grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Saturday, July 31, 2010

21-31JUL10 - Leavenworth & Kittitas, WA (& back to monroe)

Wednesday, 21JUL, we decided to visit a couple of Dan’s cousins. First stop was cousin Sheila & husband, Mike Morris, in Leavenworth, WA; see below BLOG for last year’s visits with them:

We were planning on tubing the local rivers with Sheila, like last year, when our kids, Rebecca & Joe, show up on 01AUG of this year. But it turns out Sheila & daughter, Tess, are heading to India & Nepal at the end of the month for several weeks of high altitude trekking! So we decided to pay a short visit before their departure. After setting up camp on the beautiful banks of the Icicle River, we headed over to their place. When dinner time arrived we decided to “reward” Sheila & Tess, who that very day had completed a preliminary course that is needed to get into nursing school, which they plan to do after trekking (we wish we had 1/2 their energy!).

We decided to head to Gustavs to enjoy their outdoor terrace & their microbrews; but first we headed over to Peshastin, WA, to check out an “art yard”. Upon returning from an excellent meal at Gustavs, we had to rescue a white parakeet (aka budgie) that was trying to fly into the house through closed windows. Eventually we decided to open Tess’s bedroom window & see if the runaway bird would fly in. In due course the bird did fly in, & the window was closed. What now? Mike & Dan decided to enjoy a cold brewski & leave the final capture to the ladies. Mike & Dan are not sure what went on inside the small bedroom, but could clearly hear the shrieks & laughter of the three ladies. Finally the small bird was safely captured & placed in a cardboard box, & no furniture was broken. Since the bird was obviously a pet, the ladies canvassed the neighborhood for its owners. No one claimed the bird, but one neighbor donated an excess bird cage they had.

Early Thursday morning we hit the road for cousin Steve’s & wife, Bonnie, in Kittitas, WA. Why so early for a one hour drive? Because it was Stevie’s birthday & he wanted to celebrate it with lunch at the Snoqualmie Casino, & of course playing some games of chance. So after setting up camp at the Kiesel’s we immediately hit the road for the casino. We guess this is becoming a tradition, because we did the same thing last year (see below BLOG link). After the lunch buffet Steve headed to the cigar bar to get his birthday cigar & glass of fine, aged, whiskey; then everyone headed to their favorite gaming machine.

Dan lost his usual $20, but Corrie covered his losses; & the Kiesels aren’t talking. The big winner was Eileen, Steve’s sister. She wasn’t able to make the lunch buffet but showed up later & managed to find Bonnie at a bank of slot machine called “Hot Shots”. Next thing Eileen knows the machine was flashing a message telling her to call an attendant for a pay out of a $2452.50 jackpot! This being the digital age everyone takes out their cell phone & photographs the event. While sitting at the machine waiting for the attendant, Eileen even e-mailed the picture to friends & family; & posted the news to her facebook. Almost immediately her phone started ringing in response to her e-mails. The rest of the day was spent back at the ranch doing nothing much.
Friday Dan smoked some pork ribs while miscellaneous chores were accomplished. One of which was to disassembly our “new” vintage outboard & get it working. Thanks to Steve’s mechanical skills we soon had it running. Two interesting things we discovered are - there is no neutral - & reverse is accomplished by rotating the entire engine 180 degrees. Should be very interesting once we actually get it on our jon boat (see our previous BLOG about our “new” boat).
Saturday morning Steve & Dan headed into the hills to look for where the elk are located as part of Steve’s volunteer duties as local “Master Hunter” in the Kittitas valley (see below internet link for more info on Master Hunters). Although no elk were sighted it was still an enjoyable three hours four wheeling in the back country. Back at the ranch more choirs were accomplished before it was Steve’s turn to cook dinner.

Sunday morning, 25JUL, after another enjoyable visit at Steve & Bonnie’s it was back to our RV spot at Evergreen State Fairgrounds. Now we count down six days until our children, Rebecca & Joe, arrive for hopefully six days of fun & sun!!!


Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...
Two thoughts. That VW would look great on your property.Watch out for that outboard. I had one like that and in moments of stress, I can guarantee that it will try to kill you or at least reek havoc on property.
31 July, 2010 18:53

Corrie, Dan and Gumbo Ryan said...

future "yard art" at our hopefully to be built in our life time house, is an ongoing discussion. dan wants some sort of beater auto full of flowers; corrie is holding out for a tasteful rockery w/native plants. as to the motor attached to a jon boat w/no floatation, probably a marine casualty waiting to happen? - corrie & dan 31 July, 2010 19:34

Monday, July 26, 2010

01-20JUL10 - Monroe & Whidbey Is, WA

We forgot to mention in the preceding BLOG that we purchased a boat! Not anything extravagant, just a simple 12 foot aluminum boat (commonly called a “Jon” boat in the south). The idea is to throw the boat on the Toad, head to a beach, carry the boat down to the water, & set our own crab pots. Of course by the time we buy a used motor, four crab pots, necessary lines, life jackets, anchor, etc, etc; we could buy a ton of fresh Dungeness crab!

During the week of 06-09JUL Dan once again had to travel to New Orleans for business. Upon his return, we were visited by Corrie’s brother, Ed, & his daughter, Kim, from Brandon, Manitoba, on 12JUL. See below BLOG for more on them.

Turns out they had to travel to Vancouver, BC, to purchase a Canadian Navy surplus air compressor. If you have followed this BLOG you know Ed & his wife, Elaine, started a diving school business outside of Brandon; & now Kim & her husband, Brian, run the business. The compressor was such a good deal, they couldn’t pass it up. Ed then decided to travel home through the states & pay us a quick visit. Ed & Dan checked out our property, while the ladies went shopping. Then we all met for lunch at the Sultan Bakery. Our last visit to the Bakery was Mother’s Day 2009; see our 01-14MAY09 BLOG for more on this NW institution. After only a couple of hours, they were back on the road to Canada (like we said, a short visit).

Late Tuesday morning, 13JUL, we decided to head to Whidbey Island, WA, with an overnight stop at Angel of the Winds Casino. Wednesday morning we continued our trip to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station RV Park. After wasting two hours we finally found out there was no room & ended up at a RV park owned by the city of Oak Harbor. After setting up camp, it was off to Deception Pass for a little hike & great views. Then we headed to Seabolt’s for a seafood dinner. Unfortunately they were out of clams & crab, but they had great chowder, crabcakes & mussels!
Thursday morning was breakfast at Frank’s. Frank is a Samoan so many of the breakfast items contain spam; Dan had the Loko Moko (spam, spam, spam, spam....). Then it was off to Joseph Whidbey State Park where it was fogged-in. Next was Fort Ebey State Park, still more fog. The last state park visited was Fort Casey State Park & Admiralty Head Lighthouse, & finally the fog was lifting. This is one of Dan’s favorite places to visit. Why? Because it is a fort, with lots of concrete bunkers to explore, & really big guns (really big guns).

Trivia – why if Fort Casey was never threatened & its guns were never fired in conflict, are they covered in shrapnel holes?
During our visits to these state parks Dan discovered the entire area surrounding Coupeville, WA, is part of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. Created by Congress in 1978, the 17,000 (plus) acre Reserve integrates historic farms, a seaside town, native & pioneer land use traditions, & ecologically significant areas. Congress intended Reserve lands to remain largely under private ownership; although there are federal, state, & county lands within the boundary. One interesting thing we noted was the odd “blockhouse” dotting the landscape. Early settlers built their own individual blockhouses for protection from Native Americans who were not too pleased with European settlers ruining the neighborhood.

Trivia – where was the first National Historical Reserve?
Thursday evening we had dinner with Ken & Karen Bishop at Tobys in Coupeville, WA. Ken was Dan & Corrie’s boss way back in Rotterdam, NL. See below BLOG link for more on Ken & Karen & their place on Whidbey Is. While reminiscing over dinner, we learned the Bishop’s had an old, air cooled, 5hp outboard motor for sale! So it was off to their place so we can buy it. Ken also threw in the latest CD release of the Shifty Sailors, a “shanty” group also discussed in our BLOG below. All too quickly it was time to call it a night, with everyone promising to get back together soon!

We returned to our RV spot at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds on Friday; so that on Saturday, 17JUL, Corrie could attend a baby shower for our niece, Julia. Julia is the youngest child of Dan’s sister, Sharon, & husband Tim Tompkins. The shower was at middle sister’s Marisa & husband Dave’s, who we last visited with AUG09 (see below BLOG link). And the oldest of Sharon’s three kids, sister Aimee, also was there.