February 2011

Another Week in Seattle

Week 4 of 52

Wow, another Sunday sure has come quickly. Four weeks down, 48 to go on our year-long adventure! We are continuing to enjoy this beautiful area; we even got snow this week! A real treat for me since I have rarely seen snow falling. I know a lot people moan and groan, but we’re lucky. We don’t have to drive in it, no commute going on here. Plus it was a dainty snow that just dusted everything so it looked like powdered sugar.

This week we took a wonderful ferry ride to Vashon Island (very rural); made me mad at Linda Lingle again for screwing up the superferry in Hawaii. At least now we have a governor who truly represents the people of Hawaii and who signed same-sex civil unions into law this past week. YEA!

We attended Wintergrass, a 3-day bluegrass festival at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue (well, I went one day, Harrison all three). We were there along with about 2000 other people; wonderful music, amazing musicians and it was fun to see how people just show up with their instruments and have jam sessions anywhere they can find a spot.

Our Honda ElementOur big orange Honda Element with the license plate KAKAHI (means unique) arrived from Hawaii just fine; when we picked it up at the shipping dock we were in good company as there were lots of other Hawaii license plates in the lot. Thanks Matson!

We’re well enough now that we’re going to start seeing some friends, being social again, and doing interesting things. Since we haven’t gone out much, I managed to finished My Life, Bill Clinton’s autobiography. It’s long but very, very good, although it will make you even more disgusted with how extreme right-wing Republicans (not the good fiscally conservative Republicans) have changed politics in the last 25  years. But he is an inspiration. Friday, I started reading a book that was recommended to me and cannot put it down. (Well, I did watch the Oscars tonight….) But if my Kindle had pages I would call it a true page-turner. Looking for a good book, read The Help. Wow.

That’s it for this week. Have a great week, everyone.


Aloha Luigi

Week 3 of 52

Just a quick update before I send out my Sunday fun forwards. We’re on our 3rd week here and still not doing much but hacking away. It finally got so bad (three weeks at this point) that Harrison took me to the doctor last week for some antibiotics… but we are slowly getting out and about. Although Nyquil is still my new best friend and a box of tissues is ever by my side.

I missed it because I was too sick (although I did have a ticket), but Harrison got to see Tommy Emmanuel, a phenom guitarist he has been wanting to see for a long time and who was playing here in Seattle (for the first time in 20 years or something). I just happened to look at his site on Monday and saw that he was going to be here on Thursday. HK had to score some tickets through craigslist, but he got to see this amazing performer. Last night we went to a play at a local theater and I managed to find a seat that was far enough away not to piss anyone off with my constant coughing. Today we went out looking at open houses and areas, one of my favorite pastimes. Gorgeous homes here… I was in heaven. We had a wonderful dinner in a lovely area called Madison Park, right on Lake Washington. So all in all it was a nice weekend.

Luigi Lichtenstein


Walter Steiger


As many of you know, we lost a dear friend in Hilo this past week, Luigi Lichtenstein of Aloha Luigi’s Restaurant on Keawe Street in downtown Hilo. Luigi was a lovely man with strong spiritual convictions and a believer in the afterlife, not to mention a fantastic chef. His death was quite unexpected. If you know him, this coming Wednesday at 3 pm there will be a potluck at his restaurant to honor him; his staff will provide pizza and salad. Just a few days before Luigi died, another dear friend of ours, Walter Steiger (fondly known as the grandfather of astronomy in Hawaii), was killed on his moped. He was in his 80s and a very gentle, intelligent, and influential man. Two very special friends who will be missed.

That’s it from our end, except to say that we are marveling at the beauty of the northwest and the mountains and the views of the sound and the lakes. Tonight we were driving home to West Seattle at dusk and looked across the sound at the skyline of Seattle set against a perfect evening sky and it took my breath away. My camera couldn’t do it justice and I can’t even find a photo on the web to capture its magic. It looked something like the photo below but with all the buildings lit up, and you also got the view of the water in front which was like glass tonight. Simply beautiful. We feel very lucky to be here.

That’s it for now. Until later, stay healthy, be happy in what you do, and A HUI HOU!


Seattle Skyline

Sickness in Seattle

Week 2 of 52

Getting ready to send out some very fun forwards I received this week so thought I would update everyone first. We’re still sick but definitely on the mend. I think we went about three days without leaving the house, surrounded by boxes of Kleenex, cough drops, Nyquil, and lots of tea bags. A friend called and said, “You sound terrible!” And I replied, “Yeah I know, but I look a lot worse!”

But the sun has been shining in Seattle… who said they had gray skies in the winter??? We have wonderful views looking out over Puget Sound to the Olympic Mountains and we are loving this gorgeous condo of our friends Jim & Donna. They are very classy people and it is not only beautiful but also very, very comfortable. We watch lots of walkers and runners going by on this amazing path along the water that must be 10 miles long. I joined a gym on Friday and have gone out for the last three days, stopping and getting a yummy cup of coffee at one of a zillion choices on the way home.

Yesterday, if you can believe this… we went to an RV show!!! Yep, the big Seattle stadium, Qwest Field, had a huge show of RVs. We thought maybe that would be a way for us to travel across the US (one way not to worry about the bed bug infestation!). These things are amazing; I would call them Affordable Housing! In fact, some are more gorgeous than many houses I’ve seen; they are multi-story and some have garages. We decided we really weren’t RV people but it’s a testament that we’re keeping an open mind! We had a fantastic lunch at a wonderful old restaurant near Pioneer Square called F.X. McRory’s… looked like the bar at Cheers. We loved it.

That’s it from us. We’re hoping to get out a bit more this coming week, see some friends, go to some museums. We go to a Bluegrass Festival at the end of the month and we may try to score some tickets to see Eric Clapton, who’s coming to Seattle. So much to do! Take care, everyone. Will try to get some photos in next week… trust me, we have NOT been camera-ready this past week.


Arrived in Seattle

Week 1 of 52

KoloWe arrived in Seattle yesterday morning after a trip from hell and a busy and kind of rough couple of weeks. First, as many of you know, our sweet, sweet 14-year-old cat, Kolo, escaped from her new home after only two days and she hasn’t been found. I tried everything I could to find her including going out twice a day for our last couple of weeks, but no luck. I am heartbroken to say the least. It would be easier if I knew she were dead, but to think of her out somewhere on her own haunts me. Then HK got sick while we were heavy into packing everything up and seeing friends for the last time. Last Sunday we had a going-away party at the home of friends; I was fine but that night lost my voice and over the last week have had a terrible cough, fever, and all around being sick, all during our last push to get out of “Dodge.” (We really apologize if we infected anyone….) Then it took us 24 hours to get here, courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines (who are very good and have the #1 on-time rating for an airline). But we happened to hit not one, but two flights that were seriously late.

Anyway, enough of the yucky stuff! First, thank you so much to all our dear friends who made our parting bittersweet: Jim and Mary, dinner at the Volcano House was more than elegant; Erica and Lance, your generosity in hosting our party was so lovely; Aloha Coast, thanks for one last dinner at Kaleo’s; Rich and Barbara, dinner at your house is always a guaranteed good time; and Karen, I can’t thank you enough for helping me build my memorial garden by the ocean for my departed family members. (Thank you Nick and Dione for letting us do this!)

So here we are now, typing this in a gorgeous condo in West Seattle, with a fire going, looking out at a ferry on the water (lake? sound?… I need to learn where we are) with the snow covered Cascades (?) Olympia Mts (?). We were supposed to arrive in Seattle Friday night, but due to the delays, we didn’t make it until Saturday. Being sick at an airport for 12 hours and then on a red eye flight is NOT fun. So I slept ALL day yesterday, and half of today, and then I finally pulled myself together. I am now unpacked and I even took a walk; this is what I wore:

  • long pants
  • socks and real shoes
  • a tank top, a long sleeve top, a sweatshirt, and a coat with a hood, and a long scarf

But I was warm and it was OK.

After only two days here this is what I miss:

  • the weather (of course…!)
  • apple bananas
  • Luigi’s Caesar salad (we had one at the airport and one last night… NO comparison)
  • thinking that we won’t have a sense of community for a while

After only two days here this is what’s nice:

  • Our friends’ gorgeous condo with the beautiful views… we’ll be here for a couple of months
  • The ability to walk to places (we’re going to have chowder tonight at a restaurant nearby)
  • The first two pages of the Sunday paper were filled with arts, theater, things to do!

That’s it for my update for now. I’ll try to send a brief update along with my Sunday Fun forwards each week. Thanks again for all the aloha from our Hawaii friends.