Saturday, December 5, 2015

Travel Trivia

Many people keep copies of restaurant menus, matchstick covers, or some small memento of a place they have visited.  We like collecting drink coasters from bars.  Not sitting and drinking away your trip, but rather chatting with the bartender about fun things to do and see, striking up a conversation with the stranger next to you, and trying out the house drink specialty. 

Our Scotland tour host picked up all the passengers early evening at the Glenmoriston bar and drove us out to the Caledonian canal to board the barge.  The hubby, me and our two travel partners decided to indulge a few hours early at the bar before the scheduled pickup time.  We met Robert, the bartender, listened to music new to me (Kygo) which I loved, and tried the week’s special drink.  Details were documented on the coaster (see photos).


Here are a few more coasters collected over the years (below—Darwin, Australia; Singapore[yes, we had the Singapore sling at Raffles hotel/bar], and Kauai).  We have not been very disciplined about collecting the coasters and we have missed a lot of locations, but will try a little harder in the future.  The coasters are used back home and it is a fun way to remember details of the trip.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Starting in Inverness

It has been four months since our trip to the Scottish Highlands.  If I do not take the time to journal this, the bits of information will be forgotten….


Inverness is the hub for visiting all the sights and sites in the Scottish Highlands.  Not necessarily a tourist destination by itself, we still found the city charming with cute little stone houses and grand ones and old churches with ancient tipped, sunken headstones.  Many people pooh-pooh Inverness, but I thought it was wonderful.  The hubby and I would have an early breakfast and walk the residential neighborhoods (the photo above right captures one of the homes along our walk).

2015-11-02 20.03.40

Especially loved the old used book store, Leakey’s, in Inverness.  Using an old converted church, the shop is stocked from floor to ceiling with used books and antique prints.  Peeking in between the bookshelves are stained glass windows with the streaming light filled with dust from the old paper.  And of all things, a large wood burning stove to take the chill off sits right smack in the middle (chilly seems to be a year-around thing for Scotland). 

[Photo  of Leakey’s from Pinterest, photographer unknown.  Too busy looking at books and prints to fiddle with the camera! The photos above I actually took/obviously.]

We have a friend (Hi, Tom), who loves to read every day and loves to collect hard back books.  Tom and Kate’s living room has bookshelves also from floor to very a high ceiling filled with books (but they don’t live in a church/smile).  I believe Leakey’s should be one of their bucket list places to see.  It was on my list!  I walked away with a small print of two kilted Scotsmen fishing in a loch (circa late 1800s).  It is now framed and hanging proudly in our living room.

Friday, October 16, 2015

New Home

2015-09-22 10.49.23The townhouse we purchased in 2011 was supposed to be our retirement home.  It was beautiful with hickory hardwood floors throughout, granite countertops, open floor plan backing up to a large meadow (never to be developed) and the golf course beyond.  But, there were changes in our lifestyle in the last few years and the townhouse was not meeting our needs. 

None of the rooms had enough light to paint.  I took over the guest room for more room, but the lack of light was a problem.  The husband’s driftwood carving needed more room and a place to contain the dust from sanding. 

Fortunately, a home nearby became available that met all our needs.  We put the townhouse on the market, and it sold in 9 days.  We made an offer on the home we wanted and the purchase closed last week.  This all happened in the last two months.  It has been a hectic time with paperwork and moving, but at the end of this month we will move in (we are in a rental now).

In the coming months, we will share photos as we settle in.  There is a wonderful light-filled room for painting and the garage is bigger.  The house needs a little freshening up with paint inside and out; and there will be lots of work to get organized and things put away, but in the end it will be worth it. (Photo of our new front porch.)

And the journaling of the Scotland trip still needs to be finished.

Friday, September 4, 2015

History Lessons from Paul Martin

Continued retelling of our July 2015 trip aboard the barge, Scottish Highlander, and our passage down the Caledonian Canal in the Scotland Highlands.

DSCN0927History lessons from a passionate and informed guide will always make the past come alive.  And Scotland came alive for us.  From the battlefield of Culloden to the massacre at Glencoe, we experienced the Scottish Highlands via Paul Martin.  Being from Wales, Paul has a lot of sympathy/empathy for the people of Scotland at the hands of the English.  And, I am sorry, but why are the Royals/Aristocrats still major landowners in Scotland?  Time to break free Scotland!  Hope the vote for independence succeeds in the future.

P1010579In addition to the lessons, Paul made arrangements for various cultural “events”.  In Inverness, a trio singing and playing traditional instruments with song arrangements given a modern twist.  Another included our barge approaching a remote location along the Caledonian Canal, and encountering an elderly Highlander dressed in his clan kilt, marching slowly while playing his bagpipe.  The music was haunting as it echoed off the valley hills.  Well done, Paul!  Well done!

Paul also provides his services on the French canal trip for European Waterways.  He fell in love with the French countryside so much that he and his wife purchased an old farmhouse, barn and surrounding acreage for their retirement.  And he is a talented artist (30 years of painting and quite well known in the UK).  The barn in France will become his studio with plenty of space for workshops.  His plans include building small cabins for visiting artists to rent whilst (he says that a lot) attending his workshops.  Guess who is invited and going in a few years?!  Moi! et Madame Wanda.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2015 Annual Mother/Daughters Get-Away

August has been an active month!  Between our annual get-away, my volunteer job as HOA treasurer, and some other goings-on (if the results of this turn out, I will share later), I have not had time to post on the blog and finish my Scotland trip debrief (the July trip).  With summer coming to a close, at least the HOA commitments will slow down. Annual Mother/Daughters Get-Away was fun, as always.  My turn to pick this year.  Never been to Poulsbo before, except to drive through from the Bainbridge ferry to our home on the Olympic Peninsula.   So, Poulsbo was my choice and this was the first time using Airbnb.  Airbnb is such a brilliant resource—lots of places to pick from, reasonable cost, and the transaction process works efficiently.  Our little cottage looked out over the marina, was a 2-minute walk to Old Town (cute with Norwegian roots), and the weather was perfection.  Little Momma gets cold ya’ know?!

A fun to-do this year was for each to take a turn picking out a song from their favorite genre.  You could really see the differences between each of us with our selections.  Mom, of course, was anything big band from the 40’s.  Melinda was a little bit country.  Tracy, blues and rock and roll.  I tend to lean toward folk (or singer/songwriter stuff) or chill-out type (Kygo remix, “I See Fire”).  Entertaining as we drank wine and drank in the views.

Next year, sister Tracy picks the location.  Talking about someplace closer to drive.  Maybe somewhere in the Columbia River Gorge (Hood River?  Skamania Lodge?), Bend, Oregon?, Oregon Coast? or maybe we will fly to Las Vegas!  Anyone have thoughts or recommendations?  Need someplace to keep 4 girls entertained and more than one bathroom (the cottage only had one bathroom and it was a bit tight!)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Captain of the Canal

P1010595Took me a little while to find a photo of our Scotland cruise barge captain, Mick.  He was usually in the wheelhouse and not often available to chat.  The last night of our trip was his time to relax and enjoy a meal with us all (and plenty of wine since he wasn’t on duty the next day).  And we got to know Mick, just little bit. 

Always a few degrees of separation, we learn he captained  in the Caribbean for The Moorings—the same outfit our travel partners, John and Wanda, sailed with on a couple of occasions.  It was probably just by chance that Mick didn’t captain their trip and they knew many of the same people.  Mick is now in Scotland to be closer to his hometown of York and captain a larger vessel with European Waterways which allows him enhance his captain’s credentials.

P1010513Our captain expertly got us through a number of small locks (photo at right), the narrow canal channel, large lochs (past the Loch Ness monster), and ancient tiny bridges (including a swing bridge still hand-cranked open).

P1010492Our lodging for the week was on the barge, Scottish Highlander.  Originally a cargo barge operating in Holland built in 1931.  It was 117 feet long and converted to a hotel barge in 2000.  A maximum of 8 passengers to 4 staterooms and 4 crew members (captain, tour director, chef and hostess—also worked as deckhands!) assigned to a private stateroom each.  Each stateroom had a private head or bathroom. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Classic Scotland Cruise

Returned from Scotland about a week ago.  Jet lag and the flight took a toll this time, so my writing has lagged behind a bit.  Scotland is wonderful—people, location and history.  Checked all my boxes. 

IMG_3303This trip was aboard a barge.  Built in the 1930s as a working barge and renovated now as a luxury passenger vessel cruising the Scotland Caledonia canal.  But, the best part of the trip was the staff and other passengers—4 staff members and 8 passengers, and the Scotland Highlanders we met.  The two kilted fellows in the photo right were attending a wedding near our hotel in Inverness (our two days pre-trip).  “May we take your picture?”  With a laugh, they both replied, “Aye!”

IMG_3391The barge staff included Mick, our captain; Paul, tour director; Danni, host, and Sasha, the chef.  Each one with a story, personality plus, and outstanding service.  Let’s start with Danni and Sasha (Danni on the left, Sasha on the right).

Danni is 28 years old originally from Dublin, Ireland and an aspiring circus performer.  She attends specialized schools in the off-season to improve her craft.  Her skill includes a combination of dance and acrobat.  No doubt, we will see her in Cirque du Soleil some day.  Depending on her school location (this year will be Spain), she also teaches English to help pay for school.  Last year she was attending school in Argentina and teaching youngsters English (with an Irish accent, mind you).  She tells a story of setting up the movie, “Up”, for the kids—only they learned it from Danni pronounced as Ooop (the Irish way).  The headmaster was baffled what movie they were actually seeing until Danni showed him the DVD cover.

Sasha is the best cook I have ever encountered.  I gained five pounds in the 7 days we stayed on board.  Each meal was a classic Scottish dish, but with a modern twist, i.e., Haggis with a whisky reduction sauce.  Sasha hails from Slovakia and hopes to open a restaurant there someday.  I plan on going…

Tomorrow, I will highlight Day 1 on the cruise and introduce Mick and Paul.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Another Passing

SCAN0847Jackie was my best friend in junior high and most of high school.  Someone described her as a “spark”.  And she certainly was.  Athletic.  Energetic.  Big Blue Eyes with eyelashes out to there.  Tiny, standing a little over five feet and maybe 95 pounds soaking wet.  One early spring day, circa 1970, I took her as my guest on a family outing to Lehman Hot Springs in Oregon.  Still snow on the ground, she was the first one to jump on the slide; a slide covered with 2 feet of snow.  Down she went with snow exploding all around her and into the hot, steamy water.  I thought this girl was the coolest being walking the earth.  I adored her.

PicnicNDesert-1The last year of high school and beyond we grew apart.  Nothing went wrong; we just took different paths.  Only occasionally seeing one another.  A couple of years ago we reconnected online.  We now only lived less than 100 miles apart—so we promised to meet for lunch someday with a couple of other school friends.

Yesterday, I learned she died from cancer.  Never making it public—I never knew.  Always the picture of health, she maintained her trim, muscular figure and energy.  To say I was shocked is an understatement.  Although she has not been a close friend of late, she was such an important part of my life during those difficult adolescent years that a piece of me died yesterday,  too.  She was special and I will cherish her memory.  I love you, Jackie.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Why We Travel

Yesterday, we walked on the Kingston ferry to downtown Edmonds.  Beautiful sunny day.  Tree/flower laden little town square lively with people enjoying a Saturday. 

scotlandbargeThe purpose of our trip was to attend a Rick Steves travel presentation about his company “Europe through the Back Door” and the philosophy of his travel approach.  Rick actually gave the talk (I sat in the front to see him—Rick is one my heroes—for many reasons).  The travel company is quite large, employing over 100 people.  They are not a travel “agency”; they do not arrange air transportation, rental cars or hotels.  Instead Rick Steves & Company inspires us and informs us how to experience European trips that are not only historically educational by viewing locations and structures, but more importantly broadening culturally by interacting with the people and their way of life.  We can accomplish this by taking a Rick Steves tour and/or applying his travel philosophy.

I came away from the presentation once again energized and primed for another trip to Europe.  This summer we plan to visit Scotland and see the Highlands and Highlanders by floating down the Caledonian Canal on a barge.  Only 8-passengers and lots of Scottish whiskey with an occasional bagpipe.  We will make our way through Loch Ness and past preserved and ruined castles.

I once had someone scoff at traveling by saying they could see just as much sitting in front of the television.  Really?  Maybe they catch a glimpse of a place, but they certainly do not experience it.  For me, it is inspirational experiences and broadening my outlook of the world, that make life so exciting—not just Europe, but everywhere we visit.  Come on!  Get out there!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Magic Moment #11–Foraging (Update on Teas)

lemonbalmLast Saturday our wild edibles class covered the use of different plants for teas, both for enjoyment and medicinal.  Our course does not focus on medicinal uses from wild edibles, but most seem to be used for some ailment or overall health benefit.  We tried lemon balm tea, cedar tea (surprisingly, quite good), raspberry tea, sheep sorrel tea, catnip tea, and quite a few others. 

Our instructor makes a tea for her partner, who struggles with asthma.  For her, the tea has worked well enough to replace the inhaler.  Here is the "recipe" for the nervine tea that helps with asthma and is a good general calmative.  (Note:  Helps as a preventive; not during an episode.)

(Photo of lemon balm – part of the mint family)

For 1 mug (or smaller, for concentrated dose)

  • 1-2 chamomile tea bags
  • 2 medium sized lemon balm leaves
  • 2 medium sized catnip leaves
  • 1 big pinch of ground/shredded licorice root

As instructed--with any medicinal tea, sip rather than guzzle.

Happy Health!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Magic Moment #11–Foraging (Update on Nettle)

StingingNettle0396The trick to picking stinging nettle is do not, I repeat, do not let it touch your skin.  Use rubber gloves, a long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks, and sturdy shoes.  In our weekly Saturday class, we had one gal accidently reach into the box of fresh nettle the instructor brought.  She was in agony until she was instructed to roll up a nettle leaf (with gloves) and mash it adding a little water (or spit, whatever is most readily available).  Then squeezing out the nettle juice on to the affected area, the blistering and “fire” will subside, somewhat.  (Photo from

On to cooking nettle.  With your gloves on, snip off the leaves into cool water and rinse off little spiders and dirt.  Then place into  boiling water for two minutes.  Remove the leaves and the hot water is now a delicious tea!  (The nettle tea can also be used as a rinse on your hair to make it shine.)  Place the cooked leaves into a blender with garlic, parmesan cheese, and olive oil (your choice on consistency, but it needs to be somewhat of a paste.)  This makes the best pesto I have ever eaten.  We had this on top of mashed potatoes.  Just delicious.  It compares to fresh cooked spinach, but with a little sweet-ness.  Packed full of iron and protein.

The only downside is the preparation and care needed to bring it home for cooking.  But, I will try this again.  It is that good.

Made a salad of miner’s lettuce yesterday with ranch dressing and fresh radishes from our friend’s garden.  Tastes a little “green” compared to Romaine, but very flavorful.  We found a huge growth area under a tree a little over a block away from the house. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Magic Moment #11–Foraging (Update)

flowering miners lettuceWhy is foraging in the woods so exciting to me?  Free food.  Fresh.  Finding treasure!  April 25, 2014 I shared with you my past experiences with foraging and plans to continue on the Olympic Peninsula.  Exactly one year after that post, I enrolled in  a class, “Wild Edibles” through the Peninsula College.  Let me tell you, the “O” Peninsula is a treasure trove of plants that are both edible and have medicinal properties. 

Our first class on April 25, began with a quick overview of approximately 20 plants.  The class was held outdoors at the Railroad Park in Sequim (old forest area with trails, restored railroad bridge provides biking/hiking trail over the Dungeness river).  After the quick introduction, we headed into the woods to identify the plants.  We only took 2 steps and immediately found edibles—miners’ lettuce, dandelions, nettles, and much more.  The miners’ lettuce is unbelievably good—smooth texture, mild pleasant taste, and so pretty!  It grows in the shade everywhere! [Photo left by Hank Shaw]

stinging nettleThe second class (there are six sessions) was held in the kitchen preparing different parts of the dandelion.  This time of year, the dandelion root and leaves are bitter and I am not a fan, will try again January through March when it is supposedly “sweet”.  BUT..the yellow flower made into a syrup is a cross between maple syrup and honey.  And I am a big fan!

Today, we learn how to pick stinging nettles and “dead” nettles (not really dead—not stinging).  In the kitchen we’ll prepare a nettle pesto sauce and a tea.  [Photo of nettle right]  Will let you know how it is…

Friday, April 24, 2015

Magic Moment–#23 Balance

A friend of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook of a few her friends crossing a creek (and I think she was in the photo also).  All of them over 60 years old and slowly crossing the water with walking sticks.  The photo was taken by her 28-year old daughter who easily made a graceful single leap over the entire stream. 

The visual hit me.  These people were all my peers—all the same over 60 age bracket.  Of course, I do not have youthful balance either at this age.  Besides the stiff joints and bones a little more brittle these days, my balance has become a wobble at times.  I can work on my equilibrium through exercise and yoga (and I do), but it is nothing like my younger years.

tracksinwoodsRemember how good it felt to run like the wind, arms flailing, jumping over fences, down steep hills.  One moment (I was 15-16 years old) sticks in my mind of balancing under railroad tracks on a trestle beam.  We were on vacation deep in the woods somewhere in Washington State.  High in the air with both arms out, just like a tightrope walker.  Not just me, but I dared others to take the walk.  We were sweaty with fear, but was it ever exhilarating!

Older, wiser I would never attempt this now.  (We would have most certainly been hurt badly, if we fell from that height.)  But, I still remember the feeling of being invincible.  On top of the world.

[Photograph from Pinterest; author unknown.]

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Where You Live

This week I drove over to Port Townsend with my friend, Wanda, and a new friend, Jean, to spend the day window shopping and for a fun lunch (PT has many cute little restaurants and quaint shops).  Our new friend is British and a former model; she is tall, thin, and still wears very nice attire, at least for the Olympic Peninsula.  A lovely person.  During the course of the day, we found out that Jean is very unhappy living on the Olympic Peninsula.  She misses the big city (prior to retiring she lived near San Francisco), upscale restaurants, and abundant shopping.

olympicnatlparkSo why did she pick the Olympic Peninsula?  After reading about the hottest places to retire, Jean and her husband first settled in Las Vegas.  She quickly found out that the place was too hot—thermally, that is—for them.  They went back to the internet/magazines and looked at recommended retirement locations with a milder climate and decided the Olympic Peninsula would suit them better.  Well, it did not.  The weather was fine, but the remote location was not what they expected.  Once they came to that realization, they had already bought a home and spent quite a bit upgrading the place making it difficult to relocate again.

While we were traveling in the RV across the country, we ran across others who were unhappy in their retirement location choices.  Almost without exception they had relied on a magazine article, internet research, or a friend’s recommendation and relocated—without spending much time there physically beforehand.  And they really did not spend some time understanding their retirement lifestyle.

Before reading or researching, we found understanding our lifestyle, our personalities and wants was the first order of business.  Living full-time in our RV for two years gave us an opportunity to experience many a new location’s community, weather, activities we enjoy (hiking, fishing, golfing, art workshops, social), affordability, and size.   We picked our town on the Olympic Peninsula because we like the beautiful forests (Olympic National Park is within a few miles), the mild weather, small town (with ‘no traffic’), reasonable home prices and wonderful community.  If you like to shop, eat in an exclusive restaurant, have lots of big-name entertainment, or a national sports team in your area, then, trust me, our retirement paradise isn’t your cup of tea.  [smile]

Make sure you know your priorities for a personal quality of life and spend some time experiencing a location to ensure all or most of your personal wants/needs are satisfied. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Magic Moment– #22 Into the Woods

20150302_183529Ohanapagosh Campground in the Mount Rainier National Park is very special.  I camped here as a kid, as a teenager and as an adult.  Never stopped loving it.  The old growth forest is untouched.  The trails lead into a dark, green environment.  We would escape from the hot eastern Washington summers to this cool place.

Smell of fir.  Smell of berries.  Warm in the opening through the trees.  Very cool in the shade.  Sounds of trees creaking in the wind and the whoosh of the boughs swaying back and forth.

The Ohanapagosh river runs through the campground.  Icy cold.  One trail takes you to a waterfall.  When the path turns back to the campground, you must traverse a bridge very close to the cascade of water—almost always wet with spray.

My latest painting (left) is this trail.  I need to go again. 

Friday, February 20, 2015


Saw a quote not long ago (do not remember the author), “Don’t replace your dreams with regrets”.  I have known people in the twilight of their lives who, unless you see them face to face, you would not know they were “old”.  The difference?  They still have dreams, plans, and goals.  I want to be that person in my retirement.

We sold our fifth wheel RV a few weeks ago.  Do we regret living the RV lifestyle or giving it up?  Not one bit.  The carefree lifestyle of traveling in our home full-time and seeing new places and people was fantastic.  We lived it for two years and enjoyed every minute.  That’s why I started this blog to describe the life and keep a journal of our travels.  When we switched it up a bit by buying a “sticks and stone” home in 2011 on the Olympic Peninsula and traveled in the winter to a warmer climate (the Southwest), we found the snowbird lifestyle in an RV didn’t suit us.  Different plans and dreams are waiting for us.  Time to move on.

nordhavn47-alaskaLooking forward to many, many years of new adventures.  Traveling in the U.S., overseas, and aboard.  Not only abroad, aboard!  Boating (and fishing) here in Puget Sound, the Strait, and Canadian waters is phenomenal in this part of the world.  It is right out our back door!

And maybe when the traveling and boating have played out, we will just…I don’t know…maybe move overseas! Sail the ocean blue.  Mix with the natives on the island of Yak.  Only dreams, no regrets.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


My “Best of the Adriatic” tour website contest entry was officially approved and accepted into the Rick Steves’ contest!  You’ll see my name and link on the following Rick Steves’ web page.  So. Excited.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Adriatic Tour–See the Contest Website!

Each year the Rick Steves Tour Company sponsors a contest allowing anyone participating in a tour during the year to submit a website “scrapbook” of their tour.  I finally finished my website of our tour, “The Best of the Adriatic”.  I have stiff competition, but just putting it together is a wonderful way for me and Wanda to revisit our trip and share with all of you.

If you would like to view the website, here is the link:

I know it is not same as being there, but we had a  fan-tas-tic time and hope you enjoy carousing around the website.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Update to the 5th Wheel Sale

Although our local dealer suggested a price of $47,000, we decided to lower the price for our 5th wheel RV to a more competitive amount of $39,900.  We eliminated the ad on Craigslist (too many scam messages) and listed on RVtrader.  Also added the availability of our 2012 F450 truck.  Here is the new write-up and link, if you are interested.


2008 Drv Mobile Suites 32TK3, Triple slide Mobile Suites 32TK3 Year 2008. Unit features freestanding table and chairs with two EKornes stressless recliners in living area. 40" Samsung flat screen HD television with surround sound. Ceiling fan, fantastic fans, two ducted air conditioners, day/nite shades throughout. Full kitchen slide features beautiful solid surface Corian countertops, dual stainless steel kitchen sink, 3 burner stove stop with solid surface fold down cover, GE convection microwave, Dometic fridge, lots of overhead and cabinet storage. Queen size bed slide with 9 drawer dresser and cedar lined mirriored closet with shoe storage. Bedroom includes flatscreen tv. Split bath with large angle shower, Splendide washer/dryer. Private toilet room. Exterior features weather pro electric awning, triple step entry with assist handle, exterior shower. trail Air hitch, large basement storage compartment, hydraulic landing gear. Currently in Lake Havasu until 3/15/2014. Call 509-308-0547 Ask for Mike $39,900 Also available is 2012 F450 6.7 power stroke diesel truck under 15,000 miles for additional amount. Truck includes 5th wheel trailer hitch and storage boxes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I Changed My Mind

A few months ago, I wrote about how much I enjoyed Facebook.   Reconnecting with lost childhood friends.  Keeping in touch with fun co-workers.  Enjoying the photos of friends and family living everyday life.  But, something has changed in this social media.  The change evolved over time, and I did not see it coming.

I read a book called The Art of Civilized Conversation some years back.  The basic premise of this non-fiction book was to reinforce what makes a enjoyable chat versus the type of discussions that only lead to boredom, offensiveness or the cause of hard feelings.  And the importance of having conversations face-to-face.  You see other’s expressions, tone of voice and body language.  The book stresses there are three topics taboo in any conversation—politics, religion, and sex.  What makes an enlightening and fun conversation are ideas, concepts, new experiences to be shared or re-living great old memories.  They leave you feeling excited about the subject and the person you just talked to.

Gone (or minimally there) are the enjoyable tidbits of life and joking around on Facebook.  Instead there are political and religious grandstanding (my way is right and everyone else is an idiot or going to burn in hell),  jokes that go beyond sexual innuendo (and it is tough to offend me), opinions on how you should live your life and others using the media to be hurtful. 

Recently, I was joking around Facebook with a particular person/family group and granted used language that was not “ladylike”.  But, it was the type of joking a few years back would have gotten a laugh and a tart retort back.    Facebook had not allowed me to see how certain individuals had changed their perspective on life over the last few years (let’s just say they are a bit more rigid these days).  They were very much offended by my joking and a portion of the family have “defriended” me.  What was supposed to poke fun has become a disaster.

Life is meant to be well-lived (as you define it not someone else) and dealing with people who have a different agenda is a waste of a very short life.   My Facebook is now deactivated and it is time to move on spending more time on my life (yes, I am selfish that way).  Read this blog now and then if you want to keep up with what going on in our neck of the woods (I promise you will not find political or religious opinions or sexual discussions).  I want to share enjoyment, new experiences or old endearing ones, exciting projects, and encouragement for you to have the same. 

Live long and prosper.  And you can always call to say hello, leave a comment on the blog or we can meet for a friendly conversation over a good cup of coffee (or tea, soda, or stiff drink—whatever, you get the picture).

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Adriatic Tour–Plitvice National Park

IMG_0290Our arrival to Plitvice National Park was in the misty rain.  Fantasy genre movies wait for this type of atmospheric setting.  Where little raindrops glitter the heroine’s hair as she walks through the woods.  Not exactly the dewy young maiden (ha,ha), but I did appreciate these conditions for seeing this natural wonder.  It made the whole experience mystical.

IMG_0295Sixteen terraced lakes spill into one another—you are literally surrounded by waterfalls.  With boardwalks crossing many of the lakes bringing you up so close you can feel the water crashing over the edge.  

The first shots of Croatia’s war were fired here in 1991.  For almost five years no one visited the park.  What was once a down-trodden park from so many visitors the environment was able to recover.  The water was now pristine.  Thousands of fish on the surface thriving.  Delicate flowers and colorful salamanders on the hills.  From such a sad plight of war, maybe one good thing happened. 

Adriatic Tour–Dining

IMG_0277One of the many things that make a Rick Steves tour special is their ability to use locals to find the special places and people of that country that you will not normally see on your own or on a large tour group.  One of those places on our tour was a wonderful locally known restaurant known as Brtonigla located on the Istria Peninsula. 

BrtoniglaWe were warned to bring an appetite and they did not joke about this...  From quick tasty bites of the appetizer, to a several mouth-watering main courses (at least I considered them to be large enough for a main courses) to the sweet dessert, we enjoyed the view, the company, the owners and the whole darn thing.  Their meats are actually cooked on open flame in a huge fireplace looking grill!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Times Are A’Changing

For the last year we have been debating back and forth about the future of our 5th wheel.  We had some of the best time of our lives in the first years of our retirement traveling the United States and seeing this great country (see earlier blog posts for a real taste of our adventure).  There is no better way to see the wonders we have here in our “backyard”.  From the Everglades of Florida to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, we saw it all.  But the last few years, our interests have changed.  We fell in love with the Olympic Peninsula and bought our retirement home there, found a supportive art community for both of our projects, plenty of golf, surprising sunshine (it is in what they call the “rain shadow”) allowing us to hike in the fabulous Olympic National Park almost year round and we caught the travel bug to see sights and places overseas.

So it is with sadness, we have decided to sell our DRV Mobile Suite 5th wheel RV.  If you know us, you know we bought a quality unit and kept it in tip-top shape.  We bought new, so you get the benefit of purchasing for half the amount we paid.  If you are ready to see the United States in style and comfort, you may want to consider purchasing this unit.  The unit and location are listed on Craigslist for all the details:  Please contact us through the ad.


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