Archive for July, 2011

Never thought I would see this!!!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Birds are a really big thing at the park.  I watch the finches and hummingbirds feed everyday at the window near the office; bright yellow finches sit in the pine trees chirping; crows search the beach for prey; seagulls fly everywhere and you better be ready for a clean up; and, Paul has taken a liking to a mom and her 5 little Chick’s!

The nest was built in the work shed several weeks ago as Paul watched patiently.  One day the mom returned to the nest and didn’t leave. Paul watched very quietly, speaking to the mom in very encouraging tones.   After several days Paul excitedly brings me to see the little babies that have hatched.  Each day Paul would return to the nest and watch the mom as she reappeared to feed her little babies.  They grew over the next week and then she started to take them out flying until they all were ready to leave the nest.

5 little babies waiting for mom

First time out of the nest. They are waiting for mom to return with food!

Mom has fed them and has them all lined up for sleep, the next day they were gone!

And life begins another cycle!

Westport Streetrods

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

This week was full of catching up, laundry and wondering when the sun was going to shine again!  This weekend is the Street Rod Show in town and it got off to a very rainy start on Friday.  This morning was the big expo at the marina and it just happens the sun poked thru the clouds for a few minutes and the cars all showed up.


Mercedes, didn't seem that old

I had one of these!

Many of the cars are parked in our RV park as their owners are also RVers.  They are very proud of their cars and even though the sky was turning wet again each one as they arrived in town would park and get the micro fiber towels out and start shining!  This is definitely not a hobby for Paul and I as polishing is definitely not high on our list of priorities.

The western most point in Washington and the Olympic Coast

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Lots of little towns and interesting scenery under grey skies today.  We drove west of Sequim with a few stops before the rain started.  We drove along Puget Sound all the way to Neah Bay.  We sort of lost steam as there wasn’t much in the 20 miles that lead up to it and then there is the Indian reservation that was so run down that we turned around.  We are told the last 8 miles are worth it because you can hike down and there is a museum and you can see the western most point.  We will save that for the next trip!

A beach along Puget Sound

Plenty of water in the Northwest

Hwy 101 turns south from Puget Sound and you come to Forks, made famous by the Twilight Series, by Stephenie Meyer.  I did not read the books but know many who have.  The town is just another small village nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Forest and very near to Cape Flattery where they measure rain in feet not inches!  Interesting what puts a place on the map.  They didn’t even do any filming here just used the name and some points and the town is now famous.

Keep traveling past Forks and Hwy 101 comes back out to the ocean.  Ruby Beach was our stop for dinner.  This stretch of the Washington Coast is filled with cliffs and seascapes worthy of stopping for.


The Pacific Northwest is full of wildlife and in some towns the deer are in charge of the streets and traffic.  They seem very tame but are definitely aware of us and especially Duke.   Safely back in Westport WA where they are forecasting rain for the next 5-7 days! Ouch!!!

Port Townsend

Monday, July 11th, 2011

In Coupeville we caught the ferry to Port Townsend.  It only takes about 30 minutes to cross.  Port Townsend is an artist community on Puget Sound.  We found a Mansion to spend the night.  Because we had Duke we had to stay on the ground floor.  The Innkeeper said we were staying in the garage!  It was a very nice room but a bit odd for us!  No internet, no TV, lots of ruffly pillows, and some rope & horseshoes hanging on the wall!   It had a very nice patio that opened to the yard so Duke enjoyed himself.

Ann Starrett Mansion

Community Park in Port Townsend

The mansion was beautifully decorated and had a spiral staircase that went from the ground floor at the entry to the top of the tower.  Sunday morning we ventured into town for a cup of coffee and found a nice little coffee shop with an outdoor patio.  The place was very organic and the scones a bit heavy on the fiber side!  I almost forgot, last nights dinner was at an Asian Fusion type of restaurant.  Prices sounded reasonable until I realized Paul was paying $9 for a bowl of Top Ramen!  And, I had trouble finding something I would like to try and the waitress asked me if I like fish, Yes, of course I say and she suggests a dish with rice and Mackerel!  I wanted to tell her Mackerel is bait to catch real fish!!!  Keep trying new things that is what this adventure is all about.  Into the car for a day of travel along Puget Sound into Lavender Country at Sequim WA.   But before we leave Port Townsend we have to visit yet one more Fort!

Fort Worden

Paul enjoyed the museum at Fort Worden while I took a walk around the grounds and enjoyed some Sunday morning bagpipe music.  Not sure the significance but it sounded pretty good.

This whole region from Whidbey Island to Port Angeles claim they have a much milder climate than Seattle with only 1/2 the rainfall and it is noticible along the roadway.  Lots more brown fields.  It is interesting that they get so little rain because the Olympic National Park is right there and there is still lots of snow on the mountains.

Olympic Range

Nearing Sequim we started seeing a different landscape; lots of small farms and the lavender which was in full bloom.  Beautiful.

Our last night of our vacation was spent in a hotel near Sequim so that we could enjoy the lavender farms before moving west and to home.

The Island life

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

I found my place here in the Northwest!  Whidbey Island is just beautiful with the right mix of small towns and larger communities.  They have lots of farm land and just beautiful views of the sound and other islands.  Our first stop was Deception Pass Bridge & Park.  Wow!

Deception Pass

West Beach

Looking across Deception Pass

It was so beautiful here I hated to leave but onward we must go.  Leaving Deception Pass we drove along the Island enjoying the countryside.  Lots of small farms, beautiful country and some cute little towns.  Coupeville was one such town; only one street full of boutique’s and eateries right on the bay.

Coupeville Village

Nearby is the Whidbey NAS and we got a great view of one of the planes.

Coupeville is where we needed to catch the ferry to return to the mainland but on the way Paul spotted another fort!  He never misses a chance to see some guns!  Fort Casey sits on the point looking across to Port Townsend on Puget Sound.  I don’t really enjoy looking a forts, guns or batteries but they are usually in really nice spots right on the ocean.

Our ferry coming across Puget Sound

Fort Casey Lighthouse


Poor Duke, he has to put up with us as we get bored once in awhile!!




Visiting more Jokers!

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Next stop on our little vacation was to Stanwood Washington to visit Roy & Teresa.  They moved from San Jose a few years ago and we hadn’t seen them since.  I love where their home is; it has lots of huge trees and plenty of open area.  The house is so cute.  We spent two nights and had a fabulous seafood dinner (both nights cause it was soooo good!)   Roy has joined the local Art Guild and displays his creations around his home and sells them at local art shows.  There were dragon fly’s, giant bugs, and all kinds of metal creations everywhere you looked.   We also learned how to play Wi frisbee golf, skeet shooting and I tried to downhill ski at night but never really succeeded!

They are located near Camano Island and we took a drive around the island.  Very beautiful homes and the beaches were very inviting although it was still pretty chilly!  The water is so blue in this area.

For some reason I didn’t take pictures but next time!  Thanks, Roy & Teresa for sharing your home, friends and food with us.

Seattle part 2

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Seeing the major attractions is always on the list when we get to a new place but the smaller things are often what most impress me and catch my attention.  Seattle is a great walking city and we walked about 10 miles or more in 2 days. The people and their communities are very exciting to explore.  We found a dog park within the cement that had lots of puppies playing and rolling in the tanbark and playing in a small wading pool.  Duke enjoyed it until a very large Malamute decided he would be the dominate one and Duke wasn’t having any of it!  We found a local donut shop that served donuts and lunch and then there is the odd stuff!

A 10' popsicle

Trees with Socks!

Light fixtures?

Some stuff makes me laugh and some things you just can’t photograph.  I also love all the flowers and how colorful they are in this city that gets so much rain they never have to worry about watering.  The hanging baskets are attached to the sides of buildings and there is no driplines anywhere!

I do enjoy this state but I could do with more days like the last two where we have not seen a cloud!  Tomorrow is forcast for back to normal!

Yep, we woke up to grey skies and temps back to 60.

Last shot of the city

Touring Seattle

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Stephanie had one more day before she had to return to San Jose so we took in the sights of Seattle for the afternoon before we sent her home. We also are off from our RV park volunteer position for a few days so we are going to take our first vacation away from the RV.  First it was to the Chittenden Locks to watch the Salmon and the pleasure boats move from Lake Washington into the Sound.  A beautiful afternoon and lots of boats were out enjoying the day.  The Salmon ladder was a bit disappointing as there were not many fish trying to get into the lake.

Beautiful Boats

After a fish lunch at a great little greasy spoon we made our way downtown to the Space Needle.  Paul opted out of taking the $18 ride to the top and took Duke and checked into our hotel.  The Space Needle has a beautiful view of the entire city and mountains beyond.

View from below

You can see forever

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier can be seen from all over the state.  Sometimes on clear days we can see the snow capped mountain from Westport.  It is such a big mountain and such an interesting shape.  I think it looks like a giant zit or mole in the distance!

Tuesday was a very busy day; after the Space Needle we jumped on the monorail and headed downtown where they have an underground tour of old Seattle.  Very interesting, the city would flood everyday at high tide and they had this huge mountain in town so they built walls between the sidewalk and street and filled the street in with dirt, making a new road one story up.  The sidewalks had walkways built over them and the underground was created with the first floor of the buildings like basements.  Many buildings don’t use the first floor but the tunnels are still there and some businesses are underground.

Under Seattle

The sidewalks had skylights built into them for lighting and many of the lights are still there.  From underground you can see up pretty well but from above they just look like some type of street art.

Skylights for the underground

It’s time for Stephanie to return to “Real Life” and us to get back to our vacation.  Two nights in a fancy hotel in Seattle for a mere $180 per night!  No complaints from me.  We have a beautiful view of the Space Needle; they allow pets; a small breakfast bar; and a KING SIZE bed!  I am in heaven.

Wednesday morning the weather was still spectacular, almost got too hot for me in the afternoon.  First we took a 2 hour cruise on Lake Union and Lake Washington.

Yep, we are tourists!

The Space Needle is definitely a landmark for this city!

Perfect weather to get out on the lake

Seattle knows there are not many great days of sunshine so even though this was a Wednesday the lake was full of paddle surfers, sailers, kayaks and sun worshippers.   From Lake Union you move through a channel into Lake Washington.  We saw several rowing teams practicing from the University of Washington which sits right on Lake Union.

Into Lake Washington you have to pass under the floating bridge.  Later we took a drive over it.  No, you can not tell you are floating!


Lake Washington has an exclusive area with beautiful mansions and one of them belongs to Mr. & Mrs. Bill Gates!  The house did not look all that huge but was very nice and an amazing view onto the lake.

Bill Gates backyard

And then of course back to Lake Union where we saw lots of houseboats that are not really houseboats at all.  They don’t have motors so if they are to be moved they have a tug boat move them.  The guide said they sell for $800k to way up!  And they think real estate in San Jose is out of control!

Some more excentric than others

Lake Unions most famous houseboat. Sleepless in Seattle

Next stop was a walk around town and to Pike Place Market.  For some reason I insist on seeing all the major attractions and then when I get there, there is just way too many people or it isn’t that great!  I wanted to get coffee from the 1st Starbucks and watch the guys throw the fish and wrap them in newspaper!  Well, we saw the line to the Starbucks from across the street and the guys flinging fish, you couldn’t get close as there were so many tourists taking pictures.  I am not even sure anyone was buying fish!  Oh well, I can check it off my bucket list cause I saw it.

1st Starbucks

We had a nice walk along the waterfront, back to our amazing hotel, dinner from Whole Foods and rest my feet!  Tomorrow we are off to see friends!


Happy Independence Day

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Paul and I found out a few days ago that you can set your own legal fireworks off on the beach here in Westport on the 4th of July only.  You can’t buy them here but the Indian Reservation about 10 miles from here has lots of firework stands.  We went there and bought a few things.  We had no idea what we were buying or if they were legal so I was nervous about bringing them down onto the beach.  The guy was very helpful and since I don’t really enjoy explosives or the noise he gave us a few that I was suppose to really enjoy.  My budget was $50 and I thought we had a lot!

We arrive at the beach about 9:15 to watch the sunset and wait for dark.

And the sun goes down!

That's $50?

We found ourselves a nice safe place away from others and set up our display.

Getting things set up! Who brought the bucket of water? and the shovel?

I was being responsible and watching as everyone else arrived and started setting up.  Shouldn’t we all have safety equipment?  Apparently fireworks are not as dangerous as I thought!  Some guy set up right behind me, started a big bonfire with driftwood and proceeded to set off his display!  Right over my head, wow!  Then another group set up only 25 feet to the side of us.  At least they were setting theirs off in the direction of the water!  I thought they were really responsible until I watched the 5 year old help light an bomb that went about 50 feet into the air!  Paul and Stephanie waited for it to darken and then the fun began.  Did we get our $50 worth?

Let's light one!


That was cool! Let's do it again

Yep, we had a blast.  One of the ones the guy sold us went crazy and didn’t seem like a very good idea with so many people on the beach.  It lifted off the ground and then made this crazy noise as is went flying in any direction which was right for my head!  We had 3 of them and after the second one almost shaved my head we opted out of lighting up the third one.  But everything else we bought was so much fun.  Watching Paul and Stephanie retreat after lighting one off was as much fun as the color explosion in the air!  $50 wasn’t very much compared to what else we watch from the beach.  A great display of fireworks and a beautiful sunset.  Happy Independence Day!!!

4th of July Weekend

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

We had an amazing 4th of July weekend with sunshine, fireworks, campfires and Stephanie came to visit us!  We picked her up from Sea-Tac on Friday night and had 3 fabulous days here in Westport.  We showed her all the sights and had some old fashioned family time.  We really missed having Amy here too!

Saturday morning we headed to Ocean Shores hoping it was windy enough to fly some kites.  Today was our lucky day; the beach wasn’t too crowded and we were able to fly our kites.  I didn’t crash into anyone this time!  The bad news for me was Stephanie flew Paul’s kite way better than me on her first try!   I’m getting better but I won’t be doing any tricks anytime soon.

Ocean Shores is a beach town with lots of activities for families; beach, kites, ice cream shops, rental bikes, go-kart tracks and horses you can ride on the beach.  Paul decided he wanted to try riding a horse.  He never had any interest in Stephanie’s horse and would hardly even touch her horse.  He did try to ride a horse once about 20 years ago and was scared to death as the horse decided the big boy should get a real ride and took off!  So, why did he want to go today?

Are you sure?


Ok, I think we are ready!

They found a horse big enough for Paul and of course Stephanie gets the horse that is a challenge!  She opted for a horse that had some spunk and didn’t really like the other horses infront of her so Stephanie got to teach the horse a few tricks and the trail leaders were impressed!  It is good to know all those years of lessons paided off for her.

Paul and Stephanie took a ride for about an hour down the beach while Duke and I watched the kite flying on the beach.  Paul returned in one piece and isn’t sure he liked it but said he is glad he did it and might do it again someday – another 20 years!!!

The rest of the day was spent flying kites, shopping and then a go-kart ride for Stephanie and I.  What a blast!  I felt like I was 10 years old and probably looked that way also.  We rode on a track that they call a slick track which means they spray water on the turns and if you dare you can spin out as you go around!

It's a race to see who can spin first!

Mom wins!!!

Sunday we showed Stephanie our little town of Westport, the docks, the beach and of course some crabs!  Crabbing started out so fun and I guess we had beginners luck cause now it seems the crabs have all left!  We didn’t even get 10 crabs and of course none big enough.

Really? nothing?

We did have a good time teaching others how to throw the net in, measure the crabs and decide if they are males or not. There were so many people here and crabbing.  Then because we look responsible we had people ask if we would look out for their pre-teens while they went up on the shore to shop or whatever!

Stephanie and I took a couple of hours to check out the Westport Winery.  Very sweet, expensive wines but a really cute place with lots of charm.  They serve you popcorn with your wine and let you taste some chocolate or cheese.  The winery is only a couple of years old and the owners are putting some really nice touches on the grounds.  They are making a grapevine maze, a garden with several sculptures.

One of my favorites

A really great weekend and it is only Sunday!