Thursday, April 25, 2013

Along Puget Sound

001(Chuck)  If you have seen the pig before, you will know this is Pike Place Market. Rachel is the unofficial mascot of the market and has been located under the “Public Market Center” sign since 1986. She oversees the visit of some 10 million visitors each year. Pike Place Market opened in 1907 and is one of the oldest continually operated public farmers market in the United States. It is always a delight to stroll the market and enjoy the fish, flowers, fruits and vegetables that are on display. It was a beautiful day to be on the waterfront.004

014Another interesting place to visit as you stroll the docks is the “Ye Old Curiosity Shop”. Lately it has been located on Pier 54 next to Ivar’s Restaurant. If you are looking to view a perfectly preserved mummy, Siamese twin claves or one of the largest collection of shrunken heads you have found the right place. Also on the shelves are many things that you would expect to find carried to the waterfront from far away places. Sailors and seamen visited exotic lands and returned to trade their mementos and add to this collection. Admission is free and “Ye Old Curiosity Shop” is open seven days a week.

(Jan) We had a delightful day sightseeing, sharing pastry, chocolate and fruit as we celebrated Chuck’s birthday at this historic marketplace. It was a fun day!


IMG_20130425_162719_895(Jan)  Tucked away on the west side of Burien is a fabulous spot right on the Puget Sound called Seahurst Park.  We drove over on a glorious, sunny afternoon to walk along the beach at water’s edge. Children were playing, people were strolling, dogs were splashing in the surf. It was very pleasant to sit on on of the beached logs and drink in the beauty.  As we sat, we were treated to a special event; a pod of fifteen or so Orca whales passed by in the distance, the sun glinting off of their sleek skins as they swam & dived. As well as a beautiful beach, the park offers miles of hiking trails through the wooded hills. On our walk back along one of these trails we found these pretty salmon berry blossoms.

This week the weather has been lovely in the Seattle area; sunny and clear with afternoon temps in the 70’s. One of the lovely sights we see on our walks and as we drive is beautiful Mt. Rainier which is just 40 some miles to the southeast.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jan’s week in Iowa


(Jan) A flight from Seattle to Minneapolis and then a flight on to Des Moines on Saturday started my week long trip to Iowa. My grandson Stephen was Confirmed and granddaughter Libby received her First Communion on Sunday in Ames.  I had a great time with Brent & Donna and family as well as Eric & Ryan who drove over from Chicagoland. We enjoyed the Mongolian Buffet together on Saturday night, a nice luncheon on Sunday with special cakes for Stephen & Libby with Donna’s parents at home and then a reception at the Church following Mass. An abundance of good family fun and good food continued to be then theme for the rest of the week!

My brother Glen and sister-in-law Mary Ann’s house was my home for Sunday through Thursday nights. My sister Linda, who had arrived from Kansas, and I were treated like royal guests and enjoyed each minute of our time there. Each day we spent visiting with our mom at the Nursing Home but in the evening, the 4 of us ate out at Hamlin, Arcadia and Charlie’s in Carroll followed by a movie or games of Euchre. We were so busy having fun that I didn’t get a picture of Glen, Mary Ann, Linda & I! On Wednesday Linda, Mary Ann and I ventured to Breda in the morning to an antique store and a new garden center; followed by lunch at the Santa Maria Winery and then Mary Ann treated us to a Pedicure at her favorite salon.  What a special time with my special sisters!054

My Mom is getting along very nicely at St Anthony’s!061  We got in lots of visiting! We had a wonderful day with her Ocken family on Tuesday in the Fireside Room. She’s pictured at left with her sisters Agatha & Charlotte in front, her cousin Mary Theresa, her brother Frank, myself, Linda, her sister-in-law Ann, her niece Christine and sister-in-law Rose in back. It was a fun day reminiscing about old family times and catching up on current news. Mom loved having everyone together! The same group, plus my cousins Diane and J532874_3060426607607_1939650516_n[1]olene and brother Glen (back row, on the right) met for lunch at Sam’s in Carroll before the visit.

Thursday evening I was with my long time friends Betty, Nancy, Karen, Edna and Becki at Nancy’s house enjoying a co-op dinner, celebrating Betty’s 065birthday and catching up on all of our life’s happenings. So glad that we could have an evening together amid everyone’s busy schedule! Together we now have 40 grandkids plus one on the way, three of us are semi-retired and another will be shortly. Everyone enjoys traveling; Edna’s a winter Texan and I’m a full-time RVer. It’s a fun & interesting group!

After a nice visit and lunch with my mom on Friday, I headed back to Brent and Donna’s house. We had a nice family dinner together and then Brent drove me down to Des Moines so I could stay at a Days Inn and catch my (very) early morning flight. Brent and Donna had loaned me the use of ‘the Buick’ during my stay and that made it so much more convenient to get around. ‘The Buick’ was formerly my mom and dad’s car and now is mostly driven by my grandson Stephen.  Thanks, Moore family!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Seattle Metro

(Jan) Last Friday after a stop in Salem, Oregon for 4 new tires for our motor home, we drove through a steady rain all of the way up through Seattle. We arrived at Lake Pleasant RV Park around 8 p.m., happy to be done driving for the night. Joanne, Chuck and I snuggled in for one final night together. We enjoyed our time and all looked forward to seeing more family and going to see Joanne’s new place.

securedownload2Sat. morning we stopped to visit our son Josh & Sarah and family. It was SO GOOD to see them!  It had been quite a long time since Josh and Sarah’s and Joanne’s paths have crossed so this was the first time she got to see her great grandkids Ali, Isaac and Jj. Of course, it was love at first sight!

Next stop, Jackie and Butch’s house where 004Jo will now be at home.  We were greeted by Jackie & Butch, their son Mark and granddaughter Emily. Her large room in the house has a sliding glass door with a beautiful view of the back yard. She is already enjoying the flocks of birds, a pair of Canada geese, a pair of Mallard ducks and the many squirrels that are home on the back acres. It is so good to be here with our family. We’ve enjoyed games of Rummikub, finished and then started another Thomas Kinkade puzzle and had lovely visits and delicious meals. Above are Joanne, Butch, Chuck, Jan & Jackie having a Friday night Pizza Party.

Monday night, Tuesday and Wednesday found us parked in a housing development on a dead end street close to Josh & Sarah’s. We asked permission of the Builder and so were able to boondock for three nights.  Even with the Seattle rain and cloudy weather, our solar power handled all of our electrical needs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATuesday morning this happy Gramma went to class with Sarah and the kids. While Ali & Isaac were in their class rooms, Jj was at Nursery school doing a lesson, a craft and play time. Sarah is one of the teachers for the group’s Tuesday lessons on History/Social studies with a sections on Latin, Music, and Science. After sack lunches in the community room, teachers & students (& Gramma) went to a nearby park for recess. I loved being with this amazing group of dedicated, talented women. On Thursday it’s another group time for Math. Wednesday afternoons are at the Rec Center for PE and swimming lessons. M-W-F are at home class room days. Thanks Sarah, Ali, Issac & Jj for letting me join you!! 003

Wednesday Grampa & I joined Sarah and the kids for lunch and then stayed with Jj while the the rest were at the Rec Center & shopping. Josh arrived home from work and the family sat down to a wonderful dinner. We loved our time with them visiting and playing with the kids!

Yesterday we moved the MH to the Burien Elks near Sea-Tac and close to Jackie & Butch’s. Being next to the airport will come in handy for my early Sat. morning flight to Iowa. And that takes us to today….Chuck and Butch are out going to Garage Sales, Gramma Joanne & Emily are making Gramma’s famous oatmeal raisin cookies, Jackie’s making chili and I’m blogging about all of them. I’m sure another puzzle will be out on the table shortly, LIG!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

San Francisco, CA

(Jan) We spent an awesome day with my brother, Ron, yesterday!! And an awesome evening with he, his wife Scarlett and their sons, John & Ryan!!  We met at their place in Pleasant Hill and then Ron, Chuck, Joanne and I headed into San Francisco to see the sites. We had a wonderful time playing tourist with Ron as our expert city guide. Ron has lived in SF and then across the bay for 30 years and certainly knows his way around the city. We crossed the Oakland Bay Bridge and founds our way down to Fisherman’s Wharf…..

030where we stopped at Sally’s for a delicious, fresh Fishwich! 028We looked across the bay to Alcatraz Island with The America’s Cup Yacht Oracle sailing in the Bay 041We Drove down Lombard Street – the crookedest street in the world.
060Here we are at the Twin Peaks looking down at the city of SF & the Golden Gate Bridge. 049Going steeply down hill to a busy SF intersection with a famed Cable Car crossing the street 071Ron & Jan overlooking the Pacific Ocean
081Going through the Golden Gate Bridge. 087Out touring group on the hill northwest of the GG Bridge 088
The north spire of the Bridge with Alcatraz & SF in the background.

097We were greeted by Ron’s lovely wife Scarlett when we arrived back home. Also there to visit were my nephews John and Ryan. We enjoyed a delicious Tri-Tip dinner together, looked at photos and caught up on family news.  We just feel so blessed to have had this day with them!

Tonight is our fourth night on the road and we are safe and warm at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Redlands, CA

049Our first stop on this trip was Redlands, CA to see Chuck’s Uncle Gerald (Joanne’s brother.) Through the years Joanne and Gerald have visited often and we wanted to make sure to get in a good stop on our way north. We had a fun time being with Gerald and Rita, sharing memories and looking at Rita’s beautiful & numerous plants. That evening we were joined by Gerald’s son (Chuck’s cousin) Cory and wife, Ingrid, for dinner at Home Town Buffet; good food and even better company. It was very nice reminiscing, catching up on current events & family news and just having a good time.063

Luckily we were able to stay right in their neighborhood at the Loma Linda Elks for our first night on the Road. We decided that the three of us are pretty good traveling buddies. We’ve found a nice degree of comfort sharing our RV space. The sleeping arrangements went well and driving/riding has, too. Chuck’s driving and Jo and I take turns ‘riding shotgun’ and sitting in a chair or on the sofa.

This morning we started driving around 9:30. We took I10 to I57; then on to I210 and I5. It took us about 2 hours to navigate through the greater Los Angeles area. We stopped for lunch at a Rest Stop north of LA. After a Subway stop late in the afternoon, we decided to push onward. There was still a bit of rush hour traffic on I580 and I680 in the Oakland Metro area but we made it into the Walnut Creek Elks RV Parking in good shape. Being an Elk has really helped with RV Parking on this trip!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Leaving Yuma 2013

044(Jan) Leaving Yuma this spring has taken on a whole new meaning. With Joanne coming with us in the Motorhome and moving to Seattle, this trip has taken on a ‘final’ overtone. We’ve spent part of the last several weeks helping her go through things in her home and packing. Our brother-in-law Butch flew in from Seattle last week to pack up Jo’s Toyota RAV4 and then drove it back so she will have her car in Washington. Co-incidentally, his son (Joanne’s grandson) Matthew & wife Roberta were traveling from San Diego to Phoenix and stopped for a visit.  What a wonderful afternoon we had visiting! In the group photo below that’s Chuck & I, Joanne, Matthew & Roberta and Butch.





Joanne is leaving her home of 22 years.



For most of the month of March we have lived on 53rd Street. This is the 6th year that we have been here. The March weather has been very pleasant with some days up into the 90’s. It’s been very nice to be plugged in and have the A/C running. When the sun goes down and the temps moderate, it was time for us to get out and walk! We are going to miss this beloved neighborhood and our evening walks after dark as we head north.010

For our last week in the Yuma Foorhills, Ron & Bernita came and joined us here. Tuesday we spent most of the day in Los Algodones, Mexico; dentist office for Ron, shopping for Chuck & I and then lunch at El Paraiso’s for all of us. That’s Bernita and I at left. Between time at Joanne’s, the four of us shared meals, went for walks and played Pegs & Jokers.P1070386 We also had Ron & Sharon over one afternoon and on Saturday we visited Jim & Diane. Yesterday on Easter Sunday, Joanne joined us after church services for our traditional ham dinner followed by a jigsaw puzzle. It was more packing after that and then Ron & Bernita and Chuck & I ended the day with another favorite, ice cream cones from the Mini Mart on Foothills Blvd.

Today we are on our way. Chuck’s driving, Joanne’s riding shotgun and I’m on the sofa writing this Blog. We’ll see Jo’s brother Gerald and friend Rita this afternoon and then head north to visit my brother and sister-in-law. It’s been a good drive up along the Salton Sea, through Palm Springs area and on to Redlands.

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