Christmas break started on the late side (22nd) this year, so we hit the ground running. Fortunately, cyber shopping had allowed us to get the Christmas shopping completed in plenty of time. We picked up Calvin from the airport on Saturday. He had enjoyed a 36 hour lay over in Seoul. Markus joined us for a welcome home meal. Then on Sunday it was up to Lynden to start the celebrations with family. Most of the clan went to the Dancing for Joy concert while a couple of us watched the Seahawks destroy the 49ers. Christmas Eve morning was the family gift exchange with Bjorn, Jenny and the girls. Then after a candlelight service, we did the clam chowder, oyster stew thing with an Eide gift exchange. Christmas morning brunch was followed by a trip back to Southworth to meet my sister Ellen and get Bjorn and Jenny off to their week in Oregon. Laid low most of the rest of the week with the exception of walking on the Bremerton ferry with Ellen to enjoy downtown Seattle for several hours.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Having finished the outside of the skylights this summer, I picked away at completing the inside. I just completed the final finishing touch with some small coving. The process started with framing around trusses, insulating, sheet rocking, taping, mudding, texturing, painting. Then I had to rip off the cedar from a living room wall, replacing it with sheet rock, then taping, mudding, texturing, painting that room. Then back to the ceiling: installing the cedar ceiling, wrapping the truss framework with cedar and finally trimming the cedar skylight joint. A long and slow process is finally done. Esther's response: "What are WE? going to work on next?"
Friday, November 23, 2012
With children and grandchildren scattering to the in laws and such, the elder Bishops and Bulthuis' were joined by Rebecca and Riley for a feast in Olympia. We had a great time eating and conversing, then eating and conversing. This is somewhat of an unusual Thanksgiving weekend this year as we find ourselves alone in Southworth catching up on work projects instead of in Lynden visiting with family and friends. We miss the visiting, but are getting a lot accomplished.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
This past week I finally joined the mobile network and bought an iPad mini. Despite my obvious proclivity for all things Apple, I have forgone the iPhone and IPad until now. I have been content with a basic cell phone and a computer with wifi. The handheld iPad mini was just too much to resist; small enough to tuck away in a big coat pocket, but large enough for my aging eyes. Of course I ordered the cellular option to make it truly mobile. So far I have enjoyed it. It is still nonetheless a two handed device and involves more tactile involvement than a laptop. That could be a nuisance or could be gratifying (compare manual transmission) One feature that I am learning to enjoy is Siri, though she needs to work on her intonation.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Last weekend I was relieved to have my boat out of the water. Tim helped me drag up the mooring anchor and then enjoy the final sail of the season. This Saturday I went up to start power washing the bottom and discovered that my outboard motor had been stolen! The thief used a cable cutter to cut through my lock. I am not sure when the dastardly deed was committed, but I saw the motor mid-week so it must have been Thursday or Friday night. I should have taken the motor off as soon as I got the boat home, but I have never had an issue with things being messed with. It is sobering to realize that my outboards have been left alone for the past fifteen years as they sat moored by the ferry only to be stolen in my front yard.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Another Oregon wedding. Our good friends, Tom and Peg Gillard married off their oldest son Nate to a Sublimity girl. The wedding was in Salem and Bjorn and Jenny joined us in celebrating the nuptials. The venue was the historic Grand Theater (not to be confused with Grand Hotel - separate story) A great reception followed in the same building. Both bride and groom come from strong families and the marriage looks to be off to a good start. We had a good time with friends at the hotel and enjoyed a leisurely drive home through Silverton and Mt. Angel and Fort Vancouver.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
This past weekend being Columbus Day weekend, we went up to Lynden for a couple of days. The neighbors have a pumpkin patch in a western town motif. We walked over Saturday afternoon to check it out. It was just right for Ada and Ruby. They enjoyed the petting farm, the cow milking and the pony ride. We also took a horse drawn wagon ride and picked out some pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. We enjoyed Sunday with church at Oikos, visiting mom and watching the Seahawks. Monday we were home again where we got a load of wood and I sheetrocked the living room wall where I had stolen some cedar. I also ran to Manchester and back (10 miles) as I start to ramp up for another marathon.
Monday, October 01, 2012
The Northwest weather is really becoming a statistical anomaly. I am a little worried that statistics will catch up to us and we will have ten months of rain. But we have to use it if we get it. Markus and Steph came over on the weekend and we went out for a sail on Sunday afternoon. The wind was perfect for a boat load of four. Esther and I are both enjoying our new positions at work, though Esther is putting in a lot of hours.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
This weekend we took a 500 mile day trip. We wanted to test the Scion's comfort on a long haul. We also get an itch for the mountain passes and Eastern Washington this time of year. We drove Chinook Pass over to Yakima. It was extremely smokey, beginning at the summit of the pass. Yakima was socked in as well. We made the decision to take a long loop down to the Gorge and back up I5. The Gorge was beautiful and Esther got to see Stonehenge and Maryhill for the first time. We were tempted to run up to Trout Lake, but we got home at 10 pm as it was. The Scion tc passed the test: comfortable ride and fun to have the roof open.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Saturday I took my 6th grade class on a hike to the Dungeness Spit lighthouse. Eleven students and two parent joined me on the eleven mile round trip trudge though the sands along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I was hoping for more participation, but the new families aren't quite trusting enough to give me their child for the day. By spring they will! The weather was great and the low tide on the way out made a quick 2 1/2 hour trip out to the lighthouse. After an hour of lunch on the lawn and a tour of the lighthouse, it was time to drag the kids back to the parking lot. The rising tide pushed us up to the softer sand and logs for a slower go. It took 3 1/2 hours for the last of the stragglers to make it back to the parking lot. We all piled into a fifteen passenger van for the trip home. You'd think that the kids would have been pooped out. You wouldn't know it from the the raucous singing and shouting on the way home.
Monday, September 03, 2012
This year's Labor Day weekend took on a little different twist as we moved about. The weekend started at the cabin at Cain Lake cabin on Saturday afternoon. No oysters this year, but burger sliders and fresh veggie salad was the fare. A lazy Sunday morning in blazing lakeside sunshine turned slowly into afternoon and a quick pack up and drive to Bothell, where we checked into the Springhill Suites using Zachary's discount. After lounging by the pool, we headed to Red Hook Brewery for supper. Monday morning saw most of the gang at a nearby Value Village snatching up deals. A trip to Blythe Park and Woodinville Chipotle led up to the final activity of the day- checking out Markus new house in Fremont.
Friday, August 24, 2012
My final three days of summer break were spent with granddaughter Ada. I met Jenny in Marysville where she handed off 'Goof ball' to the grandparents for a few days. Since Esther is already back to work, it was my privilege to spend the days with Ada. We spent time on the beach and at school where I built some shelves while Ada explored the classroom. We read a lot of books and made some puzzles. She's off to Yakima tomorrow to visit a friend-- the traveling three year old!
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
He is off again. Today Calvin left for another year in Tokyo. It was a short but good summer, filled with a lot of work, family time and adventures with friends. He is going back a little early so that he can travel some in Japan before school starts. Calvin will be living in the same dorm (Canada House) that has been his home the last two years. The dorm situation there seems to operate much like a fraternity. This will be his last year at ICU International Christian University; and he is exploring options for graduate school either in Tokyo or Seattle. We are excited to witness his graduation in person next June.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
There are some days and nooks in Western Washington where it is easy to forget that it is a temperate rainforest. Lake Tapps on a hot August afternoon is one of those times/nooks. Yesterday we joined the annual Eide lakeside BBQ at George and Sharon's house on Lake Tapps. It was a privilege and pleasure to share in the fun with the George Eide offspring. Mike, Marti, and Marika joined us in representing the Soren clan. We enjoyed visiting with the first, second and third cousins. There was plenty of lakeside fun. Calvin and Marika enjoyed the jet ski and tubing; while I did take my turn on the jet ski and the more tranquil kayak. Thanks George and Sharon for a wonderful afternoon.
Sunday, August 05, 2012
Esther wanted to go to the lavender farms in Sequim on Saturday, so I tagged along with my bike to check out the Olympic Bike Trail. While Esther browsed the purple fields, I made my way west from Sequim toward Port Angeles. The trail meanders through town and field with the constant backdrop of the Olympic Mountains. Approaching Port Angeles it gets woodsy and hilly. My plan was to make it to the end of Ediz Hook and back to Sequim (50 miles) Unfortunately, I got a flat tire which I was unsuccessful at patching. I had to walk the bike back to a Port Angeles bike shop (2 miles) for a new tube. Esther came to pick me up and we checked out another farm and the bluffs along the strait. We ended with dinner at the Three Crabs in Dungeness.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Sunday morning we went out to English Camp for an historical reenactment of life in the late nineteenth century. We strolled by tents and a lady made a doll for Ada. Ruby nursed an apple for about an hour. On the way home for lunch, we stopped at a winery. In the afternoon, the women went to the lavender farm while Bjorn and Calvin watched the Olympics and Markus and I rode bicycle to Cattle Point Lighthouse. We enjoyed Jenny’s pulled-pork carne asada on the deck. The kids went to a production of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at Roche Harbor while Esther and I stayed home with the girls. Calvin was up early to make a Japanese breakfast of miso soup and tuna/plumb rice balls, a truly cultural experience for some of us morning cereal lovers. After a quick pack up, we went out to Cattle Point Lighthouse before getting in the ferry line and shopping/eating in Friday Harbor. Ada and Bjorn were presented their Junior Ranger badges for the scavenger hunt on the ferry ride. In the evening we went up to Cain Lake to have dinner with the Eides as Zachary was up from Arizona for a few days. We enjoyed Kay’s pasta dinner and Marti’s gourmet cup cakes in honor of Calvin and Esther’s birthdays and Bjorn and Jenny’s and John and Kay’s anniversaries.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
The trip began with an early wake up to join the commuters on the 6 am ferry in order to catch the 9am Anacortes ferry. Our van made the line in time, but Bjorn was three cars short; so he stayed to wait for the 12pm ferry, while the rest of us went ahead to Friday Harbor. After shopping and being joined by Bjorn for lunch we checked the recent whale activity at Lime Kiln before settling in the rental house at the golf course. We were surprised to find great accommodations including plenty of beds for everyone. Esther’s supper of Jambalaya was enjoyed while we waited for Markus ad Steph to arrive. Saturday morning we went to American Camp and Bjorn started Ada on her junior ranger badge with a scavenger hunt. After lunch we went to Lime Kiln Park and were fortunate to see the L pod come by. They were not as close as three years ago when we saw the super pod, but it was still exciting. We met Jeff and Peter Johnson at Roche Harbor who had a bucket full of crabs for us. Before leaving Roche Harbor, Bjorn convinced us to hike to the Mausoleum which was an unexpected surprise. Supper was hosted by Steph assisted by Markus. She prepared a Sri Lankan feast of chicken tikka massala, red lentil dahl, sambal and raita. We were invited to use our fingers to eat in Sri Lankan style. Ruby fit right in of course. The younger set finished the evening at a ball dance at English Camp while the grandparents and granddaughters settled in for the night.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
We enjoyed the day Saturday with Markus and Calvin. After a morning key chasing adventure, Markus came over to Southworth. We played a foursome of tennis. The old folks had the youngsters scared with a 2-0 lead, but youth prevailed and the sons defeated the parents 6-4. We ended the day with a dinner at Bremerton Bar and Grill and Mississippi mud pie at home. Markus is still appreciating his job at Garden City Group law firm. The future is somewhat tenuous as contracts come and go, but his hard work has been noticed and he has a lead position. He is experiencing some of the challenges of being a supervisor over less than conscientious co-workers.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
The afternoon sun and breeze was too much to pass by. I spent the afternoon sailing around Blake Island and skirting the shoreline of Yukon Harbor. It was great sailing. I was surprised at the lack of sailing and overall boating that I witnessed in Hawaii. The only boats that I saw on the water were commercial tour boats-- no fishermen, yachts or stink pots. I first attributed it to the strong winds that seem to develop every afternoon. I wouldn't enjoy being out on a small boat. Another factor may be the lack of mooring availability. But I would still expect to see some small trailerable boats out on the water. Paddle boards abounded, but I saw very few kayaks. What I thought would be a boater's paradise turned out to be a desert. The good thing is that it makes me appreciate the small boat paradise we do have on the Puget Sound. This afternoon I made it count.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Our final day in Hawaii. We got up at four to make our sunrise bush plane ride back to Honolulu via Molokai. We were once again treated to a spectacular flight along the world's highest sea cliffs. Arriving in Honolulu at 8:30 am and not leaving until 10 pm, we decided that we needed to do something. Fortunately, we could check in our bags and get a boarding pass. Then we hopped on the city bus to downtown and Waikiki. We spent the day browsing beach and boulevard. It was a fitting way to end our time in Hawaii. We caught an evening bus back to the airport and our overnight flight to San Francisco and then Seattle.
Monday, July 16, 2012
The last lava flows on Maui were in the 18th century, but when you drive and walk through Ahihi Kinau Reserve, it looks like yesterday. There is some beautiful scenery down near La Perousa Bay, and if Esther were feeling better, we would have liked to hike more. We also strolled on a much different path by the high end resorts in Wailea. By late afternoon, we were overheated and some shaved ice with ice cream and three different flavors from Loco Boys really hit the spot. Tonight we are preparing for our marathon trip home beginning at 4 am:)
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Esther has not been able to shake off a cough and slight fever this whole week, so this morning we went to a doctor. He diagnosed it as bacterial bronchitis and gave her some antibiotics. She is feeling a little better, but still not up to par. It's so hard being sick on vacation! She found the strength to do a little window shopping in Pa'ai and Lahaina. She found a special necklace and we enjoyed the sunset.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Every serious visitor to Maui is expected to take the 'road to Hana.' It is a windy (and windy) fifty miles skirting cliffs on the very wet Northeastern shore of the island. Lot's of traffic with one lane bridges to share with oncoming vehicles. True to form, during the whole trip we experienced different forms of drizzle. We stopped at a few waterfalls but didn't take any serious hikes. The weather didn't make the pools too enticing to enter; and the National Park made sure that we didn't enter the ones that did look inviting. After the long trip back to the dry side, we enjoyed the poolside sun at the condo for a couple of hours before sunset. Dinner was at a Hawaiian take out that had high recommendations.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Haleakala rises 10,000 ft from the sea in the distance of a couple of miles. Looking at the cloud shrouded mountain from West Maui, it doesn't seem that tall. This morning we drove to the top. We opted out of the sunrise experience and the downhill bicycle adventure. The ring of clouds was quickly put below as the road switchbacked up the mountain. The volcanic landscape is very barren. The temperature drop to the low 60s and we put sweatshirts on. Many of the surrounding islands were blocked from view by the clouds, but we did get a glimpse of Hawaii. We took our time as we meandered down the 'upcountry' towns. Esther found a lavender farm to stop at, and we ate lunch in historic Makawao. We headed back to the condo and I ran 5 miles on the beach before enjoying homemade supper on our deck. Esther is still not feeling up to par, battling a cold and cough:(
Getting an early start, we drove to Lahaina. The historic town is filled with shopping, galleries and restaurants. After a couple of hours, we headed north to drive the West Maui north shore. We stumbled on Honolua Bay and decided to get out the snorkeling gear. After a picnic lunch on the rocky beach, we put on the gear and headed for the snorkeling boats, since they probably know where the good spots are. We were a little disappointed in the amount of fish. (Maybe were were spoiled from our Florida experience) It was still enjoyable and a nice break from walking and driving. We continued on the highway as it became more remote and changed into a one lane road with no guard rails and some steep cliffs. The highlight was the village of Kahakuloa. The remote village seemed pretty much the same as it might have been fifty years ago. Once back at the condo, we took a walk on the beach before getting supper.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Esther had a fit full night of sleep battling a fever; along with a headache this morning. We laid low this morning and enjoyed the condo. We enjoyed the deck, watching canoe races just beyond the crashing surf. We even got a little too much sun lounging on the front lawn. By afternoon, Esther was feeling a lot better, so we ventured out to explore the Kihei area and get some lunch at Fred's Mexican Cafe. Great food. BTW much to my Apple chagrin, we are using Android 'Places' app to find all the info we need for food and sites. In the late afternoon, we explored the I'ao Valley with it's luscious vegetation and steep cliffs. I ended the evening with a three mile barefoot beach run at dusk/dark-- a new experience which I enjoyed very much.
One of the reasons that we made sure that we spent some time on Ohau was so that we could go to Pearl Harbor. Hoping that the crowds waiting for USS Arizona tickets would be fewer on Monday morning, we waited until the last morning of our stay in Ohau. With an early start, we were fortunate and got tickets for a morning tour. We enjoyed the whole Pearl Harbor museum. With all goals for Ohau accomplished, we headed for the airport on the early side. We ended up waiting all afternoon for our island hopper. We knew we were in for an adventure when the ticketing agent was gone for plane detail. We had no idea when we booked the tickets, that Pacific Wings was basically a 'bush plane' We watched all afternoon while plane after plane of other travelers boarded big prop planes for Maui, while we waited for what we weren't too sure of. The departure time came and went with no sign of a plane. The nine passengers assembled at the gate started rolling their eyes. Finally, the pilot and copilot (aka baggage and flight crew) ushered us down the tarmac to a small well used single engine Cessna. We were each given specific seats based on our weight. Yes, we gave the ticket agent our body weight. The flight ended up being a real joy as the plane stopped at Molokai and then flew low along the cliffs to Maui. (Check out some of the pics on my flickr link above) We found 'our condo' easily and we are settling into it this evening, listening to the loud crashing of waves.
Monday, July 09, 2012
Today we got a good taste of Ray's world. We went to church with him at Unity Church of Hawaii. Needless to say, we were out of our comfort zone. We took some time to drive up in the mountains above Honolulu. It is amazing how fast the vegetation changes. Within a mile and we were in serious rain forest. There was a great overlook. We also toured the government area of Honolulu and caught some historic sights. We ended the day with a visit to Dukes on Sunday. Ray and his friends rock out each week at a beachside bar--a real change of pace from Southworth! We had dinner with Ray at a Uncle Bo's near his house. Excellent meal.
Sunday, July 08, 2012
Today we pretty much stuck around Honolulu. We wanted to play tennis with Ray first thing in the morning but we kind of got rained out by a shower. We went to a farmers market which was packed with people finding their Saturday breakfast. Then after sweeping the courts dry, we played some tennis. After lunch at Ray's we hiked Diamond Head with thousands of other tourists. We managed to find a Goodwill where Esther found a bunch of summer clothes. Then we drove to the windward side on the Pali Highway and ate dinner at a tasty cafe. We ended the evening on the Waikiki strip where Ray showed us his hangouts.
Saturday, July 07, 2012
Last night we landed in Honolulu just after dusk. The twilight and lights of the island as we landed gave an added touch of enchantment. After renting a car, we found Ray's house quite easily. He is a great host and it is a great house just blocks from Waikiki beach. Today Esther and I did the usual Bulthuis thing and tried to cram the whole island into one day. We pretty much drove the entire island and stopped at a few places. True to form, the windward side was cloudy with occasional rain and the leeward side was sunny. We had two meals with lots of local color and got in the water twice. We ended the day with a nice conversation with Ray.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Today the weather finally broke free to celebrate the Fourth of July. We went with Calvin and Sassa to Paradise at Mt. Rainier. There was a lot of snow, so there weren't too many hiking opportunities. So we took the short hike to the Nisqually Glacier overlook. On our way home we couldn't find any good restaurants open, so we went home and Calvin and Sassa prepared a delicious Japanese curry dish. Tomorrow begins our Hawaii adventure!
Monday, July 02, 2012
This weekend we were able to connect with the family. We missed Steph who was connecting with her scattered family, But Markus, Bjorn, Jenny, Ada, Ruby, Calvin and his girlfriend, Sassa all came to Southworth. We hung around, showed Sassa around Port Orchard and ate several delicious meals,The girls really enjoyed Sassa; and though the time was short, it was sweet. Esther is still rapping up things at work, so it is pretty hectic trying to prepare for our upcoming trip to Hawaii.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Yesterday morning we picked up Sassa (Sayaka Maruyama) from the airport after her ten hour flight from Tokyo. Since we were in Seattle, we decided to take in some sights. The weather was great in the morning, but gradually deteriorated as the day wore on. Calvin and Sassa went up the space needle. Then we visited gasworks park, University of Washington and Ballard Locks. We ended the day with dinner with Markus and Steph at Buca de Beppo. We look forward to a week with Sassa before Esther and I take off for Hawaii.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
After ten long months in Japan, Calvin is back home. Ellen, Markus, Nick and I met him at the airport. Esther was sad she couldn't join us, but she was at a weekend getaway with High School friends. Calvin's first American meal was a black and blue burger at BJs. We need to fatten him up a little this summer. The next few days he will be busy reuniting with friends and catching up on sleep.
Friday, June 22, 2012
It's been twelve years since I purchased my used Toyota pickup, and fourteen years since we purchased our new Toyota Sienna van. Neither vehicle is showing signs of death despite 265k on the van and 225k on the truck. Both still have valuable utility in our lives, but we wanted something with better gas mileage. I have long wanted something a little sportier than a truck and a van, and have been known to enjoy 'borrowing' my sons' cars, so that I can drive a stick shift. After a couple of months of searching the Puget Sound and beyond (five trips to Bellevue, three trips to Lynnwood and a trip to Portland), we think that we found a car with which we are both happy. As could be expected, I was pushing the midlife sports car button and Esther was turning the practical and comfort knobs. The Scion tC seemed to meet both of our requirements. The one we settled on is a 2005 with 105k in great condition. If this Toyota serves as well as the last two, it will be with us for at least a decade.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
There is a peculiar sailing phemonenon at the mouth of Colvos Passage (Southworth and Vashon's north end). The current in Colvos Passage almost always flows north, regardless of tidal changes. Sometimes the current is stronger than others. The effect of this current on a small sailboat in light winds is somewhat comical. I can sail through the water at three or four knots and make no progress down the channel. Such were the conditions on my recent voyage down Colvos Passage. I eventually had enough wind to produce enough speed to make progress. A two hour upwind tack was followed by a quick 30 minute return trip. Such are the challenges and joys of sailing in the Puget Sound.
Thursday, June 07, 2012
Wednesday was my birthday. Esther and I both took personal days and we took a little trip to Portland. It was the only dry day of the week. We brought our bikes along in case a certain car hunting expedition failed (which it did). The city was in preparation for this weekend's Rose Festival. We enjoyed biking along the river, exploring the Rose Garden and a little shopping.
Sunday, June 03, 2012
This weekend I set the mooring and put my sailboat in the water for the summer sailing season. It is always a good feeling to have this task completed. Now a sailing is just a half hour away at any time - walk down to the canoe, paddle 50 yards, hoist the sails and enjoy. As July is stacking up to be a busy month, I'm going to have to get in some evening sails this month.
Great wedding yesterday. Missy Manning got married to Will Bleich at Kitsap Memorial Park. The weather didn't look too promising and we passed through a downpour on the way to the wedding, but the party was spared. As the afternoon progressed, the weather improved. The wedding was particularly emotional as brother Jeff walked Missy up the aisle and helped 'give her away.' The reception was great and since all the Bulthuis' were there including Ada and Ruby, we were able to share some family time afterward before everyone went home.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Kelsea, Bria and Marika all finished their respective course work at Calvary Chapel Bible School and Canyonview Equestrian College. So this weekend there was a celebration bash in Greenwood. Each girl had a pavilion in honor of their interests. Kelsea had an India tent, Bria an Irish Hobbit house and Marika an Italian tent. There was a meal honoring each girl and their country of passion: Italian, Irish and Indian, for guests to enjoy. We were thankful for yet another rainless weekend (a notable dry Memorial Day weekend) Congratulations to all three girls on their accomplishments.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
This year's trip to Neah Bay with our fifth graders did not get off to a good start. I arrived at school at 6am and a student showed up at the last minute with no permission slip signed. Luckily, we were able to get a hold of dad to come to school and sign it. Then there was a driver who showed up late. While dealing with these issues, I sent a dad to the gas station to pump up one of my truck tires since it looked a little low. When he got back we could hear the air leaking and found a screw in the tire. Fortunately, another dad had a fifteen passenger van that was basically empty, so we piled all the supplies into his van and I rode with him. Thinking the drama was finished for the morning, we made our first rest stop and we got a phone call from a frantic mom who I had neglected to rendervous with in Silverdale. One of the drivers went back to pick the boy up while the rest of the nine vehicles kept going. I was starting to think that this was going to be a disastrous trip; but once we got to Neah Bay, things went very well, and despite some rain as we packed up to leave, it was a great time. While I was at Neah Bay, Esther was with the Eides in Oregon, celebrating Marika's graduation from Canyon View Equestrian College.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
We shared the gorgeous sunny day with Markus and Steph exploring the 'Eastside.' We mingled with the crowds in downtown Kirkland and enjoyed an outside dinner at Hectors. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening checking out Chateau St. Michelle grounds and Marymoor park. We had heard much about these two places, but had never actually been there. We are looking forward to taking the bike trail that includes both of these places.
Monday, April 23, 2012
This weekend found the family scrounging their closets for pink and yellow to dress for Ada's pink lemonade birthday party. Did I mention that Ada's favorite color is PINK? The weather was cooperative as the Eide clan gathered for the occasion along with friends Craig and Jen and kids. There was food aplenty crowned with a six layer (shades of pink) birthday cake made by Marti. Ada relished the evening with its sweets, gifts and attention. Esther and I also joined my family in a birthday gathering for my mother who will turn 89 next week. She is looking healthy and her coughing has decreased. One more year and she will make it to 90.
Monday, April 09, 2012
The last two days of our Spring break were spent messing around in Sacramento with my sister Ellen. We spent time in historic Auburn, highway 49 (Sutter Mill - birthplace of the gold rush) Folsom Lake, Old Sac and the capital, as well as some districts of Sacramento that we had never seen. We ended our time with an Saturday night Easter service at Ellen's church before hitting the I5 for the highway grind home.
Friday, April 06, 2012
Our final day on the mission trail found us visiting a record four missions. The thirteen missions that we visited this week leave us just eight more in the Bay area for another time. A couple of the missions that we visited the last day were pretty remote. We are going to spend our last couple of days with my sister in Sacramento. It's a little cool but plenty sunny!
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Day three of mission touring and they were starting to blend together until La Purismo. Most of the missions are now located within a town or city and the mission is operated by the catholic church. The gardens and grounds are manicured and the atmosphere is peaceful within the bustle surrounding. This is obviously not the original condition as the missions were dusty, busy centers of farming and industry surrounded by barren country. La Purisimo is much more authentic without the hustle and bustle. The mission is out in the country and is maintained by the state as a state park. We spent a couple of hours enjoying the grounds and historical sites. Tonight is in Pismo Beach.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Today was another warm sunny day tracking down missions. We did three again today. It would be pretty hard to do more than three in a day if you spent any time at each mission. They open at 9:00 and close at 5:00; and then there's travel time on clogged southern California freeways. The mission trail skirts around the outside of LA: San Gabriel, San Fernando and Ventura. Our GPS is sure coming in handy! We have enjoyed stopping in different communities that we would never otherwise visit. The missions are usually near the center of town, so we get a flavor for each town. The temperature was in the 80's at noon in San Fernando, but in the 60's in Ventura in the late afternoon.
Monday, April 02, 2012
Today we started the California missions tour. There are 21 Spanish missions, all about a day's horse ride away from each other stretched along the coast from San Diego to Sonoma. Since our van goes at least three times as fast as a horse, we got to three missions today. We started in San Diego de Alcala with the 'mother mission' and it's visionary Father Serra. We next visited San Luis Rey in Oceanside and San Juan Capistrano. The weather was great as we strolled through each enjoying the grounds and gardens in the bright sun light. We also found time to enjoy a little of the beach at Laguna Beach. We are in a motel in Costa Mesa tonight, resting up for a new adventure tomorrow.
Sunday, April 01, 2012
After months of rain and cold, Esther and I are finally enjoying some 70 degree sunshine. However, we had to drive all the way to San Diego to find it. Northern California was cold so we kept going. After spending most of last night driving with a little sleep at a rest area, we are enjoying a motel at Point Loma. We enjoyed the lighthouse park and Balboa Park and dinner in the Hillcrest district. We are looking forward to some time in the sunshine.
Friday, March 30, 2012
This past week we had the delightful opportunity to host a Japanese teacher in our home. Sugako Akiyama is an English language teacher in Ibaraki, Japan. She brought 10 elementary students to the US for a cultural experience. The students were guests at Sidney Glen where they spent each morning in our classrooms and the afternoons touring the local community. Su spent the evenings with Esther and I in Southworth. We had such a great time interacting with her. She is very fluent in English and we were able find out a lot about life in Japan. A highlight was skyping Calvin while Su was with us. There is something a little awkward about listening to your son conversing with someone and having no idea what he is saying. Su was very complimentary of Calvin’s language skills. We are so thankful to have spent this week with Su and look forward to a life long friendship with her and her family.