Nov 23
China – Nov 2011
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A sudden trip to Beijing!  It all started when I spotted this deal on Living Social!  We just couldn’t pass it up and five weeks later we were on our way, flying from SEA to LAX early Sunday morning, November 13 to join the official tour.  (Flight, 5 nights at a 5 star hotel, meals, and three days of English speaking tour).  We “lost” 16 hours during our 13 hour flight, arriving Beijing Monday evening, just in time to order our first Chinese meal and fall gratefully into bed.  Lovely hotel – Oriental Bay!

Nov 22
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Since my last post – almost two and one-half years ago, so many changes have taken place in my life. Marriage, a move back to Kent, a new family to love and celebrate and many happy occasions and trips which could have been blogged, but weren’t! Grandchildren have grown! Our recent trip to China made me decide to revisit the blog!
The 2009 wedding


May 18
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We finished out the week at Rockaway and found it hard to leave the last day of perfect weather!  The Bardwell family spent Thursday at the Newport Aquarium, while I enjoyed a final day at the beach.  We drove to McMinnville on Friday.  On Saturday Lois went with us to the Portland Zoo – perfect weather again.  The Sunday drive home proved to be another perfect day, and the drive along the Columbia stunning!  It’s always good to be back home!

May 13
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May 13
Rockaway #2
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Tuesday, May 12 – When Shauna knocked on my door early I was tempted to snuggle back down in bed and let them go to Cannon Beach without me!  Low tide is 09:30 a.m. today – by far the best time to view the sea life around Cannon’s famous rock.  We parked in the south parking lot and walked a mile to the rock, greatly appreciating gortex once again!  The forecast of showers was right on – they came and went regularly, accompanied by a strong breeze.  But somehow, seeing my favorite view made the trek well worth it!  We saw plenty of starfish,  hermit crabs, etc. in their natural  habitat.  The Oregon Department of Marine Science set up an information center at low tide and have three scopes trained on the rock offering incredible views of cormorants, puffin and the common muir.  The weather cooperated while we browsed the area, even offering blue patches of sky now and then.  When the downpour finally returned we  headed back the mile to the car, still hating to leave the experience behind.  On the trip home we stopped at our favorite viewpoint for the semi-annual photo-op! 

We’ve set up a puzzle table in the living room overlooking the beach so we can stop by from time to time and pass the time when the rain makes beach-walking unpleasant.  My afternoon was spent napping and catching up the blog! 

May 13
Rockaway Beach #1
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Sunday, May 10 – Mother’s Day – We mothers were spoiled by Mark and the kids with a breakfast of heart shaped pancakes topped with a heart shaped egg and surrounded by strawberries!  What a relaxing place!  Both the beach and the weather were pleasant today.  We walked, read, and watched Keith build a fort, and Mark fly kites and take pictures.  Mark fixed us a Mothers’ Day spaghetti dinner mid-afternoon before “popcorn/video night” featuring the Wizard of Oz! 


 Monday, May 11 –  We woke up to a rainy day, and in spite of that, decked out in gortex, headed for a beach walk after a quick breakfast.  But the rain won and before long we were back in the house where we could see the ocean without participating in the deluge!  We headed for Tillamook and the always essential tour of Tillamook Cheese.  The plant was in full production today and fascinating to watch.  The family sampled the cheese and we headed for the ice-cream treats where I was delighted to find they have finally added non-dairy sorbet as an offering!  So this time I could participate in the decadence – I thorough enjoyed it, though I’ll admit I envied the other four’s coffee ice-cream choice!

The weather cleared a bit as we took the short drive to Cape Mears.  Though the light house had closed for the day, the views were spectacular.  As we hiked back to the Octopus Tree a hang-glider was topping the tree at that precise moment!  The viewpoint beyond provided an excellent  view of the ocean as well as the glider’s antics – his view must have been unsurpassed for beauty!

A grocery-shopping stop at Fred Meyer provided the essential ingredients for tonight’s “Dog Party” which the kids have been anticipating with Grammy J  We were well-ready for food by the time we returned home and prepared the polish dogs, fruit salad, chips & cream soda and set out the doggie settings and favors!  However, we were all too tired to bake the sugar cookies, which will eventually look like dog bones! J

May 12

Wednesday (May 6):  It was fun to spend some time with Sara and Jonny on Wednesday while Linda and I shopped and prepared for the meal we’ll do at Lake Kachess.  She fixed Cornish games hens for dinner – yummy! 

Thursday (May 7):  I met Bonnie, Jerrie and Anne at Landen’s house at 10 a.m. and we picked up Carol in Northbend where we met up with the other car – Jane, Pam, Betty and Ruth and Karen.   Arriving at Landen’s Lake Kachess home around noon, we enjoyed a great lunch and spent the afternoon settling in, visiting, reading and, of course, anticipating our next meal – that is always such a highlight here!  Dinner was a cous cous salad, asparagus, hummus and pita.  Don picked Carol up after dinner as she will not be able to spend the night.  A game of Mexican Train got started about 11 and I faded shortly thereafter and slept well in the loft that is so graciously reserved for me whenever I’m here!

Friday (May 8):  Jerrie fixed an Alki Bakery cinnamon roll breakfast on Friday accompanied by a fruit platter, bacon and hard-boiled eggs on which she had written fruits of the Spirit.  Linda and Diane arrived in time to enjoy it with us.  Most of the morning was spent gathered around the table enjoying good friends!  Later,  I worked on preparations for dinner as I was deserting Linda before our planned Cinqo de Mayo dinner of Tortilla Soup, Black Bean / Corn / Cilantro salad, and Flan with Margaritas.  I finished the salad – she had brought the soup and flan with her.  So when Joe picked me up about 5 (on his return trip from Idaho) she was ready to serve the others as planned.

It’s my first time to spend time with Joe since MaryAnn’s memorial so there was much to catch up on.  Mel  fixed dinner for the family and we enjoyed watching the pics of Joe’s trip as well as scanned pics of family history and Navy days!  I got back to Bartletts after they were asleep!

Saturday:  After an omelet breakfast with Joe at Applebees, I headed for Oregon, wanting to take advantage of this beautiful day for my drive to meet Mark, Shauna, Jewellyn and Keith at Melcher’s beach home in Rockaway Beach.  Even though I was at the Oregon Coast a week before, I experienced a thrill as I drove south, especially when I spotted the Cannon Beach rock!  I never  tire of this state’s amazing coastline.  I arrived at 7, about 20 minutes after MSJK.  After our fish and chips dinner we settled in and had a good beach walk before heading for an early bed-time.  They had driven a lot longer than I today! 

I wasn’t as good about getting pictures this time!

May 6

Sunday morning (May 3) has come and that meant farewells to the Masellis and Ben.  My GPS guided me easily to the delightful location in Steilacoom, WA where I was invited to an afternoon tea in an absolutely charming home overlooking the water.  Pam had received this as a gift from her son, Scott, and his wife, Stephanie, who purchased it at a Young Life fund-raiser auction.  The relaxed and friendly hostess (a mother of 5!), the home, the view, the table, the sweets and savories can only be described as perfection for a gathering of friends!  Perhaps the included pictures and those I posted on Facebook will explain!  The shy acre here surrounded the house with gardens boasting their spring blossoms, and the rain held off until we were headed back into the house! :)  I especially enjoyed meeting Stephanie, Pam’s daughter-in-law, – a delightful young woman.  Anne B rode with me as we left.  I left her at her home and went on to Bartletts where I’ll stay for a few days.

Monday, May 4 – Linda invited me along to visit Elmira, her Turkish refugee friend.  While Linda helped her with a school project I watched a video of a local Turkish wedding, complete with the festivities that accompany this extravagant event.  Then I was off to Lynnwood for lunch with Rena at the Alderwood Mall.  I couldn’t find the planned restaurant, but saw McGrath’s and we decided to try that, splitting pan-fried oysters and barbecued salmon.  It was great to have time with her and catch up on her life.  We wandered the mall afterwards, then coffeed at the big fireplace in the food court – so much visiting to do!  We split in time for me to nap in the car a few minutes before meeting Bobbie, Ginger & Esther at the adjacent Claim Jumper. Five hours later, when Jerry and Trent came to claim Esther, we could have continued our conversations, laughter and reminiscing another 5 hourss easily!  Since it was our first time to meet after losing MaryAnn, the reminiscing was a major part!  We do miss her, as well as Jewellyn Searcy.  We noted that we are now at only 66% of our group.

Tuesday, May 5:  I had a quiet day at the Bartletts, a little shopping and a yummy late pork lunch before heading to Issaquah to meet my new great-niece, Tessa Bryan.  I had met Tim’s wife, Jen, only at their wedding a couple of years ago, so I felt like I was meeting her as well.  They were generous with 6-wk-old Tessa, letting me hold and cuddle!  She’s adorable, Tim and Jen were warm, welcoming, fun conversationalists and I admired their lovely townhouse, and enjoyed hearing about their lives, their activities and their hopes for the future.  They were relaxed and loving with Tessa – they’ll be great parents!  Meet Tessa in their blog at:

May 3
Oregon, 2009 #3
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My two days in McMinnville have passed so quickly and been so fun.  Yesterday Lois and I visited the Lawrence Gallery in Sheridan for lunch and gallery browsing.  The sun was shining and we sat on an upper deck enjoying the sun and a wonderful hazelnut encrusted salmon sandwich!  The gallery was wonderful as well.  We received lots of attention and education from the staff and were in awe of the quality of art, especially enjoying the woven metal artwork of Catherine Foster of Poulsbo.  This rural gallery, at least four miles from any town, showcases marvelous regional artists’ original paintings, indoor and outdoor sculpture, clay, glass, wood, and jewelry. 

All that activity required a nap!  We weren’t home long, though, before their grandson Ben arrived from Seattle to spend a few days with his grandparents before joining the army in June.  It’s so great to get to be included in that.  Dom and Ben barbecued steaks, while Lois slaved in the kitchen and I did little to help!  Soon Brian, Noel and Harper arrived and we were feasting on the deck.  Nice to eat outside today!

Saturday started with lots of rain.  Brian and kids came for breakfast – Dom and Ben went to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, the kids played on the Wii and Brian, Lois and I played Upwords!  Fun game – well matched!  Lois and I lunched downtown at a wonderful Italian Restaurant and browsed several of the quaint shops so abundant in McMinnville!  I found a wonderful turquoise necklace that matches well the bracelet I found on Scottsdale – great find!  A Thai dinner with Ben, Brian, Lois and Dom was a delicious ending to an enjoyable day.

May 1
Oregon, 2009 #2
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Wednesday, April 29: Today we left Shirley’s house late morning to a beautiful blue sky, but found rain two miles north at the condo! But by the time we visited, lunched and generally procrastinated, the sun reappeared! Our first stop was Beverly Beach to see the Van Zanen’s RV, followed by a beach walk. What a fascinating beach! A walkway goes under the highway and emerges to a long expanse of sandy beach extending from Yaquina Head (you can see the lighthouse from here) to the headlands of Otter Rock. There is an abundance of fossilized sea life and we found amazing agates and fossils that slowly filled our pockets on our wandering trek back to the car.

Next we stopped at Depoe Bay, and headed to the Whale Watching Center, which was being locked up just as we arrived! So much for late starts! We settled for a bit of browsing and enjoyed the view, the galleries and, of course, the Tillamook Ice-Cream for those who couldn’t resist!
The return drive included a detour along Otter Loop and stops at Whale Cove, Cape Foulweather, The Devil’s Punch Bowl and more. With beautiful weather and unbeatable scenery, it was hard to head home! A game of Rummikub, an extraordinary salmon dinner by Maria, and the final taped episode of #1 Ladies… rounded out a late evening. We said our goodbyes as all will leave in the morning. It’s been soooo fun.

Thursday, April 30: I got to spend a few minutes with Anna and little Dorothy this morning and got my ukelele pictures as Dorothy sang Jolene to me!! What a doll. Shirley and I headed for the Hatfield Marine Science Center and spent a couple of hours exploring the exhibits. I was impressed with the variety and depth of the materials that explained the coastal resources and environment and showed how research provides the knowledge needed to interpret and explain these resources. It was time well spent. Lunch at the nearby Rougue Brewery Restaurant provided a great view and a chance for one last good visit.
I packed up the car, said my goodbyes and headed for McMinnville, arriving just in time for a delicious seafood pasta dinner in the sunshine on the back patio with Dom & Lois!


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