It’s Been A Year

It’s Been A Year

2018 has been quite a year in the RB49 Universe.  We survived just fine, but not without some bumps and bruises.  Well, whose life doesn’t have some bumps?

On January 2, we got a new Grand-Niece, when my nephew became a Dad.  She’s a cutie, and I’m going to her first birthday party tomorrow.

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Also in January, I received a promotion and a raise in salary at my job as a Buyer at an aerospace company.  Later in the year, I received another raise in salary.  But along with that promotion came lots of new responsibilities connected to the re-organization of our department, and I have to admit I have felt overwhelmed at times.  When I left for the year on December 21, I had over 800 emails in my inbox that I simply did not have time to get to.  And when I logged in today, I found that, even though my contacts are aware that the company is closed, they are still sending me email and expecting responses!  So I know that when I return I will have a full docket.  Sigh…it’s a burden being indispensable! Oh, and I almost forgot.  On January 2 I celebrated my tenth anniversary at my company, which is big for me, since it’s the longest I’ve ever stayed at any one job.

In the “bumps and bruises” department, for the first time since I have been married (2003), I spent so much time in various dentist’s chairs, I maxed out both dental insurance policies!  I lost a bridge that had been in my mouth since age 11, when one of the two anchor teeth turned out to be rotten, and I lost a molar for the same reason.  So in 2019, one of my first items of business will be to get an implant where the bridge was. Well, when you get to be age 69, stuff tends to start falling apart.  I come from a family with bad teeth, so it’s not unexpected.

In April, we did a whirlwind Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Colorado Springs, where we met up with our Ricochet friends and attended some very interesting lectures.

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In May, another of our Ricochet friends happened to be in Seattle for a conference, so we went downtown and had a nice dinner.  In June, yet another of our Ricochet friends came to town, and a bunch of us did some sightseeing, and a tour of the Boeing factory, and had another nice dinner, a bit closer to home.

On a sadder note, also in May, my brother-in-law succumbed to liver disease, and my sister was left a widow.  We are closer now that we were before, and I have come to understand better, how much she has always done for our family.  I surely appreciate her more.

Throughout the year, Hubby and I took our normal amount of day trips, to the Diablo Lake Overlook in the North Cascades, and to LaConner in Skagit County.  In July/August, we went on the Hillsdale College Cruise to Hawaii and back, and my readers will have enjoyed my essays on the subject.  Well, it’s December, so here’s a little reminder.

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At the end of August, Hubby had a total knee replacement operation, and he was out of work for the entire month of September.  I got a lot of exercise, going up and down the stairs bringing him stuff in our bedroom.  He has bounced back, and recovered nicely, and has resumed playing easy squash at his athletic club.

In November, we went to Victoria, BC for an accordion function with Hubby’s band, and had a nice time reacquainting ourselves with the town.  So here we are now, in the last week of the year 2018, and all in all it’s been pretty good.  We are both healthy, safe, and gainfully employed.  2019 will be a bit unsettled, as my company was sold in the fall, and the sale will close in the third quarter.  We have no idea what our fate will be, but we expect some big changes, and some job cuts.  Normally, the company who bought my company, has a reputation for “slash-and-burn” tactics when it buys another company, but this time may be different as we are about equal in size.  Who knows, I may be required to retire next year, even though I sure don’t want to.

Just two days ago, I again got in my car, and drove to Seattle to participate in the University Unitarian Church full-length Messiah Sing/Play-along.  My stand partner was there again, and we had a great time playing the awe-inspiring music of Handel, and listening to the big choir sing the inspiring words, all taken from the Bible.  It just makes my heart sing, and brings a smile every time.

One thing I do know is that this blog will continue in the New Year.  I heartily wish all my followers and readers a Happy New Year, and very best wishes for a healthy, prosperous 2019.

 

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!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/2017-favorites/

 

Photo Challenge, Collage. One Natural, One Man-Made

I love living in the Pacific Northwest, where the abundant rain contributes to a profusion of plant life.  Here in the temperate rain forest ecosystem, life grows in many layers.  Green growing things have other growing things on top of them.  Take this tree, for instance, at Rockport State Park, in the foothills of the North Cascades.

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It’s a tall Douglas Fir, with moss growing on its bark, and other broadleaf plants growing up through the moss.  And if you look really closely, you can see insects which live in the moss, and in the bark of the tree.  Layers upon layers of life!

On the other hand, here’s a collage I made of the holiday cards we received from our many Ricochet friends last Christmas (and a Chanukah card from my family).  It definitely brightens up the decor, and I intend to keep it up until this Christmas as a reminder of how lucky we are to have so many Ricochet Friends.

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/collage/

RushBabe49 SCORES on Ricochet

I wrote a Ricochet post on the dustup between some students and a biology professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and the total lack of publicity of this by the local “mainstream” media. So now my RB49 Followers can get a taste of Ricochet, since my post was promoted from the Member Feed (members only) to the Main Feed, the public-facing part of Ricochet.

Herewith, a link to my post.  Comments are welcome here.  Last time I looked, the post itself had 19 likes, and 51 comments.

https://ricochet.com/433047/this-is-an-interesting-case-of-media-bias/

And here is the video link, which Ricochet redacted due to language.  I expect my readers   to take this in stride.

 

And here is another LINK to a great TruthRevolt article about this incident.

RushBabe49 and Hubby’s Excellent Arizona Adventure

From February 13th through the 18th, hubby and I flew down to Arizona for a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Phoenix.  We attended the Seminar Tuesday and Wednesday, then did some sightseeing the rest of the time.  Monday’s flight was uneventful, and we arrived at our hotel in good time.  Upon unpacking, however, hubby discovered that he had forgotten to pack some necessities, one of which was very important for our Seminar.  So we broke out the GPS for directions, and went shopping.  We made our way to the Desert Ridge Marketplace, an outdoor mall near the site of the seminar.  Fortune was smiling on us that day, because we found what he needed the very first place we stopped.  Once that was done, we could go find dinner.

On the way over to “restaurant row”, we stopped by an interesting amenity at the mall, a shallow “fountain” designed for people to wade in to cool their feet.  I sat down on a bench, under the palm trees, and looked up.  I couldn’t resist taking this picture with my iPod camera.

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Tuesday morning, we checked out of our hotel, and headed down to the Arizona State University Research Park, to visit the offices of my professional association, the Institute for Supply Management.  I have been doing the Report on Business for the Western Washington Chapter since 1999, and I thought it would be good to visit those at the National office who manage the National ISM Report on Business, to whom I send a summary of my data every month.  I found them to be a delightful group, and we had a productive meeting.  I thank them for their excellent hospitality, and their ongoing support of my efforts for Western Washington.  As a result of this meeting, I was invited to complete the National survey for my company; my boss and I agreed to do it.

When we were done there, we had a nice lunch at the local Chick-Fil-A, then drove over to the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa (long name, huge property!), the site of the Hillsdale Seminar.  We found our very nice room, got unpacked, and relaxed for a while.  Our room had a balcony, and this was the view.

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Once we settled in, we went downstairs to meet one of our online Ricochet friends, who was also attending the seminar.  As with all of our Ricochet friends, she was a very nice person, but busy so we couldn’t talk very long.  Next, we went to the President’s Club reception before dinner, where we greeted friends from Hillsdale, including, of course, their President, Dr. Larry Arnn.  RushBabe also got a chance to cross an item off her “gotta do before I die” bucket list.  I got to speak with, and shake the hand of, the “Last Un-documented Guest Host (for Rush Limbaugh) Before the Border”.  That would be Mark Steyn, who was one of the conference speakers.  He is a very tall, very gracious guy, and I was lucky to get to talk to him.  We also met another of the speakers, Mr. Herbert Meyer, who just so happens to live in Friday Harbor, Washington, not too far from us. And, he is the father of one of the Ricochet editors-a twofer!

After the reception, we went in to dinner, and were bowled over by the size of the crowd.  This seminar had over 700 attendees, enough to fill the entire ballroom.  At our table were seated two more of our Ricochet friends, one of whom flew down from our neighborhood to attend.  We had a nice dinner, heard Dr. Arnn and Mark Steyn give excellent speeches, and then called it a night.

On Wednesday, we had a nice breakfast out on the lawn, and were joined by Mr. Meyer.  The rest of the day was filled with  speeches, a nice lunch, and more speeches!  In the afternoon Elaine Donnelly gave a very interesting talk about women in the “Obama social experiment” military, and how that may be reducing the readiness of the US military for combat.  The seminar ended in mid-afternoon, and our Ricochet friends went home, so we were free.  Wednesday evening, we drove into Scottsdale, through ugly rush-hour traffic, to have dinner with yet another Ricochet friend, who we’d met before.  We had a great pizza dinner at Grimaldi’s, and caught up with everyones’ doings.

Thursday was to be our “drive south” day.  In the morning, we had a nice breakfast in the hotel, and strolled around the grounds for a while.  The resort has some very beautiful landscaping; in fact, a river runs through it!

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After our stroll, we checked out, and headed south toward Tucson.  Along the way, we stopped at a rest area, and I got out the trusty camera.  This is really Arizona.

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And then, there’s this:

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In Tucson, we had a very nice lunch, at the Gringo Grill, with a couple more Ricochet friends, one of whom is a former Portland, Oregon police detective, and the other of whom is a graduate student in Physics, from Cambodia.  Can you say “great stories”?!  Well, they had them, and we spent a very pleasant hour.  Then, it was back on the road.  We drove to the border town of Nogales, caught a glimpse of the border with Mexico, turned around and drove back to Phoenix.

Friday was our “drive north” day.  We had a Ricochet dinner meet up scheduled that evening in Prescott.  We headed north, and stopped at the Sunset Point rest area to stretch our legs and get some pictures.

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Northern Arizona obviously gets more precipitation than the south-just look at that green grass!

We arrived in the town of Prescott a little early, so we strolled around the Old West-looking downtown area.  We stopped into Jersey Lilly’s Saloon for a drink.  Jersey Lilly was the famous Lilly Langtry, and here is her portrait.

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Under her portrait on the floor is this cool old potbelly stove.

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I was taken with these beautiful old buildings across the street.

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Next door to the restaurant where we had dinner, there was this tiny establishment, and I was intrigued with the combination of services this small business offers.  CDs and bike repair?

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We had a yummy dinner of Indian food at the Taj Mahal restaurant with our Ricochet friends, then headed back to Phoenix.

On Saturday, when we were scheduled to fly back to Seattle, we awoke to something we had never seen before in Phoenix.  Rain!  It was raining lightly, very similar to what we have most of the winter in the Seattle area, so we felt right at home.  I imagined that there must be a lot of very happy vegetation in Phoenix that day.  We had been warned about the danger of flash floods, but since the rain was pretty light, there didn’t seem to be much danger of that.  We got to the airport in plenty of time, and went to our gate to wait for our flight.  It was nearly an hour late taking off, due to trouble with the aircraft (which turned out to be a software issue).  The flight was another uneventful one, and we arrived back in Seattle to nearly the same weather as we had left in Phoenix, only 20 degrees colder!

In all, it was a nice, relaxing vacation, with no real crises.  We made new friends, saw new scenery, and got away from the rat race for a while.  Definitely worth the price of admission!

Calling All RushBabes and Followers–Join Ricochet!

Just about the smartest thing I have done in recent years (aside from starting this blog) was to join Ricochet.  Through the Center-Right Community of thoughtful, smart, and welcoming people, I have made new friends, expanded my knowledge, and partaken of some of the world’s best humor.  Doesn’t it seem to you that much of society has totally lost its sense of humor?  Lena Dunham, that sleazy “feminist” has pioneered “that’s not funny” in response to any attempts to see the world as anything but apocalyptic.

On Ricochet, however, we have “Mac and Wally”, an original cartoon series by member Chip Head, whose two black and white dogs converse in some of the best one-liners ever.  But you have to be a Ricochet member to read them.  We also have Ten Cents, one of our members who lives in Japan, and whose avatar picture is a sock puppet with a mustache.  He is the pun-master of the world, and many members can keep a conversation going for days with more and more elaborate puns.  You just can’t read these posts without laughing.

Ricochet also has sober conversations going, about subjects that interest aware conservatives everywhere.  We are having the usual arguments back and forth over the upcoming presidential election.  We have our “Trumpists” and our Never-Trumpers, and the conversations can get heated at times.  But we have a Code of Conduct, and members who live by it, and keep the conversations civil most of the time.  We have Member Moderators who can intervene if they see a conversation running off the rails.  Nobody resents their presence, and we engage them in conversations about the C of C all the time.

What you will almost never find on Ricochet is real nastiness.  No death threats, no vulgar language, and few ad-hominem attacks.  Our Members are erudite, passionate, and caring conservatives and libertarians mostly.  They have expertise in every subject known to man, and they often do very interesting posts about what they do for a living.  We have a member who is a concrete contractor, who did a post once about “everything you ever wanted to know about concrete”, and it drew dozens of comments and questions.  We have a whole slew of teachers, from grade school to graduate school, who keep us informed about the goings-on in the education sphere.  We even have celebrity contributors who post from time to time.  Like Pat Sajac, and James Pethokoukis.

And Ricochet isn’t just an online community.  We have face-to-face meetings, at all corners of the US and around the world.  Yes, we have had meetups in Paris, Rome, London, and elsewhere.  We have members in many countries and every state of the Union.  We have members in Australia and Japan.  If you join Ricochet, wherever you travel there will be a member to meet you and show you around.  Just this past weekend, my husband and I met with two other local members at a park near Olympia, and had a great time getting to know each other.  The best part of Ricochet is the people.

Here at Calling-all-RushBabes, I have done many posts (and linked to my YouTube site) about my experiences as a Ricochet member.  Read them, and you will see how wonderful and fulfilling it is to be a member.  Right now, Ricochet is running a special promotion.  Join now, and you get two free months.  Here are links to a few.

https://rushbabe49.com/2015/04/11/as-usual-dave-carter-on-ricochet-says-it-better/

https://rushbabe49.com/2015/09/21/a-trip-to-reno-lake-tahoe/

Centralia meetup.

Phoenix meetup.

Please take a chance, and improve your life by becoming a Ricochet member.  I guarantee that you will never regret it.  And if you decide to join, post a comment here so I can welcome you over there!

What I did on my Summer Vacation

Hubby and I went on the Hillsdale College 10-day cruise to Alaska, aboard the Crystal Serenity.  We spent about three years’ worth of travel budget, but we sure got our money’s worth, and more.  Hillsdale does a big cruise every summer, and this was our first time.  There were “Seminars at Sea”, with noted speakers, including Michael Walsh, screenwriter and author; Victor Davis Hanson, Classicist and thinker; David Goldman, journalist, and John Steele Gordon, historian.  There were shore excursions at every stop (I didn’t do any, and hubby did one, walking on a glacier).  We mostly did our own exploring, traipsing through Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, and Ketchikan.

The luxury ship was everything we expected.  Lavish breakfast buffet with every kind of food you could possibly want, lunch in the Grill, or The Bistro, and dinners in the ritzy Crystal Dining Room.  There were two specialty restaurants, one Asian and one Italian, and we had delightful dinners at both.  There was a full movie theater playing first-run movies, and we took the opportunity to see Jungle Book, which was fun and well-done.  I had a pedicure in the Spa, and had a nice conversation with the technician, a beautiful young lady from North Yorkshire.

My favorite part of cruising is relaxing on deck and watching the water go by, and I had ample opportunity to sit out on our private verandah on the starboard side of the ship, with my camera and binoculars at the ready.  As usual, I was a picture-taking fool, see below.

On the final day, the last stop was Nanaimo, British Columbia, and we were met by a Ricochet member who is now our friend.  He took us on a nice stroll by the waterfront, we had a very good pizza lunch, then went back to his home for more good conversation on his patio.

Here is a selection of the photos I took.

This is Vancouver harbor, with the cruise ship terminal.

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Here’s an example of a working waterfront.  It’s almost like a ballet, the way the tugboat maneuvers the barge.

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It was such a beautiful afternoon, I basically stood on deck with my camera until the sun went down.  Sunset over the Inside Passage.

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The next day was spent entirely at sea, and we had lectures most of the day.  I tried to get outside as much as I could.  I took lots of pictures of the ship itself, which I found gorgeous.  I did a double-take when I saw this tiny detail that most people probably would miss.  Crystal Cruises logo is two seahorses.  Here’s an interesting place for it.

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Yes, that’s the sandbox used for people to stub out their cigarettes!  This is the pool.  Notice that it’s empty-there was only one pool, and it didn’t get much use.

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This is what I gazed upon from the Promenade Deck (the only level with an outside walkway all the way around the vessel.

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Inside, these ladies were playing beautiful string quartet music, in the Crystal Cove.  They are the Astoria Quartet, and they are all from Russia.  Also note the piano, and the chairs the ladies are sitting on-Crystal!

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Juneau was the first port of call, and I took pictures of the channel approaching town, the town itself, and some of the other ships and boats in port.

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Juneau-hillside

That’s a little river, cascading down the hillside-you can see how its path traces from the top to the bottom of the hill.  Too bad it was very misty that day.

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This is the cruise ship Disney Wonder.  See the logo on the stacks?  It’s huge!

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Here are some shots of the town, and some other vessels we saw.  Also, our National Bird, doing what big birds do.

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Big,bigger,biggest

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The next day was a stop at Hoonah, and the weather was terrible, and the town was not too interesting, at least to me.  So I did what came naturally-took pictures from our balcony.

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The following day was the one we had all eagerly anticipated-the trip to the Hubbard Glacier.  That’s what is in the new header, and here are a bunch of closeups of the glacier, the ice-flecked channel, and the mountainsides with many “mini-glaciers”.

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I thought the glaciers behind the main channel looked like big waterslides.

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Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

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After a morning of glacier-viewing, we retreated to the nice, warm Palm Court Lounge, where lunch was served.

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Next stop, the town of Skagway.  The weather cooperated, and we had a nice stroll through the gold-rush town, with all its tourist-trap stores.  But it was fun anyway.  Herewith, pictures of the town and the channel where the cruise ships dock, and the wind blew very hard, late in the afternoon.

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Next port of call was Sitka, a place we’d never been to.  All I knew was that there is a summer chamber music festival that has gone on for 30 years, run by string-players Paul and Linda Rosenthal.  It’s a pretty remote place for chamber music!  Just after being dropped downtown-5 miles from the cruise ship dock, we found the Lutheran Church.  They have a small pipe organ, built in Estonia in 1844.  Hubby got to play it, and he was thrilled!

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Here are shots of the famous (three-times-rebuilt) St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church, and an interesting artifact that I couldn’t pass up.

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Now, the harbor, and the working marina.

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The next stop was Ketchikan, where we’d been before.  We remembered from that trip that Ketchikan has a Starbucks, and no other stop had.  So we walked for nearly a mile, and found it!  Ahhh, the taste of your first Frappuccino in a week!  Unfortunately, it was pouring rain, so we didn’t spend too much time.  Here is what I saw.

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Ketchikan

The following day was again at sea, back south through the Inside Passage around Vancouver Island.  I spent a lot of that afternoon hanging off our balcony, taking pictures of the beautiful islands, sea, and sky.

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This next shot is an intersection of two channels.  You can see the roiling waters, and the still picture can’t really convey the sense of the movement.  I got out the video camera, and got video, to be posted on my YouTube site.

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Thursday night we were honored to have dinner with our speaker, Michael Walsh.  He had lots of interesting Hollywood stories to tell, and we enjoyed the dinner very much.

We knew that the cruise was about to come to and end.  The next day was our last port call, Nanaimo, on the east coast of Vancouver Island.  It was a gorgeous day, and when we went out on our balcony, we found at the next dock, a ship being loaded with logs bound for China.

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We spent the afternoon with our new Ricochet friend, Pete.  We went to a farmer’s market and to the marina for a stroll.

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Piper

You can see the two cannons on either side of that piper.  They were fired at noon, to great effect.

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Here we are with our new friend.  And here we are just before getting back on the ship for the last night’s festivities.

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Friday night was the Hillsdale Farewell Reception.  Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale gave a speech, and everyone mingled and drank champagne.  It had been an extraordinary trip, and we hope to be able to do it again in the future.

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And, here we are with Dr. Arnn.  He is just wonderful, and we are blessed to know him.

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All in all, a most successful cruise.