Thursday, August 30, 2007

Touring the Northwest - Seattle

The second hop of our trip was to Seattle. We drove up from Portland and immediately dropped the rental car off. Everything about Seattle seemed to be about the water and the harbor, so we stayed at the Inn at the Market, which is just above the Pike's Place market.

This is a view of the Seattle harbor and downtown, looking where we were staying.

In addition to a nice room, the hotel had a wonderful rooftop garden. There were tables and lounge chairs and a wonderful view of the sunset.

We knew the market had a lot of fresh seafood. You may have heard of them tossing the fish in to load the displays every morning. What astounded us more was the flower stands. Big, colorful bouquets were only $10 or $15. The flowers were so fresh. If you lived near by, it would be almost impossible not to go buy some at least once a week.

Every city has done one of the "decorate a relevant animal and auction them". Seattle had done pigs and was getting ready for the auction. There were pigs all over the downtown area.

There was a sand art demonstration going on. Most of what they were doing was big and involved. My favorite was the little Miss Piggy they had apparently done before starting the "real" work.

The only travel glitch in the trip came by phone call when we were in Portland. We got notice that the ferry we were taking from Seattle to San Juan Island was having mechanical trouble and was canceled. Our replacement was a small charter flight from Boeing airport to San Juan. It was very smooth and comfortable, although it was the smallest plane Julie had ever flown in. She was a bit nervous, but enjoyed the trip. One advantage to having our own little plane was that the pilot could fly us a lot lower. Most of the trip was at about 1300 feet, which lets you see lots of sights you could never see in a normal commercial flight. It all worked out well.

On to San Juan Island.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Touring the Northwest - Portland

Julie and I went for an eight day trip to the lovely Northwest. We hit Portland, Seattle, and San Juan Island.

The first few days weren't really to Portland, but to Hillsboro, OR, which is about 20 miles outside of Portland. We were visiting Julie's sister and her family. Sue and Marty are busy raising three girls, which are getting older at an incredible rate. I know I am not getting older that quickly.

Here are Jackie, Laura and Kelly, left-to-right, from youngest to oldest.

One of our trips was to Portland's Japanese garden. Very pretty!

One of the biggest changes going on in the Smale household is Kelly reaching 16. She is in driver's ed and she drove us around on most of our trips. Here is a picture of her working on some class extra credit: changing a tire.

After mastering most of the tire changing, she figured out how things are really done. This is her looking cute, getting her dad to put the tire back on. Women learn at such an early age.

Our visit with the Smale's was a blast. Card playing. Beer drinking. Hanging with the nieces. Nice to get in a visit before they head back to school next week.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More house

Things are rocking over at the house. In addition to starting the stain and paint upstairs, other subs have been quite busy. Hard to see on this picture (easier if you double-click on it), but they are starting the rock walls for landscaping out front. There is one running along the sideway and then a few decorative curvy ones up one the hillside.

Our two big, shiny chimney caps are on. Too bad the copper will darken over time. It sparkles right now.

All the backsplash tile is going in. This is the bar area.

A lot of the showerheads and faucets are now in. Notice that the light is on!!! All of the downstairs can lights and some of the decorative ones are installed and have power. It is fun to actually see some of the darker rooms.

... and yes, we even have some toilets installed.

Now we just wait for our return from vacation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


We had a pretty big lightning storm yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, it was still pretty bright out, so I couldn't leave my camera "open" too long. I kept missing the lightning. Finally I used my camera's ability to snap a picture every x seconds. During one snap, I happened to catch a bolt.

Sometime I will spend more time on lightning photography.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Cranking on the house

Things are moving along quickly. The big change is the painting downstairs. Almost everything is done so they are now starting things like tile and electrical.

This is a little field of recently painted trim for all the ceiling can lights.

These are all the similarly painted speaker covers. This is downstairs in the family room with our fireplace and entertainment center.

Rooms are coming together. We now have paint, cabinets, and granite. Next comes the tile backsplash, plumbing fixtures and the lights. These all go pretty quickly.

Hard to tell from the pictures, but they did a great job on all the trim. It is stained a dark mahogany.

This is in the master closet. The cabinets look great, but now it is time to start masking everything for painting next week.

Still kind of messy out on the deck, but they finished the stone fireplace. In Park City, you are only allowed one wood burning fireplace. This is ours.

Still shooting for the end of September!