Something Sweet for Valentine’s Day

Is there anything sweeter than a little girl with a teensy accordion?

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Take a Guided Tour, Through my Beautiful Pacific Northwest

I think I live in the most beautiful part of the USA, the Pacific Northwest.  Within one or two hours’ drive, you can be at the ocean, the lake, the mountains, or the desert.  Let’s start right close to my home, in Everett, Washington, just north of Seattle.

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This is Silver Lake, about a half-mile south of my house.  You can rent a little sailboat at Silver Lake Park in the summer, or have a drink on the deck at Emory’s Restaurant.

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Just a bit farther north, you can walk in the tulip fields of the Skagit Valley in April.

Mount Baker, seen from San Juan Ferry
Mount Baker, seen from San Juan Ferry, Puget Sound, WA

You can take a Washington State Ferry through the San Juan Islands at the northwest corner of the state.

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Liberty Bell Mountain

Turning east, you can drive over the North Cascades Highway, and see Liberty Bell Mountain.

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Or you can go east over the Cascades to Yakima, and drive down the shrub-steppe terrain along the winding Yakima River.

And if you’re a city kid, you can spend a pleasant afternoon at the Seattle Japanese Garden.

Seattle Japanese Garden with Pagoda
Seattle Japanese Garden with Pagoda

I hope you’ve enjoyed your tour of my beautiful Pacific Northwest.   Come visit sometime.

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Variations on a theme..the many faces of the Wenatchee River

Leavenworth, Washington is a favorite destination for us, and to get there the road parallels the Wenatchee River.  The river roars through the Tumwater Canyon, meanders along the foothills, and flows through the town, in one end and out the other.  The river is never the same way twice, but it is  always a beautiful sight.

Here is the river, before it enters Tumwater canyon.  Peaceful, isn’t it.

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Fall Colors on the Wenatchee River, west of Leavenworth, WA

But not too far down the road, in Tumwater Canyon, it looks totally different.

Raging Wenatchee River
Wenatchee River, in Tumwater Canyon, west of Leavenworth, WA

A little closer to town.

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And when the river flows through town, and comes out the other side…

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It almost doesn’t seem like the same river.  And the view is not the best part.  You have to hear it.

Many faces of the Wenatchee River
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Weathered, Creations of Man, and of Nature

This building was originally built in the twelfth century, in England.  The Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds.  Much of it has weathered away, with the help of the local people, who often used the fallen stones for new buildings.  But even the ruins are beautiful.

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Abbey ruins, Bury St. Edmunds

This spectacular example of Nature’s Creation, weathered, is Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

Natural Bridge, Bryce
“Natural Bridge”, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

 

Funny, that natural arch almost looks like it could have been carved by men.  But no, we mimic nature, or try to.

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Final Photo Challenge of 2017-Favorites-Travels with/to Friends

2017 was highlighted by travels, to various destinations to meet with friends, and to get re-acqainted with old (in both senses of the word) friends.  Here are my favorite highlights.

In February, Hubby and I traveled to Phoenix for a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar.  This was our third trip to Arizona with the Hillsdale folks, and was just a reinforcement of why we continue to support Hillsdale, one of the last, best, hopes for the future of higher education in America.  No “snowflakes” here.

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The view from our balcony was so peaceful in the early morning.

After the Hillsdale Seminar ended, we took a trip up to Prescott, in the mountains north of Phoenix.  An entirely different Arizona.  The reason was a meet up with our Ricochet friends.  We took sustenance from our Ricochet family, as we all watched the Left and the Deep State do their best to destroy a duly-elected President.

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No palm trees here!

In June, we took our annual trip to Washington’s “Bavarian Village” of Leavenworth, for Hubby to play accordion with his band.  They were just awesome this year, and everyone was impressed with their performance.

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And we always love the Accordion Parade, ending up in the Gazebo downtown.  Our hearts are warmed by watching and listening to all the players, from ages 7 to over 70.

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In September, we drove all the way to Montana and back, for the Ricochet meet up that had been planned since September of 2016!  Due to wildfires in Washington and Montana, we drove through thick smoke all the way-the skies didn’t clear for an entire week!  But the people we met were typical Ricochet, salt-of-the earth types.  We couldn’t imagine being with a better group of friends, our Ricochet Family.

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Yes, that is Lake Coeur D’Alene on the way over.

Sailing on Flathead Lake

On the second to last day, sailing on Flathead Lake.

And to top off the year, I had my Fiftieth High School Class Reunion.  My favorite part of that was tagging along with the golfers on the outing to the local golf course, and meeting a classmate who I had never met in high school!

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What beauty, hiding in plain sight.

We have been so fortunate this year, and had so many delightful experiences, surrounded by our friends, and our Ricochet Family.  Onward to 2018!

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Ascend, Cast your Mind Higher-Photo Challenge

In 2012, I went to Washington, DC for the first time.  One of our first stops on our walking tour of the city was the Library of Congress.  I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the inside of the main Library building, and it felt like I took an hour just taking pictures of all the beautiful architecture and decoration.  You can see that the builders had in mind that visitors would be “transported” to a higher plane than just the mundane, so they did their best to help us to see how important the Library, and learning, are to our shared American Culture.  They took quotations from ancient and modern philosophers, and illustrated them.  I was awed, and I think I was meant to be.

Wall decoration, Library of Congress

Knowledge, Library of Congress

Ignorance, Library of Congress

Ascend, indeed.  All these plaques carry basically the same message, that people are meant to learn, and use their knowledge for good, and pass that knowledge to their progeny.  Just think of all the work that went into those plaques!  You’ve heard the phrase “Onward and Upward with the Arts”.  Embodied here.

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