29 August 2009

Parental visit

My parents came to visit me two weeks ago. They staid for a week. It was a nice visit. I convinced them to go to the Space Needle one day. My parents kept assuring me that they came to visit us, not to do the tourist things. I explained that it gives me the chance to do the tourist things, because when you live somewhere, you tend not to do the touristy things unless someone comes to visit.
My dad is quite well known amongst the family for his picture taking abilities, well, more or less what he does for a picture. Well, growing up, us children were told of his taking a photo of some rock in Hawaii where Deborah Kerr sang "I'm going to Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair" in South Pacific. He later found out that he took a picture of the wrong rock. He was also assigned, as part of his job on base, to take a picture of President Reagan's limo when he visited Utah. Well, there were three limos and my dad is still not sure if it was the correct limo. My dad has been known to lay on the beach and do sit ups when the surf came in, to get a photo of I think the bungalow they staid in on their honeymoon (won't swear that was what he was trying to capture). My cousin, Moo, related a story of him standing in the middle of a windy road (not windy, as in wind blowing, but windy, as in many curves) in Hawaii, to get a picture, much to the distress of others in the traveling party.
So that sort of gives you a background to the pictures I am about to post. Oh, I forgot, our family also enjoys taking pictures of other family members taking pictures. Now to the story while they were here this time.
We were at the top of the Space Needle here in Seattle. They actually have the compass directions spaced around the observation deck around the top. I really did not need the them. I came across my dad at about the NE coordinate. He had gone ahead of my mother and me. He pointed off in the distance and wondered if the mountain out there was Mount Rainier. He was pointing north east. I knew that was NOT Mount Rainier and told him that it was not the correct mountain. Mount Rainier is more South East of Seattle. My dad was then certain that it was INDEED Mount Rainier. He was going to take a picture of it for this reason. I took a picture of my father taking a picture of what is actually Mount Baker. After his little photo shoot there, I escorted him down toward the south side of the observation deck. It was a bit hazy, but I then pointed out Mount Rainer. It is a wee bit larger than Mt Baker and he was happy to click a couple of pictures of the actual Mount Rainier. He was a little disappointed because of the haze, but he got his picture.

Picture upper right, my father taking pic of mount Baker, insisting it was Mt. Rainier.

Picture of his 1st Mt. Rainier (above), below, his "zoomed" picture of Mt. Baker.

Above, my father's picture of the real Mt. Rainier. Trust me, it is there, just a little hazy. Pic below, my picture of
Mt. Rainier, yes it is there, just a wee bit hazy to see it. We did get pics of Safeco Field and Qwest Field. It was nice
that they built them so close together so we could get them in a single frame picture.

14 August 2009


One thing western Washington is probably known for, but y'all don't know, it is the Blackberry bushes that grow EVERYWHERE! (I know several missionaries that served in this area, and almost all of them for service hours at one time or another helped members remove or trim back the berry bushes). You don't have to go far to find any. They line all the roads around here and are easily found in or near the woods around here.
The berries are ripe right about now and probably for a few more weeks. My friend had mentioned that she had gone berry picking right in her backyard. That inspired me, while I was planning on going over to said friend's house and pick with her, I ended up in a parking lot by some soccer fields. I picked about 30 minutes yesterday and an hour this morning. Black berries are not the most pleasant thing to pick as they are quite the thorny plant. There is no possible way of NOT getting stuck by the thorns, so basically you have to decide if you like blackberries enough to go through so many prickleys. I would take a picture of the blackberries that I did pick, but I am a little tired from it.

I am also awaiting the arrival of my parents at the moment. The stayed in South Eastern Washington last night and should be making their way here as I type.

08 August 2009

Quick Trip

We made a quick trip back to Detroit this last week to attend Dave's father's funeral. As with any trip to the Detroit area, I had issues with the roads and directions and taking the scenic route. Coming from the airport, the directions printed off of Google Maps, told me to follow M-5 west. It was all good until then. I came to M-5 North and thought that perhaps M-5 west was just beyond the north. Wrong! I believe that I made this mistake last September also. The fact was, that was M-5 west and it shortly turned into M-5 North about a mile after getting on the road. Their signs were a wee bit confusing. After going 5 miles, I was able to turn around and go back to M-5.
It only took two Michigan Uturns (i.e. Michigan lefts) to get to the Church where the services were being held. Normal places it would have been a left onto the road the church was located and then a left into the parking lot, but NO you must take a right, flip a Uturn and the designated Uturn place, go up past the church and take the next Uturn, so you then could make a right turn into the parking lot. Going to the cemetery I did a pretty good job at following people. I am glad that I did not get lost going there. Coming back was a little bit different. I was following my brother-in-law's Toyota Red car. I did pretty good, until about five miles from M-5 exit. I caught up and was following "the red car". I did think it was strange that he took off on 12 mile road. I knew we were headed for 13 mile road. I thought he might know an easier way with fewer Michigan lefts. It wasn't until the red car went perhaps 2 miles on 12 mile road and made a Michigan Uturn that I realizaed that I had been following a red Dodge car. Those people probably were thinking we were stalking them. I burst out laughing at my stupidity. Luckily I knew how to get back to M-5 and how to get back to the Condo. Dave wondered why his brother did not call us, then I reminded him that our phones were probalby still turned down from the services. Sure enough, we each had voicemails informing us that we were going the wrong way.
I have come to the conclusion that the signs back to the airport were much more clear. I think that they really want to help people to get out of there. No problems on Wednesday, despite the fact that they have a couple of terminals, a couple miles apart now. We were able to drop of my sister-in-law Donna at the second terminal, find our way to find a gas station and drop our car off.
Oh, about the car. I thought it was very thoughtful of the rental agency to ask if we wanted to pay for an upgrade from the economy class, which I declined. When we were all through with check in, I was informed that all they had left was a mini-van. So, if you ever rent a car in advance and you arrive later in the day, chances are that you will get an upgrade without having to pay for it.