Saturday, July 22, 2017

Flying Down to California Wine Country

Flyout number two for the summer was last weekend.  We flew down to Healdsburg, California.  That is a little outside of my comfortable flight time.  Two hours and under are what I like with being stuck sitting in a seat for so long and the absence of bathroom facilities but with proper dehydration, I made it okay both ways.  Flying down there we had a little bit of a headwind so it took just short of four hours.  Coming back we made a little bit better time and got home in about 3 and a half hours.

Healdburg is a cute little town north of Santa Rosa.  There are some neat 18th century buildings there and a nice walking trail that Bill and I took advantage of to get some exercise.

We stayed at the Dry Creek Best Western.  It is an older motel but they have done a really nice job remodeling the rooms to be updated.  My only complaint was that they didn't have a microwave in the rooms or in any centralized location for guests to use.  We were hoping to eat some of our HMR diet meals on the trip but it was too much of a hassle.  The only microwave available was to have the front desk staff take it back to their break room to heat anything up.  It was also a mile from downtown so it was a little bit of a hike to get to any of the restaurants or shopping.  In the heat of the afternoon, that wasn't any fun.  I had a much more enjoyable hike early in the morning while it was still quite cool.  It definitely isn't inexpensive to stay there but compared to the hotels downtown, it was relatively reasonable.

Our first full day there, we signed up to do a safari tour at Safari West.  I was kind of excited about it because I had never been to a place like that.  Three other people from our CAA group signed up for the same tour so we spent the day with them.  We really enjoyed going there.  They have 900 animals from 69 species.  Lots of birds and animals.  The majority of the animals and birds were from Africa but there were some from India and other continents as well.

The tour is a combination of an hour walking around the grounds where they have animals and birds in more contained settings.  Then a two hour tour on their 400 acre wildlife preserve.  Bill and I got to sit on the top of the truck for about half the tour which was fun.  There were a lot of different kinds of antelope.  I think that is what they probably had the most of.  I took about 100 photos and I didn't scrapbook nearly all of the animals I took photos of but figured devoting four pages to the safari was probably a sufficient documentation of our day there.

My favorite part of the tour was seeing the giraffes.  This baby giraffe really stole my heart.  He was two and a half months old and so cute.  He kept trying to communicate with some birds which was really interesting.

My second favorite group of animals to see were the zebras.  We stayed to watch them for quite awhile.

After the tour, we had a nice buffet lunch at the restaurant at Safari West and then our friends wanted to do some wine tasting at Frank Family Vineyards near Calistoga in Napa Valley.  We didn't have any other plans so we were game for it.  We all were used to wine tasting in Washington and California where typically it only costs $10-$20 to do wine tasting and they usually waive the tasting fee if you buy bottles.  I guess that isn't the case in California wine country.  We were a little taken aback when they told us it was $40 per person and when our friends bought some bottles, there was no credit back for the tasting.  But we were there and decided to stay and do the tasting.

The tasting room and grounds at Frank Family Vineyards are beautiful.  The current winery is set on the former Larkmead Winery property which was built in 1884 so many of the buildings are from the old winery.  We didn't go into the building where they make the wine but it looked very cool from what we saw from the outside and is on the National Register of Historical Places.

Friday night we had a fabulous Portuguese dinner at Cafe Lucia with the whole group from CAA.

I scrapped most of my wine tasting photos in my journaling album so you get to see another page from my journal for this posting.

Saturday was spent going to the Alexander Valley near Healdsburg to do some wine tasting there.  Our first stop was Hawkes Winery which is a newer winery compared to a lot of California wineries but were one of the first wineries to plant grapes in the Alexander Valley in 1972 when the valley was mostly planted with prunes, apples and hops.  They had a really cute garden and pleasant patio to enjoy a little of their wines and a lunch from the Jimtown Store which was right next door.

The next stop was the main event of the day--a wine tasting tour at the Jordan Winery.  It was interesting that when I told one of my doctors that I was going there, she was so excited since she had just gotten back from a visit there the week before and said I should make sure to go to the Jordan Winery.  The chateau and the grounds were absolutely spectacular.  Normally the tasting would occur in their cellar room after the tour but they setup tables outside for us to do our food pairing with the wine.  This was my view of their gorgeous chateau from my tasting spot.  This was another $40 wine tasting but with the tour and food pairings, it was fairly reasonable by California standards I would guess.  And a lovely elegant table setting and view to boot.  The only thing that made it a little less than enjoyable was that it was 100 degrees so I was really hot.  I was so glad when we got inside the air conditioned barrel and tank rooms.  What a relief that was to escape the heat for a little while anyway.

They have a longer three hour tour including seeing more of the property including the vineyards, lakes, apiary, etc. which you can take for $120 per person.  Not sure if that would be worth it or not.  This particular winery has a few guest rooms for their rewards customers.  I wonder how much wine you have to buy to score a night in the chateau.

We didn't have great sightseeing conditions for our flight down to California but it was better on the way back.  I just took a few photos of the mountains and Trinity Lake but we saw at least six or seven volcanoes all at the same time which was really fun to see.


Flying to California requires getting to elevations of at least 11,500 feet to clear the Siskiyou Mountains.  Bill had ordered an oxygen tank and pulse oximeter last year in the hopes of using them on his flight down to see Chuck and Suzanne but it was on back order and didn't come in time so this trip was the first time we used oxygen on one of our flights.  We look a little geeky but here is a photo of us with our oxygen cannulae.  We look quite fashionable, don't we?

We had a great time.  Two flyouts down and one to go next month.  That one will be filled with more adventures to share so stay tuned for when we get back from McCall, Idaho.

Doing the Ragnar

Chris participated in the Ragnar Relay with folks from work this last weekend.  They needed another team member and they asked him to join them.  He isn't a runner and doesn't enjoy running but he thought maybe he would do some training and get in better shape.  He did do a few 10K runs in preparation but for the most part it didn't happen.

The team was made up of 12 people and they each ran three legs in the 200 mile race.   Chris managed to finish all his legs.  It was a grueling two days of no sleep and pain but he made it and says he had a great time doing it.

The day before the race the mission posted this photo of Chris picking up a donation of 500 cases of water from the Lakeway 7-11 in Bellingham.  I was so happy to see a picture of him doing his work.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Friday Harbor Flyout


Flying to the San Juan Islands is my all time favorite flying route.  Western Washington has the Cascade Mountains and volcanoes, the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound dotted with hundred of islands that make that trip absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.  Bill and I flew up to Friday Harbor for a CAA Flyout.  The club quite often plans flyouts there because it is a relatively close destination to get to and those that don't want to fly can drive and take the ferry over.  The airport is so close and convenient to town and it is just a really great place to visit. We had four fantastic days of weather to fly there and home.  Bill made an interim trip to Bellingham to pick up Chris to bring him to Friday Harbor to spend an evening with us on the island.


The group always stays at the Earthbox Inn when we go there.  It is owned by the daughter of one of the club's members so we do our lodging business with her.  It is an old travel lodge but it has been remodeled and is decorated in a very modern European style which is fun.  They did a really nice job with the remodel.  I've only stayed at one other motel/hotel there and it is also owned by her.  Of the two, I recommend the Earthbox Inn.

After we arrived on Thursday, I decided I wanted to go find where PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center is located.  It has one of the ORs that I support but I have never been there.  It is located right next to the airport--a little more than a half a mile from the motel.  It is pretty quiet little place but I walked through just to see it and say I was there.  Then I walked around town and to the marina before heading back to the motel.  Bill decided to take advantage of the spa and get a massage.

That evening we went to Mike's Wine Bar and Cafe.  We tried out some wines made by the owner and had some appetizers.  The entire menu is vegan so we had hummus and tried out some vegan cheeses.  We went to the Rumor Mill for dinner afterward.


We thought we were going to be going on a tour of San Juan Island on Friday but as it turned out, our flight leader had the dates mixed up and our tour wasn't until Saturday.  I hadn't made any other plans and didn't want to sit idle all day so I scouted out some whale watching tour companies.  Things were fairly booked but I found a spot on a Zodiac boat tour with the Western Prince Tours company.  I had always gone on the bigger vessels to go whale watching in the past and I got skunked seeing any Orcas on my last tour so I was a little reluctant to schedule a tour but wanting something to do got the better of me and that was the easiest thing to arrange and get to.  I went on my own.  Bill wanted to work and take a walk on the island.

Going on the little Zodiac boat was quite an adventure. We had to suit up in water survival suits and keep cameras inside our suits when we were traveling to protect them from the salt water that we got sprayed with on occasion.  We traveled quite a distance because there were no whale sightings near Friday Harbor.  I was actually feeling fortunate that I got on the Zodiac tour because I am not sure if I had taken a traditional one that they would have been able to go that far in the amount of time that the tour takes.  We were skunked on the last whale watching tour I went on there as far as seeing Orcas so I'm not sure if I would have seen any taking the bigger boat.

Our first stop was on the east side of San Juan to see a pair of eagles perched in a tree near their nest.  It was pretty obvious that the sunshine wasn't going to be able to let me see what I was taking photos of and that the distance despite having a pretty good zoom on my camera was too great for its capability.  But I did my best to see what shots I could get and hoped for the best.  Next stop was a little rock island with several harbor seals sunning themselves.  

The big event was about 25 miles away so we made haste in getting to the east side of Lummi Island.  I could see Bellingham as we traveled to get there.  I thought about waving to Chris across Bellingham Bay LOL.  When we were about a mile away, I spotted one of the whales breaching.  Oh how I wish we had been closer at that moment.  I have never see a whale breach and was hoping that they would do it again once we were closer but no such luck.  Boats are required by law to be at least 200 yards away from any whales.  One of my cousins had been on a tour out of Orcas Island a week earlier and had whales come right up to their boat and swim under it.  That would have been so awesome but this group of five were on the hunt looking for a seal along the coastline.  At one point, we saw an eagle on the beach watching the whales swim by.  When they got to the north end of Lummi, they started working on killing a seal.  I never saw the seal but those with binoculars and good lenses on their cameras were able to see it.  After about and hour, the captain had to take us away to get back to Friday Harbor in time to go on their next tour.  Another fast tracked trip back taking a different route south of Orcas Island that took about 45 minutes.

I should have known better but I didn't put any sunscreen on and my face got burned pretty badly-especially my nose.  My nose blistered and I lost the skin on my nose and it scabbed over.  Not very pretty.

We had some refreshments and snacks at the hotel with our group and then headed on our own to the Cask and Schooner.  Bill had a steak salad and I indulged in a lamb burger.


Our tour of the island was on Saturday.  I got up early to take a walk to the harbor.  I caught a glimpse of the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain as we were going in and out of Friday Harbor on my whale watching cruise but I wanted to go down and see them at the dock.  They are famous for being in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and were in port for tours.  I had taken the boys on them years ago when they were docked here in Washougal so I didn't need to get on the ships themselves but wanted to get a glimpse at them again.  The local pirate group decided to take advantage of them being in town and had their First Annual Pirate Festival in Friday Harbor.  We didn't actually go but saw a few folks dressed up as pirates around town and heard them.  There was also a tall ship battle in the harbor Saturday night.  We got to see it for a little bit during dinner but they soon moved out of view.  We could hear their cannons even when they were out of sight though.


Our tour of the island was very interesting.  It was a history tour and we had a local historian on the bus with us to give us the tour.  We started at American Camp and learned about the military occupation of the island and the Pig War with the British.  From there we went to Lime Kiln State Park to see the remnants of a lime kiln there and learn about the lime industry on the island.  There is also a lighthouse there and I always love to see lighthouses.  Next stop was Roche Harbor.  Bill left the tour to take a taxi to the plane so he could fly to Bellingham to pick Chris up after work.  I had lunch at the little cafe there and wandered around the shops and garden for a bit.  There is an old historic hotel there as well as two lime kilns next to the hotel to look at.  The gardens were so beautiful.  Our last stop was at English Camp and we watched a few demonstrations of wood carving, spinning wool into yarn and washing clothes before we headed back to the hotel.  It was a pleasant way to spend the day.

I had to wait a bit for Chris and Bill to get back.  Unfortunately they blew a tire out when they landed in Friday Harbor.  Bill was grateful to have Chris with him to help manhandle the plane and I was grateful I wasn't along.  He sent Chris ahead while he waited for a mechanic to come to the airport and help him fix the plane so Chris and I had a chance to talk for awhile which was nice.  Not often that I get an audience alone with him.  Bill got back just in time to head to Downriggers for dinner.

We took Chris out for breakfast before heading to the airport to take him home to Bellingham and then head home ourselves.  The temperatures were sizzling here in the Portland metro area over the weekend while we were enjoying warm but tolerable temperatures in Friday Harbor.  I wanted to get home before it hit the 100 degree mark.  It was 93 degrees when we landed--still too hot for me.

It was a great little getaway to get some island time.  One flyout down.  We have a few more coming up over the next couple of months to share when they happen.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hamilton Mountain Hike


Christopher came home to spend the weekend with us.  Bill has been itching to do some hiking in the gorge and wanted to take Chris with us.  We got up early and headed out to Hamilton Mountain to beat the crowds and the heat.


It is a struggle for me to climb up hills/mountains.  I can't keep up with the guys even on flat ground so I always let them go ahead and I just take my time and look for photo opportunities.  I made it up to the two waterfalls on the trail and just a little bit beyond that so I could get some pictures of Beacon Rock before I headed back down the mountain and waited for the guys to get back from the complete Hamilton Mountain experience.

Afterward, we drove to Stevenson to have our usual post hike lunch at the Big River Grill.  We were all ready for a nap by the time we got home.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

West Point Reunion

This year was Bill's 35th class reunion at West Point.  Hard to believe that many years have passed.  This reunion was so different than the ones we have been to before.  All the past ones have been in the fall and included parades and going to football games.  This one was in the spring.  There was a lacrosse game but we went into NYC instead of going to that.  We took a friend with us.  Our friend, Cindy, was a teenager at West Point when her dad taught there and when she met and fenced with Bill.  The fencing team considered her their little sister.  After we got back from our last reunion, she expressed a desire to go so we offered to take her this time.  The reunion activities were all at West Point and mostly at The Thayer this year--so no staying in New Jersey and busing to West Point every day.  We didn't stay at The Thayer and there were pluses and misses to staying off post but overall, it wasn't a bad thing--just not as much "forced" time with everyone on the bus, hotel and at West Point.  I don't mean forced in a bad way--just that there wasn't as much opportunity to visit this time without those forced opportunities.  It didn't help that we had to split up in three different banquet rooms so a lot of times we missed seeing people we were looking forward to saying hi to.


One of the very first things we made sure that we did was take Cindy to the house she lived at on West Point and to her middle school.  She was so excited to see the house and point out her bedroom window.  When we got to the garage, she looked at the place that her mom had hit the garage when they were there.  Her mom often told us the story when we were with her--about how the Corps of Engineers had to come fix it.  There was a brick missing in the very same spot.  Cindy got such a chuckle out of that.


We decided to get a bite of lunch in Highland Falls.  When I saw the Pied Piper Pie Shop, I knew that was the place we needed to go.  A Facebook/Digital Scrapbooking friend had gone there a couple of years ago when she was at West Point.  A friend of hers owned the shop and I vowed to look it up the next time we were there.  Cindy and Bill were good about letting me indulge--especially since Bill is on a diet and Cindy is gluten intolerant.  They were able to get salads though and I had chocolate peanut butter pie.  I wasn't passing up pie at an honest to goodness pie shop.


The first official event we went to was a Hudson River Cruise on one of the West Point boats.  We met up at South Dock to board and took a two hour cruise up river and back.  Cool seeing the view of West Point from the river.


It was our first chance to visit with old friends and I met a few new people that I had never met before.


The Thayer Hotel is a beautiful old historic hotel.  It was built 90 years ago to replace the original West Point Hotel that was built in 1829.  It was fun to see that one of the light fixtures in the lobby was actually from the old hotel.  Bill and I had stayed there once when we lived in Massachusetts and we had been there for other events in the past so I was surprised when some of our friends said that it was the first time that they had been inside it.  Cindy said she had never been there because that was date night for her parents if they went.


There is always a memorial service on Friday as well as class meetings and updates from the Superintendent, Commandant, and Dean as to what is going on at West Point now.  This year we honored thirty-one class members who have passed away--some who died as cadets and some who passed away as recently as just a few weeks ago.  It is always a nice service to remember them.


Cadet Chapel is such an impressive building.  It was completed in 1910 and has the largest pipe organ in the world.


Friday night was the big dinner night.  There wasn't a super fancy dress up night this year but this was the dressiest event of the weekend.  I was excited to wear my West Point jewelry.  Like most West Pointers, Bill wears his class ring every day.  My jewelry isn't as easy to wear so I only get it out for military or veterans events.  Bill gave me my A pin on my 39th birthday.  I didn't know what it was when I opened it so he had to explain that it was the West Point alternative to a fraternity pin.  That brought me to tears knowing that he wanted to "pin" me after all our years together.  Sherrill got me an Army button bracelet a few years ago which I was thrilled to get.  When I found out the same gal had West Point cadet bracelets as well--I knew I had to have one and I bought Maddy an Air Force bracelet too.


Bill's company-A2-was well represented this year.


Some of our closet friends are in this group.  We only get to see each other every five years but there was talk about having a company get together sometime in the next couple of years to meet up in between reunions.  We'll see but we also talked about meeting up with some friends in Florida or some of them coming up here as well.


There are also friends that weren't in company A2 but that we were stationed with that are also very dear to us.


Bright and early Saturday morning, we headed to West Point to catch the bus into New York City.


We went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.  In 2002, Bill and I were in New York for a few days before the reunion and made sure to visit Ground Zero.  Five years ago, we took a lunch cruise around Manhattan and saw the Freedom Tower in the process of being built.  This year, we returned to the site to see the transformation and pay our respects.

The memorial and museum are where the Twin Towers previously stood.  There is a forest of trees and  two pools with the names of the victims on the walls.  We found several names that had flags or flowers stuck in them.  It is a beautiful tribute to those who died.


The museum was particularly sobering.  We had a guided tour which was very interesting.  In order to maintain the quiet respect that is desired, those taking the tour get headphones and a receiver and the tour guide has a microphone so that you can hear through the headphones.  I loved that idea so much.  I often can't hear everything that a tour guide says when I am on a tour and I could hear every word.  It also allowed for wandering around a particular exhibit and still be able to hear the tour guide talking.

The guided tour takes an hour and you could spend three or four hours there easily if you wanted to see everything.  There is a large exhibit and videos as well as photos and stories about all those who died.  There were so many people there that it was hard to really see everything so Bill and I just walked through quickly to get a glimpse of it.  I think it would be a little overwhelming to actually watch everything but we had to get back to the bus so we didn't have a whole lot of time to doddle anyway.


It was a thrill to get to see the Freedom Tower up close and personal after having seen it being built from the river five years ago.  To me, it seem like a phoenix rising from the ashes.  It is built in the spot that Six World Trade Center used to be.  It would have been nice to go up to the Observation Deck to see the view from up there but I guess that just means that we need to go back sometime.


We had a few hours to kill before our tour so we went to the Oculus to see what that was all about.  It is actually a PATH train station and links up with several subway stations and shopping malls.  We had a little snack at a coffee shop next to the train entrance and did some people watching for a bit there.  Bill tells me that it is the replacement for the train station that used to be in the World Trade Center.  The architecture was so interesting and I liked how the window in the ceiling was in line with seeing the Freedom Tower.  

It was interesting to find out after we got home that the roof leaked so badly the day before we were there that they had to shut down the escalators.  No wonder they were shut down while we were there and we had to take the stairs.  It leaked the next day after we were there too.  Hopefully they get that figured out.  Such a new building to have a leaky roof.


Sunday morning, we had breakfast with Fred and Mary at the hotel before we checked out.  Our flights out of Newark weren't until late afternoon so we had time to explore some more.  We didn't do our usual Friday morning walk around the Cadet Area so I suggested we go back to West Point and do that.

We actually started at Old Cadet Chapel first.  As impressive as Cadet Chapel is, I find Old Cadet Chapel charming.  It was built in 1837 and was originally near Grant Hall.  After the new Cadet Chapel was built, it was disassembled brick by brick and moved to the cemetery in 1911.


The cemetery is also a very interesting place to wander.  Bill wanted to visit the graves of a couple of friends who died as cadets while we were there.


It was interesting and sad to learn that our access to the Cadet Area is restricted now.  Since we were there as alumni, our name tags did allow us to walk around but we are no longer allowed to go inside Washington Hall Mess Hall, the barracks or academic building.  They are tightening security to protect the cadets from possible attacks.  If we want to go outside of a reunion, we have to arrange a tour in advance and must have an actual graduate as part of the tour group.  The Mess Hall in particular is so impressive and beautiful on the inside, it was disappointing that we didn't get to see it although I understand the need to keep the cadets safe given the attacks that have taken place in other parts of the country and world.


The gothic style of the buildings is so unique and cool to see.


There are statues and memorials just about everywhere you go at West Point.  Here are a few of my favorites.  I didn't take as many statue photos this trip.


This was actually the second reunion that we got to go see the new library.  But it too is beautiful with amazing view of the Hudson River and The Plain.  So happy they designed it to blend in with the architecture of the rest of the campus.


We made sure that Cindy got to see some of the places that she wanted to see like the building that her dad taught in and the new library.  She also was anxious to see the kneelers in the chapel after the memorial service to see if they were the same ones that she remembered being worked on when she lived there and was thrilled to find that they were.

As usual, it was a great time seeing Bill's alma mater and seeing old friends.  Already looking forward to 2022 for the next reunion.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Busy Weekend

Last weekend was a really busy one for me.


Friday night, Bill and I were invited to a dinner hosted by the Erskine Wood family at their home on the Columbia River.  They have held this dinner for the last several years to welcome the Nez Perce tribe to Vancouver.  Pat Jollota was invited to attend and she was allowed to bring guests so she took us there.  There is a longstanding history between the Wood family and the Nez Perce tribe.  Erskine's great grandfather befriended Chief Joseph and his son, also named Erskine, was sent to live with Chief Joseph for two seasons.  Later, Erskine would invite the Nez Perce to his home-the same one we had dinner at-when they had business to attend to in Portland.

When Erskine lived with Chief Joseph, he asked the Chief what he wanted for a thank you gift and the response was a stallion.  The young man didn't tell his father and always regretted that the promise was never fulfilled.  Twenty years ago, his descendants purchased an Appaloosa stallion to present to the tribe in the Wallowa Mountains.  Since that time, the family has befriended members of the tribe and welcome them as old friends and continue the tradition started by their grandfathers.

The evening was so pleasant that we decided to eat outside.  As we ate, we watched some osprey in their nest on the river.  That provided some pleasant entertainment during dinner.  Later, the drummers started singing and gifts were presented.  They also asked Sage--a member of the Wood family-to drum with them.


For the last twenty years, the Nez Perce have come to Vancouver to hold a memorial ceremony.   The Chief Red Heart Band was imprisoned at Vancouver Barracks from 1877-1878.  They didn't fight.  They just wanted to stay on their land.  While they were imprisoned, the two year old son of Little Bear died.  In 1998, Mayor Royce Pollard reached out to the Nez Perce asking if they were interested in a reconciliation ceremony between them, the city and the Army.  The tribe had reservations about it but it apparently was a good experience because they have been coming back every year since then.

I have been to one other ceremony.  I don't remember when.  But the ceremony consists of honoring those that were imprisoned there and the baby that died.  Gifts are always given to the youngest child and a two year old child that attends the ceremony.  When Sage (the young man I mentioned that was asked to be an honorary drummer) was a young baby, he was the one to receive the Indian baby blanket that year.  Veterans are honored and given gifts.  There is a Riderless Horse ceremony, smoking of the peace pipe, etc.  It was raining so hard just prior to the ceremony that I almost didn't go at all.  And the riders didn't wear their ceremonial headdresses and attire so that they wouldn't get ruined.  That was a little disappointing from a selfish photographic standpoint but certainly understandable.

I wanted to go to the meal put on after the ceremony and I did wait for awhile but with as much as I had going on that day, I ended up leaving before the meal was served.


Saturday night was the Share Gala at Warehouse 23.  Bill works with them frequently on videos for their fundraising events so we got a table and invited a few friends.  The theme was Vintage Vegas which was fun.  There were performances by a local talent who does music from that time period as well as from the Fabulous Brunettes-a group of women who made a comeback from their Glamorous Gams competition a few years ago-and a Vancouver Rat Pack that included our mayor and a mayoral candidate this year.  They had gaming tables for script setup after the dinner and auction were done as well.  Fun evening.
 
Sunday morning I drove up to Auburn for a baby shower.  This was the most amazing baby shower I have ever been to.  The grandmothers went all out with the food and the decorations.  It was fun just to look at everything.  And was fun to see my friends and their family and have a part in welcoming Tucker to the world.

Very busy but very fun weekend!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pretty in Pink


I bought a new camera and was itching to try it out.  I had an evening to myself and it quit raining so I headed out to the Fort Vancouver National Site to get some exercise and take photos.  I took a lot more photos but I especially wanted to capture how beautiful the trees are this time of year.  The tulip and plum trees were done flowering by this time but the cherry and apple blossoms were just right.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Easter Memories

I started a new type of album this year.  Those in the digital scrapbooking world call them various things-Project Life is the most common term used for it.  I have never done one before.  I have never thought I could come up with enough ideas for photos and what to say about my everyday life that would be all that interesting to keep up a year long project.  I saw a fellow scrapbooker had started an album using journaling prompts for each day.  After I saw that, I got the itch to start my own album using the same idea.  I have a couple of different journal prompt lists to refer to if I don't know what I want to write about for a particular day and so far I am keeping up pretty well and looking forward to what I can create and write about next.  I don't share a lot of these pages as some of them are pretty personal.

The week before Easter, I decided I wanted to do a week about Holy Week.  I did some research and found out some things that I never knew before.  It was fun trying to incorporate my Holy Week findings in my album.


I also try to slip in an Art Journaling page each month.  I took this photo while I was visiting a mission in Fremont, California a few weeks ago and thought it would be the perfect art journaling photo for this month.

Christopher came home for Easter weekend.  We haven't seen him for two months so we were excited to have him home.  We went to sunrise service at Columbia Presbyterian.  While we sat there, I thought a lot about Beverly and how much she loved this congregation and insisted we go to the store and buy flowers to put on her grave before we went home.  I wanted the three of us to go together as a family to her grave.  Afterward, it was a beautiful day so we went to Salmon Creek Park to go for a walk.  I enjoyed seeing some herons and osprey as well as a lot of other birds.  Fun way to spend a few hours in nature.  We went off our diet for the night.  We had rack of lamb, roasted vegetables and a yogurt/fruit parfait so we weren't too far off program-just the meat.


Another sample of my journaling project.  Since there were some Easter memories in it, figured it would fit here for posting.

Hoping everyone had a wonderful Easter as we did.