Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kil'n Time

Tom and Maddy went to a pottery class at a place called Kil'n Time.  What a clever name!  Not sure what Tom is working on there.  Looks like a dragon or dinosaur though. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Explore the Shore

I always love seeing when Tom or Maddy post photos from Pensacola.  Maddy's dad visited them last week and they did some exploring around Pensacola and Mobile.  Loved these pictures that Pete posted after they went to the beach so I had to scrap them.  So jealous.  It has been a year since I have seen Tom.  I miss him.  So hoping we can get to Pensacola for his graduation in November.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Little Jaunt Over to Eastern Washington

Bill has been wanting to see Dry Falls for awhile now.  We flew over it several years ago on the way back home from Chelan but it didn't mean much to me viewing it from the air when I hadn't seen it on the ground and learned more about it.  When my software go-live at work was delayed, I decided to take the two days off that I had had approved for vacation off after all.  And we flew out to Moses Lake so that we could see Dry Falls and Grand Coulee Dam.

Before we left Pearson, I saw six F-15's taking off from Portland Airport.  Seeing them take off always makes me smile. We had a good flight going to Moses Lake.  Some of the things we saw were the usual--the Cascade mountains, Bonneville Dam, etc.  I enjoyed snapping pictures as we went.  One of the more fascinating pictures I took was of Pothole Reservoir near Moses Lake.  We had never seen that before and from the air you could actually see into the various potholes in the water.  I also saw some big white birds flying over the water there.  Not sure if they were some sort of heron or crane.  I suspect maybe sandhill cranes as they do have some at a nearby wildlife refuge.  And after we landed there, we saw some C17's making approaches into the airport.  McChord AFB uses it as a training airport.  So it was pretty impressive to see them flying over the runway.

After we landed, we drove to Grand Coulee Dam first to see if we could get a tour.  It was a nice tour--mostly just seeing the Pump-Generating Room which pumps water into nearby Banks Lake to be used as irrigation for much of Eastern Washington.  But the plant looks much like that of the power plants as well.  We drove across the whole dam in our tour bus.  It is about a mile wide and 550 feet tall.  It is the biggest dam in North America and the third biggest dam in the world so it is quite impressive.  It supplies power to eleven western states.  We got to stop and take pictures over the spillway and look over the edge. 
On the way back to Moses Lake, we stopped at Dry Falls.  It too is an impressive location.  It is believed to be the biggest waterfalls in the world at about 3.5 miles wide and 400 feet high.  That makes it ten times larger than Niagara Falls.
Geologists believe that the landscape of this whole area was shaped by massive flooding during the Ice Age when Lake Missoula's ice dams gave way and water came rushing through this area at 65 miles an hour-forming the great coulees, potholes, and lakes in the area and leaving errant boulders all over the landscape from far away places.  During these floods, Dry Falls would have been an actual waterfalls.  Even though it was a little bit out of the way, I asked Bill to fly us to Dry Falls before we headed for home.  I wanted to see it from the air again now that it had more meaning for me.  All I can say is WOW. 
A few more pictures of evidence of this flooding both on the ground and from the air.  Between Grand Coulee and Dry Falls, there is a huge rock formation called Steamboat Rock.  A geologist labeled these lands as the Channeled Scablands and you can really see what he meant by that from the air and on the ground.  I was fascinating by the boulders in fields along the road--left by the flood waters as they came through that area.

We had a great couple of days flying and exploring Eastern Washington and learning more about the geology and Ice Age history of that region.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Trouble with Tribbles

This is the last year that Trek in the Park will be playing.  Bill and I had attend two episodes in the past four years and wanted to see that last one. It was at Cathedral Park again this year and the crowd was huge just as it was last year.
There seems to be a lot of Trekkie fans out there.  Many wear Star Trek t-shirts.  Some even dress up to a higher level.
The stage at Cathedral Park gets transformed into the Enterprise. 
The Trouble with Tribbles deals with the explosive reproduction of cute little furry creatures called Tribbles.  Look how many there are!
Thank you to this dedicated group of actors for making our summer outdoor theater experience so fun!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Our friends, Jeff and Julie, invited us to go to Victoria, BC with them to celebrate Julie's birthday.  We flew up there in our plane.  It is always a beautiful flight seeing all the Cascade volcanoes, Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and the San Juan Islands.  On the way to Victoria, we saw a nuclear submarine returning to Bangor which was fun to see. 
Julie wanted to go to an English pub to celebrate her birthday so we went to the Sticky Wicket for dinner that night.  And she got a huge brownie and ice cream to share with us all.
After dinner we headed to the Empress Hotel to check it out.  It is famous for its afternoon teas but is also incredibly expensive.  So we planned our tea at a different location.  But is was fun checking out the dining rooms and gift shops there.  There was a huge floral arrangement in the hotel lobby to commemorate Prince George Alexander Louis' birth. 
Going to Butchart Gardens is always a must when going to Victoria.  It is a beautiful location with the Sunken Gardens being my favorite garden.  There are also Mediterranean, Japanese, Rose, and Italian gardens there.  We had a little time to kill before going to tea so we headed to the British Columbia Air Museum in Sidney for a bit to enjoy the open house they were having that day.  Didn't take any pictures there.
We then headed to our reservation at the White Heather Tearoom to enjoy our afternoon tea.  We ordered the "Not So Wee Tea" which included scones with raspberry jam, lemon curd and Devonshire cream; asparagus and carmelized onion quiche; four kinds of sandwiches--egg salad, ham salad, chicken salad and cucumber; and four desserts--lemon pound cake, hazelnut shortbread, lemon tarts and date squares.  It was incredibly decadent and we were all so full that we didn't know if we wanted to eat dinner or not.  But we ended up going to dinner after all.

After tea, we decided to checkout Oak Bay and decided to drive back to downtown along the coastline.  We stopped at McNeill Bay for a bit to take a walk on the beach.
And came across this wedding party taking pictures there.  What was amazing to me is this was way out into the water crossing multiple rocks to get there.  It must have been quite the feat for the bride, bridesmaid and even the guys to get there is their dress shoes and heels.
We went to the Royal BC Museum in the evening.  There are a lot of wonderful exhibits there but my favorite is the Native American one.  They have a lot of totem poles.  Bill had some fun imitating one outside.  It was with great surprise and joy that we discovered that the traveling exhibit was about the race to the South Pole by Scott and Amundson.  Bill has a great interest in this subject and has read a few books and watched programs about it.  It was a fascinating exhibit. 
The parliament grounds are beautiful.  And it is beautiful at night as well when they light the building. 

It is always an enjoyable excursion to go to Victoria and this trip was no exception.

Best Friends

On the way back from Bellingham, Chris and I stayed with Suzi and Terry in Puyallup.  Suzi, Terry and I met at Fort Lewis 29 years ago.  Doesn't seem possible that it has been that long ago.  We have remained close over all these years but don't get to see nearly enough of each other.  We had a great visit.

Western Washington University

Chris and I traveled up to Bellingham last week so that he could register for classes at WWU.  We got an early start on Wednesday--leaving home at 0300 so that we wouldn't have to contend with Seattle rush hour traffic.  We made record time getting there.  Made no stops and got there at 0645.  We enjoyed some breakfast and then headed to the campus to see if we could take care of some business.  We spent a few hours there but orientation and registration weren't really until Thursday so we explored the city a little bit going to the mall to do some shopping and watching a movie--the Lone Ranger.  Chris has been wanting to take me to a movie for awhile since he can take me for free so he was pleased that he could take advantage of his free movies in Bellingham too. 

WWU is in a beautiful location on a hill in Bellingham.  There is a view of Bellingham Bay from the student union and bookstore area.
The campus has been around since 1893 so there are a few older building on campus.  Old Main is where a lot of the administrative offices are.
 Edens Hall is the oldest dorm on campus.
And the campus has a large collection of outdoor sculptures.  My favorite is this location here.  It is built to represent the San Juan Islands and the ocean currents there. 
And they have these cute whimsical creatures through out the sculpture area.  

We were a little worried about getting scheduled for classes since some of the classes that Chris needs were closed.  He did manage to get a full schedule--17 credits--most of which will apply toward his major.  So he is set for the academic portion of his stay there.  Now we need to get busy figuring out what he needs to pack and tie up a few more loose strings.