Soundview Cottage in Seattle

I'm a wee bit reluctant to let you in on this secret, but if you ever get the chance to stay at Soundview Cottage in Seattle please enjoy and tell Annie that Julie from Central California sent you.

For two lovely evenings after our explorations of Seattle we restored ourselves in this cozy hideaway that had easy access to all of the local attractions yet felt like it was miles away from civilization. Upon arrival on a Sunday evening we were graciously welcomed by the lovely owner of the cottage, Annie Phillips, and we marveled at the view from the deck. In one direction, the sunset:

 And in the opposite direction the moonrise through the pines:

Yes, you see a hot tub, and yes, we did enjoy it both evenings we were there. Very relaxing after a long day of sightseeing, as was the comfy bed with luxurious linens.

One of the sights we saw was the Space Needle at the Seattle Center, and we enjoyed the Chihuly Glass Exhibit.

We also hiked to the Seattle Public Library, rode the monorail, visited Pike Place Market, walked along the waterfront and rode the water taxi from downtown to SW Seattle, so you can imagine how lovely it felt to return to a cozy cottage at the end of that day.
In fact, we cuddled up to enjoy a DVD before slipping into the hot tub to ease our achy bodies.

The next morning we leisurely cooked a spinach and mushroom omelet from the ingredients in the fridge stocked by Annie. She had contacted us in advance of our arrival and asked if we had any dietary restrictions or special requests, because Annie doesn't cook breakfast for her guests like some bed-and-breakfast establishments do. And it turns out we rather liked puttering in the kitchen in our jammies. It made our vacation even more relaxing and comfortable.
We were reluctant to pack up and go, but we had to board our ship shortly after noon for the Alaska cruise. We know we will return to Seattle to explore some more of Washington. And when we do we will contact Soundview Cottage first thing to see if we can stay there again.


Alaska the Beautiful

The experience is bigger than words but I'm working
on a narrative of the journey. These few images carry me immediately back to sounds, sights, smells, and feelings provoked
by Alaska. There is so much more than just what you see here.

The Bigness of Nature overwhelms the senses when one is introduced to Alaska. So much water, so many trees, such steep high mountains,  fresh sweet air, constantly changing weather. Whales.



Finding God's Country

First you must head North.

To the Evergreen Playground.
In the Emerald City you must follow the Red Brick Way
to the top of the hill.

Notice the lovely architectural detail

Do NOT follow the man in kilt.
He will lead you astray. He's going the wrong way.

 Follow the Man With the White Moustache.
He will not lead you astray.
He's going the right way.
Ascend the Yellow Escalator to Heaven.
Further instruction awaits at
the Highest Height (otherwise known as theTenth Floor
Ah, yes. Reading.
So many choices. So little time.
Ooooo, the Historical Atlas of the American West.
I really love a good map, don't you?
(I also love a good nap, but that's a topic for another day.)
Let's take a peek, shall we?

Well, look at that!
We found God's Country.
Traveled all the way to Seattle to discover
that all one needs to do is click one's heels
three times and repeat:
"There's no place like home."
"There's no place like home."
"There's no place like home."

You were expecting maybe scenic photos of
Alaskan wilderness?

Patience, my pretty.
All in good time.


Garden Post Sans Cucumbers

So last night Pete took me to a lovely garden spot where I captured this self-portrait with Mr. Last:

Last night.

In Victoria.

British Columbia.


Pete, charming host and highly entertaining bus driver, delivered me and 100 of my closest Carnival Fun Cruise friends to:

Did I mention we were in CANADA?

Last night!

Tonight we are safely home in the Central Valley of California. Which is a lovely place in its own right.
But is certainly isn't CANADA.

I had to peel off my tights right after we touched down at the local airport this afternoon. It was 100 degrees.

Firefighters were hosing down the smoking side of the freeway as we drove home. True story.

So much to tell about our recent adventures to The North.

Stay tuned.