Showing posts with label Washington Weekend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Washington Weekend. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

See Dick. See Jane. See Ellensburg ~

See Dick’s art.       See Jane’s art.

See Dick and Jane’s Spot in Central Washington State and you’ll find not only their art, but the artwork of nearly 40 other Pacific Northwest artists on display as well.

Entry to Dick and Jane's Spot
We’re spending our summer at our Pacific Northwest home and soothing the travel itch with some in-state travel. Ellensburg, considered the most centrally located city in Washington State, was the focus of a recent travel article I was writing for the Seattle Times newspaper and made for a one-day getaway. (That article can be found at the other end of this link, so just click here.)

Back Yard at Dick and Jane's Spot
In pre-trip research I turned to Trip Advisor and found one of the most highly rated things to do in this university town, is Dick and Jane’s Spot. (Turned out to be a great recommendation.)

Dick and Jane’s Spot has been the real-life home of artists Dick Elliott and Jane Orleman for nearly 40 years. The small house on a corner lot across from the town’s police and fire Station has – in my words – redefined ‘yard art’. 

In the heart of Washington State
There is no admission fee, in fact, a small sign requests that you enjoy their outdoor gallery from the public sidewalk that borders two sides of the corner lot (unless you’ve called in advance and made other arrangements) or from the public walkway they’ve created on the north side of the house or from the alley behind it. And don’t forget to sign the guestbook.

PicMonkey Collage
The newest installation stretches along the alley
Their whimsical creations are made of bottle caps and reflectors – more than 10,000 of them. Over the years the works of other artists have been added to the garden gallery. As works decay (or rust), they are replaced with new items, such as the recently finished dragon that snakes the length of the back fence off the alleyway.

A Blowin' in the Wind and it gets windy in Ellensburg
Dick and Jane were 1971 (art majors) graduates of Ellensburg’s Central Washington State College, today a University. They married the same year and began turning their small home on Pearl Street into a gallery. Dick, aka Richard, Elliott passed away in November 2008 at age 63 from pancreatic cancer. Jane continues to live in their home and curates the outdoor gallery.  Once, they had a dog named ‘Spot’.

Geometric design to the side of the house
While the yard gallery is a fantasy-land setting – their reflector art is nationally-known and has been commissioned for entities that include: the  New York Transit System,  Minneapolis' light-rail system,  the University of Washington's Henry Art Gallery and the Ellensburg Public Library. 

“The Old Inspires the New” reflector installation is found at the entry to concourse A at Seatac International Airport. The State of Washington owns 26 pieces of Dick’s artwork.

PicMonkey Collage
It takes awhile to see it all at Dick and Jane's Spot
If you go:

Map picture

Ellensburg is 107 miles from Seattle via Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass. 

Dick and Jane’s Spot is just south of Ellensburg's historic downtown. Curbside parking is free in their neighborhood – just don’t park in front of the house, 101 North Pearl Street, so you don’t block fire trucks exiting the station across the street.

For those who are out of the area or who are armchair travelers, follow Jane on FB: and her web site is

If you are simply passing through SeaTac and want to check out the installation there (as well as the other art on display) use this Art Map for the airport:

That’s it for this week and again we thank you for the time you’ve spent with us. We wish you happy and safe travels.  We are spending our summer planning season figuring out future travels. I'll tell you about that next week!
Linking this week with:

Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Photo Friday
Weekend Travel Inspiration

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Washington Weekend ~ Apples Found Round-the-World

For the next few weeks our seasonal “Washington Weekend” posts return to TravelnWrite. In them we’ll take you along with us on road trips and ‘staycations’ in the Pacific Northwest’s, Evergreen State. The series begins, however, on the other side of the world. . .

We’d flown to the other side of the world – 11,149 air miles or 17,942 air kilometers – in April to board Oceania’s Nautica in Bangkok, Thailand for a cruise to Istanbul, Turkey.

PicMonkey Collage
Back-of-the-seat monitors let you track your travel on Emirates Airlines

By whatever measurement, miles or kilometers, we were a long way from anything Washington State. . .or so we thought, until. . .

. . . we went into a grocery store just down the road from The Peninsula Hotel where we were staying in Bangkok. Grocery stores are among our favorite places to ‘tour’ when traveling because we find local foods interesting.  And sometimes the food isn’t always local, as we found out when we found ourselves standing before a display of Washington State apples.

PicMonkey Collage
Apple display - Bangkok, Thailand
Pretty cool, we thought. (If you are new to the blog, you may not know that our childhood and early adult roots are in Washington State apple country; in fact, The Scout’s family were apple orchardists in Chelan. Therefore, the apple holds a special place in our hearts.)

The following week, in Phuket, Thailand, our third port of call, we’d sought shelter from the heat in a large retail complex which housed a large, very modern grocery store. Once again, we happened upon Washington State apples. Quite a selection as a matter of fact:

Washington Apples - Phuket, Thailand
(Although larger, Washington apple display didn’t quite compare with the ‘gift-wrapped’ Asian-grown variety next to them. Of course, by then we were taking ‘ownership’ in these Washington grown fruits and predicted that ‘ours’ probably tasted far better):

Asian apple display - Phuket, Thailand
It wasn’t until we reached India that we really were reminded of the far reaching impact of our state’s apple industry. I have to admit the salesmen at the Mumbai fruit and vegetable market couldn’t get over my fascination with the apples we found for sale. But it seemed there was a Washington State apple box at every turn.

PicMonkey Collage
Washington apples were everywhere in the Mumbai market
India, we’ve since learned, was the fifth largest importer of Washington apples in 2013/14 with some 2.3 million boxes shipped there, according to the Washington State Apple Commission. (For those who like stats, Mexico was the largest importer at 10.5 million, followed by Canada, UAE (Dubai) and Taiwan).

The Commission reports that about 30% of the state’s apples are exported to 60 countries in the world!.  We probably could have found them everywhere we stopped, had we taken the time to look!

Apple Country travel is close to Home

ChelanToppPort2010 044
Apple orchard above Manson at Lake Chelan

The good news for those of us living in – or those visiting – Washington State is that apple country is easily reached within a few hours drive – no need to fly half-way around the world to find a great apple. Since wine country has co-mingled itself in the state’s orchard country, it is easy to follow Washington’s wine roads and find yourself in the midst of apple country as well. 

Apple orchard Yakima with Mount Adams in background
There are still 175,000 acres of apples grown here, primarily in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Apple harvest begins in mid-August and generally ends in early November.
Notice the similarities between the wine region and apple land maps below.

We’ll pay more attention to those apple trees the next time we take a Washington road trip – no telling where in the world we might find ourselves and those apples being harvested the next time!

IMG_5100Again thanks so much for the time you spent with us today.

Have you found a taste of home on your travels? If so, please share the story in the comments below.

Our Magic Carpet lands in Myanmar in our next post. Hope you’ll be here when it does.  We are linking with Mosaic Monday so stop by there if you get a chance!

Until then, thanks to the Washington State Apple Commission for letting us reprint these fun facts about Washington’s apple crop:



Apple Crop Fun Facts

  • 10 - 12 billion apples are handpicked in Washington State each year.
  • Each Washington apple is picked by hand. There are no harvest machines to pick apples.
  • If you put all of the Washington State apples picked in a year side-by-side, they would circle the earth 29 times.
  • About 2,500 known varieties of apples are grown in the United States. More than 7,500 are grown worldwide.
  • Last year, the average U.S. consumer ate 19 pounds of fresh apples.
  • Red Delicious is the apple variety named as favorite by most consumers.
  • Apples are the largest agricultural product grown in Washington State.
  • Apples originated in Kazakhstan and were carried east by traders on the Silk Road.
  • The only apple native to North America is the crabapple.
  • Apple seeds are like people; you will never get the exact same type of apple from a planted seed.
  • The Red Delicious apple began life as a chance seedling on an Iowa farm. A chance seedling is a viable apple variety that grows from a seed.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Washington Weekend: Our Roots in the Fruit Bowls

We were born and raised in fruit bowls.                             
Figuratively speaking, that is. 

I’m from Yakima and Joel hails from Chelan; cities some 160 miles apart in Central Washington State. It’s a land of lush orchards, truck gardens and vineyards. 

Map picture

Having now lived for many years in the bustling Seattle Metropolitan area we have a greater appreciation for our ‘roots’ and  often find ourselves drawn back to our hometowns when we need a deep breath of blue sky and open spaces.
CashmereVictoriaBC 092

Sometimes we’re so focused on our hometowns, though, that we miss some incredible places along the way.

For instance, it took an invitation from the tourism association to get us to visit Wenatchee, a charming town of just under 33,000 residents that stretches out along the banks of the Columbia River.  Located only 30 minutes from Chelan, we’ve driven past it for years, never stopped. 

CashmereVictoriaBC 056But having spent a weekend there in July, we now know we’ve missed winery tasting rooms, charming restaurants, (the one pictured is housed in the old train depot) and one-of-a-kind dress and decorator shops scattered throughout its historic downtown. I'll get to all that in a future post. For now. . .

It is August. The harvest season. And if you find yourself in this fruit bowl you can have a taste of the area at:

CashmereVictoriaBC 0311. Tiny’s Organic is a family-owned farm (and anything but 'tiny'), that participates  in a CSA (community supported agriculture) program.

This farm/orchard combo delivers weekly to subscribers of its service in Seattle just-harvested veggies and fruit. And they also welcome visitors to come experience the farm and see what they raise first-hand.

For those old enough to remember it, this East Wenatchee spread, is no relation to the famous Tiny’s Fruit Stand that operated decades ago along the highway outside Cashmere.

CashmereVictoriaBC 035Harvest of Lapin cherries had begun only hours before we arrived. 
Walking among the pickers and the bins of harvested fruit, we were invited to pick samples right off the tree (no big deal to some of you, but I had never done that before. Yes, this photo is all that remains of these lovelies - I ate them.)

CashmereVictoriaBC 026 Both young and old will love the chicken coup. Suppose this could be considered ‘glamping’ in the animal world?

Tours and Tastings:
Tours are free but do require advance reservations at Tiny’s Farm, 669 S. Ward Avenue, East Wenatchee, 509-264-3973,

2.  Snowdrift Cider Company, just down the road from Tiny’s makes award-winning hard cider.  I’d heard of the beverage before but never had sampled any until this visit.  I just may have a new ‘bad’ habit’!
CashmereVictoriaBC 038
Peter Ringsrud and his family operate this business that offers five blends (each with an alcohol content of 8 – 9%and slightly sparkling, meaning slightly bubbly), Dry Cider, Orchard Select, Cliffbreaks Blend, Semidry Cider and Perry.  The beverages reminded me of a cross between an Italian Prosecco and the Portuguese Vinho Verde.
CashmereVictoriaBC 041Peter led our tour and tasting, teaching us about pairing each with a particular sliced gourmet cheese and crackers. (This is the view from outside the tasting room.)

Tours and Tastings are free (but advance reservations are recommended)  at Snowdrift Cider Company, 277 Ward St., East Wenatchee, 509-630-3507,

3. The Farmhouse Table Foods Market, at 10 N. Mission Street, Wenatchee, operates year round.  There you’ll find locally grown vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, cheeses, honeys and baked goods here.  

CashmereVictoriaBC 028Food Market’s hours are May – November: Tuesday – Friday, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.. Winter hours (December – April) Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. For information: 509- 888-3010.

Our stay in Wenatchee was as guests of the tourism association, but we aren't the type to make recommendations if we didn't like the place. Speaking of recommendations, where are your favorite ‘fruit and produce’ stands in Washington? What about wineries and locally made beverages? Add a comment below or email us at


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...