Babysitting granddaughters is one of life's simple pleasures. Since Bjorn and Jenny were at a conference Friday night and Saturday, we were able to have the girls to ourselves for several hours. Ada is becoming quite the big sister and Ruby is developing her own endearing personality. We were able to connect with most of the Eide compound and had Seattle visitors on Sunday afternoon. Markus, Steph and Andy came up to visit Emily, so we got to share a meal them as well. A Skype with Calvin made the weekend feel like one happy family weekend.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
A large contingent of our small group made the pilgrimage to Poulsbo on Saturday for the annual Lutefisk feed. There were several Lutefisk 'virgins' that got their first encounter. We stuffed ourselves with Lutefisk, meatballs, potatoes, Lefsa and KrumKake. Next year will be the 100th year of the annual feast at First Lutheran. We'll have to bring the Eides over to the Peninsula for the big occasion.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
For our final day in NYC we headed downtown. We stopped first at Grand Central Station and walked to the Chrysler Building and the United Nations. Next, we had lunch near City Hall and then walked the Brooklyn Bridge with thousands of other tourist. It was in the mid-eighties by then so the vendors were selling lots of drinks. Back on the subway we headed for Battery Park to view the Statue of Liberty and the water traffic. We walked up Broadway through a street fair to Trinity Church and Wall St. Wall St. was closed except for a narrow walkway, presumably to deter the protesters. The protesters were confined to a park a few blocks away with plenty of police and media presence. We didn’t stop to watch the protesters, but made our way to ground zero and St. Paul’s Chapel, site of so much of the recovery effort. Since the memorial museum is not complete, this site offers a glimpse of the days following 9/11. We met Doug and Pam at the memorial site and found a sidewalk cafe for supper before our scheduled 7pm visit to the memorial pools. Unfortunately, the extra tickets did not work for Doug and Pam, so we had to say good-bye before entering the grounds. Even though the memorial is free, reserved tickets are necessary and the security procedures make airports look lax. The memorial pools are very impressive. The waterfalls drown out the noise of the city and the etched names of the victims around the perimeter convey the enormity of the tragedy. The visit to the memorial made a nice climactic ending to our weekend of touring. We headed back to the Hephzibah House for our 4 am taxi ride back to the airport.
The day started with another elegant breakfast at the mansion. Our bus ride back to the city turned into a train ride as the bus had a flat tire. The Amtrak ride along the Hudson was scenic and I was surprised to see so many sailboats in the marinas that we past. Once in the city again, we checked into the Hephzibah House with its antique decor and convenient location next to Central Park. We had time to do some sightseeing so we headed for the Rockefeller Center and went to the ‘Top of the Rock’ Having been to the Empire State Building on a previous visit, the Rock, we enjoyed a little different perspective of the city. We visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral before taking the subway down to Greenwich Village and Union Square to check out some NY nightlife. Our day ended with a stop at a sidewalk cafe for dessert.
The Belvedere Mansion is an expansive historic estate overlooking the Hudson River valley and Catskill Mountains in the distance. The morning sun revealed a hint of autumn color in the valley. After breakfast we spent the day exploring the nearby towns of Rhinebeck and Hyde Park, visiting the landmarks: Beekman Arms Inn, the Vanderbilt Mansion and the FDR library and family grounds. Then it was back to the mansion for the weekend’s main event: Brain and Kate’s wedding ceremony. The beautiful outdoor wedding had may unique touches. Roses were placed on empty chairs for the missing grandmothers, all alive but unable to attend. A candle lighting was replaced with tree planting using soil from New York and Lynden. Pashminas were draped over every other chair and were gifts to the women guests. The reception was outstanding as well with incredible service and a well paced program. Our table was definitely the elderly crowd. Kate and Brian did so much to make every guest feel welcomed and appreciated, everything from special gifts to personal interaction revealed their appreciation for each person who attended.
Arriving at JFK airport at 6 am after a five hour flight from LA with just winks of sleep was hardly a way to start a day of sightseeing. The NY morning broke into a bright October summer day. We had traveled from Seattle with Jack and Sue, and we met Ellen at the airport before riding the subway to Midtown and Hephzibah House where we stored our luggage for the day. Jack had a handle on the NYC public transit system having been here a couple of times; which turned out to be very helpful. We purchased unlimited weekly passes, which paid for themselves by the visit’s end. We spent the afternoon walking around Central Park and getting used to being in the city. I had anticipated some beautiful Fall colors in the park but everything was still green. We ate a diner before catching the subway to Time Square area where we explored a little and then caught the chartered bus for our trip up the Hudson Valley to Belvedere Mansion. For some reason the bus driver drove up Broadway and straight through Uptown rather than crossing over to Jersey and catching the freeway north. The two hour ride turned into a three hour ride, but we got to experience the traffic mess of NYC exiting town for a long weekend. We arrived at Belvedere Mansion to pizza and pumpkin carving. It was great to see everyone, and the soft bed felt really good after 36 hours.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
This weekend I received help from Markus and Steph as I hauled out my boat and retrieved my mooring anchor for the winter. It is a relief to have the boat out, but sad to see another sailing season finish. For some reason the anchor line had snagged a water-logged buoy and Markus and I had a hard time freeing the 150 lb. mushroom anchor from the sea bottom. No wind meant that we motored over to Manchester under pleasant skies. We decided to postpone the actual haul out until after the Seahawks game which put us in the rain back at the ramp. Now, I can sleep easier let the winter storms roll in.
Yesterday, Markus and Steph joined us as we attended Karen Miner's memorial service. It was a very meaningful service with a packed house. It was good to talk at length with Javan. Afterward, we went to Gateway to India in Gig Harbor for some great food. Steph guided us to some great choices to indulge our palate.