Friday, August 29, 2008

How we spent our anniversary day.

Harv and I celebrated our 37th anniversary yesterday. The years have flown by and although our marriage, like most, has had its ups and downs, I've never once wished to be anywhere else than with Harv. He's funny, kind, incredibly generous, hard working and faithful; he has a strong sense of responsibilty and an unshakeable trust in God. Plus he's a great husband, father and Grandpa and is my best friend.

How did we spend this momentous day? We got up early in the morning and drove to Seattle to our oldest son's place to pick up a car.

2 weeks ago while on our motorcycle trip, we had stopped in a tiny Oregon town for breakfast when Harv spied a grassy lot filled with old cars. Being Harv, he had to go and take a look. When he finally came to join us, he'd bought one of those old cars. It is a 1947 Frazer - something he had only ever seen in a book. Because it was so unique and the price was right, he decided to buy it. He put a downpayment on it and arranged to come back and pick it up the following week.

We did that last week (more on that trip in a later post) however, the car needed to stay in the States for another 72 hours while customs processed the paperwork. So yesterday we picked it up and brought it home. Harv is hugely proud of it - it's in great shape - almost no rust and even the upholstery isn't in too bad a shape. It could be a fun car to drive around in - it was touted as having the most roomy interior at that time. Or he may turn around and sell it again. Only time will tell.

So yesterday we went to bring it home and at the same time got the bonus of seeing our kids and grandkids for an hour or two. Dulci is very near her due date so we will probably be making another trip down there soon!

When we got back home, I got busy making a special dinner for the two of us. I set the dining room table with candles, crystal and fine china, turned down the lights and put soft music on.
We had a great meal: appetizers, Greek Salad, Carmelized onion and Potato flan, Saute'ed red cabbage and apples and Harv put a couple of tenderloin on the BBQ. With a bottle of red wine and Creme Caramel for dessert it beat a restaurant meal and it was a wonderful evening with just the two of us.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"On the Road Again"

Like the old Willie Nelson song - we were "On the Road Again" for 9 days beginning August 10th.

For about 8 years now, it's been an annual thing for us and our friends, Don and Bev from Vernon - to do a motorcycle trip each summer. Don starts planning the trip in January and makes all the arrangements and we get to just go along and enjoy the ride. We've been as many as 6 couples and as few as 2. We've done Waterton Park(AB) and Glacier Park (MO), Long Beach (WA), the Cascade Loop (WA), Whistler to Vancouver via Mt. Washington and Vancouver Island, Big Mountain (MO), and Yellowstone (MO and ID).
This year we were just 2 couple and our planned route took us down the west coast of Oregon and California to San Francisco, across to the Napa Valley where it was so hot (mid 40 dgrees Celsius) that we decided to scrap our plans to continue north on Hwy 97 and headed back to the cool weather of the coast. Once in Oregon, we turned east again to Redmond, and the 97 and then went on to Leavenworth, WA.

What a great trip! Don and Bev are great friends to travel with - easy going and always willing to wait while we stop to take pictures. (grin) We stopped for a few moments in Seattle to see our kids and then took the I-5 right down to Eugene Oregon. That is something Don won't plan on again!! I think he didn't believe us that the traffic would be that bad! From Eugene we went west to the coast along a beautiful road that wound along a wide river. We traveled down the coast to the California border where we took Hwy 101 and then Hwy 1 - roads you do not want to do if you have a weak stomach. There are so many hills and curves and sharp switchbacks that Harv said he could see his own licence plate as he navigated the turns.

Hwy 1 takes you along the amazing California coast with its fabulous views of rocks and cliffs and the ever compelling Pacific Ocean. Often there were towering rock faces on one side of the road and sheer 400 foot drops to the ocean on the other. The road winds around countless coves and bays with wide beaches and everywhere huge majestic rocks guardedthe coastline.

Every so often the road veers inland and winds through the awe-inspiring Redwood forests. Driving along the Prairie Creek Scenic Byway and down the Avenue of the Giants was like being in a huge Cathedral. The silence, the beauty of the age-old Redwood trees reaching to the sky, the light filtering through their dense foliage in striking rays was incredible. We had to arch our backs to try to follow their straight trunks up to the tree tops and were unable to stretch our arms wide enough to measure their girth. All we could do was worship our Great God who created these incredible giants.

We stopped along the way to eat fresh crab and shrimp, spend the night within sight and sound of the ocean and to do some of the touristy things.
We watched the dune buggies and ATV's on Oregon's expansive sand dunes,

we took turns riding our motorcycles through the big Redwood tree, and stopped often at view points and beaches to take pictures. In fact, I had my camera around my neck on the motorcycle and snapped picture after picture as Harv maneuvered the hairpin turns.

We stayed 2 nights in San Francisco and, as Bev hadn't been there before, we hit all the tourist highlights.

We rode the cable cars, ate freshly caught crab at Fisherman's Wharf and wandered the shops at Pier 39.
We ate fabulous meals making sure to initiate Don and Bev to that great California institution - "In and Out" Hamburgers.
We stayed in wonderful hotels (Best Western's Hotel California and the Tuscan Inn) and walked down the "Crooked Street".

A high point was the morning spent touring the city in little yellow "Go Cars".
These were tiny 3 -wheeled gas powered cars equipped with a GPS that guided you through the city (ie: "Turn right at the stop sign. The houses you see on your left are known as the "Painted Ladies" and are the most photographed in all of San Francisco....., turn left at the next light...")
It was great fun and we saw sights we'd have missed
had we tried to tour the city on our own.

We rode across the Golden Gate bridge twice - the only way to enter and exit the "City by the Bay".

Leaving San Francisco, we headed toward Vallejo and the Napa Valley. Within 10 minutes of traveling east it turned hot - and was it HOT!! By the time we got to our hotel in Callistoga we were exhausted by the unrelenting heat. Even in the shade, the temperature was well over 100 - reaching 112 degrees F. at one point. We found a hotel with a pool and even then it took several hours to cool down. The next morning we changed our plans and instead of heading north on the 97 we headed back to the coast and the cool weather. It was a relief to put on our leathers again and ride through the marine fog along the 101. It's amazing how the temperature changes so drastically within a few miles of the coast.

Our journey's last leg took us back inland to Redmond Oregon (hot again!) and up the 97 through prairie and rolling hills to Leavenworth, WA- Once again it got REALLY HOT! Once in town, we stripped down to shorts, tank tops and sandals and took refuge in air-conditioned shops. We had dinner in an air-conditioned restaurant and then returned to our bikes. It was time to say our good byes and head our separate ways towards home. Don and Bev headed north to Vernon - unfortunately through another 5 hours of unrelenting heat while Harv and I were more fortunate as our route home led us into the high Cascade mountains and cooler temperatures.
It was a wonderful trip - we saw such a variety of landscapes and seascapes, we passed through tree studded mountains and past wide open fields of grain. We inhaled the fresh air and, sometimes, the not so fresh air :). We experienced the changes in temperature as we traveled from the coast inland and back again. Everywhere we met wonderful and unique people and we got to do it in the company of good friends. What a gift to be able to travel in this way!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back to Vidette

Our kids from Saskatchewan asked us to join them and some friends at our favourite fishing lake near Cache Creek. We'll never turn down a chance to see our grandboys - and their mom and dad of course! So we packed up the camper and away we went.

We went fishing - our daughter caught the biggest fish- went canoeing and 4x4ing. We made our regular visit to see Deadman Falls where we saw alot less water going over it when we were there in May. We saw gorgeous wildflowers, some adorable baby grouse and lots of deer. The guys set up a zipline for the children, my DH got soaked in the heavy hail/rainstorm that came by while he was out fishing and I had lots of time to read. One of the moms set up scavenger hunt for the children and the guys hauled some logs out of the bush and sawed and chopped up a storm to replenish the wood pile. (My husband's cousin owns the property and lets us use it free of charge whenever we like so we like to do a little to show our appreciation.)

We feasted on pork tenderloin and a sackful of fresh Chilliwack corn and went swimming on Sunday and Monday when the weather turned hot. I was so proud of my brave grandboys as they jumped into the cold lake and paddled fearlessly and with great excitement.

The weekend flew past and suddenly we were giving "Goodbye, I love you" hugs to our kids and grandboys.

Now we have 3 days at home and then Harv and I are off again - this time for a 10 day motorcycle trip with friends to Northern California. I hope we will still have some warm summer days when we get back. I'm not ready to say goodbye to summer yet!