Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our Annual US Trip - WA State

We were late arriving and so we rolled into our daughter, Ara's home, at 2am. By now we had been up almost 24 hours. Still enough energy to visit out on the porch with a glass of wine.

Our first day was spent having a nice breakfast at Boots on Main Street and a day spent doing errands topping off the evening with a nice dinner and drinks with Ara at The Blackbird Tavern & Kitchen, a new place that had just been open a week.

Our grandson, Arlo. He's a cutie & a hugger!

Grandson, Dallas, Travis, Mike's son & his girlfriend.
Ara & me at the Spokane River trying to cool off - 106. Yikes!

Ara, and our grandson, Robert. Fun times with family!


The next day we headed north 2.5 hours to our friend's home on 20 acres along the Columbia River. This is where we plop ourselves as a base for our time in WA. Again, we arrived in time for dinner out on Mike & Leslie's deck while watching the deer and other wild life.

Entering the Valley. As soon as I see those mountains, I'm back "home".


Our days were pretty laid back, which gave us time to focus on making our accommodations for our upcoming European trip. So glad we had some time for this! We got it done!

Of course, our goal is to see as many of friends, as possible. So we met up with some of them at Northern Ales Brewery in Kettle Falls on our first night out back north.

 What's a few selfies between friends!

Linda Hall

Joan Kuleza
Larry Kuleza

Alan Hall
Lucky for us, our friends, David & Lesley, had a bbq get together at their place on the Columbia River/Lake Roosevelt.  The weather was unusually hot while we were there with most days at or over 100, so being down on the river's edge brought some much needed relief!

We also floated the Kettle River. Having lived on the river when we lived there, it was a MUST DO! The Kettle is a fabulous floating River that is enjoyed by many who travel miles to get to do it. We borrowed our old floats from the people who bought our place and it was like being back in the saddle. Along the way, we enjoyed a pair of Bald Eagles who seemed to follow us down river like they were waiting for us to become their next meal if we should crash and burn on the rapids. Just watching them from our lazy floats was incredible!

We found ourselves back in Spokane to meet up with Mike's cousin, Walt and his lovely wife, Carol, for lunch at the beautiful historical Davenport Hotel. They had been to Alaska to visit their children and were driving back to New Mexico, where they live. Timing is everything!

Buddy Guy was also playing in Spokane the same day at the beautifully renovated Fox Theatre and we were lucky to score tickets via friends who had bought tickets but couldn't make it. It also gave us a chance to meet up with my friends, Wendy & Brigette. The concert was incredible! Extremely enjoyable plus he brought along his 16 year old protege, Quinn Sullivan .  Highly recommend going to hear them, if you have a chance.

Mike even found a bit of time to play with metal and welding tools, something he really misses!! So 3 more good friends are now proud owners of Mike's bottle opener invention that works like a charm!

And, our trip is never complete without at least one day in BC, Canada. Our plan had been to picnic and canoe at Mary Green Park but after our picnic and a nice canoe around the lake by Mike & Lesley, the heavens opened up and forced us on to Plan B.

Plan B meant an excellent afternoon and evening in Nelson, BC. We had a leisure coffee at Cafe Oso Negro while the rains came down. Once it let up, we strolled through town and the many wonderful artisan shops and enjoying the flowers and statues up and down Baker Street. This was the one day the temps dipped drastically and I was forced to wear a jacket to keep my thin blood warm. We headed home after another good meal at Max & Irma's.

We have found that we almost recreate a similar visit each year now. We try to cram in all of our favorite things to do and see in our two short weeks. 

So, as has become a ritual, after saying goodbye to all of our friends in the north, we spend a night with our friends, Randy & Donna, who live on the Pend Oreille River. A truly enjoyable evening on their party boat on the river and a wonderful home cooked meal before settling in for the night.

Having no set plan except to be in Spokane by 6pm, we took a drive up to Priest Lake, ID, as we hadn't been there for almost 15 years. So glad we did! A beautiful place!

 Our evening was spent in Spokane having dinner and drinks with friends, Jeannette, Vicki & Cece, at the Elk Public House in Brown's Addition, a favorite of ours.

On our final day before heading to the airport to start our journey south to PV, we spent some time in the new portion of River Front Park down by the Old Power House with our grandson, Dallas who's 6, and Travis and Ara, Mike's son and daughter. A nice lunch to end our time.

Because of flight cancellations, we had to fly to Phoenix and spend the night before flying on home to PV. We arrived Friday afternoon in time to enjoy a get together with friends and sunset. A truly enjoyable 6 weeks away. However, there's no place like HOME. Especially, when its Puerto Vallarta!

Hope I didn't bore you with too many family and friend stories. I'll be posting the July Budget, of course. Sticker shock is always a factor when heading back to the states. Thank goodness we have family and friends willing to give us a bed to rest in and share food on their table. Thank You all!!!