Monday, June 30, 2014

Ready to Go

All hooked up and getting ready to go. See you later, old worn out knee!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Allergy Card

Since I'm sneezing like crazy and my nose won't stop running I've decided to play the allergy card tomorrow at the hospital. Nope doctor, not a cold. Just allergies. (Now if it shows I have a fever that plan will be shot down.)

I know things always work as they are supposed to, but if the surgery is rescheduled it'll be tough to accept. Guess it just means I'm supposed to hang out with the cat a bit more. 

A clean, just-had-a-bath old cat. Although she's looking more like a little kitten each day. Poor girl. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bound to Happen

After a cruise ship vacation.
Three train trips.
Two taxi rides.
Four hotel shuttles.
Three airplanes.
Two bus rides.
Thirteen light rail trips.
Seven different cities.
Three states.
Two countries.
It was bound to happen.

I came home sick.

Which really shouldn't be such a big deal. Hubby came down with it a few days back and is pretty much recovered. But I've got a bigger issue.

My knee replacement surgery is on Monday.

My symptoms - A stuffy head, sore throat, earache, and chest congestion - are enough for a surgeon to call it off. But as this little vacation has showed me, I need a new knee ASAP.

Sounds like a good excuse to pile Alejandra's salsa on some refried beans. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

New Learnings

On the rails from Seattle to Portland today I learned two new things.

You know those kid movies where scrap metal machines look so ominous with billowing smoke, crushing cars and spitting them out? They really do exist and do look a bit scary.

And you know those houseboats like the one in Sleepless in Seattle? When it's time to move, no need to sell the house and buy a new one. Just hire a tugboat and move the house itself.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Full Day

Hubby's had enough. While at our Seattle hotel he decided to spend the day watching World Cup Soccer and tennis at Wimbledon. Not me. It was time to explore.

First, I took the light rail to Pike Place Market to visit my new love, Ellenos Greek Yogurt. There is a tiny shop on the corner across the street from the market.

I've never had any yogurt like this before. Marionberry Pie Greek Yogurt? Yes, please. Lemon cheesecake Greek Yogurt? Yes, please. I took a small cup of half pie/half lemon down to eat at the park just north of the market.

The park is a good place to people watch. Tourists, drug dealers, prostitutes, police, homeless people, and cross dressers all intermingle to make for an interesting - and eye opening - experience. From the park you can also see the Seattle Great Wheel, one of the biggest Ferris wheels in the United States. Hangs out over the water, even.

I had to do it. Scooter even got to ride along. (Nice to have a ride scooter-accessible.) I kind of went picture crazy. The people on the ground look so tiny!

Next stop, the two-story Target. I've heard about these stores and the way you get the cart from the first floor to the second floor with the escalator but I just didn't get it. Now I do. Escalator for person, cart escalator for cart.

And if that wasn't enough excitement for the day, as I was heading back up to the light rail station I heard a protest of some kind going on. I usually avoid protest groups, and typically Seattle protest groups/causes are usually more edgy than the the crowd I run with. But imagine my surprise when I found the group to be teachers. Protesting what? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation involvement in the public education system. Several people spoke before they marched and chanted their way to the Gates Foundation headquarters. 

Now that's what I call a day! 

Portland tomorrow. (Lisa, hope you have good weather on the menu for us!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

He Rolls His Eyes

Hubby has been rolling his eyes at me lately. A lot.

Much of it has to do with me reading about excursions I want - and will be able - to take in Alaska someday. Float plane sightseeing. Helicopter glacier trek. Dogsledding on a glacier. A trip above the Arctic Circle to see the Arctic Ocean. See the Northern Lights.

It also has to do with this adventure thing I have burning inside me. Every time we watch TV or see something or hear about something usually my first response is, "I want to do that!" Or, "I want to go there!" Hubby is getting tired just hearing about all the places I want to go and things I want to do. His idea of vacation is being plopped in front of the TV watching sports. And my idea(s)? My list gets longer everyday.

How about visiting, in no particular order of priority...
Greenland. Iceland. Norway. Macchu Picchu. Panama Canal. Newfoundland. Nova Scotia. Easter Island. Antarctica. Fiji. Bora Bora. Australia. Scotland. Ireland. Dubai. New Zealand. Switzerland. Greece.

And those are only my top few. No wonder he rolls his eyes!

Part of the allure of traveling is the excitement of learning new things. Like what I found out today at the Anchorage airport. I noticed a very long line of men, 50 or so, with only one woman in the group, waiting to board a plane. The line was straight as could be, something unusual at an airport.Then I noticed this sign. (I waited until everyone was gone to take the picture. Scooter and I would have been a bit out of place in that group!)

So I looked into it more. ConocoPhillips and BP run their own airline, with their own pilots and flight attendants, for their workers who travel between Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the North Slope. How many ConocoPhillips and BP and their contract workers travel on their airplanes in Alaska each month? How about over 20,000?! I never knew, and never would have, if it weren't for my need for travel.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Santa School

Do you know there are a lot of older men, with real round bellies, real white hair, and real white beards? I sure wasn't aware of the number of authentic-looking Santas out there. This trip changed that. Whether on the ship or in port every time I turned around there was Santa. It's been a bit fun. (Although I did challenge a Scooter-Santa to a scooter race and he wouldn't take me up on it.)

Today all the Santas from the Santa school led a sing-a-long for the passengers. Christmas songs, of course. Who knew? Christmas in June in Alaska does exist!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Glacier Bay Day

Glacier Bay Day is always a special one. Although we didn't see any large calvings we did see a few small ones. And although it was rainy and cold I did get some nice pictures while we were there.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mini Adventure

Today Scooter and I roamed the rainy, cold, pretty-much-empty streets of Skagway, Alaska. About as mini an adventure as I can take right now. 

I did stop at the quilt shop and bought the pattern for this colorful quilt. 

And admired a possible new snowman quilt for next Christmas. I didn't get the pattern but figured I can make do without it. 

Tomorrow, Glacier Bay. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014


As much as I promote the suck-the-marrow life I'm feeling quite like the hypocrite.

Yes, I'm in Alaska. Yes, I'm trying my best to choose joy. Yes, I'm keeping myself busy as I wait for my knee replacement. However, the swimming is making the knee worse and I am finding myself more exhausted and in pain as each day goes by. I'm finding it hard to keep up with this adventure. 

The closest thing to an adventure today? Taking a picture in Juneau. That's all I've got. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Best $109 I Ever Spent

It's cold and rainy this trip. 51 degrees cold. Throw in the wind and rain in Ketchikan and brrr.

The pool isn't much better. While I've been swimming anyway, the water is a bit too chilly to spend much time here. 

What makes up for all the cold is how I spent $109. Access to a sauna, three steam rooms, and these. The tiled loungers might not look like much, but they are heated. Really heated. And a great place to fall asleep. Not that I intend to sleep, but every time I lie down it seems to be a side effect of relaxing in a warm place.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

8 days and 7 Nights

We've been on the move for several nights in a row now. Get up early and fly to Portland, spend the night in Portland. Get up early the next morning and take Amtrak to Seattle, spend the night in Seattle. Get up early the next morning and take Amtrak to Vancouver, BC. Our plan was to take the same trip back. 

But a streak of travel good luck always comes our way. So while we're still on the move for the next week we're only unpacking once. Why? Because I found something for $299 per person leaving the day after we arrived in Vancouver.  Who can pass up a cruise to Alaska? Certainly not me, and with the timing being perfect the Universe surely had our backs. 

So off we go to Alaska again. Healthy hubby, torn up knee me, and dependable Scooter. 

And a bunch of these guys. Can you tell what kind of school is in session on this trip?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Challenge

Another day of adventure. Starting in this building

with another trip on the

Pictures of barns and fields. 

Of water and bridges.

Birds and the snacks they open on the railroad tracks.

With all of the pictures being taken from the comfort of my train seat none were really a challenge. 

Enjoying a beautiful day on the Vancouver, BC waterfront? Awesome, but no challenge.

Someday becoming someone who is brave enough and strong enough to paddle board like this gal? A challenge, but a future challenge.

A more immediate challenge is one faced in our hotel room. A lovely, old historical hotel in Vancouver in an amazing location. I've asked about switching rooms to a better set-up but had no luck. For a person on the verge of knee replacement and the inability to bend her knees, here's my predicament. If you notice, there is only one six inch tile between the toilet and the counter and cabinet. Not sure how this one is going to turn out. A huge challenge.