Author Archives: radjams

About radjams

We are husband and wife and we love to travel. We met on a plane, have lived in Mexico and China, and in several different states in the US. We currently live in the Bay Area in CA and love it here. In the meantime, we continue to travel around the world and will share our photos and thoughts here. Some of our favorite places we've been to so far include Amsterdam, Kyoto, Halong Bay (Vietnam), and Paris.

New Tumblr Blog

Hi all! Thanks to all of you who chose to follow this blog. I’ve been really lax (okay, negligent) – even though I’ve been traveling to some spectacular places, eating delicious food, and having fun adventures. I keep meaning to post, but haven’t. Big apologies! In the meantime, I’ve started a Tumblr blog which allows me to just post a photo a day from my previous adventures. You can create a Tumblr to follow (and I’d love to follow you back) or just click the link below to see what new photo I’ve posted. Thanks!

Debbi Travels: Places I’ve Been – Adventures I’ve Had – Food I’ve Eaten

Here’s what I posted today:

Image

 

This was in Kamakura, Japan – the giant Buddha I visited this past June in 2013 when Bob and I took our high school graduate daughter along with my mom on a trip through Japan for two weeks!

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Autumn Love

Fall has always been my favorite time of year. I’m loving it even more now that we’re back in New England. Unfortunately, some of the most spectacular fall colors take place while I’m driving with no place to pull over and take pictures. Those sugar maples with their bright orange and fiery red leaves are just mind-blowing.

We’re still settling in. Spent over four hours at the DMV (which was already an hour drive away) getting our new CT driver’s licenses and registering my car. We’re officially Connecticut residents now! I was a bit sad to have to turn in my California driver’s license, but glad I could keep my CA plates. Weird sentimentality, perhaps.

Sharing some photo love:

Trixie and I are still taking 2 or 3 walks a day while we can – while the weather is nice!

A huge perk of living on the point is that we get both sunrises and sunsets! This is sunset.

We finally had some downtime to go hiking in Bluff Point State Park. We didn’t get to walk all the way to the bluff (which is ranked as one of the top ten birdwatching sites in the state) because we had a house hunting appointment to make. We’ll definitely make a point of getting there next time! Trixie seemed to really love her time out in the woods and on the shore.

Loved walking through the woods, watching leaves rain down like flecks of gold in the sunlight.

This is the view from one of the houses we looked at today. Lovely, yes???

As I write up this blog post, Bob is across the street on a pier fishing on the ocean. Heavenly! Yes, I do have moments of extreme home-sickness. I miss my CA friends and family tremendously, and I miss our home there – but I have to say if we had to move anywhere, I’m glad we moved here!

Categories: CT home, hiking, photo | 2 Comments

Short and Sweet

Took the train to NYC to visit a very good friend, yesterday. She has the best taste in chocolate and cookies and all sweets in general (probably because she is very sweet, herself). Once again, she introduced me to amazing flavors.
Best. Cookies. Ever!The most amazing cookies can be found at Levain Bakery. They are the puffiest cookies I’ve ever seen and they almost completely covered the palm of my hand. I had to use a knife to cut a cookie to share with Bob. (Yes, it’s truly amazing I didn’t gobble them up on the train ride home.) It slices like cake! And it tastes heavenly! Moist with just a hint of a crispy shell and absolutely full of flavor! YUMMMMM!!!! I got the dark chocolate chocolate chip (pictured above) and the dark chocolate peanut butter chip.  Both were incredible and I can’t wait to go back and try more! MMMMMmmmm!

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Taking A Break From Unpacking

I’m still unpacking boxes. I hope to be done by the weekend (and enlist Bob’s help). I take a lot of breaks to walk along the shore.

It rained most of the day before and it was super windy last night. This was our shoreline this morning – nice waves.

Brandt’s cormorant airing out his wings and greeting the new day.

Belted Kingfisher – I love this guy!

Categories: beach, CT home, photo, wildlife | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Our New Home

As some of you know, we have (temporarily) left our lovely Northern CA home for a fabulous stint in coastal Connecticut. We moved into our new home right on the water, yesterday.  We are awed by the glorious sight of the ocean right in front of us, the smell and taste of salt in the air, and we were lulled to sleep by the lullaby of the waves. This morning, we rose in time to walk Trixie as the sun rose above the horizon. We watched cormorants, gulls, and egrets on the water, and were surprised by a large red-fox crossing the street in front of us. I think we’re going to love it here, and I’m going to love sharing our new adventures with you!

I enjoyed the view from the porch rail.

This was my view late Saturday afternoon.

This morning, in my half-awake state, I forgot to bring my good camera. The following photos were taking with my iPhone 4S.

Sunrise on our walk.

Our morning walk.

I can’t believe I get to live here (for the next few months, at least, we’re temporarily renting an house at off-season rates).  Yesterday, I watched a wedding party on a far-away pier and got this shot. I do love the zoom on my Canon! They look very happy!

Cheers and here’s to a fabulous adventure!

Categories: CT home, photo | 6 Comments

Once, Twice, Three Times….A Meal (at Bridge)!

How many times is too many to visit a restaurant for a delicious meal? I know it’s not three days in a row, because I think I could go back again today to Bridge.

The restaurant is located in Westerly, RI, right on the Pawcatuck River, which means if you sit on the patio you get gorgeous views of said river.
Bob and I stopped here for dinner because it was close to our hotel in Stonington, CT. The menu was mouthwatering and I was sad I couldn’t try everything listed.

We started off with one of the specials of the day: Maine steamers. (Apologies for the blurry photo – I only had my iPhone with me.) Bob and I love clams, but we’d never had these before. WOW! My new favorite! They were amazingly sweet for clams!

For our mains, Bob had the ribeye which was also one of the specials. I followed suit by choosing a special as well:

Wild Coho salmon with a honey-dijon glaze. Amazing! The item that almost caused me not to order the dish was the Brussel sprouts. I have never had a Brussel sprout. All the jokes and complaints about them kept me away. As I speared a sprout, I said to Bob, “Here it goes. My first Brussel sprout.” That caught our waiter’s ear and he couldn’t believe I’d never eaten one before. I took a big bite and….Hey! It was good! Our waiter said they are best fried in bacon fat! LOL I can’t imagine anything tasting bad when cooked in bacon!

The next day, I went to lunch with a new friend and guess where we went? Yep! We sat on the patio in the warm autumn sun and enjoyed a great meal. No photos, but I did thoroughly enjoy the fig and brie on toasted baguette! I had a peach crisp for dessert. Sweet and tart and yummy!

And last night? Bob came back from work tired, and it was raining, so we opted to go back to the Bridge again! My third day in a row – and we ended up with the waitress who’d served me lunch the day before. 😉  This time I decided to go for the prie fix menu. I started with the New England clam chowder and fritter:

I am a huge fan of New England clam chowder. When we lived in San Mateo, Bob, our teen daughter, and I would drive almost 2 hours to Monterey Bay to The Fish Hopper just for the clam chowder. Now that we’re in New England, I am thrilled to know I can get great clam chowder any time! The Bridge’s chowder was my favorite of all the clam chowders I’ve had yet! Creamy, clammy, and just mmm, mmm, good!

My next course, grilled fish tacos. VERY delicious and I ate both of them! Bob ordered:

Fresh caught monkfish with beet risotto. He ate it all so it must have been fabulous.

For dessert, I had the pumpkin bread pudding, which I coveted when my friend ordered it the day before. It was, no surprise, amazing – pumpkiny but not too sweet with a hearty dollop of fresh whipped cream.

If you ever get a chance to dine here, DO IT! And if you visit me, I’ll take you there! 😉 (PS – they have a great selection of vegetarian/vegan items, too.)

And for you careful readers, yes, we just three days ago moved here to New England from California. Look for posts of our brand new adventures, here!

Categories: Good Eats, Rhode Island | Tags: , | 8 Comments

On The Coast, Oregon

Our three days with John, Gail, and my niece at their beach cottage were truly spectacular and relaxing. I can’t pick just one favorite thing. I hope we can visit them there again soon! Thanks to John and Gail and L for a lovely time!

John and Gail

Their golden retriever, Ralph, the most mellow dog ever!

Doesn’t this look like a watercolor? I loved how the light and fog and clouds played together on the beach.

Neah-kah-nie Mountain

Haystack

My niece, L, and our rat terrier, Trixie, in matching coats.

Sunset on the beach

L pretending she’s a tiger hiding in the beach grass.

I got to fly a kite!!!!

Moon child.

Good night and thanks so much for joining us on our Oregon adventures!

Bob and Debbi

Categories: beach, Oregon | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Hug Point, Oregon

Just because you have a beach house doesn’t mean you can’t visit other beaches along the coast – as John and Gail proved. They took us for a picnic at Hug Point State Park. The weather was perfect – sunny but not hot. The beach was gorgeous and not too crowded. The rocky cliffs were spectacular! Pictures show better than words in this case.

I love that my niece found a huge fresh-water puddle to play in. She was full of joy as she splashed her way up to her waist.

We scaled some mighty big rocks and were treated to a gorgeous view and a slew of sea anemone.

After a delicious lunch of sandwiches (and too many Flamin’ Hot Cheetos), my niece entertained herself with a couple of other little girls by digging in the sand while Gail and I hunted for heart-shaped rocks. It was a lovely day!

Categories: beach, Oregon | 2 Comments

Good Eats Oregon – Part 2

After a few days exploring and enjoying Portland, it was time to move on – to the coast of Oregon where John and Gail have a cute beach cottage. Before we headed off on the 2 hour drive to the coast, we had to fortify ourselves.

That’s Crave Bakeshop! Cupcakes? Oh yes! I was all over it, especially when Gail told me that owner/founder Kyra Bussanich won a big battle on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars! I drooled over the offerings.

Then, I noticed that all the offerings were gluten-free. Um. I don’t really have anything against gluten-free, but my past experience didn’t really make me a fan. I did recall reading that the owner’s motivation to create her shop was to make gluten-free delicious. I was willing to give it a try. Oh. My. God. Seriously, some of the BEST cupcakes I have ever had! There are not a lot of cupcakeries I’d go out of my way to re-visit, but I will most definitely be heading back there the next time I’m in Portland! Everything was amazing. I had a sample of the scones – delicious! But I had my eye on the cupcakes. I did break with my usual tradition of only buying cupcakes to purchase a couple of their cake bites. A small sphere of cake rolled in chocolate. I had the chocolate mint and the mocha. So moist, so flavorful. I wanted so much more than a bite each!  Then, the cupcake! What to choose? I went for the hot chocolate and it was amazing! Again, moist, but not so moist that it fell apart at the first bite (I hate that). Full of flavor and the right ratio of cake to frosting. The marshmellowy buttercream frosting was just the right amount of sweet. Mmmmmm! I also took a bite of my sister’s birthday cake cupcake – I tend to keep away from vanilla flavored cakes (I love chocolate) but this one was pretty delicious – I’d buy it again! If you’re lucky enough to live in Portland, I highly recommend eating your way through the menu! 🙂 It changes daily!

So the coast. Gorgeous! I’ll write more about it later. I want to talk food! The first thing we did was stop here:

where we enjoyed the view

and picked up freshly caught oysters and clams. The owner of Kelly’s (Mr, Kelly?) was a hoot – ebullient, friendly, and funny!  Bob and John made plans to return in a day for crabbing.  John prepared the oysters and grilled them. I’d never had grilled oysters before. I am a full-fledged fan of oysters on the half-shell and didn’t know what to expect from grilled oysters. WOW! Incredible! Still briny (in a good way) and just a hint of smoke – just barely cooked, it seemed. I’m a fan! Bob prepared the clams for linguine and clam sauce which was fab, as always! Gail asked him for the recipe. With the leftovers, Bob made clam chowder. Gail and I devoured the “taste” he let us have while he was finishing it up.

The following day, Bob and John headed back to Kelly’s Marina at low tide to go crabbing. Gail, her daughter, and I headed to a nearby town for shopping (and mostly salt-water taffy). We kept our fingers crossed that they’d catch enough Dungeness crab for dinner…and they did! Five!

Kelly’s cleaned and cooked them, and we all enjoyed the most delicious Dungeness (my favorite) crab I’ve ever had in my life. In fact, I’m worried that I’m spoiled now and won’t be able to enjoy crab as much now that I’ve had such freshly caught ones. (Bob? You may have to take up crabbing….!) I’m drooling now just remembering that meal.

There were nightly campfires – that included hot dogs, S’mores, roasted oysters, and amazing sausage sandwiches. Those three days at the beach house were blissful, relaxing, fun, and delicious!

Categories: Good Eats, Oregon | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Forest Park, Portland OR

Forest Park is located right within the city limits of Portland, Oregon. Encompassing 5,100 wooded acres, it claims to be the largest forested natural area within city limits. It is astounding, how insulated we felt as we hiked the trails within. It was hard to remember there was a city out there.

The morning was cool but not too chilly as Bob, Trixie (our rat terrier), I joined Bob’s son, Jason, and his pooch, Sasha, on a hike through the forest. The web site for the park claims an abundance of wildlife. While we saw and heard signs of wildlife, we only encountered a woodpecker (too far away for me to identify) and this outrageous creature:

He wasn’t the only slug we saw either. Slugs in Oregon are ginormous! I even saw one of this size in my sister’s front garden! I’m not overly squeamish when it comes to wildlife but slugs? *shiver* My niece doesn’t feel the same, however:

This was taken on another day, not in the park on a hike, but at the beach house. This is L’s friend Sluggo. Yes, she named him. Yes, she brought him in the house. Yes, Gail and I screamed. 😉  Back to the hike —

I think we walked for a couple of hours at least. I lost my sense of time as we hiked (mostly uphill it seemed). It was peaceful and serene and very lovely. We had a great time!

This is a short series about our recent trip to Oregon. If you want to see previous posts, click here. There’s a couple more posts still to come!

Categories: hiking, Oregon | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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