New Year 2018

We washed and sheltered our Vistabule on a warm autumn Sunday, ahead of an unusually early cold snap that was forecast to blow into the Southeast. Supplies such as linens, batteries and pantry items, liquid or dry, were packed in the car to take home. Items left in storage were neatly stacked up off the floor. It all took less than an hour.

This preparation for our first winter season of separation created strange feelings, we felt reluctant to leave Lily and the fun camping trips behind even for a few months.

Days later Atlanta had an early dusting of snow. I took a snapshot of one of the courtyards in our apartment complex before the snow disappeared.

Courtyard Dusted With SnowLooking at the blog’s previous November 2017 post, I am surprised that it was written just six weeks back. We have been on several trips without the Vistabule during that time.

On a sunny weekend day between cold snaps, we returned to travel the length of the Cherohala Parkway from east to west, North Carolina into Tennessee.

Cherohala Skyway OverlookA couple of weeks later there was a flight out to the Seattle area to visit our children, grandkids and the furry grands. Two of the fur babies give Earl’s allergies a fit.


To give Earl’s dog allergy a break we normally stay overnight at a hotel or Airbnb. This time we had the fun of sleeping in the kids’ new travel trailer; driveway surfing.

Travel Trailer

The generations always mix family meals, crafts, and games with some outings. Our favorite meal of this trip was at Din Tai Fung, a restaurant known for great Dim Sum.

Dim Sum Restaurant

During our photo I think the kids and my grandson, Milo, were telling me that I’m not allowed to order one of everything on the menu.


Veteran’s Day while my daughter-in-law had her normal workday in her home office, I hung out with my granddaughter, Mabry, who was recovering from an illness. We read, measured and drew layouts for her bedroom. We talked crochet and baking.(Last year at age nine she started baking and decorating her own creations.) We even had a fun time together while emptying the dishwasher and putting clean dishes away. We also played a video game requiring problem solving skills: Unravel.

Here are photos posted by her parents of Mabry reading. It helps that she has long legs.

May Reading

While we stayed home, all of the guys headed out to Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture. This time it was its 20th Anniversary and the exhibits covered Jim Henson’s Muppets, along with Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds.


Another day the guys and I walked along Lake Washington and ended up at Ivar’s Seafood Bar for lunch. One of the joys of visiting the Northwest coast is stuffing ourselves with seafood, anywhere we can get it.


One evening Earl and son, Eachean, headed out to see the movie Blade Runner. It disappointed both of them. Meanwhile daughter-in-law, Stephanie, took the rest of us to Glazed Art at the Landing in Renton. I had never painted ceramics before. Both Stephanie and I struggled, while the grandkids quickly whipped out their creations.


Soon after our return, Earl had a business conference in Fort Lauderdale. I tagged along to assist him since his limited eyesight makes solo travel a bit challenging. For the first time, we did not have an ocean view room. It was a nice change to watch the boat traffic on the Intercostal.

Ft. Lauderdale Sunset

Naturally, we could overlook the beach while dining and still reach it easily from the hotel. Still, no touristy outings this time; we focused on relaxation mixed between Earl’s work meetings.

In the New Year ahead we expect to repeat business travel, along with flights to Las Vegas and Seattle to visit our children and grandchildren. While Earl continues to work, as expected, the Vistabule stretches our budget to add numerous additional outings into three and four day weekends and gives us more connection to the great outdoors.

Happy New Year’s! Our hopes of peace, health, happiness, and wonder filled travels go out to you.