More SF… and More!

Week 9 of 52

Aloha all:

We’re baaaaaacckkkkk…. Yes, we know you just heard from us a few days ago, but it is Sunday so it’s time for another update. We just finished Week 9 of our year-long adventure and it was another action-packed week.

Max and Rod

Max, S, Rod

There are always too many people to see when we go back to San Francisco. We never get them all in and this trip was no exception. But Sharene did get to see a couple she hadn’t seen in many years and it was such a treat to spend some time with them at their amazing Victorian, built in the 1880s. Max and Rod have been together for over 47 years and bought this house together in 1964! Max and Rod treated Sharene (and a few friends) to a fantastic dinner at a small but elegant Chinese restaurant on Hayes called ABACUS… we highly recommend it.

One of the reasons Sharene got to hang out with these two very cool guys, was that they had two very cool women staying in their very cool studio. The two women were Maxine and Maya, friends of ours from Switzerland who were kind enough to schedule their holiday at the same time as Cathy’s birthday week! Sharene played tour guide with Maxine and Maya—it wasn’t hard to impress them since the sun was shining and SF looked liked the world-class city it is.

Maxine and Maya

Maxine and Maya

They started out at Twin Peaks, then hit the SF Museum of Modern Art, the Embarcadero, the Golden Gate Bridge and Park (of course!), Ocean Beach, and a place not to be missed on anyone’s visit and the highlight of Maya’s stay… the Sports Basement! (The old commissary at the Presidio has been turned into a sort of Costco for all clothes related to sports.) Who knew? So Maxine and Sharene went and had coffee while Maya was amazed at the difference in prices between SF and Switzerland for shoes and running ‘costumes’ as she calls them.

SF is known for its great restaurants, but Maxine is a European Julia Child and had an urge to cook dinner on her last night… so off to Whole Foods in the Haight we went and then on to Cathy’s flat in Cole Valley where Maxine managed to have deep, meaningful conversations with Cathy and Sharene while she cooked up a delicious creamy cheese and pasta dish. We offered to take her out, but she was right, it was more fun hanging out and cooking a meal together; when we look back on our European visits, those times were the most fun for us as well.

Harrison was happy to have Sharene come back last Wednesday, but then he flew to Spokane on Friday to attend the Sweet Adelines Pacific Northwest Competition. This is the women’s version of Barbershop Quartet; he wasn’t disappointed watching these amazing women perform. It was sort of like attending American Idol for the Barbershop Quartet genre. And the winner was his favorite: FRENZY. No website but they do have a Frenzy Quartet FaceBook Page for anyone interested.

We ended the week by going to Sammamish (a picturesque suburb east of Seattle) and having dinner at the home of Jeanne, a friend and former client. Jeanne owns a beautiful Maui condo at Kihei Akahi, just four doors down from ours. She loves to cook and has fed us on many occasions on Maui. This time, we got to see the fabulous Northwest home she shares with partner George (whom we have heard about for years and years) and their cat Handsome Hanson.

Jeanne and George

George and Jeanne

Their house and garden (which they designed and built) overlooks Lake Sammamish. After some maitais by the fire (a new trend in the Pacific NW?) we sat down to a beautiful dinner topped off with fresh, homemade blackberry pie. Between her home, her cooking, and her seamless entertaining skills, she’s a tough act to follow, that’s for sure.

Fun we had, but by 10:30 we said our aloha goodbyes and headed back to West Seattle. Sammamish seems a long way away, but we were home in 30 minutes! Without traffic, this area is a dream.

The skies are a little gray today, but there are lots of walkers and runners out along the Alki Avenue promenade in front of the condo; it’s great to see them. Yesterday, we watched a group of 50 or so walkers go by with their dogs all wearing scarves with red dots, and a sign asking for donations to help the pets who have suffered in the tsunami.

So as we end Week 9, we are once again thankful for all we have and for the dear friends we are having the opportunity to spend time and laugh with. In another three weeks we will have left Seattle so we have lots to do between now and then.

Have a great week and we’ll check in on Sunday April 10!

A hui hou,
Sharene & Harrison

San Francisco Surprise

Week 8 of 52

Aloha all…

Some of you (very astute) friends out there will notice today is Thursday, not Sunday, and that we missed our regular Sunday programming this past week. Well, I was in San Francisco having way too much fun this past weekend and just got back to Seattle last night, while Harrison stayed here in the Northwest visiting some (more) of his old friends and seeing some fun musical events.

We started out the week by having lunch in Tacoma with three beautiful young ladies: Laurel and Brianne, the daughters of our dear friends Rick and Maggie, and Brianne’s daughter Kate. We had a great time catching up; Laurel is an occupational therapist, Brianne is a lawyer specializing in estate law, and Kate is just cute and soooo well-behaved! We did feel a tad old since Harrison has known Laurel and Brianne since they were Kate’s age!

Most of you know that I have three best friends with whom I travel each year; two are in San Francisco, one in New York. Each year we save and plan for one special trip; however this year Ann from NY and Kate from SF and I planned a surprise for our friend Cathy (also from SF) for her birthday. (We’re calling it her 59+ birthday!) Kate told her she was taking her away for the weekend, but much to her shock, Ann and I showed up at the hotel in Napa! Yes, that IS a tiara she’s wearing; it says BIRTHDAY PRINCESS on it and that photo was taken just moments after we walked in the door.

Cathy's Surprise

Cathy’s 59+ Surprise

The surprise weekend continued with a spa day at one of the fancy wine country resorts, lots of laughs, and for you cribbage fans, a few amazing hands of cribbage. Ann got three 5’s and a 10 dealt to her, with a five as the upcard!!! We had to call the cribbage masters in Hawaii to help us count it! It was the second highest hand you can get in cribbage and a hand we had never seen before… and may not again! Below are photos of us before our massages… and then dressed up to go to dinner, which came complete with a Sommelier (a wine steward) which was a bit lost on us. We would have been happy with a simple bottle of wine; he could have skipped the acidity, bouquet, and if it was musty or oaky… but the guy was cute.

The celebration didn’t stop after we got back to San Francisco. Kate put on an amazing dinner party for Cathy and invited all of her interesting women friends… to say that Cathy (all of us, really) felt special was an understatement. It was fun for me on another level: Cathy lives in my old flat near the Haight-Ashbury area of the city. I rented it for about four years when Harrison and I were dating; when we got married in 1991, Cathy moved in. So for me, it’s like ‘going home’ when I stay there. Brings back lots of fun memories….

Harrison stayed busy while I was off having fun with The Girls. In our continuing effort to bring the film Taylor Camp to a wider audience, he showed the DVD to friend and Seattle film critic/writer/journalist Steve Reeder, who had some useful comments. Harrison also went to a Tacoma Symphony concert with Rick and Maggie and saw Deborah Henson-Conant, the Hip Harpist. Check out these YouTube videos to see a harp played as you probably have not seen it played before. (If there is such a thing as a Blues Harpist channeling Jimi Hendrix… she’s it!)

We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming this Sunday as we are officially now in Week 9 of 52 and our time in Seattle will come to a close pretty soon, but not before we have a very busy and fun few more weeks ahead. We continue to be in awe of how many people ask to receive our weekly update; as one friend told me this past weekend, “there is so much bad news out there, it’s fun to hear that someone is really living their dream….”

This coming Sunday you’ll hear about meeting up with Swiss friends, seeing some old friends who live in an amazing Victorian, and we’ll throw in a Barbershop quartet just to keep things interesting…!

Until then,
A hui hou!

Sharene (and Harrison)

Portland and Ashland

Week 7 of 52

Aloha all!!!

Wow, what a week! I didn’t think you could go ‘on vacation’ when you’re retired, but that’s exactly what we did! We just got back to Seattle a few hours ago after a magical week with friends in Portland and Ashland.

Many of you know Margie Boulé, or at least know OF her. She’s quite the celebrity in Portland having been the host of a morning TV talk show there for years and the most popular columnist for the Oregonian (before they slashed staff and she was part of the fallout of that sad situation). She also has many theater performances and singing and emcee credits on her resume. We had so much fun being with her; she’s a wonderful storyteller and knows so much about so many things (and you never know when she might just break into a song; it’s like being in a musical!). Harrison has known her since his days at KING radio in the ’70s.

Margie welcomed us into her and her wonderful husband Dave’s amazingly beautiful home in the West Hills of Oregon (he’s working near Seattle these days so we missed him in Portland but got to see him right before we left Seattle). Margie immediately took us on a driving tour of her beloved city; she is quite the ambassador of this exceedingly charming city and before long, we fell in love with it as well. After spending several days there, we decided if we should move to Portland, the area to be is within walking distance of NW 23rd Avenue. (Think Union Street in SF and you’ll have a good visual.)

That first night we ate at Portland’s oldest restaurant, Huber’s (started over 130 years ago!). Wonderful atmosphere; very rich paneled woods and booths and hearty, good food. BUT! If you have an extra minute (actually one minute, 20 seconds) watch this video of them making these killer Spanish coffees (OMG, were they great!!!). It’s a great drink AND floor show!

Boule Dinner

Harrison, Margie, Pete, Jan

Margie is one of these multi-talented people and is also a gourmet cook (and check out her gorgeous tableware and linens…). The next night she had a dinner party and we got to see her brother Pete, his wife Jan, and her good friend Randall (not pictured but he’s a Shakespeare scholar and lots of fun!). A wonderful feast and good friends; life doesn’t get any better than that.

We spent a half a day at PAM (the Portland Art Museum) and were blown away by the number of exhibits and the diversity of the art. Incredible. Then we went to a movie at a place called the Living Room; you walk in, order your lunch and they bring it to you in your cushy, chic seats complete with trays so you can have your meal (with wine if you want!) while you watch the movie. So civilized, these people!

Harrison with DivaThe last night we were there, Margie designed a progressive dinner for us. Since Portland is known as a ‘foodie’ town, she decided to show us some quintessential places (in hopes to ‘seal the deal’ in having us decide on Portland over Seattle after our year of travel is over). We started out with an appetizer at Pok Pok (most restaurants are very, very small, 4-12 tables, and chef/owner run)… after very tasty Asian chicken wings there, we headed over to Navarre which specializes in small plates so we sampled several and left nary a crumb nor drop of wine… then, we headed to our favorite street—yep, NW 23rd—to Papa Haydn for amazing desserts… after which we waddled home and went to bed!

Does it seem to you like we ATE our way through Portland??????

We got to spend a little time Friday morning with Dave, and got this photo with their very smart dog DIVA who knows 45 tricks including singing and shutting the kitchen cupboard doors….

With Nancy and JimAfter our goodbyes, we headed down to Ashland. It took us 6 hours; this was the longest road trip we had ever taken in our Honda Element (hey, we lived on an island!). We spent the evening and had dinner at the home of our dear friends Jim and Nancy… more HK friends from his KING days, but Harrison was also in business with them after he left Stanford and we have a Hawaii connection with them as well because Nancy was raised on Kauai and she and Jim still have interests there, so we had lots of fun catching up with them. (Note the shaka sign!!!)

Saturday was a FULL day. First we all took a nice walk to the very charming downtown in Ashland and had a hearty late breakfast. Then, walking to the theater, the most beautiful, light dusting of snow started falling… just magical. We saw the most fantastic Shakespeare play (which Ashland is known for in case you weren’t aware; this is the place to go see the Bard in the USA). We saw a contemporary version of Measure for Measure… absolutely one of the best live theater performances I have ever seen. If you have any opportunity for a weekend getaway and get to Ashland, we highly recommend it; it will probably be there through the summer. We stayed at (can you believe it?) The Palm Cottages; yes, it was a done up in a Hawaiian motif and very sweet, so now if you go, you have a place to stay too!

Pahoa ScrambleBut Hawaiiana didn’t stop there. On our (very long) drive back to Seattle, we pulled off I-5 in Vancouver, Washington, just to check out the downtown area. It was Sunday and dead, dead, dead. But we pulled over to a cafe that looked open, went in, and found not only a restaurant decorated in surfboards, shaka signs, and all things Hawaiian, but check out the menu… yes, you’re reading it right, one of the breakfast selections is a PAHOA SCRAMBLE!!!!! So of course, we had to eat there. Who knew our little Pahoa town would show up on our trip!

So, we’re back from our great trip south. Mahalo to all our dear friends who made it so special; it was so much fun to see you. Our Week 7 was wonderful and we have another busy week coming up. We know how lucky we are to be embarking on such a wonderful adventure, so thank you for letting us share it with you. We try to remember to be grateful each and every day for this amazing opportunity and fantastic friends and experiences.

So with that, on to Spring! It’s here!

A HUI HOU!!!!!

Sharene (and Harrison)

A Busy Week

Week 6 of 52

Well, it was an interesting and busy week, on the international front as well as Week 6 of our year-long adventure.

We were concerned about our former partner, Steve (we call him Suma), and his wife Iku, who live in Japan, so as soon as we heard about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan (about 4:30 am PST) we sent them off an email. Suma wrote back that stuff was crashing  all around them; things flew off the walls and dressers, etc. Thankfully they live in a new building (not far from Tokyo) and the earthquake building codes are really strong there, but being on the 20th floor is a little disconcerting for them. Even though they are used to earthquakes he said this one just grew and grew, didn’t stop for a long, long time, and there have been constant aftershocks. Now here’s where it gets interesting. A few weeks ago he had been planning a trip to Mexico to see some friends. He went to book it online, the system froze up, and he couldn’t get it booked right then. When he went back later to book it, something told him to hold off and not go. Turns out, he would have left today had he booked it! He doubts he could have gotten out today, but he certainly wouldn’t have wanted to leave his wife with all that’s going on. Something somewhere in the cosmos was working with him.

In 1989, I was working in downtown San Francisco on the 25th floor of a 25-story building for Bank of America, which had a very strict dress code. (Pantsuits for women??? Forget it! We wore business suits and heels, every day.) One day in October, I woke up and boldly decided to wear flats that day, even though it was a fashion disaster for someone who is 5’3″ to wear flats with a suit. I was sorry the moment I walked into the office, and I decided not to commit this faux pas again. But, you guessed it, it was October 17, the day of the Loma Prieta earthquake. I ended running down 25 flights of stairs (no way was I staying in the building… I figured it was MUCH safer out on the street with the bricks, glass and other stuff flying around)! So I walked the four miles to the Haight and my flat in my flats. Karma (shoe karma?) was with me that day too… makes you wonder, doesn’t it.

So, two little earthquake stories from two very lucky people, unlike the thousands who are dealing with this terrible natural disaster. I know how scared I was that night in 1989; I remember feeling all of the aftershocks and feeling so small against such power. Our heart goes out to the good people of Japan (who were most likely more prepared than anyone) in the coming months. We were also surprised to see the damage in Kona; it isn’t covered in the mainstream news much, but if you weren’t aware of the significant damage that happened in Kona, check out this:

There was even a large home that was swept into the sea.

For us this past week, we decided to go out, enjoy Seattle, and see friends whom we had not seen because we were laying so low after we arrived, so we have been social butterflies all of a sudden.

With Rick and MaggieWe had a delightful day with our dearest friends, Rick and Maggie, who came up from Gig Harbor and spent the day with us here in West Seattle. We took a long walk along the promenade and then they treated us to a very special dinner at Salty’s, complete with a drop dead view of the Seattle Skyline. So good to catch up with them; we talked all day and into the night.

Harrison and BJOn Tuesday, we had lunch with BJ; a woman who was a true institution at King Broadcasting—and still is for that matter. (For my WR friends… think Arica.) She started in 1972, and at a very young 82 years she still gives tours of the studios to groups! Check out her photo… we should all be so lucky to look so great at 82. She was a lot of fun to visit.

Dave in BellevueWe also went to Bellevue, spent some time at BAM (the Bellevue Art Museum), and saw a fascinating exhibit of a woman who somehow makes three layers of glass into an amazing resemblance of a photographic piece of art. We then had a wonderful Thai dinner with Dave, a friend from Portland who is now working in Washington; I think he was happy to have company and we were so happy to see him.

Dog Tag RobeWe had so much fun the next day; we went to an opening at SAM (the Seattle Art Museum). They had a very whimsical artist named Nick Cage who did some very colorful costumes. Really over the top. For our Big Island friends, think Ira Ono and his trash show on steroids! My favorite piece, though, was not one by Cage, it was a HUGE cape that literally took up an entire room. The metal cape is made entirely from military dog tags… pretty powerful.

After the museum, we walked down to Pike Place Market to get some dinner. Harrison had found a place but I knew nothing about it, so I just followed him as we made our way through all the interesting shops and stalls of this historic area. We ended up in charming Post Alley with lots of restaurants, shops, flower boxes, a cobblestone walkway… until we came to a nondescript door… we actually walked right past it… then backed up… HK decided this was the place… Well, don’t let the door fool you!!!! You open the pink door to The Pink Door and you are transported to an elegant basement restaurant that makes you feel you are in Paris in the 1930s! Great food, live music… fun night; leave it to Harrison to continually surprise me. Too dark to get a good photo, though.

Steve RWe continued eating with former colleagues and friends of HK’s on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday we went to a New Orleans-style restaurant for lunch with Steve, who has a great voice and an encyclopedic knowledge of classical music and independent films… interesting guy and I had my first (but not last!) beignets (OMG-delicious). Ben and Mary Lou in SeattleBen and his wife Mary Lou fixed us a wonderful dinner at their home on Phinney Ridge Saturday night; we talked and drank wine late into the night. Steve and DebbieOf course it was the night we switched to daylight savings time, so we lost an hour, just in time to get up early Sunday morning to have breakfast with Steve (a different Steve!) and Debbie. Not that we needed another reminder that we weren’t in Hilo anymore, but we had to laugh when we read the description of one of the daily specials:

Early Spring Forager’s Scramble: Foraged and found wild, locally foraged stinging nettles and organic caramelized sweet onions scrambled into three Stiebr Farms free range eggs, and topped with a piece of Pt. Townsend Creamer’s red alder toma style cheese…

Ken’s Pancake House this was not!!!

A busy news week all around. We realize our little outings are not all that exciting, dramatic or even important, but so many friends have asked us to chronicle this year-long journey that I’ll continue doing it each week and in a time of political craziness, wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, and lots and lots of negative crap, maybe we can send some positive energy out there. Our friends and family are important to us, and when large natural disasters do happen, the first thing you think about is the people you know in the affected area, because friends become more and more precious all the time. We just want you all to know we care, even during the quiet times.

We’re off to Portland and Ashland this next week; wishing everyone a safe and disaster-free week.


Marvin Hamlisch and More

Week 5 of 52

Good week for us!!! Feeling healthy again, got out and had a little fun! Seattle still continues to amaze me and we have been blessed with lots of blue skies, gorgeous snow-covered mountain vistas, and the most extraordinary city skyline that I have seen (and I’m quite the snob when it comes to San Francisco and Honolulu).

Saw a wonderful concert this past week with Marvin Hamlisch doing a tribute to Cole Porter; the man is a true entertainer and really connects with his audience. But I have to tell you, when we walked into the concert hall and I looked around at 2500 (almost sold-out) seats in a very new, fancy hall, I said to Harrison, “Hmm, we’re not in Hilo anymore….” This was also validated when we looked in the program at the personal donor list and it STARTED at $5000. And here our wonderful Historic Hilo Palace Theater is so grateful to get $50 donations. So here’s my shameless plug… if you live on the Big Island and you can afford to help support the Palace, please do! It’s such a landmark in Hilo, and having been on the board I saw first hand how HARD everyone works to keep it open. They need any help you can offer!

The concert was fantastic. Mr. Hamlisch was funny, gracious, told Cole Porter stories, and basically mentioned numerous times how thankful he was whenever he saw a young person in the audience. He is passionate about American composers and making sure the youth know about them. I thought that was quite charming. The two singers he had performing were wonderful Broadway-type singers so it was a true treat.

Now that we are well, our social calendar has really filled up this coming week; we’re having a lovely day today with our dear friends Rick and Maggie, and we have lunch or dinner dates pretty much all week. Will take some photos and share them next week. In the meantime, here are a few photos of our beautiful condo that our dear friends, Jim and Donna, own in West Seattle and who have allowed us to stay during our time here. Thank you so much!!!

Until next time, a hui hou!


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.