• Follow me on Twitter

  • Blog Stats

    • 22,532 hits
  • Archives

  • October 2019
    M T W T F S S
    « Sep    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  
  • Advertisements

Summer Adventures

It has been a busy summer so far. Much of the spring was involved taking monthly trips to our island cabin, furnishing, cleaning, decorating, fixing, etc. I am having to learn how to fix things now and even tackled replacing the kitchen faucet and range hood, thanks to help from my buddy Larry! We had much of the interior painted except for the two bathrooms and one bedroom. We are going to do those rooms ourselves as we didn’t have colors picked out yet. The painter was a local guy who didn’t really do that great of a job and is still not finished and says he won’t be until the first week of September…….fucking unacceptable! We are not happy and I have paid the dude in full already, my very bad mistake!!! We have pictures that we cannot even put up because the mistakes really show up in the flash. At any rate, it looks better than before and is getting very cozy and comfortable with many of our touches. We have accommodated guests twice now and they felt very much at home and our little cabin was big enough for them all!

We finally de-winterized the trailer, cleaned her up, loaded it with supplies, hitched her to the truck and headed back to………yep, Oregon, once again! Our destination this time was the coast once again and we camped at Beverly Beach State Park. It was beautiful. We explored the coast again, heading to Newport, Depot Bay, Florence, Agate Beach, etc. We also scoped out campgrounds, visited scenic sights, lighthouses, and did a little wine tasting as we always do! We never tire of the Oregon Coast and are planning the next trip to start from the California redwoods and drive back up the coast next year!

Duplicating our route in February, we drove to central Oregon over the Santiam Pass to our secret camping spot near Sisters, OR. There we met up with some very good friends Rich, Pam, Kelsey, Rob, and Ursie. We all camp together in the middle of the woods and eat, drink, build big camp fires, hike, shoot guns, drink, ride dirt bikes, more eating, and drinking. It is hot, dusty, and dirty, but a very fun time with great friends! Have a look at the few photos we took of the trip!

Camp Givens

After we got back, the following weekend we rode the Mt to Sound Greenway Snoqualmie Tunnel Bike Ride. It was a twenty-five mile bike ride down the John Wayne Pioneer Trail which took us through the two and a half mile tunnel. All these years of living here and we had never been to the tunnel. Going through an old two-mile, abandoned train tunnel is dark, cold and spooky, but was fun as hell! At the end we had a great BBQ. It is fun to get out and explore what is just right outside our doorstep. We have a wedding coming down in Portland we are going to, the Boeing Classic Golf Tournament that we always volunteer to work and watch, then we will be spending a whole week at the cabin right after that which takes us right into September. Wow, where did the summer go!!!???

Advertisements

Oregon Vacation 2012

It is obvious we seem to love the great state of Oregon because we keep returning there year after year. Once again we took a road trip back there. We first headed to the coast winding up in Newport. We have driven through the quaint coastal town many times in the past, but never stayed and explored it much. This time we did and discovered it to be very beautiful. We stayed at the Hallmark Resort right on the beach. Cordell loved running on the beach. He goes crazy out there on the sand and watches the waves and seagulls and explores the driftwood and bits washed ashore! If you just drive down the coast highway like we have done many times past, you don’t discover the very cool part of the town, the old historic dock part of the town. We did and it was very cool with many shops, galleries, restaurants, and sights. We had one of the best dinners ever at a place called Local Ocean! It was fresh and wonderful and if we lived here, it would be our favorite dining stop. We also took a drive up the coast a bit and ended up at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Debbie loves going there and any time we are within driving distance, we go eat cheese!!!!!

Leaving the coast for our second leg of the trip, we drove to central Oregon over the Santiam Pass to our next destination of Suttle Lake near Sisters, OR. There we met up with some very good friends Rich and Pam and bunked together at the Lodge At Suttle Lake. It is a very beautiful property nestled in the woods on the shores of Suttle Lake. We had a very nice cabin but no internet and you know I needs my internets!!! We had dinner with another couple of friends Rob and Ursie at the Tumelo Feed Company where you can get great steaks and a nice big plate of rocky mountain oysters (no….Deb nor I tried them). It was very nice being together with all these great people at the same table. We have shared many good times together! The next day was snowmobiling time!!! Rich and Pam have their own, so Debbie and I had to rent ours. The weather was iffy at best with the wind blowing hard. In Bend things looked hopefully, but by the time we hitched the trailer with our sleds and followed Rich up to the sno park near Mt Bachelor, the wind was howling and snowing sideways. Well did that stop us, hell no and off on the trails we went. It was fun but slow going as visibility was an issue for all of us at times, sometimes not being able to see the trail in front of you. We made it to the Elk Lake Resort where we dried and warmed up a bit with a hot coffee drink before heading back. We were going to do a loop, but due to time constraints and needing to get the sleds back in time, we had to go back the way we came. The trip back was much better as the wind and snow stopped and the sun came out! It was fun regardless of the weather!

Well we parted ways and started on the third and final leg of our trip driving down the road to Sunriver where we had a fabulous room at the Sunriver Resort! The place is gorgeous!

The Lodge

We absolutely love this area and have thought about retiring here many times! Having a state income tax on top of the federal taxes have changed our mind about retiring in Oregon though. We just don’t feel like giving an additional 10% of our pensions to the state. We have settled on somewhere else, but more on that in a later post! We took Cordell on a nice long walk around the grounds and into the Village, had a great dinner in the restaurant, and enjoyed the accommodations. The next day we went skiing at Mt Bachelor. The weather was perfect, but my skiing wasn’t. I think I rented the wrong skis and spent a lot of time on my back. It was pathetic and poor Debbie’s day was ruined waiting for me! I think some lessons are in order since I have never had any. I just pointed myself downhill one day at Ski Apache in New Mexico on fine day long ago and headed down and figured it out. I am sure I learned some bad habits along the way that need to be corrected. The next day ended our time and we had to head back home. Actually it was in the nick of time, as bad weather and snow had come and made driving a bit tricky at times but we made it back safely. The time had gone by very fast on this trip and the next scheduled vacation won’t happen until July. We will be busy though as you shall soon see, meanwhile have a look at the few photos we took and we’ll see ya soon!

Mt. Bachelor

We have done some very good vacation planning this year, just like the last year! With my job, I have to pick my vacations in January for the complete year. Sometimes it is hard to know what plans to make in advance and what weeks to pick. But last year we did great and this year is all laid out. We have never done a week ski vacation before. Usually it is just a long weekend or possibly an anniversary trip that we do some skiing! This year we decided to plan one! Debbie looked and looked for a place to go. Colorado was a thought, but we found it to be on the spendy side. Tahoe was another target, but again proved to be to pricey. Another factor was Cordell. We planned on taking him with us and just couldn’t justify the expense. On of our friends suggested we check out Mt. Bachelor just outside of Bend, Or. We could drive down and plus we had friends there we could visit! Debbie found a great place to stay so off we went with Cordell in the back seat. Now people always ask, what about Patience (the cat). Have you ever travelled with a cat? They don’t do well and she is happy at home just fine. We have very good friends that take good care of her.

The drive to Bend isn’t a bad one and we had great tunes to listen to whilst on the way from SnoJoRadio my music podcast! Debbie had found us a condo to stay at the Seventh Mountain Resort for the week and our unit was dog friendly! It was a very nice place and just twenty minutes at the most to the slopes at the mountain. It also had a kitchen so we could cook there when we wanted. A very cozy place. Cordell loved walking the grounds and exploring. Both of us had been to Bend a few years back, but had never been to Mt Bachelor to ski and only vaguely remembered anything about the town itself! It is a really cool, hip town and the downtown section is very vibrant and alive. There are many restaurants for a town that size, so when we did decide to venture out for dinner, we had plenty of choices. We ate at the Pine Tavern Restaurant, McMenamins, and also the Brickhouse Restaurant. Each of the were fantastic! When we weren’t on the slopes, we drove around and explored. We took a drive down to Sunriver, and also headed out to Sisters, Or. It was a bit quiet at both places, but we did find a lively and enjoyable place to have dinner in Sisters at a place called Bronco Billys Ranch Grill and Saloon. Dinner was filling, tasty, and cheap. Check out my salad that I had to take part of back to the condo:

My Huge Cobb Salad

Now the real reason we went down to Bend was to ski and ski we did! The only snafu was my feet, especially the left one. I have very flat feet and also pronate somewhat. I have to wear special orthotics in my street and running shoes and the rental boots on the mountain just killed my left foot. After the first day, I was in severe pain. I was hoping not to spoil the rest of the week for Debbie because she was looking forward to doing a lot of sking. We spent a whole day looking at ski boots and thought we had found a pair for me, but hesitated. Then I decided to rent some demo boots skis at the mountain. I explained my situation to the boot fitter there and he came up with a pair of Tecnica Mega 12’s and I was in heaven. It was the first time in my life I could ski for hours and have no foot pain. I scored on a new pair, and as well fitted as they were, they still needed to be punched out for my left foot. Then Debbie wanted to also demo boots and skis and by the time we left, we each had a pair of brand new boots! I guess we will be skiing more often now! We’ll demo skis for a while until we decide to buy, but we need to save money for the next big vacation adventure coming in May! I also put up some pictures of our trip in a new album on our Flickr Photo Page, so go have a look!

Seventeen Years

Ahhhhhh yet another year has passed of wedded bliss with my sweetie. We put another notch on the anniversary pole. There are now seventeen notches logged. This was my year to plan the secret get away and I had a tough time figuring out just where to take my girl. After some serious pondering, I came up with the idea of a ski weekend might be fun. Since the Winter Olympics had just been held in Vancouver/Whistler, that destination was discarded as an idea. After doing some research and putting out some feelers, a buddy of mine gave me the idea of taking the train to Whitefish, MT and skiing there. At first I thought that may be to far to go just for a weekend, but after checking into it, it looked like a great idea. On Friday afternoon we hopped on the Amtrak Empire Builder and away we went. Debbie has been on Amtrak before, but I hadn’t and neither of us had slept on a train. I had booked a sleeper car which was nice, but very small. We had to sleep in bunk type beds that brought back memories of childhood. Along with the sleeper came dinner in the dining car! I was very impressed  with the quality of food on the train. Sure beats airline food any day! Then came sleeping……oh boy! Debbie had chosen the upper bunk which she later regretted as it was small, hard, and had no window to look out. She got little sleep and I didn’t fare much better! With all the rocking and noises and whistle stops, I mostly watched the clock and tossed.

We arrived in Whitefish early the next morning bleary eyed but ready to start our adventure! We got shuttled to our hotel, the Grouse Mountain Lodge, which was a big beautiful lodge right on a golf course. There would be no golfing on this trip as there was still snow on the ground. Even though it was early morning, our room was already ready so we could head right up and get freshened up. Even though we were dead tired, we decided to head up to the slopes for a half day of skiing. After a quick breakfast, we got the shuttle and headed to Big Mountain at Whitefish Mountain Resort! It was beautiful and the weather was gorgeous, warm, and not a cloud in the sky. It was a perfect day of spring skiing and we had a blast. We skied pretty good for not having much sleep, but once we got back to the lodge, we didn’t last very long. The next day we put in a full day on the slopes then went into town after we were worn out. Whitefish is a very cool place surrounded by mountains and lakes. As we usually do when we visit new places, we think we might like to live in them and Whitefish was no different. This place has possibilities for a future place for us to land after retirement and could be a target on our six-year plan as Debbie will have 30 years in the State Retirement System and can throw the working world away! We plan on a return trip to spend more time checking things out.

After walking around town and grabbing a bite, we headed back to the lodge and readied for our trip home. It would be another all nighter on the train again and we had a plan. Deb took the lower bunk and I had to suffer above. We headed to the lounge car and had a few adult beverages to get us happy and tired. When we were ready to crash, took a couple of Tylenol PM, shoved in some ear plugs, and hoped for the best. It helped, but we still only got a fitful night’s sleep but managed to get up before the last call for breakfast. As I type this back in our warm cozy home sore, tired, ready to sleep in my own bed, I realize I won’t get to posting the pictures on our Flickr page until sometime later, so I won’t even post this until I do. It may be a few days before you even read this.  It was worth every sore muscle and every hour of lost sleep and another anniversary memory to never forget!

Pictures Are Up

Our Tamarack photos are now up at Flickr. Click here and go have a look!!

15th Anniversary Trip

Wow is all I can say. Today marks our 15th wedding anniversary! Actually we have been together for 16 years going on our first date March 6th, 1992 and were married one year later! Our first date was a ski day at Crystal Mountain in Washington. Now I sit in bed here at our hotel The Lodge at Osprey Meadows at Tamarack Resort in Idaho after days of what else…..skiing. Is that apropos or what? It is absolutely gorgeous here and we have had a blast. I was a little nervous at first thinking about skiing for the first time in many years and wondering how I was going to do. Then when I saw the mountain, I really freaked out. But after a few runs down the beginners hill and getting my ski legs back, it was all good. Of course after the first day of skiing for 4-5 hours, my feet and legs were a quivering mess, but we just went back up the next day and worked through the soreness of close to 50 year old bodies. I must say that ski boots are the most uncomfortable clothing accessory ever made. I need to invent something that is more comfortable and make millions. Having the flattest feet in the world doesn’t help either. One day we thought we were going to take a break and do some snowshoeing and it was the first time for the both of us. After 5 hours of snowshoeing all around the many trailsof the resort, we realized how much of a work out it was. We were wiped out!!! A bit of hot tubbing and adult libations took away some of the pain ;-) Yesterday was our last day of skiing, as we are heading back to Boise for our flight back home, and we were ski monsters hitting double blue and even a black diamond trail. We have put up videos of us skiing and Deb snowshoeing on our YouTube Channel. Go have a look and you’ll also find some other videos there as well. We took allot of photos which I will post on our Flickr page shortly when I get them off the camera and edited.

The Resort had just about everything we needed, but we did venture out one evening and drove up to McCall, Id. From what we saw of the town it was very cute as it was dark. We stopped in a cool rustic restaurant called The Mill Supper Cluband had dinner. I had the biggest and best piece of prime rib I’ve had in a log while. Debbie enjoyed a nice generous portion of halibut. It was just our type of place. It would be nice to come back in the summer to see this place. I think Debbie has ski fever now and we may do more skiing in the future. Hell, we only live 20 minutes from Snoqualmie Summit for god sake!!!

In other news, we finally got our boat back and she is beautiful!!! We have spent only one night on her since we just got her back the weekend before we came here! The interior looks wonderful and Debbie did great picking out the carpet, drapes, upholstery fabric. She has new bottom paint on her, a new inverter, new window, new teak in the back, railings all fixed and ready for some good boating coming up! We have just a small idling problem with our starboard engine which I think may need injector cleaning and she’s all set. We just need to find ourselves a better dinghy and the boating package is complete! We took some pictures and also recorded a new podcast as we christened her finally. You can see the pictures and listen to the podcast over at our Boat Virgins podcast page! There’s more exciting news to tell you, but I have to wait until it’s been officially announced. I’ll be blogging about it when it is! We have to go now, gotta get packed up and checked out of here. bye for now!!!

%d bloggers like this: