Sunday, August 28, 2011
It took about 3-4 days to get back to my walking, but I'm into again. It seems to have cooled a little, but I still have to do it in the mornings. Yesterday was a very interesting day to walk as we were anticipating Hurricane Irene. It was cooler and there were occasional gusts of wind. The sky was very active, with clouds passing by at record speed.....even I could tell that something was brewing. It was like being in the center of a rotation marble. The following photos (by Roddy Medders) were taken off Facebook and show the beauty and drama of what was happening.....keep in mind that the sky looked like this here, where nothing happened. It's hard to imagine what it looked like closer to the eye of the storm.
Luckily for us, that was as exciting as it got. Yesterday vacillated between sunny and overcast skies, with occasional gusts of wind. It began to rain around 4PM, but it lasted only a short while. Around dusk it rained again, and that was it. I thought it would probably rain sporatically through the night, but it didn't. Today was warm and sunny with blue skies and white, puffy clouds. We dodged another one....and for that we're very thankful.
My volunteer time at Palmetto Animal League has also resumed and a lot happened in my absence, which I was pretty much able to keep in touch with through Facebook. I've updated the PAL page on this site, so animal lovers (or those who just like adorable photos!) should check it out to keep abreast of the activity. I continue to enjoy my time there and love being with the animals and animal lovers.......it's a good thing!
Other than that, things have been pretty normal......shampooing carpets, tasting wine at my local shop, searching for my checkbook......yes, it seems that another senior lapse has occurred. I have no idea what has happened to it (or how long it has been missing) but, since no unusual checks have been written to my account, I assume I've "misplaced" it. I've looked in all of the usual places and as many of the unusual places as seem plausable, all to no avail. I'm giving it until Monday to show up and will then contact the bank......and cede defeat!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Yes, I'm home again after a terrific vacation. It was wonderful to get away for a while and see something completely new and different. As you have come to expect, there are lots of photos, as we were busy each and every day. From time to time Jan and I would apologize to the other for the "pace" but, when all is said and done, we both hung in there pretty well. We saw so much that I decided to write a somewhat detailed account (including links to sites, restaurants, etc.), which can be found HERE, and to only cover the highlights in this blog. To cover both the photos and the write up in one visit might be too much......
Two of the major events were planned in advanced and they turned out to be as much fun as we had hoped.
- The first was to see an operatic production of Porgy and Bess at the Seattle Center. Neither of us profess to be opera buffs but it was great to see such a professional production of a folk opera with which we were familiar. It was 3-1/2 hours long, which would take some getting used to, and we both commented on how difficult it would be to sit through a production of that length being performed in another language (although every effort was made to help follow the story line). It would definitely be an acquired taste, but we did enjoy seeing this one, which was set in the Lowcountry. I'm always amazed by the mechanics of the scenery, and this was no exception.
- Our second preplanned outing was a day trip to Victoria, British Columbia. We took the fast boat (Victoria Clipper), which took about 2-1/2 hours and was as quiet and smooth as could be. It was well organized and by the time we arrived, we had booked a tour of Butchart Gardens, which allowed us to walk right off the boat onto the tour bus. The city tour (and our guide) was great, but the gardens were beyond description......you really will have to see the photos, which do not do justice to them. There were rose gardens, Italian gardens, Japanese gardens and, my favorite, the Sunken garden. It was really more than the eyes could take in. Our time there went much too quickly. We finished our tour and went back into Victoria for a walk-around, stopping in the Bengal Lounge at the Empress Hotel. From there we went to the Parliament building, only to discover they were giving free tours of the building. It was lovely inside and we enjoyed the impromptu tour. From there we wondered back to the boat. Unfortunately, this was that day of the trip that most travelers experience......the one where you totally zonk out and can't carry on! On the trip back, I could hardly hold my head up or keep my eyes open. Since much of the trip back was in the dark, I used that an excuse to let it happen. It was a late night, but the next morning we were ready to go again.
Another constant pleasure was the diversity and quality of the food, everything from the sweet, fresh berries we had every morning to the ethnic restaurants for lunch or dinner. It was great! I requested one meal at a real vegetarian restaurant and we went to Cafe Floria, which is a well known, longstanding veggie restaurant it the area. The food was diverse, tasty and very attractively presented. We also had Indian food (several times), Vietnamese food, as well as American fare. All of it was outstanding and I loved the diversity.
There was so much to see and we covered as much as we could. Our first stop was Woodinville and the wine area, where we toured the beautiful grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle. It was there that I ran into the couple I sat with on the plane from Houston to Seattle......who would ever expect that! I also enjoyed the Ballard locks and fish ladder,our day in La Connor (beautiful little town in the farming area of Skagit Valley) and afternoon in Kirkland, Kerry Park and Parsons Gardens, the Japanese Tea Garden, and so much more. A fun day was downtown where we took a tour on "The Duck", which travels on land and in the water. They were actually re-purposed landing craft from WWII. So, we had a rowdy land tour, with music blasting and passengers singing and "discoing".....and then drove directly into Lake Union for a tour from that vantage point. Then, back on land to continue the tour. It was great. That afternoon also included Pike Place Market, a panoramic view from the Columbia Tower and a walk-through of the very modern central library. I know I'm forgetting something, but it was all fun and enjoyable......and we only scratched the surface.
And last but certainly not least, was time with Jan, a long-time friend. Friends with whom you have a history and lots in common are a real treasure and, once together again, the years of separation seem to melt away. Our early evenings and leisurely lunches and dinners provided lots of time to catch up and solve the problems of the world. Thanks also go to new friends, Katie and Frank, who had us for dinner on the night of my arrival. I met them when they and Jan were in Savannah in March and it was nice of them to start my visit in such a nice way. It's always fun to get together with friends, old and new. It was a fantastic break for me and Jan was the perfect hostess. I hope she will let me return the hospitality soon.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
|Wanda, Mama and Me|
|Wanda, Mama, Casey and Hannah|
Anyway, after the wedding we went to the reception, where we saw other relatives we hadn't seen in a while. It was great fun. We got home late, way past Mama's bedtime, but neither of us complained.
|Judge Matthew J. Perry, Jr|
In two days, I'm off to the land of Chateau Ste. Michelle winery and my friend Jan. While I feel I haven't had much time to prepare or plan for it, I'm looking forward to getting away, especially from the heat, and seeing something new. I've visited Jan in Seattle before, but it's been so long ago that it will all seem new again. My lack of planning has not deterred Jan....she has some really fun things planned......to the point of making me feel guilty. She's sent lists of activities, restaurants, etc......all of which whet my appetite and excitement. Coming from this quiet little hamlet, I know there will be more to do than we can possibly cover. It should be a good mixture of activity and catching up......I'm really looking forward to it.
So, it will be at least a week before you hear from me again. I'm hoping all is well with you and that, in the intervening time, you have as much fun as I plan to have.
Take care....and keep in touch.