April 30, 2011

Looking Around at Puget Sound

"Do Not Feed or Harass Seals or Sea Lions"

In spite of what the sign says, we did not see any seals or sea lions at Browns Point.

Since we arrived before the lighthouse keeper's cottage opened for tours, we had time to look around.
Doug and Ryley
Jo and Sue

Browns Point Light, Puget Sound

small lighthouse

Susan and Frank

Susan and Doug took us to the Browns Point Light and adjoining park. The lighthouse itself is small and not particularly exciting, but the surrounding park and keeper's cottage are very nice to visit.

The light is still in service. It's near Tacoma, Washington.

April 29, 2011

View of the Boyles's Fish Tank

If you give a kid a label maker, you just might get warning labels on the fish tank, such as "Fishy Crossing" and "Warning ~ man-eating fish inside tank!!!!"

April 28, 2011

The Skating Lesson

Josie is a pretty good skater. She loaned her skates to Rain and helped her learn to skate.

Ryley at the Playground

Ryley spent time playing ball with the dog and even spent a little time on the play equipment. He also went bike riding with a friend.

Frank and Sue at the Playground

Grandpa and Mom Watch the Kids Play

March 2011,  Puyallup, WA

April 27, 2011

At Home With Sue

Josie Makes a Dog Toy

Ryley Practices

Susan and Bones

April 26, 2011

Bones Likes to Play Ball

At the Neighborhood Playground

black dog

Sue's dog likes being held but he likes playing ball even more. He's good at Catch and Keep-Away.

Frank and the Grands

Ryley and Josie show Grandpa a game.
March 2011

April 25, 2011

Award Winners

Ryley and Josie posed with awards they earned at school.

We Went to Tacoma to See...

Doug and Susan


Ryley and Josie

and as a bonus, we got to play with Bones!

April 24, 2011

Hope You Had a Nice Easter Day

I took the above 9-second video on Easter as a greeting for family and friends.

As you can see, the dogwood trees are starting to bloom, adding bright spots in the foreground of our pretty view.

Pictures Taken from a Plane

Before and After Using Layers

mountains near Seattle
I wrote about removing the hazy look from an aerial picture back in 2008. I still use the same basic process, even though I'm using an updated version of Photoshop and a newer computer. For this image, I also adjusted the colors. I tried a more dramatic change but it seemed to look fake.

I think we're looking at the Olympic Mountains here. We were on our way to the Seattle/Tacoma airport.

April 23, 2011

A View from the Window Seat

Personally, I enjoy sitting next to a window on a plane. However, my husband likes sitting next to the aisle because that gives him a little extra elbow room. If we are to sit together, one of us ends up in the undesirable middle seat.

In spite of my love for having a view, I've learned that the window seat comes with a disadvantage on long flights: you can't get up and move around without inconveniencing a stranger. If that stranger happens to be asleep when you need to make a trip to the restroom, you have to either bother him by waking him or bother yourself by waiting for an indefinite period of time.

So on our flights in March, I only reserved the window seat on the short flight from Long Beach to Seattle. On the long flights, I compressed myself into the middle seat and let Frank enjoy the extra inches of being on the aisle. It worked out okay.

April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to Marie!

Marie is celebrating her birthday by staying at a nice hotel in Limbe, Cameroon, a seaside city on the west coast of Africa. I hope this will be a pleasant break from her sometimes arduous journey through Africa. She just left Nigeria, which sounded like an uncomfortable visit although she managed to stay hundreds of miles away from the riots surrounding the recent election.

I hope she doesn't mind my resurrecting an old photo from her high school years.

Links:   Limbe in Wikipedia
Marie's World Tour
Books by Marie Javins

April 21, 2011

Townhouse Available for Rent

My property in Woodstock is vacant and we still haven't found the right tenant. There have been two applicants who almost qualified, and several folks who liked the house but haven't called back yet. So we just reduced the rent to $860, which I think is very reasonable for such a nice townhouse.

I made a little video tour of the upstairs, which has two large bedrooms, each with a private bath.

(Postscript: The house was leased on 4/29/2011.)

April 20, 2011

Daffodils on April 7th

Historic Garden Week 2011

It's Historic Garden Week in Virginia. This is an annual event featuring opportunities to tour fine homes and gardens including some that are rarely open to the public.

Last year during Garden Week, we toured Westover Plantation between Richmond and Williamsburg. We also toured Monticello (pictured here). Both have lovely gardens and fascinating history.

Outlinks: Monticello and Westover

April 19, 2011

Water Over Crooked Run Road

On Sunday I put Ben in the car and started to drive down to Deauville Farm to take some things to Gail. As I neared Stony Creek I saw a sign that said the road was closed due to high water. Well, that wasn't too surprising – we had several downpours recently, especially on Saturday, and even before that some low roads had been closed due to flooding.

Water still covered this low water bridge. Take a look at the video.
As you can see, a vehicle crossed the bridge successfully. However, I turned around and went back through the resort and up Stonewall Road. For one thing, my car is low to the ground, but just as important, a bridge can be severely damaged by flooding and debris and you can't tell with water covering it.

A photographer got some dramatic shots the day before of Stony Creek farther downstream.

2008 Post: Normal Views of Stoney Creek

Recent News: Three Rescued from Waging Waters in Shenandoah County

Checking In On Marie

My younger daughter is traveling in West Africa. You can see her travelogue at MariesWorldTour.com.

Since I worry about her, I'm following her in other ways as well. I check Facebook for her updates, and I also watch her messages on Twitter. Fortunately she has placed a gadget on her World Tour homepage that displays her latest tweets. Scroll down her page and watch the right-hand side bar to view them.

April 17, 2011

Want to Live on a Mountain Lake?

Frank has listed a lovely home on Lake Laura! It belongs to some friends who have moved back to the city.

One of the owners is an artist and designer, and her house has plenty of charm! The setting is quite wonderful, with the lake in the background and plenty of trees and landscaping.

Frank worked with her to come up with a price that should attract buyers right away.

April 16, 2011

Southern California's Coast from the Air

Since we flew north from Long Beach in March instead of heading east like we usually do, I got a good look at the coastline.

Note how close the mountains are to the Pacific Coast.

I find it remarkable that so many people live in Southern California. The region is the second most populous section of the US (behind the Northeastern seaboard region).  Yet large parts of Southern California seem barely suited to human habitation, for they are subject to earthquakes, wild fires, and flooding. Yet people flock there.

Harbor View from the Air

I'm fairly certain this is Marina Del Rey, California. Said to be the largest artificial small-craft harbor, it has 6100 boat slips.

April 15, 2011

Notes on Our Recent Flights

Our vacation in March combined two destinations: Southern California and Tacoma, WA. In both places we visited relatives and did some sightseeing.

Making the plane reservations was a challenge because we wanted good rates AND convenient flights. In the end, I used two airlines: JetBlue for DC to Long Beach and Long Beach to Seattle, and Southwest for Seattle to DC.

I hadn't flown Southwest before but have flown JetBlue several times. I like JetBlue! We've enjoyed good service on their flights and the planes have amenities like TV and music.

I was less impressed with Southwest. There were fewer amenities (no TV or music) and the snacks were more limited; nothing wheat-free for me! (JetBlue has plain cashews and blue potato chips which I can enjoy.) Even Southwest's peanuts had a coating that I couldn't have eaten, although I generally don't eat peanuts anyway. Of course, I carried some allergy-safe snacks with me so I didn't go hungry.

This was before Southwest had the hole-in-the-roof incident or I might not have considered them as an option. They do offer a senior rate which Frank took advantage of.

April 14, 2011

Long Beach Airport

waiting in airport
Frank Uses our iPad at LGB
When we fly to and from the LA area, my choice of airport is Long Beach. It's smaller and friendlier than LAX. On our recent trip, it was not as quiet as I remembered, for it's been discovered by other travelers and is now busy. Also, new parking facilities are under construction so driving around is not as easy as it once was.

Still, compared to Dulles, it's delightful!

A Glass Chapel in Palos Verdes

When we visited Wayfarers Chapel in California, I made several short video clips using my digital camera. I combined four of them using iMovie so that you can get an idea of what it's like.

The chapel is used as a church by a Swedenborgian congregation. It is also a popular tourist attraction.

Similar Post: Images of Wayfarers Chapel (2008)

April 13, 2011

Inside Wayfarers Chapel

Wayfarers Chapel is a small church but is very popular for weddings because of it's charming design and lovely location.

During the week it's often quiet enough that you can sit down in one of the pews and meditate or just enjoy the atmosphere.

April 12, 2011

Outside Wayfarers Chapel

“I wanted particularly to allow those trees and those trunks to be seen and the space beyond and into infinity to be observed, so those who sat in the sanctuary would perceive the grandeur of space out beyond and around them.” — Lloyd Wright, Architect

April 11, 2011

April 10, 2011

LSW in SoCal

Photographed by Frank Walcroft