Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kudos to the Jimi Hendrix Neighborhood

Afternote:  We enjoyed our stay with Laura in her home in Seattle, which we found on  She's this one!  Thank you, Laura!  She even let us stay an extra day!

First Leg, Roundabout Journey Home

The wife is pretty happy with this quick
 point-and-shoot of Narada Falls as it tried
to mist up her camera lens.

A long hike resulted in this self-portrait with
the mountain crowding into the shot.  Pushy mountain.  
We are happy to share our BMW with the mountain!
We hustled out of Seattle today and watched Mt. Rainier loom closer and closer until--there we were, in the park, sun shining, car making smooth German BMW noises all along, top down, wind in her hair.  Yep.  Sunshine, a day Seattleites dream of.  After a stomach and budget stretching last evening in Seattle, it was time for bagels and peanut-butter, which we picked up at the Safeway in Enumclaw, where Creation Fest was buzzing and the teenage Creationists were hogging the Safeway unisex bathroom.  But it was happy days on the mountain, with lots of viewing and some vigorous hking, after which we managed to find our way to the happy little Relax Inn in Chehalis, WA.  Then for some pie at the Kit Carson Cafe, and we're all set for the night.

Our Return Flight

1995 BMW 325iC
We'll forego our flight on Delta Airlines for a trip home in this little number, which I hope is ready for the long journey.  Today it's supposed to be a sunny 78 degrees in Seattle, which bodes well for our journey home.

Somewhat Busy in Seattle

Yep, we've been on the run.  Up in Seattle via the air, then traveling galore, foot, bus, light rail, train, car, and more and more feet.  Been to the Space Needle, yup.  On a ferry out to Bainbridge Island, yessir.  Up and down Pike and Pine more than once, check.  Up to the U of W and canoeing on Lake Washington, yeah.  Bought a car, got it.  Sampled beer and coffee and seafood and other delights, oh yez.  Tramped our legs off, ja.  Now it time to start wending our way homeward, maybe after a sideline to Mt. Rainier, a cruise up Snake River Canyon, stop in Boise, that kind of thing.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

New Ulm Loses its Bohemian and Family

Photo from Star Tribune
Friend TQ notes that the city of New Ulm is trying to cope with the loss of its premier bed and breakfast, the Bohemian, which burned to the ground a few days ago with its owner and family inside.  Some guests were also killed in the blaze.

It's a sad loss for the town and a loss for us too, having stayed there on one of our anniversary trips. We told friends about it and encouraged them also to stay there, which TQ and wife did.  It was a beauty of a place, very comfortable, and Bobbi McCrea made a great host and cook.  Too bad.  Star Tribune story is here, follow-ups here and here.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Coming into Independence

Back on this day in 1977, I was a 20-year-old newly-dismissed soldier hitch-hiking across Europe.  On July 3, I woke up in Switzerland, having spent the night beneath a roadside sign that offered some protection from the lights of the traffic passing by, but little from the morning sun that greeted me on the first day of my freedom from Uncle Sam's schedule and requirements.  I was a free bird, and I spent the next night in a little hotel in view of the Swiss alps, having chatted that evening with a mountain climber who was spending a few days of his own freedom doing some serious mountaineering.

I wouldn't get home until September, spending the next several weeks meeting people in Italy, Greece, and England, where I hung out with my sister, who was just finishing her own military stint in Lakenheath AFB.  

It was an eye-opening several weeks for me, trying to shape up and shake out the lethargy of barracks life, a kind of journey of discovery that had many twists and turns, ups and downs (which included having all my American Express travelers checks stolen in Greece), and finally brought me home.  Even the final stages of my journey, hitchhiking from Sioux Falls to Ramona, then to Fort Pierre, were memorable and instructive. But finally I was taken back into the embrace of my family, who were surprised when I arrived, about 26 months after I had boarded the plane bound for Germany.

Happy Independence Day, all!  

Friday, July 01, 2011

Guerrilla Knitters Down Under and Above

The wife an a friend of ours have been knit-meisters for over a year, turning string into a wide variety of items for gifts and their own use, wearable and otherwise.  But they haven't knitted a toilet-cozy.  Not a toilet SEAT cozy.  A public toilet cozy.  Yep.  Check out the vid.  Those Australians!

You might enjoy looking for other evidence of "yarn bombing," which in Vancouver has an "International Yarn Bombing Day" devoted to it.   I may have to encourage the wife to create a decorative knit cover for her bike like this one.