, but replace VW Beetles with Mormon churches – bonus points for temples).  We also made a couple of stops along the way.

In Baker City, Oregon we stopped at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.  I would highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in history.  Very well done museum displays and some really excellent first person living history.  Also, you can see the original wagon ruts from the Oregon Trail.

See that dirt under my feet?  Thats very historic dirt.

See that dirt under my feet? That's very historic dirt.

We also stopped at the very beautiful Multnomah Falls for a quick hike up to the bridge.

After finally arriving at GrandmaK’s house and having a delicious spaghetti dinner and some much needed sleep, we were ready to commence being touristy.

On Monday NurseK, GrandmaK, and I drove to the Oregon coast.

We stopped at Cannon Beach to dip our toes in the water (BRR!) and have a delicious seafood lunch at a waterfront restaurant.

Our other stop for the day was Tillamook where we toured the cheese factory

Mmm . . . cheese . . .

Mmm . . . cheese . . .

Tuesday was our day to tour downtown Portland.  We started with the International Rose Test Garden – it was beautiful and smelled even better than it looked.

Next we toured the Pittock Mansion where I got to thoroughly geek out over all of the antique furnishings and architectural details.

If this shower looks familiar to you, you are officially a Wright Brothers geek.

If this shower looks familiar to you, you are officially a Wright Brothers geek.

 

While we were downtown we also did some of the obligatory Portland touristy things.  We saw Portlandia.

We saw the Rain Man.

Thats Katharine Wright (sister of Orville and Wilbur).  Shes our traveling mascot.

That's Katharine Wright (sister of Orville and Wilbur) with the Rain Man. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of her acquaintance yet, she's our traveling mascot.

 And of course we went to Powell’s Books.  Oh. My. God.  Soooo many books . . . Pardon me while a drool a little bit just thinking about it.  You know you’re in a good book store when they hand you a map when you walk in the door.

That’s it for the first half of the trip, stay tuned for part two!

PS: I almost forgot to mention, Katharine met a friend while we were at the Rose Garden.

Thats Katharine with Wesley the dragon.  See?  Im not the only wacko who takes pictures of a stuffed toy while Im traveling . . .

That's Katharine with Wesley the dragon. See? I'm not the only wacko who takes pictures of a stuffed toy while I'm traveling . . .