We took the scenic way home from Rachel’s, dropped Rebecca and Aaron off, and then came home and whipped up a delicious risotto for dinner.
The next day we stopped by my nephew Jared’s new house, and then had a fun family get together at Noreen and David’s.
Then, FINALLY, we had one glorious, clear summer day on Hood Canal. Jake went for a hike with us and then we met up with James for dinner.
These are two pictures from the same place, taken at about the same time of day. The first is from one of the smoke-filled days, the second one was taken 5 days later.
I MUCH prefer this one….
The next day, we drove to Colleen’s house. She cooked pulled pork, from scratch, and it made for delicious sandwiches. We visited with her, Lee and Jake all night. The next morning we headed to Whidbey Island for a day trip.
The smoke and haze was very bad. But it’s a beautiful destination.
Whidbey Island Distillery makes a nice whiskey, and delicious berry liqueurs. They use a continuous still, homemade – see the copper pipes and tubes in the second picture below.
I walked down to the beach to get a view of the Deception Pass bridge…We popped into the Admiralty Point lighthouse…Then we hopped the ferry to Port Townsend…VERY smoky. This is a shot from the deck of the ferry of the sun setting over the beautiful Olympic Mountains. 🙂
Sky on fire. Burgers on grill.
We took a boatload out to watch fireworks on Lake Travis tonight. A good time was had by all.
A pretty sunset:
And one shot of the fireworks:
What a fun night to enjoy with friends.
… to our Laura!
We celebrated Laura’s birthday by a visit to the Blanton Museum, played ping-pong at SPiN, and then shared delicious nibblies and drinks downtown.
A really fun night!
Irene is headed to Portugal today. We said goodbye at the train station.
I left Firenze S.M.N. train station this morning headed for Cinque Terra today. Monte and I spent several days there on our honeymoon. It was beautiful. I just have to pop over since I’m in the neighborhood.
Wow it is packed there in April/May! And that’s not even high season. So, several thousand of my friends and I huddled together in the local train between the cities, and squished through city streets together. But it was worth it for me. I simply love the views.
I checked my backpack at the station in La Spezia and waited for almost an hour in line to buy a CinqueTerra card – which gives admission to the park and the local trains running both ways between the five towns.
Once I was there I spent five hours or so visiting 4 of the 5 towns. And I hiked a bit of the trails. I enjoyed going down to the water the most.
I took the train back to Pisa, checked into my airbnb there to drop off my pack, and then headed back out to catch some of the sights in Pisa before it got dark.
So much beautiful scenery, everywhere you look. This was some nursery the train passed by.
And my train to Pisa stopped at Carrara; as in Carrara marble. These mountains are essentially the quarries for this coveted stone. That’s not snow on the mountains, it’s stone dust and cut stone.
I’m now Back in Pisa for the night. I found this 1989 Keith Haring mural, Tuttomondo, on the side of a church near the Pisa Centrale train station. Nice surprise.
I’m going to sleep in tomorrow! Goodnight.
Whew! I logged over 10 miles of walking yesterday. In the morning, I walked from our apartment to Piazzale Michelangelo, a lovely hilltop plaza across the river and above Florence providing sweeping views of the city and surrounding hills.
I’ve been to Florence two times before, and always love making it up here to see this view:
After soaking in as much as I could, I walked over to the stadium to meet Irene and watch Jeremy’s second day of competition (and I squeezed in a bit of geocaching along the way).
Later in the afternoon we set out again on our own little gelato & wine walk. La Carraia is supposed to have the best gelato in Florence. I won’t argue.
It also provides a lovely afternoon view of the Ponte Vecchio as you nibble on your gelato outside along the river.
We were back at the apartment garden at the end of another great day in Florence with Irene. Tomorrow we are splitting up to finish each of our journeys home.
We took a walk this morning down to the Arno river. I got a photo of a sun lit view of this beautiful town.
There were good winds today, pretty steady at 20 knots, so we headed to the lake. We washed a thick layer of pollen off the boat and then we were good to go. We sailed for a couple hours and then picked up Michael and Amber for more sailing and then enjoyed sunset back in the slip.
A good day…
I love this time of year in Austin. The hills look like broccoli.
And the golden-cheeked warbler returns for nesting season.
I wish it lasted longer, but I’ll enjoy it while I can.
I’m still going through photos from our recent road trip. In the mean time, I’ll share a moment from today…..
A month or two ago, I bought tickets in advance for the 2018 Best of Texas Hot Air Balloon Festival (and wine & food festival, AND polo match). I really just wanted to get some pictures of the hot air balloons. The festival is today, so this morning, before the sun came up, I headed to the polo grounds for the photo opp. It was a tad underwhelming, as the balloons didn’t actually launch. They simply inflated six of them, left them up for about an hour, and then deflated them again. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful sight, even if a fleeting one.
We passed this set of barges as we motored by Texas City Dike in Galveston Bay last week. The fog had lifted enough to see him. Other boats this big were a similar distance away when we passed them in the ship channel earlier in the morning, but the fog was so thick at that time that we couldn’t see them.
My friend, Irene, called me up over the weekend to ask me to meet her in Lubbock today. Her son is competing in a track meet and she’s flying in to watch him. I said yes. It’s about 350 miles northwest of Austin. So I hit the road this morning. Here’s some of the sights I took in today.
At some point I was surrounded by giant wind turbines as far as the eye could see. This picture captures the old with the new, all planted in the middle of a freshly harvested cotton field.
There are prairie dogs everywhere in Lubbock! (And meadowlarks, too)
It turns out one of the best places to go birding in Lubbock is the cemetery. So I had to check it out. And sure enough, I saw many. Buddy Holley was from Lubbock, and is buried here. I stopped by to pay my respects.
Tonight we went to dinner with Mike and Amber at the Pour House. A fun evening. And we ordered a colorful variety of draft beers. Monte seems to be a bit ahead of us before the toast, though. Cheers!