grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

16-31AUG16 - Sultan, WA

Tuesday, 16AUG, early AM it was off to the airport for the departure of the Pitres (Rebecca, Raymond, Jaxson & Mason); then back to Sultan to collapse & recover from theirs & son Joe’s short visit!  The next several days were spent removing all traces of the kids & grandkids visit.

Saturday, 20AUG, the Seattle area was still experiencing more record heat.  Late that morning we headed to Rich & Jan Formisano for their annual Riverwalk gathering.  Rich is a Coast Guard friend & classmate of Dan’s; & we were lucky enough to be neighbors in Novato, CA, back in the early 90s.  The Riverwalk is an annual party/BBQ they put on every summer for neighbors, old fiends (like us) & family.  Their house is on the banks of the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River.  The tradition is that at some point guests are encouraged to walk across the river & back.  Corrie made it part way, Dan didn’t even attempt it.  A great time!

Sunday, 21AUG, after record heat the temperature drops 15 degrees cooler than yesterday?  So we bundled up & went to the Fresh Paint art show at the Everett Marina.  This is a jury selected show for “new” artists & crafters.  Our main interest was to the art work of Dan’s cousin Jennifer Hayes.  It turned out to be a pretty big event, w/very good talent.  We tried not to interfere w/Jennifer interacting w/potential customers, but did manage to have a nice visit her & husband Mike.

Saturday, 27AUG, it was into Seattle for a walkabout.  First stop was Espresso Vivace started in 1988 by David Schomer & a partner.  Why a coffee shop in the hometown of Starbucks & thousands of excellent coffee stands?  Because Schomer has “researched” the perfect expresso for years to the nth degree; & is regarded THE world’s expert on the perfect cup expresso.  Baristas come from all over the world to train under him.  To his credit, he stays small & local.

From there it was a walkabout on Broadway, the “main street” on Seattle’s capitol hill.  Then to the Seattle Center for Festal Tibet.  As we have discussed in this BLOG, these Festals are sponsored by local expats and/or descendants of the noted culture.  Some are great & some are poor; Tibet was average.  They had great crafts on display, but the opening ceremonies dragged on forever; & we thought there was no “local” food.  But after fastfood for lunch we discovered Tibetan foods outside (but there was no indication about the food available inside?).  Arriving back at our car, we find many people (many costumed as super heroes/heroines) outside the Streamline Tavern for “Ring Around the Needle” a pub crawl (7 total) to benefit an ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) charity.

Sunday was the annual end of summer get-together at Hans & Martha Dankers for their neighbors on Reiner Rd.  As described in the below BLOG link this a gathering where they provide the entrees & everyone else brings a dish.  Again, a very good time.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

15AUG16 - Sultan, WA (kids & grandkids visit - jour cinq; fin)

Monday, 15AUG, it was off to the University of Washington Waterfront Activities Center for canoeing on Lake Washington.  We only had water access to the northern side of the UW’s arboretum because of the floating bridge freeway construction on the north side.  Half way through our paddle Dan insisted we stop at the UW’s Hiram Conibear Shellhouse to see the 1936 Pocock shell, the HUSKY CLIPPER, used by UW to win the 1936 Olympics in front of Hitler.  (Conibear was the second UW crew coach, & developed the “Conibear stroke” which revolutionized the sport.) Dan strongly recommends reading the book “The Boys in the Boat” & watching the documentary on PBS about these farm kids who had rarely been outside of Washington; & their overcoming unbelievable obstacles to represent the USA in Munich Olympics & bring home the gold!  For a reasonably priced water activity in a beautiful setting, we highly recommend the UW Waterfront Activities Center (especially once the freeway construction is done!)!


From there it was off to Volunteer Park on the top of Capitol Hill in Seattle, for wading & playing.  Volunteer Park was designed by two of William Olmsted’s sons; & was where many an unsupervised day was spent by the Ryan children when spending the weekend at Grandma Jean Ryan’s.  Sadly all the death traps of Dan’s youth (swings, merry-go-round, see/saw, jungle bars, etc) have been replaced by modern “safer” alternatives.  But Dan did have to admit that the rock climbing structures were pretty neat.  And once Jaxson figured the concept out, he showed no fear in rock climbing.



Then back to house for one last campfire before Rebecca, Raymond, Jaxson & Mason fly out tomorrowL

Saturday, August 20, 2016

14AUG16 - Sultan, WA (kids & grandkids visit - jour quarte, & joe departs)

Early Sunday morning, 14AUG, Dan took Joe to airport for his return flight to New Orleans.  Hopefully next visit he will be able to spend more time with us!  After Dan’s return to the house, everyone headed to Osprey Park on the Sultan River.  First activity was the playground.  While there we hiked down to the river, where the grandkids (Jaxson & Mason) entertained themselves by throwing countless rocks into the river.

Then it was decided to check out the “beach” by the boat launch on the Skykomish River in Monroe.  It was not very inviting; so then we headed back home to mow the lawn & dinner.  A pretty quiet day compared to the last three:)!

Friday, August 19, 2016

13AUG16 - Sultan, WA (kids & grandkids visit - jour trois)

Saturday, 13AUG, the kids (Rebecca, Raymond & Joe) took off on another outdoor adventure - going to Leavenworth, WA, for sightseeing & ziplining.  Once again leaving Oma & Opa to babysit the grandkids (Jaxson & Mason).  As we have described previously in this BLOG, Leavenworth is a small down east of the Seattle metro area on highway US 2; some time ago the town decided to model the exterior of the building based on architecture found in Bavaria, Germany.  Now it is a very popular place for tourists visiting Washington, especially during Octoberfest!  Since Raymond had never seen Leavenworth, Rebecca wanted to include it on their visit this year.

Once again no reservations were made, & they had to scramble for a time slot.  As it was they could only get tickets for the five zipline adventure, not the nine zipline package they wanted.

Rather than take the grandkids “somewhere” to keep them entertained, Oma & Opa decided to babysit them at the house; where Jaxson & Mason pretty much kept themselves entertained all day.  First they decided to rearrange all the big rocks & driftwood in Corrie’s rock garden while Corrie was running errands.  Every rock picked was analyzed for several minutes before deciding exactly which concrete paver (also in the rock garden) it would be placed on.  Once assigned its new place, it could not be moved & had to remain there for their entire visit.

In addition, some pavers were assigned multiple rocks.  Turns out these groups of rocks were families w/mothers, fathers & children.  The boys also had complete story lines for each family, which they would discuss between themselves at great lengthJ  When Corrie returned from her errands, she attempted to rearrange her rock garden.  She was quickly informed this was not allowed.

Next on the agenda was super soaker battles & running thru the sprinkler.  While drying off Jaxson noted some rope & bungie cords Dan had laying on the deck.  This lead to almost an hour of mountain climbing.  One grandkid would loosely tie the rope around himself & hook a bungie to the rope.  Then he would climb around the outside of the deck (2 ft off the ground), while his brother would give him rope (or take up slack) as needed.

During all this Dan’s cousin Steve & wife Bonnie Kiesel stopped by for a quick visit.  We tried to convince them to stay for dinner, since we already had other relatives joining us for BBQ & to visit w/the kids & grandkids.  Unfortunately they declined the invitation.  Later that evening we were joined by Dan’s niece Marisa, husband Dave Greenwood, & sons Jaxson & Ely for a BBQ & campfire.  (We last saw Dave, Marisa & kids Mother’s Day, 08MAY.)