A dear friend pointed out that a recent post I made on I Thought I Was Done With This was really much more about travel than about cancer, so please check it out (if there's anyone currently checking this blog . . .)
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Anyway, we went up because E had the brilliant idea to plant some nut trees on our land, and we thought we’d maybe add a couple tasty tidbits of our own. We ended up with two walnuts, three chestnuts (one called “Colossus”, which is just a cool name for a tree. Except if you’ve planted it in your city back yard.), and two cherries, to add to our plum, pear, and maybe apple that seem to have lived through a previous tenancy. I left the boys to dig the holes—seemed like a manly job—and I hiked almost ½ mile away to the stand of invasive Scotch broom and worked on pulling that out. Note: even with the brilliantly designed Weed Wrench (hard not to call it the “Weed Wench”), Scotch broom takes a long time to remove. I worked for maybe three hours, and took out one garbage bag-sized pile of plants. If only this were even remotely how much Scotch broom is living on that hillside. It’s not in bloom yet, though, so that’s good.
We stayed at the North Beach Inn, which accepts dogs (only two—another reason to send
Ian and I forgot our cameras but E had his, so I’ll try to post some pics in a couple days when I get them. In the meantime, I leave you with a view from
Monday, April 21, 2008
Anyway, once we got there,
Three of us were recovering from illnesses over and above Puppy Ownership and so were predisposed to lie around a lot in the warmth, which we did for the first couple days. Really, I don’t at all remember what we did. We had Mexican food a couple times (my uncle’s friend got reservations for us at a fantastic place where we ate the next day too), visited a museum of dry goods from the 30s (not that I wasn’t interested, but the sun—the sun! was so awesome that I sat outside the whole time, on the edge of a courtyard fountain), shopped for sunglasses (successfully) and visors (unsuccessfully) and books (successfully), watched some videos, made some food at home, and in general hung out.
The most ambitious day, we drove entirely around the
But! There isn’t an outflow from the
Virtually all the infrastructure built to take advantage of the tourist boom has crumbled into nothing, but you can still see some of it—boarded up motels, half-buried rusty playground equipment, little boat basins or swimming beaches defined by pock-marked cement balusters. One town—
Not surprisingly, the
After Niland we stopped by the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge and looked at some cows and birds (not sure that the cows were actually being protected), and then headed back home (stopping at
The last full day we were in the area, we drove into
Our last evening we finally rode the Palm Springs Tramway up to the top of some mountain behind town, like the good tourists we were. I have to say, I enjoyed the ride, but it’s also really freaky. After all, if the engine dies in a plane, the plane’s still designed to fly. But if the cable snaps on a tramway, that’s it. It’s gone. Smashed into the rocks hundreds of feet below.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Don’t get me wrong—I love kayaking, with the hybrid human/duck feeling of it, the intense physical effort of paddling, the ability to explore the multitude of rock shores and teeny coves that are too small for any sort of power boat. There’s a unique satisfaction in being your own impulsion.
But I also love getting from one place to another in less than a day and a half. We’re looking forward to a summer in the San Juans, where most of the 450 islands aren’t accessible by ferry, and where we can now, finally, visit some of my favorite childhood state parks. Sucia, for instance, or James, or even tiny Clark.
I had another interesting insight into my psyche last night, as we took our new boat trailer from Seattle out to Maple Valley where M&M are kindly storing it for us at their place (the boat’s in a dry-stack storage facility on Lake Union, blocks from home, but they didn’t have room for the trailer). I was driving along I-5 through downtown Seattle, in traffic (of course, even though it was 7:30 pm), glancing at my mirrors periodically to make sure the trailer was centered in the lane behind me, and I suddenly, out of the blue, got all choked up. And I realized that, for some reason, I have equated owning your own trailer with adulthood. I’m sure we have more trailers in our future—at least a horse trailer, and perhaps some sort of flatbed or utility trailer as well. But this, our boat trailer, is our first trailer, and as such it represents this new phase of life into which we’ve entered. New skills, new opportunities, new challenges, new responsibilities. And, of course, new fun.
Hey—anyone wanna go skiing?
Monday, March 17, 2008
We’ve ended up spending a lot of time with Spackle shut out of the kitchen simply so he can have a break from the endless prickly fawning adoration. Also, if
He’s been okay at nights—if one of us takes him out once (usually me, usually around 3am) he’ll piddle and poop and then sleep for several more hours until about 7:30 when one of us (so far exclusively Ian, bless his heart) gets up and feeds him and Spackle. Ian then lets Spackle back into the bedroom where he and I sleep for another two hours.
We’re starting puppy manners classes next week, which I’m hoping will appease my mother, who was a bit peeved that we decided to get a puppy knowing that she’s going to be stuck taking care of him when Spackle comes for his 2 ½ week summer vacation while we’re in Cabo Verde. But
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
It was spectacular. Perfectly clear, lots of snow, hardly any people, and a whole new steep bowl area opened up with a new lift since last we were there. I told multiple strangers that it was our first time up in two years . . . not that they cared. Our only notable conversation with a stranger on the lift was about this video, so that’s at least about travel.
We were smugly impressed with ourselves for looking at the map of the new section, seeing a sea of black diamonds and double black diamonds, and agreeing yes, we should totally check that out. Two years off? Nothin’.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
One of our blessings in the
It was spectacular.
Some of you may remember from long, long ago that I was afraid of flying on big commercial planes. Fortunately, I mostly got over that, particularly considering all the flying we did last summer. But even at the height of my fears, the small planes didn’t really bother me. It probably has something to do with scale, I’m sure.
For one thing, although I know this isn’t true, it looks like I could probably figure out the controls in a pinch and land the thing if I had to. After all, there’s a lot of water around, so finding a flat runway won’t be a problem. (I conveniently forget the front page photo in the paper several years ago of a Kenmore Air plane floating upside down just off-shore from
For another thing, we only fly at about 1,000 feet, and although again I know I’m wrong, it feels like I could pretty easily live through plummeting such a slight distance. So anyway, I accept that I’m deluding myself, and I enjoy the ride.
A nice feature of the Otter is that the windows are convex, so you can get an excellent view of the countryside trailing away under you. I spent both my one-hour flights with my pate glued to the deepest part of my window, staring straight down at the ground. Did you know trees are star-shaped from the top? Well, they are. And tide flats look like elephant skin. And much of
My cousin S and I enjoyed our stay in a foreign country, even though with the dollars at virtual parity it wasn’t like being able to spend play money anymore, and we look forward to other getaways in the future.
And I cannot recommend the seaplane adventure highly enough.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
We’re still enjoying being back in our house, but there’s so much of the world to see, you know. Fortunately, we’ve had some friends recently give us the excuses we needed to make some more overseas plans. They’re all kind of crammed together, but one of the things we learned last summer was that we can jump from one thing to another fairly quickly.
So first we have a wedding to attend in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in June, and we’ve started planning when to go and where to stay (and who to stay with, since we know several people attending this ceremony), and how long to stay. We probably would’ve given
Our second reason to travel is another June wedding, this one in
Of course, we traveled around
Cabo Verde, or
Cabo Verde is known (if it’s known for anything) for its music; Cesária Évora is probably their most widely known musician. Ian’s excited about funaná, a style of music that originated on
The accordion is everywhere.