This is Laura Domela's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Laura Domela's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Laura Domela
Portland, OR
On the road in a 2010 27'FB Airstream International
Recent Activity
Image
Last week we flew down to San Jose for work, and then continued on down to San Diego to spend a few days visiting our good friends Jake and Patti. I've known Jake and Patti since I was 20 years old (so, you know, not that long), and Kevin's known them since he's known me. They were the two witnesses at our wedding (in our living room in Portland, in 1997, along with Kevin's daughters) and it was so nice to get to hang with them for a few days. We flew into Carlsbad, CA. The flight through the Los Angeles airspace was strangely smooth with little traffic ("Where IS everyone?"). ATC routed us right down the coast from Seal Beach to Carlsbad...gorgeous! Jake and I both really like to cook (remember, camping with the sous vide?), and we spent two of our four days in San Diego cooking up two different multi-course dinners (we've done this before). We planned two nights' worth of menus and went to work! Dinner No. 1 Appetizer: figs stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in prosciutto First course: salmon, sorrel, and mustard, wrapped in filo dough and topped with sorrel cream sauce (delicious, I'm totally... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Riveted
Image
We flew down to San Jose for some work stuff this morning and thanks to a killer tailwind we got here with plenty of time to spare. We thought we'd grab a quick lunch before our meeting, so I pulled up Yelp on my iPhone and searched nearby restaurants. We decided on Kenny's Cafe. It was close to the airport, the ratings were good (4.5 out of 5 stars average), and there were 65 reviews (soon to be 66). Kenny's is about a mile from Atlantic Aviation and easy to miss. A "mom and pop joint/hole in the wall" description was accurate. We were a little on the early side of the lunch window and there were only two other customers seated when we walked in. We were greeted by the very enthusiatic and friendly Kenny, who welcomed us warmly as first time guests. The walls and ceiling are covered with photos of Kenny's very valued customers, and he is proud of the number of regulars he's collected in the two years he's been open. We asked what was the best, and he came around in front of the counter to show us three photos of happy customers with their... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at Riveted
Image
Work work work work coffee work work working more work a tiny break then more work. Morning hike, back to work, work work, shower, food, work work work work work work more coffee then more work. Hey look, a deer is eating my plants! Back to work work work then dinner then some work and oh just a bit more work and then what do you know it's bed time? So, we're home for a bit and this is what it's like. Not too exciting to write about, huh? (But hey, we have slammin' fast internet at home, so there's that!) :) Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at Riveted
Image
(Posted by Kevin) My last drone was lost at sea in March. Apparently we didn’t do a blog post about it at the time, which is a mystery because it was exactly the kind of event we’d normally blog about. We were on the Oregon coast, and I’d been flying the drone over the beach and along the rocky shoreline all day. The GoPro HD camera was capturing the best-quality video I’d ever gotten from a drone - smooth, sharp, no vibration - and the gimbal was keeping the camera nicely level. I had spent a few weeks building and tuning it to get those excellent results. In First Person View (FPV) mode - it could go more than two miles away - with its long range control and video radio links. On about the fifth flight of the day, I invited Laura out to watch on the “guest” video goggles. It’s like taking a ride on the drone. I was flying it along the beach, and cut out over the water for a bit - the drone was about 1800 feet away from us when the video suddenly went to static - with no warning. We tried various rescue... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at Riveted
Image
This morning we got up at 5am and headed down to the Fremont Bridge for the start of the 2014 Providence Bridge Pedal. This is a super fun ride (we've done it once before, on the tandem). There are several options for this ride. There's a 10 bridge option (33 miles), an 8 bridge option (24 miles), a 6 bridge option (13 miles), a kids pedal (3 miles over two bridges), and "Stride" which is a 5.5 mile walk over two bridges). There's also the Fremont Express option, which is 36 miles, does 10 bridges, but gets to start just after sunrise from the middle of the Fremont Bridge. This is pretty cool because the Fremont Bridge is normally closed to pedestrians and cyclists -- only cars allowed. So having a half an hour or so up at the top of the bridge was really neat! They had water stations and a bunch of food laid out on tables for the riders (bananas, donuts, bagels, etc.), along with a string ensemble playing music for us as we waited for the start time (6:45am). And we're off: It's super fun to ride through the city on bikes with the freewyas and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2014 at Riveted
Image
We took off late this morning and flew the Cirrus to Kelso, WA to pick up my mom for a flight up to Orcas Island for lunch. My mom has been flying with us a couple times, but she's not so much of a flyer, normally. She's only been in the Cirrus once when we first got it, and before that she flew once with me in our previous plane (an Aerocommander Lark, kinda like a Cessna 172) after I got my pilot's license (because really, how could she not? I got a PILOT'S LICENSE!!!!!) I think the whole-plane parachute that comes with the Cirrus is a great feature for people who are bit scared about flying. Anyway, look at this -- (L to R) Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood, on the way to Kelso: Here we are coming into the San Juan Islands: Approaching the runway at Eastsound on Orcas Island: Parked and ready to head to lunch: There's a nice public path from the airport right to town: We had lunch at the Madrona Bar & Grill. Right there. Right out there on that little top deck: With this view: All three of us ordered... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2014 at Riveted
Image
At some point in my childhood, I became aware that I had two catastrophe fears -- quicksand and tidal waves -- and that I had no clue where those fears originated. Could it have been that time the neighborhood kids all helped fill sandbags near our apartment in Seal Beach, California as a storm was threatening to flood the old town area? Is that what caused me to imagine the many scenarios where a giant wave had crashed over the town and I was floating down Main Street on my bunk bed boat? Certainly the silly, unrealistic scenes on Gilligan's Island where someone was sinking into a quicksand puddle weren't scary enough to cause my worry and fear of quicksand, were they? I was born in Alaska and we lived in Anchorange until I was 5 years old. Once, a few years back while I was working on this portrait project with my brother in Girdwood, Alaska, as we were driving the stretch of road along the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet between Anchorage and Girdwood, someone in the car told a crazy story about a woman who had gone out onto the mudflats at low tide and gotten... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at Riveted
Image
The tortilla press I ordered arrived this afternoon (from Laredo, TX!) and I decided we should get right to it and have tacos tonight! Kevin smoked some tomatoes and peppers on the Traeger for what started out to be one hour but ended up to be almost three hours (that's what happens when you're cooking while working). Nice and smoky! First, I used the tomatoes, some of the jalapenos and poblanos, fresh garlic, shallots, cilantro, and a few more raw tomatoes and made some homemade salsa (just throw it all in the Vitamix and season to taste). This particular batch of salsa turned out SO good! Next (also in the Vitamix) I used one of the smoked poblanos and half a jalapeno, added a bunch of Oregon Star tomatoes, a red bell pepper, a peeled English cucumber, shallots, garlic, olive oil, a dash of salt, and some Vinagre Jerez (Spanish sherry vinegar) and made another batch of gazpacho. (No photo, you've seen it before.) Next up: guacamole! Three large ripe avocados, half of one of the smoked poblano peppers, half a smoked jalapeno, garlic, shallots, lime juice, cilantro, salt...mix it up by hand in a bowl and voila! Now onto... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at Riveted
Image
I found a recipe for a cocktail I'd never heard of (while looking for cocktail recipes containing Aperol) and decided to try it out on our friends last night when they came over for dinner. It's called an Amber Road and here are the ingredients (plus a mint sprig, maple syrup, and fizzy water, not shown): For one cocktail: Add 1½ ounces of bourbon (I used Bulleit), 1 ounce of Aperol, ½ ounce of fresh lemon juice and ¼ ounce of maple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Add a dash of Angostura bitters. Shake it up hard, then strain it into a tall glass with ice. Add 2 ounces of soda, and garnish with a lemon wheel and mint sprig. It was delicious! Really delicious. Also: I mixed the bourbon, Aperol, bitters, maple syrup, and lemon juice up before hand and kept it in the fridge. When our guests arrived I just added ice to the shaker and shook away, then poured the shaken concoction over ice, added the fizzy water and mint sprig, and done! Related articles Swank & Swine Aperol Spritz Ice-Free Martini Glasses Airstream Cocktailware Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at Riveted
Image
This morning we did our usual hike in the Arboretum (about 4 miles), but we figured we should really get a bike ride in too, since we're doing the 36 mile Bridge Pedal route next Sunday (one week from today) and we really haven't been riding that much lately. So this afternoon we loaded the tandem into the back of the truck and headed for Sauvie Island. We've had our tandem for about 9-10 years and it's a great bike. (Notice, it's ALSO aluminum!!) It's a Santana Sovereign. There's a really nice 12 mile loop around the south end of the island that looks like this: Sauvie Island is the largest island along the Columbia River at 26,000 acres, and is predominantly farms and wildlife refuge. It's flat and has fairly low traffic so it's a great place to cycle. Here are some photos of our ride, and oh yeah, it was 90 degrees out. Hot!! There are several farm markets out here where you can get fresh produce and/or pick your own berries and flowers. Corn maze and pumpkin patch opens on Labor Day: I saw these cows. They were eating grass, just like it says. Related articles A... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2014 at Riveted
Image
Why have I never made my own mayonnaise when it's THIS easy? I just happened upon that recipe and it sounded so simple that I had to try it. It honestly took me about 30 seconds to make, and it is delicious. I made mayo because I roasted some artichokes for dinner last night and wanted to come up with a healthy dip for them. (I've never roasted artichokes, either, so that's new too!) Usually I boil them or partially boil them and then finish them on the grill or under the broiler with garlic and a little olive oil. This time I trimmed them, pulled the leaves open a bit, poured some olive oil over them so it got down in between the leaves, added some chopped garlic (also getting it down between the leaves), squeezed some lemon juice over the top, salted and peppered, then wrapped them individually in foil and put them in the oven at 425 degrees F for about an hour and 45 minutes (these were LARGE artichokes). They turned out great! For the dipping sauce, I used my homemade mayo and added to it a little Worcestershire, sesame oil, roasted garlic powder, and a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2014 at Riveted
Image
Kevin finally got all of the parts from Team Black Sheep to build his new Discovery Pro FPV Gimbal Quadcopter. He hasn't flown since The Incident, (I can't believe Kevin didn't do a post about The Incident on Riveted, but this'll give you some background if you want, plus more technical stuff than you probably need...) and I was happy to see the box from Hong Kong arrive on the porch a few days ago. He's busy building now and it should't be long 'til he's got a new flying photo machine in the air again! This is our kitchen table right now. (He probably doesn't need that salad bowl right there in his work space now, does he?) Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at Riveted
Image
We've gotten back into our morning hike routine while at home and we love it. Our normal route is just under 4 miles in about an hour and it is gorgeous! We feel pretty lucky to live this close to so many miles of beautiful trails. We also replaced our Fitbit Force fitness tracking bands. Kevin lost his sometime on a trip, and mine was starting to give me a little skin irritation so I returned it for their voluntary recall/refund offer and we picked up a couple of these Withings Pulse O2 trackers instead. I love having all my data again! This new one also does heart rate and blood oxygen level, comes with a black wristband and a clip and so far, I dig it! The wrist band is a standard 18mm watch band with the springy things so you can use whatever style of watch band you like. Oh yeah, and the other day on our hike, we came around a bend on the trail and surprised a pair of woodpeckers on a tree, right about at eye level. It was so cool! We stopped and tried to move around the tree to see them after they'd... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at Riveted
Image
I'm a huge fan of gazpacho. It's fresh, healthy, fairly simple to make, and the creative possibilites are endless. Last night I made a standard spicy tomato gazpacho and garnished it with some of our friend Amelia's homemade spicy corn relish, a couple thin slices of Spanish chorizo, and a swirl of really good olive oil. Served along with this nice cool soup: grilled local zucchini (olive oil, salt & pepper) and smoked prawns that had been marinated in lime juice and chopped jalapenos. We opened a bottle of Cass Vineyards Viognier to go with the meal, and it was a perfect summer dinner. I'm not too good at the whole "keeping track as I experiment thing", but here's the basic recipe, sort of. 5 or so large (good) tomatoes. I used local Oregon Star Tomatoes because they're in season, but I also use the big heirlooms too sometimes. 1 jalapeno, seeded 2-3 cloves garlic one red bell pepper 1/2 a large shallot, diced half of a cucumber (if English, with peel...otherwise, peeled) good olive oil (1/4 to 1/2 cup or so) Vinagre de Jerez (Spanish sherry vinegar) I cut the vegetables all into large chunks (tomatoes, pepper, cucumber) and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2014 at Riveted
Image
For raw oysters eaten on the half shell, I normally make some variation on a classic mignoette sauce: champagne vinegar, Prosecco or Champagne, shallots, fresh ground pepper. Since we picked up enough oysters yesterday for more than just one meal, I decided to make a few different sauces, so I googled "mignonette recipes" and found several that sounded interesting. I ended up making five: 1. Classic mignontte (front, standard favorite) 2. Lemon/cucumber/jalapeno/vodka (right, bright light yellow, one of our favorites) 3. Shoyu/scallion/rice wine vinegar/ginger (dark one in the back, least favorite...we needed pickled ginger or seaweed for this one to work better) 4. Sriracha/grapefruit/tequila/scallions/vinegar (red one on the left, another favorite). 5. The fifth sauce (not shown) was more of a relish, with minced cucumber, ginger, rice wine vinegar, shallots, and pepper. It was good, but not as good as the two favorites and the classic. We had three oysters courses last night. For the first course we smoked/grilled a few of the Shigokus on the Traeger with a bourbon chipotle butter sauce (delicious, we'll definitely be repeating this). The second course was a half dozen of the teeny tiny Olympia oysters, with the classic mignonette, and the third course... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2014 at Riveted
Image
We headed out to explore Hood Canal today. We're staying right near the town of Hoodsport on Hood Canal near the Olympic National Forest in Washington. Hoodsport is apparently renowned among SCUBA divers as a staging area to view the giant Pacific octopus (cool!!!) The shores along the canal are mostly rocks and shells (oyster, clam). Clam season is apparently over, but oyster season is not, and there were plenty of people out doing what looked like gathering shellfish as we drove past. We were headed down toward Shelton to Taylor Shellfish Farms to pick up some of their Shigoku oysters (our favorite). Shigokus were developed by Taylor Shellfish Farms (right here!) and we were lucky enough to discover them about 1/2 mile from our house in Portland at our local market that happens to carry them most of the time. (But it's still fun to get them right from the source!) Taylor Shellfish is quite an operation. The seafood store had everything we wanted (Shigokus, and the tiny Olympia oysters) and we left with four dozen Shigokus and two dozen Olympias. Hey guess what we're having for dinner tonight and tomorrow night?? Shigoku oysters are grown in floating bags... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2014 at Riveted
Image
The 7:30pm ferry ride from Victoria to Port Angeles was gorgeous. We saw two different pods of orcas during the 90 minute trip, and the sun was setting just as we approached Port Angeles. It was a bit of a tight squeeze on the ferry, but no issues: The light was perfect as we were leaving Victoria: There were three cruise ships in port: Ferry at dusk: Approaching Port Angeles: Back to the Airstream: After disembarking at Port Angeles around 9pm we drove about an hour and 45 minutes south on Highway 101 to Hoodsport, where we're now set up (well, we're parked, but not unhooked or plugged in -- we are level though...I used ALL the blocks!!). It was late and we didn't want to be annoying, so we made the least racket possible and just decided to deal with the rest of it in the morning. Tomorrow we plan to hit Taylor Shellfish Farms, just a bit south of here in Shelton, WA for some of our favorite oysters: Shigokus! It looks like they also have Olympia oysters (the teeny tiny ones we had up at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island) so we'll probably need to get... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2014 at Riveted
Image
We had some breakfast and did some work this morning before it was checkout time at Westbay Marine Village in Victoria. Since we're on the 7:30pm ferry tonight to Port Angeles, we had a bit of time to kill. (Long story, but the basic deal is: make reservations more than a day ahead of time for the ferry when you are 48.1 feet long and it's the middle of summer.) We headed over to Thetis Lake Provincial Park because they had a day use area and we figured we'd be able to park there for the rest of the day and hike or ride bikes out from there if we wanted. We paid for the two parking spaces we were taking up and headed off to hike around the lake. It turned out to be a beautiful hike, with some fun signage along the way: We decided to head over to the ferry terminal early to see if there was any chance of getting on the 3pm ferry. There wasn't. So we parked and walked over to grab some lunch and sightsee a bit more. The ferry was just arriving as we walked past and we noticed the different configuration... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2014 at Riveted
Image
Last night we had a second chance to have dinner at the Sooke Harbour House in Sooke BC, after our reservation spaceout last week. The above photo is the view from our dinner table (!!!) looking across the Strait of Juan de Fuca over at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula. (Our table came with binoculars...nice touch!) This is the dining room looking back from the window view: We ordered the four course tasting menu with wine pairings, and ordered two different things from each section, so we got to try quite a few dishes. The presentation of each dish was beautiful, and the light from the window on my left made for some pretty nice photos. First courses Black Pearl Oysters (on the half shell with begonia, radish, and verjus): Morel Mushroom and Kombu Broth (morels, heirloom cherry tomatoes, radish and english peas): Second courses Steamed Smoked Sablefish (green beans, potato, candied hazelnut, pickled beets and beet gel, potato & sorrel vinaigrette) -- this may have been my favorite dish: Duck Leg & Smoked Breast (plums, walnuts, watercress, wild rice & popcorn, honey mustard and fig leaf ice cream): Main courses Seared Sockeye Salmon (beans, summer squash, tomato, Vernena... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2014 at Riveted
Image
This morning we got up and worked, did some work, and then worked some more. For our lunch break, we headed down to the docks and caught an adorable little water taxi across the harbour. It was still pretty dark and windy, but the rain had stopped for a bit. Our ride's here! Leaving the West Bay Marine Village: Dark sky with purple martin house silhouette: We got off the harbour ferry at Miner's Landing and headed straight for Red Fish Blue Fish for some lunch (well, or breakfast...brunch? We have an early dinner reservation tonight so we just did a late breakfast/early lunch combo today and this place was it!) Their website said they opened at 11:30am. We arrived at 11:15am, and there was already a line of about a dozen people (we knew this would probably be the case). Red Fish Blue Fish is on the pier right by Miner's Landing, inside of an upcycled cargo container. It's cool, and has a great reputation for their food. We had a 1-piece halibut fish & chips, a grilled, seared albacore tuna tacone (a cone-shaped taco), a half order of grilled Fanny Bay oysters, and a couple of Pellegrinos. Our... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2014 at Riveted
Image
This morning we left our gray rainy campsite (wow! things changed overnight!) in Tofino and headed back across the island on our way to Victoria. But first, here's one more shot from yesterday at Bella Pacifica Campground while it was still sunny: Oh wait, there are a few more things I want to mention that we did before we left Tofino. Yesterday afternoon we went into town to grab some oysters, and right as we got back to the car I looked up in response to some intense bird sounds and said to Kevin quickly "lookuplookuplookup!!!" There were about eight bald eagles flying overhead, and two of them were in dramatic combat. As we watched them RIGHT above us, two of them went careening into each other, locking talons (you could HEAR them hit each other, that's how close they were) and spiraling through the air. After a couple rounds of that, the loser retreated to the top of a nearby tree while the others went on their fish-hunting way over the bay. It was so cool to see this so close! Here are two of them -- already much higher than before -- after the drama was over (when... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2014 at Riveted
Image
The other day we went in search of a beach Kevin remembered from his childhood. We had a great day exploring Tofino (after cramming in a bunch of work while eating breakfast and getting internet at a cafe in town). First, we headed out to Tonquin Park and hiked down to the beach. Next we headed south toward Ucluelet. We stopped and hiked a bit out from the Amphitrite Lighthouse on the Wild Pacific Trail. Both "Wild" and "Pacific" ... check! Gorgeous coastline, isn't it? It was nice that the sun came out yesterday, too! We headed into Ucluelet and checked out a marina RV park where I'd thought about staying, and it's great! We'd definitely come back and stay here. There are about five spots that have great views out over the marina and the water, and a few more around to the side that have this view: And here are some other shots of the marina and downtown (the same thing, really): After driving around Ucluelet a bit, we did a little exploring at Chesterman Beach: ...as well as some more hiking around the rocks near our own beach: Back in Tofino we stopped and had a few... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2014 at Riveted
Image
“It’s called… SHELLLL Beach” My Dad’s eyes tilted slightly higher and his voice took on a reverent, mysterious tone when he said the name of the place. Dad had a way of describing things that made them seem magical. Sometimes, he could impart that mystical quality simply by saying the name - with a certain inflection and a particular combination of body language and tone that made the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. And, you knew that he was telling you about something special, something rare and unique, something that you might remember for the rest of your life. It was 1969. I was eight years old and it was the summer after the second grade. We had just celebrated my little brother’s first birthday on the East side of Vancouver Island at a place called Qualicum Beach - a place where the tide seemed to go out for miles, and you could wade almost out of sight from shore while still standing in water that came only to your knees. Now, we were across on the West side of the island at Tofino - which seemed to me like the boonies of the boonies. Our... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2014 at Riveted
Image
We're now in Tofino, BC (above photo from Mackenzie Beach). Tofino is across Vancouver Island from where we were last (Nanaimo), on the west coast. It's rugged and lovely. It feels like a California surf town plopped down somewhere in Alaska. The drive over here was not even close to as tough as we'd heard, but then we've driven some pretty tough roads. This is just before the 18% grade: The drive was beautiful... ...and just a tiny bit hairy at times (we were on the outside going this direction so we just had to watch for large vehicles moving over into our lane...and there weren't any). I drove the first half of the drive and Kevin drove the last half. I got the better deal, for sure. We're camped at Mackenzie Beach Resort for two nights and we'll move over to Bella Pacifca for the last night. So far the $4/day internet at Mackenzie Beach has been, um, basically like not having internet, so we're at a cafe in town right now having breakfast, doing some work, and soaking up the connectivity. The campground is full hookups, not too far from the beach, but that's about it. It's very... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at Riveted
Image
Today we drove north to check out the towns of Courtenay and Comax. We took the oceanside route and we're glad we did. We got to see some really lovely towns, including Qualicum Beach. There are a bunch of oceanside RV resorts near here and we'd definitely come back and explore some waterfront camping! Also, we found ourselves driving right through Deep Bay and Fanny Bay, home of Kusshi nd Fanny Bay oysters. We couldn't NOT stop, right? After a little research (Mac's Oysters vs. Fanny Bay Oyster Co.) we stopped at Fanny Bay. It's a tiny little store near the ferry landing and we picked up a dozen Fanny Bay, a dozen Kusshi, and a pound of fresh Qualicum Beach scallops (and a little container of smoked salmon pâté): With a cooler full of ice and shellfish, we continued north to Comox. We stopped to have lunch at a spot near the marina called the Blackfin Pub. The food was great. We shared a one-piece halibut fish and chips and a seafood sandwich with a side caesar salad. View from lunch: We wandered down to the marina after lunch and saw this boat here selling fresh halibut. Too bad... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2014 at Riveted