Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24th 2010 pt 2

The conclusion of a wonderful four days off from both jobs :)

May 24th 2010

This morning, we wanted to do something special with the kids to reward them for being so good to Miss Pam, the Jenkins and Miss Dot while we were gone. So we woke them up early and drove the nearly one hour to the Edmonds-Kingston ferry terminal. Just to the north of that is a diving park and since the low tide at 9:00 am was a -.2, it was a decent enough low tide to see sea critters. We caught crabs, saw starfish and anemone's, ALMOST caught an eel and got sand in lots of places. It was a really fun two hours followed by a lunch at Arby's!

May 23, 2010

On Sunday, our day started out with a wonderful breakfast at the Harrison House. Fresh fruit, homemade granola cereal, grits with salsa, fresh lamb sausage and a poached egg on top followed by a really good coffee cake. After that, we drove back to Roche Harbor for our 3-hour 9+mile Kayak tour. Started out by snapping a picture over my shoulder of my bride gearing up. Jill had control of the rudder in our kayak.

Just outside of the harbor, we saw this bald eagle watching the water. Later he/she was seen soaring majestically over the water.

The guide spotted these two sea lion's sunning themselves on a rock. They have to sun for 8 hours a day or they have trouble digesting their food, which weakens their immune system. No humans are allowed within 100 meters of a sunning sea lion in Washington state, so we had to be careful not to drift too close.

One of the cool things I call "tree sculptures" from the wind.

I snapped this photo of the rest of our group. Four other tourists and three guides.

Our lead guy was fascinated by the fact that my Pentax is waterproof, so he asked if he could take a few shots with it. He snapped this photo of us. This was before it got real sunny and I found out I should've listened to my wife and applied more sunscreen. See those large patches of skin on either side of my widows peak? Yeah, they are red today.

After the kayak trip was over, we ate at the Roche Harbor cafe. I had a delicious Asian salad while Jill had what she declared was the best fish and chips she's ever eaten. The halibut was lightly battered and fell apart in your mouth. The fries were crispy in a way we've not had before. YUM.

Afterwards, we drove down the west side of the island, hoping to see some whales. Alas, we did not, but I took this neat photo of a lighthouse. I thought I was focused on the lighthouse but I'm pleasantly happy with the fact I wasn't.

We then drove to Friday Harbor to get in line for the ferry. Had some ice cream and Jill had a Chai latte while we waited. And I fell asleep. Ferry ride home where we played Pente on a table and each won about half the games and we giggled a lot. Ate dinner at a burger place that brings your food out to your car. Then got home exhausted around 9 pm! What a fun weekend!!

May 22 2010

Our 20th Wedding Anniversary!! YAY!

Jill and I left early so we could drive north to Anacortes, WA and catch the ferry over to San Juan island. It was a beautiful day. We enjoyed the time to ourselves and knowing that the kids were well taken care of in our absence led to a very relaxing trip. We took the ferry over, enjoying the beautiful views of Orcas and Lopez island and then the marina of Friday Harbor on San Juan. We ate a delicious lunch at the Bluewater Grill and then wandered the marina. We met Popeye, the female one-eyed resident Sea Lion. Very friendly!

We also saw some other sea life amongst the beautiful yachts. Some anemone's clinging to the docks, lots of jellyfish and some scavenger shrimp. We also saw a lot of stunning boats, yachts, you name it. And that sea smell and sounds and views was so nice.

We drove to the north end of the island, first stopping by English camp. Way back in 1867, the US and Britain were on the verge of war over the islands and the British had setup their soldiers on the north half while the US soldiers occupied the southern half. We decided to visit the English half on Saturday (never did make it to the American camp). We got out and there was an older gentleman taking a picture of his wife at this sign with his cell phone. He asked Jill to take a picture of the two of them together at the sign. Turns out, he MADE that sign 25 years ago. He was the stone mason who put it all together. And his wife? They were newlyweds - she being 103 years old and blind. He called her his "lovely lady". He took her arm after she felt his stonework and carefully walked her to the car. It was very sweet!

The original English gardens are still maintained, although most of the buildings are long gone. They did have a photograph of the English gardens, with that guard house in it and a tall masted British ship moored to the now-gone dock. The picture was from the 1870's.
We then went to Roche Harbor, a resort on the north end of the island where you can look SOUTH to Canada. Roche Harbor used to be one of the top lime producing plants in the US, so the old brick work was all still there. I took this nice picture of my beautiful wife. Then she suggested the picture of the kilns.

We ate a REALLY delicious dinner at a restaurant called Pablitos Taqueria, which advertises "Gringo Loco" style food. Oh man was the lamb curry awesome. Then we spent the night at the Orcas room of the Harrison House Bed & Breakfast. NICE. We didn't get to use the private hot tub - it hadn't heated up - but we very much enjoyed the night nonetheless!! Here's the sunset from our balcony.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 19th 2010

I won't be near a computer this weekend, so I'm going to post a few things today.

Yesterday? 30 years ago, Mt. St. Helens erupted. Boston Globe has a superb photo essay online:

Yesterday? 19 years ago, my sister lived her last full day on Earth.

But before I go there. 20 years ago this weekend, Jill and I got married :) It was a wonderful time. Man, we look young.Here's a picture of all but one sibling. Jill's brother Dan, sister Lindy and my sisters Carrie and Laura. My brother Brian couldn't come because it was finals week at the University for him.

Here's my sister Laura lighting the candles. Laura is expecting her first baby, Wyatt, this July! Carrie is up in the choir loft because she had a special role in the wedding - reading the Corinthians passage.

One year later (19 years ago today), we spent our first wedding anniversary back in Missouri identifying Carrie and burying her. My heart still weeps. To think what could have been and what is not. We miss you Carrie.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 6th 2010

The benches in their quasi-final resting place. I have some cleanup to do on the edges of the lower patio and then the southern bench can move a little further away from the fire pit thingy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


It is always a balancing act deciding what to do with ones limited time. And sometimes we put things off and it comes back and bites us. I feel extremely guilt ridden over something I kept putting off and now it's too late. The reason why I'm writing this here on the blog instead of directly on Facebook is that it relates to this blog in a way.

When Jill came back from her nice visit to Colorado, I put off downloading the pictures off her camera. Just didn't take the time. And the kids took a lot more pictures - including some great spring shots. And I kept putting it off. I've taught others how to download pictures, but I haven't "trained" them - so it's not something that is remembered. It falls to me. And I failed.

Because the camera glitched this morning and wiped it's SD card clean. Several months of memories recorded gone. I cannot accurately explain how horrid this makes me feel. It is my fault, primarily, and I do not like it. I screwed up and procrastinated and the results are not repairable. I cannot recreate the trip to Colorado. I cannot recreate spring. I cannot recreate anything that was on there.

The depth of my sorrow is...well...deep.