Starting the Summer

Well it is now May and summer is on the way.   Here in Portland it feels like summer this past weekend but we all know not to expect summer weather, until July 4.  But we can still search for the perfect patio in the sun in the mean time.  We can take long hikes to great places, hang out on a water craft be it a boat, SUP, kayak, inflatable pool toy.

Eagle Creek Hike

Eagle Creek Hike

Patio in Cascade Locks at the Thunder Island Brewing Co

Patio in Cascade Locks at the Thunder Island Brewing Co

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

Wundor Star, our new boat.

Wondering StarAfter we sold Morning Star, our Fuji 35 Ketch, we took off to Spain, Africa and then Paris. Quite the exciting winter. Then upon returning to the US we visited family and Kim took a work assignment to Alaska. I started searching for our next boat. San Diego to Alaska, which included B.C. We thought we bought a Pearson 424, but the engine had issues that could have got expensive. Then, when Kim was finished with the assignment in Alaska, we jumped in the bus and drove/camped our way to, then around the Great Lakes. Having a good time and looking for our next boat. No luck on the boat front. After taking a drive back to Portland going through Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado, we ended up in Tacoma WA to look at a boat. And guess what, it wasn’t there either. But what was there was an ad on Craigslist, for a Down Easter 38 Ketch. It was in a little harbor called Brownsville, near Silverdale WA. Kim and I decided after a nice waterfront lunch, to drive the hour north and take a look. A DE 38, was not the boat I had been wanting at all. But two hours later, after Kim smiled at me and said “This is our boat”, I could not have agreed more. The sellers, Kelly and Linda were an older version of us, which made it much easier of a decision. So, we are getting ready to sail to Port Townsend WA to do a haul-out and replace some of the boat windows (ports) and paint the hull. We will keep you all up to date as our adventure starts aboard our new boat. New to us, it is after all 37 years old.

 

 

Travel days

Well we have been traveling with ease most of our time here in Espana.  I say most of our, time because once we are to our destinacion, we do the fun things, like walking down streets we don’t know, ordering food in a different language, sitting in sunbeams at an outdoor cafe, and relax a bit.  The times we are not so relaxed, (to put it mildly), are the travel days , like going from Madrid to bus estacion, earlier than we are used to, to catch our autobus to get to Granada.  Or leaving Granada by city bus to get to the ALSA bus to Nerja the coastal resort town.  Or schlepping a 20# backpack! up the hill to bus stop to buy the ticket for the next town,  and then hanging out waiting for bus.  Now add waiting in line at the train stacion to buy tickets for next journey to Sevilla, two lines but only one available due to one customer buying multiple tickets for an entire year, taking up all the time literally an hour he was there, while the line grew in size and emotional instability.   I know poor us , you’re thinking, well we try to stay even keeled with each other but inevitably we find ways to blame each other for things like, “there was no toilet paper in the bus estacion bathroom, and I had to use a page out of my journal!” Angry look #532.  “

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Or the favorite, “I thought you heard what they said, or I would have asked to clarify or speak more slowly” angry look # 613.

so when we finally get somewhere we are truly aware of how to relax, because we have been uneasy for the past 1/2 day and ready for dropping our guards and barbs and take in the surrounding fun to be had.  The best things are walking around exploring and hearing the lovely Spanish language, and seeing buildings older than my country of origin.

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Costa del Sol

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So we got to the Mediterranean Sea after a few hour bus ride.  On the walk to the hostel, I got lost.  No big surprise, it seems to be happening a lot lately.  Kim, I think is starting to just plan on us getting upside down at least one daily.  The weather as you can see has changed, and we are getting plenty of sunshine.

My friend, Bob and his wife Kari, flew down from Stockholm and spent three days with us.  The photo is of us at the AirBnB that we rented.  Enjoying a meal that Kari cooked, and as Bob pointed out every ten minutes, he cut up the vegetables.

 

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So the coast was fun, and seeing my old Army buddy was awesome.  Meeting Kari, clinched a visit for us to Sweden, one day soon.  Well we are off to the city of Seville, to eat at all the restaurants that our friends, Daniel and Lindsey recommended from the days when they lived here.  And meet up with our friend and neighbor Becky, from Portland.

 

 

Breakfast Eggs and Spaceships

So this morning Kim was fixing leftovers for her breakfast, and I though ” hum, a good idea”, so I pulled out my leftovers from last night dinner from the frig. As I cooked the eggs, and heated up the black beans and rice from Isabel, (Flanders & NW 10th, Portland) I asked Kim if she thought I could flip the eggs without a spatula. She said “sure, but do it over the sink, Ace!” Ace is Kim’s nick name for me when she knows things are not going to go well. I grab the pan, move over to the sink, start moving, my hand and pan, back and forth. Kim then states, ” Hey, Ace, those are the last two eggs, and Daniel and Lindsay might not have any.” (For the readers who do not know, Daniel and Lindsay are our neighbors in the building we live in. We raid each other’s pantry for items we need. Often, the items are never to be replaced. Needless to say our building is a tight group of people. P.S. check out Daniel Stark Photography, just one of the best photographers on the west coast.) Moving on, I decide that I can not waste my two eggs, and start to look for the damn spatula, (which I misspelled so bad, that the spell check only idea was spaceship) Kim took the pan from me and flipped the eggs. WOW!! All of past years working in the restaurant industry paid off. I always liked it when she was in that line of work, I got free drinks where she worked and our cats got pate’ and salmon for dinner. So I had a great egg and leftover breakfast. Yeah Kim, Isabel and the chickens from Wes & Randy’s backyard that laid the two eggs.

But I am not really writing about breakfast as much as I want to mention last night Happy Hour, which turned into dinner night out, etc.,. So, after contacting the usual suspects about a non-scheduled H.H., we met up at Caps & Corks, (Lovejoy & NW 10th) to have a few drinks. Caps & Corks is great because 1. in our neighborhood 2. beer, wine, cocktails and food 3. staff is always nice 4. you can watch the Portland Streetcar roll past, while having a drink. After a few drinks, we decided to move on to Olympic Provisions, (Thurman & NW 16th) to get a bite to eat. We show up, need a table for three, INSTEAD of allowing us to seat at a four-top, which we asked for, the hostess seats us at a bench facing the window. This seating arrangement is fine for one or two, but not three. We asked to take the other table and were told ” We are saving it in case four people might come in. We decide that her answer is just too lame, and leave. I have eaten at Olympic Provisions a few times and hosted a private party for 13, (I know unlucky number) there in the past. Not that I think I should get special treatment, but really who holds a table for 4 maybes, when 3 are there standing in front of you. Where do we go now?

I suggest the restaurant named after a women that has great food in the Pearl. We could not remember the name, but we have eaten there before and liked it. OK, the restaurant is the one that is in that little concrete building with the weird looking pillar in the courtyard. You know the one with all of the windows, and has the great Sangria. Isabel, (Flanders & NW 10th) that is the place. I thought it was Sara’s, sorry Isabel. Right when we walk in, checking out the specials’ chalkboard, the staff greet us and start chatting. We have a great dinner, great service, great Sangria, and a great leftover breakfast. All this because Olympic Provisions, hostess was to snobby to seat us where we could talk and eat. Thanks Isabel’s for a great dinner, thanks Kim and Isabel’s for a great breakfast, thank Caps & Corks for getting it started and thank you for reading my blog, Travis.

The Lovely “Welly”

So We were able to stay a bit in Wellington(“Welly”) as it is sometimes called. We stayed with a mate of Travis’ from fire days, Jock and his wife Jenny. We were able to dry out our camping gear and launder our clothes in addition to hanging out with very cool people. Jock and Jenny were the consummate hosts. The town is the capitol of New Zealand, and it is arranged around this beautiful bay and the straight. Known for its windy weather most of the time, (only 1000km from Antarctica), and rainfall as well as the Beehive( Parliament building).

Well It is a beautiful city and we plan to return and stay a couple nights again on our return trip form South Island. Just a few photos so far but enjoy.

Today we are staying in Hanmer Hot Springs. Great little town that thrives on mountain bike in summer and ski in winter. They also have amazing huge hot springs pools that we will go soak in after we take a hike. We are finding hostels with really wonderful people,( our age and younger), and good camping spots and community kitchens.

I will send more information and photos later.