Crossing from Washington to Oregon

Larry and I spent the night with a cousin of his in Baker City, Oregon.  Sunset Baker Sunset over Baker City, OR  We saw a beautiful sunset as we finished dinner!  After leaving Baker, we crossed through the Snake River Canyon.  Snake Snake River  Tonight we are in Tremonton, UT at the Western Inn.  A great little renovated motel.  On the way to Castle Rock, Co. tomorrow.


Chateau St. Michelle

The Columbia Valley is a wonderful growing environment for fruit, and especially for grapes.  Alex introduced me to the Chateau St. Michelle brand of wine a few years ago and he took us on a tour to it today.  It is supposed to be Washington State’s oldest winery. Chateau 1976 Chateau award

A wonderfully energetic older German man led the tour.  We learned a lot and had the opportunity to sample a few types of wine at the end of the tour. Larry and his kegs Chateau St. Michelle cases  It was a beautiful day to be out of the city and a great way to end our visit to Seattle!  Alex and Natalie    Sunset in Seattle

Friends travel, too!

Lunch today will be with a good friend of mine from Kansas.  Teresa is out visiting her son, Ross, this weekend.  She and I are P.E.O. buddies and Ross works at Amazon.  We thought our sons should meet, since they work for the same company!  Plum Bistro was where we had lunch.  It was a vegan and non-gluten restaurant and had a wonderful brunch.

Back in the U.S.A.!

Border info

canada to US

Once again, I had reserved a certain time for the ferry, but we were able to get out and about earlier, so we took a chance on getting on an earlier transport. At 7:55 we approached the 8:00 ferry and breezed right on! At 9:30 we disembark and make our way to the U.S. border. We had no waits coming into Canada. Leaving?? We were in line for 3 hours!!! I do not know what the hold up was for those who were ahead of us, but my border guard was friendly and even knew where Paola was, as he had spent time in the Kansas City area. 2 minutes, maximum, and we were through!

The I-5 highway is an interesting highway. There is much open area and some small towns in the upper north area. Mom and I had lunch in a little town, then saw the sign for Mt. Vernon. As we have both been to Mt. Vernon on the east coast, and Mt. Vernon, Ill, we thought going to the west coast town was the right thing to do. We found a cute thrift store that benefits the local school and found a few items to purchase.  As we continued closer to Seattle, the average speed lowered to 17 mph. It is amazing how little territory is covered at that speed!
Reservations were for the Red Roof Inn close to the Sea-Tac airport. No issues finding it and we had a great night.

I brought Mom to the airport well in advance of her departure and near the time of Larry’s arrival. After the security guards took over escorting Mom to the plane, I see that Larry’s plane has arrived. I later fond out that behind the doors where I can not go, they both see each other and say Hi and Bye before Larry comes out to me.

I have a friend on Bainbridge Island, so we head there for the night. JoAnn and her husband, Barry, have a beautiful spot on the water. They drove us around the island showing us how much there is to see. I had no idea the military is so heavily intrenched around Seattle! After a wonderful night at their place, Larry and I head on to Alex’s apartment.

Now it is Friday, and we have gone to meet another of Larry’s extended family he has found through genealogy, living in Everitt, WA.
I cooked dinner for Alex and Natalie. They showed us a neat little yogurt shop not far from where they live.

Victoria, BC

After leaving Seattle early Sunday morning, Vancouver Welcome signMom and I drove to Vancouver and visited the Museum of Anthropology at the University.  This has a great overview of all natives around the world.  I thought it would just concentrate on the NW , but there was a wonderful display of the SW Indians, Mexico, and Asia.  Wikipedia says, “The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus in Vancouver,British ColumbiaCanada is renowned for its displays of world arts and cultures, in particular works by First Nations peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations . As well as being a major tourist destination, MOA is also a research and teaching museum, where UBC courses in art, anthropology, archaeology, conservation, and museum studies are given. MOA houses 38,000 ethnographic objects, as well as 535,000 archaeological objects in its building alone.”

This totem welcomes one to the museum.Vancouver BC Anthropology totem Vancouver welcome stone       The entry floor is very interesting, too. Vancouver Anthropology floor  Vancouver anthropology sign  The museum is not very old and has as its center piece a wood carving describing the origins of man populating the earth, using the raven as the instigator.  Vancouver raven back Vancouver raven 1  Vancouver Anthropology artist Vancouver anthropology rotunda Vancouver Anthropology explanation


I like to look at license tags and this is one I don’t see very often! Yukon car tag


I had reserved a spot on the ferry for a certain time, but we were ready to go over earlier. No problem! We caught an earlier ferry to Victoria and after a very smooth 1.5 hr ride, arrived in Swartz Bay on Vancouver island.  Victoria Welcome signOur motel is a cute one that sits on top of a very steep drive called Cherry Tree Inn.  Victoria Cherry tree Inn signA Japanese family owns and operates this place.  Other than a bathroom that is raised and requires some thought, especially in the middle of the night, it is a great place to stay. I caution visitors to check the weather, though. the drive is rather steep.Victoria Cherry Tree Inn drive

Today we went into town and visited the Craigdarroch Castle ( Victoria Craigdarroch Castle and the Miniature World museum (  Both were fascinating.  The castle was a family home built by a Scottish coal baron and went through several types of ownership before being restored to its present grandeur. Victoria Castel Craigdarroch sign

Victoria castle owner

Victoria Craigdarroch castle car The miniatures covered many phases of world history as well as recreating famous works of literature and of fairy tales.  
The Parliament grounds have many totems that are wonderful to › City of Victoria‎

Those of you who like literature might enjoy eating at the Gatsby Mansion Restaurant.  The food is good and reasonably priced, served on linen tablecloths and REAL napkins!  I don’t know why the name, but it is fun to know the reference!  We sat on the sun porch and enjoyed the ambience.  Have you ever had, or heard of, Bangers & Mash?Victoria Bangors and mash  In the midwest, we call this sausage and potatoes.  Delicious!

A Walmart run is always needed, and I found one that is REALLY a super store.  The parking lot is under the store with an escalator taking the shopper up to the courtyard complete with waterfall.  Cart attendants were in the parking garage collecting carts.  Once in the store, there were many signs directing one to the proper area, but it also has an upper floor for housewares.  If anyone wants to walk the store for exercise, this store would be the one in which to do it!

Flowers have been beautiful on the island.Victoria willow and flower bed

Victoria BC Totem and flowers

Canadian baskets

We leave the island tomorrow and head back to the States.


Seattle Aug 17, 2013

Mom and I met Alex and Natalie this morning for coffee Seattle top pot coffee stop 2and then to run errands Seattle Museum and then take a tour of a chocolate factory.  As we drove around, we passed this Burke Museum sign.  I did not know my sister’s family had a museum!!!

THEO Chocolates (chocolates of the Gods) is a small, yet very productive free trade chocolate producer in Seattle.  Seattle Theo sign

Seattle Theo sign 2We had a very informative hour long tour giving us a background of where the cacao beans are gathered (a very labor intensive process in the equatorial regions of South America and Africa.)  Seattle Theo going to tourTHEO imports the raw, dried beans and grinds them, adding the sugar, flavorings, and/or milk to create delicious flavors of bars available for purchase in the store and in every state of the US.Seattle Theo finished product Seattle Theo chocolate varieties

This is a tour that needs reservations in advance, costs $7.00 right now, and needs closed toed shoes, but well worth the time, should anyone decide to do so.  /

We had lunch at a cute place called Specialties.  It reminds me of Panera Breads.

Alex then drove us around the campus.  This place is immense, and they are in the process of breaking ground to expand again.  The present location was outgrown before employees moved in 2 years ago.


After a leisurely morning in the motel, Mom and I drove into town.  We drove around downtown and passed the Seattle Museum of Art.  Seattle Art Museum sculpture  We then explored the Pikes Market and purchased a bit of halibut for dinner.  Alex grilled it for us Seatt;e the cook behind the screen and with a great green salad and a pasta salad that Natalie made, we had a lovely meal in their apartment, with a beautiful sun setting behind the Seattle Space needle.