Stops Along the Way

After reuniting with Wife’s family in Tapah, Malaysia, we began what has turned out to be an epic journey in less than four weeks.  I hope a timeline helps me make some sense out of this.

Feb 14-16 Petaling Jaya, a suburban district to Kuala Lumpur.  Wife and I met up with her brother, David, and her sister, Vicki, visiting from Sydney.

Feb 17-21 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.  A short side trip before our return flight from Kuala Lumpur.

Feb 23-Mar 1 Malpensa Airport, Milan, Italy. Met up with Daughter and classmate on their way to and from Sofia and Plovdiv, Bulgaria. This must be our favorite airport as we most often post from the airport’s Art exhibits.  We stayed in the city of Ferno which borders on the actual MXP runways allowing us an afternoon walk of plane spotting.

Mar 2-6 San Diego.  We flew into LAX, Los Angeles for a drive down the coast to visit Brother George and wife Gloria.  A chance to celebrate her birthday and his final chemo sessions.

Mar 7 Los Angeles. Travel Inventory Day. Last sunny day.

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Leaving the cloudless skies
Mar 8-11 Seattle. Home (sort of).

Mar 12 Vancouver, Canada. Lucky we planned to relax and recuperate as it was the wettest, cloudiest March on record.  Our apartment was in Metrotown section of Burnaby city, just east of Vancouver.

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The day without rain
Here’s the whole map courtesy of Google in case you are curious.  For simplicity, not all flights are shown.

FebMar2017

 

 

Our Three Month Visit to North America

I originally titled this as our visit to the United States, only later realizing that we went up to Canada so “North America” is more appropriate.  Wish we could have co-ordinated a run down to Todos Santos, BCS, Mexico to catch up with George and Gloria making it a full North American adventure.

We spent an interesting three months, June through August, hanging around Seattle, Washington, meeting up with Daughter between University Semesters, visiting my home town, and relaxing up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Summarizing a trip this long comes down to decisions on what to include, what was unique, what was inspiring.  Looking through our photos poses the dilemma of which ones are favorites.  I love them all for the stories they reflect rather than their artistic merit.

Here are some of the places we were. Although we mainly visited new places, one of the themes was eat and drink our favorites.  As some of the photos show, coffee and mate were big on my list.

Tukwila, Washington – We started in Tukwila, a small city just a walk north of SeaTac airport.  There are a surprising number of parks including a botanical garden, Duwamish river walk, and community center sports parks.

Discovering Tukwila's parks through long walks
Discovering Tukwila’s parks through long walks

Portland, Oregon– This post documents our visit to Portland with a couple of stops in Washington.


Windom and Burnsville, Minnesota – We stopped in Minnesota staying in Burnsville, a suburb south of the Minnesota River. This was convenient to check up with friends and colleagues in Minneapolis and St. Paul that we had not seen for over a year.  While Wife and I visited my home town of Windom, our daughter camped out in the last remaining Big Woods area south of Northfield, Minnesota.

Coffee was a big part of this trip.
Coffee was a big part of this trip. Here at the River City Eatery (https://www.facebook.com/rivercityeatery) in Windom
Daughter camping with friend in the Big Woods
Daughter camping with friend in the Big Woods

Vancouver, British Columbia – We spent a week in the Mt Pleasant district of Vancouver, just south of the downtown area.  We explored our apartment and the vibrant multi-ethnic, multi-cultural community.

Interesting walls of apartments.
Interesting walls of apartments.
View from Mt Pleasant
View from Mt Pleasant
Tomando mate con mi mujer.
Tomando mate con mi mujer.
Interesting books, ordered by color.
Interesting books, ordered by color.
Apartment Cat with her buddy
Apartment Cat with her buddy

Beacon Hill, Seattle, Washington – Our last two weeks were spent here in a district just south of downtown Seattle.  It is walking distance to China town and the international district.  For longer trips, we used our passes on the Soundlink trains and Metro buses. My senior card was definitely worth it. Daughter returned to University.

Sound Link transit
Sound Link transit coming to Beacon Hill Tunnel

Our rootless life continues. New paths and new adventures seem to be more important than new places.

Washington and Oregon State Adventures

Daughter came to visit after six weeks traveling around France and four weeks at FUS. With her in tow, we wandered down to find weird stuff in Portland, stopped at Mount St. Helens on the way back, explored a little of Tacoma, and wandered around our old haunts in Seattle.

Highline Botanical Garden
Highline Botanical Garden
One of our favorite places near our Tukwila apartment is the Highline Botanical Garden. Even right in the flight path for SeaTac airport, it was a nice place to relax and hang out with the jet-lagged daughter.


Powell's Bookstore
Powell’s Bookstore

Mt St Helens Panorama
Mt St Helens Panorama

Mt St Helens
Mt St Helens
We rented a car and drove down to Portland for a day. We wandered around the old city, original Chinatown area, looked for a short line at Voodoo Donuts (none found), and spent an hour at Powell’s Bookstore.

On the way back to Seattle, we detoured off to see what we might see at Mount Saint Helens.  Although clouds hid the very top, the visitor center provided interesting displays of the 1980 volcanic eruption.


Chihuly Bridge of Glass
Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Chihuly Bridge of Glass
Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Statue with nice backpack remembering Union Station
Statue with nice backpack remembering Union Station
Tacoma delighted us with the Museum of Glass neighborhood along the Thea Foss waterway. The US District Court which originally was the Union Station still captures the atmosphere with a bronze life size statue of a waiting passenger.

The fabulous Chihuly glass sculptures are everywhere. Our original introduction to the artist Chihuly was at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. During a drive around the Eastern United States in 2008, we stopped there specifically to see their temporary exhibit on glass making, art, and sculpture.

We spent the afternoon exploring Gig harbor, an old fishing community, just beyond the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.


Seattle Summer

We are in Seattle for a few weeks. I’m sitting here at the Bauhaus Coffee and Books. I was going to say “back in Seattle,” as if this were home base. In a sense it is as we have been here before, and it is comfortable here. On the other hand, our return ticket says Seoul, Korea.

With so many activities available and things to see, this could be a travelogue. I feel more comfortable comparing this to a dull, short documentary film before the main feature. These are jottings from our life here. You, the dear reader, can create your great epic when you visit Seattle.

Here are some of the things we have done both touristy and insider.

Got library cards at the Foster Library in Tukwila. Learned that “Tukwila” derives from the Indian word for hazelnut. I feel I should eat Nutella everyday.

Stopped by the Iconic Seattle Library.


Walked the Des Moines marina during the opening of their Farmers Market for the season. Joined in the Georgetown Festival in South Seattle with some Rock, Punk, and European cabaret music. The power tool races were exciting. These are small racers using power tools, like drills or saws to provide speed. A couple of the vehicles were a cat carrier and a baby buggy filled with Barbie dolls.

  


Wandered around Pike Place Market, International District, and Sculpture Garden.

    
    
  


and had coffee in the Capitol Hill district. Rented a car for the weekend and stopped by the 3.14 (pi/pie) bakery.