grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Saturday, May 30, 2015

28/29MAY15 - Leavenworth, WA & Kelowna, BC (visiting friends enroute alaska)

Early Thursday morning, 29MAY, we got up early to try & get everything ready for a noon departure on our Alaska trip.  What Alaska trip you ask?  Those that know our RV adventures, know that we have intended for last several years to visit Alaska for several months during summer in RV.  Due to events (some good – birth of grandkids, some bad – Dan rehab’ing from roof fall) we had to postpone the trip.  But now it looks like everything is go for launch; if we can get everything done for departureJ!!!
Biggest priority for Dan was getting computer issues solved.  Then Dan made a garbage run & finished loading the cargo holds.  Meanwhile Corrie took care of food, wash & the storage of household items.

Finally at 1:30PM we hit the road to our first stop in Leavenworth, WA, to visit Dan’s cousin Sheila & Alan (see below BLOG link for last visit w/them at Sheila’s mom’s house (Aunt Madeline)).  Although it was a later start than we planned & they work; we still managed a great visit, with a tour of the house they are building & dinner at the Wok About Grill.  Of course we encountered rain on the drive there – so much for washing the RV & the Toad.

Friday AM we got an early start toward Kelowna, BC.  At the border Dan’s “criminal past” finally caught up to him; resulting in an almost two hour delay, a lengthy private conversation w/Canadian officials in a windowless room; but thankfully no body searches.  It would take way too much typing to describe the entire history of Dan’s criminal past & what he(we) endured at the border to tell it all in the BLOG.

The short story is – back in late 70s there was another Daniel F Ryan w/exact same birth date who lived in Kirkland, WA (Dan lived 20 miles away in Redmond).  The other Dan was six ft, blue eyes, brown hair; Dan was six ft, blue eyes, blond hair (before baldness).  Other Dan drove an orange Saab, Dan drove an orange Datsun.  The only real differences between the two was place of birth & SSNs.

In the 70s King County Police arrested the other Dan for drug dealing & apparently he missed his court date.  So, King County twice came out to Dan’s parent’s house in Redmond to arrest him!!!  After several tries the matter was resolved & Dan completely forgot about it over the years.  Well apparently the other Dan re-offended in 2009 & the Canadians never got the word about the identity mix-up.  Eventually the RCMP got a recent mug shot from WA, & we were free to go.  We just wonder what awaits us when we cross back into USA?

Later than planned we arrived at Corrie’s High School friend, Faye MacAuley & Dave’s, for another excellent visit on the start of our trip.  Faye & Corrie last visited in June 2013, when Faye visited us in Sultan (see below BLOG).  Note, we have been to Kelowna once before under less pleasant circumstances, when we had a major RV mechanical problem in September 2009.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

01-27MAY15 Sultan, WA

The month of May was almost a repeat of April.  Mostly work & gardening around the house property, while preparing the RV for a trip to the “Top of the World Highway” (more on that in future BLOG(s))?

The two “unique” events of the month were:

1) Sunday, Mother’s Day, 10MAY, we head into Seattle to see “Jacques Brel is Alive & Well in Paris” at the ACT Theatre (aka A Contemporary Theatre).  Where we last saw “An Evening With Groucho” (see below BLOG link).  As the playbill says:

“Widely considered one of the greatest songwriters who ever lived, Jacques Brel was born in Brussels in 1929.  In 1953, he released his first record, a 78 with two songs backed by an accordion band.  The release went largely unnoticed, except by the director of a famous Parisian nightclub.  Brel went to the “City of Lights” to perform some of his songs in the cabarets and music halls and the following year settled there permanently.  In 1957, with the release of “Quand on a que L’amour” (“If We Only Have Love”), the songwriter began his legendary ascent.  The song was wildly successful, and that some year, he released an American debut.  The next few years saw Brel’s output increase exponentially with the release of dozens of albums and singles.  Interpretations of Brel’s songs by such diverse as Frank Sinatra, the Kingston Trio, Ray Charles, Petula Clark, Barry Manilow and even David Bowie were recorded.  Brel made his final album in 1977, “Les Marquises”, which sold over two million copies.  The following year Brel died of cancer.  He is buried on the island of Hiva-Oa, in the Marquesas Islands, where in 1973 he had retired to the simple, tropical life of Gauguin.”

There was no problems w/traffic so we got there early & had a short walk about.  First stop was for a crepe at a street stand we discovered last year; & then window shopping down to the Westlake food court.  The show consists of three male & two female singers singing most of Brels “hits” with different staging and/or costumes for each song.  Most songs are solos, some are duets & some are all five together.  Dan thought the show was excellent – especially the song NEXT; Corrie thought it was “different”.

What was special about NEXT?  Well for those that really know Dan, know he has different taste in Rock & Roll & a very large LP & CD collect.  One of the artists he has every album for is Alex Harvey (aka The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, or SAHB).  One of his favorite songs by Alex is NEXT.  Dan always assumed NEXT was by ALEX; but no, it was by Brel!  As soon as the song started Dan recognized the lyrics & started singing along (much to Corrie’s surprise).  The song deals with a brothel truck “...supplied by the Army free of charge.”  For more details, Dan recommends you check Alex’s video on You Tube!

2) On the 16th of May we headed into Seattle to visit a friend of ours that Dan served with in the Coast Guard, Gary Boyer (see below BLOG about our last visit with Gary.  Gary has a home on Magnolia (one of the many hills of Seattle) that he purchased over forty years ago, with fantastic views.  Luckily he held onto the house throughout his Coast Guard career!  Probably the only problem he had during that time, was allowing Dan & friends to be renters?  An excellent time; once again proving time spent with friends & family are the best!

Otherwise the month consisted of:

>exercising at the Y; & gardening for Corrie

>Dan working on RV; & volunteering for Habitat for Humanity
>Corrie laying river rocks in yard

>Dan making a “stand” for a large, heavy wind chime Corrie’s brother, Ed, made for us out of a steel diving tank (the sketch is what Corrie wanted, the pic is what Dan built)

>Dan finally placing a real street address sign at foot of driveway

>Dan makes six foot by sixteen foot raised garden bed for Corrie; Corrie uses trailer to get garden soil to fill it with

>drop RV off at RV dealer to have TV antenna fixed
>Dan makes four purchases off internet for electric/remote control gate opener to install on new gate & fence installed last month; four items needed were – hydraulic actuator w/control panel, lock to actually lock gate in closed position; intercom system to call house; & solar power panel; then it was many days & hours, & part runs, to get working

>washing the RV for upcoming trip
>making another run with trailer to pick up more rock (& 2 free rose bushes) at Bob & Patti’s (see last month's BLOG)

>Dan dealing w/major computer virus on Memorial Day weekend, when our computer guy was closed
>changing oil/filter on Toad for trip
>breaking the corian dining table in RV while loading the RV
>etc, etc, etc, etc, etc!!!