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12/17/23 - Christmas Trip to Seattle

We took a quick trip into Seattle for a bit of urban life. The ferries were their usual mess. We found out that one of the Bainbridge ferries was out only at the toll booth. We made it into town a bit late but with plenty of time to explore. We scooted up to Volunteer Park to see the Christmas display and back to our hotel in time for check in. There had been a convention going on last time, but this time the lobby was much quieter.

We did some shopping down at Pikes Place Market loading up on holiday cheeses at Delaurenti and admiring the fish and vegetables at Sosio's and Pure Food Fish respectively. There was a beautiful sunset over the sound. We had dinner at Nishino for the first time in a few years and were pleased to see that the food was as good as ever. We even had our usual corner table and really enjoyed our omakase dinner.

Mount Rainier as seen from the ferry

At the Volunteer Park Conservatory

Winter flowers

Is someone hungry?

A bit of Christmas color


The Christmas village

The Christmas tree

More Christmas color

And some more

And yet more, with nutcrackers

The view from our room

A Christmas tree downtown

Seattle sunset


The Market

The market again

Downtown Seattle, under the monorail

A bit of city life

Across from Nishino


A night view

And more night

Keywords: christmas, seattle

12/16/23 - Christmas 2023

We went tree shopping right after we returned from our Thanksgiving trip. B&B on route 101 east of town came through as usual. We found a great tree for the living room with its high ceiling and a smaller tree for the patio. We're a bit behind on our posting, but here's a pictorial recap of our progress.

Tsimtsum - According to the Kabbalah, that's how God made room for creating the Universe. We celebrate Christmas with our own, much smaller, version, making room for our Christmas tree.

The tree in place

Behind the scenes - setting up the tree lights

Our shaman, decorated

The whole house decorated

Outside and in

Lights test

Setting the table

Those little string lights and a ceramic strawberry service make a great centerpiece.

Smoked salmon

Further progress

The topper - Now we can put away the ladder and reassure our insurance company.

Another lights test

Keywords: christmas, shopping, thanksgiving

12/10/23 - Railroad Bridge Christmas

They've been decorating Railroad Bridge in Sequim for Christmas for years now. For years, we have been wanting to see the lights there, but every year we've missed our chance. Christmas season is a busy time of year, so there was always something else to do.

This year, we finally made it down to the bridge towards dusk and got to see the illumination. The sky was cloudy and getting darker. It was raining. The Dungeness River was full from the recent and ongoing rain. The lights were beautiful.

A Christmas eagle

The Dungeness River

The Dungeness River

Keywords: christmas, dungeness, sequim

12/31/21 - Into the Woods Up By The College

The day was sunny, but it was still quite cold. The snow was going to be with us for some time. We got out again. This time it was a walk up to the college and the woods behind it.

Our street


Snow covered everything

Snow in the forest

Sunlight and trees

One of the creeks

The collge

Melting ice, just barely

Mount Baker and a blue sky

Keywords: christmas

12/30/21 - Webster Woods - The Fine Arts Center

The roads were still treacherous, so we stayed close to home. The nice thing about loading the house with food for Christmas is that one has a lot of food in the house. It was still bitterly cold, in the teens, when we made our way over to the Fine Arts Center and Webster Woods.

This is a little arts center but the highlight is a forest full of art work. There are steel pieces, stone work and weavings throughout the woods which are knitted with trails. There are also some nice views of Port Angeles and the Strait of San Juan de Fuca.

Clear air today

Bare trees, gray sky, snow covered sculptures

A view of the town

A partially buried sculpture

Illuminated trees

One of the webs

Light in the forest

More light in the forest

The Pi

Christmas decorations?

More lights

Keywords: christmas

12/28/21 - Christmas in Our Neighborhood

There was pink light in the morning. We took a walk around the neighborhood deep in snow. The city had plowed our street though a fair bit of snow had accumulated since then. We walked up to Peninsula College and wandered around a bit. The air was extremely clear. We could see the San Juan Islands and Mount Baker beneath the gray cloudy sky.

Pink morning sky

Clear view

Across the strait

Near the college

More near the college

Snow covered trees

Seasonal decor

Another view of the strait

Mount Baker

Keywords: christmas

12/26/21 - Christmas Snow

There is nothing like the dark, the cold and the silence of the snow to make one appreciate Christmas lights.

The patio tree lit again

Some candles and a dark sky

The dark scene - This was not actually taken at noon.

Keywords: christmas

12/25/21 - Christmas Day and Lots of Snow

Christmas Day was as exciting as usual with its lights, our favorite foods and a bale of presents. We woke before dawn and found a further surprise. It was snowing and had been snowing for most of the night. We had almost a foot of snow, and it would snow all day. It was just as well that we aren't big ones for a Christmas Day hike or other outdoor activity.

The snow kept the sky dark much of the day and added a lot to the seasonal spirit. We turned on all our lights and hunkered down by the tree.

Christmas Day with the Kalebergs

Some of our neighbors and lots of snow

More neighbors and more snow

Our indoor tree at Christmas Maximum

Our outdoor tree

El Jefe in his Christmas swamp

Some other neighbors and even more snow

Keywords: christmas

12/24/21 - Almost Christmas

It's almost Christmas, so we're just about at Christmas Maximum.

Bumbles and Bumbles

Just about Christmas Maximum

Full lights and ornaments

El Jefe, an alligator friend we brought back from Georgia

The Christmas topper - sort of an LED free form

Keywords: christmas

12/11/21 - Christmas Party

We held a small Christmas party with a handful of vaccinated friends. We served our usual cassoulet with white beans, lots of duck confit and lots of garlic sausage. We had our traditional candle tree lighting outdoors which is much safer. It was cold, but nobody was in a hurry to come back inside. The candles were that beautiful.

Christmas is here

Cassoulet and brie en croute

Linzer tortes

The candle tree illuminated

Close up

Even closer

And closer

Keywords: christmas

12/10/21 - Christmas Lights

Text of entry goes here

The big tree with its topper

The mantel for the season

Our shaman

Setting things up

The patio tree

Dark test

Dark test II

Keywords: christmas

12/08/21 - Christmas Trees

We chose our Christmas trees, the large one for the living room and the smaller one for the patio, the very day we returned from our trip to Georgia. Now, they're set up and we are starting the decorating. This year, we are going heavy on the lights, LEDs and ceramics. We got a bit of a late start, but now we are catching up on Christmas.

The big tree

With its first round of lights

Dark test

Very dark test

Wreath and roping

The tree out back

Another view

Keywords: christmas

11/26/21 - Christmas at the Cloister

We found these pictures a bit late, but we're inserting them here. Welcome to The Cloister at Christmas.

Keywords: christmas, georgia

11/23/21 - Charleston to Savannah

We usually don't travel for Thanksgiving, but this year the friends we usually celebrate with were in Georgia. They even reassured us that the COVID prevalence was lower in Glynn County than back at home. We flew into Charleston and spent the night at Zero George which was both charming and convenient. The next day we picked up our rental car, a little Chevy. It was tiny and bit underpowered, but it was the Chevy that could.

We drove to Savannah and stayed at the Marriott down by the river. It was an old converted power plant, so it was huge and still had its smokestacks towering over it. It wasn't Thanksgiving yet, but the elves were hard at work setting up Christmas trees, draping everything with lights and building gingerbread houses. We were told that our hotel and its environs is usually full of drunken bridesmaids, but we didn't see any.

We met our friends for dinner at Husk and ate on the upstairs porch. Those old buildings were designed for the summer's heat, so they have a fair bit of protected outdoor space for dining. There's something to be said for vernacular architecture. It was a great meal. Naturally, we had some Carolina golden rice along with local oysters, peel-and-eat shrimp with peanuts, lily white biscuits, heritage pork with chestnuts and flank steak with a potato pancake.

The Zero George courtyard

The river in Savannah

A close up of the working port - According to Bloomberg, it's #1 for chicken foot exports to China.

Another view along the river

A gingerbread house under construction

Instead of alligators, they used to have these guys. That skeleton was too big for our lens.

Christmas and minerals


Husk outdoors

An evening urban walk

Urban lights - something we've been missing

More evening in Savannah

Christmas at the candy shop

The candy shop


The river boat

More evening lights with a touch of Christmas

More Christmas decorations as we neared our hotel

Evening lights in Savannah

Keywords: christmas, oysters, thanksgiving

Keywords: christmas, oysters, thanksgiving, georgia

12/25/19 - Back Home Summary - Thanksgiving and Christmas

We went to New York City for a wedding in October, then to Ethiopia in November, but we still had Thanksgiving and Christmas and a trip to Seattle. This is in case you are wondering what we've been up to.

We returned from Ethiopia on Sunday, so we had four full days to Thanksgiving. We were doing Thanksgiving for about a dozen people, so we had to work quickly. Luckily, the turkey we had ordered arrived on time on Tuesday, so the rest of the time was spent shopping, cooking and recovering from jet lag. We had roast turkey, stuffing, kale salad, fennel salad, turnips with vanilla, delicata squash with oysters, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts hash, parmesan potatoes and cranberry chutney. Dessert was pumpkin pie, pecan pie, pecan brittle (just pecan pie filling) and our own dried apples with butter, sugar, and spices. It was a big success.

We chose a tree over the weekend and went into Seattle do some shopping for our Christmas party and to see the lights and sights. As usual, we checked out the gingerbread cookie sculptures on display at the Sheraton and Pike Place Market.

Our trees arrived the day after, and our party was that weekend. We set to with the lights, electric and candle, and started cooking. We soon had both trees under control and a cassoulet in the oven. We lit the candles on the cookie tree, and everyone tried to remember the words to O Christmas Tree. To our credit, no one tried to look them up online while the candles were lit.

We were home. We were out on the street when Santa came by on his illuminated firetruck, and we were all set for the big day.


Seattle sunset - Look, no viaduct!

Gingerbread village

Gingerbread city

Pike Place market

Another view of the market

Near the market

Back home in the grove

Our tree as yet unadorned, no Hanukah candles either


Ready to illuminate

Party night

Godzilla, his nuclear fires lit, admires the party spread

The pièce de résistance

Something to wash it down

Candles lit

All lit up

Santa is coming

The Christmas firetruck

Keywords: port angeles, seattle, christmas, thanksgiving

12/21/18 - Dungeness Dike Christmas

We were back along the Dungeness Dike again to check out the swans and the flood waters of the Dungeness RIver.

A Christmas tree along the dike

High water on the Dungeness

A side branch

The trail in early winter

Visiting swans

Keywords: christmas, dungeness, winter

12/18/18 - Christmas Party

We've been recovering from the excesses of our annual Christmas party, and we've finally gotten around to posting a picture or two. This year it was choucroute, an Alsatian dish centered on sauerkraut. This year we used 14 lbs of sauerkraut, four bottles of champagne, six pigs feet, two ham hocks, two pheasants, two smoked duck breasts and at least a yard of sausages. That's par for the course. We can only lift so much from the oven to the counter.

Our science fiction mantel and our Christmas tree

Our welcoming shaman transforming

The Kaleberg communications center welcomes you and wishes you a Merry Christmas.

The choucroute garnie

The cookie tree, Christmas Godzilla and some goodies

Keywords: christmas

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