Monday, November 3, 2014

2015 Calendars Are Here - Cook Islands!

The South Pacific beckons with a soft whisper of the ocean rolling over the empty, sandy beach.

Sound like some sappy commercial and then the reality is anything but.

Cook Islands really does have those empty sandy beaches.  I'm not talking about beaches you have to hike four hours through jungle terrain to get too.  I'm talking the beach outside the Palm Grove Resort, or the Black Rock Beach.

For 2015 you can enjoy the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki without ever leaving your office.

Cook Islands Calendar 2015

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge

Just off Highway Two, between the towns of Troy and Libby Montana, at milepost 21, is a pull off where you will see a LOT of cars/campers/trucks/trailers.  This is because it is the parking lot of Kootenai Swinging Bridge and Falls.

This was an intended destination, and the reason we took Highway 2 instead of the faster Interstate 90.

We didn't know it was going to be almost 100 degrees, either.

There is a lot of information out there on the bridge and the falls and the history.  You can read about those on the Libby Montana attraction website.  This is about the fact that it is WORK to get there!

Maybe it was the fact that it was 100 degrees outside and I hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before.

No, it was because it was 100 degrees out.

It was also almost a mile from the parking lot to the bridge.

Yes, we only went to the bridge.  When we scooted back to the Y where you could go to the falls, I'd had it.  Another reason to come back, I say.  With the temps in the low 60's.

Yes, welcome!

Monday, August 25, 2014

From-the-Car Photography - 5 Simple Steps

5 Simple Steps to get pictures of your vacation without having to stop. All.  The.  Time. 

*Disclaimer:  This is for the passenger of the car - NOT the driver

Based on our pulling-the-car-over-all-the-time experience, we knew we had to reach Sandpoint, Idaho sometime in the summer of 2014.  That said, I developed an art I'm calling From the Car Photography.

I would have called it Car Photography, but then people would think it was pictures of cars.  Then they'd be mad there were no cars.  Then I would get emails.  Then I wouldn't sleep at night.  Circles - constant circles.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Road Trip - Glacier Peak National Park - Getting Out The Door

Since our last road trip in the Summer of 2013 went so well (read about that adventure lovely trip here), we thought we'd subject ourselves do it again.

This summer was a bit odd in that we didn't have SUMMER until July 28th.  Not summer, like summer weather.  No, we had that.  More so than us rusty Washingtonians are used too.  What I mean is we had to be around every Monday and Tuesday because of drivers ed.  You miss more than three of those suckers and you start over.  I was not about to to do that.

The final test was July 28th at 8 am.  It was scheduled to be over at 9:00.  We figured we would get the car packed and head out to pick our daughter up at 9:00 and we'd go from there.

Until she called us at 8:06 to say she was finished with her test.  Um, what?  A six minute test.  To pass drivers ed?  Well.  Not sure what to say about that.

Regardless, turned the car around after not even taking the keys out of the ignition and drove the six minutes back to get her.

We locked the front door at 9:15 and headed down the driveway.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Football....FINALLY!!! And A Survival Tactic

Tomorrow night, August 7th, 2014, 6:00 pm Pacific Standard time the dry spell ends.

Football season is finally back in town.
Yeah, it's a photo of a Sounders soccer game at CenturyLink Field,
but work with me here.

To get where this is coming from:

1)  I'm from Seattle.  Hello, we won the Super Bowl.  'Nuff said.  Well, except for neener neener neener to the Denver Broncos who lost 43-8 and San Fransisco (SF just because).

2)  Football season is when I get a TON of stuff done around the house.  Everything from more writing than any other time of year to the most spotless house you can imagine to the best food we've had since the last Super Bowl Party.

Here's where this starts:  I have to have a diversion to be productive.  I have to be "supposed to be doing something else" to get anything done.  Football season on the flatscreen TV seems to fill that void.

Monday, July 14, 2014

What No Other Parent Will Tell You - Teenage Driving

“You can be anything you want when you grow up”, I was told as a child.

Yes, that’s fairly true.  If I really wanted to be a pole dancer, then I’m sure I make myself all stretchy and do that (although, truth be told, it’s genuinely hard).  If I really wanted to be a World Cup soccer player, then I’m sure I could work really (really) hard toward that. 

It all came with one little lie because, there’s just one thing I will NEVER be able to be.

A drivers ed instructor

Why did no one warn me about this aspect of raising a kid?

Nope, I knew all about colic and teething and the terrible twos.  Then I was told about the tears on the first day of kindergarten (that one was a crock, on both my daughter’s and my end).  I was told how fast time would fly from the first day of second grade to the second week of high school (that one wasn’t a crock) and the teenage attitude (the phrase “toddlers in bigger bodies” and “toddlers with hormones” are both incredibly accurate).

No one warned me about having to be the passenger in a two ton SUV with my 15 year old behind the wheel.  Going 60 down the highway.

With other cars on the road.

With no brake on the passenger side floorboard.  
Really, is it so hard to put the middle pedal on the
passenger side of the car, too?

I know she’s going to grow up.  From the day she came out of my body, I knew she was not mine to keep.  She was mine to raise into a productive human being in society (that will one day hopefully care for me in my dotage).  I walked into this parenthood thing fully prepared that things come along daily that work her way toward that independence. 

Driving blindsided me. 

I suck at being the passenger.  I suck even more at being the passenger in the back seat of the SUV.   Learned this the hard way yesterday. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

World Cup 2014 - 7 Fast Facts

For the casual North American this whole World Cup thing can be a mystery.  While soccer or futbol is popular, well, pretty much everywhere else in the world, soccer is just now moving up in the ranks of popularity in the United States, but it has a ways to go.  Here are some quick facts to keep up with a couple billion of your closest friends who are also predicted to watch at least part of the games.  

1.  The World Cup to the world is like the Superbowl is to the United States.  

To put it into perspective, though, 105 million people watched the 2010 Superbowl909 million people watched the final minute of the 2010 Championship game between Netherlands and Spain (Spain won 1-0).

Where kids in Haiti play soccer - inside an unfinished building.

2.  The World Cup, like the Winter and Summer Olympics, are held every four years.  

Host Countries are chosen decades in advance.  In Brazil, there are actually 12 host stadiums where the soccer games are held throughout Brazil.  Brazil has reportedly spent $11 billion to host these games ($270 million alone for a stadium in Manaus that will only be used for four matches – and is so remote it cannot be reached by car).