And….again!

Oh so pretty. I didn’t have a window seat today. It’s just as well, though, because I would have been hogging/blocking the view the whole time. :)
So I asked my seat-neighbor to snap one for me, instead.

20140727-072235-26555696.jpg

Three day weekend!

We celebrated the long 4th of July weekend on the lake.  On Friday, Julie joined us for the day for a sail and a float in Arky South.   Kalliopi tied up to us for the afternoon.   And we whipped up an All-American grill-ful of burgers and dogs for dinner.

IMG_4964

We took Julie back to the marina at sunset.

IMG_3215

We had a nice view of a nearby fireworks show from the bow.

IMG_3220 IMG_3221

Saturday morning we took care of some chores on the boat before setting off for a long sail, ending up with anchoring off Starne’s Island to watch the Volente (day-after) 4th of July fireworks show.  Voodoo, Sapphire, Dancer and Karma also showed up and we anchored nearby eachother.

The lights in this shot show the great many boats that turned out for the show.  And the dark hump in the middle of the shot is Starne’s Island, from where the fireworks would be shot off.

IMG_3276

We had a great spot!

IMG_3335

After the show, nearly all the other boats left, and the water calmed down enough to stay overnight.  Sunday morning, before we left, I kayaked from the boat to Starne’s Island to hunt for a lone geocache hidden there.

IMG_3381

This tree on the island is home to 4 giant blue heron nests.  None of them were home during my visit.IMG_5023

We made it back to the slip Sunday afternoon and wrapped things up.

Another great 3 day weekend spent on the lake!

SoCo birthday night.

I went downtown tonight to celebrate Laura’s birthday.  We ate at Perla’s, and strolled up and down South Congress til it was time to call it a night.

champers night cap at Hotel San Jose

IMG_4899the (blurryish) soco view towards downtown… IMG_4921A reflection of the Frost Bank Tower on the building next door… IMG_4926Happy Birthday, Laura!

1st weekend of Summer: 630′

Summer arrived yesterday morning at 5AM central time (or thereabouts).  Yesterday we set out for a raftup to mark the occassion.  Marty & Sue joined us on Nirvana.  We met up with Dancer, Kalliopi, Voodoo, Solace, Sapphire and Karma.   It’s been a very long time since we enjoyed a raftup with that many other crazies.  We had a fun evening, and a nice, relaxed day today.   Fair winds and non-stifling temps.   All is well.

IMG_4863

Paddling around.

My mom’s sister is here visting, another is arriving this week.   Today they’re spending the morning together catching up.  So, I headed out to go kayaking near Hood Canal with Noreen, her friend Tammy and her son, Matt.  I think I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but it was a BEAUTIFUL day.   The water was flat and calm, and the tide wasn’t fighting us too badly.

My front row seat:

IMG_4523

This area is full of bald eagles.  Here’s a pair that were watching us as we went by:

IMG_4543

And yes, the obligatory panorama :)

IMG_4518

 

Checking out the Falls.

Today I had the chance to go for a small road trip.  Just a 90 minute drive, each way, up to Snoqualmie Falls.   I went for it.  I packed mom along with me, with her wheel chair for maximum ease of checking out each nook and cranny of this naturally beautiful place.  And we were off…headed east to visit one of the most popular scenic places in Washington State.  It turned out that Noreen and David were coming west over the pass from Eastern Washington from a wedding, and we were able to time it so that we met for lunch at the beautiful Salish Lodge at the falls.  The flow was high, due to snow melt… swelling the falls to a thunderous level.  You could feel the water falling, you could hear it beating the rocks below, and you could feel the spray 300′ up from the bottom.

I can’t tell you how pretty it was, so i’ll just share 2 shots:

IMG_4442

and a panorama:

IMG_4456

An awesomely beautiful day.

Tacoma.

On the way back from taking Monte to the airport today, i stopped in Tacoma to go to the Museum of Glass.

IMG_4341

IMG_4363I enjoyed this interactive exhibit with dozens of lighted letters, just waiting to spell something.

IMG_4370

On the way home I checked out a few different vantage points.  This is a shot of the old (left) and new (right) Tacoma Narrows bridges.  Mt Rainier is lurking behind the old bridge.

IMG_4404

Friday evening on the Sound.

This afternoon we hit the Sound, again, with Fran, Art, Rebecca and Aaron.   We hopped onto their boat at this beach.IMG_4174

Then motored over to watch a local marina’s Friday night regatta up close.

IMG_4185

Then toodled around to see what we could see.  On the left, a sea lion sunning himself on a buoy.  In the background, Mt. Rainier, Blake Island and a Seattle-bound ferry.

IMG_4296

It was beautiful out, but not necessarily warm.

IMG_4325

And, a lovely sunset.

IMG_4329

 

Memorial Day.

Wow!  The weekend has zoomed by!

Today we headed over to Noreen’s to celebrate Memorial Day.   On the way we stopped by the cemetery to put a flag and flowers on Dad’s grave.  Cheers, Dad!

We spent the day together:  Noreen, Jared & Kelsey; Fran, Art, Rebecca, & Aaron (& Jojo); Colleen & Jake; Monte, Mom & me.  Brian was down with the flu, so he and Gail will have to join us another time.  It was another amazingly beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest when it was really supposed to be raining.

Jared and Kelsey cooked up the burgers & dogs, and we put out all the fixings;  we also had halibut that Art caught just a day ago off the Washington coast.  Delicious.   Afterwards most of us headed down the road for a hike to the beach.   Wow, that sure was steep!   We found one of the 2 geocaches we searched for along the way.

This is a panarama, looking west to the Olympics, of the beautiful beach along Hood Canal at the bottom of our 1 mile, downhill, switchback-y hike. Becca and Aaron are skipping stones and Jojo is splashing around.

IMG_4167

 

Then we turned around and slogged up the way we came down and were all extremely happy when we made it back to the upper trail head.  Whew-ie!!