Saturday, September 8, 2018

August and September 2018 Trip


Thursday, August 23, 2018
I took a Vancouver Cab to PDX at 7:30 AM.  I had a non-stop 9:45 AM Alaska flight, arriving Washington D.C./National at 5:50 PM.  I had Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche with fruit at The Country Cat.  I purchased a smoked sockeye salmon fillet at Made in Oregon for Lorraine.  I boarded the flight at 9:15 AM for 9:45 AM departure.  I had the window bulkhead seat in Premium Class.  Nice flight.  I had the Fruit and Cheese Platter.  I got my luggage and met my eldest son, Jeff, at the airport car pickup.  Nice surprise.  

He dropped me at the Comfort Inn, 5716 S Van Dorn St. at the far edge of Alexandria.  It turned out to be a great location.  I had an end room on the 9th (top) floor.  I bought a frozen lasagna and diet Pepsi at the lobby.  The tiny microwave in my room was only 700 watts.  The lasagna was supposed to be cooked with an 1100 microwave so I cooked it longer.  I watched HGTV which was a treat.

Friday, August 24
I had breakfast at the hotel.  I got a Lyft to the Amtrak Station in Alexandria.  I rode Business Class to Charlottesville, Virginia from 11:19 AM to 1:43 PM.  I got a complimentary bottled water and Diet Pepsi at the Club Car.  I took a photo of the water tower in Manassas (Benchmark: HV5205).  Lorraine picked me up at the Train Station.  We stopped at Grocery Stores and Chicken Feed Store on the way to her house.  We had soup and salad.  The trees have grown and surround the house cutting off the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  She plans to remove the trees to open the view again.  I fell asleep to the sound of crickets and the mating call of cicadas.    

Saturday, August 25
We had breakfast.  We drove to Staunton where we visited a Virtual  - Staunton Military Academy Memorial.  We had Afternoon Tea at Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room.  The Victorian Tea was really skimpy with the clotted cream and strawberry jam.  We wandered through the garden.  Who was Anne Hathaway?  Anne Hathaway was the wife of William Shakespeare, the English poet, playwright and actor. They were married in 1582, when he was 18 and she was 26 years old.  Back at Lorraine's hilltop home I took a nap.  We watched Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in "The Post" (2017).  I had a good night's sleep.

Sunday, August 26
We visited the Walton's Mountain Museum in the quaint village of Schuyler, VA, the childhood home of Earl Hamner, Jr.  The Museum is located in the old school.  We saw a 30 min. video.  The classrooms have been converted to exhibit rooms.  Five rooms replicate the TV sets: "Ike Godsey's Store", Kitchen, Living room, John Boy's room and Pony Cart room.  Nearby was the Waltons Hamner House.  

We visited The Batesville Market where we had light snack.  We stopped at Hill Top Berry Winery in Nellysford to have wine samples.  I really liked the Mountain Apple Wine.  Back at Lorraine's house we had a light dinner.  We watched the first Walton's 1971 TV movie: "The Homecoming - A Christmas Story" starring Patricia Neal and Richard Thomas.

Monday, August 27
I was awakened at 5:00 AM by very loud noises.  The concrete trucks had arrived at 4:00 AM to pour the barn floor.  We had breakfast.  Lorraine drove me to the Amtrak Station in Charlottesville.  I caught the 8:52 AM train to Alexandria.  I rode Business Class.  I got complimentary drinks at the Club Car.  I arrived about 11:00 AM and got a Lyft ride to the Comfort Inn.  I got the same room at the end of the hall on the 9th floor.  I took a nap.  Jeff picked me up in the evening.  I found two Virtuals: O and A Railroad Tunnel and Alexandria, DC.   We had dinner at Los Cuates Restaurant on King Street.  I had Quesadilla Chicken.  Jeff dropped me off at the Comfort Inn.

Tuesday, August 28
I ate breakfast at the Comfort Inn.  I rode Lyft to the Van Dorn Metro Station.  I rode the Trolley the complete loop of Old Town Alexandria.  I got off the Trolley several blocks from the Metro Station to walk the length of King Street.  I bought a necklace and "Lincoln Letters" by William Martin at "Look Again" a resale shop.  I ate lunch at 2:00 PM at Starbucks.

I started finding the information for an Earthcache four years ago.  I finished finding the information this past week. I stopped at the Alexandria Visitor Center/Ramsay House, viewed the exhibits/information at the Archeological Museum at the Torpedo Factory, and toured the Lyceum History Museum researching the history of Alexandria.

I had a cup of ice cream at Ben & Jerry's about 5:00 PM.  I took at Lyft back to the Comfort Inn.  Jeff picked me up later.  We went to National Harbor.  Jeff took my photo for the "Awakening" - a Virtual.  I had a marvelous dessert - Creme Brulee & Berries -  at Fiorella Italian Kitchen & Pizzeria, 152 National Plaza, National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland.  Jeff got a pizza.  He dropped me off at the Comfort Inn on his way home in Springfield.

Wednesday, August 29
I ate breakfast at the Comfort Inn.  I rode the Hotel Shuttle to the Van Dorn Metro Station and the Metro to Alexandria.  I rode the Trolley.  I had a Blueberry Scone and Earl Grey tea at Starbucks at 11:15 AM.  I had an interesting conversation for over an hour with a man sitting at the table.  It got a cup of ice cream.  I visited the Torpedo Factory.  I had a light meal of Fruit & Cheese and Shortbread Cookie about 3:15 PM at Starbucks near the Waterfront.  I rode the Trolley, Metro to Van Dorn and then the Hotel Shuttle to the Comfort Inn.  I had leftover Quesadilla Chicken from Monday nights dinner.  I watched the two hour "Master Chef" on television.

Thursday, August 30
I ate breakfast at the Comfort Inn.  I rode the Hotel Shuttle to the Van Dorn Metro Station and the Metro to Alexandria.  I rode the Trolley.  I found a geocache however the original ammo can cache was missing.  I got a scoop each of mango and lemon sorbet in a cup at Dolci Gelato.  I had lunch at Starbucks near the Waterfront.  I visited the Alexandria Archeological Museum for half hour.  I rode the Trolley, Metro to Van Dorn and then the Hotel Shuttle to the Comfort Inn. 

Jeff and I walked the trail at Jones Point, a geographic point on the Potomac River which is part of the city of Alexandria.  A small park and the Jones Point lighthouse are located at the point, which is immediately North of the confluence of Hunting Creek and the Potomac River.  The 1791-1792 survey of the boundaries of the District of Columbia began at a spot that was then at the tip of a cape at the Point.  The south cornerstone from the boundary survey remains in a seawall several yards south of the lighthouse.  I found a Survey Disk.

The 1855-56 lighthouse was built as a river navigational aid.  It is a rare, surviving example of an integrated lighthouse - keeper's dwelling and tower for the light.  It has or had a smaller Fourth Order Fresnel Lens that were used in lighthouses on rivers and inland waterways. 

The park highlights many of its historical aspects though NPS placards that appears along the walking trail.  I was fascinated to read about Margaret Brent.   This outspoken woman (1601-1671/1676) secured a 700-acre patent in 1654 which included Piper's Island (later known as Jones Point).  She was not only a landowner but Lord Baltimore's attorney.

Friday, August 31
I ate breakfast at the Comfort Inn.  I rode the Hotel Shuttle to the Van Dorn Metro Station.  I put $6.00 on my Metro SmartTrip card.  I rode the Metro to Pentagon City.   I explored the Mall which has definitely seen better days.  I rode the Metro to Van Dorn Station.  I took the Trolley down King Street.  I had lunch at Starbucks of Tomato and Mozz Cheese Panini.  I got a cup of ice cream. 

I rode the Trolley for a few blocks.  I went to the Lyceum History Museum.  Fascinating!   I saw a couple interesting books in the Gift Shop - Sarah Vowell's "Assassination Vacation" and "Historic Alexandria" by Ted Pulliam.  I rode the Trolley, Metro to Van Dorn and then the Hotel Shuttle to the Comfort Inn.  Back at the Comfort Inn I showered and rested.  Jeff and Donna picked me up.  We went to Lena's - wood-fired pizza & tap.  It was a wild night with thunder and lightning.   I was wakening with flood warning alerts at 12:01 AM and again at 12:06 AM.

Saturday, September 1
I ate breakfast at the Comfort Inn.  Jeff and Donna picked me up.  We headed for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  We couldn't find the cache at the Washington Monument.   We found The Original Washington Monument, High on Longstreet, First Killed at Gettysburg, Peace at Gettysburg, The Only Civilian, Triassic Toe Tracks, Little Round Top, Unsettle Spirit, Gettysburg PA, A Tragedy, Step into a Blessing, Schools Out...Forever!, Got a Virus and Fallen Firefighters' Memorial.  We had lunch at O'Rorke's Gettysburg, PA.  We got back to Alexandria very late so I ate leftover pizza with a cold Diet Pepsi for dinner.  I watched television.

Sunday, September 2
I ate a late breakfast at the Comfort Inn.  Jeff and Donna picked me up.  We headed for Delaware and New Jersey.  We found NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Bethany UAME Cemetery, Colonial Cache, The Cache of Wolfenstein (my son, Christopher, solved this Mystery Cache four years ago), Fort Casimir, Rt. 9 (Almost) Broad Dyke Canal, Obsolete Giant, Linda's First, The Oldest Living Cache in South Jersey and Sushi.  We had lunch at Jessop's Tavern in New Castle, Delaware and dinner at Coakleys Pub in Havre De Grace, Maryland.

Monday, September 3
Jeff picked me up at 9:30 AM at the Comfort Inn.  Donna was not able to join us so Jeff and I did some geocaching.  We hiked to the stone bridge at Lake Accotink so I could get correct coordinates for my Waymark - Stone Bridge.  We found Spy's Cache (very long snake in culvert), ALLH #20 - Ash Grove and Chauncy's Cool Cat cache.  My very first cache in October 2004 was a traditional cache near the Ash Grove main house.  We had lunch at IHop.  We visited Gunston Hall an 18th-century Georgian mansion near the Potomac River in Mason Neck, Virginia. The house was the home of the United States Founding Father George Mason.  Jordan C. was our tour guide.  We traveled back to D.C. and Donna's home for Afternoon Tea.  It was quite lovely.  The scones were especially delicious.  Back at the hotel room I watched the movie "Legally Blond".

Tuesday, September 4
As a Gold Star Member I did not need to check out of my hotel room until 2:00 PM.  I ate one of Donna's delicious scones for my breakfast.  I watched the movie "Gifted" (2017).  I caught a Lyft to Van Dorn Station and rode the Metro to National Airport.  I checked my suitcase and got my boarding pass.  I got some food at Starbucks.  The flight left at sometime after 5:30 PM.  I had the window bulkhead seat in Premium Class.  Nice flight.  I watched two movies - "15:17 Paris" and "Father Figures".  We arrived in Portland about 8:00 PM or so.  I got my suitcase from Baggage Pickup.  The handle was broken so I got the paperwork to have it fixed.  I rode MAX Light Rail, and two CTran buses to get home all for $1.50.  Christopher met me at the bus stop to wheel my luggage home.  Cold weather and low humidity.  What a relief!  It was a great trip but I will never again visit the East Coast in August.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Friday, July 27, 2018

Red Is the New Black?


On Monday June 18, 2018 I traded in my Black VW Tiguan and purchased a new 2018 Cardinal Red VW Tiguan from Hannah Motors VW Dealership in Vancouver, WA.  After several hours of intense negotiations I got the luggage security cover and the price that I was willing to pay for the car.  I paid the car off earlier this month.  I started noticing how many red cars there are!  Red must be the new black!

Staying Cool on Hot Summer Days


It is so weird but nice to have air conditioning in the house.  I have lived in this 2000-sq-ft house since December 1973 with no air conditioning and an inadequate forced air heater.  I finally had an American Standard Platinum 18 Heat Pump and Air Handler installed at the end of June.  A Heating and Air Conditioning Company in town did the installation.  It was a challenge but they did a fantastic job. 

Monday, July 9, 2018


On Friday, July 6, I went to Seattle via Amtrak.  I drove to the Vancouver (WA) Train Depot where I parked my car for free.  I boarded Coach at 8:40am.  I brought along a bottle of apple juice and purchased a slice of banana nut bread and a banana at the club car.  It was a lovely 3+ hour ride to the King Street Station.

I have a Business Class seat on my return so I went to the ticket window at the King Street Station to get seat assignment and club car $3.00 coupon.  I took the elevator to the 2nd floor and walked across the street to the bus stop.  I got on the first bus that was going north on 3rd to the stop between University and Union.  I walked downhill to the Geocaching Event at Starbucks.  Almost all of the attendees were Lackeys from Groundspeak.

Afterwards I caught a bus on 3rd Street to 34th Street in the Fremont District.  I walked a block to Groundspeak HQ.   I met two Lackeys: OnCloudDevine and B14ckH4wkGER.  I was sorry to miss Annie who was vacationing in Scotland. I have been to all of the Groundspeak Headquarters many times except I never went to the first one which I was told was a garage. I met all three founders in July 2008 when HQ was under the monorail.

I caught the bus back to downtown Seattle where I went to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM).  It was free day for Seniors.  Special Exhibitions were half price so I purchased a ticket for "Double Exposure".   It was several rooms of photos mostly taken by Edward S. Curtis around 1900.

I went back to Starbucks to purchase a snack box of cheese, crackers and fruit.  Starbucks was closing so I ate my snack at a bench in the lobby, watching people pass by.  

I caught the bus to the King Street Amtrak Station.  The train was about 15 - 20 minutes late leaving the station.  Soon the train engine ran into trouble.  We had to backtrack to the station.  The train conductor came by to turn all of our seats around.  We finally got underway.  We were about 45 minutes late getting into Vancouver.  

Great Seattle trip!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

At the Oregon Beach

Yesterday I went to Seaside, Oregon with the Marshall Center Senior Group.  The vans parked near the new Seaside Convention Center.  I walked five blocks to the Seaside Visitor Center to find the Geocache. 

I walked across the street to have lunch at Seaside Brewing. I had a green salad, cup of clam chowder with oyster crackers and three samplers of their beer: Vanilla Cream (my favorite), Marionberry Hefe and IPA.  Great ambiance.  Mighty tasty food.  I wandered west down Broadway.

I bought a book at Rust & Dust Vintage called "Duel in the Sun" by Niven Busch c. 1944 for $3.00.  It was made into a 1946 Western film starring Gregory Peck, Jennifer Jones, and Joseph Cotten. 

I bought a cup of Marionberry icecream.  A single scoop but very large.  I sat on the black and white cow bench at the front of the store and people watched.   I saw a woman walk by carrying a young hysterical girl.

I continued walking west on Broadway.  I briefly watched the bumper cars.  Great fun.  I walked to the turnaround to watch the ocean.  It would have been lovely except for the family drama taking place at the end of the bench.  About 20 minutes after I sat down the woman with the young hysterical girl showed up.  What are the odds.  Hundreds and hundreds of people were at Seaside and I get the one bench with the young hysterical girl.  Family made a fuss over her.  I wandered off shortly to look at the colorful front yard flower gardens and return to the vans.

Marshall Center Senior Group left at 3:00pm, returning to Vancouver via Astoria and the Longview Bridge.  Great trip!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The evil that men do...

I watched the AG quote the bible as justification for ripping children from their parents.  How dare he use the bible as justification for the evil that this administration is doing! The last straw came yesterday when I heard about a 15 day old baby taken from a mother's arms after she crossed the border. I woke up this morning at 4:00 am really really upset!  And I am still upset!!