Monday, February 4, 2019

Interim Update #4,739

We're not traveling, exactly, so I am not blogging, exactly, but I thought I might post something to explain the month+-long absence. We're in Middle California, house-sitting for daughter Rebecca while she and family are enjoying the initial travels of her semester-long sabbatical. Currently, she, Jeremy, and grand-daughter Penelope are in New Zealand, preparing to cross Cook Strait to the North Island. See her blog, They return here at the end of the month. Vicki and I have been living in their house, with Le Sport parked, vacant, in the drive-way. Tomorrow we will take it to an RV shop in Redwood City for de-oxidizing and a new kitchen sink faucet. Major excitement. Maybe you should consider de-oxidizing too.

We have not been idle. First there was moving in and re-arranging a few things. Vicki has been working on photo-albums, and I have been scanning new-found slides and prints as well as 700 pages of travel journal entries from before our retirement. Also preserving and re-formatting the family videos. We also meticulously removed the full-length decals from Le Sport as well as the adhesive; all this to facilitate tomorrow's de-oxidizing. We jointly chose and assembled the pieces of a T-shirt quilt covering most of our lifetimes, a photo of which will appear when it's done and delivered next month. Other excitement has included the fall-out from changing Medicare supplement plans, prescription plans, and PCPs, all in the same month. Sort of a perfect storm of health-care matters. Good thing neither of us was at sea (sick). Further excitement came from changing our pass-word service and strategy. Plus there is also the continuing excitement of going through our things stored here, inventorying, selling or donating or trashing, re-packing, and re-storing for the next time.

We have particularly enjoyed the cable subscriptions, Vicki viewing all known episodes of Outlander, the time-travel "sex and violence down the mine" series, and both of us watching almost all known episodes of Grace and Frankie, Vicki rather more enthralled than I. In addition, I have undertaken a study of screwball comedies and have so far watched Bringing Up Baby, for example, four times. Not nearly enough. My new wireless ear-buds (thanks, girls) have been getting a full test as I work through the recorded works of Cole Porter on my daily walks. Also La Conga Blicoti and the Andrew sisters and such. On one very long walk I listened to the entire Meistersinger. Happy stuff.

We have already begun planning our next travels, which will take us back to Rome at the end of March, through northern Italy, southern France, a Paris apartment in May-June, then some northern France and Belgium (Westfleteren) before crossing over to Britland, if it's still there. We'll finish up in Edinburgh in an apartment for the Festival and Fringe. No plans beyond returning in August to the States. If they're still there. And if we can still get in.

The weather here has been predictably dismal: cool, wet, cloudy, Bay area. See illustration. Okay, not nearly so dismal as other parts of the country.

Oh yes, I've also been brushing up on my meager French on Duolingo...a plus tard!
Rain overwhelming the gutter outside the dining room

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Holiday Fun In DC, 2

We both had projects to work on in DC--Vicki's photo album for Rachel and my incipient photo book on our treks--so we did not get out all that much. Nonetheless...
At the National Portrait Gallery

Part of the old building

At the National Museum of American History...Julia Child's kitchen
Art Deco car

Note innovative approach to child passenger safety

We watched several years' worth (for us) of TV during the
month, Victoria, The Crown, Final Table, Great British
Baking Show, Shetlands; also Game of Thrones and
Handmaid's Tale

Interestingly--some would say depressingly--the Museum's most popular
exhibit is Dorothy's ruby slippers

Another stop was the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, for
its No Spectators exhibition of art from Burning Man

Dome of its Temple creation

Notes and memorials

Among the symbols

Some fairly breath-taking constructions

No, we're not going to become Burners

Den of Iniquity

Flags at half mast for George H. W. Bush

Next time

As we were departing, I noticed the Trump jet parked on the tarmac at National...
for a fast get-away, I presume...

Holiday Fun In DC, 1

In mid-November we flew to DC for a month's stay with daughter Rachel and her husband Will. Will's parents, the Sehestedts, from Missoula, arrived for Thanksgiving, as did their daughter Jordan's in-laws--Jordan also lives in DC, with husband Mike--the Thompson's, from Milwaukee. It was a fun old-fashioned three-family holiday.
With the Sehestedts at a sports bar in Crystal City for the annual Brawl of the
Wild--the University of Montana vs. Montana State University football game;
Vicki and Rachel on the left, Jordan, Kathy, Mike, and Will on the right; alas,
after leading most of the game, UM lost; the table was equally divided between
UM and MSU alums

Myself, Vicki, and Rachel; I was rather more interested in the Ohio State/Maryland over-time nail-biter that Maryland eventually lost on a PAT attempt 

Thanksgiving at Jordan and Mike's; thanks and congrats Jordie!

At a Georgetown basketball game (Will's alma mater)

T-shirt swag cannon; alas, we were out of range

Among other things, Rachel scored tickets to Cirque du Soleil...on ice, no less

Socialite Rachel about to depart for a downtown gala

With life-long friends Harry and Norma Kingsbery, at the Hamilton

And with Vicki's cousin Sandee and her husband Rhett in

Us, there

Holiday Fun In Menlo Park

Mostly with grand-daughter Penelope, of course...
At Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay with Grandma

At the Atherton Halloween pageant...Lady Macbeth costume, made by Grandma

Laura Ingalls Wilder costume, made by Great-Grandma, Lois

Sorting and inventorying the Halloween Haul, with Mama

Fast-forward to December...decorating the Griswold, I mean
Sherouse Family Christmas Tree, in Le Sport

Thus; note Caganers at bottom (click to enlarge); Penelope,
age seven, thought this was particularly hilarious

Visiting Santa at Stanford Mall; perhaps for the last
time now; she asked whether maybe she should
address her letter to "Santa" (quotes intended)--
a young literary mind already on the go

Interim Update #1,693

I haven't blogged in six weeks or so. We haven't been traveling, exactly, rather, spending some time in Menlo Park with daughter Rebecca and family and then a month in DC with daughter Rachel and family. Now we are back in Menlo Park, doing the Christmas holiday thing, and I will do a few blog posts to get up to date. After that there may well be another hiatus as we settle in for house-sitting here while Rebecca, Jeremy, and Penelope are away on Rebecca's sabbatical travels.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Along The Oregon Coast, 3

On October 18th we drove leisurely from Florence to Crescent City, CA, stopping at most every overlook, walking a few beaches, shopping here and there in the little towns we passed through: more dunes, more deco, more great coastal scenery. We savage-camped at the casino in Crescent City. And the next day we repeated pretty much the same thing, hoping for better sun and less fog, driving all the way back to Coos Bay, and then back down, past Crescent City to the casino at Elk Valley, where we did yet another savage-encampment. Despite the fact that some of our savage-camping is done at Native American casinos, savage-camping is more generally what the French call wild- or dry- or free-camping; a charming term, much more interesting, to me anyway. Today's western US casinos, even the less opulent ones, are anything but savage; they are raking in the white man's cash in ever more sophisticated ways...good on 'em.

The next morning, the 20th, we awoke to a text from daughter Rebecca, asking whether we could perhaps arrive in Menlo Park that afternoon, rather than the next day. After a quick calculation, we answered yes, and set forth, staying on US 101 all the way, enjoying the redwood forests, passing right by Trees of Mystery, enjoying rather less the interesting passage through the heart of San Francisco. Tony Bennett's heart, which he left there. We arrived in time for dinner, and grand-daughter P spent the night with us in Le Sport. Our inland and Pacific northwest trip was over. And a great trip it was!


And world-class coastal scenery

Hitchcock moment

"Eternal Father, strong to save/Whose arm hath bound the mighty wave..."

Fog rolling in

Any bit of this coast is stupendous; the best, we thought, was south from Coos Bay,
Gold Beach, Ordway, Battle Rock, and most of all, the incredible Harris Beach
State Campground; we'll be back