Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

O’Yeah, Tasty; First Meal in Seattle

A month ago I was in Seattle when my 94 year old mother suddenly came down with influenza and was hospitalized for 13 days, drifting into pneumonia twice, and suffering several small strokes. It was a difficult time, and as I was running errands for her one day, I passed a new Chinese restaurant near the hospital, O’Yeah Tasty, Szechuan cooking.

Szechuan. Near Edmonds Community College. Hope springs eternal, maybe I can get some really good Chinese food in the midst of all this emotional chaos!

(When we were moving to Pensacola several years ago, our son sat us down, looked at us very seriously and told us he had something to tell us we weren’t going to like. With a long face he stated “You need to know that there is not a GOOD Chinese restaurant in Pensacola.” We searched. We tried them all. Most were sort of Americanized Chinese, none had the good strong flavors we had become used to overseas. Longing for GOOD Chinese food is something we have grown used to experiencing.)

I had something called Mongolian Delights, recommended from the Chef’s specials by the cashier/order taker. It was fabulous, and the Hot and Sour soup I had with it was really HOT. When I told my sister on the phone where I was, she said Mom wanted some Hot and Sour soup, so I took some to her, and she ate it, claiming it was delicious. It was just about the only thing she ate that day.  A day or two later, I ordered an old favorite, Chong Qing Spicy Chicken, and I almost cried when it arrived, it was so totally TASTY, so close to what I remembered from the Taiwan Tourismo in Amman, Jordan back in the day.

So when AdventureMan and I arrived in Seattle, at lunch time (our delicious breakfast from The Courtyard had finally worn off) we headed straight for O’Yeah Tasty.

We ordered fried egg rolls, and AdventureMan ordered the Seafood Three Delights, and I ordered my all time favorite Chong Qing Spicy Chicken.

 

 

And the dish that makes me cry, Chong Qing Spicy Chicken:

 

As we ate, the restaurant filled with Chinese students from the nearby college. We got to see what they were eating, even as we enjoyed our own food. There was so much food, we packed it up and took it with us to put in our hotel room refrigerator and have later for dinner.

This is how much I love this food: when we were talking with my mother who, by the grace of God is greatly improved, and improving more every day, she said she was able to go out for dinner this very night. A part of me ALMOST said “how about tomorrow night?” because I love that Chong Qing Spicy Chicken so much, but fortunately I love my mother more and the thought was just for an instant; we quickly made plans to take my mother to an Italian restaurant she loves this night and to have our treasured left-overs for dinner tomorrow.

If you are ever in Edmonds looking for spirited and authentic Szechuan cooking, hurry to O’Yeah, Tasty.

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April 12, 2018 Posted by | Circle of Life and Death, Cooking, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Living Conditions, Road Trips, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Anacortes to Sidney, BC on Ferry Chelan

Aboard the Ferry Chelan, en route to Friday Harbor and Sidney, BC

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The cafeteria is open to aid caffein-deprived passengers 🙂

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Coming into Friday Harbor

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Passengers departing in Friday Harbor

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I remember when the Canadian – American border was open. This time, we had to go through Canadian border guards, exceedingly polite, but so many questions! It breaks my heart that things have come to this, that once open borders allowed people of good will to freely pass back and forth, and now those open borders exist no more. I hate ISIS, I hate terrorists who make this necessary.

May 10, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Civility, Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Afternoon in Washington Park, Anacortes, WA

“Is this park accessible by wheelchair” asks Trip Advisor, and I have to stop and think. Well, the Loop Road is paved, so a wheelchair bound person could be pushed along the entire route, and, of course, they could view from the car, as they drove the loop.

There are picnic areas where a wheelchair bound person could sit and visit with family and friends.

Off the paved roads, though, I would think a wheel chair might bog down in soft dirt and could get tangled in roots and vines and ferns.

So how do you answer the question?

I would say – if the required answer were not “yes” or “no” or “not sure” – take a chance. This park is so beautiful, and so much thought and care has been put into making it a joy for visitors – take a chance. There are spectacular hikes. There are spectacular vistas, land and sea, and roiling currents, and snow tipped mountains. There are eagles, perched and ready to strike the unsuspecting fish. There are kayakers, battling the currents. There is so much to see, and so much to appreciate.

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Take a chance! You’ll be glad you did!

May 10, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Birds, Civility, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Road Trips, Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Farewell, Edmonds

We had a big mid-day meal, celebrating my Mother, celebrating just being able to be in the same room together for a meal, my Mother and my two sisters and some of their families. As sunset neared, we weren’t big hungry, so we just picked up some takeout from a nearby grocery deli and picnicked on the Edmonds beach.

I saw a wonderful photo opportunity; I was going to capture the Edmonds Ferry as it was heading into the sunset. Just as the ferry began its departure, a man stood in the exact place I had designated for the ferry to enter the sunset, on his phone, waving madly, waving farewell. Waving and waving. And not leaving.

So. When you can’t get the photo you want, grab the photo you have.

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Farewell, Edmonds!

May 8, 2016 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Humor, Photos, Road Trips, Seattle, Sunsets, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Along the Edmonds Waterfront

Edmonds is wonderful for walking, and I love walking. It has a long waterfront walk, full of walkers, joggers, tourists, and people just enjoying the scenery and the salt sea air. There are cool breezes that keep it livable even when the temperatures rise.

 

Edmonds is known for public art, and hosts an annual Arts Fest every June to fund acquire and install public art. There are some wonderful pieces here and there, and some small, joy-giving surprises, like a seal family in bronze, and little bronze sea shells. This does not look like one of the funded pieces, but a piece of driftwood someone in which someone recognized a seal and painted it to help the rest of us see it.

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These forts are built next to the sign that says “please do not build forts with he driftwood” LOL

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The waterfront is noisy with big front loaders bringing boats to place on the elevator which takes the boats down and launches them on the water.

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This is kind of like a Little Free Library for children’s life vests. To make it easy to insure that no child goes out unprotected, they stock them here for people to borrow, and hopefully return.

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When the Vietnamese first came to Edmonds, they relied on this beach to gather whelks and other shell fish to use in their cooking from this beach. I imagine it kept some of them from starving. I guess now it is forbidden.

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Olympics

 

These condominiums overlook the marina and have a 180 degree view of the Sound. I would love to have a condo there, overlooking all the waterfront activity.

EdmondsCondo

May 8, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Road Trips, Travel | , | 3 Comments

The Edmonds Little Free Library

We are working on a Little Free Library for our church, so I have become very aware of the Little Free Libraries wherever I go. As I was photographing this (utterly gorgeous) Little Free Library, an Edmonds resident passing by said “You know we have hundreds of the Little Free Libraries in Edmonds, but this is the most beautiful.”

Hundreds. Edmonds is a civil place, and a bookish place. Edmonds people share. Every year there is a huge tour of gardens, and it includes many many many gardens. People work hard on their gardens, to give joy to passers-by. It thrills my heart to think of so many Little Free Libraries.

But this is the most beautiful:

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EdmondsLittleLibrary

 

Bricks. A stained glass window. A copper roof. A window box – so much loving attention to detail, for something to give away to the public. I love this town.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to think of Little Free Libraries popping up in Kuwait? Qatar? Saudi Arabia? Tunisia?

May 7, 2016 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Civility, Community, Counter-terrorism, Cultural, Education, EPIC Book Club, ExPat Life, Interconnected, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Public Art, Quality of Life Issues, Road Trips, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Arnie’s in Edmonds

It’s not that I don’t like Arnies. The food is good, and Arnie’s offers a good variety. There is a lot of fresh seafood. Their seafood bisque is very good. Mom loves this place, where you can sit by the window and watch the Edmonds ferry come in and out of port.

It’s just not my favorite place. I like the liveliness of Anthony’s Beach Cafe, or Chanterelle’s, the little Pho 5 place up at 5 Corners. When I go to Arnie’s, most of the customers are – it seems to me – females in their 80’s. Well groomed and hanging in there, but older. Different tastes. It’s a generational thing.

But Mom likes Arnie’s, so I suggest we go there between bursts of rain, and she grins in agreement.

Lunch is pretty good. Mom has her favorite, soup and sandwich, and the soup is the Seafood Bisque and the sandwich is seafood melt:

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I have the Seafood Bisque – it really is good – and the Seafood Louis. This Louis even has a small salmon steak topping it, and I love salmon. Pensacola has all the fresh seafood in the world, but you don’t see Crab or Shrimp Louis on the menu . . . LOL, maybe it is another one of those generational things.

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It rained while we were there, but as we were readying to brave the rain, it stopped, just enough of a window to get back into the car and to get her back home. Did I mention it rained the entire time I was in Seattle? 😉

December 4, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Eating Out, Food, Pensacola, Seattle | , , | Leave a comment

Brrrrr! That Can’t be Right!

When I travel, I check with Weather Underground so I will know what to pack. While I barely had time to unpack and do mammoth piles of laundry to repack for the next trip, I did have time to check the weather. Lovely weather, highs in the high 50’s and 60’s, going up to 80 on Mother’s Day this coming Sunday.

So when we landed, and the pilot said “Welcome to Seattle, it is 47° out, my only possible response was “That can’t be right.” But as soon as I stepped out of the plane, I knew it was. I was wearing a little sleeveless silk and linen weave, with a lightweight cotton jacket over it. Not enough!

Arriving in Seattle mid-day is perfectl; traffic going north is calm and – for Seattle – light. I’m in an SUV; when I got to the rental pick up it’s all he had – that, or a Tundra or Yukon, which are just WAAYY too big for me. The car is a Captiva, not a large SUV, but one drive from the airport to Edmonds and I am down about an eighth of a tank, a far cry from my modest little Rav4. On our tip across the US, that sweet little car averaged 30.3 miles per gallon. In Seattle, where the gas prices are substantially higher, I am driving a gas hog. Aargh.

I am staying with my best friend from college. I’ve stayed in this house before, but it has been entirely renovated since then, and it is like staying in a boutique hotel – entirely lovely.

Here is the view just before dark from her house:

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My friend has always been an inspirational gardener, and plants these gorgeous big pots:

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When I arrive, she is struggling with a connectivity problem, which gives me some time to gather myself from my early rising to my long flights. Every time, I still thank God it is only two timezones and half a day, as opposed to two long flights and about 24 hours travel time from Kuwait and Qatar.

We run out to buy a new wireless modem, and look for a spot for dinner. This is what I love about my old friend, she’s always up for something new. I spot a restaurant I read a review for a long time ago, and she is game to try it.

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The prices were unbelievable. This is Seattle. How can you have a simple and serenely lovely interior, full of quietly and happily dining customers, and still charge these low prices? For dinner? I had the Tic Tac combo rice vermicelli dish, and my friend had a different combo. It was delicious! They are on Aurora / Highway 99, and have a steady stream of customers, families, couples, singles, take-out – there are a lot of people love this restaurant, including us. Sorry there are no photos of the meal, but old friends always have so much to talk about, and it never even crossed my mind. Sorry!

This is my lovely ‘hotel’ room, where I quickly fell into bed and was soon fast asleep 🙂

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May 11, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Relationships, Restaurant, Seattle, Travel | , , | Leave a comment