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July 20, 2014

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been - Part One

Twenty-one days is the amount of time it takes to start a new habit. Sadly, that is the amount of time I was on vacation. My new habit(s) are nothing conducive to being back in the real world, I can assure you.

The trip didn't start off well; bad storms over Chicago necessitated refueling in Louisville, KY (after circling Midway for quite awhile), which caused a missed connection to Portland and afforded me the opportunity to spend the night in the airport (we landed in Midway eventually), as all hotels were booked within a thirteen mile radius. I arrived in Portland, looking less than optimal, about twelve hours later than planned.

The OSD collected me (and kindly did not bring up the less than optimal looking); we headed to Ikea for lunch and some light shopping (dishes, glassware, a rug), Best Buy for a sound system for the speedboat. Around to his daughter's to collect the giant Tahoe (Mary Jane) I was driving back to Washington (rush hour traffic!), so he could drive his daughter's car home, as it needed some work.
An hour and half later we arrived.
Vodka and tonic view
Friday we went into Astoria to do "big shopping" (Costco and Home Depot, with no sales tax) and a bit of sightseeing. If you happen to end up in Astoria, the Columbia River Maritime Museum is well worth the trip.

Leaving Puget Island on the Westport ferry

Astoria Column w foxglove

The mouth of the Columbia River from the top of the Astoria Tower
Seven days were whiled away on the riparian homestead, but not at all idly. There was putting carpet and the sound system in the speedboat; transplanting plants into the garden; planing and shellacking trellis parts for the pergola; cleaning and reorganizing the kitchen (that took most of two days); brush and tree trimming.
There was a brush fire incident one evening, but it was quickly brought under control. We assured the policeman who slowly drove past that it was in fact, intentional. It was a mostly true statement...
(Cocktails and flame throwers - not an ideal combination.)

Well that escalated quickly.

I spent an afternoon wandering around the small village of Cathlamet talking to artists and coffee shop workers, while the task master was in Portland removing a tree limb from a friend's roof. 

A full day off was garnered for good behavior ("good effort"), so Helga the Volvo (who would be my boon companion the next week) and I went into Portland to meet Alice and Andrea of Go Ask Alice When She's 94 fame (click to read recap of the visit). What a treat to meet them both! After spending some quality time with Alice and stealing roses for her room, Andrea and I had a delicious lunch at Johns Street Cafe. (The restaurateurs of the South could take a lesson on how to make good un-sweet tea from this place.) Then we spent an hour or so talking on the deck of Andrea's houseboat before I headed back to Washington. Such a lovely day!


One night we drove to Seaview for dinner where I had the best clam chowder I've ever had. Wish I could remember the name of the restaurant. We stopped at Beard's Hollow Lookout in Cape Disappointment State Park on the way.

Next up, week two with family and friends...


  1. What a lovely, detailed report. Thank you, Kim! Beautiful photos, too.

  2. I hope you have a good time here Kim!