Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back to reality...........

We are fortunate in that we have the option of flying on Continental as non-revenue (read 'free') passengers. We have a long history of this nerve racking style of traveling, beginning with our privileges at Eastern Airlines as an employee and then with CAL as a parent of an employee. It is increasingly more difficult to try the stand- by route due to fewer flights and fuller planes. We can check boarding totals but they change rapidly. On occasion, we go ahead and buy a Southwest ticket to have in our pocket as they have a good change policy. We did this for our trip to Vancouver and we had to use the ticket when CAL fell apart. Coming home, we opted to try the red-eye and there were plenty of seats on Continental and we got 1st class which makes it even sweeter.......plus, add in the new seats that recline into a bed, and I could have flown to China. So, thanks Jon for going to work just so your old parents can recline and relax.
Florida sunshine looked pretty good after our days of rain and chilly but we miss the green views, the excellent food and welcoming charm of Jennifer and Jeff's beautiful home.
(I'm writing the blog on the computer again......the spacing is better and the pictures are bigger but for travel, the iPad is the way to go.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Raining cat and dog...

It has rained much of the time we have enjoyed being here. Sometimes it is just sporadic and then was a sideways deluge when Jennifer and I were shopping in Portland. We were carrying bright red shopping bags from Nordstrom's big sale and they became soggy and left their color on her white coat and on my pale gold bag. Fortunately, we were able to sponge it off my bag and her coat will go to the cleaners but you'd think someone would have considered the results of red bags and rain.

We haven't been able to enjoy this colorful patio but Jeff braved the elements to finish this perfect dinner prepared by Jen.

I tried to get a decent picture of Kitty but she is a bit shy.

And speaking of shy, here is the cutest but quietest dog ever.

This is Guiness and he is a minature Akita, or a shiba inu. He is about 30 lbs and prefers the solitude of his room upstairs to the chatter down. His coat and markings are beautiful.

Paul and I drove over to Cannon Beach yesterday and it was chilly but bright and sunny

A pattern in the sand. We'd love to park the RV somewhere along the coast and enjoy the view for awhile.

And.....if you're wondering why I've become such a prolific blogger of late, ( and I know you have been thinking that !), it's because of this easy app on the iPad that makes it a snap to add pictures. They are a bit smaller but most are clickable for enlarging.

Location:Vancouver, washington

Friday, May 27, 2011

On the river

We were invited to go for a boatride last night. I had no expectations until we got to the Vancouver Yacht Club and walked among the boat slips.

These are the 'boat houses' and there are many,many of them along the river. Once the door opened, we gaped in amazement.

John and Louise welcomed us aboard and we had a spectacular cruise on the Columbia River.

I believe the 'boat' was powered by wine.......


Thursday, May 26, 2011

On the road again

We left the searing heat behind yesterday and headed West. With a quick stop in Denver, I had initial concerns about our flight path leaving Florida. It seemed tp me that we would have to fly right thru the nasty weather plaguing the center of the country. But knowing I had my trusty loyal traveling companion to allay my anxieties,I was prepared. As it turned out, my seatmate snored thru it all and the bumps were mostly in my mind.

We arrived early to chilly misty weather but it actually feels good for a change and it's not snow.
Today we pack up the Spanx and head out to search for a non-matronly MOTG dress. Stay tuned.

Location:Vancouver, Washington

Friday, May 20, 2011

Triple bogey

Was not my score but was the name of our team in today's wacky neighborhood golf tournament. It was the 3rd annual Chix 'n Stix event. We played 9 holes of Executive golf in the searing sun with no humidity and a light breeze. I am fried despite a thick slather of #50 sunscreen.

Our team was one short, thus the name. Nina, Joan and I adhered to the crazy rules (putting blind, worst ball, hole in one if you hit the sand etc.) and didn't finish last. Lunch and prizes followed and we all took home some goodies.

Since the world is coming to an end in a few hours, I am now going to eat fresh crusty baguettes with thick butter downed with a chocolate milkshake and chased with a bottle of really expensive wine. Or maybe just a bag of Cheetos.

Location:The Villages, Florida

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back to the high country

Trying to use up some time between flights home and since I can now blog on the iPad, I've decided to share yesterday with you.
Did you know that time spent in the mountains is not deducted from your life?? It's really true and yesterday

we added a few hours to our total lifespan. We headed up the Peak to Peak hwy, a scenic route along the Front Range. We have done hiking up here in the past. Along the way, we happened across
This most unique carousel in Nederlands. The basic structure was rescued and restored and is an original from the early 1900's. The animals were all carved by one man over 27 years. Since my father also carved carousel animals and I have two in our home, we were impressed with the magnitude of this undertaking. Www.carouselofhappiness.org will give more information and pictures. His animals put a smile on your face andthe more you look, the more the little surprises.

We continued on to Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain NP.

The elk were abundant, even in town. There is still some snow in the woods and is heavy on the peaks but it was a perfect day for strolling. We miss the mountains and need to come back .

Farewell for now to a most beautiful place.

Location:Houston, Texas

Monday, May 16, 2011

This a test !!

I just found this app that allows blogging from the iPad and all of you are the guinea pigs. Yesterdays attempt was a disaster on the Sony and I found out that the underlined area was a hyperlink and if you click on it, you get lilacs !, a picture I had intended to delete. Have no idea how I did that. The iPad is not speedy to type on and Very easy to make typos but is just so portable and cool in every other way.
Wow, it is so easy to post a picture too. And it captures the location .
This a picture of my favorite little fish in a tank by my chair.

We are enjoying one more day here and hope the sun stays as bright and warm as advertised.

Location:Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Short synopsis..

One of our goals was to stop by the Clinton Library and Museum in Little Rock. It was built in an old industrial area and the surrounding parks and trails are not finished. We found it interesting and efficient in cataloging and displaying the vast information. But I found it strange that in one ever changing section was a Dr Seuss exhibit........probably to keep the people coming back. Won't get into politics here but just let it be known that P brought a tee shirt that says "I miss Bill" .
Continuing along this theme, we stopped at the Truman library in Independence, Mo. It seemed a bit more homey and easier to review his life and presidency

This was an exhibit representing the number of planes used in the Berlin airlift. Over 200 flights daily brought in supplies.
We continued on to Abilene, Ks to visit the Eisenhower Library. It was undergoing necessary renovations and updates so it was a quick stroll around the grounds and library.
We had perfect, warm and even hot weather for most of the trip. Until we hit western Kansas. The sky darkened and the radio kept us updated on the tornado warnings. Most seemed a bit north of I 70 but we expected some heavy rain. Abruptly, we were pounded with hail and had to pull over as visibility was poor. The hail quickly piled up and the snow plows were very prompt. We started out again on the road covered with several inches of the stuff and with a 30 degree drop in temperatures. The tornado sightings were about 10 miles north of us. We opted to take a shorter route to the house, across the prairie for about 50 miles.....a well traveled scenic route but also one that climbed another thousand feet, resulting in driving thru a beautiful snow fall, quickly accumulating. It sure didn't feel like mid-May.
We woke up on Thursday to more snow falling at the house.....temperatures were in the 30's and only got to 50.......my May clothes just didn't work so had to go buy some winter duds.
But, despite our fears, graduation on Friday morning dawned bright and sunny and a bit chilly.
Nicholas graduated from the prestigious Colorado School of Mines with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. After a summer working in Tulsa, he will continue his work towards a MS in Petroleum Engineering.........of course he takes after his grandmother.............NOT!

We look forward to seeing the other 3 meet their goals in the near future.
We'll head home on Tuesday morning when the temperature is to climb into the 70's here and in the 90's at home. It's been a wonderful trip. ( I have no idea why some parts of this post are underlined and in blue.......I'm using P's computer as I can't post pictures from the iPad)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Best laid plans..................

Love and laughter all around as one of us celebrated a birthday......Gifts were abundant, the friends are wonderful and life is good. As to our plans which looked so promising just a few short days ago.....alas, they have changed. We are still heading west...................

but not in the home on wheels...........
nor in the new car finding a place in our garage..............
nor by the roads in the sky...............
Instead, we will meander along the byways in our reliable old 2000 Ford Explorer with 170,000 well used miles on it. This is not ours as it is getting a physical so I found this pic of one just like it, all shiny and new. It still looks good and runs pretty well but just keeps losing parts and functions bit by bit.....I know how it feels. We will take it to Colorado for one of the kids to use....just like we did with a '92 Explorer after 10 years.
We'll try and leave this weekend and go by some interesting places and take our time. And hope to check in and share some of the details.