Flying High


Rayman at the Portland Art Museum

So, I’m currently cruising at 30,000 feel looking down on Mt. Shasta.  Quite a sight, that lady.  Are mountains men or women?  Montana.  Mont.  Not sure.  However, this mount seems like a lady to me.

A few thoughts have flitted through my mind the last day or so.  We flew to Portland for the holidays.  This is my first Xmas with no one from mom’s side of the family.  With all my relations having “moved on”, as it were, we decided to head north to spend the holiday with our son and cousin, Susie, and her family.  Her international family.  With in-laws from Istanbul and Barcelona, it is a wonderful change up for us.  And the trip did not disappoint.

As always, funny things happen when you are away from home.  The funniest of the bunch was Rayman using his phone app to get us lost.  Now, for regular readers, this is nothing new.  We specialize in losing ourselves.  However, this involved a new twist.  We were walking.  Hoofing it.  In the cold gray air of downtown Portland.  “Turn right”, he said and we dutifully obeyed.  We being myself and Larry, my cousin’s husband.  We were in search of the Portland Art Museum and we had parked our car at a shopping center and we bought tickets to ride the rail across the river and into downtown thereby avoiding high car park prices and the aggravation of finding a place to park the car in the city.   We did that part without a problem because the train knew where it was going.  And a man with more jewelry on his face, than I had on my entire body told us what station to disembark on (bad syntax, but I can only do so much).  The  jewel-faced man was actually quite nice which makes one wonder…why did he decorate himself so?  Maybe he wanted to draw attention away from his very short legs?  One can only speculate.

But I digress.

After we turned right, we were walking up a hill and all I could see was freeway signs.  I inquired, “Are you sure we were suppose to turn right?”, knowing that Rayman is dyslexic and prone to error in certain areas of life.  When we were in the financial services industry, Rayman would often times elicit great gasps from our clients when he would misspeak.  An example.  He would be advising someone with an account balance of, say, $560,000 and he would spurt out, “Well, you have a balance of $560.”  Some would be polite and pretend they did not notice.  Others, choked.  Still others cried out, “$560?”  Oops.  Anyway, we stopped mid-block to check the app on his phone and he said, he was sure we were headed in the right direction.  So we soldiered on.  But I could not see a Museum.  Only signs announcing streets to the motorists below (the road crossed over the freeway).  By this time, even the Rayman was wondering if he was right.  So, another stop in the sidewalk.

As you may have guessed by now, we should have turned left.  So, we turned around and headed back to where we started.  The walk was invigorating especially as I ribbed him (he would describe it as harrassment) as we galloped down the hill.  We were to meet up with the kids and now we were late.

I had to hand it to him.  He has expanded his abilities to get lost.  Or perhaps I just forget that we have been lost on foot before.  In fact, I’m sure we have been lost on foot before but as I age, I have more to forget.

The reason we were looking for the Museum is that an Andy Warhol exhibit was featured and Ali and Bernat (eldest daughter of Susie and Larry and her husband from Barcelona) had invited us to join them to view it.  And then Ryan (number one son) and his girlfriend, Tamara, joined in the fun too.  And we were all meeting there.  What a show.  Here’s some pictures.


Endangered species. Totally awesome and horribly sad at the same time.


And when discussing the exhibit afterwards we discovered we all had our favorite works and they were as divergent as we all were.  Totally fun.



Georgia O’Keefe by Andy Warhol.

We grabbed a bite at the Elephant cafe and then went to see La La Land at the movie house just a short block away.  A very pretty movie with an O’Henry ending, in a way.  Rayman and I could not remember the last time we saw a musical.  But it was fun trying.  Grease?  West Side Story (just kidding).  But we could not remember.

Emerging from the theatre, it was raining and oh, so cold.  We walked briskly to Ryan’s car.  He gave us a lift to our car.  And from there we all congregated at a pizza joint that Susie found in a magazine.  It was raining and cold but warm and inviting in the Firehouse Pizza restaurant.  After a wonderful time with everyone but Kristen and Cenk (Kristen was home with the kids and Cenk was working at Costco).  We missed them sorely.   A good time was had by all in attendance.

And to go back to the beginning, we made it home with a stop off at the Lund’s in San Jose to pick up our car (we Ubered to the airport and back) where we had lunch and were back at the house at dusk.


Our dinner the first night back. Barbecued lamb chops, roasted potatoes and asparagus.

Family Doings


My fabulous pumpkin pie from scratch. Gingersnap crust kicks it up a notch!!



The Columbia River and the Gorge.


Again from the bridge.


The bridge crossing over to Washington state.

So much time has passed since we last chatted.

Here’s a quick synopsis.  We have driven most of the neighborhoods of Portland.  It’s quite a place.

We have family and friends here and have been busy doing all things around the wedding which takes place TODAY!!  How fortunate both the bride and groom are to have found each other.  He from Barcelona.  She from Portland.  Now his family is here from Spain.  Family is here from Chicago, Boston, Alaska. Turkey.  OMG.  Paris.  The list goes on and on.  Such a fabulous international event and this makes it super fun.

Three nights ago, we went to the home of Ali and Bernat, the bride to be and groom to be and had soup and pumpkin carving.  At that point the Turk and the Spaniards were all there.  Language was a problem but not as much as you might imagine.  A good time was had by all.

The next night we went to a pub and had fish and chips and Guiness.  All the family filled two huge tables and one booth too.

Last night the bride and groom hosted a party at a local McMinnimus hotel, Edgewood.  The food, the wine was only surpassed by the attendees.  After eating and drinking and working the room, a treasure hunt transpired.  We were given two sheets of paper that asked us to locate things on the property.  Here’s a link to the place so you can see what a daunting daring task this was.

Click on on sight attractions to view the artwork.  It is fab.

“Located the picture of the woman with the original beehive hairdo.  What is the room across the from the picture.”

“Where is the picture of the rabbit that doesn’t like loud music.”  That sort of thing.

Our team came in last.  However, there were only 3 of us.  Many teams had 5 or 6 members.  We did great considering and it was a hoot racing up and down the halls of this enormous hotel looking for pictures and the color of lightbulbs and all things you might not otherwise notice.  A great ice breaker too.  Not that this un-shy group needed to break ice.

And there you have it.  We are on the way to the wedding.  It has been raining all day but the sun just came out for nice respite.  Rayman is heading out the door with Beau while it’s not raining.

Oh, one other thing.  I went with my cousin and her husband and their real estate agent to look at homes.  Sue, my cousin, fell in love with the second house she saw and plans to make an offer on Monday.  Gee.  That was quick.  But when you know it, you know it.  And Sue is not one to be wishy washy.  She knows her mind.  And it’s on that house.  Beautiful old house built long ago )1930s?  I don’t know but it is quite old and completely up to date.  Congrats to her and Larry.



Ali and Bernat. Also on the left is her sister, Kristen with husband Cenk, their twins, Emre and Ezgi and to the far left is the groom’s mother.

The wedding was yesterday and it was a blast.  People from all over the world.  Bermat, the groom, hales from Barcelona and much of his family came over.  Some spoke english, some didn’t.  Then there was the Turkish family members.  Cenk, the father of Leyla and the twins and husband to Kristen (my cousin’s other daughter) flew in his mom and grandma for the month.  There were young friends from Paris, family from Alaska, Boston, Chicago.  More friends from London and Barcelona.  Just so much fun to meet all these folks and celebrate.  It was a joyous occasion.  All of my cousin’s husband (Larry) family showed up.  His brother from S.F., his sister from Boston.  Very smart people with excellent educations.  I also got to meet Forrest Dunbar who is a cousin one or twice removed on Larry’s side is an assemblyman in Alaska.  Harvard and Yale educated.  He may be headed places.  Fun talking politics with him and his mom and dad (also in Alaska).

My cousin, Marilyn, came.  She is the Mormon.  Got her up dancing!!  It was just a blast.  Dancing to Prince with a Mormon.  Doesn’t get much better than that!!!!

Plan now to avoid the coast going home.  Too much rain and wind for our RV and for us.  We leave on Tuesday.  Depending on weather, we will be back home around the 24th or 25th.  Yippee.  I miss my house.  It’s past time for a reunion!!

Dating at Costco

As we sit here watching the hurricane coverage, I have to say we had a great day today.

Let me recap by starting with yesterday.  The highlight of the day was our visit to Costco in Kennewick, WA.  We went there to buy wine and lamb.  But then I got this idea that we also needed some dates.  Dates are a great way to boost your energy and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.

We could not find the dates.  Could it be that Costco doesn’t stock dates here?  We searched high and we searched low.  No dates.  So, I sauntered up to a young man, well, actually, two young men.  They may have been gay.  Both guys were very good looking.  Not that I noticed.  And so it went something like this:

“Do you have dates?”

“What’s the difference between a date and a prune?”

“Well, a date is a date.”  Pregnant pause.

“That’s funny.”  Dripping in almost sarcasm, but not quite.

“And a prune…”  Pregnant pause.  “Have you ever had a date?”

With a certain amount of blushing, “Well, yes, but no, I guess not.”  Side glance to the other young man.

“Well, you should make sure to have a date.  They have pits.  You take the pit out and stuff it with goat cheese and an almond.  You would really like it.”

At this point the other guy starts talking under his breath to my nice young man.  I ignored it and stood my ground.

“You would really like dates.”  I said this just because I enjoyed the fact that he did not know what in the world to do with me.  Crazy old woman, he might have been thinking.

At this point, Rayman comes up and says one of the employees told him the dates were in the produce section and off he ran toward the produce.  That left me still there with my prey.

I just stood there and waited.  But the pause started feeling awkward so I started in again.  He kept flipping the paper on his clipboard.  “Really, you should eat a date.  You would really like it!!”


The other young man went back to work, helping the cashier by loading up the merchandise the people purchased.

About that time Rayman came back with the dates.  He found the DATES!!

With that, I one more time encouraged the young man to try dates and told him again that I thought he would enjoy them.

When last seen the young man was flipping his papers.  Lord knows what he was thinking.


And so today, we went golfing on a course that was way over our pay grade.  OMG.  It was so hard.  However, we went, we played, we did not conquer.  Had a great time though.   See the water feature off in the distance?  They have lots of water here.

We went out to dinner and it was a hoot.  After looking at Yelp, we decided on Carmine’s Italian restaurante.  We actually just looked for Italian restaurants.  Hungry for something that would go with our Tobin James Fat Boy red wine.



Rayman listening to Perry Como.


Our leftover lasagne.


The place was a bit of a turnoff outside.  An old house.  Then we entered through the front door and Carmine greeted us.  He showed us to the table.  Plastic plates adorned the table with plastic glasses too.  We lifted our eyebrows but decided, what the heck.  The place was a blast.  Carmine haled from New Jersey.  He had been a boxer as a young man.  There were pictures all over the walls.  Him in high school, him in boxer shorts.  Pictures of his wife.  Pictures of the Rat Pack, Pavarotti.  Amazing and fun.  There was not a space on the walls that did not have a personal picture.  And Carmine was very friendly.  He visited us often.  His granddaughter served us our meal.  It was very unique.

While we were eating our lasagne which easily could have served, say, six adults, Carmine ran out the front door and yelled out, “Did you pay your bill?”  We have eaten in lots of restaurants all over the world and have never, ever, ever seen that before.  So Rayman asked him, “Do all of your customers leave without paying?”.  Carmine reported that the customers were from New Jersey and so he always kept an eye on them!!!

He came back with the bill and insisted that we take a loaf of bread with us to eat our leftovers.  Kind and sincere and generous.   Great experience inspite of the oil cloth table cloths and drinking our wine from canning jars.

And those were two of the more interesting things that took place in this part of the world the past two days.

A Hunting We Will Go

Today is Sunday the second day of October, 2016.  Weather report for the Idaho panhandle looked good so we went hunting.

Specifically, we were hunting for moose, bear, elk, deer.  To hunt we headed north to Sandpoint, Idaho.  I was driving.  Before we left I did a bit of research on places to find these wild animals.  The Forest Service had a good looking website that directed me to drive to the nearest Forestry office  which happened to be about 3 miles from our RV spot.  Only it isn’t open on Sunday.  So, from my research, I noticed that there were lots of roads that led into the forest and, by George, I found one.  That’s where we came upon a family of deer.  In someone’s front yard.  I don’t know where the forest begins and ends but there were houses on acreage all along the road we took…until it turned to dirt.  Undaunted, I drove straight away up the dirt road until it started feeling, like, uhm, paramilitary territory.  I base my feelings on no facts whatsoever.

Here’s part to their website.

So I turned around.

We then headed up a road that ran parallel with highway 95 which is more to my liking.  No cars on those roads.  Until we could not go any further.

I was also secretly looking for Mark Fuhrman of O.J. Simpson fame.  It has been reported that he lives in Sandpoint.  Didn’t see him either.

So, as a reminder, we were looking for moose, bear, elk, deer.

What we saw were ceramic owls tastefully displayed on utility poles, a few sheep (real), a bunch of cows (real), one hawk (red tail, we think)real and it was perched on a telephone pole, and some wild turkeys (real).  Heck.  We could have stayed home and seen those.

So, we turned back to Coeur d’Alene and Rayman drove down the western side of the Pend Oreille River/Lake.   And we drove through a few small towns.  Everything was closed.  Sunday?  or the day after Oct. 1?  Who knows.  But things were locked up.  We wanted to get a drink by the lake but we could not find one establishment anywhere.

We did espy a few Lock Her Up signs and a few Trump/Pence signs.  And lots and lots of signs for local election people.   Oh, and lots of American flags…which made me nervous.

But we did not see a moose, a bear, or an elk.  We were very disappointed.

Idaho And the Fall

September 28


Me and my mousse!!

We slipped into Coeur d’Alene today.  What a beautiful place.  Before we started out this a.m on our long trip from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene (17 miles), we stopped into Freedom RV in Liberty Lakes to have them take a look at our RV DirecTV/Winegard satellite problems (couldn’t get it to work).  While we were waiting, we lolligagged around the showroom which had comfy couches and chairs to luxuriate in.  Along came Lord Flautaroy (spelling is not right) in his dungaree suspendered pants.  He had a Fab 4 hairdo from 1963, bangs and all.  And an accent that sounded straight out of the Ozarks even though he and his wife live up the road here.  They go south every winter to a place in AZ I’ve never heard of.  He says it is in a flood plain, where he keeps his other RV there in AZ.  Oh, dear.  What a character.

The RV place fixed our problem and off we went to Idaho.  We are now in an RV park right on the lake.  It is quite lovely.  We like it so much, we have decided to stay here until we have to head back to Portland for the wedding.  Besides this beautiful place, we plan to visit Sandpoint where I will be looking for Nazi sympathizers.  I’ll know them when I see them.  And we want to go further north to Naples, ID.  A friend lives there that we want to visit.  And then there are the 3 muni golf courses in Spokane that we want to play.  So there is plenty to see and do here.   This place has a flouting boardwalk.  Can’t wait to walk on it.  And there are plenty of places to hike.  We plan to take it all in.

So, here I am blogging in bed.  The sheets are clean as I did the laundry today and I discovered a new rule.  If a park has 4 washers, they are always occupied.  If a park has 10 washers, none of them are in use.  And this is a universal truth.

RVing is such a great way to travel.  You meet new people.  Today, we met a couple from New Hampshire.  They are doing the U.S.  Yesterday we met a couple from Texas.  They live in their RV full time.  He was a pilot for the Army and was stationed awhile in Barstow, where my dad used to live.  And this Texan flew out of Ft. Irwin, where my dad worked and I visited more times than I wish to think about.  What a hoot.  They were in a huge diesel pusher (read expensive) and were on the move all the time.  Love the lifestyle and plan to continue their gypsy ways.  I suppose that is really one of the draws.  Meeting people.  Everyone has a story.  Everyone has an opinion.  And because you are all in RVs it’s assumed you have something in common.  Most people have dogs or cats onboard.  Many people have bicycles on the back of their home away from home.

Tomorrow we golf at the famous golf course here.  It has a floating island green which I plan to hit on the first attempt.  It will be memorable.

So wish us luck and come on up to visit.  We’ll be here for a few more days.  I’m sure there are flights.  The weather is great.  Company is better!!

September 29th

Well, we cancelled our golf.  They required us to have a caddie and neither one of us wanted one.  So we booked golf tomorrow at a place near here.  And we drove out to the expensive, world famous golf resort and had lunch overlooking the famous floating green.  Spoiler alert.  No one got on that green the entire time we watched.  Too wicked.



Mystery man and the floating green.

After lunch, we went into the pro shop which had beautiful clothes.  As I was looking, I grew faint and so I ushered myself onto the floor (Ray was in the loo).  I immediately started feeling better but not before the staff came running.  I gave them a fright.  Without a beat, I reported that I grew faint when I looked at the price tag.  That got um going.  So, here’s the good news.  I did not faint.  I did not pass out.  I just got light headed and had the presence of mind to sit myself down on the floor.  Embarrassing, yes.  But, all is well.  My low blood pressure was the culprit, I’m sure.  And I can still type so my brain must be okay!!!

Incidentally, we saved about $245/each plus the tip for the caddie.  And we didn’t lose any balls.  We agreed that if our game was in better form, we might have done it.  But our games are in the toilet and our money is in our wallet.  Tomorrow’s rounds will be $45/pp.  It’s at an Indian Reservation.  We have had lovely rounds of golf at many Indian properties and I’m sure this will continue that trend.

Here’s some info re: this beautiful spot.,_Idaho

We walked around town and we bought Beau a new collar and his sister, Jaycee, a gift.  Everything is on sale and there aren’t a lot of people here as it is the end of the season.  Perfect to my way of thinking.

Missing you all.


Eastern Washington and Windmills

As the sun quickly sets on Spokane, Washington, we are are heading out for dinner.  When we drive and then plan to drive again the next day, that’s what we do.  We eat out.  Quick, easy, no muss, no fuss.

When you are in and out, saving time becomes a priority.  Why gussy the place up when you just have to un-gussy it in the morning for a quick getaway.  And tomorrow, we need a quick getaway because we have an appointment at the Freedom RV storefront in Liberty Lake, Washington.  And why is that, you ask?  Because we cannot get the DVR to see the satellite, or visa versa.  And, lord knows, we want to get DirecTV while we are out roughing it!!  Just because.  I mean, really, people, if you pay all this money to have the niceties of life, then that is what you should have.  And satellites are the way to get it.

So, a quick in and out.

We had such an interesting day today after an interesting day yesterday.  Yesterday we played 18 holes of golf on a golf course that we could actually walk to because it was right next to the RV park.  And it was a lovely course.  It had grass, which is more than I can say about Dairy Creek, our local course at home.  It was inexpensive and it had trees so the golfer could shade up.  Shade is important when walking a golf course.  Even as north as we were in Walla Walla, the sun was intense.  Luckily, most people playing were twosomes so we just zipped along.  It only took about 4 hours to play.  Great day.  I lost but I don’t care.  It was totally enjoyable.

Rayman and trees and grass;

Rayman and trees and grass;

We came back to the RV and barbecued chicken for dinner.  Had a great meal before the big DEBATE.  What an interesting debate it was.  Never in my life did I think that a woman would be this close to the Presidency.  And, by my account, Hillary did what most women do.  In order to be considered plausible a woman must be twice as good.  And she was.  Mission accomplished, Hill.  And that is all I will say about that.

Today, we got up and moved out.  And drove from Walla Walla to Spokane via backroads.  Eastern Washington is mostly rolling hills with no trees.

Miles and miles of this.

Miles and miles of this.

Every field has been planted and the crops have been harvested.  Golden is the color of the hills.  Miles and miles of rolling golden hills with no trees.  However, there are lots of windmills, the giant white type that generate electricity.  On all the hilltops, there are these windmills.  It is a very interesting landscape.  Like the plains, with hills, as Rayman describes it.

White windmills

We passed spots in the road like Starbuck.  Who knew?  And Dayton.  Very cute berg.  But mostly, it was just harvested fields.  A few horses here and there.  Were they wild?  We think so.  But the most impressive sight was the Snake.  It slithered along.  It is such a wide river to be completely awe inspiring.  Remember, my idea of a river growing up was the Salinas River.  Now, I can scoff.  I’ve seen the Snake on the western end.

As we approached Spokane, the treeless landscape became more treed.  Conifers mostly but colorful deciduous trees too.  Spokane, at least on the 90 freeway, looks very industrial.  It was a surprise.  And lots of big churches.  We hear there is a riverwalk but that didn’t happen tonight.  After our gin and tonic, we drove to a place in a strip mall called Hay J’s Bistro and had a fabulous dinner.  Three shellfish risotto.  Yummy.  Rated number one on Trip Advisor for restaurants in Liberty Lake, a suburb just east to downtown Spokane.  Wow.  We were impressed.

Our Washington wine.

Our Washington wine.




Three shellfish risotto

And so tomorrow, we head to the RV dealer and then to Idaho for a few days of golf and perhaps some fishing.  I would love to catch a trout for dinner.

If you rush right up here, I’ll cook you fresh trout with all the trimmings.  Anyone?