Sunday, August 31, 2008
Billy Budd is one of the most photographed icons on the Walla Walla University campus - after the administration building, that is! Most people don't even know who he is or why he's here in front of the library, and to be honest - I'm not sure why they chose the sailor. But Billy Budd is in fact a literary name. Herman Melville began a novella named "Billy Budd," but left it unfinished at his death in 1891. It was not published until 1924. Maybe if I'd read the novella I'd understand why the sailor character was chosen for this campus, but at least this literary character was placed in front of the library. That, at least, makes sense!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I really just loved the sunflowers behind this mailbox. The Union-Bulletin, our local newspaper, distributes blue boxes for delivery of their daily newspaper. For being a small-town paper, it is quite well-done. Which is more than I can say for their counterpart across the Oregon border, sadly enough. I've worked with several of the UB reporters personally, and I've enjoyed every experience. They are professional, friendly, and very helpful. Our little town is fortunate to have such a great team of newspaper reporters and editors to give us the daily news.
Friday, August 29, 2008
I'm unsure how this downtown restaurant got its name. It's a very fun atmosphere - cozy and classy - and I've heard their food is pretty good. Unfortunately, if you're a vegetarian like me, there's not much to choose from. They serve a wide variety of wines, and they are most proud of their steak on the menu. This is a photo of the top of their building; the green awning at the bottom of the shot covers the sidewalk outside the restaurant. On Fridays and Saturdays they frequently have live music, and that makes the atmosphere even more fun! Backstage Bistro is a very modern-style restaurant, and I've never heard anything really bad about them, so I tend to think they're pretty good at what they do!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Sunny weather is back! Still not up to 100*F like it has been in weeks past, and for that I am grateful. Sun means more people outside, like these folks who are dressed for warm weather. They're standing just a few yards from Main Street (to the right of the photo), and what has caught their attention I will never know. I took this picture because before they were distracted, the woman was showing some artwork (presumably her own) to the gentleman with the dog. She looked very happy, and he very engrossed. Unfortunately by the time I turned on my camera and focused, they had found something very intriguing across the road. The red awnings cover the entrance and patio tables to Coffee Perk, not one of my favourite cafes, but still widely used by college students. to the right, where the onion is painted on the wall, is a walk-up window where you can order Walla Walla Sweet Onion Sausages...or something like that. (I don't eat them, so I wouldn't really know what they are!) Next to that, facing Main Street, is Starbucks. Our Main Street has won several awards for its clean and picturesque Main Street, so I hope to post photos of it one of these days. On the top level of that brick building is the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation office, and a beauty salon called the Bee-Hive.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
This week, on a couple blogs I check out regularly, the owners have posted photos of their hubbies. One because her husband of 31+ years died on Sunday after a brain stroke several days prior. The other because she and her husband are celebrating 17 years of marriage (congratulations!). I decided to follow suit, because this week is significant for my husband, as well: He finished his master's degree. Yesterday he submitted his final assignment, completing his work for a Master of Library Science degree. I am SO proud of him! This picture was taken in the fall at Rooks Park, the largest and probably the most popular park in the Walla Walla Valley. There are MANY acres of land here, including a man-made reservoir, a river (I believe it's used for irrigation somewhere along the line), hundreds of trees, and miles of walking trails. It's a beautiful park. Here my husband is sitting on what appears to be an old cement drinking fountain.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
College Place is a small town (approximately 8,000 residents). Although Walla Walla is quite a bit larger (30,000), the area is still a rather familiar size. I say "familiar," because that comes from the word "family," and that's what it feels like here. With so few people, you are sure to know at least one person in any given restaurant, shop, cafe, or department store. The other reason for this is because the area is highly populated by Seventh-day Adventists. This is a result of Walla Walla University, a Seventh-day Adventist institute of higher education, being located here. So, in addition to being in a small town, a majority of folks go to school, work, and church together. One of the fundamental messages of the Adventist church is its health message. A lot of Adventists are at least vegetarian, if not vegan. In addition to the fact that vegetarianism/veganism is a growing fad, that is why this little eatery popped up in a corner of College Place. It's called "His Garden & Bakery," and its cuisine is entirely vegan. And those who don't eat vegan may think that sounds awful and they would never eat here...but honestly, I used to be one of those people and it is DELICIOUS! I highly recommend it. Sandwiches on delicious homemade bread, burritos, soups, cookies, salads, muffins, truffles, smoothies, and even fresh squeezed juices are on the menu. This picture was taken in the middle of the afternoon when it's not too busy, but if I'd been there at noon, there would have been more people than chairs! The place is actually run by a student of Walla Walla University who had a dream while studying in Greece that "if you bake it, they will come." He returned to College Place and started this restaurant focused on healthy eating, and he is doing very well...in addition to attending classes at the university! If you're ever in this little corner of the world, I recommend stopping by His Garden and Bakery. I might even meet you there for a smoothie.
Monday, August 25, 2008
This may be considered "cheating" because it wasn't actually taken in the Walla Walla Valley, though it was taken close to it. I was in Tri-Cities yesterday with my husband and my sister, and we stopped at Dairy Queen (fast food where we get ice cream and all sorts of delicious dairy desserts). In the parking lot, this "driver" was quite focused on the task before him. It really made me laugh, so I just HAD to share this with you. Please forgive me for posting a photo not taken in the WWV.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I took this a couple of weeks ago and have been waiting for a Friday I could post it. I'm not really an official Skywatch Friday participant, but here it is anyway. It's rather symbolic of the weather we're having here today. The last few days we've had grey, rainy skies, and today there isn't a cloud in the sky and the sun is shining bright. This photo rather appears to represent that breakthrough, and in spite of the fact that I LOVED the grey, dark days, this picture, to me, is beautiful. This was taken in Walla Walla.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Today is definitely a greyscale day. It's dark and wet here again today - something I find odd for a place that usually has temperatures between 95 and 105 F through mid-September. So I had to post something that looked a little sad and grey - like this shed that caught my eye yesterday in Milton-Freewater. It doesn't look like it's used for much other than possibly garden tool storage and some wasp homes. But what really caught my eye was how unlucky that building must be. Tradition says that hanging a horseshoe in a U above a door brings good luck to all who pass through the doorway. Hanging it in an "n" shape allows all the good luck to fall out. Is this an omen or a statement about this poor little abandoned shed?
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
On Monday evening the sky turned quite dark and the wind starting blowing harder and harder. When I got home from work around 5:30 it was nice and cool outside and the wind was comfortable. So my husband and I put potatoes in the oven for dinner and then took the dog on a walk. About halfway through the walk (several blocks away), the wind REALLY picked up and blew sand, dirt, and debris into our faces and ears. It was difficult to keep our eyes open, and the dog was quite disturbed. We did make it home, but the sky was VERY dark by then, and it started to rain. We had to move our patio furniture around the corner under our carpark so it wouldn't blow over and break. The lightning show was fabulous and the thunder was deep and vibrated the entire house. It was a fantastic storm, and we loved every minute of it. Well, except for the part where it ended. I love summer storms! We don't get enough of them here.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
During the summer this view is not nearly as beautiful as during the spring and autumn. And don't get me started on how ugly this place gets in the winter. We don't get a lot of snow, so slush it is, with grey skies for weeks on end, and temperatures in the teens or 20s a lot of the time. Though I have to admit - I still prefer that to 104 degree summer days. This is a view southwest of College Place.
Friday, August 15, 2008
As people from around the country (world?) know, there is one thing the Walla Walla Valley is famous for (aside from its growing reputation for good wine): onions. Yes, the Walla Walla Sweet you enjoy on your sandwich comes from my home, the Walla Walla Valley. Recently the townsfolk (the governing powers that be?) have decided to use local artists to emphasize this claim to fame. Giant onion-shaped...statues?...have cropped up (no pun intended) all over downtown Walla Walla. Each one is different, because each one was given to a different artist to make beautiful. This one was done by a J. Roberts, and features a scene of harvesters in a wheat field, with the familiar foothills of the Blue Mountains in the background. I'll try to get photos of some others for you to enjoy in the future. This one is located in that "urban park" I posted a few pictures from a couple of weeks ago.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
To the west of College Place lies a cemetery on a hill. It overlooks the elementary and high schools, as well as offering a nice view of the university campus. I enjoy visiting here not because I'm morbid or even because I have a loved one buried here. But rather, the name of the hill this cemetery sits on is beautiful: Mt. Hope. I love the simplicity of the name and all that it implies. And the cemetery itself is beautiful as well, and peaceful. Sometimes I take my coffee here and sit and just enjoy the green, the birds singing, and the peace.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I apologize for the poor quality of this photo, but I had to post it. Maybe they say this all over the country, but this is a menu at Subway, a fast-food restaurant that sells sub sandwiches (hogies, poor boys, etc.), that caught my eye. You can probably see why: Off of this menu I can order not only beverages and side dishes, but children as well! Who knew it could be so easy?!?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This is a picture of the new administration building at Walla Walla University. Though it was finished just last year, it was modeled after the original administration building which opened when the school did in 1892. It's an attractive building, and it's an eye-catcher as you drive through College Place. The three pillars (one of them pictured) on the front portico are unique to the campus, and the bell tower on the fourth floor is the only one in College Place. It's too bad the sky was washed out in this photo - a beautiful blue sky would've made this shot better, I think.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Every Labor Day Weekend my husband and I travel to the Yakima Valley to can peaches and pears with his grandmother. There are plenty of orchards here in the WW Valley, as well, and I just love seeing fresh, ready-to-eat fruit on the trees. It makes my mouth water, especially since peaches are some of my favourite fruit! This tree is a lone tree in a resident's yard in the outskirts of Walla Walla, and is not part of an orchard. I was privileged enough to be allowed to pick a few off this tree, and let me tell you: That fruit was amazing! Some of the best peaches I've ever eaten. If you're ever in this area, I recommend stopping by some fruit stands!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
When you leave the Walla Walla Valley and drive for 45 minutes to an hour in a northwesterly direction, you reach what the locals call "Tri-Cities," which is really just a combination of Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco. They're all so close together it seems like one city, but it's really three. Hence, Tri-Cities. This is where Walla Walla Valley residents must go in order to do any decent shopping. There is a mall in Tri-Cities, as well as a real Italian restaurant (something the Walla Walla Valley still lacks, if any chef is looking to make it big), and plenty of things to spend an entire weekend doing. Probably even a week. But when all is said and done, it's lovely to return home. These windmills can be seen from various places throughout the Walla Walla Valley, but when you see them on your way back from Tri-Cities, you know you're almost home. There are hundreds (thousands?) of these lining the hills that form the western border of the valley, and they provide a great amount of electricity to the Walla Walla Valley. They are pictured here in twilight, just before it's too dark to take pictures anymore.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
This slide is part of a small playground at Rooks Park, another very popular park in Walla Walla. It's on the eastern outskirts of town, within walking distance of Walla Walla Community College. There are hundreds of acres of land here, complete with picnic areas, a stream, a river, walking trails, a greenbelt that takes you back into town, wide open spaces, hills to climb, and a reservoir with countless trails around it. There are some fantastic views from this park, and I will eventually capitalize on them and post some here for your enjoyment. For now, here's an "artsy" shot I attempted in the playground area near the parking lot.
Friday, August 8, 2008
I'm not "signed up" to participate in Skywatch Friday, but since I had this picture, I decided Friday was a good day to post this. This is a glimpse of yesterday's weather, which I would describe as hesitant. It sprinkled a little, shot a few flashes of lightning across the sky, blew a comfortable breeze through the trees, thundered a little, darkened, and brought out the sun for a few moments at a time. I'm not sure the weather knew what it wanted to do today...I kind of liken it to one of those mornings that you can't figure out what to wear. You try a few things - change your shirt, then try all the shirts again with a different pair of pants, then a skirt...you women out there know what I'm talking about! That's what the weather felt like yesterday. But instead of flustered, as I get when I'm having a "bad clothes day," the weather seemed to be enjoying the uncertainty. As though it didn't need to make up its mind. So it didn't.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
These flowers line the sidewalk that follows College Avenue in College Place. The building in the background is Peterson Memorial Library on the campus of Walla Walla University. I hope to have more shots of their campus in the future, as there are some great things to show there. These flowers caught my eye as I sat parked on the side of the road talking on the phone. As of July 1, 2008, it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving without a hands-free set or Bluetooth. Since I'm not interested in spending nearly $100 on a Bluetooth and I hate the cheap-o "stick-'em-in-your-ear" hands-free sets, I typically either don't talk while driving, or keep a keen eye out for police cars while I do. It's a really bad habit to have, talking on the phone while driving, and I'm trying to quit, really I am. Do they make a patch for that?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I remember when I was little and the swingset in our backyard served as a fort, ship, or treehouse. The grass was always something you couldn't touch - a moat, the ocean, or the alligators on the ground ready to eat you. In order to get from the slide to the trapeze, you had to somehow use the monkey bars - otherwise you'd drown or otherwise die for sure! Of course when it was time for dinner, the ground was suddenly safe again, and the alligators all disappeared. This playset is in the backyard of a home in Walla Walla.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I promised more photos of this cute little "urban park" on 3rd Street in Walla Walla. Here is the view as you approach it from the South. It's a perfect little place for a journal-writing, coffee-sipping, shade-sitting summer afternoon. One of these days maybe I'll actually get to try that. To the left, under the tree casting a shadow on the park, is "The Thinker" I posted a few days ago. I wish I knew the name of this tiny park made of brick and cement. Anyone from this area have any ideas?
Monday, August 4, 2008
Of all the barns in the area, this one is my favourite. Though you can't quite tell, this barn is bright red and just fills the epitome of a real farmyard barn in my mind. This scene, observed from what is probably the busiest road in College Place, changes in colours throughout the seasons, but never varies in beauty. I plan to capture it in several different lights and colours over the next few years.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
This fountain was placed in Pioneer Park somewhere around 1910 (can't remember the exact date) and was restored and repaired by a local group in the 1980s. This is one of the first times I've seen this fountain running, as I tend to avoid this park during the warmer days because of its popularity. So I generally see it during autumn and winter, when it is turned off to prevent the pipes from bursting with frozen water. It really is quite a beautiful fountain. While I sate at a nearby picnic bench and enjoyed dinner with my husband and sister, we saw several groups of kids come by and splash around in it. Their giggles made me smile.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
This may be an odd shot, but I really liked this room. I'd never seen a black and white striped room before. This was probably the most elegantly modern bathroom I've ever seen. Yes, I posted a picture of a bathroom. This is actually in the home of some friends of mine, and I'm sure they'd laugh at me if I told them I took a picture of their bathroom. But I really liked it! See how creative people can be? I wish my house was a elegant and beautiful as theirs is. Including the bathroom.
Friday, August 1, 2008
As I've mentioned before, this area is very much a farmscape. Barns - old and new - dot the hills and fields, and between the fields of wheat, onions, and grapes are grazing cows, horses, sheep, and goats. I spotted this beautiful view when I stepped out into the backyard of the house my sister is taking care of while the owners are away for the summer. They have a couple of kittens and we'd stopped by to see them. I couldn't help but grab my camera and snap this shot. Call me a country girl, but I think this scene is so gorgeous and serene.