And now, for something completely different…

Last week I began a short break from the rat race, taking a couple months off from work.

Soooo….I went shopping on Monday; golfing on Tuesday; sailing on Wednesday; woke up at anchor Thursday morning; back to the lake Friday for two nights on the boat; rafted up with Kurt & Kevin on Dancer, and Marty & Sue (yay!!) on Caribbean Hug Saturday night; made it back home Sunday night to watch my Seahawks and make pizza; and then headed to Seattle for a visit this past Monday.

I’ll try to get my sheila365 groove back. :)

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I kind of zoned out there.

My posts for the last few months have been a tad infrequent.  And it’s been two weeks since I last posted. I think I have just been decompressing.  I have had a great summer – spending time with family, and then coming back to Austin for a couple of downtime weeks to play with Monte.  Somewhere, in there, the summer has nearly slipped by.  That’s ok, though.  Onward!

Yesterday Sue & Marty joined us on the boat for a windless day on the lake.  We headed directly for our cove, set anchor, jumped in and floated until just before sunset.  A great day!  Here is a shot of the blinding sun on its way to the horizon. IMG_5768

And the cotton is high…

The words are swimming around in my head:

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high….

I like Billie Holiday’s version.

We took a trip to the Coastal Bend of Texas for a few days.   We come down here nearly every year, and really enjoy it.   Very rustic, but beautiful.   Along the way to the coast, we drive through the cotton fields.   This time we came a little earlier than usual, and we got to see the fields before harvest.   A sea of white fluffiness:

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A few more pics from Seattle.

In the summer, sunset seems to linger for a very long time in Seattle.   This is a shot I took from the ferry on the way home from the game.  It must have been about 9:30pm.  In this wide panorama you can still see the glow of the sun past the horizon on the left…the city lights including the space needle, the great wheel, and both century link and safeco stadium…and the rising supermoon on the right.

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I’ve gotten tired of trying to guess which side of Mt Rainier we’ll fly by on my return flights to Austin.  So, I just kept the seat that I was assigned – window on the left side.   I got lucky this time and we flew north-to-south past the western face of this great mountain, turning to the southeast as we passed it.

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The haze nestled amongst the surrounding foothills is smoke from the ongoing fires in Central Washington.  A couple of factoids:  Mt Rainier is a volcano;  elevation of 14,410′;  last recorded eruption was in the 1st half of the 1800’s;  home to 26 major glaciers and many ice fields; 6 rivers have glaciers on Mt Rainier as their source.  Read more here.

We flew very close to the summit.  In this shot of the western face, you can see Sunset Amphitheater on the left and Tahoma Glacier on the right.  The black ring on the top right of the dome is the volcanic crater.  The summit, Columbia Crest is along that black ring.

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Breathtaking.

Special place.

I love the Seattle waterfront. On Thursday Mom and I joined Fran, Aaron, Rebecca, Colleen and Jake for the afternoon. Took a ferry ride, rode the Great Wheel, found a few geocaches along the way, ate lunch, and took in another beautiful, sunny, Seattle day.

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Road trip.

Mom and I headed for Vashon Island today to visit a friend she’s known since gradeschool.  I had never been to Vashon before; it’s beautiful.  You can only get there by ferry.

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And once we were there we were awestruck by their waterfront lot and home on the Colvos Passage.   This shot is from the living room…. amazing.

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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.

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Simply the best.

Monte and I have just returned from Panama City Beach – a week-long celebration of Gene & Jo’s 50th wedding anniversary with their entire family.  I am grateful to have been included in the celebration.  It was simply awesome. The location.  The beach.  The silliness.  The catching up.  The family.  The celebrating.   Thank you Gene & Jo!

I’ll share just a few pictures of the beautiful setting:

We arrived in Panama City Beach at sunset last Saturday, after an extra long drive, due to I-10 shutdowns.
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One morning we were treated to a view from our back deck of an amazing double rainbow.

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The sea was different every day.  This was from one morning after overnight rainshowers.

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A week of amazing sunsets.

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Surf-side fireworks one night.

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One of the few pelican shots I captured.

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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.

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We took Julie back to the marina at sunset.

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

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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.

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We had a great spot!

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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.

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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!