Thursday, September 29, 2011
Pat and I at the Enzian Inn in Leavenworth, WA last April. This was four years and a day after our wedding in 2007. Leavenworth is still a favorite place to visit for us.
We have had a real odd year weather-wise. For quite awhile it looked like summer was not going to come this year, but yet we have had one of the driest (lack of rain) summers ever. The temps rarely got above 70 until almost August and only hit 80 two or three times. Then in September, about the time school started, we had about ten days in a row of close to 80 every day. There was rain last Sunday & Monday, the first since early July, but it has been sunny and nice since then. BUT, you can tell that fall is knocking on the door.
I was out early this morning and the temp was only in the high 30s. The sky was clear so the sun came out with sunrise and the temp soon went up and will probably go up close to 70 today, which is just about perfect. The leaves are changing color and starting to fall from the trees. We've re-started the pilot lite on our gas fireplace, taken down the patio table umbrella and the outside sunshades over the windows. And now those weather gurus are talking about another La Nina year that could be even stronger than the one last year. Ugh! I do miss Snowbirding!
Sunday, September 04, 2011
I'm getting OLD(er)
Pat and I have never stayed in a 5 Star hotel so we ponied up the bucks to stay in the event hotel, Spokane's recently remodeled Davenport Hotel although our room was on the 14th floor of the newer Davenport Tower. It is a very nice place although I am not sure I'd pay the full overnight rate. We got a group discounted rate of some sort so it was only $140 a night, plus $20 to park the car and of course all the taxes that are added on. Everything there was high quality. But we didn't have coffee in our room. You had to go to the Starbucks coffee bar in the lobby area for coffee. We only stayed two nights but it was fun.
On our way home we stopped in the Lake Chelan area to spend a couple of nights visiting friends and tasting wine. The town of Chelan used to be famous for apples and other tree fruit and I guess it still is, but it is now also gaining popularity as a producer of grapes and some of the best wine in the state. Our friends live just across a vineyard from one of those wineries with another dozen or so within just a few miles. And many of them also have some fine eating included. It was a good time, but we found another desert wine that we fell in love with, so bought a case of small 375ml bottles that are $26 a bottle. The good news is that we got a discount for buying a full case!
We both enjoy the Western themed town of Winthrop that is on the East side of the North Cascades Highway, so on our way home from Chelan we came through there and ate lunch at our favorite place in Winthrop, the Duck Brand Hotel and Cantina. It was good as usual and the trip across the N. Cascades Hwy was beautiful and almost uneventful. I had forgotten that in addition to this being the summer season (it finally came!) it is also Road Construction season and that delayed us a couple of times. I guess they can't do much road work in the winter when they have over 70 feet of snow at a mile high elevation. In fact, the pass closes all winter and this year didn't reopen until June. But with this road when we come back into civilization on the West side we are almost in our backyard in the town of Burlington. We did stop at a car wash to treat the car to a bug removal session. Speaking of the car, our Prius averaged right at 50 miles per gallon for the trip, using about 15 gallons of gas to go about 750 miles.
We are also experiencing a much more negative side of growing older and that is losing friends and relatives to death. A cousin of mine died in June, an uncle just last week and a very good friend of ours who lived in the same park we do died on Aug 28th. He was 13 months younger than me! I think the message that we have to remember is to live every day as best you can and enjoy them and your friends as you never know when either they or you will no longer be around to do that.