On the Water in Puget Sound

Author: , September 18th, 2017

Puget Sound - Dolly Travels

Hello!

I have had a busy couple of weeks or more. First, Frank and I spent a week in Puerto Vallarta, where it was hot and humid. As soon as we returned, I came up her to the Seattle area, to visit some of my family who have the good fortune to live in such a beautiful area as the Pacific Northwest, and where the weather could not be more perfect. Sunshine, temperatures in the 70’s all week.

Puget Sound - Dolly TravelsI have actually had a quiet week here in Anacortes, one of my favorite places to visit, at any time. On the day of the eclipse, one of the residents of this Skyline area in Anacortes, arranged an eclipse viewing party in a local park. Patrick brought solar viewing glasses for everyone, and gave us a little talk on the eclipse: statistics from previous years, when to expect the next one, things like that. He and his wife had also brought champagne and orange juice, so that we could celebrate after the eclipse.

Up here, we got about an 85% eclipse. It was very strange; we did not get total darkness. In fact, I could not see that the sky got very dark at all, but one of the ladies present said that she watched how the eclipse was progressing by watching my eye glasses. I wear progressive lenses, that turn into sun glasses as the light increases. She said that the lenses of my glasses gradually became lighter and lighter, until the time that we had the maximum eclipse, then my lenses were clear. However, the air got cooler and cooler, with the temperature dropping ten degrees during that eclipse. I was glad that I got to experience that phenomenon, for I doubt that I will see another.

Puget Sound - Dolly TravelsToday, we had a special treat. My brother and his wife, Lee and Rosey, had owned the boat, the Helen Marie, for many years. Last year, the boat was sold to their next-door neighbors. I had met this couple a few days ago, and enjoyed their company very much. Today, Dave invited us to go on the Helen Marie for a day trip.

We made a picnic lunch and joined Dave down at the Flounder Harbor. Dave was very generous, and insisted that Lee pilot the boat, and Dave would be the Deck Hand.

On two different occasions, I had the opportunity to travel with Lee and Rosey on this boat; once, a three week trip in Alaska and another three-week trip in British Columbia. Lee told me I was to be the ship’s cook, so this area was my domain. I don’t know if you can see the clamps around the tea kettle, placed so that the cook can secure the pans to the stove, if the boat is rocking and rolling. It is a very efficient galley, not much different than cooking in my own kitchen at home.

The water was very calm today. This is an amazing area of the country; water, islands, trees all around as we cruised quietly along. The sky was a bit hazy to the north and to the east, as smoke from fires in British Columbia are still drifting down this way.

After we had cruised for about two hours, Lee stopped the boat and it sat still in the water while we consumed our picnic lunch. There were a quite a few other boats out today, but when we decided to stop for lunch, no one was around. We spent about a half hour just idle, watching the water, the sea birds and I saw one little seal poke his head out of the water, to see what we were doing.

After we started up again, it was Dave’s turn to be captain, and Lee had to be Deck Hand.

When we got to the side of Cypress Island, we saw a damaged fish farm.

Puget Sound - Dolly TravelsThe dust is from workers trying to repair damage to the farm. Apparently, somehow the enclosures for the fish broke, and over 300,000 farmed Atlantic salmon escaped into the waters of Puget Sound. This incident has certainly caused a great deal of distress among the citizens of this area, for now all those foreign fish are out in the Sound with the native fish. There are so many of them that the people of the area are concerned about pollution of the water, for most of these fish will die. Those fish do not know how to get their own food; they have been fed pellets for their entire life. Also, they do not reproduce as normal salmon do, so they are doomed. The Fish and Game Department has encouraged anyone who wants to fish to catch them and take as many as they want…no limit. However, most people up here will not eat farmed salmon, so this is another dilemma. To read on this further, check out the Spokesman-Review Outdoor Blog, of August 28, 2017, to get more information.

Finally, we made our way back to Flounder Harbor. By then, Lee was back at the wheel. He brought the Helen Marie back into her slip in the marina, just like a pro.

We had a delightful day, and I was so happy that Dave invited us for this excursion. It brought back a lot of good memories for me. Rosey and I spent some time sharing some of the good times we had enjoyed together on the boat.

Thank you, again, Dave, for a wonderful day on the water.

Puerto Vallarta Weather – Dolly Travels

Author: , September 4th, 2017

Puerto Vallarta

Buenos Dias, again.

I usually do not write posts back to back, but I have so much to tell you, and besides that, my 24 hours of internet access will expire in the morning.

I was dismayed when I checked the weather forecast for Puerto Vallarta before we left home, to find that thunderstorms were predicted for every day that we would be here. We had the resort accommodations reserved; we had booked our flights, and if nothing else, Frank and I are flexible. So here we are, and we have been very fortunate. The first night we were here, it rained cats and dogs for about an hour, then we have had good weather.

Yesterday, we had a reservation to take a boat trip out to the island of Las Caletas to see the show called, “Rhythm of the NIghts”, which is a Cirque de Soleil type of show, but it depicts many myths and legends of the native Mexican people, especially from this area of Jalisco. The island itself was owned by the movie director, John Houston. This is where he lived while directing the film, “Night of the Iguana”, several years ago. He gave this island to the people of Puerto Vallarta upon his death. The island has been kept as close to being as it was in John Houston’s time as possible.

We came to the island by boat, as I said. The trip from the marina in Puerto Vallarta took about 45 minutes. As we were traveling, I told the young lady next to me, who was celebrating her 50th birthday, that the first time we took this trip, dolphins swam alongside the boat.

“Oh,” she exclaimed. “That must have been so great to see that.” The words were hardly out of her mouth when another passenger alerted us to the fact that a pod of dolphins were following us. I tried to count them, but they would dive, then swim closer to the boat, and dive again, but as close as I could count, there were at least ten of those lovely creatures, and they followed us for about ten minutes. That was indeed a highlight of our boat ride. I told the lady that the dolphins did it for her, to wish her a Happy Birthday. She smiled, being so touched.

I could not get a picture of the dolphins, of course, but the sea and the sky were so spectacular last night. All of us knew that at any minute, the clouds could come over those Sierra Madre mountains and rain on our parade, so we were grateful for the beautiful evening.

Before long, we docked at the island. As we left the boat, the crew members gave each couple a large umbrella. Just in case, they said.

We all walked up the dirt paths that were lined with votive candles to light our way, until we reached the amphitheater where the show would be performed.

I have nothing with which to compare this show, except for other Cirque de Soleil performances. Each of the performers were incredibly talented. The loose story line included many of the stories from Mexican history, such as the Deer Dance. A costumed actor, dressed as a magnificent quetzal, that royal bird of this area and Central America, flew over our heads on a wire. There was action in so many different areas, it was hard to tell where to watch, at times.

We were not permitted to take pictures of the performers or any during the show, but this is one of the paths, as viewed from the boat. As you can see, the jungle comes right down to the water.

We watched the show, the actors took their bows, we started up the trail toward the large covered area where dinner would be served. Little raindrops started falling, but it was a very light rain. Later, as we were eating, the rain came down in sheets. The little dirt paths became running rivulets of mud. By the time we had to leave to go back to the boat, the rain was still coming down like crazy. Despite the shelter of the large umbrella for the two of us, we were soaked by the time we got to the boat. All of us looked like half-drowned cats.

Once we were on the boat and all the covers were zipped into place, the crew of our boat gave us another show that was pretty amazing. These guys did take-off and lip synced songs and dance routines from Frank Sinatra, to Prince, to Elvis, the Blues Brothers, then one of the crew performed some magic with glass spheres, that reminded me of a show I had seen in Las Vegas a long time ago.

When we got back to the marina, all the rain had stopped. Puerto Vallarta was dry as a bone. Thank goodness, for I had not been clever enough to bring our umbrellas with us.

One afternoon, one of the chefs here at the resort, gave a cooking class. Yay!! I would get to learn a new recipe or technique after all.

Puerto Vallarta - Chef LucianoChef Luciano, from Uruguay, taught us how to make ceviche.

Chef Luciano did not speak English, but I watched carefully, and one of the young girls, an employee of the resort, acted as a translator. Chef Luciano made this ceviche with salmon, so, I will give you the recipe now, because it was so delicious. I made notes while he cut things up. I have found that cooking, much like music, has its own universal language.

Salmon Ceviche

1 fresh salmon filet, about 1/4 pound, trimmed of skin, and cut into small cubes 1/2 red onion, chopped into small dice
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped into small dice.
Mix these three ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Squeeze the juice of three or four Mexican limes over this, add about a teaspoon of fine sea salt; drizzle with olive oil. Mix together well. Set aside while preparing the remainder of the ingredients: 1 ripe avocado, peeled, diced small
1 tablespoon capers, chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 to 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Add these to fish mixture, stir well, then set aside for about 10 to 15 minutes. The lime juice will cook the fish nicely in that time.
To serve, prepare thin slices of toasted baguette. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on each baguette slice, then spoon ceviche onto those slices. Serve immediately.
Chef Luciano said the cream cheese helps keep the bread crunchy, not soggy. We did not wait 10 minutes for the ceviche to sit. We ate it as soon as he had mixed all the ingredients together and put the mixture on the baguette slices. It did not taste like raw fish, so I guess the lime juice did its job quickly.

Personally, I would serve the ceviche with tortilla chips, but this was the way it was prepared for us, and, as I said, it was delicious.

Puerto Vallarta - FrankToday was a quiet day for us, as the weather threatened to break loose all day long. Finally it did, although the rain waited until about 5:30 to start. When the rain starts here, it seems it doesn’t know how to fall gently. We had just a few warning sprinkles, as we were getting ready to go out to dinner.

“Should we take the umbrellas?” I asked Frank, for we were only going about 100 yards.

We decided that we should, and by the time we got down to the ground floor, the rain was coming down in buckets again. We made it to the restaurant and enjoyed a light meal, and by the time we were ready to leave, the rain had stopped. Crazy.

During Happy Hour, the waiter brings our two-for-one drinks all at the same time. By the way, this sangria is just freshly made lemonade with red wine floated onto it, and I like it very much.

Now it is dark, the rain has stopped, and we are enjoying a quiet evening, again.

I hope we get to go back to town tomorrow. We will do that, if it doesn’t rain. I will be sure to let you know how that goes.

P.S. A note regarding my blog post of earlier today: Frank told me that the song, “Lamente Bourincano,” that he requested from the musicians when we were in town the other day, is one that he remembers his father singing. That is the reason he loves to hear it now. It must be quite well-known here, for the musicians knew it right away.

Adios for now,
Dolly

Puerto Vallarta in the Summer

Author: , August 18th, 2017

Puerto Vallarta

Buenos dias, amigos,

Frank and I decided we needed a vacation. Therefore, here we are in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This city is one of my favorite vacation spots, but I do have to say, that it is Hot! Hot! Hot! And humid. Perhaps August isn’t the best time to visit here.

Puerto VallartaWe arrived Saturday night, so Sunday, we just spent the day here, getting acclimated to the time difference (they are one Central Time here) and the climate difference.

On Monday, we took a cab to town, as I wanted to see some of the local places, places I had visited before. I wanted to go inside the cathedral here; a wedding was taking place inside, so I had to bypass a visit that day.

Puerto VallartaFrank and I wandered down one block toward the Malecon, the walkway that parallels the sea. We remembered that we needed to find a Bancomat, so we wandered down another block or two, found what we wanted, got some Mexican Pesos, wandered some more. To me, it was enjoyable, just looking into the different shops (I cannot say “Window shopping”, for the merchandise was right there in the open. At the park, we watched some children at play; like children everywhere, one little boy was trying to escape from his mother, while his sibling went in another direction.

There were small grocery stores, shoe stores, clothing stores, electronic stores, and of course, many bars and restaurants.

We came to a restaurant that looked interesting. It was nearing lunch time, and there were no patrons in the restaurant yet. That made me a bit suspicious , but Frank looked at the menu, and he decided we could have a drink and a snack. We weren’t quite ready for lunch yet. The proprietor greeted us and told us that we could be seated and he would bring a menu. He told us that there was a cooking class going on in the back room, and soon it would finish, then the chef could begin making lunch for customers.

Cooking class? Oh, how did I miss that!! I told the proprietor that cooking was a passion of mine, so he invited me to watch the remainder of the class. I put that cooking class on my bucket list for my next visit to Puerto Vallarta. The chef was finishing a soup, where he had heated three large rocks, and put them into a pottery bowl of broth, with some diced vegetables and shrimp. As I watched, I could see the broth bubbling around the stones. Soon, right before my very eyes, the shrimp and vegetables were cooked without coming near a stove.

Puerto Vallarta - Gaby's RestaurantIf any of you are planning a trip down here in the near future, look up http://www.gabyrestaurant.com.mx. That will give you information on the address as well as the cooking classes. Apparently, this chef is on a cooking show down here and seems to be well-known. He certainly knew how to make soup in an interesting fashion.

Puerto VallartaAs Frank was eating his little snack, I mentioned to the owner of the restaurant that I was allergic to tequila. That man went into the back of the restaurant and came back to the table with a little glass of what he called a “medicina ” for allergies.

We left the restaurant and continued on our exploration walk of Puerto Vallarta. Only two blocks west was the Malecon, the long walk that parallels the sea. I love that walkway. It was cooler there, also, than it had been, for a lovely breeze was blowing off the water.

Puerto VallartaThis walkway is about two miles long, and we only walked a small portion of it. There are shops on the left of us, trees and flowers are planted in the middle of the walkway, then sculptures are interspersed along the right side.

We walked, stopped to look at things, then walked some more. Sometime, after about two hours or so of this, I decided I was hungry. I wanted some shrimp tacos from my favorite Puerto Vallarta restaurant, La Fuente de la Puente.

Puerto VallartaThis restaurant sits right at the river bank, hence the name, which means, the Fountain at the Point, as the bridge over the river is right there.

We found our way there, without any problem. Soon we had ordered our lunch, and were enjoying a cool drink while we waited for our food. Then, when we were eating, the same musicians that we had seen in Gaby’s, came into the restaurant. They saw us, and came over, as we were all laughing. Frank asked them to sing that same song again and they did. That was a fun experience.

Finally, our long day in town was finished. We caught a bus back toward our hotel, making a side trip to WalMart for some groceries. Soon we were back at our resort, and as I was bemoaning the fact that we were too late to make Happy Hour, one of the attendants told me that Happy Hour on that day was from 5:00 p.m to 6:00. We made it!!

I got a bell boy to help me take the groceries up to our room, while Frank got us a table at the open air restaurant near the lobby.

Oh, just as an aside, one reason that I love Puerto Vallarta is that it is not an expensive place to visit. For instance, at WalMart, I bought fresh fruit and vegetables for salad, cold cuts, cheese, some pastries and bread, a few other items all for 350 Mexican pesos, which sounds like a lot of money, but is the equivalent of about $19 US.

So we made Happy Hour, and relaxed after a long day of just enjoying being in Puerto Vallarta.

I have more to tell you, but it will have to go into another blog, for this one is getting too big. And it is almost Happy Hour time again.

Adios for now,
Dolly

Ciao for now,
Dolly

Tranquillo Tranquillo – Dolly Travels

Author: , July 17th, 2017

Tranquillo

Hello, again,

I haven’t written for awhile, as I have not been traveling, but that is just an excuse, not a valid reason. Today I was inspired to write again, as I remembered one peaceful, beautiful hill town of Tuscany.

This morning, while driving to an appointment, I found myself becoming increasingly irritated by the rudeness and careless actions of other drivers. Drivers cutting in and out of traffic as if they were on the Indianapolis Speedway. What is wrong with these people? I wondered, as I could feel my temper as well as my blood pressure rising.

All at once, in my head I could hear my Italian language instructors saying, “Tranquillo, tranquillo”. I heard those blessed teachers say that to me frequently when I became frustrated during language classes. Essentially, “tranquillo”, in a word, means: let your mind relax. Count to ten and take a few deep breaths. Settle down. Let your mind become tranquil.

Hearing those voices this morning made me so absolutely homesick for Montepulciano and those patient instructors at Il Sasso, the Italian language school that I had the opportunity at attend three years ago. I simply had to write this post and dedicate it to Sara, Sylvia, Cincia, Lucia, Alberto, and of course, Heike.

I realized this morning that my irritation with the other drivers was more of a reaction to my being homesick for Italy, rather than the driving techniques of other people.

Since I cannot be in Italy right now, I felt it would be beneficial for my mental well being to think and write about feeling “tranquillo”.

First, I must tell you, I am usually happy when I am home. I love my home, my family, my friends, the activities that take up my days. However, I feel much more comfortable, at ease, “tranquillo” when I am in Italy.

I loved staying in Montepulciano. When we were not attending classes, we were walking up and down those steep streets, or hiking down to Chiesa San Biago.

Sometimes I would just wander down a passageway that brought me out to a view point that looked over the Tuscan countryside.

I could go on and on, telling you about so many other places in Italy that have given me the sense of “tranquillo”, but today I am homesick for Montepulciano, so I will only tell you some of my memories from that lovely hill town.

If I don’t recover from my Italy homesickness soon, you may hear about Cinque Terre, the Dolomites, the parks and piazze of Florence and Rome, the seaside town of Sorrento. But I must close now and send this off to you, so, hopefully, you can read the blog, see the pictures and share a new sense of “tranquillo” with me.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

Last Day in Puerto Vallarta – Dolly Travels

Author: , February 16th, 2017

Mascota - Dolly Travels

Good afternoon,

Today was a day to just relax by the pool. Susan and I have had a week of relaxing, but we also learned about some of the culture of Mexico, and especially about the state of Jalisco. I am always open to learning new things.

We took a trip up to two of the towns in the Sierra Madre mountains, Talpa and Mascota. Although I had been there before, I learned new things about these towns this trip.

Both of these villages are listed as Magical Towns (Pueblos Magico). This is a designation given to the by the board of Mexican tourism. To qualify, a town must have:

1). A history of a significant event, either real or legendary,

2). A unique everyday life, and

3). The town must be well preserved.

Once the town has this designation, it receives money from the tourist board to keep the town clean and in good repair. One thing one village did was put all the electrical lines underground, rather than have the unsightly mess so often seen, of lines running all over the place.

Mascota also has a high school where students can elect to learn a trade, as well as obtain the usual high school education. The specialties of this school include cheese making and butchering, as the countryside has many farms. We also saw two woodworking classes, one for boys and one for girls. We could not discover why the classes were segregated. Both classes made furniture, cabinets for houses, and other practical wooden items.

The products from this school are sold in town, or at the school, and all proceeds return to the school.

The other town we visited, Talpa, has a lovely city center dominated by a church. This town’s historical event was a miracle where a statue of the Virgin that was made of leaves and grasses was converted into a beautiful golden statue. That statue now resides in the church. Pilgrims come from all over to pray to the Virgin.

The area, despite being in the mountains, is very dry. It must be extremely hard to grow things in this arid climate; however, sugar cane flourishes, and several stores in this village are candy stores, making their treats from the sugar cane, as well as some of the tropical fruit of the region.

Another town in Jalisco that has the Magical Town designation is Tequila. Yes, that is the name of the town. This town is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is known for the blue agave from which the liquor, tequila, is made. I did not visit that town, so I don’t have any pictures, but I did learn something about tequila.

The true tequila from the blue agave is only produced in Jalisco, with limited amounts being allowed to be produced in other states. If the tequila is not made from only the blue agave, and is made with a combination of juices from other agave plants, the liquor is called Mezcal. Therefore, all you tequila lovers, the Mezcal with the worm in it is not a true tequila.

That is only one of some well-known facts (to me) that was shot down during my cultural lesson. I also discovered that Mariachi music is not Mexican in origin, but Austrian, although it sounds more like German polka music to me. That makes sense, given that Maximilian from Austria, was a king here for a short time, before he was assassinated. Mexican beer also has its beginning with Austrians.

Last night, we took a boat trip to the island of Las Caletas for dinner and a show, depicting the culture and some of the fables of the native Indian cultures. The show was more like a Cirque de Soleil, in that many acrobats, a flying butterfly who was playing a violin, a walking tree, along with the fire jugglers. A mermaid greeted the boat as we approached the island.

Our dining tables were along the water’s edge. A harpist and a guitarist played soft background music. The lighting was torches and votive candles. It was truly a relaxing evening, with good food and wine.

When we left on our boat to return to Puerto Vallarta, we were entertained by our ship’s crew, who did a tribute to Kiss, the 1980’s rock group. They did a pretty good job of singing the songs, although their guitars were made of wood and had no strings. To me, the epitome of the evening, though, was when the captain turned off all the overhead lights, allowing us to see the full moon overhead, with barely a wisp of a cloud in the sky. We could still see the Sierra Madre mountains in the background of the city of Puerto Vallarta as we travelled back to the Marina. The lights along the shore of the city lent an air of a place of festivity and holiday, but also a place of peacefulness.

Today, I just enjoyed the quiet and solitude of Club Regina.

Too soon I will leave this enchanted place and return to cold weather. Until I write again,

Adios,
Dolly

Puerto Vallarta – Dolly Travels

Author: , February 1st, 2017

Puerto Vallarta - Dolly Travels

I have not been very active with my blogging, as I can see. It has been four months since I posted anything. Of course, I have not been traveling, either.

Now I am once again in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, so I want to share the lovely weather with all of you.

Yesterday, Sunday, Susan and I went into the downtown area of Puerto Vallarta. We tried to attend mass at the old venerable Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. However, the church was packed, so we stood inside for awhile, but the crowds and the heat inside became too much for me.

It is a beautiful church, with a lovely park right in front. The church was built in 1883. I could not find when the dome was constructed, but it was sculpted by an artist names Carlos Torres, who made it from local terres stone. The large dome is a crown for Our Lady.

After leaving the church, we walked along the Malecon, the seaside promenade. There were lots of people out, enjoying the balmy weather.

Later, we tried to find a restaurant where I had enjoyed delicious shrimp tacos on previous visits. We walked along the stalls of the market the line both sides of the little island that sits in the center of the river just before the river empties into the sea. This little island, called Isla Rio Cuale, is known for being where Elizabeth Taylor had a home while filming the movie, “Night of the Iguana”, with Richard Burton, here in Puerto Vallarta in 1964.

We did find the restaurant and I enjoyed shrimp tacos one more time.

This restaurant sits with its back toward the river. The place was full when we got there. The owner asked us to sit and wait, offered us a drink while we waited. Soon he came from the back of the restaurant with a table, then chairs and made a spot for us right at the front of the restaurant. I was quite impressed with that service.

We walked around town a bit more, then caught a bus back toward our hotel. I was happy that our bus was not one of the rickety ones that we saw as we waited. We were able to ride to WalMart for the equivalent of 35 cents per person. At Walmart we did some grocery shopping, then returned to our hotel by taxi, for the cost of nearly $3, but it was worth it to not have to carry our groceries on the bus. WalMart, for your information, seems to be where everyone shops. There is a Sam’s Club next to it. Apparently, there is a Costco in town, also, but I certainly didn’t need to go to those big stores.

This morning, we enjoyed one of my favorite breakfasts of all time. Fresh papaya and pineapple, with a little squeeze of lime for accent.

Now we will go lay by the pool for awhile, then enjoy some fish tacos later.

I will say “Adios” for now. I will write again on another day, but I do suspect my news will not be anymore exciting than this post, as I plan to just relax, let someone else do the cooking for me and enjoy the balmy weather.

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Jalisco Gay Travel Resources

Dolly’s Last Day in Washington State – Dolly Travels

Author: , September 18th, 2016

Washington State

Saturday I was ready to go. A friend of Patrick’s, Mike, joined us for this ride.

We headed north to Mt. St. Helens area. Although it was cloudy here, the further we went north, the more clear the sky became.

However, on reaching the highest point of the Mt. St. Helens road, the mountain still had clouds in her hair, denying us the picture of her summit.

Washington State - Mount Saint HelensIt was interesting, though, to see how much destruction the eruption of that volcano had caused. Most of the forest has been replanted. Although the hardwood trees came back on their own, all of the evergreen forests have had to be planted again by hand.

On Sunday, we took a car trip out into the farmland northeast of La Center, and visited Cedar Creek Grist Mill. This mill has been in operation since 1929, I believe. The mill is powered by a waterwheel, using water from the creek.

This was such a peaceful sight.

Inside, one of the volunteers showed us how the mill worked by grinding some corn into flour, then some soft wheat. He packaged the flours into paper bags that we could take if we wanted them. We each put a donation into the box and went home with freshly ground flours.

Yesterday, Monday, Randy and I took a motorcycle ride east. We left La Center going south, turned onto Washington State Highway 14 and followed that road until we reached Maryhill, Washington.

We drove along with the Columbia River on our right, forests on our left. The further east we went, the more dry the area became.

Looking across the Columbia to the town of Hood, Oregon. There were many wind surfers on the river. The wind constantly blows down that gorge.

Washington State - Stonehenge MemorialWe eventually reached our destination, Stonehenge Memorial, near Maryhill. This was built by a Quaker pacifist named Samuel Hill to honor soldiers from that region of the country who had died in World War I. Mr. Hill started the memorial in 1918 and completed it in 1929. There are 13 plaques in the stone, with the name and years of birth and death of these young men. Most of the men were 18 or 19 years old.

The memorial is an exact replica of Stonehenge in England, in size and form. Very impressive.

By the time we had visited this, we needed to start for home, as the afternoon was growing late. We returned home by the same route.

Washington StateWe got home in time for dinner that Cindy had prepared for us. I was pretty tired, so I turned in early. I don’t know why I was tired. All I have to do when we ride is sit comfortably on the back of that big bike and enjoy the scenery.

Today, Randy added up the mileage we had put on the bikes. I am proud to say, I have ridden exactly 600 miles this week. What a blast! I am ready to do more.

I am eternally grateful that my son was willing to take me on these rides. Thanks, also, to Patrick for carting his grandmother around. Many thanks, also, to Cindy, for loaning me her riding gear, giving me tips on how to be a good passenger. This is a week I will always remember.

Until next adventure, goodbye for now,

Dolly

Mostly Sunny Hawaii – Dolly Travels

Author: , August 19th, 2016

Dolly in Kona

Aloha.

I am getting lazier by the day. Kat and Darrell are both busy all day long, and I either swim, read, take a walk or a nap. The lanai keeps beckoning me.

Sunday was a day when neither of them worked. We went to brunch in town at the Daylight Coffee Company, where we had some very good food, and just enjoyed the ambience of the sea nearby, the breezes and a little cooler weather.

The surf was fairly quiet at first, but the clouds coming off the mountain were pretty dark. Later, the surf did pick up. The waves, while not enormous, were foamy white and the sea became a grayish-blue.

There was a local man, fishing right below the deck of the restaurant. His catch was interesting.

Dolly - Kona

His catch: there is are 2 parrot fish, an octopus, several others of which I dont know the names, but they all looked, to me, like they belonged in an aquarium, not a skillet or barbecue. ( I think the striped fish are convict tangs, according to this fish book Darrell loaned me.)

Later, back at the house, as we relaxed on the lanai, it started to rain. I loved that! Sitting on a couch, nice and dry, watching the rain on the pool and coming down the chain rain gutters.

It was not cold at all; the air temperature did cool down for a short time, and felt very pleasant.

Today I got a lesson in coffee bean sorting. Darrell and his worker, Francisco, had picked a small batch of beans yesterday. After the beans had soaked overnight, the hulls separated from the beans. Fransisco very patiently explained the process to me as he sorted. Of course, I had to get my hands in there.

Francisco, from Honduras, is an expert on coffee beans. He told me that when he lived there, he picked 400 to 500 pounds of coffee a day for plantation owners. He also explained that the coffee sorter we were using here was very small, but workable for small batches of beans. I am certainly glad I dont have to do that every day, but it was fun for an hour.

Francisco also builds rock walls, digs trenches for electrical cables, or does landscaping; he seems to be a jack of many trades and is a personable, gentle, good person.

Now it is gorgeous outside. The pool is calling. I shall say Aloha and I will return on another day.

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Kona Gay Travel Resources

Relaxing in Kona – Dolly Travels

Author: , August 17th, 2016

Kona

Aloha!

Yes, I have been relaxing (one might interpret that as lazy, actually). I flew into Kona last Tuesday evening. Of course, it was dark, it was late, so I did not see much that night. My brother, Darrell, and his wife, Kat, picked me up from the airport. After getting here to the house, we relaxed on the lanai, caught up with news from home, then off to bed.

In the morning, I walked out of my room to the backyard, to a gorgeous view.

Darrell and Kat were both busy when I made my way out to the kitchen. Breakfast is in the frig, I was told. I took out a bowl of fresh mango, topped it with some yogurt, a small apple banana. Filled my cup with coffee from the farm here. I sat on the lanai, taking in the view while eating my breakfast, all of which came was grown here, except the yogurt.

Then I put on my walking shoes and did a tour of the property, and walked as far as I could go.

On my walk, I went through the orchard. Lemon trees, several different types of mango, limes, oranges, tangerines, even an allspice tree. I had never seen one of those before.

I frightened a mongoose, who was eating a mango that had fallen to the ground. I was too startled to get a picture of the furry animal, and he didnt stick around long enough to pose for me.

After my walk, of course I had to get into the pool. By that time, Kat had returned to the house and was doing exercises in the pool. I joined her for a short time, which was just long enough to get a bit of sunburn. I learned then that I need to use stronger sunscreen.

That evening, Mama Cat and I walked to the edge of the pool to watch the sunset.

Mama Cat didnt even look at the sunset. I did, though, then returned to my chair on the lanai and watched the darkness cover the landscape.

For some reason, the sunset picture does not want to appear in this blog post, so I promise to take another one and send it later.

For now, I will have to say Aloha! As we are going out for brunch. Food and relaxing seem to be the priorities for me, every day.

I will write more later and hopefully, have a sunset picture.

Aloha,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Kona Gay Travel Resources

Columbia River Gorge – Dolly Travels

Author: , July 27th, 2016

Columbia River Gorge - Dolly and Randy

My blog posts are usually about faraway places: Europe, New Zealand, Mexico, but today I had the lovely experience of riding through the magnificent Columbia River Gorge, right here in the United States, on the back of a motorcycle.

I came up to southern Washington State several days ago, primarily to visit my eldest son and his family and to help Randy celebrate his 60th birthday. Now those festivities are in the past, but we wanted to do something fun. Sunny days have been a rarity up here during this trip; however, yesterday and today turned out to be very pleasant. Randy asked me if I would like to visit the Columbia River Gorge on his motorcycle.

We left La Center, motored south past Vancouver, crossed the bridge over the Columbia River and turned east.

The Columbia River is the boundary between the states of Oregon and Washington for over 80 miles. We wanted to travel the Historic Gorge Highway, which is on the Oregon side. We left the main highway, got onto the Gorge Highway, which winds up and up, twisting and turning, crossing old bridges, following along what is known as the “Waterfall Trail”, as there are several waterfalls along the route. The largest of the waterfalls is Multnomah Falls, towering 620 feet above the gorge, falling in two sections to join a stream that flows down to the Columbia River.

There was so much traffic around the falls today that signs were up directing traffic
away. We had to stop and take this picture from a roadside stop on the Washington side of the River. The falls are still impressive.

Along the Historic Highway, we stopped at Vista House. This building was constructed in the early 1900’s as a rest stop for travelers. It is a very attractive building, built of local stone with stained glass windows and inside walls of marble.

We climbed the staircase inside the building and came out onto a balcony that encircled the building, giving visitors a 360-degree view of the Columbia River, mountains in the background, farmland around small waterways.

We were happy that we had talked to the young couple. They were from Melbourne, Australia, and they were having a grand time touring our Pacific Northwest. However, they were a bit embarrassed that they could not pronounce the names of places correctly. Randy told them that some of the names are of Native American extraction , so unless one was born here, the names are difficult for all of us. They were so cute and friendly. We were sorry to leave them.

Later, we stopped for gas and a snack, which we had while resting at a picnic area. A young man, also riding a motorcycle, stopped and engaged Randy in a conversation about road trips, motorcycle efficiency and other motorcycle-related topics. This must be the way things are all over the world: people of like minds and interests gravitate to others of the same interests.

Finally, we had to head for home. We crossed the Columbia River again, over to the Washington side, by way of the Bridge of the Gods. This is a cantilevered steel bridge. While driving across, I fcould look down and see the water about 400 feet below us. I only looked once! I had to research why it is called Bridge of the Gods. Apparently, over 600 years ago, an earthquake made a dam in the River, allowing people to cross from one side of the River to the other. Eventually, that dam washed away, and other bridges were made, with only man-made materials and labor, but the name stuck.

Once on the Washington side of the River, we followed the Lewis and Clark scenic highway back to Vancouver. We had to get on the freeway for some time before Randy turned found the exit he wanted. We finished our trip by going through more farmland and peaceful scenery.

I had a great time, and I am very grateful to my son who took the time to take his mother on an adventure. Thank you, Randy.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Columbia River Gorge Gay Travel Resources